Specific Newbie Questions

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Albert L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

I didn't want to clutter up the forum with multiple topics or bump threads, so I thought it would be wise to consolidate my questions here. If this is not customary, please let me know so it does not repeat. I have been reading the website and it is a lot of information to take in, so I beg your pardon if the questions are answered elsewhere.

I appreciate your help with these matters and look forward to contributing to your forum should this business be a fit.

0 - Background

32, self-employed, dropped out of university (electrical engineering). No DUIs, no felonies.

1 - Training

I have enough savings to pay for my own CDL at a community college nearby. While I understand that a company investing in someone creates a more advantageous dynamic, it is still a cost that is being recouped somehow, likely monetarily, and might be the equivalent of a high-interest loan.

In the current environment, would free agency be likely to make more money or to find a more preferential arrangement?

2 - Company Selection

I bring some advantages to the table. No family or permanent residence that requires visitation, confirmed bachelor, no roots to speak of. I have no qualms about driving on holidays. Is this flexibility scarce enough to be a bargaining chip, or is it common enough that I shouldn't bring it up?

Ideally, I would like to be local to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or the Dakotas. I would be willing to take lower pay to avoid spending nights in California, Illinois, and the North-East.

3 - Question Related to Medical Examination Report On form 649-F, section 2, I would have to answer "Yes" to the box marked "Nervous or psychiatric disorders." As a minor, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (now Autism Spectrum Disorder) and depression for which I sought help in to my 20s and there are records of this. I do not think that they are "likely to interfere with [my] ability to drive a commercial vehicle safely" (49 CFR 391.41 item 9) as evidenced by my driving record. I have not taken any psychoactive medication in 8 years, and I have driven for 14 years without a reportable accident.

I am confident that I would be diagnosed with both if I were to be re-evaluated. What would you suggest doing to make sure this is not an issue? Would a note from a psychologist be sufficient, or would someone more specialised need to make the evaluation?

4 - Driving History The only thing on my record that has the possibility of being an issue is running a crosswalk light two years ago when trying to goose the "yellow". While I maintain that I had the light, I do not run yellow lights any more out of an abundance of caution. The ticket was plead down to a faulty equipment violation (0 insurance points, non-moving violation).

Is this something I should get expunged, or is it not an issue given the plea bargain?

5 - Drug Test

I partook legally in Colorado in February and have not partook since. I am bald and can shave off the goatee if necessary.

Is this going to be an issue for hair follicle tests? Is there a chance to take the same drug test that the DoT administers before taking CDL classes, and if it comes up positive, be able to re-take it?

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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.

K L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

I didn't want to clutter up the forum with multiple topics or bump threads, so I thought it would be wise to consolidate my questions here. If this is not customary, please let me know so it does not repeat. I have been reading the website and it is a lot of information to take in, so I beg your pardon if the questions are answered elsewhere.

I appreciate your help with these matters and look forward to contributing to your forum should this business be a fit.

0 - Background

32, self-employed, dropped out of university (electrical engineering). No DUIs, no felonies.

1 - Training

I have enough savings to pay for my own CDL at a community college nearby. While I understand that a company investing in someone creates a more advantageous dynamic, it is still a cost that is being recouped somehow, likely monetarily, and might be the equivalent of a high-interest loan.

In the current environment, would free agency be likely to make more money or to find a more preferential arrangement?

2 - Company Selection

I bring some advantages to the table. No family or permanent residence that requires visitation, confirmed bachelor, no roots to speak of. I have no qualms about driving on holidays. Is this flexibility scarce enough to be a bargaining chip, or is it common enough that I shouldn't bring it up?

Ideally, I would like to be local to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or the Dakotas. I would be willing to take lower pay to avoid spending nights in California, Illinois, and the North-East.

3 - Question Related to Medical Examination Report On form 649-F, section 2, I would have to answer "Yes" to the box marked "Nervous or psychiatric disorders." As a minor, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (now Autism Spectrum Disorder) and depression for which I sought help in to my 20s and there are records of this. I do not think that they are "likely to interfere with [my] ability to drive a commercial vehicle safely" (49 CFR 391.41 item 9) as evidenced by my driving record. I have not taken any psychoactive medication in 8 years, and I have driven for 14 years without a reportable accident.

I am confident that I would be diagnosed with both if I were to be re-evaluated. What would you suggest doing to make sure this is not an issue? Would a note from a psychologist be sufficient, or would someone more specialised need to make the evaluation?

