Husband And Wife Preparing For Company Sponsored CDL Training

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Brett N.'s Comment
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Well this kind of sucks because it's still almost a full month until our first day but we are both soooo excited. This is a repeat for some of you but my wife and I are in our early 40's. We met in Saudi Arabia while we were both in the Army, got married young, had two wonderful boys and...fast forward 21 plus years...the boys are both out of high school and we are both completely unsatisfied with our current jobs and ready to hit the road! We are currently renting so we are putting our stuff in storage and just going for it. Going to get through CDL school, endure the 4-5 weeks apart while we are with our respective trainers on the road, get in our truck together and work our butts off to earn our DM's trust! Then, eventually put some money away so we can enjoy the heck out of ourselves when we get our "hometime", wherever that may be! Okay, I know it will be a tad tougher than this makes it sound but that's why I'm so happy to have come across this great sight. Brett has done a phenominal job of pointing out that truckdriving is what you make of it. (He's got a kick ass name as well!) We are both going into this with the attitude that we'll be going through basic training again in many ways. Just do what you're told, learn as much as you can, take the good with the bad and get er done! I don't think there is any doubt in either of our minds that we can do this for at least a year to see if it's something we want to continue with. (I probably sound pretty confident but I'm nervous as hell about a lot it! lol We both drive a manual transmission but neither of us has any experience with a tractor or with a trailer.) Anyway, can't say enough great things about this sight in particular! So much more positive than an of the others and I look forward to checking in every night and seeing what's new. I hope we can add something for someone who is considering doing the same thing. By the way, cudos for the information on the different companies that offer the CDL training at no (up front) cost with a time commitment to work for them. I went through all of them several times and really feel good about our choice right now. Obviously it would be great to stick with one company for as long as we choose to do this but as many of you point out, after a year of driving it looks like there are a ton of choices. Don't want to get ahead of myself. First day is April 8th so I'll try not to write too much until we actually get started! lol I've got one quick question for any of you that have recently gone through company sponsered training. How much money did you need to get you through training for food and stuff. We won't see our first paycheck until after starting with our OTR trainers so we'll probably need enough for 3 1/2 - 4 weeks. Think this can be done with $600 each? Thanks again and I look forward to sharing this new adventure with you and hopefully meeting some of you some day.

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.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey I'm really glad you're going to be documenting your experiences here! That's great!

$600 each is likely going to be OK but really tight for living on for a month. I'd be way more comfortable with closer to $1000 each but I've heard plenty of stories from people who made it through with less than that.

I'd post a message or two on some of these other threads to find out what the others needed to get by on. But eating for roughly $20/day is gonna be tight. I'd start looking around for a couple of things to sell or somethin smile.gif

Brett N.'s Comment
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It cracked me up that you said something about selling stuff because I just found someone to buy my car from me today so that is going to make things a bit more comfortable! Soooo dang excited to get going!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Nice!!!

Anything you can do to relieve the stress and help you focus on your schooling is going to be a tremendous help.

Brett N.'s Comment
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Two weeks from today and we'll actually have something useful to post about. We are all set to begin with Central Refrigerated on April 8th. I've bugged our recruiter with every question I come up with and I've followed a couple other guys that have posted threads about their recent experiences through Centrals training process. Central will pay for your bus ticket to get to their training facilities but they will also reimburse you for a plane ticket up to the cost of what they would've paid for the bus tickets...so, we've opted to fly. We'll be arriving on Friday, April 5th and have been assured that their shuttle will pick us up and we'll have a place to stay. We are still sxtremely excited and I look forward to sharing our experiences with you.

Brett N.'s Comment
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And the day is fast approaching! My wife's last day of work was Saturday and my last day was yesterday. Today we spent relaxing and packing and just enjoying the anticipation of what's in store for us in the weeks, months and years ahead. The plane tickets are paid for, the storage locker is paid for and most of the packing is done. We head out of New Bern, North Carolina on Friday afternoon and will be in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday night around 11:00pm. I'll do my best to describe the training and what takes place day to day. I am nervous of course but not nearly as much as I would have been without all the helpful advice from this sight and the wonderful free training that is available. Thanks again Brett and everyone else for all your work and the great comments and stories. By the way, my wife is now 30 days without smoking a cigerette and I am on day 7 of not chewing. I quit for 2 months during basic training in 1989 and haven't gone longer than a couple days without a nice attractive dip of Copenhagen in my mouth since then. Feeling good about ourselves and this new adventure we're about to embark on. Wish us luck and drive safe out there!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey I'm looking forward to hearing how things go for the two of you. It's gonna be one heck of an adventure and with the right attitude and a bunch of hard work it will be a rewarding one for sure.

We'll be awaiting more news!

Brett N.'s Comment
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Woohoo!!! We landed in Salt Lake City last night, called for a shuttle from Central and stayed our first night in the extravagant facilities in West Valley. The accommodations are simple but definitely adequate. There is a game room/lounge area, vending machines, plenty of showers and my wife and I get to share a small room but the bed is plenty big. I look forward to finally having something to tell you about here in couple of days. All the fun starts Monday! There are a lotg of nice trucks out in the parking lot! Can't wait to start driving one!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Sounds great! It sure is exciting, isn't it??? dancing-dog.gifsmile.gif

I started driving back in '93 and I was so excited all the time I can remember it all vividly - sitting by the interstate watching trucks go by and dreaming of when my turn would come. It's incredibly exciting!

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Brett N.'s Comment
member avatar

It is VERY exciting! A really nice trainer and his trainee that are in for a day to possibly get a new truck showed us all the trucks out here on the facility. We looked at the newer Volvos, Freightliner Cascadia's, International Prostars, Peterbuilt 387 and 587's. It was great to get inside them and check them out but made us just that much more impatient to actually drive one! I definitely like some better than others and it sounds like most of the new ones coming in are Freightliners and Volvos, but like I told them, as a rookie company driver, I just want one that won't be breaking down more than usual. Everything after that is gravy! lol It's awesome that you remember being so excited and are able to share some of that with us newbies because I would say that my first words of wisdom for someone showing up to training is not to expect an exciting welcome. The trainers and employees at the facilities do this 6 days a week, week in and week out. The other drivers and students here are busy with their stuff and there isn't one person much less a group that will be there at the front door with a smile to say "welcome", or "So great to see you finally". lol They have all been nice enough and as I said we've met a few drivers that have answered some questions for us but it's just another day to them and that's understandable. We've heard a couple disgruntled stories from trainees who are not liking things after their month on the road with trainers but the majority of the stuff we hear is positive. Drivers that have been here anywhere from 3 months to a few years and have very good things to say about the company. That cerainly makes us breath a little easier about our decision. Anyway, so far it's just been hanging out and waiting for the fun to begin on Monday (tomorrow now). The rooms are nothing to brag about but certainly sufficient. After the first week here you are moved to a hotel for your second week of training, I do know that. I guess they want to make sure your going to be around before springing for the hotel room and I can understand that. I'll update tomorrow after the 1st day of training. Oh, very interesting that Gordon, Knight, CR England and Pride are all right here next to eachother along with Central Refrigerated. Pretty crazy!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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