SPE (Skill Performance Evaluation) Certificate

Topic 27583 | Page 1

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cfc's Comment
member avatar

Thanks to Robert B (The Dragon)'s feedback on here we are able to get a better understanding of the process for obtaining a SPE Certificate. The instructions laid out by FMCSA leave a bit to be desired. As someone who is looking to get into trucking that is required to get a SPE, I'm trying to remove all the uncertainties before jumping in head first. My main concern is the time frame it will take, and how much of that will be unpaid. Here's the way I understand it:

- (Week 1) Obtain DOT Physical to determine if SPE is necessary

- (Week 2) Obtain medical evaluation from physiatrist or orthopedic surgeon - Apply for SPE certificate

- (Weeks 2 - 8) Wait for reply from FMCSA (the women I spoke with said expect 4-6 weeks for processing) to get temporary waiver.

- (Week 8) Apply for and obtain CDL learners permit.

- Leave my current job to attend Trucking school.

- (Week 8-12***) Trucking School. This portion could be longer depending on what school I attend. We have a local technical institute that offers schooling over eight weeks but the cost is significantly cheaper and your not locked into a contract with a carrier.

- (Week 13***) Apply for and obtain CDL.

- (Week 14-20***) Wait for someone from my state to reach out to do a driving test to complete the SPE application process.

- (Weeks 20 - 26***) Wait for SPE certificate to be issued.

- (Week 26) Start trucking!

**Weeks 14-26, the timeline is an assumption based on my call to FMCSA. The person I spoke with seemed to be rushed and the details were hazey. ***Potentially Unpaid portion. Probably get a job delivering Pizza's in the evening or something like that.

With this timeline, I could potentially go 18 weeks with little to no pay. Currently I have a good job that pays well for my area, and I would hate to leave it without knowing that I can become a trucker. Who is to say that I can pass the requirements provided by FMCSA and get the SPE at all?

It's my understanding trucking school is not required to get your CDL or SPE certificate, just as driving school is not required to get your driver license. What matters is your ability to pass the written and driving exam. Getting a job as a trucker on the other hand, schooling or one year experience is required. What if we replaced Week 8-12 trucking school with one to two weeks of driving with a trucker who is a owner/operator and has the patience to teach. Certainly I could take two weeks vacation from work.

What are your thoughts?

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

You can get through the entire process a bit faster than that but you have to stay on top of the folks at FMCSA. I'm not sure what your disability is that might require you having the certificate but it's important to know that not every doctor will annotate it on the physical. It took me 4 years to get released from mine and I keep a copy of the release form from FMCSA , should a different doctor try to determine I should have it again.

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.
Brian R.'s Comment
member avatar

Training Certificate was 7 days for me. 11/11/19 - 1/11/20. Got extension good 1/12/20 - 3/12/20 . Training spe only good for 8 weeks. Make sure your state dmv gets copy of extension. Road test was 1/23/20 passed 1/24/20 called Tatiana from FMCSA and faxed interim license and requested SPE. Had that on 2/5/20 called Tatiana at FMCSA on the 6th she emailed me copy of SPE good for 2 years. Sent copy to DMV start with company Monday 2/24/20. Tatiana was awesome answering my questions .

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

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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