4 - Driving History The only thing on my record that has the possibility of being an issue is running a crosswalk light two years ago when trying to goose the "yellow". While I maintain that I had the light, I do not run yellow lights any more out of an abundance of caution. The ticket was plead down to a faulty equipment violation (0 insurance points, non-moving violation).

Is this something I should get expunged, or is it not an issue given the plea bargain?

5 - Drug Test

I partook legally in Colorado in February and have not partook since. I am bald and can shave off the goatee if necessary.

Is this going to be an issue for hair follicle tests? Is there a chance to take the same drug test that the DoT administers before taking CDL classes, and if it comes up positive, be able to re-take it?

For three it will depend on the dr but either way you will NEED a form from therapist saying ur good to drive.

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

1 put your money can in savings or stash it for a rainy day

2. The only thing an unproven inexperienced driver will bring to the table is RISK. Don't kid yourself like that. Sure there's a shortage of QUALIFIED DRIVER'S and you're not qualified. You'll start at the bottom, prove yourself and work your way up.

3. Only a Certified Medical Examiner can answer that.

4. Sounds like your driving record is decent. Congratulations. Keep it that way.

5. Completely removing all body hair would be a FAIL. I wouldn't recommend that path. The jury is still out on how far those tests can go back. Depends on the company. Regadless of legality in ANY state, the feds will never allow marijuana use for commercial drivers. I'd make certain you can pass a follicle test.. be clean a year to take no chances.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings and welcome to the forum!

1. Lots of personal choice there. And while people may give you advice, nobody is gonna do that homework for ya.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both private and company-sponsored training. Personally, I wouldn't suggest the community college route unless their course (and focus) is very specific.

Sometimes colleges and tech schools have to maintain a certain curriculum to maintain their accreditations, etc., so a course can take longer than necessary or have more stuff than necessary. Again, that will depend on the school and on personal choice.

I think you will find company-sponsored training is the most suggested around here. And i dont think the "cost" is going to be quite what you think it is.

For example, in my case, my company paid for my training in exchange for me agreeing to work for them for ten months.

To some that seems like being obligated to something. To me it seemed like a guaranteed job and ten months of extended training out over-the-road.

Many company-sponsored training programs are similar. And it seems like a great bargain to me. Very focused training, a guaranteed job, and no debt for school. And, hey, they took a huge chance on me...

Around 50% of the people that started in my huge training class did not even finish training. And for those of us that did, probably less than 50% of us will finish out a year in this industry.

For all the time and money they spend on hiring and training, I'd say they take a bigger gamble than we do. But in the end, only you can make the decision. On what is best for you.

Now, about that homework...

2. See 1.

3. See post above mine.

4. We don't want your kind here!

Just kidding. That doesn't sound like it will be a huge problem, if any problem at all. The biggest thing there is honesty if asked about it (in person or in writing.)

The company I trained with kicked quite a few people from the training program simply because we were asked to disclose traffic violations, etc., and they did not.

Things as simple as running red lights or a speeding ticket from three years back. It wasn't the offense, but rather our company has a zero-tolerance policy about failing to disclose.

I think the traffic issue will be a company specific thing, so nobody here can tell you for certain. But my opinion says probably not a big deal, as long as you disclose it.

5. Damn hippies!

Okay, seriously, if it was back in February and you haven't done anything since, you should be fine. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure on this one, too. Just not sure I'd go around announcing it to potential employers.

-

I'm still pretty new to all of this myself. So take my thoughts with a grain of salt. But I hope I least gave you some things to consider.

Best of luck and hope to see ya around here more!

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

And Susan beats me to it because I talk (type) too damn much!
rofl-3.gif

Albert L.'s Comment
member avatar

Is that done on form 649-F, another form, or is there a template that I can print out and have the psychologist sign? I want to make sure that these things are in order.

double-quotes-start.png

Hello,

I didn't want to clutter up the forum with multiple topics or bump threads, so I thought it would be wise to consolidate my questions here. If this is not customary, please let me know so it does not repeat. I have been reading the website and it is a lot of information to take in, so I beg your pardon if the questions are answered elsewhere.

I appreciate your help with these matters and look forward to contributing to your forum should this business be a fit.

0 - Background

32, self-employed, dropped out of university (electrical engineering). No DUIs, no felonies.

1 - Training

I have enough savings to pay for my own CDL at a community college nearby. While I understand that a company investing in someone creates a more advantageous dynamic, it is still a cost that is being recouped somehow, likely monetarily, and might be the equivalent of a high-interest loan.

In the current environment, would free agency be likely to make more money or to find a more preferential arrangement?

