When you are ready to start driving with your first company, you will first go through an initial orientation together with a group of drivers also starting at the same time.
It will generally consist of paperwork, some classroom/company specific things like videos and safety training, and a company physical. As you are constantly being evaluated on how well you will fit with the company, many people get sent home during orientation for failed drug tests, failed physicals, non-disclosure of something in their background, etc.
New drivers will then go out with a trainer for 3-6 weeks, depending on the company.
Orientation itself is usually around 3-4 days, again depending on the company.
It will consist of a lot of paperwork, safety training & videos, company physical & drug test, and for experienced drivers, a road test before they get their own truck.
Forum - Swift Orientation, Memphis, TN
Last week I finished the Swift Academy & received my Mississippi CDL-A. Tomorrow (Tuesday January 13) I go to the Swift Terminal in Memphis for orientation. I'll try to keep you updated to what goes on in Swift's Orientation program.
I can't tell you how many times people have quit their trucking jobs, or gone home before they even finished their orientation and training period because things did not happen the way they expected them to. This job is so unique to itself, and involves such a commitment to a unique lifestyle that is contrary to the way that most people live.
Example - Items to bring to USA truck CDL training
At least 7 day's worth of clothes, a pair of hard-sole shoes, work gloves, jacket. Loan agreement, contract, or your receipt if you paid for your tuition in full. List of names, Social Security numbers, and birth dates of dependents for enrollment of insurance benefits.
Wiki - Items To Bring To CDL School, Training, and OTR
Lack of storage and living space is probably a driver's biggest consideration when packing for CDL school, on-the-road training, and solo life on the road. Drivers will generally pack lightly for school and training, and their company should give them a general idea what items to bring.
Orientation will be held at one of the company facilities. Usually, the trucking company will arrange for bus transportation, on Greyhound, though there are reports of some companies flying prospective drivers in.
Article - On My Way To Orientation
I decided to drive to orientation rather than take the 'hound, it is only 170 miles and my company will reimburse me for the gas to get their. Plus, I felt having a car would be an asset while I was here. I thought the drive here was going to be pure hell.
Article - Trucking Company Orientation - Day One
The day started promptly at 7am and is held right here at the hotel. A word of advice...Don't be late!! This company is very serious about being there on time every day. They said, and I'm paraphrasing here; "Our company prides itself on it's 99% on-time delivery rate.
Article - That Truckin' Orientation - What I Went Through
I reported to orientation on Monday, March 3rd. The recruiter said that orientation was two days and on the third day we would be assigned our trainer. I already knew that over the road training was based on 300 hours of logged driving time and that this takes six to eight weeks.
Article - My First Day Of Orientation
The first part of the morning was nothing but paperwork. Most of the usual paperwork you would fill out when starting a new job. Now, I knew from my research, and from talking to people, that an invitation to orientation does NOT mean you have a job.
Article - The Meat And Potatoes Of Orientation
Well, the last two days are what I call the "meat and potatoes" of orientation. Lots of driving with our trainer, pre-trip inspections, post-trip inspections, backing, and coupling and uncoupling. Lots of time behind the wheel.