Choosing A Driving School In Virginina

Topic 10399 | Page 1

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Older Newbie's Comment
member avatar

After a great deal of exploration I've finally decided to do the smart thing and ask somebody... so here I am.

I'm looking for a decent school in Virginia to get my CDL , but probably just as important is one that would meet the requirements of a company like TMC. I haven't filled out their app yet and I understand that they guide you once you do but I'm curious if there is anyone here who went through the process of getting training in Virginia and then went on to TMC or another similar flatbed company?

Any guidance would be helpful as it seems that the schools near me are perhaps not of the quality I'm looking for, especially for the money! I'm not sure about them since what I've seen of them is pretty lame.

Any thoughts about good schools in VA?

Thanks Everyone...

tony

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.
Cody B.'s Comment
member avatar

After a great deal of exploration I've finally decided to do the smart thing and ask somebody... so here I am.

I'm looking for a decent school in Virginia to get my CDL , but probably just as important is one that would meet the requirements of a company like TMC. I haven't filled out their app yet and I understand that they guide you once you do but I'm curious if there is anyone here who went through the process of getting training in Virginia and then went on to TMC or another similar flatbed company?

Any guidance would be helpful as it seems that the schools near me are perhaps not of the quality I'm looking for, especially for the money! I'm not sure about them since what I've seen of them is pretty lame.

Any thoughts about good schools in VA?

Thanks Everyone...

tony

Where about in VA? I went to CDS there is one in Thornburg and one in Roanoke

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Any guidance would be helpful as it seems that the schools near me are perhaps not of the quality I'm looking for, especially for the money! I'm not sure about them since what I've seen of them is pretty lame.

Older Newbie, one of the main stumbling blocks for new folks entering into this career is that they have unrealistic expectations of the schools.

Look, just because they have older looking wore out trucks doesn't mean they can't get you to the point of obtaining your CDL - the truth be told a person can actually go out and get their own CDL without a school if they had access to a big truck for the driving portion of the test, and there are outfits, and even some owner operators out there, who will rent their trucks out just for that purpose, as a way to generate some more money into their leaking coffers. (I do not recommend going this route to anyone)

Learning to drive the big rigs is really a lengthy process. Step one is getting your permit, and you can do that before you ever start school - in fact I highly recommend that you do. Our High Road Training Program will so over prepare you for this part of your new education that you will easily ace those tests required for this first step.

Step two is practicing in a truck the maneuvers and skills that will be required of you during the driving portion of the test - things like double clutching , making a right hand turn without taking out the traffic light poles or stop signs, downshifting as you approach a stop. backing maneuvers, and just proving that you have the basics down of controlling the truck while out there on the road.

Step three is passing that driving test - WooHoo! Now you've got that shiny new CDL, but you aint no truck driver yet - nope there is still a lot more to learn, but this is just the point that the schools will get you to. That is all they do - well, the better schools will also help you with job placement... But, none of them are really putting out successful truck drivers - they are merely a stepping stone in the process - they help you obtain your CDL, and the insurance carriers covering the new drivers at the companies who hire new drivers see this as the recognizable good foundation for a future driver to build upon.

Now, the next step is to land a job.

Okay, step five is when you are going to spend about four weeks living in a truck with a trainer at the company who has employed you. You are going to learn a lot during this time, and you are going to be very much challenged and completely exhausted most of the time. This is generally the most difficult step in the process, and it is at this point where many a new CDL holder has thrown in the towel and said "I can't do this!"

Then once your trainer signs off on you, the company will take a huge risk on you by putting you out there in your very own rig as a new company "solo" driver. Step six - The big one! This step will be both challenging and rewarding - you will spend the next year still learning how to handle that rig in all types of road conditions, and some of the craziest situations you can ever imagine. This step is the one that makes you into a truck driver, and there are many that get this far, yet never complete that first year.

I went into all that just to say don't let the appearance of a school be your final arbiter of whether they are good enough for you. I still remember when I was in a trucking school in Lufkin, TX. They had one truck to train us in, and they were in an older building that really could have used some updating. I remember a guy who came by to take a look at the school as a potential school, and I heard him on his cell phone outside as he was walking out the front door telling who ever he was on the phone with, "this place is a joke, they have one truck and the building is a dump!" What he didn't realize was that they were recognized by most of the major carriers as a great school to come through. That is my point, you want to find out which companies hire from the school you are going to - they will be glad to provide you with a list of companies that hire from their school. If some of the major players are on that list - Bingo! - you've found yourself a good school.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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