Dean Of Mack's CDL Training Diary

Topic 27354 | Page 2

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Steppenwolf 's Comment
member avatar

I thought I read where Illinois changed that last year... Could be wrong

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Starting to finalize my preparation for Monday. Class start at 7am about an hour's drive away. I can finally put my Carhartt lunch box I got for Christmas to good use.

Next week is "orientation." New students will study for their CLP and go thru a DOT physical. I already have both. Not sure what I'll be doing.

I paid for the "at home" option for the routine classwork. This is an 8-week course that teaches more than just passing the CDL exam. They teach FMCSA rules (HOS, etc.), driver-level repairs and maintenance, etc. I have to drive to the class 2x a week for the first 5 weeks for driving skills. The last 3 weeks I'm there 4 days a week learning more driving, docking, on-road emergency prep, etc. Yeah, it's twice as long as a "turn & burn" CDL course but they have a 100% hire rate with really well-respected regional carriers. I won't drive there every day those last few weeks, I'll stay in a motel Mon - Wed nights.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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
This is an 8-week course that teaches more than just passing the CDL exam. They teach FMCSA rules (HOS, etc.), driver-level repairs and maintenance, etc.

Dean, what's this course costing you?

Have you considered Paid CDL Training Programs?

You are probably spending way too much money on this and would be way ahead by training with a company that would be paying you to train. You are spending your money and your time at a community college and you're not getting anything of extra value. You're calling other private schools "turn & burn" programs while you're getting a "shake down" with no real increased value.

Think about it. You're going to devote more than twice as much time and money. Are they paying you anything? Some of these Company Sponsored programs are willing to pay you from 600 to 800 dollars per week while you're in their program, and they guarantee you a job upon completion.

I paid my way through school. I thought if I had the means that would be the smartest way to go. It was a mistake. I've learned that lesson. Now I always recommend the Paid CDL Training Programs.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

What is it costing me? $200 for books, etc. I have a 100% scholarship. Training with a mega carrier was on my list, but I don't want the pay back time commitment. I have no paid CDL training near me. If I didn't have the scholarship then yes, I would absolutely do the paid CDL training. Lucky me - I was medically discharged due to being injured in the line of duty as a Marine (nothing DOT disqualifying). That gave me a scholarship. I considered Prime, Inc. (9 month commitment - $4850 + interest payback for leaving early, not prorated). Considered Knight but there are no Knight facilities near me in West Central Illinois. Plenty of smaller regional carriers within 2 hours that hire new CDL's - Dot Trans, Sharkey, Hielh(?), Don Hummer. The paid route isn't for everyone, but it works for me.

If someone out there could not get a scholarship I'd understand their need for paid CDL training.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Dean, there's not a reason in the world you can't do well at this. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Having said that, an awful lot of people manage to let success at trucking elude them. Most of us can't wrap our minds around how this career really works, which is why I wanted to give you an alternative to an unnecessarily long school.

You've got a lot of misconceptions going already, and sometimes misconceptions can spiral down into a big deal. We will help you any way we can. We're really grateful for your efforts at this diary. Here's something you said that I just want to touch on briefly...

Training with a mega carrier was on my list, but I don't want the pay back time commitment.

Have you witnessed our friend Marc Lee's difficulties in getting his trucking career started? We kept encouraging him about the Sponsored programs. He was sure he had taken the best route. You're doing much like him. You're looking into companies close by, and you're thinking you're school has something special to offer.

There's this huge advantage people don't understand about these programs. Everyone says what you did. One year is like a single drop of water in trucking - it's nothing at all to concern yourself with. Without that commitment, very few survive their foray into trucking. What people don't understand is the company's commitment to them. That's the huge advantage.

Marc chose the same path as you. He accidentally slipped while getting in/out of the truck and the company had no commitment to keeping him on. He was let go and he's still floundering. It's sad, but we see it often. We try to teach people this stuff because it's important. There's no perfect way to get started in trucking, but we've witnessed a lot of efforts at it. We know the path with the best results. We always teach "best practices."

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Old School.

From your experience, if someone fails to get their CDL in their home state (me) are we still able to pursue company sponsored training options or do the trucking companies consider a failed private school attempt as being fired, unable to perform the tasks etc?

I am trying to plot out my next steps etc.

Would you happen to know??

