Does Anybody Know Anything About Refresher Courses?

Topic 5102 | Page 1

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Daniel T.'s Comment
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I have 20 years of experience as an Owner/Operator and still hold a clean Class A CDL but because I haven't been in truck since 2008 I can't get hired by any companies until I complete a driver refresher course and then drive with a company trainer for anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks. Ha sanyone else had this experience?

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
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Daniel, a lot has changed since you were in a truck. This is a common hurdle that everyone will face, even if you had only been out of the truck for eight or nine months. This is basically an insurance company requirement. You could contact a truck driving school and take a refresher course, or some trucking companies will offer them. But what you have encountered is the normal way that one gets back into truck driving after an absence from the scene now a days.

Daniel T.'s Comment
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Thank you for your response, that is what I am finding out that a lot of things have changed. Like so many other things, it doesn't make sense. I will probably have to go out with someone that has less experience then I do in order to tell me if I am qualified.

Daniel, a lot has changed since you were in a truck. This is a common hurdle that everyone will face, even if you had only been out of the truck for eight or nine months. This is basically an insurance company requirement. You could contact a truck driving school and take a refresher course, or some trucking companies will offer them. But what you have encountered is the normal way that one gets back into truck driving after an absence from the scene now a days.

Chris L.'s Comment
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I will probably have to go out with someone that has less experience then I do in order to tell me if I am qualified.

I drove strait trucks for 9 years local and then went to a private truck school. Got a job pulling reefer on a regional route for a year then decided to go to Primes flatbed division and had to go with a trainer for 3 and a half weeks with a guy that had less than a year driving experience. The only thing I needed was to learn Securement and half of what I learned on his truck was either illegal or wrong. I learned more when I went solo and talked to other drivers at the shippers.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rita S.'s Comment
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I am a rookie, 3 years OTR team driver, with my husband. I have not driven for almost a year. I have tried to find a refresher for months! Not many places offer them anymore! I don't know where you live, but I am in Texas and have found only 2 companies, Transport America (5 to 7 days training based on road test) and Averritt has a refresher (all trucks are automatics). I am now thinking of refresher at Roadmaster (cost $6495 for 3 weeks though!) I guess it beats sitting home looking for a refresher and wishing I was on a truck! I LOVE DRIVING! !!!

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.

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.
Old School's Comment
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I know that Western Express out of Nashville offers a no cost refresher. You may not like the particulars, but basically you go to their orientation then they pair you with another refresher student and they run you as a team while paying you. After four weeks of that they will put you in a truck of your own and let you run solo.

Chris L.'s Comment
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Prime will pay your bus ticket to their nearest terminal and their refresher course takes about 3.5 weeks team driving. They are a great company, nice equipment and all trucks have APU's. Been with them going on 5 months now and been getting great miles.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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