Recommended Place To Get My CDL License

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Breydan W.'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?

I have entered the trucking industry twice. The first time was about 20 years ago when I attended a company school of one of the Mega carriers, Schneider (they used to have their own school, idk if they still do). I worked for them, over the road , for exactly one year, completing my commitment. Then I quit driving for personal reasons, and let my CDL lapse. The second time was about 5 years ago when I attended a local private cdl school. Upon completion of which I took a job with a local company that allows me to be home every day, and making significantly more money than I was with Schneider (double, in the first year!).

So, I have first person experience with both ways of getting a CDL. There are many variables, of course, but in my experience the private school route is better. The company school was fast-paced and relatively unforgiving. More than half of the students that started in my class washed out of Schneider's school. On the other hand, the private school made sure that every student in the class finished the course and received any extra attention needed to get them to pass the test. I think that private schools have more at stake in seeing that all of their students get a CDL because private schools succeed according to their reputations for student pass rates.

Lastly, going to a private school will give you options once you get your license. You won't be locked into a contract with a certain company, so you will be able to explore all of the possibilities that are out there.

Best of 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.

Over The Road:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

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?

double-quotes-end.png

I have entered the trucking industry twice. The first time was about 20 years ago when I attended a company school of one of the Mega carriers, Schneider (they used to have their own school, idk if they still do). I worked for them, over the road , for exactly one year, completing my commitment. Then I quit driving for personal reasons, and let my CDL lapse. The second time was about 5 years ago when I attended a local private cdl school. Upon completion of which I took a job with a local company that allows me to be home every day, and making significantly more money than I was with Schneider (double, in the first year!).

So, I have first person experience with both ways of getting a CDL. There are many variables, of course, but in my experience the private school route is better. The company school was fast-paced and relatively unforgiving. More than half of the students that started in my class washed out of Schneider's school. On the other hand, the private school made sure that every student in the class finished the course and received any extra attention needed to get them to pass the test. I think that private schools have more at stake in seeing that all of their students get a CDL because private schools succeed according to their reputations for student pass rates.

Lastly, going to a private school will give you options once you get your license. You won't be locked into a contract with a certain company, so you will be able to explore all of the possibilities that are out there.

Best of luck!

Welcome to the forum, and BACK to trucking, Breydan!

Yes SNI has changed a bit, but I can tell you that THEY currently have a NICE refresher course, that could be 'just right' for you. You know the ropes, and their pay has become incredibly better since your days there! << Especially for experience.

Also, CFI has been known to have a rather nice 'refresher' and will help you obtain (re'obtain) your CDL.. Something to consider!

I know you were sharing 'YOUR' opines with the O/P, sorry to hijack!!! Just figured I'd kick YOU a little 'tidbit' of info, as well~!!

~ Anne ~

ps: Start a thread; maybe, and let us know what's been going on with your progress, too ?!?!? (and location, helps. I've got a few 'back pocket' places that actually MAY take 'stale' driving..as crazy as this Covid has made this country and the economy!)

Lastly >>>> This could only HELP: Apply For Paid CDL Training

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.

Over The Road:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

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

Apply here. You won't regret it. They'll train you for free and you'll work in Florida.

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

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

double-quotes-end.png

Apply here. You won't regret it. They'll train you for free and you'll work in Florida.

Not only that but it's one-on-one training for 4 to 6 weeks. Doubt you'll find that anywhere else.

Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

Alright, I've decided on a couple courses of action. For now, before I decide which to do, I'm getting my permit through the DMV before I go to any school. That will take a little time but not too much in the grand scheme of thing. I'll also be applying to the link above, thank you for that Auggie69.

I've looked at some of the private schools and regular ones, and Prime seems to stand out as one that would be good to apply for as well. I'll try to keep the thread updated on what happens once I get my permit.

Thanks again for the advice. Your opinions have all been really helpful on making decisions for this.

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Aaron, as a general rule we believe the Paid CDL Training Programs provide the most likely path to success. That isn't just a personal belief, it is something we have watched over the years in our forum conversations. The folks who have gone through those programs are generally more prone to make it through their rookie year. That first year is a tough one. When you go through a training program where the company paid the bill for your training, they have a vested interest in your success. They have skin in the game.

They don't train people in hopes of taking them to collections for the bill. They do it because they need serious drivers. If they think you might work out, then they will get behind you and help you all the way. It becomes a win win situation. They underwrite your career and they keep you up to date with safe operations because they want you on their team.

Both Brett and I went to private schools. Since then we have developed some pretty strong feelings about why the company sponsored programs are better. That is our experience. Here is a great article that shows why we feel the way we do. Pleas take the time to read it and keep us posted on how things are developing for you.

Why I Prefer Company Sponsored Training

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Aaron;

Here's a NOW diary going on, from someone 'finishing' private school.... Jared. Read his last 2 comments, mostly. The whole THREAD IS LOADED, however. He 'agrees' that 4 weeks / 4 k ... wasn't very proliferous, as i'd pointed out.

Jared's Diary

Old School has nothing but THE best advice, always; I'm just a 'wannabe' ... but I'm kinda right and agreeing, with this concept. READ THIS DIARY. If you would!

Wish you the best;

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

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