Have CDL Will Travel

Topic 24877 | Page 1

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Vern H.'s Comment
member avatar

So I used to drive trash trucks but got tired of it. So 10 years ago I switched over to a manufacturer. That work is getting increasingly automated so now I'm thinking I'd like to go back to driving...just NOT trash trucks.

I have a current CDL with Hazmat and doubles/triples, with no restrictions. I have a current Medical Card, a clean driving and criminal record, and stable employment. I also have a current TWIC card and a current US passport. But, I haven't driven trucks in about 10 years, and I don't have any experience driving tractor/trailer ... only straight tri-axle (pusher-axle) trucks.

My family is all grown and out of the house, and my wife passed years ago, so I live alone. I'm thinking I'd like to go over-the-road with one of the large trucking companies, but I'm wondering what to expect. Since I already have all of my credentials, will they accept them and just partner me with a trainer? Or would I have to go to a training facility along with all of the other recruits?

I'm in Central Pennsylvania area.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Vern.

You will most definitely be required to attend school; a Paid CDL Training Program is arguably your best option. Use this link to apply: Apply For Paid CDL Training

You’ll need to pass a DOT medical exam and get a class A CLP either before or shortly after you begin school.

Use this link to prepare for the CLP exams: High Road CDL Training Program

Once through school you’ll be required to pass the State CDL tests in order to get your Class A license.

Probably not what you wanted to hear. 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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Even though you have a current CDL you'll still be required some schooling as it's been 10 years. Some companies may require the entire 160 hour course while others will be ok with roughly 40 hour refresher course. If sent for the full course you'll do exact same things as those without the CDL except for the state testing at the DMV. You'll definitely be sent out with a trainer however the duration will vary by company.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Vern H.'s Comment
member avatar

You’ll need to pass a DOT medical exam and get a class A CLP either before or shortly after you begin school.

Once through school you’ll be required to pass the State CDL tests in order to get your Class A license.

I should have stated in my original post that I do already have a CDL A license. What happened was that when the CDL laws were revised years ago, I was working for a trash company that had both straight trucks for collection, and tractor-trailers for long-distance transportation to disposal sites. I received my class A license at the time, IIRC, because my employer stated that I was required to operate both A and B trucks ... even though I never actually switched to tractor-trailer. I did occasionally move tractor/trailer rigs in the yard, but never out on the road.

Since I do have a current CDL A w Hazmat , do you think I would still be required by a company to actually go through the process and expense of getting another CDL A?

Also, since I just renewed my CDL A in January, I also re-upped my DOT medical card at the same time, so everything is current. Do you think they would still require me to get another medical card?

If yes, what would be the reasoning behind a company's decision to require a current CDL A with Medical card to get new ones?

Oh, and thanks for the welcome.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Almost every company will require a new medical exam. I think the FMCSA requires this when you switch to a new trucking job. Typically they will pay for it, but they are also going to choose the physician. They are allowed to have higher standards than the FMCSA for their physical exam when they are going to employ you.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Your reply doesn’t change anything.

You do not have current commercial driving experience and have never driven a semi outside the confines of a yard. You’ll need to go through a school to validate your skills and knowledge.

Any employer, once they hire you, will require a new medical exam conducted by their Doctor.

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