Done Playing Games. I Want To Get Into A Truck.

Topic 21450 | Page 1

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James M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi my name is James. I'll give you a little bit of history and then I'll ask my question. I was issued my CDL class A on 6/16/2015. I graduated second in my class at Roadmaster driver's school. Second, only to a student who had experience in another country. For the past 2 and a half years I haven't done a damn thing with my license due to smoking pot and working in construction doing commercial flooring. Life has been rough and I've finally made my decision to make something of my self. I can pass any drug test thrown at me at this given time and I'm done with the marijuana. I'm 35 years old now and I have a 3 year old son that is depending on me to have a good life. But I am very nervous to get back into a truck. I am afraid that I may have forgotten everything I was taught. What tips if any can you give me or even just moral support? What are the main things I should be concerned with? Also it being over two years since I graduated will a company help with tuition reimbursement? Thanks so much in advance. I hope to see some of you out there on the road soon.

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.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

They most likely will not help with reimbursement and will require at least refresher training. I would suggest you try Paid CDL Training Programs. Good luck.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

If you've been non-CDL for the last few years, you will be starting over with the paperwork. In most states if you just let the CDL lapse, that's a tough hurdle of its own.

If you've been using drugs, make d@mn sure you can pass a drug test. One positive at any time and your career is as much as over.

Like riding the ol' bicycle, you don't forget your truck skills. I learned double clutching in the 1970's (school buses), and it was right there when I started my truck driving training. (BTW most carriers are switching to auto-shift now.)

You will probably need a full training course, certainly a refresher. It never hurts to ask the recruiter about your past debt, and the finance person at school registration. (Veterans can often get a sweet deal on your new course.)

Best of luck, James, and don't be a stranger here.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Did you keep your DOT medical current? If you didn't, your CDL-A has surely been downgraded. Not knowing what state you are from, I'm not sure what to tell you regarding reinstatement.

Do you still owe debt on your previous CDL schooling? Did they issue you your Certificate of Training?

First, I'd check with your local DMV/BMV to see what you need to do to reinstate your CDL, if that's possible. Then, I'd start contacting companies who hire inexperienced drivers and consider attending a company sponsored CDL school (minus the actual CDL skills test if your CDL is still valid).

Please keep in touch and let us know how it's going for you.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

Bmv:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Things will work out. You're going to be going through some sort of training, and possibly the entire thing again with whomever you choose to work for. So you'll re-learn everything, no big deal.

I agree with others that Paid CDL Training Programs are probably the best way to go. They'll push you through whatever training you need as quickly as possible and have you in your own truck when you're ready. Depending on whether you have any experience or not they may require you to take the entire course, they may require a condensed version of it. Either way it's pretty trivial. Start pumping out applications and see who offers you an opportunity.

You can also Apply For Paid CDL Training right here on our site and the application will go to a bunch of different companies. There's no obligation, but you'll get a chance to speak with a bunch of recruiters to compare companies and see if you get any offers.

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.

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.

James M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi guys! I'm back with an update. So I decided to fill out an application with Stevens on Wednesday night. Thursday after work I spoke with the recruiter. Asked me a few questions and ran a background check. Today (Friday) I got off work super early because of the holidays. So I called the recruiter up to check on the background check. She said it came back good. She put me in touch with Tampa driving school, talked to the guy and scheduled an appointment at 3:00 today. Went to that and signed a bunch of paperwork and set me up for class to start January 15. Was approved for 100% tuition as long as I show up orientation and complete 6 months of employment. Class is three weeks long. So yeah I'm going back to school, don't know if I'll have to do the full three weeks. The last day is the CDL test. I already have it so I'm still a little confused about that. Plus, it's going to be hard financially going to school for three weeks and not getting paid. Meanwhile, my bills are still going to be due and I have to eat and pay for gas to and from school.

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.
James M.'s Comment
member avatar

Plus, it's going to be hard financially going to school for three weeks and not getting paid. Meanwhile, my bills are still going to be due and I have to eat and pay for gas to and from school.

Lost some sleep because of this and it's all I've been thinking about today. I'll get one more check from my current low paying job at the end of the first week of school. I live about twenty minutes away from the school and I have a gas guzzling van. Some how I'll have to make it at least two weeks without getting paid. I've heard that Stevens orientation is four days long and you don't start getting paid $450 until the last day of orientation but you don't get that until the end of the week. Now that I think about it they are supposed to feed you through out orientation at least two meals a day because let's face it I'm not going to be getting breakfast of I'm checking out of a hotel early. Can anyone offer to some advice? Money I will have to spend is insurance to keep my license valid and keep my phone on.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

My advice?

Try your very best to focus all of your energy and effort on school. I maintain a steadfast belief the less distracted a student is when attending school and the subsequent road training, the greater probability of success.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

My advice?

Try your very best to focus all of your energy and effort on school. I maintain a steadfast belief the less distracted a student is when attending school and the subsequent road training, the greater probability of success.

Couldn't agree with G town more. The less distracted you are the easier it'll be to focus on school and retain information better. One option is going through your possessions and selling what you don't need, or some stuff that has value. Another option (though not the greatest) is maybe drive Uber on weekends? I see your down near Tampa....when I lived down there I was able to make $100 a night only working 5 hours (7pm-1am) ubering. This is perfect time of the year with tourism. As I said, isn't the greatest idea but it'd be something AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH SCHOOL. Another option may be to find a temp agency with some work available weekends. I would avoid trying to do anything on nights after school if possible.

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on kickin' the weed out the door, it ain't easy!.. In any case, trucking or not, sounds like you're on the right track man. Hang-in and best of luck.

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