CDL Invalid If Not Put To Use After Graduating CDL School!?

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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I was road tested at orientation and assigned to a trainer after being hired. Thought that went without saying..

It doesn't go without saying. A lot of companies won't hire someone who has graduated from school but hasn't used their CDL within a certain amount of time, usually somewhere between 30 - 90 days, without having them go through some sort of refresher training. So you could have been required to go through additional training with other companies.

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.
millionmiler24's Comment
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Bob wrote:

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I suppose anything could make you undesirable or unhirable to SOME companies. So technically I can't call that a lie from the recruiter. But he certainly was misleading you. Your CDL will most certainly not be invalid if you don't sign on a line after 30 days...or 300 for that matter. I for example got my first driving job in 2014 almost 4 years after completing school and getting my license. It took very little effort or persuading. I called up one megacarrier....was in orientation a week later. It wasn't because I'm so charming because I'm really not.

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Bob the OP never said the recruiter stated his CDL would become "invalid". There is a point here that needs to be understood...

The skills learned in school, any school are bare bones, the minimum required to pass the CDL tests. No more... (I know you realize this Bob, it's for everyone else's edification). Rudimentary, raw, and very basic skills that are only a base needed for moving into road training. The more time that passes, the skills and muscle memory will diminish. I believe there is merit to what the recruiter said. The less time that passes between getting the CDL and entering road training, the better. Skills are sharper, fresh. Confidence possibly greater as well. Wait longer than 6 months with no paid experience and risk the possibility of attending school all over again or at least a refresher course. And there are some companies that may pass on you. Remember this is a competition, best candidates are hired first.

Misleading you say?

So yeah Bob, you went to orientation after years of inactivity and no experience. That's great and definitely a likely scenario with many companies. Please tell the whole story here; you were re-evaluated (tested), likely required to take a refresher course of some sort and definitely road trained for a set period of time before going solo. Some companies will require a repeat of school. If not the case here, consider yourself lucky.

Case in point; when I was in school there was a student who had a valid CDL. After 18 months of hiatus from professional driving, he decided to climb back into the cab. Swift required him to attend and graduate their Driving Academy course before moving onto road training. 3 weeks. Although he breezed through it, he still had to go through the process all over again (sans the state CDL test) and then road-train for 240 hours (the required duration in 2012, now it's 200 hours).

Fact is; even with a valid CDL, if any of us stop driving for 6-12 months it's unlikely to immediately move back into first-seat and/or solo driving without some sort of refresher, an evaluation by the hiring company and possibly additional road training.

Also let me be a great example here. I took just over a 2 year hiatus from trucking and my CDL had lapsed and I had to redo school all over again. Don’t fret about that. If you have to redo it again and if you have the same experience I did it will make you a better driver. I know it really helped me.

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.
Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for your words of wisdom and experience! Im finishing up my relocation and ive took your guys advice and contacted a few companies, two stood out for me which are Prime inc. and Melton Truck Lines.

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