Finally Giving This A Go

Topic 21315 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Ithel's Comment
member avatar

I came very close to closing my business about a year ago and getting into trucking, but the timing wasn't quite right. Some family circumstances have changed, and I'm ready to do this.

Many thanks to the experienced drivers on this board who have enabled me to think this through as clearly as possible from the outside. I'm not completely at peace, giving up as I am a profitable though unsustainable business, but I'm as close as I have ever been. I've discussed this with some trusted friends as well as my wife and daughter, and I think we're all on the same page now.

I've been talking with Mike, a recruiter at TMC. Their CDL classes are open to people from Kentucky, where I live. I had to submit copies of my tax returns going back to 2012, since I am self-employed. I'm waiting to hear from them now.

As I learn more, I'll post again. For now it's jumping into High Road and learning/relearning a lot of things so I can go to Iowa with my permit.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Ithel's Comment
member avatar

I've been accepted in TMC's apprenticeship program and begin Dec. 18th. I have much to do to prepare---including closing and emptying the office in which I've lived for almost a decade. Because I have an active Class B CDL I only need to take the written test for Combinations and Air Brakes to have the Class A Permit, according to the TMC recruiter. I hope to have that done by this time next week.

My wife and daughter (16) are with me on this decision, but we are all apprehensive in our own way. For my own motivation, I've written a list of my business profit for every year on the back of a business card which I will carry with me. All I can say for these numbers is they show we have taken frugality to a whole new level.

TMC has graciously thrown down a rope. I am determined to climb it.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Ithel, that is exciting!

I strongly recommend that you line up a few other companies as a back-up plan. There can be all kinds of reasons that you haven't considered that can mess up your first orientation. It is always prudent to have three or four companies lined up who are willing to invite you to orientation.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, congrats Ithel!

I would make sure you study the Logbook , Weight & Balance, and Flatbed Securement sections of the High Road CDL Training Program also. You're going to need to know all of that stuff. If you can get a jump on it now you'll have a huge advantage once you start your training. You'll be glad you did it!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Ithel's Comment
member avatar

I passed the permit tests today (100% on both combinations and air brakes, the only two I had to take to upgrade from Class B license to Class A permit apparently), thanks to your excellent prep material in High Road, Brett. I'll definitely be poring over the rest before I head to Iowa next week, as you suggested. I do plan to take the hazardous materials test, but that may have to wait a bit as I will be at the school before I can be scheduled.

One of the questions asked me to identify the angle at which glad hands are initially brought together. This was also in the High Road material, but I thought I would mention it actually showed up on a real test. I didn't know I knew the answer and didn't recall that it had been in the study guide, but since 90 degrees is the only one that stood out, apparently I learned it from High Road after all, heh.

In my county of KY (possibly statewide?) this test is administered with circle paper and a scantron. I've seen others mention their computerized tests automatically stop once you hit some minimum correct, but with paper you won't really have an option to skip a question and come back to it later.

I see the wisdom of what you suggest, Old School. Should I mention that I'm scheduled for TMC school when talking to other recruiters?

Thanks again for so generously sharing these study resources and for offering your insights. All this is very much appreciated.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, congrats Ithel! That's one big step out of the way, onto the next!

smile.gif

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Ithel, I also live in Kentucky and when I took my written tests for my permit, it was all done on computer and yes, once you answered enough correctly the testing stopped. A neighboring county does theirs on paper as you described.. I only know that because a friend had a paper/Scantron test. In Kentucky, it completely depends on your county of residence on whether they do computer or paper testing. Less populous areas use paper tests.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I see the wisdom of what you suggest, Old School. Should I mention that I'm scheduled for TMC school when talking to other recruiters?

It's not important that you do. I'm just thinking it's prudent to have a few pre-hire letters as a backup. Some of us hit a few unexpected bumps in the road when starting this career, and being able to effortlessly switch to plan B is always a good thing.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Ithel's Comment
member avatar

Just an update, no need to reply.

The reality of this has really come home to me. I've spent the better part of this week closing my office, packing boxes, moving furniture, shredding thousands of tax returns and cases of documentation, finishing up odd little house projects so my wife won't have to deal with them, and so on. I know closing my business is the right thing to do for many reasons independent of the decision to drive for a living, but I have to tell you it is really tough. Really struggling with feelings of failure, to be honest, as wrong-headed as that is.

Nevertheless, moving on. TMC is having me pick up a rental car in Lexington Sunday, drive to St. Louis to pick up two other people, and drive on to Des Moines. Amazingly, TMC is also sending us home for Christmas, then travelling back the day after. Here's hoping the agility tests go well.

Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

The only time we fail is when we stop trying/just give up completely. That chapter is finished & a new one begins. The story keeps going & that’s all that matters. Its just the universe’s way of keeping us honest & humble. All the best at TMC!

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More