Born To Do This? Need Advice

Topic 23078 | Page 1

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Dave's Comment
member avatar

I'm a 29 year old male considering this industry. I've spent a lot of my life behind the wheel of my car and lived out of my car way more times than I'd like to admit. I love it. I'd like to do these things as a career. How can I do this? What things could put me out of the running before I even get started?

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.
Jamie's Comment
member avatar

High Road CDL Training ProgramPaid CDL Training Programs

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
How can I do this?

The first requirement is to obtain your CDL by going through a truck driving school program. The most important thing you will receive from school is a training certificate. That certificate is necessary to land your first job as an inexperienced truck driver.

We strongly suggest going through a Paid CDL Training Program. They typically pay your transportation to their facility, put you in a hotel, and feed you while you're there. In return you sign a commitment to work for them for a specified time period - typically one year.

What things could put me out of the running before I even get started?

A poor work history, or lacking a work history.

A past felony.

A failed drug test while engaged in their program.

Failing the physical.

A poor driving record (tickets).

A poor criminal background, and/or lying on your application.

These are the typical things we see that knock people out of this at the very start.

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.
Dave's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Jamie for the resources! I'll definitely check them out! Thanks Old School for the advice! My two concerns from what you have listed are the physical and my driving record. I've been diagnosed Bipolar. Will that hinder me from getting a job? How clean must your driving record be? I know mine isn't the best but I don't think it's too bad either. I saw suggestions that I should pull my MRV and give it a look before I pursue this any further.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I've been diagnosed Bipolar. Will that hinder me from getting a job?

The diagnosis certainly won't hinder you, but we've seen some cases where trucking companies deny a person because of certain medications they take. That's usually fairly easy to get around by having your physician change your prescriptions to something that works for you and is agreeable with the employer. Or sometimes just a simple letter from your physician stating that your medications will not hinder you while driving is acceptable. We usually advise people to have that letter with them prior to starting orientation. You'll be required to declare all your medications on a federal form before the drug test. It's critical that you are honest on that form.

As far as the driving record goes, you can imagine how important that is - you're going to be driving an eighty thousand pound monstrosity that can do some serious collateral damage in an accident. When you fill out applications they will ask for your driving history, so you will need to get a copy of it so you can accurately answer those questions. They may ask, "Do you have any speeding tickets in the last three years?" In that case you give them an accurate answer including the dates. If you had one from five years ago you don't need to list that one. Always answer the questions accurately without giving additional information they don't specifically ask for.

A recent speeding ticket for fifteen miles over the limit may be a disqualifying issue. Something like that, or reckless driving, will probably need to be more than three years old.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks so much for the info Old School! That's good news and bad news I think. I pulled my MVR and I have a ticket for 49/30 and failure to show proof of insurance from a little over two years ago. Is this a deal breaker? Do I need to wait a year before applying to paid cdl training programs?

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dave wrote:

Thanks so much for the info Old School! That's good news and bad news I think. I pulled my MVR and I have a ticket for 49/30 and failure to show proof of insurance from a little over two years ago. Is this a deal breaker? Do I need to wait a year before applying to paid cdl training programs?

The tickets will definitely be a detriment. Still doesn’t hurt to start calling recruiters and Apply For Paid CDL Training. Focus on protecting your license and drive using prudent judgement.

One other thing; do some additional research on the Bi-Polar question. There is specific professional guidance found in this link Psychiatric Conditions and Trucking that is likely part of the vetting process for all of the major carriers.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

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