Starting Looking Into Upgrading My Class B To A Class A CDL.

Topic 19675 | Page 1

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Robert C.'s Comment
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I am seriously considering upgrading my Class B CDL to an A. I have been told to stay away from Schnieder, J.B. Hunt, and Schilling from very close friends that have worked for the three mentioned. I am wanting a company paid CDL training, a year commitment , and within the state of Indiana as I would lose my P and S endorsements in my home state (already confirmed with the BMW here). I have some experience with double clutching from my time with C1 in Indianapolis, but was not given a lot of attention or drive time with them ( I dropped out for this reason and got my Class B). I really need good honest advice. Everyone one Truckersreport.Com slam every company that is out there. I am going to study for my Tanker endorsement and take it within a few weeks. Thank you in advance.

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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Old School's Comment
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I really need good honest advice.

Robert, welcome aboard!

Don't you just love it when you go someplace like the Trucker's Report and after you get finished reading stuff in there for a few hours you feel like you need to go in the bathroom and vomit! Honestly, that is the effect it has on me. People go there hoping to find some advice and all they get is whining and complaining, and they start building a firm foundation of fear regarding trying to make a start at any trucking company there is out there! It is all very discouraging and disappointing. I mean why in the world would I seek out a bunch of whiners and complainers to help me make a careful and wise career choice? It seems none of the folks in there are happy about where they have worked, why would anyone else want to join their ranks?

As you have already discovered, there is no lack of advise about where not to work in this business, and I hope you will even disregard the things your close friends have said, because they are severely mistaken. We have seen successful happy drivers at all those companies you just threw under the bus.

My philosophy is that you will make this job what you want it to be by your work ethic and willingness to push through what ever difficulties arise to hinder you. As far as which companies are "good" I consider them all to be trucking companies - they've all got the same issues, because they are all trying to do the same thing, move freight from point A to point B.

So many people jump into this career with false assumptions based on foolish reports and notions that they have picked up from internet "review sites". Have you ever noticed how 99% of the people who post reviews are people who are dissatisfied in an extreme way? That in itself should be a big red flag to any thinking person. This business of being able to be anonymous, and being hidden behind a keyboard, has emboldened a bunch of people, who are generally failures at most things they attempt, to lay the blame for their ineptitude at the feet of "big greedy trucking magnates who are still practicing slavery in their business models".

What I'm trying to say is choose a company that you seem to like, and then get out there and prove yourself to them. Don't be looking for them to prove themselves to you - that is the current trend of thinking and it is so backwards that it is a huge reason for the current 100% turn over rate in trucking. They don't have anything to prove - if you take a look at the walls of the offices of almost any trucking company that is being unfairly slammed on the internet you will find photos of drivers who have been there for ten and twenty years and put in millions of miles safely and very productively. Those guys didn't do that because it was a "good company" - they accomplished that because they were "good" drivers.

Continued...

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I like to point things out like this not only for the person who originally asks the question, but also for the many others who will read this later on. Your willingness to succeed and your drive to excel are the main ingredients for your success at this career. So don't worry so much about whose name is on the doors of the truck. I spent the first eighteen months of my career at a trucking company whose reputation is absolutely in the gutter by all internet review accounts, you couldn't ask for a company with more disparaging remarks against it. I excelled there, was always in the top group of drivers for productivity, and made some very good money despite the fact that their pay rate was very low. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but rather the truth that you are the driving factor of your success at this. Any company out there who has a really hard working dependable driver who knows how to "get er done" will do all they can to keep that driver moving and satisfied. I have since moved on to a different company, but it wasn't because I thought the other guys were scumbags. I received a much better offer and I took advantage of that offer. That's the way it works - you prove yourself first, then you will find the doors of opportunity opening up to you.

One of the biggest problems with getting started in this career is the sheer difficulty of getting oneself accustomed to all the many consequences of your own decisions and choices while out there on the road. It is tricky to say the least to get the hang of all this stuff during the first six months of doing this. People end up with negative consequences due to some of their own poor choices or decisions as to how to handle their job or manage their time. It is not easy breaking into this career. New drivers will inevitably make some bad choices while on the road. It is important to recognize when you make a mistake and learn from it.

Your driver manager will come to depend on you and treat you really well if you are a dependable driver. People tend to give up and blame their company for not getting enough miles, or not making enough money to live on, as if they were being mistreated by the greedy company. But I can guarantee you that at which ever company that is getting slammed on the internet for mistreating their employees, there are a group of competent drivers who are getting more miles dispatched to them than they know how to handle because those drivers have proven themselves again and again. The reason you don't hear from them on those internet reviews is because they are in their sleeper catching some much needed rest so they can give 110% during their next on duty time period.

Driver Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

As a Rookie Driver, I can vouch for what Old School is saying. I am a Rookie. There are people at the company I work for that have more time there than I do. I have heard complaints that freight is slow. I have a hard time getting home. There is always one more load that needs done. I am not complaining. I am kept moving. I pretty much have to beg for down time. Just the nature of the beast.

Drive Safe and Godspeed.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Old School establishes the Gold Standard:

My philosophy is that you will make this job what you want it to be by your work ethic and willingness to push through what ever difficulties arise to hinder you.

Truer words were never written. Live by them. Most drivers who were able to push through the first year did so with a positive attitude, taking ownership for their mistakes and with dogged determination.

All you need to do is spend some time in this forum to realize each and every one of the companies despised on the Internet has successful drivers contributing content at TruckingTruth.

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