Starting School With A 'new' School!

Topic 6760 | Page 1

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Joe R.'s Comment
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Happy New Year, everyone!

I've posted a time or two around here and have been using the conversations and The High Road to prep for CDL school, starting February 2nd (a four week course). I'm not sure that I should divulge the name of the school, so I'll refrain for now. This school is located in Wisconsin and is a relatively new start-up business ( I think he and his wife started this in 2013). I'm very happy to be participating in his future success as a small business, but also have some reservations in terms of the lack of reputation amongst the larger trucking companies. He does claim to work pretty closely with Roehl, Schneider, JB Hunt, Swift and a few others, so I'm not overly concerned.

My previous job was eliminated and essentially I quit because the jobs they offered in lieu, significantly differed in wage, schedule, skill set, etc. Because of this, I qualified as though I were laid-off, for training through WIA - All of my school fees are paid - and I will be able to collect a few bucks in Unemployment Insurance right up through being hired soemwhere - good for me, although I was prepared to pay cash if that weren't the case. I'm saying all of this to justify going to this newer school, as they were recommended by the local Job Center, who set the whole thing up for me.

So, a couple of things:

First: Thanks to all the veteran drivers, as well as the trainees and new solos for taking the time from your days/nights to post your experiences - I don't have to express how much this helps to most of you because you have been in my shoes and I am sure you completely understand the value! :-)

Second: My main reason for this post, is for those who are still "considering" the trade. Perhaps there are funds available and help for you to get through the process with a little less stress than you might think. Going this route seems to have some benefit, as I won't be obligated to any organization to pay back my tuition. If fact, I have been told that I may still be eligible for a reimbursement from certain companies, even though I really had no 'out of pocket' and it is legal and right for me to accept this. Frankly, I'm losing a ton of $$ on Unemployment and truly should be working, but that would make me ineligible to get paid during school, so I'm sucking it up.

Look into it!! That's all I can really say, as these things do vary from State to State, albeit a Federal program (WIA, Workforce Investment Act). There are also State funded programs that also vary around the country. In Wisconsin, there were a couple of options for me. The WIA option was relatively simple, easy to qualify for, and I had an awesome agent that was dedicated to her craft! She really came through for me when others within the bureaucracies seemed uninterested and lazy. Well, enough of that; I didn't come here to whine about the gov't. ;-) Particularly since my life is about the change and the Fed program has made a huge difference in the level of stress I'll endure compared to some I've read about lately.

OK, I've droned on long enough - I hope this helps someone, somewhere. I don't know how much I'll be able to post as my experiences begin, but I'll try to chime in if I have anything significant to report.

If anyone has questions, please don't hesitate. I'll do my best to help out where I can.

Joe

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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