Is A Refresher Course Worth The Effort

Topic 14178 | Page 1

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tarheel59's Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone, I have been hanging around for awhile. My situation is I have a valid Class A CDL but, ZERO experience! Graduated from truck driving school in 2009. Would a refresher course be worth the effort, since I have not been in T/T in 7 years. A few say refresher. But, to me it doesnt seem like enough time. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks tarheel59

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Tarheel59, In all likelihood it will be a minimal requirement of your future employer, plus another 160-200 hours of instructor supervised road training since you do not have any experience.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

In the same boat.

I'm more than willing to just enter Prime/Swift/etc., as a rookie - and just be able to pass on the DMV stuff, because I already have a CDL-A.

Everyone's gotta start somewhere/time & just because we chose not to use the licenses we earned 7 years ago - doesn't mean we don't have to pay our dues just like everyone else.

Rick

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

When I was in orientation at Prime there was a guy there strait out of truck school. He had to go with a trainer for I believe it was 30,000 miles. I had a year experience in food service delivery, and was going to be in Primes flatbed division. They had me go with a trainer for 15,000 miles and took about 3.5 weeks. So refresher course or not you will probably be doing some sort of training period with most companies.

Gunner's Comment
member avatar

The refresher course is all you really need. The largest portions of the 3 week classes is book work just to get your permit and then pass a state road test. The company you are going to work for is going to teach you all the driving fundamentals thru a 1 week refresher and then 6 weeks otr. I am in the same boat, except I havent been in a truck since 2002. Going to FFE refresher next week out in TX. The refresher is designed to get the rust off without all the course work.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

tarheel59's Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys, any input is appreciated. Some are saying refresher is all i need, others the full school. Have a local college that has truck driver training refresher course. 8 hrs. A day for 5 days. $327.00

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Whether or not you need a refresher course or a full course will depend upon the company you're applying to. Some may require a refresher, others will say you have to start over.

Probably the best way to go would be a Company-Sponsored Training Program. Those companies have their own training programs and they'll want to get you out on the road as quickly as possible. So more than likely they'll put you in the trucks to see how proficient you are, give you whatever training or practice you need on the backing and shifting range, and then send you on the road as soon as you're ready.

But even if you don't want to go with one of those companies I wouldn't take a refresher course and assume you'll get hired somewhere. Apply to a bunch of companies and see what they say. Different companies will have different requirements.

We have an excellent listing of Truck Driving Jobs and you can even apply to a bunch of jobs with one application.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
tarheel59's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Brett, I have tried a few companies, company sponsored whether full course or refresher seems like the way it's going. Some are still wanting me to sign a contract for a year to 26 months. But, I do understand this.

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