Texas CDL PASSED, Now To Choose My First Company!

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TxsGent's Comment
member avatar

I started school at Weatherford College Truck Driving Academy on Monday. We took our medical exams and drug screenings on Tuesday. Those and the costs of the tests are included in the tuition.

I took seven tests total. HAZMAT is the only one that I have left to take. I will try to take it before I get my actual license. The lowest score I got was on Tankers. I just passed it with the required passing score. I had two questions to spare on the Permit test. That is the one that I was worried about. I guess it is Texas specific and has little to do with the CDL. I do not see the correlation of the night time lighting requirements on a farm tracker and a tractor trailer combination. There is no longer a pre-trip inspection when you take your driving test. That is now a written test. I should have done better on that test, but it is passed, so gud 'nuf.

Hopefully I will get in a truck tomorrow. Out of nine people in the class, only two of us passed all of the tests. Tomorrow is a make-up day for those that didn't pass everything today. Will be in a truck definitely Monday.

The bigger job is deciding who I want to work for. I have been doing more research on that than I did studying for the tests. I know what I want, but trying to find what is available that I can live with for a year is daunting.

Thanks for all the help Brett. The training material is worth paying money for.

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 β€œout 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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Congratulations, from one Texas CDL holder to another!

Now the big decision.

Hey man give yourself a break. I know how important that decision seems right now, but let me tell you that in a year from now you are going to realize that it wasn't who you worked for that was important, but rather how you conducted yourself wherever you got your first shot. You are about to get yourself into the biggest learning curve you have ever experienced. The most important thing in that first year is Don't Hit Anything! You will learn so much during that first year.

I know what I want, but trying to find what is available that I can live with for a year is daunting.

Don't fall prey to this ever-present trend of thinking you are going to have to put up with a bunch of stuff with your "starter" company. Trucking is hard to get started in - that is why these stupid moan and groan morons frequently contribute to the forums that make a point of slamming trucking companies like they are old style plantations running slaves. Trucking takes a strong work ethic and a strong personality that enjoys a new challenge with each new sunrise. Those new challenges are there everyday, and it's not the trucking companies fault - it's just trucking, it's chock full of Murphy's laws. That guy Murphy must have been a trucker back in the day.

I'm not sure if you are familiar with my start in trucking, but it was rough. I got rejected three times until I thought I was forced to accept a job at a company that no one would want to work at. I learned some really valuable lessons due to the way I got started, and I've done my best to try and share what I learned in the "school of hard knocks" with those of you who are just getting started. Never trust an internet review of a trucking company. Always go into this thinking that you are going to do what ever it takes to make this work, If you can't muster up that kind of attitude in the face of difficulties, then you will never make it. Be creative, and resourceful, and never pay any attention to what the naysayers sitting in the TV lounge at the truck stops have to say about how to get it done out here. If they knew anything helpful they wouldn't be in there losing money, and trying their best to top the last guy's story about how sorry their dispatcher is.

Wherever you start, you are going to have problems - that is "Rookie Trucking 101" basic stuff. Here's what you do. You keep your head up and you come right in here and tell us what's going on. We will always shoot straight with you, and you can trust us to give you the right advice on how to make it out there. Collectively, we've been there and done that. I don't think you can encounter something out there that we haven't faced before.

I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm going off on a rant, but I want you to relax and don't stress yourself out over this employment decision. It is all the stupid stuff on the internet which makes guys like you so nervous about this decision, and it really irritates me at times. Most of the time when people find this site they have already gotten themselves inoculated with falsehoods that they just can't seem to shake loose. We fight an uphill battle all the time trying to convince people of how they need to approach this career, but there is so much stuff that they have already exposed themselves to that they just can't seem to get free from the burden that it puts on them.

I love this career, and it doesn't have a single thing to do with who my employer is. I was a key player at Western Express, while most people there were just looking for any opportunity they could find to leave. Trucking is very much like being self-employed - you will be making all the decisions that determine your success. No one will be holding your hand, and no one will catch you when you fall. Go into it with that knowledge, and bust your tail to succeed - that is what it takes and that is what will bring you success no matter whose name is on the doors of your truck.

Go get em!

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

ATXJEHU's Comment
member avatar

Congrats TXsGent; that's quite an accomplishment, way to go!

TxsGent's Comment
member avatar

Thanks ATXJEHU.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Way ta' GO, TxGent! Way to kick some butt and get so much done!

-mountain girl

smile.gif

Spirit's Comment
member avatar

Way to go TxGent!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ The women at the DMV really wouldn't let me take everything yesterday. Only the 1st two test required for the permit. She told me I don't want you wasting your money, if you don't pass the big test. You only get three tries .If you don't pass you must wait and pay for everything again. She said you need to make sure that you are going to be able to drive that big truck. I mean you may not be able to or like it. I took the test that they said to get the permit. Then the older women there asked as I stood up ,with her wide eyes " well how did you do? I said I passed! She said You did ...." I then informed them that I had found this great website truckingtruth.com that I have been using with my handbook. After I got the permit as I was walking out I heard about three voices ....one women said "that lady got her permit for CDL....the other voice said really.....then a mans voice said not uh ."I must say I smiled from ear to ear and thankful I found this site. And thinking to myself..... We are in 2014 right! lol. So as I begin this new career, I'm sure this is not the last shocked look or not uh comment I will hear. Y'all have a great day πŸ˜ƒ

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.

