What You Need To Know Before Beginning CDL Training: New Article By Rainy

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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We have an awesome new article from Rainy that anyone considering a career in trucking must read:

What You Need To Know Before Beginning CDL Training

This article gives you a ton of information about various things you must consider before making an attempt at a trucking career, including things like your driving record, employment record, medical records, and family matters amongst other things.

Read through this thoroughly and understand it because these are things every new driver must be aware of.

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.
Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Nice article Rainy. I admit, reading things here almost daily since August but still don't think I grasp what the industry life will remotely be. Has kept me up for an extra hour or so in bed each night this last week, checking and re checking in my head against all possibly contrived issues, as my flight to Prime is Sunday.

Thanks for your time and effort. I'll throw a few recent pay stubs in the binder now.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
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Good luck Spaceman!

A PSD student who is getting sent home for DMV stuff he tried to hide recognized me and said said today, "Man i wish i would have read this article a month ago!"

So i hope this helps some people :)

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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Fantastic article. It should be required reading before being allowed to initially enter this forum. Would be nice to have it a link. It is also important to list all OTC meds and supliments. They can make a difference. Never know everything a company may be looking for in a drug test.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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WOW! Rainy, you really nailed it. With all aspects of what a potential driver needs to be aware of. The obstacles that they will encounter, the possibility of being sent home for lying on an application. And the list goes on. With the help of this forum a potential driver can see what he/she needs to work on before applying to either school or company training.

Thanks for all the articles that you write. They are very informative. As Big Scott said they should e required to read before entering this forum. Not to be pushy or the like, but so they can get most of their questions answered, and see with out the hard work in evaluating their situation they make a mistake that will end their career before it starts.

Again, thanks.

Raptor

PJ's Comment
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Great article young lady!!!! It is spot on. Thank you for all your efforts

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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And do not be fooled, obtaining a CDL at a local CDL school will not result in automatic hiring at a company. It will not alleviate any of the following issues, but it could put you in debt without a company willing to hire you.

You can alleviate some of the concern of not finding a job after getting your CDL by attending a paid CDL training program, which we recommend here at Trucking Truth

ABSOLUTELY!!!

I paid for my own school, and if I don’t pass the road test my company might well decide to cut me loose. They could easily decide I’m not worth putting more time and effort into training.

Unless you have an extremely compelling reason, think carefully before using your own (or borrowed) money for CDL school.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

I went to private truck school.I wish I had gone to company sponsored training. But what is done Is done. Though I have no regrets of committing to Swift, I just wish I had gone to the academy . I have been running hard and have no regrets about that either. It's good to be back behind the wheel again. I will say I'm not too fond of the adaptive cruise control when you are trying to pass. G-Town- before you say anything, let explain why I'm not a fan. When you come upon a truck or car that you want to pass the cruise control takes over and wants you pass when you are 3 football fields away. Or if you are closer then it wants to decrease your speed so now you don't have the speed to pass. Not to mention it has given me the collision warning 5 times for overpasses and once for going on a road that had trees that made like an overpass. First time it did it scared the begeeves out of me. It was 0230 and not another truck or car on the road. Maybe mine is adjusted wrong and needs attention. After I get unloaded tomorrow I will swing by West Valley and see if they can look at it.

Raptor

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Our company trucks have that and the drivers all have the exact same complaints, so I doubt yours has setting issues, maybe but doubtfull. I’m just thankfull my truck doesn’t have that stuff...

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Great piece of work Rainy! I just hope my company doesn't find out that I made Jimmy Hoffa go away or that my alias is D.B. Cooper. I didn't reveal these things up front. My bad.

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