Becoming Inactive Pros And Cons

Topic 30827 | Page 1

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Shortshorts O.'s Comment
member avatar

My DOT medical card is expiring in a few months and I dont want to pay for another one until I start driving again. I talked to a lady at the DMV and she said I can become inactive and not worry about my Med Card until I start driving CDL vehicles again. I live in Washington state and want to make sure she is correct? I have like 6 months trucking experience and 5 years bus driving experience. I might take a year or two off trying another profession. Would becoming inactive affect my chances for finding a job at most places? What are the cons i am not seeing for making myself inactive for a bit?

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Howdy!

Welcome to Trucking Truth. With only 6 mths experience, you don't have enough experience to take time off for a couple years and then come back to driving without going thru refresher school.

I don't know WA law, so can't comment on the going inactive part of your comment. I would just keep everything current if it was me.

Laura

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Most trucking jobs require recent experience or a recent training program. You will probably be required to go through a "refresher course" to start back after a few years of being inactive. This was more so the case in past years, but some companies have ways to hire folks who have been inactive. It's not a big deal, but be prepared to go through training again.

Some states will downgrade your license if you let your Medical card lapse. I don't know Washington's particulars. I would always recommend you keep your medical current. It's not terribly expensive, but I understand if you don't really have extra resources then you don't want to waste them on something not necessary. If you can swing it I would suggest you keep it current.

Shortshorts O.'s Comment
member avatar

A few companies have told me to take a refresher course already. Theres one or two that will hire me with just my 6 months experience from 5 years ago.

Howdy!

Welcome to Trucking Truth. With only 6 mths experience, you don't have enough experience to take time off for a couple years and then come back to driving without going thru refresher school.

I don't know WA law, so can't comment on the going inactive part of your comment. I would just keep everything current if it was me.

Laura

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Why not just get a two year card for under $100, skipping all the hassle later?

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Why not just get a two year card for under $100, skipping all the hassle later?

If what PackRat suggests is possible, that would be the best solution. My CDL is from Wisconsin and two years ago I had to stop driving. By Wisconsin law, I had to downgrade my CDL to a Class B, In-state-driving-only. Getting upgraded again to a Class A CDL was exactly what PackRat said: A Huge & Expensive Hassle

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.
Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

In Washington you can downgrade your license to Intrastate-only so they won't downgrade your CDL to a class C license because you don't have a valid medical certificate. When you're ready to go interstate at some future date just present a current medical certificate and *VOILA* your license will automatically become a fully functional CDL.

As others have already pointed out - your CDL isn't a Twinkie that you can just put on a shelf and come back to years later. With so little experience you're looking at having to take a refresher course just to drive now. Wait a few years and most employers will require you to downgrade your license to class C and start over again if you want to drive a CMV.

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

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