TxsGent's Comment
member avatar

Thanks ladies. Spirit, if you feel confident, you can go take some more tests today. The pre-trip test has pictures on it. There was one question I probably missed because I was reading and answering without looking at the pictures. If memory is correct, there was a couple of questions that pertained to school buses. On the tanker test, there was a question about how close the observer has to be when loading HAZMAT. The tests overlap a bit. There wasn't any room on the trucks today, unless I wanted to be the fifth student, so I came home. Three day weekend.

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

TxsGent's Comment
member avatar

I took my driving test yesterday, 10/07/14

Strike one.

Straight line backing, I got that down pretty well. Parallel parking, it wasn't good, but I think the tester was going to let that slide. I didn't have a good angle going toward the curb. I was running out of curb so just cranked the wheel to the right. I ended up pretty far from the curb.

Road test, I wasn't too worried. There are plenty of things to get hit on, but there aren't too many that will fail you. The very first real turn, I nailed the curb. I was watching, but by that time, that was about all I could do.

You got it. Hitting a curb is one of those things. Probably within 300 feet of the DMV. I was told that we would redo it in two days. Two days is a long time.

Take two:

I didn't have to wait two days. The instructor called before we had gotten back to the school and made an appointment for today, 10/98/14.

I didn't have to retake the parallel parking test. Passed my CDL road test with a 90. I have the doubles and triples and the tanker endorsement.

Big relief! I will try to get studied up on HAZMAT and take that test before the week is over.

Now the big decision.

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

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

dancing-banana.gif

Congrats driver!

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Congratulations, from one Texas CDL holder to another!

Now the big decision.

Hey man give yourself a break. I know how important that decision seems right now, but let me tell you that in a year from now you are going to realize that it wasn't who you worked for that was important, but rather how you conducted yourself wherever you got your first shot. You are about to get yourself into the biggest learning curve you have ever experienced. The most important thing in that first year is Don't Hit Anything! You will learn so much during that first year.

I know what I want, but trying to find what is available that I can live with for a year is daunting.

Don't fall prey to this ever-present trend of thinking you are going to have to put up with a bunch of stuff with your "starter" company. Trucking is hard to get started in - that is why these stupid moan and groan morons frequently contribute to the forums that make a point of slamming trucking companies like they are old style plantations running slaves. Trucking takes a strong work ethic and a strong personality that enjoys a new challenge with each new sunrise. Those new challenges are there everyday, and it's not the trucking companies fault - it's just trucking, it's chock full of Murphy's laws. That guy Murphy must have been a trucker back in the day.

I'm not sure if you are familiar with my start in trucking, but it was rough. I got rejected three times until I thought I was forced to accept a job at a company that no one would want to work at. I learned some really valuable lessons due to the way I got started, and I've done my best to try and share what I learned in the "school of hard knocks" with those of you who are just getting started. Never trust an internet review of a trucking company. Always go into this thinking that you are going to do what ever it takes to make this work, If you can't muster up that kind of attitude in the face of difficulties, then you will never make it. Be creative, and resourceful, and never pay any attention to what the naysayers sitting in the TV lounge at the truck stops have to say about how to get it done out here. If they knew anything helpful they wouldn't be in there losing money, and trying their best to top the last guy's story about how sorry their dispatcher is.

Wherever you start, you are going to have problems - that is "Rookie Trucking 101" basic stuff. Here's what you do. You keep your head up and you come right in here and tell us what's going on. We will always shoot straight with you, and you can trust us to give you the right advice on how to make it out there. Collectively, we've been there and done that. I don't think you can encounter something out there that we haven't faced before.

I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm going off on a rant, but I want you to relax and don't stress yourself out over this employment decision. It is all the stupid stuff on the internet which makes guys like you so nervous about this decision, and it really irritates me at times. Most of the time when people find this site they have already gotten themselves inoculated with falsehoods that they just can't seem to shake loose. We fight an uphill battle all the time trying to convince people of how they need to approach this career, but there is so much stuff that they have already exposed themselves to that they just can't seem to get free from the burden that it puts on them.

I love this career, and it doesn't have a single thing to do with who my employer is. I was a key player at Western Express, while most people there were just looking for any opportunity they could find to leave. Trucking is very much like being self-employed - you will be making all the decisions that determine your success. No one will be holding your hand, and no one will catch you when you fall. Go into it with that knowledge, and bust your tail to succeed - that is what it takes and that is what will bring you success no matter whose name is on the doors of your truck.

Go get em!

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

ATXJEHU's Comment
member avatar

Hey TXsGent, Congrats! You are in a great place for trucking jobs. You will do fine, just take your time, don't get in a hurry, or let stress overwhelm you. About every time I get in too big of a rush, bad things start to happen in this business. All the best to ya!

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