Wet Behind The Ears

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Bj H.'s Comment
member avatar

Here is my story, followed by some questions. Just started thinking about switching careers and getting my CDL. I have recently been offered a semi-truck driving job with an oil company. They are small company and a friend of mine put in a word for me. His boss told him if I got my CDL-permit he would hire me. Says that I don't need the HazMat , Air brakes or any other endorsements. Just the permit. I would have someone to ride with and practice with in order to eventually take the driving test. Sounds great right? or is this normal? or a joke?

I have just started The High Road CDL Training Program and there is a ton of content in there. Eventually I will study everything I need to know but for now I just need that permit.

So, my questions pertain to what I need to focus on in order to get that basic permit. A permit that will allow me to ride with a CDL driver, gain experience,and then get my CDL.

What is on the basic/general knowledge test?

Are there certain sections I need to study within the High Road Training Program?

Certain ones I need to avoid? ( besides the endorsements sections, because I am pretty sure I don't need any of those right now)

Is there a Pre-Trip inspection written test?

Any advice would be awesome!

By the way, love this website. So informative and honest. Could change me and my families life forever for the better.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum and congrats on appearing to already have landed a gig before you even got started..here's my advice..don't take ANYTHING for granted...everything on the High Road training module is there for a very good reason..Everything in it is what you will need to know to pass the test to GET your permit..DO NOT think that you can skip parts of the training program now and then go back and study it as you have time..if you're a good driver, you will be kept so busy you won't have time, Study it NOW..DO NOT think that it is okay to skip your endorsements..you can get them at the same time you get your permit and believe me, they WILL be of use to you in the future..trucking seems to be a very fluid profession and just because the oil fields are jumping right now, doesn't mean they will be in a year from now.. Pre-trip is an oral walk-around test you take with the examiner before you take your practical. It is MANDATORY and is an automatic fail if you get it wrong..STUDY THIS LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. Then your in cab and air brake test..if anything is confusing or your not sure what you are reading just do a Youtube search for whatever you are not sure about...there are some really good videos on there that give you a practical side to what you are studying on here...keep asking questions and you will get great answers..there are some AMAZING people on this forum and believe me when I tell you between them they have hundreds of years of combined experience..your goal is to get in the industry, get at least one year of safe, accident free driving and then you can pretty much write your own ticket..good luck and again, welcome.

Bj H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement. This site really does seem amazing because of the people who are on it and run it. I understand what you are saying about not skipping anything and getting it all done now. My concern is this position going away before I get done with my test. The hiring manager said to get just the permit for now and don't worry about the endorsements yet. I just wanted to find out what is on the basic knowledge test. I know skipping any of the material is not the way to go but I am under a time constraint right now.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

I appreciate your time constraint..but its a LOT of info to go over..you would be doing yourself a HUGE disservice if you skipped and picked what to study because the permit test is so random..you really do need to know all the materials, but if you HAVE to skip your endorsements to get a job and get rolling then you have to..like I said, you CAN always go back and get them, but the issue is time.. Here's how it goes...you go to the DMV or BMV as it's known in some states...you make an appointment to take your permit test..MOST agencies will require you to take a DOT physical BEFORE they allow you to take the permit test. Get your DOT, return to the agency and take your permit test...pass, and you get your permit, which allows you to drive as a student. Drive as a student until your trainer feels like you are proficient. Return to a testing agency and take your full on CDL A test..this consists of Pre Trip inspection..MANDATORY PASS..fail any part of pre-trip and you are instantly failed. Then you do in cab, which includes air brake test. Pass that and you are then onto your practical on road exam. Pass ALL that and THEN you get your full CDL A. Then and ONLY then can you go solo legally. Make sure whoever is your "Trainer" teaches you ALL of this, not just how to drive the rig forward..and don't forget the backing..you will be REQUIRED to back on your CDL test. Usually it's an offset back to left and right, a 90 degree dock back and a parallel to either right side or left side..You only get so many tries to get your backing down or you are failed. Getting on board with an experienced driver to start is good, but make sure this guy is actually TRAINING you..not just letting you drive the easy straight line forward stuff, because you will NOT be prepared for your CDL A test..and I think you permit is only good for 60 days..but don't quote me on this..

