Getting A CDL

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Tekashi R.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m from Pennsylvania and just got my CDL learner’s permit, I’m looking for a paid CDL training probably at Swift. Couple of questions: 1: How do i get my CDL after training if the training location is out of state

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I got my CDL in PA after graduating from Swifts Richmond Academy. Once you graduate Swift, will send you home (via Greyhound Bus) to test in PA.

I’m from Pennsylvania and just got my CDL learner’s permit, I’m looking for a paid CDL training probably at Swift. Couple of questions: 1: How do i get my CDL after training if the training location is out of state

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. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
member avatar

I got my CDL in PA after graduating from Swifts Richmond Academy. Once you graduate Swift, will send you home (via Greyhound Bus) to test in PA.

double-quotes-start.png

I’m from Pennsylvania and just got my CDL learner’s permit, I’m looking for a paid CDL training probably at Swift. Couple of questions: 1: How do i get my CDL after training if the training location is out of state

double-quotes-end.png

Yep, G'Town is our Swift Master !!!!

Check out some of our awesome links, as well...! Read Brett's free book here:

If Swift doesn't work out, you could try this link, too: Apply For Truck Driving Jobs.

Best wishes on your venture, and welcome to TT !

~ Anne & Tom ~

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.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I trained with CFI, tested out in MO. Went on the road with my trainer, then CFI sent me home on their dime, to get my actual CDL. Then they rented a car for me to drive to my first truck.

I have seen them fire people and pay for their ride home.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I don’t recall the OP asking what happens if he is fired…

I have seen them (CFI) fire people and pay for their ride home.

Why offer something so obscure and off-topic…?

For the record BS; Swift does the exact same thing. Most, if not all of the companies offering Paid CDL Training Programs will pay to get a student back home. Why confuse the guy with this?

BS you are the only member of this forum who chronically “sells and promotes” their company at the expense of offering truthful, unbiased and complete information. The OP asked about Swift, not CFI. Stick with what you know.

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.
Tekashi R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply. What Truck am i gonna test with and where ? At a DMV ?

Is there a way i could avoid a mentor ? Like buying my own Truck and being an owner operator

I got my CDL in PA after graduating from Swifts Richmond Academy. Once you graduate Swift, will send you home (via Greyhound Bus) to test in PA.

double-quotes-start.png

I’m from Pennsylvania and just got my CDL learner’s permit, I’m looking for a paid CDL training probably at Swift. Couple of questions: 1: How do i get my CDL after training if the training location is out of state

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

Tekashi R.'s Comment
member avatar

Where do i sleep during my training period with a mentor ? I assume it is 11 hours of driving each day ? Do i get to shower everyday and sleep in a hotel and not in the truck and is there a way i could avoid having a mentor ? Like buying my own truck(i don’t wanna be with a stranger in a cubicle for 300 hours)

I got my CDL in PA after graduating from Swifts Richmond Academy. Once you graduate Swift, will send you home (via Greyhound Bus) to test in PA.

double-quotes-start.png

I’m from Pennsylvania and just got my CDL learner’s permit, I’m looking for a paid CDL training probably at Swift. Couple of questions: 1: How do i get my CDL after training if the training location is out of state

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Before going too much further you really should read this:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

You’ll likely test at a PennDOT testing facility using a Swift tractor similar to what was used in school. My test was near Harrisburg. Ask your recruiter about this…depends where in PA you reside.

You cannot bypass mentoring or road training with any company. And why would you want to? CDL school, including Paid CDL Training Programs only teach what’s required to pass the CDL. Not much more. Mentoring teaches you to handle yourself as a truck driver. It’s required.

Showering can be done at either a Swift terminal or most truck stops.

With Swifts mentoring program you’ll drive the first 50 hours being supervised by your mentor sitting beside you. Once that’s completed, and both you and the mentor are comfortable with your skills; you’ll be running like a team, while you drive your mentor sleeps, and visa-versa. The truck is a condo sleeper.

With zero experience, no insurance company will underwrite you as an owner operator. It’s not a viable option.

There are other options… some companies will train running you solo with the trainer sitting in the passenger seat. Hopefully others can chime in… in the meantime; read this link Paid CDL Training Programs and start making calls to understand how they train. Keep in mind, the majority train as I specified.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

Klutch's Comment
member avatar

I’m from New York and trained with Schneider in Indianapolis which is obviously handled different than at Swift as they test you at the training facilities. They had me test on site in Indy and submitted everything I needed to the federal database. When I got back to NY I just had to go in to the DMV and pickup my CDL. Pretty convenient.

The time with the mentor(TA) was shared with another student and you sleep in the truck with the other student. Nobody likes that part. I got lucky and got a local trainer so I was in the same hotel room during the mentor weeks as I was the rest of my training (6weeks for my original account). When I ran in to my old TA last week he told me they are no longer putting his students up in the hotel for those weeks and are instead making them sleep in the truck at the OC.

A couple uncomfortable weeks are well worth it in the end. I think you will have this no matter what paid training you go through. Just keep your eye on the prize.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Knights training is only two weeks if you're selected for top gun academy. Swift now also offers our top gun program but I believe their training process is still as Gtwon described.

By training I mean on the truck. With knight, we never team train. By the end of the first week you will be doing or should be doing the trips and all components by yourself. If you're driving, the trainer is in the passenger seat, though it is common for the trainer to drive a few hours after your shift, excellent opportunity for you to learn how they do things.

Not all candidates are chosen for Top Gun, in fact very few are. You need to display patience, sound judgement, leadership capabilities and safe practices to get in. It's a 1 week course of intensive backing and close quarters maneuvers on a closed course. You sleep in a truck just like what you will drive while there, upon completion you go out with a trainer for two weeks and then you do 30k solo miles under the cate of a special DM.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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