Semi Interested In Getting CDL :-)

Topic 32033 | Page 1

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MrsCrownVic's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone :-D I’m interested in getting my CDL but I’m not sure which school I should go to. I’ve read online that Swift & C R England will pay for your CDL class & training but you will have to sign a contract. C R England contract is 12 months & Swift is 26 months. What’s making it even harder to choose are the reviews online. It seems like there’s one positive review after reading 20 negative reviews then it continues to repeat. Also I’ve worked as a RSS & seen firsthand how some companies treat their truck drivers. Some allowed MRT on steer tires, trailer tires on the tractor or just retreads or repair only no new tires. A lot of drivers I spoke with were overly thankful or sounded defeated….writing this I see I have a lot to think about. My main reason for wanting a CDL is my dad. He’s retiring soon & plans to buy 1 or 2 dump trucks. He doesn’t like women doing “men” jobs but until my brother gets his driver’s license I wanted to help out. I like that these companies pay for your CDL but if there are better companies to work for then I can try to pay out of pocket. All feedback is welcomed. Thanks in advanced :)

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.

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.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Peruse this sight. Multiple options. I am sure Anne will chime in soon. Not sure your location but there are options other than Swift and CRE. Both top notch training companies though . Remember most reviews are by unhappy people. Especially in trucking. Keep us posted.

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone :-D I’m interested in getting my CDL but I’m not sure which school I should go to. I’ve read online that Swift & C R England will pay for your CDL class & training but you will have to sign a contract. C R England contract is 12 months & Swift is 26 months. What’s making it even harder to choose are the reviews online. It seems like there’s one positive review after reading 20 negative reviews then it continues to repeat. Also I’ve worked as a RSS & seen firsthand how some companies treat their truck drivers. Some allowed MRT on steer tires, trailer tires on the tractor or just retreads or repair only no new tires. A lot of drivers I spoke with were overly thankful or sounded defeated….writing this I see I have a lot to think about. My main reason for wanting a CDL is my dad. He’s retiring soon & plans to buy 1 or 2 dump trucks. He doesn’t like women doing “men” jobs but until my brother gets his driver’s license I wanted to help out. I like that these companies pay for your CDL but if there are better companies to work for then I can try to pay out of pocket. All feedback is welcomed. Thanks in advanced :)

Hi MrsCrownVic, I was seriously considering going with a company for my training and there are many good reasons for doing this. There are tons of excellent posts on this site that will give you all the pros and cons of going in this direction. I was looking at Maverick and was offered a spot in their school. However, it was a 27-month contract valued at $8,000. I was moving in that direction until I came across Virginia's Community College Program. The CDL Training is done in partnership with Ancora Corporate Training.

If you are in Virginia, you might want to check out the Workforce Program at Virginia's Community Colleges. If you check out my posts, you'll see the process and my reasons for going the Community College route. I'm halfway through the 4-week course at Central Virginia Community College and I have been quite pleased thus far. With all the grants offered here in Virginia, the $4500 tuition was reduced to $750. If you have lived in VA for at least a year, you are also eligible for the Virginia Ready Program which will pay you $1000 if you complete the program according to the course schedule.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

MrsCrownVic… welcome to Trucking Truth.

This sight is different from everything and anything you’ve looked at up until now. I’d encourage you not to place any credibility on the internet reviews. Happy drivers, no matter what company they work for, don’t have time to to waste on posting their reviews. The reviews you read are 99% garbage written by former, disgruntled employees that have an axe to grind and a lawyer to go after the horrible company that wronged them. It’s bupkis.

I drove for Swift for 9 years, no regrets. I graduated from their Richmond Academy after about 3 weeks, invested another 240 hours with a mentor road training. Again no regrets. Their contract is a 12 month commitment, after 24 months and it becomes free,fully reimbursed. If I had it to do over again, I’d chose the same route.

Paid CDL Training Programs

But honestly… based on what you have written your motivation is to help your Dad. Is this what you really want though, to drive? If it truly is, why do you want to become a truck driver. I get that you want to help Dad, but what is in your heart, what is your motivation? It’s important for you to be honest with yourself…

The reason for my pushback? Learning enough to pass your CDL and then absorb the learning curve of the first year requires 100% effort and commitment. It’s one of the most difficult things you’re likely to try in your lifetime. Unless the underlying motivation is a burning desire to drive, free from a desk,… basically being you’re own boss, I’d suggest not attempting this. It’s not a part time gig… it requires way more than a semi interest.

