Comments By Amanda D.

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  • Amanda D.
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Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Gaining my CDL the cheapest way

Kalin, what exactly do you mean by "legal bribes?" My husband is looking at getting his Class B on his own so he can work before he's qualified for Swift school (tried private school already and it didn't work out.) He, like you, is not from the US and is waiting out his year of having his US license.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

How to get CDL B by oneself?

I've talked about my husband's drama at the tech college he went to for CDL A in a different post. Anyway, long story short, he was pushed out of his program, we believe unfairly. He has put enough time and energy into the CDL thing that he wants to continue. Swift is the best company-sponsored program in the area (we live in FL) and he's not qualified to go to their school until he has had my regular driver's license for a year. So we decided that he should take the Class B test on his own so he can start working and then go to Swift school later (if he's not happy with the job he gets). The reason Class B is because he feels at this point more confident driving a straight truck than a tractor-trailer. Has anyone ever done this? Any tips before he starts calling down the list of places that offer testing?

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gah. Trucking school problems.

Brett, you make fair points. And I was against him going OTR. But when he started school, I was supportive as I could be. I still wanted him to go local or dedicated but there were sooooo many companies hiring out of this school, I figured it wouldn't be a problem. In fact, when the instructor started making comments about his English and skills, he asked me if he should just drop down to Class B. I said no because it didn't seem that he was having anything but run of the mill issues mastering the skills.

In fact, I didn't think they'd actually drop him from the class. I thought they were just pushing him around, hoping he'd drop on his own because they had too many students for the amount of equipment and instructors. Usually, they cap the class at 8 Class A and 2 Class B. This time, they took on 10 Class A students. The instructor herself complained to the class about how there were too many students and how no one had dropped yet. I guess usually a few people quit in the first weeks, leaving them with 5-6 students. And right after he was dropped from the class, two students who were struggling with the skills dropped down to Class B voluntarily because they were nervous about what happened to him and didn't want to lose their money. Another student cracked under pressure and quit altogether, although I don't think that had anything to do with what happened to husband. So we've wondered if they pushed him out to get the class to a more manageable number.

Anyway, the day they said they were dropping him, I had an important job interview and I was stressed and distracted. So I advised him to try and get B because I didn't have any time to think about other options, like company school, and because it seemed like the easiest solution. After I got feedback here, I began to change my mind however he had already committed to the B class by then. But we thought he should get the difference in tuition back and when he approached the administration about it, they said yes and then changed their minds.

My husband is not someone who tends to have problems getting along with people, so I don't think it was his problem that the instructor had issues with him. He had impeccable attendance and was extremely dedicated to the class. As far as skills go, he didn't describe anything to me that sounded like more than typical beginner problems - missing shifts, took awhile to catch onto backing. But self-assessment of one's skills is rarely objective, so I would find it more believable that his problems were skill issues rather than personality issues.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Gah. Trucking school problems.

Ha, I gathered that Scott.

And frustration and exasperation is right.

So he was led to believe that he could test out for Class B at school this week and get a partial refund. Now, he is being told he is no longer a student (they took his student ID) and that all they can do is give him the number of a third party tester he can go to at his own cost. To the tune of $250. No idea how much of his money he can get back.

He put so much time, money and effort into this and we put a lot of other stuff in our lives on hold only for this school, that we thought was an excellent choice, to treat him so badly. I know there are other options but it bites to have wasted our time.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gah. Trucking school problems.

Lynette, there are several different county bus systems in the area. This is something he's strongly considering, as city/county positions tend to come with good benefits, which is the most important thing. A lot of job postings say they require experience, but I've heard the online posting don't jive with the needs of the company.

The drama continues. He went to talk to the administration early in the week about a refund. They said they would not refund the money for the class entirely, but he could stick with the CDL B program and get a refund of the difference. He was happy with that result, figuring he could get his B and start working, with the possibility of going for A with a company-sponsored program if he was not satisfied with the job offerings. Due to immigration and my health issues, he's been out of work for a long time and he's anxious to get back to it. He got along much better with the B instructor and things were going well. Then he was informed that he would not be getting any refund at all. When he went to the administration, they told him he could only get a refund if he dropped the B class and they would test him out this week so he could get his CDL B but no certificate. He agreed to that. He went to school today to drop off one of his assignments and to get his skills assessment and was told that they may not have time to test him out and that it's no longer their responsibility anyway.

