Disabled Veteran: Need Advice

Topic 21318 | Page 1

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George Z.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, I am a disabled Veteran with no money and at risk of becoming homeless if I do not find work, and I need to make a decision on my path to getting my CDL.

A string of bad luck over the past year brought me to this point. Savings is now all spent trying to stay afloat.

I chose trucking because I wanted to become a truck driver when I was a teen, but ended up doing other things instead.

Big mistake.

For the last few months I have spoken or chatted with many company's and schools. Unfortunately, I am still unclear what to do probably because I am not that familiar with the trucking Industry.

First off, because of my disability (wounded during Gulf War), I cannot drive a manual transmission in any vehicle car or truck etc.

I cannot bring my wife along do to her health reasons should we become homeless, and also have 2 children.

Our relatives are useless.

After much research, it seems although most carriers have automatic transmissions, most do not train on automatics in their company sponsored CDL training. The few that do offer it, such as CRST list an impairment that disqualifies me (I have a minor impairment of my R arm and L leg), but an automatic transmission would solve the issue (no clutch and no stick shift).

Private Schools do offer what I need, but I cannot use my G.I. Bill, and even if I do get financing with my now bad credit the interest rate is thru the roof.

I am now looking into state and federal programs that provide grants, but the state one requires you to be laid off, which I was not.

So frustrated..any advice would help.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

Call Werner. They'll give you the number to their school, roadmaster, and they're significantly good at working with people with disabilities and as I recall they have a commitment to working with veterans as well.

There was a guy in my class at Roadmaster who was a right arm partial amputee, and he got through and is doing this.

As far as other things you've mentioned you'll have to figure those out, but I cannot speak highly enough of Werner and Roadmaster in terms of them being accommdating and empathetic. They also train on automatics if you so need to; I did because I have some issues with my legs and such.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

George, Thanks for your service.

You could also call CFI. We have a fleet with very few manual transmission trucks left. Those will be retired soon. I do not know if they can train you on an automatic. If they can, the only thing you have to pay up front is to get your permit and DOT med card before being accepted into their training.

Prime is another great company going to an all automatic fleet. I hope that helps.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

I was offered to be trained in an automatic truck at a school here in NYC with the condition that my license would have it as a restriction. I have a card in my car of someone that could help get you trained even with your financial issues. I’ll post his details tomorrow as my car is parked a few blocks away from my apt. Hopefully the sooner you act on this the sooner you can get on the road. There has to be a resource out there for veterans about to be homeless too. God bless & may He give you the strength & determination to see this through not just for you but for your family.

George Z.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Reyn

I was offered to be trained in an automatic truck at a school here in NYC with the condition that my license would have it as a restriction. I have a card in my car of someone that could help get you trained even with your financial issues. I’ll post his details tomorrow as my car is parked a few blocks away from my apt. Hopefully the sooner you act on this the sooner you can get on the road. There has to be a resource out there for veterans about to be homeless too. God bless & may He give you the strength & determination to see this through not just for you but for your family.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I have no idea what information Reyn has, but I will give this warning: There are a good many schools in NYC which are questionable. The main thing you want from a school is a 160 hour course with a training certificate upon successful completion. You also want to make sure the major carriers are recruiting students from them.

George, your best approach will be the Company-Sponsored Training Programs. That way you know for sure that you have a job after completing the training. You've got issues to overcome. By going through a sponsored program you will have jumped through all the hoops in advance. There's no reason for you to waste your money on school knowing you are going to have difficulty landing a job. The sponsored training programs will make sure they can put you to work prior to training you.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

Totally understand your concern Old School. I’m not trying to steer him in any direction. Especially any school here in NYC. I don’t even know where George is from. There are many company paid training opportunities for him on here to sift through & find one that fits his current crisis. I too strongly advise him to follow that route.

Here’s what I was talking about. It’s called “hiring our heroes”. An initiative by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. I had the pleasure of driving the President of this organization here in NYC. I tried searching for resources on their sites but it’s way too confusing or lacking actual usable “resources” for George’s immediate crisis.

I will be copying George’s initial post & forwarding it to the man who gave me his card to see his response. If he wants to help I’d be honored & extremely happy to facilitate that process going forward.

In the meantime, George, please keep the faith & search thoroughly through the links Old School posted. Many of those companies will make every effort to help you gain the knowledge & experience necessary to see your way out of your present situation. I will send that email tonight when I get home.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Reyn wrote:

My email is *****************. Please feel free to ask anything. Although I haven’t started my trucking career yet, I will definitely help in any way at my disposal.

Reyn I know you are well meaning, please realize others may benefit from any information exchange. We prefer questions be posted in the general forum so everyone has access to them and the ability to respond.

Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

Reyn I know you are well meaning, please realize others may benefit from any information exchange. We prefer questions be posted in the general forum so everyone has access to them and the ability to respond.

Understood G-Town. Will definitely post the response, if he does respond to my email. Of course I can’t post who this person is on a public forum but any feedback that will help others will be posted here.

George Z.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank You Reyn, is this the organization?

https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/hiring-our-heroes

Totally understand your concern Old School. I’m not trying to steer him in any direction. Especially any school here in NYC. I don’t even know where George is from. There are many company paid training opportunities for him on here to sift through & find one that fits his current crisis. I too strongly advise him to follow that route.

Here’s what I was talking about. It’s called “hiring our heroes”. An initiative by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. I had the pleasure of driving the President of this organization here in NYC. I tried searching for resources on their sites but it’s way too confusing or lacking actual usable “resources” for George’s immediate crisis.

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