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.

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.

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.

Bmv:

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.

Bj H.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome! Thanks for the insight and the advice about the trainer. Now all I need to do is hammer down on my studying. I am going to study a lot more of the material than I originally planned thanks to your words. You got any other words of advice?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

BJ, Hello, I'm almost your neighbor, I'm from Nacogdoches. Everything Guy is telling you is right (and by the way he's an east Texan too - Hails from Hemphill if I'm remembering correctly). The endorsement tests are the easiest tests, and you really should go ahead and go for the "whole enchilada" while you're at it. I know you're concerned about that time restraint, but you don't have to do it all at the same time. Go ahead and get your permit if that's all it takes to get the job, but don't stop there in a complacent slump, because you've still got to get a CDL to drive solo. So while your doing some more studying for that final exam in the evenings after work, go ahead and cover those endorsements. Here's the deal: it makes you a much more versatile and valuable employee to your employer. Hey, who doesn't want to be more valuable to their boss? Those are the ones that make more money, right?

Look, you said the job was with an oil company. I guarantee you that one day the boss is gonna come to you and say something like this. Hey man, Fred can't make it in today and we've absolutely got to get this load of fuel over to Carthage TX today, you're the only driver available, can you jump in this tractor and get this delivered for us? And you are gonna have to say, I'm sorry boss, but I can't risk getting stopped by the DPS because I never bothered about getting that Hazmat or Tanker endorsement, and I've really only got a class B license anyway without air brakes on it. And then it's gonna turn out that Fred decided to take another job anyway, and you could have jumped right into his seat and his pay (which was probably about twice yours) just because the boss already liked you and knew you could handle it.

BJ, it makes very little difference in the effort on your part to go for all of it, and it makes a huge difference in the opportunities that will be yours if you have positioned yourself in the right way. Your gonna see air brake questions on the permit test, so do yourself and your family a big favor and go for a class A license with the endorsements. Trust me, you'll be so glad you did it the right way. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people complain about the wasted effort they put into just going half way on this.

Good luck - we wish you the best in your new job. good-luck.gif

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

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bj H.'s Comment
member avatar

Reading both of Y'all's comments are realign motivating me just get it all done. I appreciate that. Another question, I am working The High Road online material while looking through the Texas cdl handbook. Do you think this is an effective way of studying? Do you have an personal stories of how you studied and/or tricks you used to help you along? And, how do you feel about "The High Road"? I think it's great but does it really help with those final tests?

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.
Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

BJ, Oldschool is right, I AM from Hemphill, so between us three, we got pretty much all of East Texas covered..rofl-3.gif The High Road training series was designed to incorporate and cover all 48 states CDL requirement, so that no matter what state you were testing in, it was covered at some point, so you can feel confident that when you finish it, you can walk into any testing facility in the continental 49 states and pass your CDL A exam. You CAN study the Texas CDL manual, but you might find its just redundant..I have a lot more time than it seems you do, so I personally went through the training series start to finish and when I finished, I cleared my scores and started over just doing the exams without the reading to see how much I retained..it had been a couple of months and I realized I had started to get rusty and forgot a few things, so I did it again, cleared my scores and started over just like I had never been through it..it's like muscle memory..you keep doing it over and over and eventually it just becomes second nature to you..I would advise you to take your permit test as soon as you finish the training series as you can, just so the info is fresh in your mind...

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

BJ, I'm telling you the truth, and it can be confirmed by many others on here - You will not even need to crack open that boring Texas CDL study book. I never needed it, and most of the tests I took I made a 100% score. On the other ones I only missed maybe one or two questions at the most. The "High Road" will get you there quicker than any other form of studying for those tests.

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.
Bj H.'s Comment
member avatar

That is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you. Now all I have to do is study my a$$ off!!;)

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