New To Trucking And Afraid Past Choices Are Going To Cost Me.

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Angela M.'s Comment
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Found this sight in January when I decided it was time for a change. Thanks to the CDL materials I passed my written tests and earned my permit with tanker and doubles endorsments (not quite ready for hazmat). My biggest fear was my criminal history (a lot of bad relationship choices). I found a website called Trucking Careers of America that helps people get started in the industry. I've been lurking in the forums and was prepared for the employment history (pulled tax records), called friends for references, and have a recent criminal background check that was done on me. A great guy named James McCormack called me and I gave him all this info and he told me I should be ok because everything was 10 yrs or older and it looks like I've gone the "straight and narrow". I had been considering Prime because of the school but he suggested CRST. Still not sure about that one but I have a friend in the industry that says he would have went with them if they hadn't told him he could train in Alabama and then change up at the last minute and told him he had to get on a bus to Iowa. Getting off track. My fear now is the drug testing. I stopped smoking beginning of February because I wanted this that badly. I'm 5'8" and 260 lbs and attempting to loose those 60. I've run into the problem before of fat cells dropping THC into my system and over the past year I've dropped 58 lbs. Now I'm hearing in the forums that they are doing hair follicle tests. I have short hair and cutting it is not a favorable option. My hair is only 6 1/2" at it's longest point. Iam giong to see if my doctor can have me tested but not sure if the insurance will pay for hair testing. Looking for any advice. I'm a single mother of 4 and have just sent my children to live with their father so I can pursue this career path and I don't want them to stay there any longer than they have to.

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

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

OK....so you have done all the homework you can do. Now it gets down to the real nuts and bolts of getting into school. Lets break it down to little steps. If you have checked out CRST, you will know that its a team operation. You will go thru school, go with a trainer, then be assigned another person to drive with. If you have a thing about living in a closet with a stranger for who knows how long, you may want to rethink CRST.

Drug testing. Not all companies do hair follicle testing, and theres a thread in the general forum that has different companies, and what they require. So I guess you could go there, pick the urine test companies, and apply there. I personally, am against follicle testing. Why ?? No real reason...its just where I decided to dry my line in the sand. They can have my blood, I'll pee in a cup...but pulling my hair ?? Naa....I don't need to work for you that bad....

I'm glad you found this site...It will help you in so many important ways. Be sure and get into the High Road, and study study study....You won't believe what it will do for you when you get to school. So I've tried to help you line things out...Keep looking and asking questions...And you can post in here, of on the general forum. good luck...now get out there and get started. But be fore warned....This schooling can't be rushed. It will take its time. Tho Prime is a great company, i"m not sure I like how fast they stuff their students out on the highways. in fact, to be truthfully honest...I think its wrong. But thats my personal opinion. I'm all about safety, and there in is my problem...But whoever you choose....go after it, and set your mind and heart to get it...Women are sought after as drivers. We finally made our mark in trucking, so its there if you want it bad enough. But remember, its still a male oriented business. Women have to nut up and keep up with the guys.....

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.

Angela M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Starcar. I'm still in here studying and reading the forums. That's where I found out about hair testing. Don't really like the idea of being stuck with a stranger for any longer than training. I'm just willing to do whatever it (takes within reason) to learn to drive and be great at it. My permit is out of Georgia of some of the blocks of living in Florida. Don't really have a home state at the moment. I'm hoping to eventually settle in Texas. Right now I just want to drive. Any suggestions of good companies to start with?

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Why not apply at them all ??? then take your pick ?? If you need to go thru a company school, thats the easiest way to do it...theres some links that you need to read to get yourself familiar with cdl schools, and how the trucking thing works...here's a few to get you started:

How To Choose A CompanyUnderstanding Pre-Hires How To Choose A School

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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.

Angela M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice. I've opted to go through Celadon and start on June 16.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

CONGRATS !!!!!!! Now keep us in the loop....we can help you along ...atleast with an ear...you will be venting...lol Celedon is a good company...and I think you will do well.... Let us know how it goes...We currently don't have any Celedon drivers on this forum....

Now get out there and start that adventure !!!!!

Angela M.'s Comment
member avatar

The day has finally arrived for me to get on the bus for Indy. I am so excited I couldn't sleep. Woke up at 4:30am and decided to repack the bag I've packed for the 5th time. My trucker friend laughed and said one more time ought to do it. They said I'd have to retake the permit test so I've started over studying here. It's only been a month since I took the test but nothing like keeping everything fresh.

Angela M.'s Comment
member avatar

Not a happy camper. I knew I would have to take my permit test again, but now I find out Indiana requires you to take the operators test again too. I just want to scream! I know I can do this but it's just that I've been driving for 20+ yrs. and now I have to go backwards before I can go forward.

Angela M.'s Comment
member avatar

Starting week 3 of CDL school. Week 1 was a repeat of everything I learned in High Road minus a lot. It also consisted of a lot of testing. I knocked out my Indiana operators, General knowledge, air brakes, combinations, and tankers before I ran out of time. Finished the rest and was processed the next day. Week 2 I was out on the range. I didn't get on the list for a truck so I sat out in the heat waiting and asking the instructor for a chance to drive. It paid off and I got a chance to straight line back. Next day I was on the list and added offset backing. Friday I made the list to go on the road driving. Friday traffic in Indianapolis is no joke but my instructorsaid I did a great job for never having driven before. Now that I've got the nerves worked out I'm ready to learn everything I can.

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.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Angela...you are doing AMAZING !!!!! keep up the confidence...and the good work !!! oh...AND the updates !! Women can do ANYTHING......all they need is to want it bad enough.....

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