Starting School

Topic 21088 | Page 2

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Johnnie Mac's Comment
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I started November 6th and graduate april 19th. Its a 480 hour course divided into 10 weeks classroom and 12 weeks outside on the range. The classroom portion covered vehicle systems, pretrip, smith system and some other defensive driving course. We also got into HOS and map reading and trip planning. Tips for adverse conditions and such. Im sure im forgetting somethings. It was very in depth if not redundant. On the range we start with just straightline backing then its offset, parralel parking , alley docking, and more in depth pre trip. Lastly we go over the 3 skills ( straightline, offset, parralel) that we need in MD to pass our test in the truck we will actually be taking it in. Each of those last 2 weeks a peice. With around 15 roadtrips sprinkled in. Its very long and unfortunately expensive. But it also gives you ample wheel time considering i only have 2 people in my particular graduating class. Equipment is useable at best. Its good because its such a slow pace compared to company sponsored which is what steered me away from that route, but im realizing now that i would of been perfectly fine in a fast paced course.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Barry Wrote:

I have been researching every place possible. I get a great amount of information but, the negative is more than the positive. Did you encounter this and if so how did you get through all of the negative talk out there? I just get tired of the people talking about how bad trucking is. My goal is to start cdl school in May. Thanks for any positive words about the trucking industry.

Welcome to the forum Barry.

All of the negativity is typically written or spoken by drivers with an ax to grind; many times because of false expectations and/or they failed and look to blame the industry, the Schools and the trucking companies. Never accepting responsibility for their mistakes and an inability to correct them. My advice don't believe everything you read on the internet and almost never believe what you heard from a complete stranger.

Invest some time reviewing the plethora of factual, insightful, candid and realistic information on the Trucking Truth website. Our focus is to guide and helo newbies and rookie drivers find their way, enabling their success.

Here is our starter kit:

Use the search bar to assist in finding threads on specific topics. Check out the TT Blog, lots of good articles written by successful Truckers.

Good luck!


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.
Johnnie Mac's Comment
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Had my first 3 road trips last week. Ive picked up all my skills and i can recite the pretrip in my sleep. Now its just a matter of using these last weeks to refine my skills to the point that i cant fail. Starting to get anxious to get to a company and start driving more than are range and baltimore city. Im getting more focused on trying to narrow down some companies that i really want to drive for. 7 weeks left heres hoping it flys by

Johnnie Mac's Comment
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Well that journey that started so long ago is reaching a climax. I've had my license for a month now (passed first try not to brag). I'm now sitting in a hotel near Youngstown Ohio ready to start orientation with Melton bright and early tomorrow morning.

Army 's Comment
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Congrats. Safe Travels

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