Retiring Military - When Should I Get CDL

Topic 24559 | Page 1

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Josh B.'s Comment
member avatar

I am active duty military, currently 21 years and will be retiring in three years. I would like to start my second career in the truck driving industry but have a question regarding the best timeframe to get my CDL. I have a schedule that will allow me to complete CDL training with the local community college in the Fall of 2019, however I will not be retiring until Summer of 2022. Would it be a bad idea to get my CDL and not "use it" for a couple years? My last two years prior to retirement will be busy and I am afraid that if I wait until the end I would be better served trying to find a company sponsored CDL school to be able to get my license prior to the end of my terminal leave period, which I have no issue with, but I would prefer to just pay upfront and get the training done with if possible. Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide! Thanks!

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Once you go about 6 months without using your CDL it would be considered too long since training and you would have to redo training. It would be best to wait and do cdl schooling during terminal leave.that way it is still nice and fresh. Plus that will allow you to just concentrate on getting your CDL.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

Study for the permit and go in and take the written permit test with your waiver. Once you pass the written test you will be licensed. No driving test required.

I agree with the post above about school though. Attend school a couple months before signing out on terminal leave, if your schedule allows. If not, then knock it out during terminal leave.

If you are using your GI bill to pay for school, there are a lot of companies that offer tuition reimbursement which is paid to you, usually in increments covering your first year or two of employment. Goodluck!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Josh B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys! That's what I figured, wait until closer to retirement. If I pursue this it will be a complete career change from what I do currently in the Navy which is frightening to me. Want to do as much as I can as soon as I can to best prepare myself. Looks like what I need to do is do as much research as I can now and get the training in closer to the end date. Thanks so much for your help!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Josh wrote:

Thanks guys! That's what I figured, wait until closer to retirement. If I pursue this it will be a complete career change from what I do currently in the Navy which is frightening to me. Want to do as much as I can as soon as I can to best prepare myself. Looks like what I need to do is do as much research as I can now and get the training in closer to the end date. Thanks so much for your help!

Josh thank you for your service!

You mentioned research. Best place to start is within the Trucking Truth library of Infornation. It’s accurate, fact-checked and not full of opinionated garbage commonly found on the internet. Here is our informal starter kit:

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.
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