Is It Possible To Just Jump Into A Truck And Learn Enough To Get A CDL Without School?

Topic 23629 | Page 3

Page 3 of 7 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Brian's Comment
member avatar

The paid cdl program does just that. It affords individuals the opportunity to get their cdl who couldn't otherwise. There is no nothing else to it. The contract is clear and concise. Work for them for a year and you owe nothing. It probably hurts them at times more than it helps them. I can imagine there are folks who flat out quit and ends up taking the company some time to recover that money. Like I've said before I did it with Schneider and had to leave at the 3 month mark. They split the cost with me and it couldn't of went smoother. They still call me ever once in a while. I probably could of afforded it but my thoughts were if I can stick it out for a year it's free??? There was no question.

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.
Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Look at it like this, compare it to a college degree. If you get a degree in a certain field you will probably find a job doing something in your trained field at a comany that requires a degree for their job. You can opt not to go to college and learn all the same stuff a college charges you for in time with someone training you and not have to pay for schooling but without that degree most companies wont hire you. Sure there will be a couple that wont care about the degree but most of your big companies (which usually pay better and have better benifits) will require that degree as proof of your abilities. The same will hold true with regards to CDL training schools, Most companies will require it for the first year if for no other reason, proof of your abilities and their insurance requirements. They want to see that degree. You can obtain your CDL anyway you wish BUT you will learn a lot of things in a school that you will never encounter outside of it (jumping in a truck and online website studies). There will be some smaller companies that wont care how you got your CDL but most will. If I read correctly you will have to pay $3600 and go to community college for 3 months? If you are serious about getting your CDL and wish to pay for your own schooling to avoid contracts might I suggest going on your own to a CDL school and pay them cash for training. It will only be 3-4 weeks if you are good but no more than 6 weeks regardless. You will then be marketable with any company out there although you will still be required to spend 2-6 weeks on the road with a mentor/trainer to learn all the ins and outs of the job requirements. Good luck with your career.

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.
SIlent Bob's Comment
member avatar

I got my cdl after taking 4 2 hour courses at a local driving school and took the road test with them and their truck. Then maybe 1-2 years later I drove over the road for Schneider for a few months before going to a local company. With the 1-2 years in between I drove for my family’s farm taking a 40 foot flatbed to pick up loads of hay and then driving dump trucks for harvest time. When I went to Schneider they asked if I went to a school I said yes and no because I know the schooling I had probably wasn’t up to their par. So they asked me about my driving experience which again wasn’t a lot because my round trips for hay were maybe 100 miles and didn’t do to many of them and dumptrucks were really only up and down the road. I don’t think many of the large carriers are to picky about the 160 hour certification since you wind up doing training through them anyway but you don’t have to pay for their school. Easiest way would be to call but I figured I’d offer my story and experience while I popped in and saw this topic.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Silent Bob wrote:

I don’t think many of the large carriers are to picky about the 160 hour certification since you wind up doing training through them anyway but you don’t have to pay for their school.

Quite the opposite is actually true.

Without the year of commercial experience, the bigs won’t touch a new driver without the 160 hour schooling certificate. Doesn’t matter (usually) where you get it, but you must have it.

Don’t confuse school (160 hrs) with training, two different steps. School teaches just enough to pass the CDL , road training is more like organized on-the-job-training.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Vince (if you're still here and haven't rolled your eyes and said "Pffft!"), It is true the state will issue you a CDL-A if you have the med card and pass their tests. Then you have your "Trucking License".

But the fact of the matter is, the big companies want to be sure you have all the proper training about how to legally and safely have an 18 wheeler. The bare CDL won't get you a job. Even the 160 course won't put you behind the wheel of a big rig of your own.

The Bigs will require you to ride along with an experienced trainer for something like 40k miles or 400 driving hours to be sure you can handle the many dimensions of a trucking job. No shortcuts, Vincent. Do the right thing. Research and choose the company company best for you. Commit to the first year for a few reasons.

If you're still with us next January, you can graduate yourself to "Experienced Trucker".

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.

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.

Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

You guys are right, I need to just quit looking for the easiest way out, make a commitment and do it the right way. Sorry if I've offended anyone, I just wanted to put my concerns out in the open and it turns out you guys are doing a great thing here.

I guess another issue I have with the company sponsored training is the commitment level. None of them seem to offer any night time scheduling that would allow me to hold a job while I train. I mean I'd love to tell my boss "adios" and walk out of here tomorrow, because I'm so burnt out with this dead end job...but at the same time it's kind of terrifying. It's been my only means of income for about 15 years now. What if I go all in on the trucking school and it doesn't work out, or I don't like it? What if I only end up making 35K a year and I'm stuck in a one year contract? My current job would be long gone by then. There'd be no going back to it. I actually hate the idea of waiting around for the night classes to start, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable enough with the idea of throwing this job away and just hoping everything works out. I realize I'm going to have to do that to some extent at some point, but I'd at least get a taste of it first with part time schooling, and I wouldn't be locked into a contract, so if it isn't working out after a month or so I could always just come back to this job.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

There are companies out there who pay fairly decently during training.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

To answer you question, yes regardless how you got the CDL. It's seat time and OJT.

