Just A Rookie Here Who's Looking To Start His Trucking Career This Year

Topic 24381 | Page 1

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Professor_Eye_M's Comment
member avatar

Hello to all here on truckingtruth,

I have a question to all who had obtained their CDL as a company driver. I don't have a CDL and my plan is to enrolled into CDL school through a company sometime in April 2019. My options are C.R. England, Swift, Stevens Transportation, and Roehl. I'm still doing my diligence in researching. I have 0 experience in driving trucks and I'm pretty stoked in learning the art of driving semis, however, I'm very patient to research in what I'm getting myself into. And the pros outweighs the cons.

So here's my question. Once I'm accepted to a company and go through their CDL training, am I able to practice driving trucks as much as possible (i.e. practicing backing up, parallel parking, etc.). I was just curious because it's been said countless times that backing up is one of the hardest things to do when driving trucks.

Any answers will be gratefully appreciated.

Thank you for your response,

Professor_Eye_M

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
am I able to practice driving trucks as much as possible?

Welcome aboard Professor Eye M!

I think the short answer to that question has to be no. Truck driver training is done in a rush, and basically you will just be given enough instruction to enable you to get your CDL. That's how it works almost everywhere. Once you've got that part over with you'll then get hired and start working, but you'll be working with a trainer on the truck with you. This is a critical time where you'll be learning about your e-logs, the fueling process, communicating with dispatch, processing your paperwork for payroll, and a whole bunch of other company specifics that will help your job go easier. Also during that time you will be honing your skills at handling that big rig, and that will include (or at least it should) backing into parking spots and docks.

Now, this may surprise you, but when they turn you loose to begin driving by yourself, you will not be feeling real confident that you're ready. One of the reasons we teach people to stick with their first driving job for one full year is because that first year is one really steep learning curve. It will take you every bit of that first year to even begin feeling a little confident in your backing skills. That's how it works - I'm just laying it out straight for ya because I want to see you go into this understanding what you're getting into. I don't want to see you griping on the internet about how some lousy trucking company didn't teach you what you needed to know. A lot of what you need to know how to do in this career is learned on the job. There's no four year degree to becoming a truck driver. You jump in here and figure it out, or you go back to doing some boring job that they can train anybody to do in a couple of weeks.

Trucking is usually enjoyed best by self motivated ambitious people. Nobody holds your hand out here. It takes a lot of grit and determination to get the hang of this. Here's a few podcasts you should listen to. I think they will help you better understand how this will all play out.

Why Is Truck Driver Training Done In Such A Rush?

Why Stick With Your First Company For One Full Year?

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.

Professor_Eye_M's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply Old School.

From your response, it doesn't scare me at all. It kind of sounds like any other job where they will train you the basics and afterwards, they will put you out into the "battlefield" and learn as you go. I don't let any videos via YouTube to be the determination of what to expect. I do, however, watch such videos where both people praise the industry and people spurt out their negativities. From my life experiences, it's better for me to go embrace the negativities and learn through them than to assume that everything would be all rosy with rainbow gumdrops. How can you learn anything assume everything will be perfect? I embrace challenges and from my research so far with trucking (especially OTR), is full of never-ending challenges, and a man like me loves challenges. That's what separates a soldier from a coward, per se.

I don't and wouldn't want anyone to hold my hand in this business. My philosophy is "teach me what you know so I can apply it and move on." I have goals to accomplish and I just want to be as successful as the next man/woman or better so I can teach the next person.

Once again Old School, thank you for your response and hopefully you and many other truckers on here are able to continue to intel me with much great wisdom and knowledge of the trucking game to become the next successful trucker.

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

Don't limit yourself to just a few choices. Start with our beginner's pack.

The High Road Training is the best free program to help you study for and pass your permit test. Also look through Paid CDL Training Programs. There are other companies not listed there, like CFI. With 100% bias, I recommend them. I went through their paid training, and am now a trainer with them. Good luck. We are here to help.

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.
Professor_Eye_M's Comment
member avatar

Hey Big Scott,

Thanks for taking the time out to respond. So, these are/were my choices at the beginning: ------------------------------------ ------------------------------------

AVERITT EXPRESS CARTER EXPESS, INC CELADON CENTRAL REFRIGERATED C.R. ENGLAND CRST FFE TRANSPORTATION JIM PALMER TRUCKING KNIGHT TRANSPORTATION MAVERICK TRANSPORTATION LLC MCT TRANSPORTATION, LLC MILLIS TRANSFER, INC. PRIME TRANSPORTATION PAM TRANSPORT RAIDER EXPRESS ROEHL SCHNEIDER NATIONAL STEVENS TRUCK SWIFT TRANSPORTATION TMC USA TRUCK US EXPRESS VERIHA TRUCKING WERNER ENTERPRISE WIL TRANS XPO LOGISTICS YRC FREIGHT -------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------

I had narrowed it down to C.R. England, Swift, Stevens, and Roehl. I'm considering of putting Prime into my solid choices. I have until April to have a concrete decision so I'm still open for any suggestions. I will definitely look at CFI

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

Try to find the company that fits you best. Good luck.

Forrest B.'s Comment
member avatar

CFI is definitely a great choice. Awesome company.

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