What Is The "Harvard" Of CDL Training Programs

Topic 24394 | Page 1

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S B.'s Comment
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For someone who knows very little about trucking, truck maintenance, etc....what is considered the highest quality training program in the USA ? This assumes you have the ability to pay for the school and are willing to travel to its location to get trained.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights.

Old School's Comment
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Welcome aboard SB!

Well, you are probably going to be surprised at our response...

We consider the highest quality training programs to be the ones you don't have to layout any cash for. There are a lot of reasons for this, but take a look at these two articles and I think you'll see where we are coming from.

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Programs Over Private Training

Busting The Free Agent Myth

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.
CK's Comment
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I can only speak to Prime's training program, it has been absolutely top-notch so far and I would recommend it to anybody. I'm currently at the Salt Lake City location and I'm learning a lot, the instructors here work with you in the goal is for everyone to get their CDL. This is a paid CDL training program, so the only out-of-pocket expense is a $100 administrative fee to reserve your spot in the class. Transportation, food and hotel is taken care of during orientation. After that, you're getting a weekly salary advance and pretty much either on a truck or in the local program until you get your license, at which point you start getting paid wemhile you train and get 30,000 miles on the road.

I came into this with only the knowledge I gained here at Trucking Truth, and have a training diary here on the Forum.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Susan D. 's Comment
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What's crazy is a CDL school's ONLY obligation is to teach you just enough (barely) to pass the skills and road test exams to get your CDL.. that's it!

A company sponsored school will generally go the extra mile and teach you more than that bare minimum. You'll be ahead of the private school grads who don't know how to drop and hook a trailer, scale a load, slide tandems , etc. When you start the important step of COMPANY TRAINING, which is not the same as school, you'll be well ahead of the game. Different states have different backing skills they require you to master for your skills tests.

For instance, in my state we had to do a straight line back, an offset, and parallel parking. I had my CDL and didn't have a clue how to back into a dock, which is something we do every day out here! It wasn't required for the CDL exam, so the school (a community college program) didn't bother teaching it. Scary, huh? Those smart enough to attend company sponsored schools, you can bet they're going to teach their drivers more than what's the minimum requirement.

By going to a private school, when I got a job with my company and went through their company training process, I was at a disadvantage from day one. I persevered and made it, but it was really difficult for me to master the actual backing skills I need to actually do my job.

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.

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".

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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