Got My CDL A, Now Where?

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Kyle Carpenter's Comment
member avatar

I got my CDL A but no hazardous. My dad has been driving his whole career for Fedex and well they will not take me with no exp. So what do I do and where do I go? I have seen the companies on here that will hire with no exp. but in everyone's opinion whats best for me? I know only i can know what is best for me but I want to know what companies out there will not completely treat me like the scum of the earth! I am located in Central Indiana and plan to be here for a while. Anyone know of any companies here that may be hiring. My driving record is almost completely clean, one speeding ticket that is due to fall off soon. No accidents what so ever. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Kyle, you could probably call any of the companies with training programs and they'd bring you in next week. They'll give you whatever training you need and get you on the road as soon as possible. If England works for you then go for it! But if they mess around and don't seem to be getting anything going then don't hesitate to contact other companies. In fact, telling England that others are interested in you will light a fire under them hopefully.

They kept telling me i would have to wait until a trainer was free to train me. like it was my fault. After 4 months they found someone to train me

To anyone out there who might be in a position where you're ready to go on the road with a trainer but it's going to be a long time, try calling other Company-Sponsored Training Programs and let them know what's happening. Many of those companies would send you a bus ticket to come to their program. Now that doesn't mean you want to do that! But it gives you leverage. You can call the company that is taking too long and tell them,

Look, Swift said they'll send me a bus ticket tomorrow and they have trainers ready to go. I can wait another week or so but that's about it. I can't afford to wait months for you guys to come up with a trainer. I have bills to pay like everyone else. So I'm hoping you'll get me on the road soon but at this point I have to make a move one way or another.

You won't believe how quickly things will get moving at that point. Don't be threatening or nasty about it. Just be very calm and pleasant. You're simply stating a fact - you can't afford to wait months for a trainer. Anyone can understand that. And that's why they'll make things happen. Once they know you have other options you're looking into that are ready to go right now they'll do something about it. Getting drivers is extremely difficult. They sure as heck don't want to get one and then lose them because of something like this.

You have to be savvy and know how to make things happen in the trucking industry. You'll learn to get your appointment times changed, get hooked up on the best freight, talk dock workers into unloading you sooner, and get out of tickets from DOT officers. Most importantly you have to know how to talk to people and get along with people. Truckers have no authority over anyone so you have to learn to get people on your side. The only way anyone will help you is if they want to help you. You have to be the type of person they want to do something nice for. You can't bully people around. That's the biggest mistake most truckers make. They confront people and try to bully people into giving them their way. It almost never works. Be nice to people, talk kindly, but be confident and firm when you need to be.

Trust me.....I learned this over a period of years and not all of it the easy way. I stepped on my own toes many times before figuring this stuff out.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Kyle, tell us how you got your CDL , and then we will know how to help you.

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

I've got to get back on the road right now, but I'm sure some others will see this and point you in the right direction.

Kyle Carpenter's Comment
member avatar

Kyle, tell us how you got your CDL , and then we will know how to help you.

Well I got my CDL through a trucking company that most know as CR England. Got on the road and 3 days into my over the road driving my instructors daughter came down with anomonia and had to go home. Here I am a little over 3 years later and they still will not help me one bit. The only OTR I have is from Chicago, IL to Atlanta,GA.

Sorry, my spelling is bad

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.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Kyle Carpenter's Comment
member avatar

Also not that it is really important I am just looking for a company solo gig. With a nice pet policy if that at all works.

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift will most likely take you pretty much all the big companies will

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift will most likely take you pretty much all the big companies will

You most likely will have to go out with a trainer for a bit but most of the big companies will though

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Well I got my CDL through a trucking company that most know as CR England. Got on the road and 3 days into my over the road driving my instructors daughter came down with anomonia and had to go home. Here I am a little over 3 years later and they still will not help me one bit. The only OTR I have is from Chicago, IL to Atlanta,GA.

Okay Kyle, I'm just going to say that you are giving me some really big red flags. There's something missing here, and if you don't know what that might be then I'm even more concerned.

