Private CDL School Starting 05/08/14

Topic 3574 | Page 2

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Boots&Bludog's Comment
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06/04/14 Passed all the endorsements I could and now have a CDL permit in my possession! I will not be able to afford Hazmat right now. I've been told that hazmat drivers usually require more experience than any of the others. No worries I can get it when I can afford it if need be.

After pre-trips I was able to go along in the only running truck out on the road. I have to say it was FUN to drive. I will need to get more familiar with the gears but overall the instructor had lots of compliments for my performance so far. Sure hope it isn't beginners luck.


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.


Hazardous Materials

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

Boots&Bludog's Comment
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Wow so much has transpired since my last post. I had to keep a focus on school and wrangling up whatever odd jobs for income, hence letting such a time lapse in posting here. With that let me bring things up to date.

After two attempts passed at DMV on July 28th. Three's a charm!

Took time out to visit with ailing parents and get my house together for leaving OTR. During school had spoke with various recruiters local and OTR and had pretty much made my mind up to apply with Knight, May & Werner and in that order for preference. Once I found out who would get the bludog on board the soonest, the order changed to May, Werner & Knight. Then of course the care for the bludog whilst in training went and changed up on me. By this time I was 5th on the waiting list for May and wanting to hold out even though Werner was ready for me when I was ready for them. Knight ....well let's just say they were no longer in the running on my list. It took almost two weeks to progress from 5th to 4th and at that rate I was feeling impatient to get the show on the road. So I recalled yet another company that I had met a trainer briefly months prior to passing at DMV. We had gone so far as to exchange phone #'s and he was introduced to me by the owner of the school I was attending. Of course this came to me in the middle of a sleepless night so I got on the laptop and applied and followed up with a simple text message to trainer. Woke up the next morning to a very early call from a recruiter telling me the trainer had already been in the office and set everything up for me to train in a week and a half. That was four days ago. Yesterday around noon I got a call from May saying they were ready for me to be in Salem, OR. on this Tuesday! Now I was really unsure of what to do. I had really devoted myself to May in my head but when I really thought about it my gut said go with the trainer that set everything up already. I made a call to the owner of the school and he helped put things into perspective and confirm I was on the right track with my thoughts. At this time I know the trainer I had met has been at training for a very long time. He has a proven track record not only with his current company but also with the school I had attended. With me being a complete newbie I figure the top priority should be in the training. So called May to thank them for working with me so far but I had found another company that I will be going with. And yes I had also called Werner with the same thanks. Now it gets better. Today I got a call from my trainer and he is routed through Reno so he will be able to pick me up and deliver me to SLC for orientation! See ya Greyhound! Although if I wanted I could have taken Amtrack and been reimbursed the fare upon arrival in SLC. Greyhound to location is prepaid but train is not since Greyhound will refund the company for a no show where as the train will not. Tomorrow I meet with the trainer and departure is scheduled for Wednesday early morning. Now make no mistake I know I will have a lot of learning ahead of me and I fully mean to make the best of my training but I'm not going to feel bad about getting a few perks when they're available. And the company is....Pride Transport.

I am going to post what the pay start is for any that may want a comparison. Orientation and three weeks with the trainer is $450 per week. Forth week until trainer feels the student is ready to solo is driven as team and all "truck miles" are paid to student at 14 cpm. Truck miles mean pay is calculated by the miles the student drives as well as the miles the trainer drives. Recruiter claims team generally average 5000 a week. Roughly $700 a week. By no means is the student required to be team driving after training. Once solo the pay starts at 30 cpm.

To be honest I have not wanted to look further into the pay, mileage and all that. I just want to get on the road before the snow falls, get some miles under me and be the best I can be. I have a tendency to overthink and for me any money inbound this first year is a step up from the last couple of years.

And there you have it. From school to the first job. Took longer in school than I expected, not exactly bragging, lol, however it seems to have been perfect timing to get on with a trainer and company I feel confident with.


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.


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.


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.


Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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