How To Gain Experience When I Have None

Topic 31317 | Page 2

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Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

I've got my CLP and test with the DOT later this month.

You'd think it'd be easy to find someone here who would allow me to drive with them to gain some experience that way too (I expect to pay that individual for their time and truck use too)

Anyways, thanks again!

Not really, its extremely difficult to find someone to do that. Its a huge ask first off and most people here are company drivers so they cannot let you ride along without registering you with their company and definitely can't let you train in their companys truck. The handful of O/Os also have insurance issues as well as a huge daily loss (upwards of $1000-$2000) for helping you instead of driving.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

To actually drive? Not going to happen. A ride with perhaps...

I've got my CLP and test with the DOT later this month.

You'd think it'd be easy to find someone here who would allow me to drive with them to gain some experience that way too (I expect to pay that individual for their time and truck use too)

Anyways, thanks again!

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone!

Later this month, assuming I pass the test, I'd like to find some part time local runs.

You're doing it wrong. First, you need to get your CDL before you start worrying about finding a CDL job. For folks who actually pay thousands of dollars and go to a school the pass rate is around 80%. For folks who don't go to a CDL school the pass rate is much lower. While I admire your rugged individual approach to just getting the CDL yourself there are a few problems with that. If and when you do get your CDL most companies won't hire you. That's because their insurers require new drivers to have a 160 hour training certificate from an accredited driver training school. No certificate, no job. That's because most hiring decisions in this industry aren't made by the companies who own the trucks - they're made by the companies that insure those trucks. Off the bat less then 10% of driving jobs will hire a driver with no experience. Less than 10% of those companies will hire a rookie without a 160 hour training certificate. Trust me, those aren't the best or highest paying jobs.

If you're still planning on going the CDL without a school route you have until Februrary 7th to do so. Beginning February 7, 2022, CDL applicants will be required to complete entry-level driver training from a provider listed on the new Training Provider Registry of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Yep, mandatory schooling.

As others have already pointed out, finding a truck to train on or take to the DMV for a test will be difficult. In my neck of the woods (PNW) the going rate to rent a truck and driver for the day (you need a CDL holder in the vehicle to drive with your permit) is ~$800/day.

My advice to you is to go to an accredited CDL school. Normally, I'd recommend a company-sponsored school, but it sounds like you already have an obligation that won't let you walk away for a month to do so. Don't have the money? Uncle Sam does. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will pay for you to get your CDL at an accredited school. You can find more information about Iowa's WIOA program here

If and when you do get your CDL you can look for part-time work at one of the truck driver staffing firms:

Centerline

TransForce

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.

WIOA:

WIOA - Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (aka WIA)

Formerly known as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the WIOA was established in 1998 to prepare youth, adults and dislocated workers for entry and reentry into the workforce. WIOA training funds are designed to serve laid-off individuals, older youth and adults who are in need of training to enter or reenter the labor market. A lot of truck drivers get funding for their CDL training through WIOA.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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