Texarkana College Professional Driving Academy

Topic 15603 | Page 1

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Bravo Zulu's Comment
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Tomorrow I start my Cdl training at the above referenced school. This training will run from 8/1 -9/2. Classes are 7AM-4PM, M-F, with an hour for lunch and (2) 15 minute breaks.

The cost of the school is $4,191.00 and inludes DOT physical, drug screen, MVR , and CDL license fee.

You are required to bring your own copy of the free DOT handbook and a highlighter or pen. Class sizes are advertised as 6-8 students.

I live an hour away from the school and will be commuting daily. I will provide updates as time permits.

I want to personally thank Brett and his team for putting together a well designed online training program. I also want to thank all of the individuals that take time out of their busy schedules to make and comment on the general discussion area of the forum. I truly feel that I am beginning my training "on the good foot".

I'm starting this journey at 44 years of age, and could not be more excited.

Thanks again!

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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Today we covered most of what will be on the written test. Basically, they go over 20-30 multiple choice questions then give you the same questions in a different order. We also covered hours of service and watched a video on CSA scores and how they are rated.

The High Road training program made me feel smart. We take the real DOT TESTS on Thursday so I will let y'all know how smart I feel after that!

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

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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I forgot to mention that our class size is 5, with 2 instructors.

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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So, tomorrow is the day of my written tests. I feel prepared. I am told I will be able to take all of the tests except Hazmat. I will report how I did tomorrow!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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So, I passed all my written tests today and have my learner's permit. The only 2 endorsements I don't have are Hazmat and passenger. You cannot take the Hazmat test until you have your CDL A. I chose not to test for passenger because I would rather pull my own teeth than drive a bus.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Danny G.'s Comment
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Well done Bravo Zulu! I'll be starting my own journey soon... I can hardly wait.

Bravo Zulu's Comment
member avatar

Well done Bravo Zulu! I'll be starting my own journey soon... I can hardly wait.

Danny,

If you don't have to have your learner's permit ahead of time, I would suggest that you do the high road training program once or twice before school starts. There is nothing the instructors can really do for you except give you practice tests. It will be much less stressful if you are already ready for those tests. The students that just used the DOT handbook to study were not nearly as prepared as myself and this other guy. The other guy used a ton of flash cards. I drank beer and took the high road training.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

TWIC:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you Bravo Zulu. That is sound advise.

I'm already going through the training program a second time and I intend to arrive at school with my permit in hand even though the school said it's not necessary and won't make me progress any faster. I'm OK with that. I like being pro-active when it comes to things like that. :)

Like you, I intend to get all the endorsements with the exception of HAZMAT and passenger. In Georgia they don't allow us to take the HAZMAT prior to having the full license.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Navy Vet's Comment
member avatar

Congrats!

The high road training is a great place to work on your knowledge! The app for your phone is really good to fill in the gaps in your day and gert some extra studying in as well.

Bravo Zulu's Comment
member avatar

So, out of the 5 students it turns out I'm the only guy that got his learner's permit on the 1st try. I'm not bragging. I just feel like I was better prepared. So today I get 1 on 1 time in the truck. Man, air brakes are sensitive and they have very little wiggle room. One minute I'm hitting them too hard and the next minute I'm rolling backwards, lol. Trainer says I'm going to be fine because I'm not scared. That gives me great comfort.

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