First Time Poster, My CCC&TI Experience

Topic 21428 | Page 1

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Prime Mover 's Comment
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Greetings all, I first want to say thank you to everyone who posts on here and for all of the articles, podcasts, and CDL test prep tools on this site. The information on TruckingTruth has helped me over this last year decide whether or not I would like to go into trucking, and also how I would like to go about it.

A little bit about me. I am a 22 year old from NC, and I have been working as a real estate photographer for the last year while saving up funds to have a go at this career, and I have done reasonably well in it. Before this, I tried my hand at a Mechanical engineering technology degree, grinding away for 3 years, without the credits to show for it. Very late along the way, I realized that I was there because I was trying to make other people happy, my family foremost. So after I gave my last semester at college my best attempt, and not doing so well in the process, I decided to leave and consider some other things that I had been wanting to do. I considered all kinds of things in the trades, grading, welding, machining, working for the railroad, and I decided on trucking. Trucking is something that I have always wanted to try, but I never thought that I would end up doing it. But, here I am.

A couple days ago, I registered and paid for the CDL program run by CCC&TI, a community college in Hudson, NC. I haven't been able to find much information online from people who have attended the program, so I am hoping to provide some information on this particular school as I go through it. I picked this program because of the cost, (the tuition for the program is $1882), the length of schooling (it is a 9 week program), and for some personal reasons. I have grandparents who live near the school, and I will be able to help them some and stay with them while I also attend the CDL program. These circumstances made going to this program more appealing to me than attending company sponsored training. While the company sponsored training would be free, I decided that the longer schooling time and closeness to family would be worth the cost of tuition for me.

I am about to start applying for companies to get pre-hired with before I start the program. I would like to try and be home on the weekends, so I am looking more into companies that can start me on regional runs. I am leaning towards starting with one of the flatbed carriers, TMC, Maverick, PGT, or Boyd Bros, but I am open to other opportunities, such as LTL companies, regional dry van carriers... etc.

I start classes on January 3rd, and I am very excited to try my hand at this new challenge. I will try and keep this thread updated on a weekly basis once classes start.

Thanks for reading!

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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Welcome! We look forward to following your progress.good-luck.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Prime Mover 's Comment
member avatar

Alright! I am going to try and make this a weekly, maybe twice a week kind of update thing.

This past Wednesday (1/3/2018) we started class, and so far I am loving it. There are 16 folks including me that are taking the course, and it is a very diverse group of folks age wise, the youngest being 18, and the eldest being 67. So far I am enjoying the folks that I am taking this class with, after only having friends, family, and the odd driver to talk to about trucking, it is kinda nice to meet other folks who are interested in the industry.

The first three days of class have been spent on a few different topics, and they have been pretty full days as well (For good reason as well, PTDI requires them to run the full 8-5 w/an hour lunch.) We covered information needed to obtain the CDL learners permit the first day of class, and by the second day, two other students and I went over to the DMV to get our permits. The three of us came back with grins and permits in hand, I can thank the high road training program for helping me with that.

The second day was spent going over some more information in the books that we were provided to help get the students ready for the permit test. After lunch that day, we changed gears and went over the HOS regulations, and we dusted off a VHS tape on the importance of CSA scores and HOS regs. We got into a discussion on ELogs , some of the folks are speculating that ELogs may increase how much team driving is done among trucking companies.

On the third day, three more folks went out to the DMV, and came back as conquering heros! More permits in hand! The lead instructor is really stressing the importance of getting the permit before the second week of class, as it will allow students to hit the road at roughly the same time in the course, as it is very easy to get behind if you miss opportunities to get on the road with an instructor. We went over a few other things in class on this day as well. We will be logging our time spent in class as on-duty in paper logbooks, and the instructor went over what is required to be done in filling out a logbook. The class will be completing logbooks for every day spent in class for the remainder of the course.

Lastly, we took a trip over to the shop near the end of the day, there, the head mechanic explained the fundamentals of the air brake system. We got to look at and touch various components of the brake system and see how they worked. There was even a functional mockup of the air brake system (working brake drums, failsafes and alarms) along with a functioning differential with cutouts to show how the diff lock works. I even got to climb into a truck that they had in the shop there for preventative maintenance, it was my first time in a commercial truck of any kind. I am really looking forward to the week after next when we are supposedly going to start up some of the trucks on the yard.

As always, thanks for reading!

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.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks for keeping this diary PM. Glad you’re doing well. May you continue to learn & improve your skills everyday. God bless & stay safe.

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