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Chris M.'s Comment
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Hello Guys and Gals. I just wanted to drop a few lines in here about me. My name is Chris and I'm 33 years old from Houston, Tx. I Work as a HVAC Installer/Helper, The thing is I like doing HVAC but the been doing it for a couple of months and the company I work for is my Brother in-laws friend. The Owner and his friend and I work with each other but work isn't always there. 1.) They smoke weed and take their time about doing anything. 2.) They sometime don't take jobs and just lay around. 3.) We will work a couple of weeks and then we will be off for a couple. Not going be paying my bills like that. So about a couple of days ago I was driving and it finally hit me...... I always see big rigs on the road and it sparked my curiosity!!! I went home and started doing some research on google and it brought me her to fine people. So now that I'm hooked on this amazing website and the ton of information I'm gonna have to read, it only drives me more and more to pursue this career. I Have no kids but I do have a girlfriend (1 year) and she has a kid, I told her about me becoming a truck driver and she is cool with it, but I told her it's going to put alot of stress on our relationship but I don't think she knows how big of a impact it's going to be on her. I say her bc I've some articles on relationships and i can handle being alone. (been with my Ex Wife 10 years and went through a divorce and stayed single for 5 years.) but becoming a truck driver is something I've been thinking hard about the last couple days. For the hell of it I made an appointment to get my DOT Medical Card tomorrow ($60) not bad. I don't know if i should wait until I find a Company I wanna work for that has paid CDL Training or what? anyways, I look forward to reading and asking questions. Thanks in advance -Chris

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Someone will be along to post all the links you should read but I will say if I where you I would save the $60 any company you go to will make you go to the company doctor and get another medical card.

LDRSHIP's Comment
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Ask and ye shall receive. The starter package, lol

And now a word from your locally sponsored training.

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

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Your wish has been granted.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

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.
Tractor Man's Comment
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I would save the $60 any company you go to will make you go to the company doctor and get another medical card.

Not necessarily! Swift requires you to have your permit before you arrive for school. Which means you need your DOT physical. Many others do too. Stick around here and read up on all of the info. Take a couple or three weeks and go thru the entire High Road training at least twice. You will pass your permit tests with ease.

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.

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.

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

Welcome, Chris!

Don't rush it! Gobble up all you can here, ask your questions, go through the High Road Training Program, and involve your family every way you can.

I love trucking, and wish I'd thought to get into it decades ago, but it's been a grueling journey, especially for my youngest daughter lol.

Know that you won't be steered wrong here... steered lol... this site, and these drivers, are your absolute best start in the business of trucking.

Best of luck!

Snoopy's Comment
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Good luck in your search for a new career, you have come to the right place for your questions. There is a ton of information on here that can help you.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Hey Chris, Welcome to Trucking Truth. We don't pull punches here. You will always get truth, at times, it may not be the truth you want.

This site helped me so much in my search. Going to our training diaries section will show you what to expect from training and the problems we all overcome.

I was trained by and drive for CFI. We have terminals 3 terminals in Texas, Dallas, Wilmer, and Laredo. CFI has top notch training. They get you home on or before the day you request. You earn 1 day of home time for every 7 days you are out on the road and you don't lose what you don't use. You can take as many days off as you have built up and you keep your truck.

Our training takes about 8 to 12 week from the day you get to school and the day you upgrade. Our trucks are all KW T680's with autoshift transmission. The two things I love most about CFI is the home time and how they treat us.

Wish you the best of luck.

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.

Chris M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Everyone! I Got a few more questions. 1.) I wanna stay in shape as long as I can without gaining anymore weight. I was thinking about flatbed but to my understanding it's not recommended for a new guy like me bc of so much to learn all at once and was told to to dry van or reefer first to get experience driving the truck first for about a year or two. I totally understand... SAFETY FIRST! but I know it can be done. 2.) I wanna get my CLP before joining a company and i know some will train me to get my CLP, But i wanna be ahead and have it in hand before i get to the training. When I get my CLP will they take away my driver license? I know when I got my DLP they took away my ID bc I couldn't have both. is it the same with CLP?

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

You can stay in shape in any of the trucking paths, it's mainly about eating right and getting a bit of exercise in daily. As for getting your CLP first some companies want you to have it when you show up, some don't. My company for example wants you to show up without a clp so that you can get a clp issued from Missouri and then test in Missouri, after that you take your Missouri license back to home state and swap it over so you'll want to research into this a bit before jumping off the deep end. Find the right company for you first and then follow through with how they want to train you. And ask a ton of questions here, there are a lot of experienced drivers to learn from so take advantage.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Chris. Regardless of whether you get your CLP now or later, you will be best off if you start going through the High Road Training Program. Mr. LDRSHIP posted all the links you need (above in his comment). You can really get a great head start if you follow all the steps and best of all it's free!

In addition to that, I picked up my state commercial motor vehicle manual and studied that. Some states don't print manuals anymore so you have to go online to study it in some cases. If you do these things you will be able to pass your CLP test with half your brain tied behind your back.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • 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.

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