Also, Swift told him that he has to have been a licensed driver in the US for a year before he came go to school with them. He still has about two months to go. And Swift seems like the only possibility here in SWFL. The other companies don't seem to hire from here (I thought Knight did but it I guess they recently changed that) and Prime is not possible because they are super strict on employment history.

All the time, money and effort and this is where he ends up. After all we'd been through with me fighting cancer, we thought this was going to be a new start. We are both feeling so discouraged.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gah. Trucking school problems.

Team driving is not possible for the reason I can't go OTR with him. I just finished cancer treatment and need to stick close to home to receive follow-up care. The sucky thing is that the follow-up care is only a shot a month, but my oncologist told me it wouldn't be possible to self-administer.

We've been looking at company-sponsored training and there seems to be possibilities with Swift, Knight and maybe Roehl. It seems like a lot of the major companies don't hire out of FL. But it seems like he'd have regional/dedicated opportunities with all of those fairly early on.

How competitive is company-sponsored school? We didn't look at it at all last time thinking that he didn't want to be beholden to a particular company. Also, do you have to live close to a terminal to work there?

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gah. Trucking school problems.

This is what I love about this website. Thoughtful, honest perspective.

Reading through posts, I noticed newbies getting dressed down for not sticking with what sounded like pretty rough situations. Some of husband's classmates also said that you have to be really mentally tough because people will disrespect truckers and the teacher is just preparing the class for that (btw, the reason I've talked to his classmates is because we share a car and sometimes I have picked him up when they're still hanging out in the parking lot. It's not like I deliberately talked to them to check up on his progress or anything). That plus the fact that his program is a well-regarded program at a well-regarded community college and I was wondering if it was par for course for instructors to push rookies around, pull this kind of bs on them to "toughen them" up for the road. Glad that's not the case.

As much as I'd love to go with him on the road, it's not possible. I just finished up cancer treatment (the main reason I don't want him to go OTR, I'm afraid something will happen when he's across the country) and I have too much follow-up stuff I need to do. I even asked my doctor and he said no.

I was looking at info on Swift, Prime, etc and was surprised to see that there are some opportunities for regional and dedicated positions for new grads. Others have even better home time options but we're in FL so that seems to limit choice some. But we'll see if he can get his money back first!

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gah. Trucking school problems.

Would he make more at a job that only requires a B just for having an A?

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gah. Trucking school problems.

Old School, I would never think of you as a bully. You are so helpful on this forum. And you are very right.

I guess I still feel blindsided that he chose this path. He had never expressed interest in driving or any sort of job that would keep him away from home so much. Then, 10 months into marriage, he was looking into getting his heavy equipment certification. The program is run at a trucking school so he called a recruiter and when he hung up the phone, he had decided he wanted to become a truck driver. I was shocked and not pleased. This was not part of the plan at all. We were supposed to be enjoying our newlywed time, not spending 80% of our time apart. I felt out of control about the turn our lives had suddenly taken and I guess I just want to regain control.

Maybe you can give a dude perspective here, but I also feel hurt that he can be away so much so easily. Also feel like he doesn't have faith in me that I can pull my weight financially.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gah. Trucking school problems.

I posted here some months ago when my husband was first considering getting his CDL. I was not thrilled, but agreed as long as he tried his best to get a local/dedicated job before jumping to OTR. I really didn't want him to go OTR as we are still relative newlyweds and I also had a recent health crisis where he was my primary support. So he ended up going with a tech college where he would hopefully have a lot of different options as far as employers.

Well he went for his Class A and the lead teacher took a dislike to him. She started out saying she couldn't understand his English (he was born in a different country). His English isn't perfect but most people understand it fine. She took him to the ESOL office of the school and they said his English is fine. She then sent him to an adult education center and they gave him an English proficiency test. He scored in the top percentile. He signed up for an advanced class anyway, just to fine-tune things. The class started backing. It took him like five days to master it. She sent him for computer work and didn't take him for driving. He was upset because he wanted to practice. She threatened to kick him out. He had what he thought was a good day with driving. The next day she told him he was too far behind and kicked him out. He set up a meeting with her and the administration. They agreed that he would drop down to Class B.

