Schneider CDL Apprenticeship Program

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Truckin’Steve's Comment
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So a little bit about me. I have a college degree in public relations. Have been doing mostly call center type work since graduating most recently handling liability auto claims for top five insurer.

Trucking has always intrigued me. I love to drive and never get bored of it and I drive a lot.

I initially was going to go with Maverick but Schneider came through. Schneider does require you to have your CDL permit before training starts. Also make sure it doesn’t expire the same month. Two people in our class had their CDL permit expiring at the end of the month.

I read all the reviews out there and Schneider was the best program that paid you even while getting your CDL along with it only being a five week program and on week six you are on your own.


Weeks 1 & 2 - Classroom Instruction and on the job driving.

Weeks 3 & 4 - Go our with our training engineer where we will be doing 80% of the driving.

Week 5 - CDL road skills test preparation and final preparation to be turned over to operations.

You have Saturday and Sundays off. I’m planning to creep down to Myrtle Beach one weekend ;)

You spend two weeks total with a training engineer. They reimburse you for your meals if you keep your receipts during that time. They will also provide transportation if you are required to meet your training engineer away from where you currently live. We are actually going to start driving the truck tomorrow (Day 2) primarily around the operations center and roads close to it I am told. It is two to a truck during training which is a great ratio.

Arrived at hotel on Sunday evening. Ended up not having a roommate for now. Newly remodeled Extended Stay. Score! Got all unpacked and settled in.

Day 1

Class started at 9:30am and ended at 7:45am. Immediately went and did the DOT physical. Then we started on a boatload of paperwork and I9s. For busy work we completed a 35 question quiz on FMCSA regulations. After that we had a ergonomics and physical therapy meeting about ways to stay comfortable in the truck along with them having PT’s on site to help with any problems. Then we had to take a 10 question test and could only miss three or you were sent home. The test was super easy. It was just FMCSA regulations and then the questions reflecting the certain regulation you were going over. It was a breeze.

Then lunch. Schneider provides breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was pretty good. Then we came back and started going over the learning portal including esigning some documents. Then we started going over how to make turns with a properly which included Schneider produced videos of trucks making well executed turns with explanation. We then started on how to properly fill out a paper log which we will do every day of class.

Next we got our work boots which are Rocky boots and will cost $35.00 and they take it out of your check over three pay periods. They also provide a safety vest at no cost which is required to be worn on site.

Then after that we had dinner and took the shuttle back to the hotel. Class starts at 1:00 PM tomorrow and will be hands on driving in the truck and classroom instruction.


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.


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


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


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.


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.
Truckin’Steve's Comment
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Day 2

Started at 2:00 PM and lasted until 11PM. First thing we did was go out to the tractor trailer as a group and the on site physical therapist showed us how to properly seat ourselves in the tractor trailer. Each of us had to use three points of contact getting up on the truck and she also showed us the best way to sit based on our body composition etc. Very helpful.

Next we went with our road trainer (two of us) to the truck. Went over the entire pretrip. Then she had us bobtail around the OC twice each. Then we went and coupled up the tractor to the trailer. We then got to drive a tractor and trailer both for the first time. We did two straight line backing each. It was nerve wracking at fast but then the nerves calmed down. Tomorrow we go out on the road to drive which is only our third day Inc the job!

Then we returned back to the OC and had dinner and then night class. Watched a bunch of videos and also went over information about Schneider’s SMART driving system. They have it down pretty good I must say. They really do take safety seriously. Gotta wear those safety vests when on the yard.

Finished at 11:15 PM and headed back to the hotel.

They are having us do paper logs every day. Wow those are a pain in the butt. As of right now that’s the hardest part of training so far. Had to write VOID on one log already because I messed it up so bad lol.


"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin’Steve's Comment
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Day 3

Started at 2:00 PM. Filled out our logbooks and went out to the truck to do our pre trip for the day. Then we went and attached the trailer and the two of us went out on the road for the first time taking turns driving. Did multiple intersection turns and two buttonhook turns. Very helpful and never ran up on the curb!

Then we got back filled out our logbooks had dinner and moved back into the classroom. Did computer based training all night.


