Renting A Tractor Trailer, CDL-A, Automatic Trucks, Pre-Trip, CDL-A Company Sponsored Training

Topic 11012 | Page 1

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Shiva's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone,

Let me begin by saying that I obtained my CDL-A license a little over 3 weeks ago, by renting a truck, practicing and taking the pre-trip, skills and road test without having to go to school. Yay for me :-). Unfortunately, Because I had trouble with driving manual transmission, I took the tests in an automatic transmission truck. BOO :-(. So I have a restriction on my license, " Automatic Only".

The companies that have automatic transmission trucks won't hire me, because I didn't go to school and their insurance companies won't insure me. The companies that will give me a shot, can't hire me because of the automatic restriction. Luckily, I found company sponsored training that will assist me in removing the restriction, on the condition that I go through their driving academy. To be honest, I am very grateful for that opportunity and their help.

The safety training and impact training I have received thus far is awesome, training that I may or may not have gotten otherwise. Also, the fact that I have had some time on a truck, gives me the confidence and comfort I didn't have before I sat in the driver's seat, I have that now every time I get in the truck, to do my skills practice. I don't mean to brag, but my pre-trip was good before, I think it is very good and thorough now. Since I have to retake all the tests again, I do a pre-trip in my room before school, we all pre-trip first thing when arriving at school and I do a pre-tip in my room before bed.

I was put on the spot the other day in front of all the other students to pre-trip the engine compartment, brake system, suspension, rims and tires. I think I did pretty awesome, however, I did miss the hub, oops. But overall, the instructor said I did a great job. Another student said to me that although I did a good job and he learned things that he didn't think or know of, that I mentioned things that the DMV are not going to ask about and I am just confusing the other students. Forgive me, but I am doing the pre-trip for myself, not for everyone else. Thanks

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

That's a bummer to go through all of that to get your license and then have to go through training anyhow but it sure beats having restrictions on your license and not having a job.

Every so often people come here asking about getting their license on their own and we always recommend they go through a school for exactly the reasons you mentioned - you're going to get better training and you'll be able to land a job afterward.

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

So what happened to Henderson and you, you claimed to start there 10/13? https://www.truckingtruth.com/truckers-forum/Topic-10805/Page-1/starting-with-earl-l-henderson-trucking-10-13

Phil.

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

So what happened to Henderson and you, you claimed to start there 10/13? https://www.truckingtruth.com/truckers-forum/Topic-10805/Page-1/starting-with-earl-l-henderson-trucking-10-13

Phil.

I am here going through their driver academy. I need drive time to learn how to double clutch. I am scheduled to retest on 11/6 to remove the restriction. In the meantime, I am going to the yard everyday going over pre trip and skills. My pre trip is excellent and my skills are getting better everyday. If I were to test on those 2 today, I would pass again no problem. Just need to learn the shifting

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Good luck. I wish I would have rented a truck and learned the backing before I came through the company sponsored program. I finally got it down, but it probably would have saved me some frustration. I was weary of trying it on my own. I even have a friend who went to a school not associated with a company, and because he had no road time, could not find a job. The only jobs he found were like $12 per hour.. so it was "can't hire you until you get the miles... cant get the miles until you get hired"... i tried to convince him to go to a sponsored program, but he refuses. oh well.

Good luck with your endeavor! :)

ATXJEHU's Comment
member avatar

Probably too late for you, but Maverick Trucking out of Little Rock, AR has only automatics and used to not require any prior schooling as long as you already had a CDLA. They run flatbeds and reefer vans.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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