I understand the part about your trainer having to get home and therefore you had to go home, but why didn't C.R. England put you with another trainer? That makes no sense. If they had a reason to suspect you might not be truck driver material then you have certainly confirmed their suspicions by waiting around for three years to start trying to get back in.

What have you been doing for three years? If you have been on unemployment all this time while holding a CDL, and now the checks have quit coming and it seems like you better start looking for a job, then shame on you! I'm assuming a lot here, but man something doesn't look right in your response. If what I'm thinking is right, then I can tell you that you need to look into a different career. You don't really want to be a truck driver, and you don't have the determination or the will to make it out on the road.

The harsh reality is that this job just isn't for everyone, and I can assure you that the people who do good at it really want it bad enough that they don't sit around for three years waiting on C.R. England to "help" them.

The people who succeed at this stuff have their heart in it - they can taste it like it's good food, they're hungry for it, and crave it like they have to have it to survive. You have not indicated anything like the desire for success, but rather that you are looking for someone to hand you something desirable enough to make you willing get up from your comfortable position on the couch.

I'm sorry man if I have misread you, but my instincts are usually dead on.

Look Kyle, you are worth nothing to any trucking company right now. You will have to go through the whole process again, or at least find someone who will give you a refresher course. That CDL in your pocket is about as useless as an over drawn credit card - it's going to get you nothing but denials. You have to have recent experience to get a job, and people who sit around sucking on the public teats don't have recent experience. You can't lay the blame on C.R. England, there are some other issues here.

If I am wrong, then feel free to explain yourself.

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.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh snap! See, this is why I watch my words around Old School. rofl-3.gif

Kyle Carpenter's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Well I got my CDL through a trucking company that most know as CR England. Got on the road and 3 days into my over the road driving my instructors daughter came down with anomonia and had to go home. Here I am a little over 3 years later and they still will not help me one bit. The only OTR I have is from Chicago, IL to Atlanta,GA.

double-quotes-end.png

Okay Kyle, I'm just going to say that you are giving me some really big red flags. There's something missing here, and if you don't know what that might be then I'm even more concerned.

I understand the part about your trainer having to get home and therefore you had to go home, but why didn't C.R. England put you with another trainer? That makes no sense. If they had a reason to suspect you might not be truck driver material then you have certainly confirmed their suspicions by waiting around for three years to start trying to get back in.

What have you been doing for three years? If you have been on unemployment all this time while holding a CDL, and now the checks have quit coming and it seems like you better start looking for a job, then shame on you! I'm assuming a lot here, but man something doesn't look right in your response. If what I'm thinking is right, then I can tell you that you need to look into a different career. You don't really want to be a truck driver, and you don't have the determination or the will to make it out on the road.

The harsh reality is that this job just isn't for everyone, and I can assure you that the people who do good at it really want it bad enough that they don't sit around for three years waiting on C.R. England to "help" them.

The people who succeed at this stuff have their heart in it - they can taste it like it's good food, they're hungry for it, and crave it like they have to have it to survive. You have not indicated anything like the desire for success, but rather that you are looking for someone to hand you something desirable enough to make you willing get up from your comfortable position on the couch.

I'm sorry man if I have misread you, but my instincts are usually dead on.

Look Kyle, you are worth nothing to any trucking company right now. You will have to go through the whole process again, or at least find someone who will give you a refresher course. That CDL in your pocket is about as useless as an over drawn credit card - it's going to get you nothing but denials. You have to have recent experience to get a job, and people who sit around sucking on the public teats don't have recent experience. You can't lay the blame on C.R. England, there are some other issues here.

If I am wrong, then feel free to explain yourself.

I had actually gotten a hold of England several times after they dropped me off. They kept telling me i would have to wait until a trainer was free to train me. like it was my fault. After 4 months they found someone to train me. That ended before i even stepped into a truck because he went from OTR to a local route. England likes for rookies to get the test of everything and not just the Chicago area. After that i they told me the same thing, i would have to wait on another trainer. I mean i was first in my class, recieved my cdl the first time almost perfectly. Backing up was surprisingly my strong point. So much they asked me to help some of the other rookies. Going from Chicago to Atlanta i had one problem in the mountains and that was it. I am not trying to brag, i just thought i was doing really good.

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.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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