From Switzerland To South Dakota Full Time Traveler Resident?

Topic 32593 | Page 1

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Enzo B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Everyone,

I have sent the following email questions to ten different company recruiters with no response. Has anyone ever heard of someone like me quickly applying and receiving a company sponsored CDL. I plan on OTR for a couple of years and I'm not looking at having a permanent place.

I am an American and have lived in Switzerland for 16 years. I am contemplating moving back to the USA and becoming an OTR driver. I am looking for potential obstacles to this. 1. My Colorado driver’s license expired in 2010, of course I’ve held a Swiss license since 2007 with a clean driving record which I can obtain a copy of. 2. The original will be in German, but I can scan, and machine translate as you could also do the same to verify the translation of the original. 3. My health is good and no problems in passing drug test, but my medical records are also in German. I think that the easiest way for me to obtain a new basic drivers license is to stop in South Dakota, spend one night to become a "Full Time Traveler Resident" and apply for my driver’s license and commercial learners permit/DOT physical ASAP. Will any of this cause a problem?

Thank you in advance,

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Hi! Your obstacle is more than you think. You are required to have 1 year of recent US drivers license and 3 years of verifiable employment.

I suggest you get to the states and get a license with good standing. Get some verifiable employment and go from there.

Good luck

And no... Paying for a school would not make things easier. It could just waste your time and money.

midnight fox's Comment
member avatar

Hi! Your obstacle is more than you think. You are required to have 1 year of recent US drivers license and 3 years of verifiable employment.

Each state has its own requirements, but when I researched into this same scenario, most states say you only need an active driver's license and 1-2 years of driving experience (not necessarily recent). Trucking companies could have their own requirements, Prime told me (a few years ago) they wanted to see 3 years of holding a license again (maybe having a foreign license could change that, I didn't have one), CRE told me they only require whatever your state requires to get your CDL.

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.
Enzo B.'s Comment
member avatar

So I need to hit South Dakota and get a New U.S. drivers licence, return to Switzerland for a year to let it mature. My Swiss employment is easy to verify VIA contracts, taxes and letters of recommendation.

No, I wouldn't waste my time with a paid school unless I had a signed contract of employment. Not just a letter of intent.

Enzo B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Midnight Fox. I've had valid driver's license since 1981. This is the first time I've let my U.S.A license expire. I will look into what the timeline is in the various states. ND has the quickest way to obtain residence and a drivers license. It's also has no state income tax!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
No, I wouldn't waste my time with a paid school unless I had a signed contract of employment. Not just a letter of intent.

That is not going to happen. You want a guarantee for something that has a 70% failure rate.

Please read this: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
No, I wouldn't waste my time with a paid school unless I had a signed contract of employment. Not just a letter of intent.
That is not going to happen. You want a guarantee for something that has a 70% failure rate.

As those of us with experience know, the failure rate is so high because people have unrealistic expectations about this industry. They hear, "There's a strong demand for drivers," so they immediately believe they hold all the cards and can start making demands.

Besides, how hard can trucking be, right?

confused.gif

This guy, bless his heart, doesn't even have a U.S. driver's license, hasn't lived in this country for 16 years, and doesn't know how many wheels are on an 18-wheeler, yet he's already making demands!

In another thread, we've started discussing CRST closing their schools. Wait until CRST has to deal with people coming out of these private schools who have a CDL but horrible training and a terrible attitude and yet think they're the ones in charge.

Enzo, I'm not sure if anyone will accept someone fresh off the plane from Switzerland, even with a U.S. driver's license. I hope they will for your sake, but I wouldn't bank on it. Don't make the move here permanently until you're certain someone will give you a shot.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Guys, I think we misunderstood Enzo. I thought he was saying he would not go to a school where he paid for it. This was in his original post...

Has anyone ever heard of someone like me quickly applying and receiving a company sponsored CDL?

When he said

No, I wouldn't waste my time with a paid school

I thought he was saying he would not pay for a school.

I could be wrong. I hope he will clarify this for us.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I thought he was saying he would not pay for a school.

Oh, that could be.

To clear things up, "Paid CDL Training" or "Company-Sponsored Training" are the terms used to describe training directly through a trucking company where you get paid for some or all of your training.

"Private Schooling" or "Private Training" is the expression we normally use to describe an independent truck driving school that you pay tuition to attend. They are not associated with a trucking company.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I think you’re right Old School.

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