How Long Do You Need A License?

Topic 32148 | Page 1

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Jesse K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey yall, im new here, and i cant seem to find the answer. before i go apply to a whole bunch of paid training schools, i was wondering if its a requirement to have a license for a specific amount of time before you can get a CDL?

some background for those that are interested... my situation is pretty awful right now, i lost my best friend of over half my life who was also my room mate for 12 years and ended up having to move back in with my emotionally abusive mother in florida, who ive come to realize over the last 9 months is why im so socially messed up. i wasnt even here for an hour before she started screaming at me, and well... here i am 9 months later, and still being screamed at on a near daily basis. in febuary between losing my friend and my mothers abuse, i was on the edge and the only thing that was able to talk me down was my brother telling me that its not what my friend would have wanted. im currently on disability and can afford a room mate, but theres no way i can live alone with rent being so high.

ive always kind of wanted to get into trucking, even 20+ years ago. however, my mother has always had this way of shutting me down, telling me im not good enough, etc. i finally got my license 4 months ago, passed everything the first try with no issues, and i enjoy driving (at least until i get into a truck and it becomes my life). i feel like its the perfect job for me, and i dont really see myself being able to hold any other kind of job. i havent spoken to another human really since i lost my friend 9 months ago. ive always been incredibly anti social, which ive learned is probably from the constant barrage of insults from my mother. even writing this is something that i would normally never do, but im trying to move on and get past her bs.

i think living in a truck would be... fairly easy, other than restroom and laundry situations. i basically live in a studio apartment now. ideally id like to move into a truck for 5 years minimum, no car payment, no rent, no nothing as far as bills go, and just truck as hard as possible, save up as much as possible, and possibly keep going even after the 5 year mark.

thanks for listening, and for answers. i may not reply, but i will read.

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

Generally, it's a requirement to have a license for at least a year.

What are you on disability for? Have you had stable employment? Those will be bigger obstacles than how long you've been licensed.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Its been quite some time since ive had a job honestly, not since i was around 20 -- 16 years ago, when i stocked at publix. my disability shouldnt be anything to keep me from getting a trucking job, severe social anxiety disorder and bipolar depression. my friend helped me move on with the social anxiety, i still get it pretty badly but its manageable now as long as large crowds arent involved. as for the depression, i was plenty happy when i wasnt here, i think if i left i would be in a far better place again.

you said its "generally" a requirement, but thats not always the case? honestly im not picky about which company i start with.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

The year requirement isn't a licensing requirement, it's a hiring requirement. A CDL isn't a guarantee of enjoyment.

The lack of job history will be a problem for most carriers. I'd suggest getting and keeping a job for at least a year before applying for trucking jobs or trying to get a CDL.

Your disability will be a problem. If you're getting disability for depression and anxiety that means there's a medical diagnosis. You won't be able to get a DOT medical certificate without jumping through some hoops. You'll need a doctor to sign off on your depression being under control. Are you on any meds? That can also be a problem.

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.

Jesse K.'s Comment
member avatar

I know that trucking is in no way a guarantee of happiness, but ive thought about this for a long time. its something i not only need to do, but its something i really want as well. im actually super excited to start, im just scared as well. i know itll be difficult at first. heck, it may never stop being difficult, but itll give me independence. the ability to survive on my own, without the need to depend on others. free rent and an actual bed instead of a hard wood floor for the last 9 months sounds great too! im not just doing this out of desperation, its something ive been interested in since i was a little kid and just never ended up having the ambition to go through with it.

as for my job history and disability... well, job history i guess will either take more time or i can apply and hope to find a company that doesnt care. as for the disability, i was going to doctors and taking medicine for a few years, but it ended up costing too much, and making me feel like someone that im not, in a bad way. i had been working on it with the help of my friend closely since i started living with her, and depression was completely under control until i came back here. anxiety was a work in progress, but i can generally survive a conversation.

if a year isnt a requirement, i suppose the worst thing that could happen if i apply is they say no?

thanks for all the info btw, im... not very good at this sort of thing.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I meant employment. Autocorrect put in enjoyment.

Job history isn't optional. It's not a carrier requirement, it's a FMSCA requirement.

You can apply for company sponsored training , but they'll more than likely say no.

You didn't really answer my question and I'm a little more confused now. Is your disability depression?

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

I meant employment. Autocorrect put in enjoyment.

To be honest, having a CDL doesn't guarantee either.

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.
Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

I'd start a two-pronged approach - apply and prepare. You can fill out an application for paid CDL training here. Your application will give you a chance to talk to recruiters and see what they have to say about your license, medical certificate, work history and location (Florida is another hurdle since it's outside of the hiring area of many OTR carriers).

In the meantime, work towards getting a CDL. Get your Class C today, in a year the one year requirement won't be an issue. Get your medical certificate to find out if you have any underlying medical issues that would prevent you from driving. Work with your doctor to address any issues with your disability or medications.

The shortest distance to getting your CDL may be through a loading dock. Most LTL companies have dock to driver programs that allow you to start working on a loading dock and after a few months they will train you to get your CDL. You may have to wait a year to overcome the license requirement but that's a year of work history and in most cases a year of seniority that you can use to get a better route once you start driving. You can use that time to prepare for your permit, air brake, hazmat , tanker and double/triples tests. Most of these positions start out as part-time but seniority starts from your hire date even if it's part-time and guess who gets the full-time opening when it comes available.

FexEx Freight Freight Handler, part-time

R+L Carriers Freight Handler Part-Time, Starting at $19.18 hr

AAA Cooper Transportation Non-CDL Dockworker - Part Time

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

If you have been on SSDI for at least the past 3 years, all you have to show for employment is the form you get in January showing how much you are getting from the Social Security office.

My brother was on SSDI for 25 years, due to being traumatic brain injured and having bipolar issues. He was on lithium and his doctor recommended that he not be on that medication and drive OTR. So his doctor weaned him off the lithium and other medications and then monitored him for one year afterwards. Then he gave his okay to driving with the CDL-A. You can look up under the FMCSA website to see what medications are not allowed. However, you have to be aware that companies can still deny you with approved medications. It is all about the insurance companies and not what your doctor prescribes.

The other guys responding to you have answered your other questions, I believe. Good luck in moving forward with this

Laura

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.

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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