Anyone Pay For CDL To Get Local/regional Job?

Topic 23164 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
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Amish country's Comment
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I paid for my cdl and went local. Area is a huge factor in finding a job like this. Everything else that was said is spot on. My typical day I leave the house around 2-3 am and get home between 5 and 6 PM, in bed around 8:30. Enough time to have dinner, spend a couple hours with the family and get 4-5 hours of sleep.

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.
David John's Comment
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I believe a lot will depend on your location.

I am not planning on staying local as I believe much that has been said in previous posts. I do have an interest in being home multiple times a week (nightly?) however and have had my antenna twitch when presented with these opportunities. Perhaps I will consider local in future.

It might pay to talk with the truck driver training school in your area. Many here will (correctly) tell you that the school will tell you anything to get you to train with them. This is a possibility. However, you may be able to look at a “hiring board” and see announcements from hiring companies. You could take a list of names and check out the companies and their posted hiring positions on-line. The better driver training schools will be able to back up what they tell you with data. These 5 companies XYZ, ABC, ... are hiring new CDL drivers directly out of school. AND ... We had ## students from our school hired into each of the companies in the past 6 months/1 year.

While at this school I learned of a number of companies that this school trains drivers for...
In this case the company itself would hire NON-CDL individuals and hire the truck driver training school to train them to be drivers. In Phoenix there were a few, but the big one at the time was CalPortland a concrete delivery (and other construction related products) company.

There are a number of local dairy and foods related companies who hire product delivery drivers and then offer the opportunity to transition into CDL-A after the first year.

One fuel tanker company, Coastal, was also open to hiring (and did hire) students directly from one of their approved CDL schools. (I believe folks on this site would strongly recommend against tanker and especially HAZMAT tanker in the first year. I am inclined to agree. But Coastal is doing this. You can find information on Coastal’s website.)

I am also aware of some “pseudo-local” positions that are available at present. One national carrier had a route Phoenix-San Diego, daily. The truck would drive back and forth. The driver would be away from home every other night and then home weekends.

I am also aware of the fact that a number of national carriers are looking to fill driving positions in the “Dollar” store area. Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. These positions were described as home nightly, or nearly so. The discussion among students and instructors lead me to believe this would be an easier load/unload situation but one in which many stops would be involved and each stop would very likely present very unique arrival and parking challenges.

I think with research you’ll find local opportunities that might work. But take care in considering if this is the time to begin.

I believe Old School’s and Rainy’s pictures to be real and realistic and something to consider seriously when understanding how these challenges will play out at present.

I hear that the first year in this industry is the hardest. So much to learn. Drinking from the fire hose. And just a process where we are developing our endurance, creativity and patience.

Taking on this incredible new challenge may not be a problem for you.
But taking it on at this moment, with other life challenges, compound the difficulties you will face and may make it harder.

Best Wishes!

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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I believe Old School’s and Rainy’s pictures to be real and realistic and something to consider seriously when understanding how these challenges will play out at present.

If that is true, then PLEASE do not start your career on a Dollar Store account! Those jobs are brutal on rookies, and the reason they are willing to put rookies in those positions is because they can't keep experienced drivers doing that.

Put "dollar store" in our search bar at the top of this page. You'll find plenty of discussion on this.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
David John's Comment
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Thankfully, recommendation taken on this, without previously having all of the information. During discussion in school it was understood this was a hard account. It was not understood to be as hard as described here. Given the opportunity I would (more than I did) encourage my class mates to read things said on this site.
As a rookie OTR driver (to be), given what I have read, I will likely choose to take heat from the dispatcher rather than agree to one of these runs. Yikes.

Following the additional reading Old School suggested, regarding the Dollar Store accounts, and finding input from many of the experienced drivers who contribute on this site ... two Rookie Solo Driver’s summed things up rather well.

“I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FOR NEW DRIVERS.
YOU WILL EITHER HIT SOMETHING
OR QUIT AND HAVE TO LOOK FOR ANOTHER JOB.”
— Steven

“And the CONSENSUS is ..........
drum roll please ..............
don't walk away from this opportunity ..........
RUN FOR YOU LIFE!!!”
— Tractor Man

One such thread...

Dollar Store Accounts are incredibly hard, especially without experience

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.

Dispatcher:

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

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.

G-Town's Comment
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David; to be perfectly blunt and clear; Dollar Store Dedicated accounts can be career ending.

Very high risk of accidents maneuvering in ridiculously tight spots; blind-side backing off public streets etc. NOT recommended for novice drivers.

Like Tractor Man once said, run!

Brian's Comment
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Did Schneider Dollar Tree right out of school. Luckily for me I had an experienced Driver manager that sent me to stores in far Southeastern Indiana, and Ohio to start so eased me into before I had runs into places like Chicago and Indianapolis. It wasn't so much the driving or the labor for me. It was spending hours and hours at one store. It would sometimes take as much as 6 to 8 hours for one store to unload you depending on how many boxes they were getting and how many employees were working. That's what always killed me. Stores were never prepared. You would pull up to a store who were set to receive 3000 boxes with two employees there to do it, who still had to clear room from the last delivery. A reason why most dedicated accounts what you to have experience where as Dollar Tree you didn't.

Driver Manager:

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.
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