A Couple Questions From A Pre-greenhorn

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P. B.'s Comment
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Hello! I haven't even started the process yet, but I should be doing so pretty soon. I have a couple questions in hopes of making my early journey as smooth as possible. I've trimmed this down a bit having been lurking for about a month and reading all I could, but these two concerns nag at me.

1. Birth certificate: I have it, but haven't needed it in over 20 years and I tend to just lock it away in deep storage. I'm in the process of selling my house, in which I'll be putting all but essentials in storage, hitting the road and going where the jobs are. I would really like to avoid having something that critical on my person at all times.

I read here that Birth + DL is a viable option, and I'm assuming my social security card . Should I just renew my passport and leave it at that? (which is something I want to do regardless)

2. Is this realistic: I want to keep costs low and have no interest in planting roots anywhere for the foreseeable future, but I know I'll need an address while searching a company that will train me. I want to be able to go where I'm needed, and the idea is to use my soon-to-be-old address while searching, then once something promising comes up head over there, rent a room for a month, use that as my stable address for as long as needed while also buying a couple other things I'd like to have before getting started. (namely a laptop and a special order phone, and probably a couple important things I haven't thought of yet)

Is this a realistic plan?

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Peruse this site thoroughly. Others with the links will chime in soon. Where are you located?

Paid CDL Training Programs

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Apply For Paid CDL Training

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.
George B.'s Comment
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Anne I tried. Got all jumbled up. Ha! confused.gif

Old School's Comment
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It looks good to me George - Anne probably helped you out.

George B.'s Comment
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Good the preview was different!

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

Yes, your plan is viable.

1) Get a new passport. It's harder to lose or damage than a bc & ss card and you never know, you may need it if you drive a truck across the border into Canada.

2) If you don't have a fixed address or just want to change states check out the Escapees RV Club. For about $100/yr. They'll provide you with a domicile address and mailbox in Florida, South Dakota or Texas (all states without an income tax) that's perfectly legal to use as your state of residence on your CDL. When your mail arrives they'll send you an image of it. You can pick it up or have them forward it to your terminal , a truck stop or anyplace you want.

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.

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

Welcome, P.B. !

Here's what they are trying to say:

Most of it, the guys DID cover !!

Another important link: FMCSA: "How Do I Get my CDL?" You'll need your DOT Medical Card, before your permit will be issued.

Also, as of February 7th of this year: ELDT Criteria, Certifications.

We also HIGHLY recommend COMPANY PAID TRAINING! Paid CDL Training Programs And our simple app: Apply For Paid CDL TrainingApply For Paid CDL Training.

P.B., the above is PLENTY to digest for now, but if (and when) questions DO arise in the process of perusing and reading Brett's book, PLEASE stop back in!

We've got some REALLY GOOD podcasts, too! If you have time on your hands and headphones or earbuds with your current job, listen in: Brett's "High Road Home" Podcasts ~

Wish you well, good sir. The above is a TON of Jam/Jelly . . . to go with ya, P.B. !

Stop back; see ya here soon~

~ 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.

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

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.

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.
Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, your plan is viable.

1) Get a new passport. It's harder to lose or damage than a bc & ss card and you never know, you may need it if you drive a truck across the border into Canada.

2) If you don't have a fixed address or just want to change states check out the Escapees RV Club. For about $100/yr. They'll provide you with a domicile address and mailbox in Florida, South Dakota or Texas (all states without an income tax) that's perfectly legal to use as your state of residence on your CDL. When your mail arrives they'll send you an image of it. You can pick it up or have them forward it to your terminal , a truck stop or anyplace you want.

Escapees in Florida is no longer a viable address. Florida DMV will not accept it as proof of residence within the state of Florida. This is information current, as of earlier this month.

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.

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.

P. B.'s Comment
member avatar

Lots of posts to reply to!

If you don't have a fixed address [...] Escapees RV Club [...] They'll provide you with a domicile address and mailbox in Florida, South Dakota or Texas (all states without an income tax) that's perfectly legal to use as your state of residence on your CDL.
Escapees in Florida is no longer a viable address. Florida DMV will not accept it as proof of residence within the state of Florida. This is information current, as of earlier this month.

My current state of residence, and the only place I've ever owned a home is, is Florida. It can't just arbitrarily change to something else so I should still be state income tax free so long as my temporary base (which, right, I'll also need to get the CDL) is also in Florida.

Get a new passport. It's harder to lose or damage than a bc & ss card and you never know, you may need it if you drive a truck across the border into Canada.

Yep! I used to go on many 1k+ mile long roadtrips, including both Canada and Mexico. Even if work never takes me to either of those countries, they're nice options for my off-time.

We also HIGHLY recommend COMPANY PAID TRAINING!

I'm going to try. I'm worried about my large employment gap, due to an independent venture that flopped. I guess I should seek...job seeker's counseling?....or something so I can confidently deal with that problem in interviews. A bit unconfident when I don't even know what help I'll need.

I've been religiously studying the Florida CDL handbook in the meantime, I'm going to have to put in 250% just to overshadow the gap.

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.

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

P.B.;

No need to reply to 'everyone!' The gap in employment can EASILY be filled by persons of stature, community, et al, by having them write a letter that's preferably notarized; explaining what you were doing, to contribute to society!

Ms. Laura (IDMtnGal) has some great examples, as does StevoReno. I'll see if they'll stop in here, or you can search by their names.

A couple OTHER companies (but try OUR link first) that hire and train in Florida to look at, are Cypress and Dutch Maid Logistics.

Again, start here: Apply For Paid CDL Training when you're ready!

Best wishes forward;

~ Anne ~

ps: Steve L. is another Florida guy on Trucking Truth . . . might chime in with some 'Florida specific' info for you, as well. I didn't know that about the 'Escapees RV' dealio, either. They ARE often, a good 'go to.' Florida and NY are "special;" .. the two states I hail from, LOL !

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.

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.
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