Recommended Place To Get My CDL License

Topic 29657 | Page 1

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Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, I'm a bit new to truck driving. I've recently decided to pursue a career in it and I've been saving up to afford buying my CDL license so I don't need to have it paid through a trucking school and getting signed up with one of their companies for a few years. I'm currently employed elsewhere so I'm in no immediate hurry, but I want to be prepared before I take the plunge.

Hopefully I can get some advice since it seems like there's a wide range of responses online to good trucking companies and schools to attend.

So, does anyone have any recommended schools you think are better then others for getting training? And companies after perhaps that are worth applying for?

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.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, I'm a bit new to truck driving. I've recently decided to pursue a career in it and I've been saving up to afford buying my CDL license so I don't need to have it paid through a trucking school and getting signed up with one of their companies for a few years. I'm currently employed elsewhere so I'm in no immediate hurry, but I want to be prepared before I take the plunge.

Hopefully I can get some advice since it seems like there's a wide range of responses online to good trucking companies and schools to attend.

So, does anyone have any recommended schools you think are better then others for getting training? And companies after perhaps that are worth applying for?

Howdy, Aaron . . . and welcome to Trucking Truth!

First of all; we recommend COMPANY SPONSORED TRAINING for MANY reasons; and hopefully Old School will stop in here shortly, and explain why. Also, your location not being in your profile, would limit anyone 'nearby' regarding private training, to give you advice.

Here's our starter pack for your perusal: (Be SURE to read the 2nd tab down; Brett's free book. It's amazing.)

And finally:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Wish you well~ and hopefully you can add your location to your profile, also.

~ Anne ~

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Generally, I'd recommend letting a company sponsor your training and fulfill your year contract. A year goes by pretty fast. The main reason is that you absolutely have a job upon completion. There's no applications to submit or options to weigh while you let what learned get away from you and your CDL gets stale. You should stick with your first company for at least a year because nobody likes job hoppers, especially those that have no experience. Going through CDL school, there's no guarantee of employment upon completion. You can find yourself 5K or more in the hole with a license you can't use.

And most of these companies that get you licensed in exchange for a year give you the option to buy out your contract for the amount (or less) of what you would pay a school anyway. It's not a situation where you have no out and you're stuck there for a year no matter what.

If you do decide to go through a private school, make sure they provide a 160 hour certificate. You'll need that for most employers.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Hey Aaron, what state do you live in?

Like others said we recommend Paid CDL Training Programs. While this list is not complete it's a good start.

I was trained by CFI. They have an excellent training program and does not cost anything if you drive for them for at least one year.

Good luck.

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.
Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm currently in Florida. I'll definitely check out the links you guys have given me. I think a lot more research is necessary. I dont mind getting training through a company, I just don't want to make the mistake of signing onto one that's bad and being locked in with them for a couple of years.

Thank you for the warm welcome as well as the advice.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm currently in Florida. I'll definitely check out the links you guys have given me. I think a lot more research is necessary. I dont mind getting training through a company, I just don't want to make the mistake of signing onto one that's bad and being locked in with them for a couple of years.

Thank you for the warm welcome as well as the advice.

Most of the big companies (Swift, Prime, etc.) that offer CDL training only require a one year commitment. Even if you go to CDL school, you should plan to stay with your first company at least that long.

I live in Pensacola and went to TDI Milton. They were great, many companies hire from them. I had a job with Schneider upon graduation. At the time, Schneider didn’t offer CDL school, but they (like many companies) did tuition reimbursement and it was spread out over many months.

I hope this helps.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I'm currently in Florida.

Where at in Florida? Some companies shy away from hiring drivers from a large portion of that state.

The largest reason is lots of freight is hauled in, but not many products get hauled from Florida.

Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

A bit in the middle just shy of the Orlando area. I'm right in Brevard County.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Aaron, I'll add or chorus supporting company sponsored training. If you are accepted to a company school (and pass to get your CDL) you will be set for a job that includes the next level of training you will need.

Many newbies are concerned about the one year commitment. Do not worry. Stick with the company that trained you till the tuition obligations is paid off, often shorter than the time you would normally take to pay the bill on it's own, meaning less actual moolah out of your pocket.

Even if you decide to blow, more doors will be open if you have that rookie year experience under your belt than you will have if you move on sooner.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh, I forgot: Swift has a terminal in Ocala. You won't train there, and being close to a company terminal isn't necessary for your career, but they are nice to have around.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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