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Its been over 4 months and wanted to give an update. I finally got my Illinois CDL at the end of June and its been a long crazy ride to get it!!!!!!! Here is a quick recap.
Feb 22nd 2016: Got hired by Roehl Transport into their "Get My CDL" 4 week school at the Gary, IN Terminal. They paid for hotel and food for a month and a weekly paycheck of 90/day during the school. Mon-Fri 7am-5pm and Sat 7am-11:30am. Training was great. People were great. The guys/gals that would come through the terminal would give us tips and stuff to watch out for. It was a very cool atmosphere and was something I wasn't used to seeing in a work environment.
Mar 24th 2016: Got fired by Roehl since I failed the blind side parallel park twice during the backing skills portion of the Indiana CDL tests. However they said the door is wide open for me to get rehired as soon as I get a CDL but that meant I had to get my CDL from my home state of Illinois. The Illinois tests are different and had to goto a local school to get ready for them.
May 16th 2016: Started a 160Hr refresher course at Rock Valley College Truck Driving School in Rockford, IL. (Top Roehl approved school in the country which is where I'm from). I could have done a 80Hr refresher but wanted to have plenty of practice so I decided on the 160Hr. Plus extra practice never can hurt either. Had TONS of driving practice and backing practice. Half day each! I'm glad I decided on the 160Hr plan because the Illinois parallel was drivers side which is opposite from what I learned in Indiana. Plus the right offset backing has different rules than Indiana regarding cone placement and encroachments. The trucks used a 10 speed manual transmission which was the same as in Indiana so that was something I didnt have to relearn. Also the Illinois Secretary Of State said that since I passed the Indiana Pre Trip Inspection test it will transfer to Illinois and I will NOT have to take the Illinois version which is way different. It was triple confirmed by me and my school!
June 15th 2016: CDL test day at the Illinois DMV however they informed me as I was checking in that I DID have to take the Illinois Pre Trip Inspection test. I had to reschedule the CDL test for next week. I spent the next 6 days with countless hours studying the Illinois Pre Trip. The instructors at the school even devoted extra time to me so I could be ready for it. We are all STUNNED on how ridiculous the Illinois DMV is on the disorganization. Finally I think Im actually going to be able to do it and was ready.
June 22nd 2016: CDL test day again and as I was checking in they said in fact I DO NOT have to take the Illinois Pre Trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The guy who checked me in was my tester and with no waiting me and him walked outside and I went right to the backing tests. Passed straight line back and right offset then NAILED parallel park. It was perfect!!!! Went on to the driving test which was pretty much perfect and PASSED!!!!!
July 6th 2016: Roehl Transport said they have started the rehire process and will give me an update next week. (Week of July 11th)
Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:
A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.
Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver ManagerThe 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.
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.
Transportation Worker Identification Credential
Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.
Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.