Introduction & Starting CDL School

Topic 14613 | Page 1

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toonces's Comment
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Hi Trucking Truth!

I wanted to formally say hello to everyone and thank you for the great site. I've been lurking for a couple of months, but haven't had to post much because I was able to answer most of my questions by just searching old posts.

Also I wanted to share how I found my way to Trucking Truth. A few months ago I got the idea to become a driver and started doing research. My first concern was what challenges I would face entering such a male-dominated industry. So, I did some searching on female drivers and first came across this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO1Un0V_UaI by a trucker named Desiree. She talked about how cdl schools are ripoffs and how many trucking companies don't take complaints of sexual harassment seriously, and gave a list of companies to avoid. So then, I found the blog post she mentioned in the video, where she tells her story of first starting out as a driver. As I read through it, it just sounded awful! She was attacked by one driver, other co-drivers didn't help her do the driving, another one sprayed bleach on her, lots of bad stuff. I started seriously questioning my decision to become a trucker. But by the 5th bad trainer she said she had, I started to wonder how likely it was that one person would get so many bad trainers or co-drivers in a row.

So, I did some more searching about female drivers and ended up here on Trucking Truth. I read old posts here for weeks and never ran across a woman saying she had experienced anything like what Desiree said. I was so happy to find a group of informed, helpful, nice people! The funny thing is, Desiree warned against working for Prime. And then I end up here on TT and learn that Prime is probably one of the best companies that a rookie could started with.

I just wanted to share all of that because if I hadn't found TT, and had just based my decision on what Desiree said, I probably wouldn't have pursued a trucking career. After reading many posts here about the trucking lifestyle, and watching some of Allie Knight's videos, my mind was made up.

I started saving so that I would have enough money to pay bills for 2 months, which I figured would be enough time to get me through cdl school and get hired. I had been planning on applying to a company-sponsored training program, like Prime. But at the last minute, I applied for a WIA grant and was approved in only a week! I took my cdl permit test yesterday and passed on the first try, thanks to the High Road Training program.

I will be starting school June 1st at a place called Central Tech, which is in a small town about 45 miles away from me. I could only find a few mentions of it online, but what I read was positive. It's been there for more than 40 years and it's PTDI certified, so I think those are good signs. Plus, it's on Crete's approved school list, another good sign. From what I've read, Crete is my 1st choice for employment, but honestly I will be happy to get on with anyone that will take me!

I can't wait to get started!

Thanks for reading my long-winded post! :)

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.
Diesel Only's Comment
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Welcome! & good luck!! I'm going to start my career trucking aswell! I've read a lot of reviews about the company in joining - some good some bad.. But everyone is different, some people have good attitudes and bad ones too.. Different ways and ideals.. All in trying to get at is that you just need to try it for yourself! This forum helps a lot too with whatever pickle you may find yourself down the road so feel free to air it out on the forum! A lot of good people are here to help! Good luck on your new journey!! Hope all goes well for you!!

MindFreak's Comment
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Great story Toonces! Glad to see another Sooner on the boards. (Even though I have lived in Arkansas now for more years than Oklahoma...I was born and raised there so Boomer Sooner!) I have read a LOT of good things about Central Tech and I think you are in very capable hands there. Good luck and be sure to keel us I formed along the way.

Bolt's Comment
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Mindfreak, It's good to see another okie turned arkie. I grew up in Oklahoma but have lived in NWA Arkansas for several years now.

MindFreak's Comment
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Bolt I grew up just across the border out of Fort Smith...moved to Van Buren after highschool and eventually spent 3 years in Fort Smith. Due to the imminent closing of the Whirlpool plant I worked at I started trying to find an area with a little better job out lol and found myself in Conway. I have been here since July of 2007. Where are you in NWA?

Errol V.'s Comment
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A breath of fresh air:

I haven't had to post much because I was able to answer most of my questions by just searching old posts.

I've seen your earlier posts, and it's wonderful to find someone who knows how to do their own research.

But then again, forums are meant for chat, and give & take. Join in more often!

And you even thought through the Big Contradiction: if Prime (or Swift or Celadon or ______) is so bad, why are they such big companies?

Bolt's Comment
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Bolt I grew up just across the border out of Fort Smith...moved to Van Buren after highschool and eventually spent 3 years in Fort Smith. Due to the imminent closing of the Whirlpool plant I worked at I started trying to find an area with a little better job out lol and found myself in Conway. I have been here since July of 2007. Where are you in NWA?

I live in Springdale. Grew up in Jay, Ok and moved to NWA 20 years ago. I have lived all up and down the I 49 corridor in that area.

OldRookie's Comment
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Welcome Toonces... I found footage of your driving... Toonces Driving and Driving Test

MindFreak's Comment
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Yeah Bolt...there didn't used to be an I-49 corridor. When it first went in it was I-540 North....they have changed it just since I moved away in 2007. Before it went in you had to drive the pig trail Hwy 71 north or Hwy. 59 to get to the Fayetteville area. 71 is a pretty but very dangerous road. Heard that they are discussing a high speed train between Fort Smith and Fayetteville now but people in Fayetteville really have no desire to come to Fort Smith. Lol Nothing to see there...

Kat's Comment
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Welcome Toonces... I found footage of your driving... Toonces Driving and Driving Test

rofl-2.gif

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