Trying To Get CDL

Topic 28635 | Page 1

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Tyler W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Trucking Truth Users,

My name is Tyler and I am looking to get my CDL. I can't afford trucking school, that is just out of the question right now. I applied to Prime, Schneider and Wilson Logistics. I believe it was Schneider that said I needed my permit before they would hire me, Prime just wouldn't hire me because of my work history. So I applied to Wilson and the recruiter told me that my work history shouldn't be an issue, so I waited a week for them to do all their application procedures only to be called back this past Monday and told that because of my work history they won't hire me. All these companies ask for the past 3 years of work history and these past 3 years have been the worst for me.. dropping out of college, moving, etc. I did deliver pharmaceuticals for 5 years but that was from 2011 to 2016... and I feel that would be the most applicable experience considering it's driving. In the 12 years I've been driving (27 years old), I haven't had a ticket or an accident. I'm not a trucker so I don't know if any of these things matter, but I assumed having driving experience, even if it was in an SUV for 5 years, and having a good driving record would make a difference. I keep reading awful things about Swift (which it seems to be mainly from non-swift drivers), and I'm a little reluctant to hit them up. However, they may be the only company that gives me a chance to change my future. Ever since my mom died, I've been trying to find myself and what I want to do... I love driving and trucking seems to be a good career for me. It's unfortunate that these companies only see my work history and say NOPE. Can anyone give me insight as to what to do or who I should look into for PAID CDL training? I can get my permit, that's not a problem. Sorry this is a long post, just kind of venting right now. Have a great day!

Tyler

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Tyler, welcome to Trucking Truth!

I've been around this forum since the early beginnings of my trucking career. I'll bet I've read your story a thousand times. This whole "work history" thing throws a lot of people off. To be honest, most trucking companies aren't all turned off by gaps in your work history. Prime and Wilson are two of the mist critical concerning work history, and that's the two you chose. Now you're all down that you've stifled yourself.

Another big mistake you're making is the erroneous "good company, bad company" mentality. The name on the truck has zero effect on your success at this. The whole concept of telling people this company will treat you right but this other company is gonna treat you like a slave is preposterous, yet it is found everywhere online. It's simply not true.

I know this - I've proven it's fallacy. I made a very successful trucking career at Western Express. Go look up their reviews. They are scary, but they are false. They are written by non-achievers - people who couldn't find their way out of a wet paper sack. They are useless pieces of literature - not worth five minutes attention.

Try this...

When reporting your work history, present it as a time line. Leave no gaps. If you were in college - list it. If you were unemployed - list that time period as "looking for employment." All they need is accuracy and a way to verify it. You can verify college enrollment easily with paperwork or transcripts. Other times can be verified with notarized letters from friends who can verify you were living where you say, and doing what you say. Include the friends phone numbers for verification.

Honestly, most of them aren't even considering your work history. They are developing a "file" on you that is required to hold certain information satisfying FMCSA requirements for new drivers. One of those requirements is a record of where you've been and what you've been doing for the past three years. They build that information from your work history. The truth is that this whole effort is to prevent terrorists from getting trucking jobs and thereby threatening our nation again like they did on 9/11. They just need accurate verifiable information of your constant whereabouts and activity. That satisfies the requirements, but it must be thorough.

We've seen a lot of people get started in trucking who were unemployed for the three years prior to their pursuit of trucking. Work history is more about "history" than it is about employment. Make an accurate verifiable timeline. That's what they need.

There's plenty of hope for your trucking career. Get that verifiable accurate timeline together and try some more companies. You are a very acceptable candidate. You just got the application process started off wrong. Clean it up and try again. We can help if you have questions. Trust me, a lot of current truck drivers had a lousy work history. You just need to give them the information they are looking for.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Tyler; much of the negative you’ll read about ANY company, has a lot to do with the level of demand the complainers put on the company. For some strange reason, many truck drivers don’t see the risks a company must take to hire them.

Swift might be a great fit for you. They’re big enough to have lots of freight, various options if you choose to change from OTR to dedicated (or vice versa) and they’re nationwide.

You may not be able to do much about where you start, but isn’t your goal well beyond that?

Cheer up and get rolling! 😎

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.

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Tyler, follow the blueprint old school laid out, it is battle tested and proven.

