Getting Your CDL-A Without School

Topic 26668 | Page 1

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Candice W.'s Comment
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Hello everyone! My name is Candice and I have been driving for 3 years now. My husband is with me as a passenger and he wants his CDL but is hesitant because he has a learning disability. I went to 2 schools before I achieved my goal as a driver, the first school was bogus and I didnt spent but 15 min 1 time in a truck. In othet words, I didnt get what I needed. 6,000 dollars later, I got my CDL. I have no tickets, no accidents and I work for a great company who will let me train my hubby. He has driven farm equipment his whole life and I think he would be a great truck driver. II have seen the educational material on this website for getting ur cdl without school. I am wondering what states require hours or instruction behind the wheel in a classroom setting? There has to be some states that require that, right? I mean, the owner of Tenessee truck driving school just got in trouble for the other school he owned loosing paperwork on drivers. Some of those drivers, according to the news, lost their cdl because that paperwork was gone. I know I can teach him what he needs to know without a 6,000 dollar debt. Do u guys and gals know anything about the states that require that?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Candace.

There is no law that states school is required for a CDL. The certificate you receive from a school is for a trucking company to forward to their insurance carrier letting them know you've been trained and received proper instruction. The reason most companies won't hire someone without that certificate is because the insurance company won't cover them.

The companies that over training in exchange for service with no certificate are either self insured or pay high premiums.

Is your company willing to let you train him with a permit or does he need a CDL for you to train him? Do they require a 160 hour certificate? Is there a contract for service involved?

That school in Tennessee may have gotten in trouble for losing documents as a third party tester. Very common for private schools to fudge test results to bolster a success rate.

Lastly, are you considering team driving? I'm no expert on this, but I'd imagine it drains a relationship. I'm assuming that he's riding shotgun and you guys are enjoying life traveling the country as a couple. Team driving is different. You alternate shifts and one is awake while the other sleeps. I can't imagine your company being ok with investing in his training and not have wheels rolling 70/8.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I am wondering what states require hours or instruction behind the wheel in a classroom setting?

Hello Candice, welcome to our forum!

You can get a CDL without going through a school. Most states have no legal requirements specifying a certain number of hours of training. I believe California recently initiated some such legislative requirement, but they are the only one I know of.

Here's the problem. Most insurance companies require a training certificate indicating 160 hours of training. That's where people hit a snag. Some people get their CDL on their own, and then discover no one will hire them. The trucking companies can't hire them because they can't get them insured. The requirements come from the insurance companies.

You also made this comment...

I work for a great company who will let me train my hubby.

If that's the case, have they also told you he can work for them after you've trained him? That's what you need to confirm with them. If they say yes, then you guys can continue with that plan. It's not a path we would recommend, but in your situation, it may work.

Also relevant to your questions is the fact that once your husband has one year of verifiable experience behind him the insurance requirements for a training certificate go away. After you can prove one year of commercial driving experience in a class A position (Tractor Trailer), you no longer need a training certificate to find employment.

I'm assuming you are aware of the no cost Paid CDL Training Programs. That would be my recommendation for your husband.

You know your situation better than I, and you realize your husband is gonna have to pass his permit written tests before he can start driver training with you. It sounds to me that getting past those written tests may be his biggest challenge. I highly recommend our High Road CDL Training Program. It's set up in a way that the two of you could work through it together. That would surely help him learn the material. Once he's got that down he will have to be able to pass the tests without you by his side.

Once again, you need to confirm that your employer can and will hire him after you train him. That's going to be your main issue. Then he needs to stay with that job for one solid year. After that he should be safe if he decides to look for a different truck driving job.

One more thing I should address...

There has to be some states that require that, right? I mean, the owner of Tenessee truck driving school just got in trouble for the other school he owned loosing paperwork on drivers.

That situation rose out of the fact that people who went through that school couldn't produce a training certificate. Therefore the students weren't able to prove they had proper training. Again, it goes back to what the insurance companies want to see. If your employer is willing to hire your husband, they may have a work around for the insurance company requirements. They may also be doing something with a little less candor than you expect. I'm not the judge of that situation, but you definitely need to confirm with your employer that they can hire him after you train him.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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

Candice Welcome! Hey the certificate as Banks told is for the Insurance companies. When I came back to driving I had to get a new certification because it had been almost 9 years since I drove. But if he has been studying for at least his permit, and you can take him through the other parts it would help him in this endeavor. But he will still need a certificate from a school.

Good luck to you both,

Raptor

Big T's Comment
member avatar

You might talk to your company about covering the cost of the schooling. Husband wife teams are desirable to most companies. So it could be mutually beneficial and the worst they could say is no.

Candice W.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow! Thanks you guys for the wealth of info! It's all given me so many other things to address! I was actually asking the company from a standpoint of him attending school, and then him being trained by me, in the same company afterwards. After my husband and I talked about it more in depth we just assumed the company would let us skip the school and let me train him. Bummers that it may not be an option to do it that way. I called a few of the mega carriers to see if they would let him come to their school and the were all about it, and letting me come over and train him, they all are just such bad companies! I can't stand the thought of him having to stay with them until that bill is paid. Ugh!! Do u guys recommend any schools? Heard anything good? I actually got mine from Prime but I feel they will be too fast paced for him. He already has his learners. He has had that about 3 weeks now. Also...thanks for welcoming me! :)

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Wow! Thanks you guys for the wealth of info! It's all given me so many other things to address! I was actually asking the company from a standpoint of him attending school, and then him being trained by me, in the same company afterwards. After my husband and I talked about it more in depth we just assumed the company would let us skip the school and let me train him. Bummers that it may not be an option to do it that way. I called a few of the mega carriers to see if they would let him come to their school and the were all about it, and letting me come over and train him, they all are just such bad companies! I can't stand the thought of him having to stay with them until that bill is paid. Ugh!! Do u guys recommend any schools? Heard anything good? I actually got mine from Prime but I feel they will be too fast paced for him. He already has his learners. He has had that about 3 weeks now. Also...thanks for welcoming me! :)

How are they bad companies? There's people here from all of those mega carrier training companies and they all have positive things to say.

Prime is pretty on par with all of the other company sponsored training programs. You have 3 weeks to get it done.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

You do realize most of us are making good money at those "bad" companies right?

Plus this is a site that preaches the value of company paid training, so where do you think they are going to recommend?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

A few years ago Swift would put a driver's spouse through CDL school then let the driver train them for no charge. That might still be a thing.

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

I just love it when a neophyte try’s to tell us about how bad all of of our employers are...

That sh** don’t fly here Candice.

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