I Have My CDL Permit. Does This Give Me A Leg Up At A Company CDL School

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Steve R.'s Comment
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So I paid for my medical and all other associated expenses to obtain my CDL permit. The nationwide company that I am scheduled to train and work for still requires me to go to the classes for people still needing to get their permit. This is a red flag for me because I am seeing right out of the gate that I am just a number and they are not oriented to the person. I am retired and looking at a second career in OTR trucking because it suits my personality. I love to travel, I have worked away from home all my life and I enjoy working alone. I am positive and looking forward to OTR trucking. I do know my limitations, one being that going out on the road with a mentor and sleeping in the cab with another person will be a challenge for me. I am a light sleeper, I do need to use the bathroom a bit more due to my age. This would be a disturbance to the other person. Is it imperative to be mentored on overnight trips? Back to the first part of this, is it reasonable to expect the CDL training school to exempt me from going to their CDL permit classes for something I took the initiative to achieve on my own?

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.

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.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

A guy I went to school with had his permit before coming to the school he was also going to Schneider (the company I work for), he got to skip class work and started doing his backing skills the first day while the rest of us had to do classroom work. Not sure how yours is being handled because Schneider doesn't offer CDL training anymore they can sponsor you to attend a school they're partnered with and go from there.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Some require you to have your permit, and no, it doesn't give you a leg up.

Suck it up and just do it. I have the same sleep and bathroom issues, and same answer, we will have to suck it up. :)

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Steve...I think before attempting to address your concerns, read the following two links to establish more realistic expectations:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Some require you to have your permit, and no, it doesn't give you a leg up.

Suck it up and just do it. I have the same sleep and bathroom issues, and same answer, we will have to suck it up. :)

I don't understand why so many people dislike the idea of being on a truck with a trainer for a few weeks. I mean it's only a few weeks before you're out on your own or teaming if that's what you're doing. If you can't put up with that, I don't know how you'll handle some of the things on the road! Not you or OP specifically but just people in general.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Some require you to have your permit, and no, it doesn't give you a leg up.

Suck it up and just do it. I have the same sleep and bathroom issues, and same answer, we will have to suck it up. :)

double-quotes-end.png

I don't understand why so many people dislike the idea of being on a truck with a trainer for a few weeks. I mean it's only a few weeks before you're out on your own or teaming if that's what you're doing. If you can't put up with that, I don't know how you'll handle some of the things on the road! Not you or OP specifically but just people in general.

I didn’t mean I had a problem riding with a trainer, just that I sleep lightly and have to pee a lot. He will hate me before long, but there isn’t much I can do about it.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Some require you to have your permit, and no, it doesn't give you a leg up.

Suck it up and just do it. I have the same sleep and bathroom issues, and same answer, we will have to suck it up. :)

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

I don't understand why so many people dislike the idea of being on a truck with a trainer for a few weeks. I mean it's only a few weeks before you're out on your own or teaming if that's what you're doing. If you can't put up with that, I don't know how you'll handle some of the things on the road! Not you or OP specifically but just people in general.

double-quotes-end.png

I didn’t mean I had a problem riding with a trainer, just that I sleep lightly and have to pee a lot. He will hate me before long, but there isn’t much I can do about it.

Oh no, I didn't mean you had a problem with it. I was referring to "you" as in general, as anyone who has a problem with it. :o

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Trainers and truckers in general are used to inconsistent sleep. id rather hear my student go outside to use the restroom than him pee on the top bunk and have it dripping all over me in the bottom bunk.

Hi Steve and welcome. No it does not give you a leg up, it is not a red flag of a bad company, and you would take the exact same classes even if you came into the company with a CDL.

Companies do not teach the written test, they expect you to study on your own. The classes are generally, company policy, safe driving, pre trip, and SIM classes. everyone takes them. Even your DOT card was a waste of time and money because every company can set their own standards for the physical, DOT is just a minimum. You can be rejected by a company for certain medications and go to another company that accepts them. Sorry. My orientation was a week long. I got my permit the second day (Tues) and was out one on one with a trainer on Saturday.

As for training and especially team training...it is hard but temporary. And YES overnight one on one training is necessary.

Check out this article I wrote Team Training: Fears & Misunderstanding

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.

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

Going out with a trainer is something everyone seems to overhype and assume the worst about, myself included. While it wasn’t the greatest experience I’ve ever had, it was something that had to be done to get where I wanted. Looking back, it was nice to have that safety net, extra set of eyes, and wealth of experience-I literally knew nothing about life on the road.

I’m more concerned about the original poster’s line about being mentored on overnight trips, not sure he knows that otr training means the trips last for weeks, there are no day trips.

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.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar
id rather hear my student go outside to use the restroom than him pee on the top bunk and have it dripping all over me in the bottom bunk.

rofl-1.gifrofl-1.gif

That would be a terrible way to wake up and I'm sure it'll be a quick way for the student to get kicked off your truck and probably out of the company!

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