My company has some horrible reviews on line. I make good money and do well, just as others have at these internet defined horrible companies.

Get started, learn the industry, and hone your skills. Then you will see many choices open up for you.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Tyler W.'s Comment
member avatar

When reporting your work history, present it as a time line. Leave no gaps. If you were in college - list it. If you were unemployed - list that time period as "looking for employment." All they need is accuracy and a way to verify it. You can verify college enrollment easily with paperwork or transcripts. Other times can be verified with notarized letters from friends who can verify you were living where you say, and doing what you say. Include the friends phone numbers for verification.

Honestly, most of them aren't even considering your work history. They are developing a "file" on you that is required to hold certain information satisfying FMCSA requirements for new drivers. One of those requirements is a record of where you've been and what you've been doing for the past three years. They build that information from your work history. The truth is that this whole effort is to prevent terrorists from getting trucking jobs and thereby threatening our nation again like they did on 9/11. They just need accurate verifiable information of your constant whereabouts and activity. That satisfies the requirements, but it must be thorough.

I have listed all of my work history in a timeline, and even sent them the SSA form to verify all my work history and income. I listed all the times I was in school from community college all the way to university. I listed 10 years worth with no gaps, including unemployment. I'm about to hit up Swift and if they hire me and people make fun of Swift or whatever, I'll let them know real quick that they were the first company to give me my shot and allow me to build my future. Thanks for the info guys. I'll update everyone on my status.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
I'm about to hit up Swift and if they hire me and people make fun of Swift or whatever, I'll let them know real quick that they were the first company to give me my shot and allow me to build my future.

Swift is a very solid choice to get started, and even make a career at. One of our moderators, G town, got his start there and found enough success he's still there several years later enjoying a very lucrative career. You will hear a lot of trash talk and "jokes". Ignore them, dont give them the satisfaction of getting you worked up. That's what they're trying to do. Swift didnt become the largest carrier in the country by their employees being incompetent. Swift has the most trucks on the road which is why it seems they're more frequently spotted making typical rookie mistakes. I've posted the screenshot from the FMCSA before and believe it or not Swift is involved in less accidents and placed out of service much less as a percentage than the national average.

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.
Tyler W.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift is a very solid choice to get started, and even make a career at. One of our moderators, G town, got his start there and found enough success he's still there several years later enjoying a very lucrative career. You will hear a lot of trash talk and "jokes". Ignore them, dont give them the satisfaction of getting you worked up. That's what they're trying to do. Swift didnt become the largest carrier in the country by their employees being incompetent. Swift has the most trucks on the road which is why it seems they're more frequently spotted making typical rookie mistakes. I've posted the screenshot from the FMCSA before and believe it or not Swift is involved in less accidents and placed out of service much less as a percentage than the national average.

Well you have motivated me to continue with them, should they accept me. I have heard their pay is low but for my first year as long as I can pay my bills ($700 a month) and have a little to save, I'll be completely fine :).

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.
Tyler W.'s Comment
member avatar

Update!

Swift showed interest in me, but unfortunately with me being unemployed, I don't have enough $$ to get through the 3 weeks of training + the first week of driving with mentor until I get my first paycheck. I have had some stuff come up at home, like my car needing to go to shop, that prevents me from continuing. I am not giving up completely.. I do intend on reapplying. I just have to find some job around here and save up about 2 grand to pay my bills, buy food, etc while I'm off training.

Dan F.'s Comment
member avatar

Every driver Hass to start somewhere. Big companies pay less for their drivers because they have less experience. Intern, they pay more in claims due to inexperienced drivers. It’s the cycle of life. But like every company there’s good and bad drivers. You just are more likely to notice the bad ones when they have less experience because their mistakes are often catastrophic . It’s just statistics that’s all. I know a lease operator that’s been driving for Swift for 22 years and he is perfectly happy doing what he’s doing.

But like I said especially with megacarriers, there’s going to be a higher probability of errors on the road.

All you can do is make sure you get your minimum of 1.5 years of experience before switching companies and try your best to keep your eyes on the road and anticipate danger so you keep your record clean.

Oh and don’t try and open a pack of powdered donuts with one hand while driving on I 65 in Indiana

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