Dean, there's not a reason in the world you can't do well at this. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Having said that, an awful lot of people manage to let success at trucking elude them. Most of us can't wrap our minds around how this career really works, which is why I wanted to give you an alternative to an unnecessarily long school.

You've got a lot of misconceptions going already, and sometimes misconceptions can spiral down into a big deal. We will help you any way we can. We're really grateful for your efforts at this diary. Here's something you said that I just want to touch on briefly...

double-quotes-start.png

Training with a mega carrier was on my list, but I don't want the pay back time commitment.

double-quotes-end.png

Have you witnessed our friend Marc Lee's difficulties in getting his trucking career started? We kept encouraging him about the Sponsored programs. He was sure he had taken the best route. You're doing much like him. You're looking into companies close by, and you're thinking you're school has something special to offer.

There's this huge advantage people don't understand about these programs. Everyone says what you did. One year is like a single drop of water in trucking - it's nothing at all to concern yourself with. Without that commitment, very few survive their foray into trucking. What people don't understand is the company's commitment to them. That's the huge advantage.

Marc chose the same path as you. He accidentally slipped while getting in/out of the truck and the company had no commitment to keeping him on. He was let go and he's still floundering. It's sad, but we see it often. We try to teach people this stuff because it's important. There's no perfect way to get started in trucking, but we've witnessed a lot of efforts at it. We know the path with the best results. We always teach "best practices."

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.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
if someone fails to get their CDL in their home state (me) are we still able to pursue company sponsored training options or do the trucking companies consider a failed private school attempt as being fired, unable to perform the tasks etc?

Moe, it's pretty tough to get into a Company Sponsored program after bombing out. I guess you could just not mention what's already taken place, but I'm not sure that's the best approach. You've got a CDL permit, but I'm just not familiar with your state's laws. Will they allow you to transfer your new CDL from another state while not allowing you to test again for one year?

I'm all for you giving it a try, but I'd try to find out first if you're gonna hit a snag with the transfer of your freshly minted CDL from another state. I don't envy you trying to get a straight answer from the state about that, but I think you've got to make sure your ducks are in a row before trying that.

I'm sorry to not be very helpful. I'm just not familiar with the rules of your state.

sorry.gif

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Moe's Comment
member avatar

Oregon will allow me to transfer a CDL from another state to here. So say I test with SWIFT in Utah and pass, I then can bring that CDL back here and all I would have to do is retake the written Class C test (dumb I know) plus get an OR hazmat.

Wilson Logisitics already denied me around end of December citing conflict of interest with my private school.

I was going to call Swifty next week and other carriers. God I hope I didnt slice my own throat, I am really kicking myself for taking the route I did.

The private school has pretty much cut me and a couple others loose not even any contacts for non CDL work or ideas. One instructor was kind enough to give me a contact at Swift.

Just use me as an example of what not to do (like my whole life has been)

Thank you sir, I appreciate your professionalism at least.

Moe

double-quotes-start.png

if someone fails to get their CDL in their home state (me) are we still able to pursue company sponsored training options or do the trucking companies consider a failed private school attempt as being fired, unable to perform the tasks etc?

double-quotes-end.png

Moe, it's pretty tough to get into a Company Sponsored program after bombing out. I guess you could just not mention what's already taken place, but I'm not sure that's the best approach. You've got a CDL permit, but I'm just not familiar with your state's laws. Will they allow you to transfer your new CDL from another state while not allowing you to test again for one year?

I'm all for you giving it a try, but I'd try to find out first if you're gonna hit a snag with the transfer of your freshly minted CDL from another state. I don't envy you trying to get a straight answer from the state about that, but I think you've got to make sure your ducks are in a row before trying that.

I'm sorry to not be very helpful. I'm just not familiar with the rules of your state.

sorry.gif

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

Dean,

I wish you the BEST come Monday~!! Keep us posted, please. Many of us follow, just don't add much (because we 'dunno' what to say, haha!)

No matter what; have faith in YOU, and all the studies you've done on here. We all are pulling for you, for sure~!!

:) Anne :)

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Dean,

I wish you the BEST come Monday~!! Keep us posted, please. Many of us follow, just don't add much (because we 'dunno' what to say, haha!)

No matter what; have faith in YOU, and all the studies you've done on here. We all are pulling for you, for sure~!!

:) Anne :)

Thank You Anne! Class starts at 7 am tomorrow, which is an hour's drive for me. Hopefully I'll get a little sleep.

DeanOfMac

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.
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