I suggest reading this link before going too much further…

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

And this…

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Good luck! We are here to help!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

MrsCrownVic, I’m not completely clear about your plans. If you are going to drive a dump truck for your dad, then you don’t want to get obligated to a contract to drive an 18 wheeler. Then it becomes a matter of how to get a CDL without the contract obligation. Perhaps you could clarify how the dump truck driving fits into OTR driving for a company like Swift, etc.

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.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone :-D I’m interested in getting my CDL but I’m not sure which school I should go to. I’ve read online that Swift & C R England will pay for your CDL class & training but you will have to sign a contract. C R England contract is 12 months & Swift is 26 months. What’s making it even harder to choose are the reviews online. It seems like there’s one positive review after reading 20 negative reviews then it continues to repeat. Also I’ve worked as a RSS & seen firsthand how some companies treat their truck drivers. Some allowed MRT on steer tires, trailer tires on the tractor or just retreads or repair only no new tires. A lot of drivers I spoke with were overly thankful or sounded defeated….writing this I see I have a lot to think about. My main reason for wanting a CDL is my dad. He’s retiring soon & plans to buy 1 or 2 dump trucks. He doesn’t like women doing “men” jobs but until my brother gets his driver’s license I wanted to help out. I like that these companies pay for your CDL but if there are better companies to work for then I can try to pay out of pocket. All feedback is welcomed. Thanks in advanced :)

WELCOME, Ms.CrownVic !!

Since the guys took my 'job' from me tonight .. (I was late, sorry!) to the welcome; they've covered it all ! I'm the 'persona non grata' of saying howdy, and posting links, haha!

G'Town (above) has some AWESOME diaries; first being Swift (for 9 years!) and LTL/food, and now similar to what you spoke of above. His diaries are really great reading, after the above links, or along with, for sure! As are, his blogs:

G'Town's Blogs & Diaries.

Check out Errol and Flatie C. (female, Swift) and Charlie Mac, Pianoman, (Did I forget a ton, G?)and then, check Prime diaries, then Knight, then Schneider. . you get it. :) Next step: ~ Apply For Paid CDL Training, with the backup info here:

Re: your family gig; Our member John G. (newbie too) tried to start out in combo dumps, but it didn't work well, without combo &/or OTR experience.... Similar with pulling tanks, not a beginner's luck kind of thing.. You may have luck via family ties, but. . . luck is just .... luck! Not experience. You'll see if you search John G.'s name, but really no need to. His plan didn't work.

My hubby went to private school in 2003, because he got a WIOA grant...because he got RIF'd out of telecom. Still so, he didn't stay with EITHER of his early OTR companies less than 12 months, the longest was 42 months, and neither were contractual! Sure looks great on his resume/Linkedin, even now. Just like G'Town's! Those 'contracts' are how they get their return on their investment; AKA: YOU. Everybody wins. They'll treat you like they WANT you and NEED you .... because they do. You'll be a huge asset to them from the get go; if you do what is expected of you, and then some. It's a WIN WIN.

IMHO, being a female, and along side a professional driver for 20 years, I'd DEFINITELY go with company sponsored OTR for starters. No doubt. If you have the 'funds' to pay for college, that's even better, you'll be able to swing a 'real meal' here & there, although most training companies feed their trainees WELL, so I hear. Add that to the coffers .. what you can save within your 1st/2nd year, OTR! You'll be SO rockin' & ready to move to the combo dump side of the family, with these early beginnings; if you still choose.

TL;dr ~ I see your point; agree with G'Town as well. Birdie in the bush.. mousey in the middle .. on the fence, LoL!

IMHO, You'll be SO MUCH MORE well equipped, and a huge asset to your family (aka: huge(er!)) with the OTR CDLA life a part of you.

Best to ya & stop back!

~ Anne ~

ps: Some MORE educationals, from a fellow TT member and Prime trainer! Truckin' Along w/Kearsey !

pps: IDMtnGal (Ms. Laura) has been driving more than 10 (I think?) years .. and she's quite the gal! Old as she claims.. Idk. :)~

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

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.

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.

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.

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