Trucking School Vs Getting CDL On Your Own

Topic 29916 | Page 1

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Vernon G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all, I am looking at getting into trucking. I am 52 years old and was wondering is it best to go to a CDL school or just get your CDL on your own and start applying. I am pretty sure I can pass all the test, been studying for the permit and vehicle inspection. Also there is a school near by that give the one day course to help you through the vehicle trip inspection for your license. Just looking for a little advice on this. I am concerned about quieting my current job and being unemployed for a couple of months until I find some work. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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
I am concerned about quieting my current job and being unemployed for a couple of months until I find some work.

If that's your concern, then you need to go through one of the many Paid CDL Training Programs. That way you are guaranteed a job after successfully completing their program.

I don't know of any reputable trucking companies hiring rookies who just have a CDL they got on their own. The most important thing you bring to the table as a rookie is your certificate showing you've had 160 hours of training. That certificate is what opens the door. It's far more important than your CDL when applying with no verifiable experience.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Moe's Comment
member avatar

Dude, listen to Old School bro, he speaks truth. For a rookie Paid CDL Training Programs is really the only way to go. You can get your CDL and a guaranteed job once you are done.

Apply For Paid CDL Training

I did the private school route and if I could build a flux capacitor and go back in time, I would have more closely followed the advice on the forum, it really is the easiest most direct path to getting going in trucking.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, you could get a CDL on your own, but the standard requirement for nearly all companies (large or small) is the new drivers must complete 160 hours of school. If you don't get a school certificate, no recruiter will even return your calls.

Taking only the short Pre-Trip class is like learning how to use a scalpel and expect to get a job as a surgeon.

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.
Vernon G.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I am concerned about quieting my current job and being unemployed for a couple of months until I find some work.

double-quotes-end.png

If that's your concern, then you need to go through one of the many Paid CDL Training Programs. That way you are guaranteed a job after successfully completing their program.

I don't know of any reputable trucking companies hiring rookies who just have a CDL they got on their own. The most important thing you bring to the table as a rookie is your certificate showing you've had 160 hours of training. That certificate is what opens the door. It's far more important than your CDL when applying with no verifiable experience.

I understand completely on the training. But my concern also is I was told even going to one of the company CDL training you still may not have a job when you come out. That is what some have said that went through it. Don't know how true it is maybe the guy was just a total screw up.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

I am concerned about quieting my current job and being unemployed for a couple of months until I find some work.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

If that's your concern, then you need to go through one of the many Paid CDL Training Programs. That way you are guaranteed a job after successfully completing their program.

I don't know of any reputable trucking companies hiring rookies who just have a CDL they got on their own. The most important thing you bring to the table as a rookie is your certificate showing you've had 160 hours of training. That certificate is what opens the door. It's far more important than your CDL when applying with no verifiable experience.

double-quotes-end.png

I understand completely on the training. But my concern also is I was told even going to one of the company CDL training you still may not have a job when you come out. That is what some have said that went through it. Don't know how true it is maybe the guy was just a total screw up.

The only way I see you not getting hired on is if you DON’T pass the testing phase and obtain your CDL. Otherwise what’s the point of them teaching you to pass the CDL exam?

I did private school, signed on right away with Schneider (at the time they didn’t have a CDL school) & they reimbursed the cost of CDL school (over time). And I started at 53 years old.

Bottom line, you NEED that 160-hour course certificate.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Vern hesitates:

But my concern also is I was told even going to one of the company CDL training you still may not have a job when you come out.

This is true. But you may have heard this from someone who failed out or something. If you are accepted to a company sponsored training program, you are all but hired already. The job is yours to lose, so don't lose it.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

At 50, I had the exact same question. I lurked on these forms for months before posting and then finally committing to it Id recommend reading through the

and check the CDL training diaries here. One of my biggest concern in going with a company sponsored or paid CDL is that I wouldnt be making any money for the 3 to 4 weeks that I was in school. I selected a company that actually hired me before I started their school and training and then pays me at least a small amount while in school. There is always a trade off though, While in school, im responsible for my own lodging and food. But the trade off is that Im not sharing a room with anyone, etc etc.

It turned out in the end that all those reasons I put up in front of me like, not having enough money while getting a CDL or lodging or logistics, etc...they were all just reservations on changing our lives substantially. I just picked them off one by one and worked through them. There are a ton of us in here that have got or are getting into this later in life, in second and third careers. You control your destiny in this.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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