Preparing For CDL School. Need Advice.

Topic 31646 | Page 1

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Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all, So I am starting my 48 hour 1 on 1 CDL A training in alittle over a week. I am currently pre-hired with a mid sized company doing OTR , have my DOT medical card, and received my permit prior to February 7th to sidestep all the new regulations. All that said, I am excited as Hell but absolutely riddled with anxiety. I have been studying the school specific Pre-Trip video in hopes of getting a leg up before my classes even start. The school I am attending has received rave reviews and even do the CDL skills testing on site. So I am not necessarily worried about the quality of my training. So my question is there anything else I could be doing to prepare? I am willing to do whatever it takes to learn these skills and pass. I have alot riding on the success of my 48 hours behind that wheel. I do have previous experience driving Hino flatbeds and Wheel lift tow trucks for AAA. So I am not afraid of the equipment. I know I am probably psyching myself out here but any advice would be appreciated. I worked really hard to get to this point and I really want to be successful in this industry.

Thanks for reading! -Drew

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.

OTR:

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.

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
I am probably psyching myself out

That's probably the case. Sounds like you're well prepared for this. Starting out isn't nearly as hard as it seems. The danger comes when you become too relaxed behind the wheel.

I'm more than a little concerned about only getting 48 hours of training. Hopefully your company will provide additional training before turning you loose.

Don't let the anxiety get to you. Remember that oodles of people do this every day. You've got this. Good luck.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for that! To clarify, its 48 hours all behind the wheel at CDL school and 6 weeks with a trainer with my company for OTR. I will be hauling reefer midwest.

double-quotes-start.png

I am probably psyching myself out

double-quotes-end.png

That's probably the case. Sounds like you're well prepared for this. Starting out isn't nearly as hard as it seems. The danger comes when you become too relaxed behind the wheel.

I'm more than a little concerned about only getting 48 hours of training. Hopefully your company will provide additional training before turning you loose.

Don't let the anxiety get to you. Remember that oodles of people do this every day. You've got this. 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.

OTR:

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

You're going to be fine with that much training. Common sense, listening, paying attention, and not being overly confident are all useful.

Francis F.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you found a great opportunity there. Wish you the best, and I think a lot of your anxiety will be relieved once you pass your CDL exam and are fully licensed. At least it was for me.

Thanks for that! To clarify, its 48 hours all behind the wheel at CDL school and 6 weeks with a trainer with my company for OTR. I will be hauling reefer midwest.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

I am probably psyching myself out

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

That's probably the case. Sounds like you're well prepared for this. Starting out isn't nearly as hard as it seems. The danger comes when you become too relaxed behind the wheel.

I'm more than a little concerned about only getting 48 hours of training. Hopefully your company will provide additional training before turning you loose.

Don't let the anxiety get to you. Remember that oodles of people do this every day. You've got this. Good luck.

double-quotes-end.png

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.

OTR:

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Pay attention Be humble Have a great attitude Be willing to learn from your mistakes Pay attention be humble Have a great attitude! Go with the flow Remember every instructor you meet may have a different teaching style but they are basically saying the same thing. They all WANT you to pass. It’s not a given but they will do their best. Have a good attitude

Most of that applies to trucking in general and not just cdl school. 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.
CM59's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like how I got started. May I ask the school and company?

Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Idaho CDL training out of Boise and Doug Andrus Distribution out of Idaho Falls. They are reimbursing my tuition in increments. The school and job have no connection. I enrolled in this CDL school because of the rave reviews and because I wanted to get started in trucking with a good foundation. The job came about after I went to a local job fair in Caldwell Idaho to talk with people inside the industry. I have been obsessed with learning the business so I saw it as a good opportunity to shake some hands while I await my boot camp dates. Met a recruiter from the company who went out of his way to follow up with me and give me a ton of insight. I then took it upon myself to take a four hour drive out to Idaho falls to tour their facility and just learn more. I also managed to kill my pre-diabetes and drop 50 pounds on a keto diet so I could easily pass my DOT exam (which I did). So all that awaits me now is charging into my 48 hours of condensed training to get certified.

Sounds like how I got started. May I ask the school and company?

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.

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