150 TT Vs. 160 TT Certificate

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mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Something to note for some companies.

I talked to Old Dominion Freight Line (non-union) yesterday and they're either hiring drivers with 1 year of experience or new CDL grads with a 160-hour Tractor Trailer certificate. My school only offers the 150-hour certificate and argues that all driving on the road was one-on-one, teacher-to-student ratio, therefore better training. I agree. Other schools may offer 160 hours, however, many of those that do, also have 2 students sitting in the back while 1 drives and they each take turns. So which is better, right? The companies that only accept the 160 hours, don't seem to care that 150 hours one-on-one is better quality instruction time; they just want to see the right number on the certificate. According to Old Dominion, this still doesn't mean I qualify. I asked them if I went back to my school and got 10 more hours of instruction, obtained a certificate with 10 more hours, would I qualify for ODFL? Their answer was yes. At $75 per hour, this would cost me $750. I'm seriously considering this for at least 2 reasons:

1) Old Dominion, at this terminal (pay seems to vary by geographic location for freight) they're paying the new hires $22.70/hour (top dollar in this area) which would eventually make up for the extra cost of instruction.

2) I really need to refine 2 of my skills: shifting and precision backing to docks.

Never-the-less, I thought I'd put it out there, that some companies only accept new CDL drivers with that 160TT certificate, whether it's one-on-one or group driving sessions.

-mountain girl

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Something to note for some companies.

I talked to Old Dominion Freight Line (non-union) yesterday and they're either hiring drivers with 1 year of experience or new CDL grads with a 160-hour Tractor Trailer certificate. My school only offers the 150-hour certificate and argues that all driving on the road was one-on-one, teacher-to-student ratio, therefore better training. I agree. Other schools may offer 160 hours, however, many of those that do, also have 2 students sitting in the back while 1 drives and they each take turns. So which is better, right? The companies that only accept the 160 hours, don't seem to care that 150 hours one-on-one is better quality instruction time; they just want to see the right number on the certificate. According to Old Dominion, this still doesn't mean I qualify. I asked them if I went back to my school and got 10 more hours of instruction, obtained a certificate with 10 more hours, would I qualify for ODFL? Their answer was yes. At $75 per hour, this would cost me $750. I'm seriously considering this for at least 2 reasons:

1) Old Dominion, at this terminal (pay seems to vary by geographic location for freight) they're paying the new hires $22.70/hour (top dollar in this area) which would eventually make up for the extra cost of instruction.

2) I really need to refine 2 of my skills: shifting and precision backing to docks.

Never-the-less, I thought I'd put it out there, that some companies only accept new CDL drivers with that 160TT certificate, whether it's one-on-one or group driving sessions.

-mountain girl

Whats the difference between the 150 and 160 training, is it really that much? I just find it odd that there is a 10 hour difference in some schools, I didnt even look at the hours when I checked out a local 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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

There isn't a huge difference. Just 10 more hours on the road but Old Dominion wants that as a credential for new drivers. It's a corporate requirement.

-mountain girl

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

There isn't a huge difference. Just 10 more hours on the road but Old Dominion wants that as a credential for new drivers. It's a corporate requirement.

-mountain girl

Gotcha. Its nice to know that you can get that extra 10 hours of training, its just terrible that you HAVE to have it for some companies.

Brian 's Comment
member avatar

Since I am now looking at private schools for my CDL training I have read that the minimal training required by the FMCSA is a 160 hour course for new drivers. All schools that I have checked, that offer pre-hire & tuition reimbursement from carriers, require the full 160 hours to qualify.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.

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.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Since I am now looking at private schools for my CDL training I have read that the minimal training required by the FMCSA is a 160 hour course for new drivers. All schools that I have checked, that offer pre-hire & tuition reimbursement from carriers, require the full 160 hours to qualify.

-Brian

Interesting. Good to know. Thanks!

-mountain girl

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Yep, sorry to hear you didn't get more than 150 hours of training time. Most companies do want to see a tad more. 160-175. It seems rather arbitrary, but it's just another one of those hoops we gotta jump through. My school had 190 hours.

In my humble opinion, another $750 is well worth the investment into a lifetime of earnings. Not sure what you paid overall so far, but my schooling was 5k - about the average cost for private schooling. Even if you take a loan out for that $750 it is worth it. A drop in the bucket compared to what you'll get in return with a solid trucking job. And in regard to ODFL, if they're hiring in your area, don't pass that one up. Get those extra 10 hours of training and jump on that opportunity MG.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

MG - I also sent you a pm. Check your inbox to make sure you got the message.

MRC's Comment
member avatar

Sage Trucking Schools most popular course is only 150 hrs. and yesterday there were at least 2 different stories on here of how short the time is.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

MG - I also sent you a pm. Check your inbox to make sure you got the message.

-6 string

Thanks, 6. I'll check it out. And oh, yeah, I'm going to invest in the extra 10 hours of training. It'll be worth it in every way.

-mountain girl

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