I'm Currently In The Military, But I'm Strongly Considering Getting A CDL Just For The Potential Opportunities It Opens Up When I Get Out?

Topic 24257 | Page 1

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Justin L.'s Comment
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So I've always kinda flirted with the idea of getting into trucking, and I was actually very close to pulling the trigger with Schneider in '07, but I been in the Air Force for the last 8 years and I kinda set that idea aside. But now, I'm starting to think about my future after the military, and I feel like getting a CDL might be a useful thing to have in addition to hopefully my degree for future employment and I have no problem paying out of pocket for the training (though I would certainly prefer to minimize my out of pocket expense to the max extent possible obviously). I had a friend about my age who tried trucking once and said he hated the job and desperately wanted out after like a year, so I guess I'm just trying to get some perspective on this, whether it's a smart thing to do or not. I do love traveling, I do enjoy driving, I grew up driving a manual transmission so there's that. And I'm a single guy so I'm not like I have major roots in any one place.

Thoughts on this? Any other veterans out there driving trucks? Is just having a CDL worth the cost of obtaining one? How often do they need to be renewed if I don't use it right away?

Thanks in advance for your input.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the TT site. Folks here will have answers, advice, facts and knowledge. I did a 6 year tour in another country's military, between my time in the Army and many years in The Navy, so a retired vet I am. If it was me, stay in and do your 20 and retire with the check each month and the extremely low-cost healthcare that we see as a retiree. Do your research on driving and all associated with it. Don't worry about getting that CDL now if you're not going to be using it within 3 months of having it in hand. You will still need OJT from whatever company you go with. On The Road training which may last several months. Additionally, you have a few years to change your mind of "what will I do after I leave/retire?". I started two businesses once I retired, and now have others working that for me. Another one should start in a few more months. Trucking is another service to the big community, just as the military. Many start, but few succeed. Another parallel is that this is a lifestyle, not a JOB. A new adventure every day. Some are better than others, but it's normally a good-paying job with many rewards, as long as you are a motivated self-starter that can work well both independently and with others. Others will be on here with their thoughts.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Justin. I think Packrat gave you some really good advice.

As far as getting your CDL in anticipation of a truck driving job after you retire? I don’t think your plan will work because most every company willing to hire entry level drivers will likely not consider you if a significant amount of time lapses. Wait beyond 2 months from the date your received the CDL and your prospects for hire will dwindle. It’s got a shelf life of sorts.

In line with Packrat’s, suggestion wait until you are closer to retirement before you seriously consider your options. Arguably the best path for success, one that we advocate is applying to a carrier offering Paid CDL Training Programs.

In the meantime, doesn’t hurt to build your knowledge base utilizing these links:

Good luck!

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your service.

J.B. Hunt is very supportive of Veterans and should definitely be on your list. They provide free training for Vets and even put custom cammo graphics on their trucks!

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