Retired Vet With Class A CDL Needs Advice

Topic 14447 | Page 1

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Charles O.'s Comment
member avatar

A little background about myself. I retired from the military and decided trucking would be a good fit for my life style. I checked out a couple of companies in my area , Phoenix. However, I did not want to go to their schools and be tied up in a contract for a year just to get my CDL. I studied and passed the CDL exam and used the military road skills test waiver to get my CDL. Now with that said, I have no hands on training with a ten speed transmission, just classroom. Swift says that is fine but I need to prove I can use this type of transmission. I also have a interview with Schneider this Tuesday and from what I have read in another post they will terminate the interview once they have learned you do not have hands on experience. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. For example, is there somewhere to go to get this experience?

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.
ShortRound's Comment
member avatar

If you are a retired vet, I assume you have GI Billbfunds available. Most reputable private trucking schools will meet the requirements to use your GI Bill. Most trucking companies will accept a training certificate from a school that meets GI Bill requirements.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Charles avoids commitment:

I did not want to go to their schools and be tied up in a contract for a year just to get my CDL.

Why do you limit yourself? Are you afraid you may make a mistake in choosing a company? Why give up $4000 of your own money for something you can get literally for free?

Many companies have deals for vets. I went with Swift, a good company. One reason was that vets go to their school, drive for one year, and they cancel your whole tuition after driving for one year.

You made a choice to join the military. There's a contract to sign there, for possibly going into a situation more dangerous than any highway. You signed up for that.

I don't believe Trucking Truth has a list of Trucking Company Reviews with veteran benefits, but simply ask.

Here's some more help:

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Scott L. aka Lawdog's Comment
member avatar

Errol - First of all you should apologize to Charles, if he "avoids commitment" then explain to me how he would serve 20+ years serving in the military and not be a "committed" individual.

Charles -

I salute you for your sacrifice and commitment your served with honor and integrity.

Do you have any Post 9/11 benefits remaining? If so, companies such as Watkins & Shepard and Jim Palmer participate in the VA's OJT/Apprenticeship program which pays you your monthly GI Bill benie along with the company's pay.

I am currently attending CDL school and upon completion and earning my CDLA I will be driving for a company such as one of those I mentioned. I have about 9 months remaining and if I don't use it then I'll lose it. Like you I will also go with a company that will not require me to sign any contract.

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.
Chris K.'s Comment
member avatar

Western Express "says in local ads I see" have CDL but no experience they will assist in otr training. Basically go out with a trainer and get your experience and go solo.

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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, Charles, you could use your GI Bill benefits, especially if you're in a use it or lose it situation.

There are many Company-Sponsored Training Programs that give vets a break. Swift asks for a DD-214, then never touches your GI benefits. Other threads here have discussed Swift's tuition arrangement: sign a contract for $3400, which you owe if you walk away right then.

Or work 13 months to pay it off, but you're out of pocket only $1950 but you're done.

When you go for a company school, the expectation is you'll work for them - there's more in the on-board process for a company school than there is for a "free standing" one. So first choose the company you want to work for, and stick with them no matter if they have their own school or want you to get your license yourself.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Charles O.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for taking the time out to answer my question. I was able to find a company that did exactly what Lawdog had mentioned. They will put me on the road for four weeks with a driver trainer. Should have mentioned before I had already used my GI bill. Anyways I was able to get the information I was looking for and I start Monday. Thanks again and I hope I can return the favor someday.

Scott L. aka Lawdog's Comment
member avatar

Charles - Congrats man!

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