2 - Company Selection

I bring some advantages to the table. No family or permanent residence that requires visitation, confirmed bachelor, no roots to speak of. I have no qualms about driving on holidays. Is this flexibility scarce enough to be a bargaining chip, or is it common enough that I shouldn't bring it up?

Ideally, I would like to be local to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or the Dakotas. I would be willing to take lower pay to avoid spending nights in California, Illinois, and the North-East.

3 - Question Related to Medical Examination Report On form 649-F, section 2, I would have to answer "Yes" to the box marked "Nervous or psychiatric disorders." As a minor, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (now Autism Spectrum Disorder) and depression for which I sought help in to my 20s and there are records of this. I do not think that they are "likely to interfere with [my] ability to drive a commercial vehicle safely" (49 CFR 391.41 item 9) as evidenced by my driving record. I have not taken any psychoactive medication in 8 years, and I have driven for 14 years without a reportable accident.

I am confident that I would be diagnosed with both if I were to be re-evaluated. What would you suggest doing to make sure this is not an issue? Would a note from a psychologist be sufficient, or would someone more specialised need to make the evaluation?

4 - Driving History The only thing on my record that has the possibility of being an issue is running a crosswalk light two years ago when trying to goose the "yellow". While I maintain that I had the light, I do not run yellow lights any more out of an abundance of caution. The ticket was plead down to a faulty equipment violation (0 insurance points, non-moving violation).

Is this something I should get expunged, or is it not an issue given the plea bargain?

5 - Drug Test

I partook legally in Colorado in February and have not partook since. I am bald and can shave off the goatee if necessary.

Is this going to be an issue for hair follicle tests? Is there a chance to take the same drug test that the DoT administers before taking CDL classes, and if it comes up positive, be able to re-take it?

double-quotes-end.png

For three it will depend on the dr but either way you will NEED a form from therapist saying ur good to drive.

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Albert

I would think number 5 could be the biggest issue. I agree with the advice from Susan. You probably don't know the strength of the plants and all that. I have legally out processed a lot of people for Marijuana in the military, and how quickly it leaves your system depends on a lot of things to include science, body make up, fat storage and all that. A few years back I had the privilege to talk to a military testing facility, and they basically described it to me like this.

Say you smoke week in late February and your level of illegal substance is 1500 nanograms, which would be a high reading. Well how it has been explained is that every 30 days (give or take) that number get cut in half if you haven't smoke again. If someone is a casual smoker, meaning regularly, that monthly drop 50% will actually be much lower and take longer to come out of your system.

Best bet, if you are concerned, then wait until you are more certain.

Taunja A.'s Comment
member avatar

I have done my research on the last one. If you only did it and February and you are not a regular smoker. You will be fine. Most companies only go back 90 days and considering that was in February your looking at around 6 months from the last time you smoked. I personally had a similar problem a few years and I got surprised with a test and passed. I smoked in February my birthday and got tested in August. So from my research and my experience you will be perfectly fine.

Kate K2's Comment
member avatar

Albert L asked:

5 - Drug Test

I partook legally in Colorado in February and have not partook since. I am bald and can shave off the goatee if necessary.

Is this going to be an issue for hair follicle tests? Is there a chance to take the same drug test that the DoT administers before taking CDL classes, and if it comes up positive, be able to re-take it?

Most hair follicle tests will test 1.5 inches of hair, which usually goes back approximately 90 days. You must have at least 1.5" of hair somewhere (anywhere) on your body in order for them to do a follicle test. Companies who require this test will consider it equivalent to a fail if you have shaved everywhere.

If you bought it legally in Colorado, you may have some idea of the THC content. Knowing the THC content of what you "partook in" is as important as remembering how much you smoked and how long ago.

As others have said, your own metabolism can make the THC clear from your system faster or slower. A heavy user will keep a detectable amount in their system for longer. The issue of the strength of the marijuana is this - Marijuana can range in THC content by a wide margin. Smoking one "serving" of 30% THC marijuana is the same as smoking six servings of 5% THC. Do that only three times in one week and you've just had the equivalent of 18 "servings" of 5% - which would be considered quite heavy usage. So, your use may go from being considered "light" to moderate or heavy when the THC content is taken into consideration and the higher the usage rating, the longer it stays in your system. I have heard of heavy users testing positive on a hair test well after 90 days.

Not that I would have any first-hand knowledge of this of course... smile.gif

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Albert L.'s Comment
member avatar

I neglected to mention in Part 0 that at 32, I've never had any formal employment. I have always worked informally (self or otherwise) or been in university part-time and have never filed for income taxes. Depending on your interpretation, this could be the mother of all résumé gaps. Would this change your assessments?

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