He feels like he was unfairly pushed out and I tend to agree. I've talked to some other students in the class and they said that his driving is good and they also felt like he was singled out and blocked from practicing and learning. There's some speculation that she is trying to push students down to B or out because the class is too full.

He's supposed to start with the new program for Class B Monday but he got angry after talking to a trucker friend and decided that he wants to get his money back and either a) start over at a company sponsored school and get his A, or b) get his B on his own.

I think that's a bad idea and he should just swallow the loss of the difference in tuition money and get his B through the school. For one, although I think the teacher did single him out, she may have detected some weakness that she zeroed in on - and that may follow him to a different program. Two, the drop period at the school has long passed so he may not even get his money back. Three, he would probably be a lot more competitive in Class B if he is a graduate of a good CDL school. Four, there's plenty of good jobs he can still get with his B. I think his trucker friend told him that he would get no benefits working a class B job (and we need good health insurance) but looking at postings, that doesn't seem to be true. Some jobs yes, but not all. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

What do the wise men and women of trucking truth think he should do?

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Can a rookie make 80,000 his first year out?

My husband has been looking at CDL school and now is thinking if he has to go OTR to take me with him. He thinks that if I'm with him and he's not hurrying home to get back to me and runs hard he can make 80,000 his rookie year. I've never heard of an OTR rookie making that...closest is 6 string but he's LTL. Is he being realistic?

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Job/driving history for recent immigrant

Hmmm, from what I understand, FL is an outlier on the one-year rule, meaning that one can obtain a CDL in FL with less than a year of holding a regular driver's license. I've heard this from a driving school, the FL DMV and my husband pre-called some companies that said it shouldn't be a problem. I haven't heard it was a federal rule. But that's a good idea to email someone at DOT and for my husband to get on the phone following up on his applications. If there's going to be problems, I want to find out now, not after we've invested even more time.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Job/driving history for recent immigrant

Hi again,

We're currently working on getting my husband pre-hire letters. We haven't heard back anything but we also just started the process. We're looking for mostly local jobs, although he'd go OTR for a year if could bring me. We're currently in SWFL, but we'd move anywhere in the state where we can get jobs. He REALLY wants to get his CDL and start working.

Husband is a recent immigrant from Morocco. He worked in tourism with a legitimate company from 2009 to the end of 2013, when he came to the US to be with me. From 2008-2009, he worked odd jobs at a hotel. Before that he was a full-time student. He was unable to legally work in the US until he got his green card, so he has a year gap due to that (2014 till now).

His boss at the tourism company speaks good English and can give him a great reference. I assume the same is true for the hotel too. I'm not sure about his schools. They were a long time ago and there must have been turnover since he was a student.

He was a licensed driver in Morocco for eight years or so. He's been a licensed driver in the state of FL since December. Most states won't take drivers who have only had their Class E for less than a year but apparently FL is different, although I worry that individual companies won't hire him because of that. No accidents or issues.

He's never used drugs. No DUI/DWIs. Paid his Moroccan taxes when he lived there, no criminal history, upstanding citizen.

My question is, given how much weight trucking gives to driving and employment history, is it going to be an issue that practically all his history is in a different country? To make matters worse, Morocco is fairly incompetent at record-keeping and is known for corruption in the government.

How will this likely affect us going forward?

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Getting CDL in FL and then transferring to NY?

Thanks! Its good to know there's local possibilities. He applied with Conway and Lowes over the weekend for pre-hires, when should he call them and follow up? He is so eager to start working he just wants to go to school without the pre-hires.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Getting CDL in FL and then transferring to NY?

Thank you so much for the reply and for this site! It's been a great resource since we were coming from knowing nothing about the industry. We've been doing more research, although we took a short break when we had family over. He applied at Conway and Lowes for Delivery positions. We looked on the OD website and they list jobs but no link to apply. I guess you just call and express your interest???? Oh and we spoke to two tech colleges with reasonable prices and solid curriculums. So we're making progress.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Getting CDL in FL and then transferring to NY?

Well, I didn't get the job in NYC I was up for. Hubby and I are talking about staying in FL for an extra year so he can get his CDL and start saving $$$. We've looked around and there's local jobs in the bigger cities like Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville. He called down a short list of LTL companies yesterday and got a positive response from Conway. Good starting pay too. I know 6 string loves working for OD but we weren't able to get in touch with anyone there so far. I also looked at some driving jobs for grocery stores and oh man they are stringent. Publix requires 8-10 YEARS in entry-level work before someone can drive trucks for them. Craaaazy.