What it comes down to is a 160hr school only teaches you so much. They don't teach how to deal with shippers and receivers or how to drive in adverse weather. Dealing with big city traffic in a down poor is one example.

With that in mind, in that 40k you'll learn so much. Enough that once you go solo you will be pretty much self sufficient.

double-quotes-start.png

At Jim Palmer/Wil-Trans they will bring you on but you'll still do 40k mile before you can solo. 20k C-seat and 10k B2 and 10k B2.

double-quotes-end.png

So the 40k rule- If I attended a 160 hour school, would it be any less, or is it the same 40k rule regardless of how I got my CDL?

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

You guys are right, I need to just quit looking for the easiest way out, make a commitment and do it the right way. Sorry if I've offended anyone, I just wanted to put my concerns out in the open and it turns out you guys are doing a great thing here.

I guess another issue I have with the company sponsored training is the commitment level. None of them seem to offer any night time scheduling that would allow me to hold a job while I train. I mean I'd love to tell my boss "adios" and walk out of here tomorrow, because I'm so burnt out with this dead end job...but at the same time it's kind of terrifying. It's been my only means of income for about 15 years now. What if I go all in on the trucking school and it doesn't work out, or I don't like it? What if I only end up making 35K a year and I'm stuck in a one year contract? My current job would be long gone by then. There'd be no going back to it. I actually hate the idea of waiting around for the night classes to start, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable enough with the idea of throwing this job away and just hoping everything works out. I realize I'm going to have to do that to some extent at some point, but I'd at least get a taste of it first with part time schooling, and I wouldn't be locked into a contract, so if it isn't working out after a month or so I could always just come back to this job.

Vincent you seem to contradict yourself. We have all been faced with the same exact prospect you have presented.

What if? ...What if? ...What if?

Trucking isn’t the kind of thing you can hope to understand or succeed at by dipping your toe in the water. You must commit and do so with a “never look back” attitude. No matter what level of conservative, low risk approach you take, you have less than a 10% chance of long term success.

So “what if” I suggested your chances of success are doubled by things that require no skill...

Stubborn Determination

Uncompromising Commitment

Preparation

A Consistent Positive Attitude

And Patience

Patience in accepting that because you must continue generating an income while going to trucking school, you must wait for your night classes to begin. Based on everything you have written it’s currently your best option.

Commit to your plan, prepare for your success, maintain a positive attitude that you can do this and carry out your goal with dogged determination. Never looking back...

Good luck!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

You guys are right, I need to just quit looking for the easiest way out, make a commitment and do it the right way. Sorry if I've offended anyone, I just wanted to put my concerns out in the open and it turns out you guys are doing a great thing here.

I guess another issue I have with the company sponsored training is the commitment level. None of them seem to offer any night time scheduling that would allow me to hold a job while I train. I mean I'd love to tell my boss "adios" and walk out of here tomorrow, because I'm so burnt out with this dead end job...but at the same time it's kind of terrifying. It's been my only means of income for about 15 years now. What if I go all in on the trucking school and it doesn't work out, or I don't like it? What if I only end up making 35K a year and I'm stuck in a one year contract? My current job would be long gone by then. There'd be no going back to it. I actually hate the idea of waiting around for the night classes to start, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable enough with the idea of throwing this job away and just hoping everything works out. I realize I'm going to have to do that to some extent at some point, but I'd at least get a taste of it first with part time schooling, and I wouldn't be locked into a contract, so if it isn't working out after a month or so I could always just come back to this job.

double-quotes-end.png

Vincent you seem to contradict yourself. We have all been faced with the same exact prospect you have presented.

What if? ...What if? ...What if?

Trucking isn’t the kind of thing you can hope to understand or succeed at by dipping your toe in the water. You must commit and do so with a “never look back” attitude. No matter what level of conservative, low risk approach you take, you have less than a 10% chance of long term success.

So “what if” I suggested your chances of success are doubled by things that require no skill...

Stubborn Determination

Uncompromising Commitment

Preparation

A Consistent Positive Attitude

And Patience

Patience in accepting that because you must continue generating an income while going to trucking school, you must wait for your night classes to begin. Based on everything you have written it’s currently your best option.

Commit to your plan, prepare for your success, maintain a positive attitude that you can do this and carry out your goal with dogged determination. Never looking back...

Good luck!

Thanks a lot G-town. This really is an awesome site and I currently owe 100% of the fact that I got my CLP so quickly to the site and it's members. You're probably right about the night schooling being best and I'll just have to wait on it. Schneider is a company I'm strongly considering as they have local training and I do want to drive a tanker here in Houston, TX. Since they don't have their own sponsored school, I'd need to attend one of their approved schools, which the night classes I am looking at happen to be one of those.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Page 3 of 7 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More