How Is One Supposed To Choose? CDL Training

Topic 29168 | Page 1

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Malcolm H.'s Comment
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Like many newbies on this site, I have many hours looking on this site, youtube and other trucker forums, the safer web site. But to me it boils down to trying to figure out if the management runs a good operation and is fair to the employees.

I really got excited thinking about driving and was worried that at 61 I was too old, but this site convinced me it's not a problem if you are relatively healthy. This is certainly not a planned career change, but one brought about by this COVID mess. I am in the process of closing down a 70 year old business my parents started, and I've been leading for almost 35 years. I had planned on doing that for a long time yet.

Now to the trucking stuff. I did so many 180’s in my thought process as to whether it was smarter to do private school vs company paid. what to pull, or going with a big medium, or small company.

Companies I always seemed to be pulled back to Millis. So as of right now Millis is at the top of the list.

A couple of these below would require private school but I agree with others on this site that it seems smart to do the company training.

Next tier on my list, HO Wolding, Prime and Roehl - I do like prime a lot in that you have choices of which things to pull and leasing is pretty easy etc. But I don’t like the Team driving during training.

Third tier maybe WEL Companies, Veriha, or Nussbaum. The only reason I didn't look harder into Nussbaum is they seem to kind of hide the fact that if you have a cdl with no experience they will train you.

A couple others that were strictly flatbed, but I felt that I would be stuck if there was no other options.

What Division -- Dry Van -- Reefer - Even though I have heard people talk about not even noticing the refrigeration unit making noise all night I think that it would be quite annoying, maybe one could get used to it pretty easily -- Flatbed – I think I would like the challenge, and regularly lift and throw heavier things around but mixing that with cold, snow and rain does not necessarily sound that great sometimes.

Also in flatbeds how slow can it get at certain times of the year, I have read that the winter can slow down. But how cyclical is it?

Solo vs Team – I have no desire to do Team Driving, not even during training. Especially for training makes no sense to me, how does it help make me a better driver if the trainer is sleeping in the back, or worse yet being paired with another student. I am used to figuring things out on the fly but this makes about as much sense as solo driving after a week! I seems that pairing 2 students together is going to help the student that struggles more and not help the one that picks things up easier. But this is rant for someone that is only looking form the outside-in. Plus the other thing about team driving is that my whole life I could never sleep at all in a moving vehicle be it cars or airplanes.

Company vs Owner Operator/Lease – my thought is now I am only considering Company driver. If things go well and I think I want to go the next step I can consider it then. To me it seems like the Lease or O/O would only just be if I wanted more flexibility with running my own pace and goofing off more, but I also know that there are lots of expenses with being on your own.

Free Time If a driver was established a bit, and the company knows they can count on them, what are the chances of being more flexible with scheduling? By this I mean if say I got a load to somewhere right next to the Smokey Mountains in October could I ask to hold off on a return trip out of there for 2 or 3 days and enjoy some of the sites that are not truck routes, or is that only going to be were you work for a smaller company?

Millis Driver Specific Questions - Due to the business stuff I have to wrap up I have no idea how long that will take. I want to get started with school right after that, typically if accepted how long before you can get into the school? - Is Millis 100% dry vans? Like I said above it would be great to be able to get a taste of flatbed - Are things still pretty stable after the Heartland buyout - I would enjoy a quick tour of the headquarters and possibly a quick intro with some of the people, do you think that is something done much in these social distancing times. I was also assuming there would be drivers around I can chat with a bit about the company, you know, get the real story. I am a little more than 2 hours east of there so just a quick trip. - Do you think there is any chance they would expand the area served to the western states, or since Heartland seems to go there already is that not likely? Or is it just kind of a sales thing, if you can find the customers somewhere on a regular basis they would do it.

I have just played with the first few chapters of the CDL Training Guide, it seems very good, about the only questions I got wrong is when I read the question too fast and skipped an important word in the question, otherwise it seems pretty easy so far.

I really appreciate this website, it is packed with information. Plus the decorum on the site is far better than any of the other ones I have come across. I don’t like all the negativity people show on some forums. My thought is that the majority of time they bring all their problems upon themselves. If there is one problem with it is that there is too much information!! But that is the best problem to have.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Posting this for anybody in the future that may find this, the post got re-posted in the general section to get more attention. It can be found Here

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