What Makes A CDL Course (approved) By Carriers?

Topic 11582 | Page 1

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Big White's Comment
member avatar

I am about to take a CDL course that is offered under a grant for unemployed Veterans. However, I cannot seem to find information on this site, or others, that will tell the potential driver which school meets the qualifications under FMCSA or other entity. Each carrier will possibly reveal their own match making, as for (their) approved schools, and the next one you look at, would reveal entirely different schools. It seems like kick backs are being distributed around the room, or they wish to see you in their own money maker. The name of the school I will be attending, is Advance Trucking Institute. The Veterans Representative that is handling my entry into this school, tells me that the last Veteran that went through this course had 16 job offers right after graduation. Not sure how accurate his feedback is, or whether those offers came from local employers only.

If this school is actually compliant with Federal regulated training standards, then what on earth would make it a (non-approved) course by the mega carriers out there? I will be contacting the FMCSA this week, with hopes of clarity. Thought I would list my question here first. 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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The FMCSA doesn't directly certify Trucking schools. Schools can follow guidelines of the PTDI (Professional Truck Driver Institute), a non-profit.

You might check with your state DMV to see if they've been registered there.

Also, you can contact some trucking companies that you're interested in. Ask the company if they hire students from your school.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.

Big White's Comment
member avatar

The FMCSA doesn't directly certify Trucking schools. Schools can follow guidelines of the PTDI (Professional Truck Driver Institute), a non-profit.

You might check with your state DMV to see if they've been registered there.

Also, you can contact some trucking companies that you're interested in. Ask the company if they hire students from your school.

Thank you Errol. Had my wires crossed in more than one way. First was my thinking on FMCSA, thanks for correction. Second is the fact that it is Turkey day tomorrow, and more than likely, Friday will be a closure day. I sometimes don't remember those special days. Worked overseas too long to know what it is. I will definitely check with the DMV on this school, but there is still a bunch of cloudy murk on what makes a school "approved". As much as I could use the help right now under this grant funded school, I would hate to take the course, and only to learn that the mega carriers will laugh you off the phone. If this school is actually registered through the DMV, now what? Do I need to contact the PTDI as a secondary step to see if they meet the status quo? My thinking is if I obtain this training, and it is acceptable under Federal or PTDI regs, then why the heck would it stand the chance of becoming a "non-approved" school?

Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

The FMCSA doesn't directly certify Trucking schools. Schools can follow guidelines of the PTDI (Professional Truck Driver Institute), a non-profit.

You might check with your state DMV to see if they've been registered there.

Also, you can contact some trucking companies that you're interested in. Ask the company if they hire students from your school.

double-quotes-end.png

Thank you Errol. Had my wires crossed in more than one way. First was my thinking on FMCSA, thanks for correction. Second is the fact that it is Turkey day tomorrow, and more than likely, Friday will be a closure day. I sometimes don't remember those special days. Worked overseas too long to know what it is. I will definitely check with the DMV on this school, but there is still a bunch of cloudy murk on what makes a school "approved". As much as I could use the help right now under this grant funded school, I would hate to take the course, and only to learn that the mega carriers will laugh you off the phone. If this school is actually registered through the DMV, now what? Do I need to contact the PTDI as a secondary step to see if they meet the status quo? My thinking is if I obtain this training, and it is acceptable under Federal or PTDI regs, then why the heck would it stand the chance of becoming a "non-approved" school?

Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!

I found some of the big carriers preferred some schools over others, but as long as the school met the minimum requirements for CDL testing/licensing, they'd accept you. Then it was up to us to survive their orientation.

If the school can tell you which companies hire from them, you'll probably be fine. They don't stand to benefit by lying to you. If they're not a legit school, word would get around quick and they'd have a hard time attracting students.

