Different Approach To CDL School

Topic 4574 | Page 1

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Eric H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello.

I have been waiting more than 6 weeks for financial aid for attending a school. While I was waiting I obtained a Georgia drivers manual and started reading it. Still waiting on approval for WIA training I decided to go and take the written test. I pass and was not required to take the road test due to military licenses. Now I have a cdl with no endorsements heading to training. Will the school frown on this or will I be disqualified to attend? I do need more training on the civilian side of driving large rigs. Please comment thanks

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.
Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

From what I understand, there are companies that do not require you to go to a CDL school if you have been in the military. They will provide ojt to veterans. I am sure there are experienced drivers that can provide more and better information to you, but start looking at specific company webpages. I know Conway does and I think Roehl does too. Good luck and thank you for your service!

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.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Hi Eric, thank you for your service and welcome to the forum. I didn't know that a veteran didn't have to take the skills test in order to receive a CDL A - interesting. You actually have your CDL A and not just a CDL A driving permit?

Assuming you have your CDL A, some things to keep in mind. Nobody can answer whether your school will frown upon you already having your CDL A. You'll have to contact them. Here's another thing. Typically, most companies will frown upon a civilian getting their CDL A on their own, i.e. most companies require a student driver (or driver w/o tractor trailer experience), to have graduated from a CDL school that has a certain amount of course hours, usually around 170 hours. It can vary per company requirement. And not every school has the standard, required hours needed by most trucking companies. A civilian that gets their CDL A on their own, and perhaps rents a commercial vehicle for the road skills part of the test, will not be hire-able for many mega carriers. Same with anybody that attends one of these shady CDL mills that promises a CDL in a week - not enough credit hours.

Since you are a military vet, perhaps you will gain some sort of exemption from certain trucking companies. My suggestion would be to contact a couple companies you're interested in. Ask them if they need you to graduate from a trucking school. Perhaps they're willing to overlook your lack of tractor trailer experience in the commercial, civilian sector. I do know that some companies will pay more the first year if you're a vet, e.g. Crete Carrier and Shaffer Trucking (same company actually).

I wouldn't be surprised if companies would still want you to go to trucking school, or their own - if they have one. They might want you to have demonstrated a certain amount of experience already in the civilian sector, which would be verified by graduating from a trucking school. Trucking schools basically just exist to help drivers get their CDL. But, it's also a way for companies to see that potential employees that are student drivers have at least some basic experience in handling a commercial vehicle safely. This is where perhaps your military experience will come in hand. If you do need to wind up going to trucking school, it will be to basically pay for verifiable, civilian trucking experience, enough to please a trucking company's HR dept / insurance company.

I'll be curious to see how this works out for you. Keep us posted!

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.
Weatherman's Comment
member avatar

It will probably depend on what you military driving experience consisted of. One of my CDL school classmates received a military exemption from taking the CDL skills/road test. He still needed to go through a CDL school first because he only had experience driving straight trucks with automatic transmissions; however he received his license once the course was complete. Start talking to recruiters to see what they require and do your research as many companies love hiring vets and there are some really good programs available (especially if you have unused GI bill benefits).

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.
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