CDL B DRIVER GOING FOR CLASS A

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Rhyan W.'s Comment
member avatar

I know it might be a stretch but is it ANY way possible I can get trained for my Class A without going OTR?? I just had a kid & cant be gone for days at a time...

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

It's possible but it's a MUCH more difficult path to take. I started out locally doing food service and consider myself lucky I didnt have any accidents or backing incidents my first year. I had a few close calls. Not only is it alot of close quarter maneuvering in urban areas but that particular job you also physically unload the truck. Linehaul may fit your needs, you'll be home every day for the most part but it's mainly all overnights. We have a couple linehaul drivers here that will chime in later to explain it better than I can. We've seen a few people take the path you're hoping to take and after a couple rookie accidents (most rookies will hit something) they're out of a job and nobody will hire them due to little experience and already having accidents. If you're open to flat bedding there are quite a few companies that can get you home nearly every weekend.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

As Rob stated yes it is possible but it is more difficult.

Out of curiosity where do you live? Are you near a major city? Linehaul may he your best bet if you are, most of the driving is over night and some companies will have you home daily. Plus it one of the best paying jobs in trucking.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

That is what I did. I got mine and worked locally for a year so far. I can say that it has been truly difficult and down right terrifying at times. There has been a few REALLY close calls. Not to mention it is real hard to find someone local willing to give you a chance. Have an accident, forget it. Be very careful with what you decide. It IS possible but very difficult and somewhat dangerous.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Rhyan wants to stretch things:

I know it might be a stretch but is it ANY way possible I can get trained for my Class A without going OTR?? I just had a kid & cant be gone for days at a time...

You have two issues here: the Class A CDL and OTR experience. Yes, it's no big deal for the state to issue you a CDL-A, as long as you have a medical card and you pass the skills + road tests. BUT, most big companies want to see the 160 hour training certificate you get from driving school. That's Part 1.

Part 2 is the OTR experience. Again,most companies know that even with a freshly printed CDL-A license you can't really handle a truck/trailer on the road at all, much less Over The Road. You will still be in training as you ride around the country with a trainer for a while (various requirements as to time and/or miles). So, regardless of your desires and future job assignment, chances are high that you will be away from your new baby for a few months, at least.

I'm a Grandpa, and I have had a few grandbabies. I know the first few months are intense, even more then enough for Mom & Dad to handle by themselves. Maybe you should delay your truck school till more into the summer.

Remember to check out these companies:
Paid CDL Training Programs
Apply For Paid CDL Training

Company sponsored programs will make it easier (less out-of-pocket) for you to get into trucking.

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.

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.

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

If your class B is current, you have recent experience, and a clean record, look for local companies that operate both box trucks and semis. Apply for a class B job driving the straight truck and there is a very good chance they will upgrade you if you express an interest and have shown a good work record.

I have a cousin who is the safety manager at a 50+ truck expediting company and he has a program he calls B to A. He gets a lot of drivers by hiring dump truck, school bus and other class B drivers and putting them through the program after they have been successful with the box truck.

Indeed.com is a good place to look.

Kevin K's Comment
member avatar

I was a Class B straight truck driver for 8 years when I decided to get my Class A. I attended an accredited technical college that is well respected and put in several applications with LTL companies after graduation. I was hired, or in the process of being hired, at all of them. I ended up choosing Averitt in a linehaul position and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Good pay and equipment, excellent benefits, and home every weekend.

If you are in or near a decent size city I highly recommend going the technical college/LTL linehaul route. If you have a clean record and do well at school you will have your pick of local jobs. You may need to work the dock a little or run city P&D to get started. I was lucky (and did my research) so I avoided all that. Old Dominion is another excellent company and is known to give rookie drivers a shot.

Good luck!

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

Rhyan W.'s Comment
member avatar

As Rob stated yes it is possible but it is more difficult.

Out of curiosity where do you live? Are you near a major city? Linehaul may he your best bet if you are, most of the driving is over night and some companies will have you home daily. Plus it one of the best paying jobs in trucking.

I live near Bolingbrook Illinois.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Rhyan W.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to do exactly what your cousin did but haven't found a company to offer that in the Chicago area yet.

If your class B is current, you have recent experience, and a clean record, look for local companies that operate both box trucks and semis. Apply for a class B job driving the straight truck and there is a very good chance they will upgrade you if you express an interest and have shown a good work record.

I have a cousin who is the safety manager at a 50+ truck expediting company and he has a program he calls B to A. He gets a lot of drivers by hiring dump truck, school bus and other class B drivers and putting them through the program after they have been successful with the box truck.

Indeed.com is a good place to look.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I am right down the road in Joliet, you could try Black Horse Carriers they have CDL B positions and may help you get a A license at some point.

If you do not mind working the dock, a LTL companies dock to driver program would work for you where you split time on the dock and learning .

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
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