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

Topic 23629 | Page 6

Page 6 of 7 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Glad to hear you have another option that you feel may work for you.

I'm still interested in eventually transferring to that tanker job. How would that work as far as verifiable driving experience? Do I just keep copies of all of my driving logs?

One issue you still may run into is the lack of schooling/certificate if you're basically a fill in driver. Also unless the tanker job is local, many of the large OTR companies dont consider local driving to be experience. Some job postings for experience list "OTR experience", while others are only looking for "tractor trailer experience". I'm not sure how your company operates but where im at we use peoplenet for our ELOGS and it tracks mileage on a daily basis and submits that to our office for verification purposes. Being a fill in driver i think would make learning and getting in the groove a little more difficult, similiar reason many feel weekend school isnt a good option.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

Glad to hear you have another option that you feel may work for you.

double-quotes-start.png

I'm still interested in eventually transferring to that tanker job. How would that work as far as verifiable driving experience? Do I just keep copies of all of my driving logs?

double-quotes-end.png

One issue you still may run into is the lack of schooling/certificate if you're basically a fill in driver. Also unless the tanker job is local, many of the large OTR companies dont consider local driving to be experience. Some job postings for experience list "OTR experience", while others are only looking for "tractor trailer experience". I'm not sure how your company operates but where im at we use peoplenet for our ELOGS and it tracks mileage on a daily basis and submits that to our office for verification purposes. Being a fill in driver i think would make learning and getting in the groove a little more difficult, similiar reason many feel weekend school isnt a good option.

Hmm...that complicates things a bit. I'm actually not all that interested in driving OTR. I'd be more interested in the postings I see where they say you are home every weekend, sometimes every other weekend. I guess those are usually "regional"? I'm thinking that since I live in Houston, TX, I could probably find something like that driving a tanker, but then again maybe not. I'm pretty sure our company uses the ELOGS. There's a computer on the dash(looks kind of silly on the 1980's ford I've been practicing in) and the drivers also carry around this thing that looks like a tablet...

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Is there a certain number of miles they normally look for to consider you "experienced"? I've read some things that say there's like a 3 month, 6 month and one year mark as far as different levels of experience go, but I assume that applies to OTR driving? I'm estimating that it would take me 3-6 months to rack up 160 hours of actual time behind the wheel. Probably closer to 3. It just depends on the time of year, and we are coming into the slow season... I think if I were to stay for a whole year, I could probably log 750-1000 hours easy.

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.

Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll get some more details on how we log hours/miles as I talk some more and report back with that, along with my progress.

I got about another hour in this morning. I hooked up a trailer, pulled it around the building and then backed it into a dock. I was able to get it pretty close, but the dock foreman ended up lining up the last bit for me, because I kept getting it just a foot or two off center. I think I'm also going to hook up my small trailer to my car and practice backing. That's the area I feel I am going to need the most work in.

I'm about to head outside to hook up another trailer and back that in.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

Just remember that a car and trailer will react very quickly compared to a tractor and 53' trailer. There is even a very noticeable difference in reaction to the tandems being sucked all the way up and slid all the way back.

I'll get some more details on how we log hours/miles as I talk some more and report back with that, along with my progress.

I got about another hour in this morning. I hooked up a trailer, pulled it around the building and then backed it into a dock. I was able to get it pretty close, but the dock foreman ended up lining up the last bit for me, because I kept getting it just a foot or two off center. I think I'm also going to hook up my small trailer to my car and practice backing. That's the area I feel I am going to need the most work in.

I'm about to head outside to hook up another trailer and back that in.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

Just remember that a car and trailer will react very quickly compared to a tractor and 53' trailer. There is even a very noticeable difference in reaction to the tandems being sucked all the way up and slid all the way back.

double-quotes-end.png

I guess my thought process is that the quicker reaction time of the smaller trailer will help me learn the concept more quickly(and will save my left leg some soreness!)

I liken it to how I learned to sail a boat. You learn a lot better on the small dingy's, because any input gets immediate feedback. When you take the same concepts to a big cabin sail boat, sailing the bigger boat is a piece of cake, because the reaction time is a lot slower and you have more time to make adjustments.

On that note, I was able to get the trailer lined up at the dock all by myself this time! Man this is exciting!

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I think I'm also going to hook up my small trailer to my car and practice backing.

I wouldn't do that. It's not going to help and will almost certainly confuse things. The timing, reaction speed, visual feedback, and wheel input is vastly different. It's like driving around fast in a pickup truck hoping to get some practice in for your upcoming NASCAR race. The feedback you get from using your car and a small trailer simply isn't going to transfer to the big rig.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

The most common mistake that new drivers make while learning to back is oversteering and not waiting long enough for the trailer to react to your steering inputs. If you practice on a small trailer that reacts quickly requiring large movements of the steering wheel you're probably going to exacerbate the oversteering tendency of a new driver.

Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

The most common mistake that new drivers make while learning to back is oversteering and not waiting long enough for the trailer to react to your steering inputs. If you practice on a small trailer that reacts quickly requiring large movements of the steering wheel you're probably going to exacerbate the oversteering tendency of a new driver.

Thanks Brett, I'll just double down and try to get as much time in the truck as possible in that case. It looks like I'll have the opportunity to practice back just about every day. I'm going to look up some YouTube videos on backing techniques this morning, before I go out again.

BTW I really appreciate what you are doing with this site. You could definitely be charging money for your High Road program if you wanted to. As a fellow web developer and prospective truck driver, I have a lot of respect for you.

USMC AAV's Comment
member avatar

It is possible, but not in the way you might think.

Many local distribution companies (like beer delivery) will hire drivers without a CDL. They train you and pay for the CDL , BUT there is a catch. You must complete a year of service with that company. If you quit before your required amount of time, you will get fined and or sued. A friend of mine did that in Raleigh North Carolina. He did the CDL training with a company and was required to compete one year with them. He fulfilled his obligation and has been with that company for three years now. He knew a guy that did the same thing with him and then quit 2 months after he got the CDL. He was fine $3500 dollars and had to pay the company back. The company took him to court and he lost big time. The situations are becoming more rare though but some companies still do that.

Some major carriers also do it as well, but all have the same obligation of required driving

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.
Page 6 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