Getting My CDL On A Budget.

Topic 26294 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

John, the Paid CDL Training Programs are excellent ways to get started. Start contacting some of them and see what kind of interest they show you. We've seen plenty of people here making fifty thousand dollars in their first year after going through these programs.

Have you seen our Training Diaries? That's a section where people tell their experience with these paid training programs. You should do some reading there. You'll see what it takes and how it works.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome John, not sure where your located. Your license isn’t useless if you have employers in your area. Before I got my cdl a local propane company talked to me about going to work doing local delivery and they offered to help me get my license. It can happen but rare overall.

Dump and cement trucks can be very dangerous if you have no experience.

Local trash companies may be an option.

Your young enough to go through a cdl a school and get off to a great start and make yourself very marketable in the future. Like Old School said go through a company sponsored program make money and get a free cdl plus employment after school.

Best wishes for you

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.
John H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the help, Old School. I'll try for another month or two to get on with someone who employ me with my current situation. Sounding pretty bleak. Then I guess it's back to square one.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Usually, there are 2 ways to do this. Go to school and get a certificate plus license or get trained by a company.

The certificate part allows your employer to tell the insurance company "this guy is insurable". Otherwise, you need experience. Without experience or a certificate you're saying "I got lucky" which is by your own admission what happened.

The company training doesn't require a certificate. They either pay more for insurance or they insure themselves. They have people they trust with impeccable records teaching you what you need to know. That person signing off on you is enough for them.

Insurance companies hire drivers, not trucking companies.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, John, your "Class B" way is hardly a way to get into trucking. Yes, the demand for CDL-A truck drivers is huge. I tell my graduating students (I'm a CDL instructor) that as long as they keep up their CDL license they'll never be without a job.

The testing you need is an investment. The CDL-A classes you need are an investment by you. With a fresh CDL in hand, though, no company will take you on until you've been on the road with their trainers. That's more an investment by the company. That's why your apprentice plan is as exciting as a lead balloon. On top of that, local is the last place to learn to drive.

You can put almost anyone behind the wheel of a semi and point them down the interstate. But get off the freeway and it's a whole 'nother world of traffic, turns and backing. So after you get a license, you 99% most probably be going OTR for a while. It's the best place for novices to learn their new trade.

You can get a better idea of How To Become A Great Driver by reading this: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving.

Your patience will be rewarded. I think you have already learned about Paid CDL Training Programs which are free up front. There's even a few who pay the students!

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

40 Days's Comment
member avatar

You might be able to be school bus driver free training and job. I did that for a few years and security. Not great pay but great days off. Just started Prime orientation today. I agree with these wise men here get company training and do your 1yr OTR. Just my 2 pennies.

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.

John H.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok thanks all! Still have my fingers crossed that some desperate local looking to fill a class b spot will give me a chance. Looks like it boils down to insurance more than anything though. Still hopefull. If it doesn't pan out (which the experienced drivers here say it most likely wont) then I'll go back to grunt work and save up for a respected school. Thanks again guys, seems like a daunting task right now. If I complete it, I'll be a 4th generation truck driver! Kind of cool. Just wish they were still around.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

John, I really admire your ambition to become a driver. However, offering to work for free is not the way to attain your goal. For example, I have several construction projects going right now. If some young guy showed up and offered to work for free in exchange for training, I would have to say no. Why? If he got hurt on the job I wouldn't have insurance on him and the subsequent lawsuit would bankrupt me. My insurance company wouldn't cover a situation like that and my lawyer would have me committed to a mental institution for entering into such an arrangement.

Just get yourself into a company paid CDL program and fulfill their commitment program and you will have a successful start to your career. Good luck, but just do it the right way.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
If it doesn't pan out (which the experienced drivers here say it most likely wont) then I'll go back to grunt work and save up for a respected school.

No reason to dish money out. Paid CDL Training Programs will cover the tuition cost and in some cases pay you during school. I will use Prime as an example as so many drivers here have gone through their program. You attend 1 week of orientation, then go on the road with a trainer after you have your permit for 10,000 miles you do all the driving which I believe takes about 4 to 5 weeks. During that time you're able to get a $200 cash advance per week which will be deducted once you're solo. You will then test for your license, and once you're a licensed driver you will go out with a trainer (may be the same or different) for another 40,000 TEAM miles (your miles and trainers count). You will make $700(?) Per week during this time as long as you're available for dispatch. Prime does not deduct your pay, and as long as you stay employed with them for 1 year your tuition bill is forgiven.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

John not quite getting what we are suggesting...

Ok thanks all! Still have my fingers crossed that some desperate local looking to fill a class b spot will give me a chance. Looks like it boils down to insurance more than anything though. Still hopefull. If it doesn't pan out (which the experienced drivers here say it most likely wont) then I'll go back to grunt work and save up for a respected school. Thanks again guys, seems like a daunting task right now. If I complete it, I'll be a 4th generation truck driver! Kind of cool. Just wish they were still around.

John, "Hope" is never a strategy. A year for now...you might still be hoping as your crossed-fingers cramp. Why wait?

If you really want this, I mean "really want it"; the absolute best way is Paid CDL Training Programs. It's a proven path to success that most of us on this forum have taken. Short cuts are often a quick path to failure or at a minimum a set-back.

Here is a blog article solidifying this approach...Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training

I also encourage you to read the links Old School replied with.

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.
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