Getting Ready To Start CDL School And Want Some Advice?

Topic 16018 | Page 1

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Robert B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm 38 year's old, single and no kids. I just got out of the military and I am using my GI Bill to go to CDL school. I know virtually nothing about trucking. I am willing to stay away from my home for long periods. I am even willing to relocate altogether if it is beneficial. I have really no ties to anything or anyone. I would just like to get some general advice from some veteran truck drivers on what they would do if they were in my position. Are there certain companies I should try to get on with or avoid? Should I start out with OTR? Any advice about anything would really be helpful. Thanks.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome and thank you for your service. To get a better understanding of what you're about to embark on, we typically suggest the following reading material:

Trucking Company Reviews

Good luck, we're here to 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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Yosemite Sam's Comment
member avatar

Hi Rob Well I'm not a veteran. But let you know to not to a company CDL school because they will chain u down for a minimum of a year in order to pay for the school. I just graduated from Roadmasters school which was pretty good. Three weeks and u got ur license given that u pass ur first actually test out. But even if u fail u can return to school for more training. The school is owned by Werner which definitely treats veterans well cause u get a brand new truck with an amazing sticker that covers ur entire tractor with the respective field u was in example army, marines whatever the case might be. Also since u will be a new graduate u most like it will have to start OTR.

I'm 38 year's old, single and no kids. I just got out of the military and I am using my GI Bill to go to CDL school. I know virtually nothing about trucking. I am willing to stay away from my home for long periods. I am even willing to relocate altogether if it is beneficial. I have really no ties to anything or anyone. I would just like to get some general advice from some veteran truck drivers on what they would do if they were in my position. Are there certain companies I should try to get on with or avoid? Should I start out with OTR? Any advice about anything would really be helpful. Thanks.

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.

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.
LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

A good company to look into for Veteran's is Schneider. Especially if you got out within the last year. They are very pro military. You can earn an high starting wage by being a veteran who has served his/her country for a good length of time. The caveat is you have to have gotten out within the last year to qualify for that particular program.

If you have your post 9/11 GI Bill and are not planning on use it on much, I would look into companies that offer Apprenticeship programs. If you want I can give you the short list I compiled for myself.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

There are plenty of trucking companies that are "pro military." Besides Schneider, I know that Crete / Shaffer also pays higher wages for rookies that are veterans. I'm sure there are others. I've seen many companies offer the tractors with the 'patriotic paint.'

In regard to Yosemite's comment about company CDL schools "chaining you down," I'll let somebody else comment - I'm too tired for that nonsense right now.

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.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar
In regard to Yosemite's comment about company CDL schools "chaining you down," I'll let somebody else comment - I'm too tired for that nonsense right now.

Me Too!

confused.gif

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.
Calkansan's Comment
member avatar

I would always recommend private school over company school. By completing a private school, it allows you the choice to choose a company that fits you the best. Remember, once you choose a company, try to stay for a minimum of a year. Good luck.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Yosemite Sam wrote:

But let you know to not to a company CDL school because they will chain u down for a minimum of a year in order to pay for the school.

Chained down? Sam, this is the second time you have discouraged people from Paid CDL Training Programs.

You need to stop coming off as an authority on this subject. You're not. Many of us, including me chose company sponsored. It works and will continue to work. Although it wasn't right for you, that doesn't arbitrarily mean it's a bad choice for others.

Please focus on what you know and have experienced.

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.
Yosemite Sam's Comment
member avatar

Hey G-Town

I'm sorry if I offended u or any other person on the forum. Not my intention at all. Was just stating facts. My choice of words could have been better I agree. But the truth is that anyone going to a company sponsored school will need to sign a year contract and that is a fact RIGHT? That's all I was trying to let the person inquiring about school understand. I have heard many stories of people go to the company sponsored schools and then hate working for the company but they are stuck there for a year.

Yosemite Sam wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

But let you know to not to a company CDL school because they will chain u down for a minimum of a year in order to pay for the school.

double-quotes-end.png

Chained down? Sam, this is the second time you have discouraged people from Paid CDL Training Programs.

You need to stop coming off as an authority on this subject. You're not. Many of us, including me chose company sponsored. It works and will continue to work. Although it wasn't right for you, that doesn't arbitrarily mean it's a bad choice for others.

Please focus on what you know and have experienced.

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.
Anchorman's Comment
member avatar
I have heard many stories of people go to the company sponsored schools and then hate working for the company but they are stuck there for a year.

That generally has more to do with the person themselves being the problem and not so much the company.

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