Status Updates! Fed. Med. / Testing / Graduation / Likely New Gig!

Topic 23992 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Busy time here! Just thought I share what's going on.

My Endocrinologist signed the new insulin diabetes form for me. I took that to my medical examiner and received a new DOT physical. I now have a one year Fed. Med. card! The only restriction on it is I am required to wear eye glasses!

(I apologize in advance for the run on "sentence")...

We have a day of class Saturday which I believe will consist of backing practice in our test truck, a few laps around the track (as our test truck got dropped on us suddenly and as a newer Pete the shift gates / gear positions are really tight and all three of us were a bit rough (after 2 weeks off) in her last Sunday), and a written test.

Sunday @ 11:30 is my CDL test.

Graduation (from my technical college program) is December 19th.

It looks like I am in near-final talks with J.B. Hunt for the Amazon Regional account out of Kenosha, WI. I have a few things to confirm and one item I may need to try to negotiate, but we seem to be past all the checks and verifications. We are pretty much down to "start dates" (I am thinking January 7th or 14th may make sense). I am still talking to others... even applied to a couple more today... but I think I have found my new home.

The way this will work is all the paperwork will be done in advance. I show up on day one as a J. B. Hunt employee, and go out with my trainer.

This is starting to get real!

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.

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.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Marc, I talked to Hunt and they said they don't take anyone with less than 3 months experience. This is JB Hunt, is it not? Anyway, I'm from Madison so good luck to another Cheesehead!

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Marc, I talked to Hunt and they said they don't take anyone with less than 3 months experience. This is JB Hunt, is it not? Anyway, I'm from Madison so good luck to another Cheesehead!

It is. I understand there are many reasons why company-sponsored training can be a wonderful thing. As with most things in life... there are advantages and disadvantages to everything.

One of the many advantages I believe which are a direct result of the program I chose is that many companies will waive such minimum experience requirements, at least for certain accounts and account types for graduates of our program.

I have talked to a number of firms who were willing to consider me without their minimum level of experience. One recruiter (after talking with me) said he liked my attitude and my approach. I think referring to getting my CDL as getting my "license to learn" struck a particular chord! When I mentioned it to the daughter / recruiter of the owner of a small firm she said "Al (her Dad) is always saying that!"

Haven't heard from them lately... did apply formally. Anyway... the place mentioned at the start of the preceding paragraph "requires" 2 -years OTR! He said he went to his boss, his bosses boss and the owner and it seemed like he had approval to hire me (subject to the whole process, of course).

I understand insurance companies control much of this. I believe 160 hours of training is considered a minimum... even though at the moment ( I believe it changes in 2020) formal classroom and road training is not "required" to get a CDL - just the ability to pass the tests. The daughter / recruiter added that their insurance company loves our program. They have a video of one of our former students on their web site... hired right out of class. Owner of another firm here helped start the program and sits on the Board. These things do seem to matter! They are looking for about 4 drivers about Spring or a bit sooner. Wife is the owner... husband brought his Pete and dump trailer to class a few weeks ago.

I was recently told that YRC will now hire OUR students right out of class, but not even those of the other major tech college in our area.

Success breeds success and failures breed failures. One company recently hired 4 of our graduates and company and students are all said to be thrilled. I have spoken with them and their answer was "call us when you have your CDL." Pretty sure I could walk right into that one!

I do not want to create any controversy or discord. I believe everyone needs to do what they think is best for themselves in their own situation. But sitting where I am sitting right now... I am pretty sure what I chose was right for me.

If you are in Madison and choose to get your CDL through Madison (area technical) College, I am confident you would have most if not all of the same opportunities.

And while I have decided it best to not share the details (unless asked), I have found major differences in 2 key areas between places which will hire me directly out of school. One is compensation, the other is insurance (and the details matter)!

Hunt shares some of the same accounts as another major carrier. Tuition reimbursement is a potential plus on the other side - something I need to clarify and maybe negotiate if possible, but I think I could show up at one account in one truck and maybe haul the same or similar load to the same or similar store... one would pay in the low 40 CPM , the other mid to high 50's!

My account is a few cents less but I believe I will get more miles covering 7 States vs. rarely getting out of Cheesville!

You gotta do what you gotta do!

Right now I need to study a bit, finish tests, Competencies, project, and pass my CDL test.

And when I do... I will apply the endorsements I tested for and passed (as advised to do) and I will have Doubles and Triples, Tankers and (with background check approval) HazMat endorsements.

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

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

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.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

One more thing on starting pay...

In my somewhat (but not THAT) limited research, I have seen starting rates as low as 27 - 31 CPM , and drivers with years of experience being offered less than what is being offered to newly licensed drivers by some companies.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Page 1 of 1

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