Advice On Trucking School Timeline/Applying

Topic 20542 | Page 1

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Stacy M-Yellow Wolf's Comment
member avatar

I apologize-this is a bit long. I want to drive OTR-like tomorrow, lol-but I have a few things that need to be taken care of before I can be gone for weeks at a time. I would truly appreciate any input and opinions.

Mainly, I am wondering if I should go ahead and start applying to companies with schools or wait until I am closer to being able to leave.

I want to apply to company schools and know ( if training goes well) that I have a job after training. There are several private trucking schools near me, but I cannot pay for them up front.

I do not mind being alone and I love to drive. I used to haul show horses up and down the East Coast. The biggest rig that I have driven was a 5+ton truck with a 33' ft trailer. No trouble driving or backing it, even into very tight spots. I have always been in management or been self-employed so I am a self-starter and like pushing myself towards my goals. I have a clean driving record and I have never done drugs of any kind. I have been self-employed for the last 15 years so I am not sure how I go about verifying employment for that. I have good references from former employers that I still keep in touch with. I work hard for my employers and I don't jump around to different jobs.

I am 53, and a full time farmer. I am single, no children/family. I raise and sell livestock and meat. I want to keep the farm until I have been through school and driven for at least a year. I will hire an intern to live and work here while I am gone.

However, I do have some health issues that I want to work on before going to a CDL school. I was already in the process of losing weight and eating better before I decided that I want to get my CDL. I want to lose more weight and get a good physical before I go to a school. I have a knee that bothers me sometimes and if losing weight does not help it, then I may need surgery. I can climb in and out of a truck right now but it is painful.

So, with hiring and training an intern, getting the farm through the winter and getting my health issues resolved, I am looking at probably March 2018 before I can hit the road.

So when should I start applying to company schools? Should I apply to several at one time? Any benefit to going to one of the local, private schools that I might be missing?

Thank you in advance for any replies!


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.


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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Stacy, I would wait until about a month or so before you're ready to hit the road. There's no need to apply any sooner than that. These Company-Sponsored Training Programs can process applications and get you going rather quickly.

As far as advantages to going to a local school, personally I don't feel there really are any other than you'd have more choices about who you go to work for after you complete the schooling. But people don't realize how few companies hire students out of school. There aren't very many. Even the ones who do hire graduates won't hire everyone that qualifies. So it's not like you're going to have this long list of people bidding for your services like you're a prize diamond, which I think is the impression a lot of people get.

When the time comes you can apply to a number of company-sponsored schools at once right here on our site:

Apply For Company-Sponsored Training

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.

Stacy M-Yellow Wolf's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Brett! It would be so convenient to go to a school near home but I want to go where there is the best chance of me getting a job. I am very loyal to the people that I work for and totally get that they would be investing in me. I am not looking to company-hop and I don't get bent out of shape over every little thing that happens and go looking for someone else to blame. I truly love the tone that you all keep on here of work hard, own your mistakes and stay positive. I don't look at any other forums, no need to. I did download and play with the Truckerpath app and could not believe the whining and childish nature of the reviews. Geez people, lol. Anyway-thanks again-fantastic site. Makes me feel much more confident that I can be prepared and make it through school, testing and training and be a valuable employee for someone. ⛽🚚🚛🚚⛟

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