Is A CDL Worthwhile For Summer Work

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Herman R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

I currently have a full time job, with summers off; and I am looking for an additional career that can I can turn to during summer months. So I have two questions for the forum. 1 - is this idea worthwhile? and 2 - would a company pay for my CDL training if I commit to summer work (even for several years of summers)?

Thanks for your advice!

Herman

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

It will be extremely difficult if not impossible for someone with no experience to do what you want to do. Most companies have a time frame for how long you can go without using your CDL before it is stale. I've seen seasonal CDL work posted before but they usually want years of experience.

All the training companies will want at least 1 year of continuous employment with them. They will not have any interest in paying for someone's CDL for a few months of work a year.

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.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

I currently have a full time job, with summers off; and I am looking for an additional career that can I can turn to during summer months. So I have two questions for the forum. 1 - is this idea worthwhile? and 2 - would a company pay for my CDL training if I commit to summer work (even for several years of summers)?

Thanks for your advice!

Herman

Bobcat Bob IS correct, re: CDLA jobs. There ARE, however, MANY CDLB (and some A) jobs, that ARE summer seasonal. For instance, we used to haul asphalt tanks in the 'warm' (paving) months, and had to pull flats in the winter months, as the asphalt in the tanks wouldn't flow.

The pavers that we delivered product to, had MANY seasonal guys working for them, in dump trucks. Vactor/rollofs, belly dumps, et al. One guy specifically, we became pals with (Josh, at Shelly Co. in Toledo) was a school teacher. The Shelly Company PAID for him to get his CDL (pretty sure a B) and work for them, in the summers.

Also here in Ohio, Rumpke (garbage & recycling) is offering training for drivers; again CDLB. Milliron (our huge scrap metal place here in upper Mansfield, Ohio) is doing the same. Some OTHER forum members may have similar options in their state/areas; you really should add your location to your profile!

Again, It's nothing like driving doubles like Bobcat Bob or pulling a van, reefer , tank, or flatbed; but .. it might work for you.

Hope this helped a tad bit; please add your state (at least) for more input.

Best wishes!

~ Anne ~

ps: What the companies here in Ohio I mentioned above are doing, is sending the applicants/new hires, to our local VoTech's and/or Community Colleges that have training, on their dime. It's been working well!

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Herman R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for you quick and honest replies. I thought it would be a long shot. I am in Milwaukee Wisconsin!

Herm

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for you quick and honest replies. I thought it would be a long shot. I am in Milwaukee Wisconsin!

Herm

Herm, Great to have you; thanks for asking a great group of pros! (And a lil'ole' trucker's wife like me, haha!)

It's NOT a long shot, and ... YW, on my part; I'm thinking that ...MAN, your location... should be a heck of a lot of the opportunities that I'd mentioned! Just a step (state) away from Ohio, haha! If you can, look at G'Town's new gig: he did 9 years with Swift; a couple for PFG pulling doubles , and got himself something similar to what MIGHT be obtainable, especially by you! It's toward the end, of this thread: G'Town's Journey

Seriously; worth a try. Look for companies similar to: The Shelly Company

Also, my (our) proper welcome to Trucking Truth!

Stick around, keep us in the loop!

~ Anne ~

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

The only carrier in Wisconsin that offers free CDL training without a contract or committment is the YRC Driving academy. They won't accept you if you pitch the summer only plan though. Your best option is to use free government money, also known as Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) dollars to pay for your school. Yes, Uncle Sam will pay 100% of the cost to get your CDL.

Your biggest hurdle will be getting some CDL driving experience under your belt. About 95% of trucking jobs wont hire a driver with zero experience. I don't know of any way around this. You may need to take a leave of absence from your regular job to make it happen.

Once you do get some experience, just like any other line of work there are temp agencies who specialize in CDL drivers. While they're mostly temp to hire they do offer temporary driving jobs to fill in for other drivers or for seasonal work. Once you establish yourself with an agency you just need to make a phone call every year to let them know when you're ready to start. The big three are:

Centerline Drivers

Transforce Group

Trillium Staffing

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.

Herman R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks again everyone. I am looking into the WIOA for Wisconsin as well as the links that ~Anne~ included. Have a wonderful day everyone!

-Herm

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.

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

I got my CDL training at the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, then went to work for HO Wolding, who reimbursed my tuition cost. The college had some kind of arrangement with Schneider to train people, so that may be an option for you. Seems to me you should be able to find something that would work out as a summer gig, maybe not a "dream job", but just get your foot in the door somewhere.

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.
GrayBeardinPA's Comment
member avatar

MY question is why trucking? What is the reason why you are interested in Trucking? or CDL driving? If that interest is strong enough maybe you should consider it as a new career.

The biggest hurdle is 2 months is not enough time to make your name known who you drive with. You got to invest time, work it, get noticed and get the type route/pay you want. I just don't see the point as a summer job, unless maybe Farm work.

Hello,

I currently have a full time job, with summers off; and I am looking for an additional career that can I can turn to during summer months. So I have two questions for the forum. 1 - is this idea worthwhile? and 2 - would a company pay for my CDL training if I commit to summer work (even for several years of summers)?

Thanks for your advice!

Herman

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.
Herman R.'s Comment
member avatar

Also, my (our) proper welcome to Trucking Truth!

Stick around, keep us in the loop!

~ Anne ~

Thanks for these links Anne, I have worked through the High Road material and earned my Learner's Permit. My older brother drives OTR and it looks like I will get a chance to ride with him come summer.

Herman

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.

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