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Brian 's Comment
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Hi All, just wanted to say thanks to Brett for starting this site, and thank you to ALL of you that have contributed the vast amount of VERY helpful, honest & real world information. I have only been on the site for less than 30 days, but have been able to make the decision on a driving career already! Have read Brett's book, completed 40% of the High Road Online, researched the company sponsored CDL training programs, contacted a recruiter, and enjoyed the many training, 1st time solo, etc stories in this forum. I am 54 and have worked for myself since 1998, but business has slowed, and it's time for something new. I live in Minnesota and found that many of the large trucking company's have terminals here with driving opportunities. I am looking at Knight, I like the training they offer, and the diversity they offer - reefer-dry van-dedicated.

I would like to ask a couple questions I'm sure have been asked before, but I failed to find answers looking through previous posts, etc 1) the school's require your CDL permit from your home state prior to arrival....so if I am training in Indiana....after passing CDL license testing....would I be issued a Indiana license?? ( not an Indiana resident?) What address would be on the license.....Minnesota DMV told me I would then need to apply for a Minnesota CDL....?

2) do you take endorsement tests at the time of your CDL permit...or when you actually are taking the licensing exam?

Thanks again to EVERYONE for the knowledge you have shared, Brian

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Brian!

The company will have you get your permit in your home state but I'm not sure if they'll have you test for the CDL in their state or in Minnesota. I've seen it done both ways and the company can tell you more. Sometimes they'll have you take the CDL exam in their state so you'll get a license in that state. You'll then transfer it to your home state.

Other companies will train you and then send you to your home state to take your CDL exam there. So there would be no licensing issues. Your training would be out of state but your permit, testing, and license would be in your home state.

This is a common thing everyone has to deal with when it comes to Company-Sponsored Training . Ask the company and see what they'll be having you do.

As far as getting your endorsements....you can get them the same time you get your permit. The DMV might try talking you out of it because rarely do people come in there as well prepared as you will be with the High Road Training Program. Many people fail the permit or some of the endorsement exams the first time and it takes em quite a while to complete them. But you'll be able to take the permit exams and all of the endorsement exams in one sitting. You'll fly through them in about 45 minutes, pass everything with flying colors, and be done with it.

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.

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.

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.

Brian 's Comment
member avatar

Hey Brett, Thanks for the reply......you were right on the money with the license.....Knight recruiter from the refrigerated division called me in less than 24 hours offering me the Squire training program!! Yeah!! She stated training as follows. Week one in Green bay Wisconsin for orientation...pays $100 for the week, the bus ride to Indiana for 3 weeks CDL driver training....then they send me back to Minnesota in the truck for skills exam....they schedule with DMV....and you are paid $400 per week during the training portion. I can choose my start date, new class every Monday....so off to DMV tomorrow for CDL permit testing!!

Now needing to decide whether to go with the reefer or dry van ...... recruiter states "no problem" with freight, and 2500-3000 miles weekly not a problem.....but I haven't talked to the dry van people yet so not sure on the miles they have available and area's of the country I would run. Reefer division would be basically all east - no NYC, but northeast, southeast, south central & Midwest...so longer runs I was told.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, I just looked at your scores for the High Road Training Program and you haven't done the section for Combination Vehicles yet. That's one of the sections they'll cover for the permit test. That section is like 7 pages long so it wouldn't take too awful long to go through it before you take the test for your permit.

As far as reefer versus dry van , we have a group of articles on How To Choose A Trucking Company and in that group you'll find an 8 part series I wrote on the subject. But read through all of the articles. They'll help you understand what to look for and how to decide.

You can do great with either refrigerated or dry van. You can make about the same money with either one. The main differences are:

1) Refrigerated runs tend to be longer on average but this doesn't necessarily mean you'll get more miles or make more money.

2) Refrigerated freight stays more steady throughout the year because they're hauling a lot of food where dry van tends to have bigger peaks and valleys because of seasonal changes and of course the holidays.

3) Dry van companies tend to have more home time options. They often have regional fleets that can get you home on weekends. Most refrigerated carriers require you to stay out 3-4 weeks at a time.

