Obtaining My Class A CDL Through A Technical College

Topic 27806 | Page 1

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SRJ's Comment
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Based on the TruckingTruth forum, I know my journey is going across the grain by attending a technical college vs. a company sponsored program. I understand the advantages of doing a company sponsored program. As many of you are aware this site provides a wealth of information from a variety of experienced drivers throughout the trucking industry. The information shared is truly amazing and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to provide such valuable information. A huge thanks to Brett and all the moderators for all their time and effort in making this site so informative.

Prior to my decision I completed just two applications and was accepted: Millis Transfer and Wilson Logistics. The contact at Millis was top-notch and she provided me with an answer to any question I had. Their program is detailed out in such a way that made me feel they truly have an interest in your success. Wilson Logistics was ok, but I could never get a complete breakdown of their program even after I completed a thorough application as requested.

Anyway, after careful consideration of what I feel is best for me in this career changing journey was to enroll in the truck driving weekend program at Waukesha Technical College in Pewaukee, WI. The school is approx. 30 minutes from my residence. The weekend program starts on April 18th and runs through September 19th on Saturday's and Sunday's from 7:30am to 5:30pm. A total of 400 hours of classroom and driving. One of the Saturday's will be spent on the skid pad at the Fox Valley Technical School in Appleton, WI. Testing for your CDL will take place on site once we are ready to do so. Approximately 70 carriers hire students directly out of the school. At this point I do not have any further information on the specifics of said companies.

Why did I decide to attend a technical college vs. company sponsored training. The biggest reason was that within the next couple of weeks the company I am currently employed with will be posting a full-time position that I am slotted to obtain. Due to its location, others with more seniority are not interested in bidding for the position. I have been with the company for just two years and to obtain a full-time position usually requires many more years of being with the company. This will also give me the opportunity to work Monday thru Friday from 8:45am to 4:15pm, off weekends and holidays and thus attend the CDL program on weekends. This will be a huge commitment on my part as I will be using all of the Summer weekends in class. The weekend camping trips, auto racing, family gatherings and alike will be put on the back-burner. I might as well start getting use to it as I have chosen to start a career in trucking.

My plan is to give a weekly update of my journey and my hope is the information I share will be of assistance to anyone looking to start a career in truck driving.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob. D.'s Comment
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Good luck

Looking forward to seeing your updates.

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