A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Army 's Comment
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Great start to training. I have read a lot of blogs here and I think yours is the first that has training starting at 2pm and lasting until 11pm...interesting. Make me wonder if they do that to keep your schedules different. Just a thought. Also, they have approved boots for you to buy there...pretty cool. Well keep on having a good time, and enjoy training.


Truckin’Steve's Comment
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Great start to training. I have read a lot of blogs here and I think yours is the first that has training starting at 2pm and lasting until 11pm...interesting. Make me wonder if they do that to keep your schedules different. Just a thought. Also, they have approved boots for you to buy there...pretty cool. Well keep on having a good time, and enjoy training.


Thanks Chris! Yep they give us Rocky boots and charge us $35.00 for them and then we get a new pair FREE each year on our anniversary. Pretty cool deal. And it appears they have two training classes going on hence the reason for the later start. I love sleeping in so it works out great! Also get to do night driving.

Truckin’Steve's Comment
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Day 4

Pretty much the same as the previous two days. Started with our road instructors. Today we practiced straight line backing along with 45 degree backing. Also spent a significant amount of time on the pretrip and working on getting that down. Feeling much more comfortable with it now. After doing the outside stuff we had dinner and then started classroom training. Tonight we went over the Qualcomm electronic logs. Apparently though Schneider is rolling out electronic tablet logs (to replace Qualcomm) to about 200 trucks as a trial now and then by July will roll it out to everyone else. Apparently there is an issue that needs more testing with being able to synchronize up the tablets to the truck wirelesssly.

Then we got our fuel cards. We were told how we can use our weekly advance of $60.00 if we needed it which comes directly from the fuel card. Of course if we choose to use the advance the $60.00 does come out of our following weeks paycheck.

Finished around 11pm and headed back to the hotel.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.


Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.


Operating While Intoxicated


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.

Truckin’Steve's Comment
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Day 5 (end of 1st week)

Started at 2:00 PM and spent about an hour on the pre trip. We then worked on coupling/de. Then we went out with our road instructor and took turns driving. A couple road instructors called out today and so my partner and I got to go out with the head honcho which was cool!

Then we came back to the OC and had dinner. I am hoping the dinner menu is different next week! We then started classroom instruction and worked on CBT’a and then trip planning. We received the 2019 Rand McNally maps at no cost as well. We then finished up and submitted our paper logs through Transflo to Green Bay, WI.

Overall it was a great first week and feel much more comfortable with what trucking driving is going to entail. Also very happy with Schneider and the way they are running the program. Only complaint is food could be better. It’s standard school cafeteria fare lol.

We have the weekend off as Schneider does not train on the weekends. Planning to go to the Charlotte Motor Speedway where they are having the Pennzoil Auto Fair. Looking forward to that. Then hopefully next weekend going to book Saturday night down in Myrtle Beach.


Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Truckin’Steve's Comment
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Day 6 (Week 2)

Today we started at 10:00 am went and coupled up and did the pretrip and then we drove all day. Our road instructor advised us she would be evaluating us today. Appears we both did fine. Was able to drive in the rain today which was heavy at times so that gave us some good experience.

Army 's Comment
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Sounds like training is progressing nicely. Enjoy.

Truckin’Steve's Comment
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Day 7 (Week 2)

Started at 2:00 PM again. Did more PreTrip practice along with air brake test and driving in more rural areas.

Day 8 (Week 2)

Today we started at 10:00am as we had a safety meeting. There was confusion of what we were supposed to be doing after this meeting since no one was giving us guidance and some of got scolded that we were not where we were supposed to be. That was kind of annoying because there is no itenary and no one was directing us. Then we are finally told where we should be as if we’ve done something wrong once again. Not too happy about this.

We watched multiple videos of scenarios that caused drivers to wreck their trucks. We then went over ways on how to avoid that. Then we watched a video on how Schneider is union free and then had an operations lady come in and go over the PerDiem. The union free message is a bit much but whatever. There are plenty of trucking companies out there to choose from if you’re not happy where you’re at!

We then spent the rest of the day doing our 45 and 90 degree backing and then had class the rest of the day that focused on the electronic logs.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.


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.

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