NTTS Training Day 1

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Troy S.'s Comment
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Well yesterday was my 1st day of the 18 week advanced CDL program at NTTS in Liverpool (Syrecuse for those who don't know the area) New York. So far it's been interesting but a tad boring as we are studying the Commercial Drivers Manual in preparation for taking the learners permit written exam.

My first impression is people are friendly and the class is not too large so it's much more personable. Also the speed is definitely a slow and steady pace (sometimes too slow) with lots of breaks.

I'll update as we proceed but it will be slow going for the first little bit so bear with me. Day 2 is about to begin!

Troy

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.
Troy S.'s Comment
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No sure if anyone's following this but here goes:

Day 2 was pretty much like day 1. We continued studying the CDL manual in preparation for the written test to get our learners permits. This is definitely a slower pace than any company sponsored training , but if you're a slower learner or want to take time to discuss each topic in depth, its a great way to learn. NTTS has several options for obtaining a CDL of whatever class you're interested in. The most popular course is the 18 week advanced course. One thing I like about this type of training is that I am not locked into any one company when training is complete.

This Friday we have the first of many companies, Gypsum Express, coming to speak to us about what they offer. There are several companies that frequent the school to talk to students and in some cases pre-hire. The limitation of course of this type of training is, like any school its not free or paid. I personally was able to go with a combination of the Pell Grant (thank you unemployment) and a student loan. Fortunately, many companies have a student loan forgiveness benefit of some sort, so in the end it will still essentially be no cost, I just wasn't paid to go as you would be going the company sponsored route.

Well that's all I can think of to add for today, tomorrow (day 3) hopefully we will finish the general knowledge portion of the CDL manual and get into endorsements. Of to studying I go!!

Troy

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Stewart A.'s Comment
member avatar

Troy, this is good. There are lots of posts on company schools here on TT but not as many from schools like yours. There are also a lot of people who are reading your posts and for many reasons don't reply. Don't let that discourage you. They are getting something out of it.

Please keep posting and good luck with this adventure!

Troy S.'s Comment
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Thank you Stewart! Hopefully I can share more interesting information soon once we get through the written test. Thanks for the encouragement!

Troy S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Stewart! Hopefully I can share more interesting information soon once we get through the written test. Thanks for the encouragement!

Stacie R.'s Comment
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I'm glad your posting, i haven't started class yet and it kinda gives me a idea, even though it's a different school. I agree about having a choice as to what company you go with after, as to going with a company paid school.

Troy S.'s Comment
member avatar

Stacie its definitely nice to know we have choices. At our school students are often pre-hired before they graduate. Also each week different carriers come to speak to students in hopes of getting them signed on with them. It's nice to be wanted!

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Troy S.'s Comment
member avatar

Well today, day 3, went similarly to days 1 & 2 with one exception. For about half of the day we had a different instructor come and teach which was quite interesting. He has over 30 years experience driving just about every type of route imaginable so his stories were entertaining and educational.

One thing I like about having more time at this school is we get to spend a lot of time asking questions and hearing different experiences from the different instructors. I'm definitely getting more and more excited about getting started in this career, and right now 18 weeks seems like an eternity but I know I will be well prepared .

Next week once we have our learner's permits, we will continue in the class studying log books, map reading and trip routing.

See you after day 4!

Troy

Troy S.'s Comment
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Day 4 has come and gone! Today we focused on air brakes and took our first general knowledge test which I scored 100% on (woot woot!). In our school, not sure about others, it is an accredited school, so our test grades count towards being able to graduate. Students have to maintain a minimum grade in order to qualify to be able to take the DOT road test, so I'm glad I was able to start out strong. Tomorrow, Friday, we will take our air brake test for the school. If I do as well on that, I know I'll do fine on the written tests at the DMV , which happens on Tuesday.

Today I got my first recruiting letter in the mail from a company called H.O. Wolding, which is one of the carriers I'm interested in. It was a welcome to school letter and a brochure about what they offered. It's weird ( and exciting) going from the regular job market where no one would even respond to a resume, to being sought out before I'd even finished one week of school!

Thats all from today, there's not much more to report. Next week we will start to dig in deeper so if you're reading stay tuned. Also GOOD LUCK to my fellow rookies just starting out or preparing for school!!

Troy

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.

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.

Troy S.'s Comment
member avatar

Well day 5 and week 1 came to an end. I feel very prepared for the learners permit test on Tuesday. Once that's complete we can focus on some real practical learning . We also had our first company come for a visit, Gypsum Express. Pretty interesting presentation, and a place that I could see myself driving for. They did have a few negatives however, such as no tuition reimbursement, so I'll have to see what others offer. Still it's nice to know we are all wanted for the most part!

Next week I'll start a new blog and call them NTTS WEEK NUMBER 2 (and so on) from here on out (hopefully that's acceptable Brett?)

Anyway look for my continuation next week and have a great weekend!

Troy

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