4) Dry van companies tend to have more fleets to choose from. They'll often have OTR , dedicated, and local positions available (some experience may be required before you qualify for all divisions). They also tend to have a lot of dedicated accounts with companies like Walmart or Dollar General which give you a lot more options for type of work, pay rates, and home time.

So you can get home more often and have more options with dry van. You get longer runs and more steady freight with refrigerated. Between dry van and refrigerated I would choose a company based on how well they suit my preferences for pay, benefits, equipment, and home time. If you want to see more of the country and stay out longer you might want to go with refrigerated. If you're looking for a better variety of oportunities and you might like to get home more often go with dry van.

Whatever you do, don't sweat the decision. That first year is all about learning anyhow. Your choice isn't going to have much of an effect on your career. Once you get 6-12 months experience you'll be able to go anywhere you like anyhow. It's not like you're stuck with your first choice for 10 year - not at all.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Nick G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey thanks for all the info i too am thinking of knight transportation under the refer division. ill be based out of Florida which though this site ive come to learn being in fl there isent many options and refer runs a lot out of Florida. ill be taking my dot physical and my permit test either next week or the following week.

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

Nick G.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh and another thing how did you go about contacting a knight recruiter?

Brian 's Comment
member avatar

Oh and another thing how did you go about contacting a knight recruiter?

I just filled out an application on there web site, received an automated email response with phone numbers. Called them and spoke with a recruiter, explained I was looking at a new career in the industry. He told me to fill out the full application online.......did that....and less than 24 hours later a recruiter from Knight Refrigeration call me, asked me a few questions. Then told me that I qualified for the Squire training program.....get my permit (which I did next day) and call back when I was ready to start!! She said new classes each Monday so I'm thinking the 15th of Sept. Need to get things set up at home first, since your gone for at least 4 weeks with the schooling schedule.

Brian 's Comment
member avatar

Hey, I just looked at your scores for the High Road Training Program and you haven't done the section for Combination Vehicles yet. That's one of the sections they'll cover for the permit test. That section is like 7 pages long so it wouldn't take too awful long to go through it before you take the test for your permit.

As far as reefer versus dry van , we have a group of articles on How To Choose A Trucking Company and in that group you'll find an 8 part series I wrote on the subject. But read through all of the articles. They'll help you understand what to look for and how to decide.

You can do great with either refrigerated or dry van. You can make about the same money with either one. The main differences are:

1) Refrigerated runs tend to be longer on average but this doesn't necessarily mean you'll get more miles or make more money.

2) Refrigerated freight stays more steady throughout the year because they're hauling a lot of food where dry van tends to have bigger peaks and valleys because of seasonal changes and of course the holidays.

3) Dry van companies tend to have more home time options. They often have regional fleets that can get you home on weekends. Most refrigerated carriers require you to stay out 3-4 weeks at a time.

4) Dry van companies tend to have more fleets to choose from. They'll often have OTR , dedicated, and local positions available (some experience may be required before you qualify for all divisions). They also tend to have a lot of dedicated accounts with companies like Walmart or Dollar General which give you a lot more options for type of work, pay rates, and home time.

So you can get home more often and have more options with dry van. You get longer runs and more steady freight with refrigerated. Between dry van and refrigerated I would choose a company based on how well they suit my preferences for pay, benefits, equipment, and home time. If you want to see more of the country and stay out longer you might want to go with refrigerated. If you're looking for a better variety of oportunities and you might like to get home more often go with dry van.

Whatever you do, don't sweat the decision. That first year is all about learning anyhow. Your choice isn't going to have much of an effect on your career. Once you get 6-12 months experience you'll be able to go anywhere you like anyhow. It's not like you're stuck with your first choice for 10 year - not at all.

Thanks again for the info Brett......and yes I learned too late about the combination test....but still got 84% on it. They had some questions on the general knowledge that I hadn't seen before....so missed those but still got 82% on that.....air brakes which I did read on High Road.....and nailed a 91%....again some tricky questions. There were 49 general knowledge, missed 9, about 28 for both the air brake & combination.

I thought the combination training was part of the endorsements.....

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Ducky's Comment
member avatar

Brian:

Keep posting and great job on the permit. You'll do fine. I will have firsthand experience with what you are about to go through. Be it good, bad or frightening, I will certainly tell you like it is. so there ya have it!

Ducky

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