As for kickbacks, I have no idea if companies give them to the schools. The school I went to had recruiters coming in from so many companies, it seemed that either they'd all have to be giving kickbacks or none of them were. Plus, the companies I was most interested in told me which schools they hired from. I did this research prior to attending school. Essentially, if the school told me company ABC hired from their school and if ABC company told me they hired from the school I was planning to attend, I figured there was a pretty good chance the school was okay.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big White's Comment
member avatar

I found some of the big carriers preferred some schools over others, but as long as the school met the minimum requirements for CDL testing/licensing, they'd accept you. Then it was up to us to survive their orientation.

If the school can tell you which companies hire from them, you'll probably be fine. They don't stand to benefit by lying to you. If they're not a legit school, word would get around quick and they'd have a hard time attracting students.

As for kickbacks, I have no idea if companies give them to the schools. The school I went to had recruiters coming in from so many companies, it seemed that either they'd all have to be giving kickbacks or none of them were. Plus, the companies I was most interested in told me which schools they hired from. I did this research prior to attending school. Essentially, if the school told me company ABC hired from their school and if ABC company told me they hired from the school I was planning to attend, I figured there was a pretty good chance the school was okay.

Good luck.

Hey Steve! Thanks so much compadre. I will have to wait until Monday to contact this school. The Vet Rep is sending me that way, so I imagine it's a credible operation. Keep spinning those wheels, and will hopefully meet you at the pumps one day. Happy Turkey Day!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

I have been looking at 2 schools in my area, but neither were on the list of my first choice company (Knight Transportation) I asked my knight recruiter if either of the 2 schools was acceptable, and was informed they are, and have that they have hired from both. She then went on to say which would be the better of the two, and why.

So my suggestion is to contact the recruiters from your top 2 or 3 choices, and ask them. They are a wealth of information, that a lot of potential drivers take for granted, because they can't see past the "sales pitches."

Big White's Comment
member avatar

I have been looking at 2 schools in my area, but neither were on the list of my first choice company (Knight Transportation) I asked my knight recruiter if either of the 2 schools was acceptable, and was informed they are, and have that they have hired from both. She then went on to say which would be the better of the two, and why.

So my suggestion is to contact the recruiters from your top 2 or 3 choices, and ask them. They are a wealth of information, that a lot of potential drivers take for granted, because they can't see past the "sales pitches."

Thanks Dan. Good information brother. Be safe, and Happy Thanksgiving

Lanelle D.'s Comment
member avatar

I am in the middle of CDL school, was starting with one but they got themselves un-approved by the state of UT Workforce Grant program. The school I'm with now is disorganized, there are no "classes" and people come and go according to their own whim. I have since been told that many companies require some things that are NOT covered by this school - keeping a driver log, 3 additional backing exercises ( parallel, 45 and offset/right), we are being taught - straight back, 90* alley dock and offset back/left, the other missing instruction is coupling and un-coupling.

I had already studied a lot online and via the Trucking Truth's High Road Training Program and quizzing myself on CDL Study Buddy too. In fact on my 3rd day of school the owner had ME teaching the other students the PTI, in-cab inspection and break check!!

They were not keeping any kind of record for hours which is baffling to me because my understanding is we are required to have 160 hours of training. If you are not keeping track - how do you know when you have enough hours? After 2 weeks in school and MAYBE 50 hours of training I was being pushed to take my test and I don't feel ready at all! I'm getting a lot better but want to be shifting flawlessly and backing well every time.

I looked up the PTDI website and there are no approved schools in UT! This school is an approved school for the UT State Workforce Grant Program - that is NUTS! I spoke with my counselor and she had no idea. I wish I had of known what I know now BEFORE picking a 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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
They were not keeping any kind of record for hours which is baffling to me because my understanding is we are required to have 160 hours of training. If you are not keeping track - how do you know when you have enough hours?

The 160 hours is based on the class curriculum. That means if you have 8 hour class days, you're doing stuff for at least 20 class days. So the school takes attendance at least daily, but there's​ no need for them to log your actual time.

All that time you're standing around on the range waiting for a truck to practice with? You're supposed to be watching and helping each other, not BS-ing with other students.

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