Informational Interview Questionnaire

Topic 21627 | Page 1

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Daniel H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone! I'm Dan. If all goes well my state's unemployment office is going to be sponsoring CDL A training through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. As part of the application for training I've had to go through their testing processes and do labor market research. I also obtained my permit and it's required to write an essay and conduct an interview questionnaire with an established driver in the industry but I don't really know anyone personally. If ya'll reading this could help me knock out a question or two that jumps out at you I would really appreciate that! They don't require or want contact information.

1. Can you describe the kind of work done on your job?

2. Are there any special qualities necessary for this job?

3. Is there any special needs training? If yes, can you tell what it is?

4. What level of education would you say is required for this job?

5. What tools are equipment do you use on the job?

6. Are there any limitations (age, sex, race, height, weight)?

7. What is the dress code where you work?

8. Are the hours regular? Is there much overtime? Are you paid for overpaid?

9. What extra activities such as meetings, training sessions, etc, are you expected to participate in?

10. is further training or renewal of certifications / licenses required?

11. Are there any hazards in your work?

12. Are there any fringe benefits?

13. Do you work alone ir as a member of a team?

14. Is there ant part of your work that you dislike?

15. What do you like best about your work?

16. Why did you enter this field?

17. Is there any opportunity for growth / advancement in this job?

18. Would you recommend this kind of work to others?

19. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate your input. Do you have anything else you would like to add?

Thank you one and all good-luck-2.gif !

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Dan.

Folks, I've seen this kind of thing before and it's legit. We can help him out. Everyone grab a question and we'll knock this out. We'd better do the questions in order or we'll lose track. I'll start. I'll take the first two since the first one is too easy.

1) Can you describe the kind of work done on your job?

Truck drivers haul about every type of commodity imaginable from one place to another.

2) Are there any special qualities necessary for this job?

OMG where do I start. Truck drivers need a lot of traits to do this job successfully:

  • Be calm under pressure
  • Find creative solutions to problems and challenges they face in a very dynamic environment
  • Have great patience and good discipline
  • Be flexible with their sleep schedule and their daily routine
  • Be able to put in long hours
  • Be very efficient with time management
  • Get along well with people, often times with people they have never met

That's a good start!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Dan, just today I published an awesome article by Old School, one of our moderators, and it'll give you some great ideas about what it takes to be successful in this career:

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
3. Is there any special needs training? If yes, can you tell what it is?

Yes there is. Best place to begin that process is here, with this link: High Road CDL Training Program

High Road will enable your success in passing the CDL permit exams.

You'll then need to attend a school to learn the basics required to pass the CDL tests as offered by several major carriers:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Or private schools as follows:

Truck Driving School Listings

Once hired depending on the company you'll be Road Trained anywhere from 2 weeks, up to 3 months. After all that, if all goes well you'll be promoted to a first seat driver or solo driver.

4. What level of education would you say is required for this job?

That's somewhat subjective, but I believe High School. You must however have a high degree of common sense, patience, and level-headed thinking.

I highly suggest the following links to further your research:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Good luck!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Keith G.'s Comment
member avatar

1. Can you describe the kind of work done on your job? Haz-Mat transport from shipper to receiver. Secure loads, manage scheduling, route planning, and time management to name a few tasks. 2. Are there any special qualities necessary for this job?

3. Is there any special needs training? If yes, can you tell what it is? CDL-A + Haz-mat endorsement. I also got Tanker as required by my Company

4. What level of education would you say is required for this job? I don't believe any is required(pro's?) But being able to read and understand English is needed.

5. What tools are equipment do you use on the job? My assigned truck+trailer, straps, log computer, steel toe boots and hard hat to name some.

6. Are there any limitations (age, sex, race, height, weight)?

7. What is the dress code where you work? Jeans or decent work pants, steel toe boots, clean shirt, clean appearance.

8. Are the hours regular? Is there much overtime? Are you paid for overpaid?

9. What extra activities such as meetings, training sessions, etc, are you expected to participate in? Monthly driver meeting, quarterly Haz-mat refreshers, yearly Haz-mat testing.

10. is further training or renewal of certifications / licenses required?

11. Are there any hazards in your work? My loads are all Hazards. Carefully managing risk is my primary focus. 12. Are there any fringe benefits?

13. Do you work alone ir as a member of a team? Solo over the road driver. 14. Is there ant part of your work that you dislike?

15. What do you like best about your work? Freedom, self management, good pay

16. Why did you enter this field?

17. Is there any opportunity for growth / advancement in this job? Yes 18. Would you recommend this kind of work to others? Case by case basis. It takes a certain something to be successful in this career. Hard to lay it out into text.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Daniel H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for taking the time to help! That Top Tier Driver article was great and all the articles and stories here are really interesting. Today I sent off a certified copy of my driving record and will start the first of the two essay questions shortly. It's been quite a while since writing class.

Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel H. I’m in the same boat you’re in now. I was going to do the workforce training program until I realized that the 40 hours of actual driving time in the truck was woefully inadequate to get a good job with top tier company. As I understand it, the insurance companies may not insure you without at least 160 hours. I opted to go for the company paid training which will not only teach me the skills necessary to pass the CDL exam but I’ll have a job with them once I’m done with training.

Not trying trying to discourage you. Just food for thought.

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.
Daniel H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Reyn! There is definitely a wisdom in going with company sponsored training and getting hired by them right away and if I was paying this out of pocket I would go that route (and may still have to). I just read that about the course hours earlier, ie: faster is not better in this case, even if it gets you a license. There is a list of schools approved for the grant money and several are 120 and 140 hours but others are 160 and 180. There is one listed as 210. If the approval is finalized I'll get to choose which to attend after doing interview paperwork for them as well. There are a lot of local companies and unions here advertising for drivers new and old. While definitely not comparable to a national company with the best benefits I feel a decent place with decent pay is possible. Anything is better than unemployment right now... I feel dirty every week.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Daniel, please do not settle for anything less that 160 hours of schooling along with the certificate to prove it. Otherwise, your options will be limited.

Good luck.

Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Reyn! There is definitely a wisdom in going with company sponsored training and getting hired by them right away and if I was paying this out of pocket I would go that route (and may still have to). I just read that about the course hours earlier, ie: faster is not better in this case, even if it gets you a license. There is a list of schools approved for the grant money and several are 120 and 140 hours but others are 160 and 180. There is one listed as 210. If the approval is finalized I'll get to choose which to attend after doing interview paperwork for them as well. There are a lot of local companies and unions here advertising for drivers new and old. While definitely not comparable to a national company with the best benefits I feel a decent place with decent pay is possible. Anything is better than unemployment right now... I feel dirty every week.

Hey sir, I’m very sorry you’re in this situation & take my hat off to you for making the effort & doing something about it. Situations like yours sometimes cause us make quick decisions due to the dire situation in front of us at that time. Again, I’m in no way trying to dissuade you from following the path you have chosen to get employed ASAP. Your situation is unique to you, I have no inside information to help you as I’m in the same boat, as in, I’m preparing for training too.

You’ve happened upon a great resource in this website. The website & it’s owner, the moderators & daily contributors will help you, in most any way they can. The diaries of the drivers who’ve gone through the process of school, one on one real world training then taking the exam, sometimes more than once, will help you prepare for the challenges that will come up during your process. The links posted in some of the responses in this thread has helped me immensely.

I wish you tons of good luck, good fortune & success in your efforts. That last line I highlighted reminded me of when I tried to make a go of moving from NY to Cali & had to throw in the towel after 2 months. Had to go back to driving yellow taxi in NYC. I hope you can overcome this as fast as humanly possible.

God bless & stay safe.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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