Cdl Question

Topic 21911 | Page 1

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Bryan E.'s Comment
member avatar

If someone was to join a construction trade and get their class a cdl with air brakes for the trade, could that person drive truck with a trucking company without going to the trucking school?

The reason I am asking because there may be doors opening up where a construction company will pay to get the class A cdl but the company has a six month layoff in the winter. I was wondering if i could double dip. Do construction in the summer six months and drive truck from November 15 til may 15.

Essentially I would have my class A cdl with air brakes BUT I would not have gone through the trucking school. The company will train and then setup the driving test.

I'm in the middle of a career change and so much is opening up at once. I'm simply weighing out my options. Any advice or comments is appreciated.

I'd hate to see that cdl go to waste six months a year when I could be making money.

Thanks.

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.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

What is best for you? Do you want the construction job as a long term career? If youvwould prefer the trucking lifestyle, then make that jump. If you would rather do the construction, you may have to check Craigslist for other short term trucking jobs. I doubt an OTR company would hire you for six months at a time. Which would you rather do?

OTR:

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.

Bryan E.'s Comment
member avatar

You said what I was trying to say much clearer and concisely. A better way for me to say what I was trying to say would be was if I was to do construction for six months and get my class A cdl through the construction company could I utilize my class A cdl the other six months? I suppose it don't gotta be OTR. It could simply be a job where I'm home daily too, regional etc. Point is I don't want to sit on my duff for six months. The cdl is worth money. I'm still trying to figure out what to do but with the construction the benefits are real good and you can carry the health insurance with you when you are on your six month layoff if you have enough work hours in the six months I'm on. The ONLY problem I'm seeing with the trucking is the high cost of health insurance. In two to three months I'll be in full swing on this career change and I'm simply weighing my options. I want to truck more than anything but there seems to be more doors opening up and want to look at everything before I make a decision. This is not to say that I wont go to truck driving school. I may. I'm still really considering it.

What is best for you? Do you want the construction job as a long term career? If youvwould prefer the trucking lifestyle, then make that jump. If you would rather do the construction, you may have to check Craigslist for other short term trucking jobs. I doubt an OTR company would hire you for six months at a time. Which would you rather do?

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.

Regional:

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.

OTR:

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

Most OTR companies aren't going to count your local driving experience as experience, believe it or not. Many of them only consider OTR driving as experience. Sometimes they'll consider the local driving as experience if you're in an 18 wheeler, but definitely not if you're in a dump truck or something like that.

Depending on the company and their training, an OTR company may or may not recognize your schooling as being legit. They will require you to have a 160 hour legitimate driving course or one year of tractor trailer experience to avoid going to school.

Also, like Big Scott mentioned, it would be hard to find a company to let you drive only part of the year. Maybe if you had a ton of OTR experience they might consider it, but you don't at this point.

So the deck is kind of stacked against you. It's certainly worth exploring but I think you're going to have a tough time pulling it off.

OTR:

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.

Bryan E.'s Comment
member avatar

Would it be realistic to say I could drive another class A or b truck when I am laid off from the construction company,and not just semi? Keep in mind it is a six month straight layoff. We work six months and are laid off six months. They are laid off November til may. We get cold and snowy winters here. The only reason in considering it is the benefits are real good with the construction and can carry the health insurance during the layoff. I believe the union pays for the health insurance. Being I'd be on the road the six months working road construction I wouldn't mind working local the six months I'm off. I would like to utilize the class A cdl and not sit on my duff. 6 months is too long not to work. What are my ootions?

Most OTR companies aren't going to count your local driving experience as experience, believe it or not. Many of them only consider OTR driving as experience. Sometimes they'll consider the local driving as experience if you're in an 18 wheeler, but definitely not if you're in a dump truck or something like that.

Depending on the company and their training, an OTR company may or may not recognize your schooling as being legit. They will require you to have a 160 hour legitimate driving course or one year of tractor trailer experience to avoid going to school.

Also, like Big Scott mentioned, it would be hard to find a company to let you drive only part of the year. Maybe if you had a ton of OTR experience they might consider it, but you don't at this point.

So the deck is kind of stacked against you. It's certainly worth exploring but I think you're going to have a tough time pulling it off.

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.

OTR:

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Chosing to take the path you described, your other options are very limited.

You are skipping formal training (the 160 hour training certificate) thus most companies will not hire you to drive a tractor trailer. Brett basically addressed your question in his reply.

It's difficult, if not impossible to get a successful start in this business by straddling the line. If you want a career of "CDL A" work, receiving proper and documented training and then getting the full year of experience is basically the best and recommended approach.

If you want B work, get your haz-mat endorsement and drive a residential/ light commercial fuel oil or propane delivery truck during the winter months.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

One option you could look at is possibly snow plowing for the city/state while laid off from construction. However, I'm sure they would also want you to do schooling. Here in Iowa they're advertising like crazy with main requirement being class a CDL with hazmat and tanker.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Cold War Surplus's Comment
member avatar

First the bad news - without a 160-hour training certificate your options will be very slim as others have already stated. That said, there's nothing stopping you from taking the CDL class at your local community college after you have your CDL to clear that hurdle. Yeah, it's about $2-3K to go that route but you should easily earn that back in your first year. The college won't have a problem taking your money and the insurance companies don't care that you got it after you got your CDL as long as you have it.

Now the good part. Every year from Oct thru Jan parcel carriers are SLAMMED covering Santa's back. UPS, FedEx, USPS, OnTrac, etc. hire THOUSANDS of seasonal drivers just to cover the surge. Since most drivers drive year-round there isn't a lot of interest in these positions so they have lower hiring standards than they would for their year-round drivers.

You don't mention what part of the country you're from so I can't tailor my recommendations to your region but some other ideas are driving the harvest to market/canning plant for farms in the Fall, delivering heating oil in the northern states in the Winter or Driving busloads of skiers to the slopes.

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.
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