Retired Military To Driver

Topic 19107 | Page 1

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OC's Comment
member avatar

Hello All, I've been lurking here for about a year and learned a ton of info about the trucking industry. I'd like to thank Brett A for an excellent website, this is by far the best trucking website I've found. A little bit about my background, i'm 19 year active duty military waiting to retire in 11 months. About a year and a half ago I started training with a small company part time (5 trucks) and got my class A CDL FEB 2016 and have been running about 1,000 miles a month just to try and keep from getting super rusty with the basic semi driving skills.

Does anyone have any guidance in regards what steps I should take as my retirement gets closer? When I first started working towards getting my cdl I thought going the non-school route was good a idea and would obviously save me a lot of money and help me get my foot in the door with some company faster, now I'm not so sure. After doing more research I feel like waiting until after I retire and going to a school or signing on to a company and doing a company sponsored school would of been smarter since I'll have 2 years part time experience and no school certificate when its time to make the change. Thanks for any input you guys and girls might have.

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.
K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

Some companies have refresher courses for people in similar positions, if I recall correctly?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Enjoy your last 11 months of service, OC. The best answer to your training question is from the company you choose. Possibly some sort of documentation of your driving experience so far, not every mile, but so they have a general idea.

The school/ 160 hour requirement is for slick newbies to the business. But expect to be sent to school, at worst, or certainly some weeks OTR with a trainer.

You have some time, yet, but it never hurts to get to know your recruiters. Here's some resources:

Paid CDL Training Programs (probably your best way to go. There are company based veteran programs that get you schooling for free.)

Trucking Company Reviews

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.

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.

Barry L.'s Comment
member avatar

OC,

Not sure if it's applicable in your case, but there is always this:

http://www.dmv.org/cdl/veterans-skills-test-waiver.php

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.

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.

OC's Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone for the helpful information, I'm just worried about being at a disadvantage getting my cdl without going to a school. I fully expect to have to go with a trainer for 30-40k miles.

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Some trucking company's (actually their insurance company) will insist on that 160 hour certificate before they can insure you and thus hire you. Other companies may want you to take a refresher course. And then there are others who won't have a problem with any of it. Clear as mud, I know.

The best way to find out who requires what is to call them and ask.

Good​ luck, enjoy your remaining service time, then make that leap. Most trucking companies LOVE veterans because of their excellent work ethic and discipline.

ShortRound's Comment
member avatar

The experience you are getting part time will certainly help, but as others have said, some companies will require in house training or a certified school. Since you are retiring from the military, I assume you will have two tools available to you that can help out. First you will probably have 30-90 days of terminal leave available during which you can go to a certified school. Second, you probably have the GI Bill which will pay for most private trucking schools (it paid for mine). To sweeten the deal, many companies will partially reimburse tuition expenses for private schools. For example, I used my GI Bill to pay for school, and my company reimbursed me $1200 fornthe schooling once I was hired.👍👍

Terminal:

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.

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