Now, we are researching and calling private schools. It seems to me that schools connected to technical colleges have the best funding opportunities. What should our next step be at this point? Secure pre-hires, a spot in school or should hubby study more before we do that? How long should it take someone to do the High Road Program, especially if he is not a native English speaker? Hubby wants to get to work yesterday, but I keep telling him we need more time to research and prepare.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Getting CDL in FL and then transferring to NY?

Rick, that was my basic feeling on the matter. We will be making calls to both the FL and NY DMVs tomorrow to get the whole story straight.

Heavy, would you mind telling me what you made as a local driver your first year? I've heard so many variations there. And is local and P&D the same thing?

Thank you so much everybody!

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Getting CDL in FL and then transferring to NY?

Sorry that I keep blowing up these boards. Hubby is determined to get his CDL ASAP and neither of us know anything about the trucking industry. Obviously the recruiters aren't going to give it to us straight. I don't know where else to turn for the million questions I have, especially since our situation is kinda convoluted.

Hubby is a recent immigrant to the US, getting his GC and US Class E DL late last year. He's looking for jobs and became focused on trucking as a well-paid job that doesn't require tons of time and money for schooling. I don't want him to go OTR so he'd be looking at local and regional jobs only. I've read a few accounts of truckers here who got LTL jobs right out of school.

We live in FL but are planning to move to move to NYC. I have all my career contacts there and I'm up for a job there (used to live there). It also seems that he'd have better luck getting LTL being based in the NE/Eastern seaboard.

In NY there is a requirement that a potential driver hold a US Class E for a year before getting a CDL Class A. Apparently in FL there is no such requirement. He wouldn't have to wait a year in FL to go for his CDL.

A recruiter he talked to the other day recommended that he A) go to CDL school and get his CDL in FL, then B) move to NYC and transfer his CDL there, then C) get a job.

Hubby thinks that's a great plan. I'm skeptical. For one, I'm worried that the NY DMV and/or companies see that as trying to bypass certain requirements they set in place for a reason and that would not reflect well on him. The second worry I have is how would he be able to get any pre-hires this way? I mean, I wouldn't think that NY companies would issue pre-hire letters to a guy doing his CDL in FL who isn't qualified to get his CDL in NY yet.

So do you think this get CDL in FL/transfer to NY/bypassing the one-year requirement is a viable plan at all? Or would he be better off waiting out the year until he can get his CDL in NY?

We're planning on calling potential companies tomorrow to see what they say. But I wanted to put it out here since I know I can get good, honest advice here.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

1-year requirement for new US DL holder to get CDL?

Noticed an error. He has an employment GAP due to immigration. He wasn't allowed to legally work in the US during the process. With the weight trucking puts on stable employment history, I could see the gap, plus the non-US work history, being a problem.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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1-year requirement for new US DL holder to get CDL?

He wanted to verify the one-year non commercial DL requirement by talking to someone so I found the number of a recruiter for CR England. From what I've read, CR England is pretty much bottom of the barrel for driver requirements, so I figured the recruiter would tell him "sorry, have to wait one year," he'd finally accept that he couldn't get it until December and it would buy us time to research and study.

Well, that backfired on me. The recruiter told him that FL has no such requirement. He said, "but my wife is up for a great job in NYC." And she advised him to get his CDL in FL and then transfer it to NY and then he could apparently get hired (I'm skeptical about that).

So he all of the sudden was all pumped to start school on March 9th. I tried to point out all of the logistical issues with that (pre-hires, his work history is all in a different country+a employment due to immigration, he hasn't done any studying and knows nothing about trucking, LTL is VERY competitive for rookies and he needs to have his act together to have a shot) and it was like talking to a brick wall.

After lots of arguing and some tears on my part, he agreed to start The High Road, read CDL training diaries and read 6 string's linehaul post (all 22 pages of it). He's working on The High Road materials right now. He just asked me what an upgrade was or something like that. He does say he likes this website.

Are there any truckers on here (esp LTL) who would be willing to call him and give him a first-hand perspective of the industry?

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