Upcoming Student, Any Advice?

Topic 21554 | Page 1

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Gareth S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys, first time poster here and just trying to get some advice and kinda vent.

in February i will be starting Classes with a driving school to help obtain my Class A Manual license. i have over 5 experience driving Manual cars and 2 years driving automatic trucks under 26,000lbs in various situations.

im a 22 year old male and have been overwhelmed with anxiety for the past couple of weeks about getting my CDL.

i have so many people counting on me getting my CDL (Boss, Wife and baby on the way) and i dont want to mess it up as i am on a strict timeline to get it before my work season starts.

a few things: any general advice? how long did it take to get your CDL? how many attempts? how much money did you invest into obtaining your CDL?

any other advice you guys would like to give would be really appreciated, im freaking out lol.

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.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Here is our intro packet. It sounds like you have a job that wants you to get your CDL.

Get through that first. I went through CFI's company sponsored training. Didn't cost me a dime. I just have to drive for them for one year, and six months is already completed. Good luck we are here to 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.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Not sure what a manual license is. Go to an accredited CDL school. It sounds like you plan on staying with your current employer? Driving locally??

My recommendation would be to not plan on driving a class A vehicle locally until you have a year OTR experience under your belt. I also recommend Company Sponsored CDL School to obtain that license with very little out of pocket costs.

If I were planning to drive a class A vehicle right off the bat as a brand new inexperienced driver, I'd be scared too. Local jobs are typically well beyond the skill level that an inexperienced driver has, and typically the fast way to a ruined driving record.

I recommend you do some reading, because it really sounds like you don't know what you are getting into.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, definitely share with us the type of job you're going to be doing. Like Susan said, many local jobs are beyond the skill level of a brand new driver. Getting some over the road experience first is the normal path into this industry. OTR driving gives you a bunch of time behind the wheel without putting you in a lot of heavy traffic and tough backing situations as frequently as local jobs will.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Gareth wrote:

i have so many people counting on me getting my CDL (Boss, Wife and baby on the way) and i dont want to mess it up as i am on a strict timeline to get it before my work season starts.

Gareth when I read the above paragraph the first concern jumping out is training (or lack there-of) with your employer. All the CDL schools teach the basics, just barely enough to pass the tests. Nothing more. No one is prepared to "run" their truck right out of school. All of the carrier's who hire entry-level drivers road-train for a minimum of a few weeks to a few months. Without this finish training, failure is imminent.

How does your employer intend to train you for this pending job?

Like Brett asked; "more information."

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.
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