Where Do I Start?

Topic 20331 | Page 1

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Robert H.'s Comment
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Hello all. I'm looking for some insight and/or recommendations here, and sorry for the long winded post, I hope it lets you understand where I'm at right now. I retired from the Marine Corps in Oct 2014, moved down to Jacksonville Florida with my In-laws with my Wife and 2 children and immediately went to Roadmaster Driving School with the intention of hitting the road immediately upon graduation. I completed the course and got my CDL but during the course my father in-law had some heart complications so I had to put a hold on that and have been working at a rail yard as a yard jockey or whatever you guys call them. It's not a bad job but their just isn't any future in it.

My 2 year med cert was expiring so I went ahead and turned my Class A into my DMV , they said I could reinstate it if I presented another current med cert. Now that my wife is teaching at the same school as my children and her father is healthy again the wife has "given me permission to go".

So now what are my options?

A refresher course runs about 2 or 3k I believe when I called last time so I would prefer not to give them more money for that.

Do I just go ahead and get my Class A reinstated and find a company that will run me through their training program again? I know that will put me on a contract with them but that's fine with me.

I really like the idea of flatbeds, and eventually would like to get in with Cypress. Their terminal is located in my city and they do regional with weekend home time from what they told me. I know not to put too much faith in that though. So I'm leaning towards TMC at the moment.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for any responses or feedback, Rob


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.


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.


Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.


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.


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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

First thing is to get that license reinstated right away for sure. After that I would contact Cyprus if you know they'll be a good fit and see what they tell you about your situation. Every company will have different requirements.

You can also apply to TMC and several other companies on our site right here:

Apply For TMC (and other company-sponsored programs)

Some of those companies you may not be interested in but it's worth talking to them a bit anyhow. Never hurts to know your options.

So apply to any companies you're interested in and see what they'll require of you. Don't just sign up for a refresher course without being told specifically to do so by a company that's willing to hire you. Different companies have different requirements and accept students from their own list of schools.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Robert!

I think Cypress has some sort of a training program that would allow them to hire a person in your situation. I would definitely talk to them. They run a good flat-bed operation that is worth looking into, especially considering your proximity to them.

Robert H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the welcome and information. I've already talked to Cypress and they won't take me because of the gap between school and now obviously. I started looking through the list you guys have on your website and just need to start calling around now to get more specific information. As I was typing this reply out a recruiter from TMC just called. He said once I get my license reinstated it should be no problem, 2 weeks of orientation, 5 weeks out with a trainer. TWIC , passport, and hazmat were highly recommended so no problems their, I already have a TWIC card. I still have a month and a half before I can get started, mainly due to the fact that my wife and I are going to the Florida/Michigan game in Texas for the opening of the season and I have 2 college courses I need to finish. But after that I'm all clear. just need to start working on my diet to make sure I can clear the blood pressure portion of the med cert.

Again thanks for the information, can't wait to get started, I've been stir crazy for way to long.


Hazardous Materials

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


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.

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