Why Get An Endorsement You Don't Want?

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RT2812's Comment
member avatar

If you don't wanna drive doubles and triples,why should you get the endorsement? Especially when you are a new driver,just out of CDL school. It's tough enough just learning how to safely drive a tractor-trailer,so why would I want to drive one with two extra trailers on it? Are you crazy? Does any one understand that doubles and triples can be more dangerous and risky to operate? Well,some of us just don't want that kind of extra risk and responsibility,I don't care if they paid me a million dollars to haul six trailers,ONE is enough for me! Especially being a newbie.Yet you guys are saying,oh,you better get ALL THE ENDORSEMENTS.....but no thanks,I just aint ready for it yet.Besides it's just too risky.I'll be happy to let SOMEONE with more experience handle that endorsement! Yeah,I read my state's CDL manual [Florida] and what it said about doubles and triples did not motivate me to go get the endorsement! As a matter of fact,that darn book scared the crap out of me! You really think I wanna increase my chances of rolling over on a curve? No way! Ha!

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.

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

It was nice meeting you down at Sheridan VoTech last week.

You get ALL the endorsements, because it increases your employability. No one is going to FORCE YOU to drive a double/triple, or hook a HM tanker if you really don't want to.

EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS that they are more dangerous - but with RISKS, comes REWARDS.

But WTF do I know? If you don't want the endorsements - don't get them. But you really want to consider, down the road - when you have some more experience and self-confidence - that an opportunity may arise for you to haul a load (or change employers) that requires said endorsement.

Better to HAVE AND NOT NEED - than to NEED AND NOT HAVE.

Look at me - I graduated the same course you're in, 6 years ago. Haven't worked in the industry yet - but I maintain my Doubles/Triples, Tanker, HazMat and Passenger. Because if I need them down the road - it's easier than having to RUN BACK TO FLORIDA to get them.

Rick

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.

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Another point to get them is because, well, you're already there taking the other tests why not take as many as you can. I got mine with no intention to ever use them. But I know that after I've gotten Comfortable driving a truck and trailer that if the perfect opportunity arises that I will be able to take it without having to schedule a time to go to the dmv , take the test, pay the money, wait for my updated license, etc. Get it all done and you'll never have to look back.

But then again you don't have to.

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.

RT2812's Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys, because what I was thinking was if your employer saw you had the endorsement,and since you did,they might say,okay were gonna make you use it just because you have it and we are telling you to. That's what I don't want to get into with an employer. Of course,I'm so new at this,I don't know if they give truckers a choice or not.

Matt D.'s Comment
member avatar

You ALWAYS have a CHOICE and should never be forced to do something you deem to be unsafe or out of your comfort zone...But having them all does make you more in demand if when that time comes you feel safe driving them...So when other drivers who dont have it are sitting and waiting you might just be able to keep rolling.

Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

I never got any of those endorsements and do not plan to. There was quite enough stuff for me to focus on when getting my cdl. Now I have the perfect driving job that I will hold onto for the rest of my career if possible.

Ya if someday you are looking at a job that requires you have hazmat then great you are all ready for it. But I say to chance it that such a thing will not happen and relax. Why go through all the extra effort of getting those things you are not likely to use? There are plenty of jobs with no extra endorsements needed.

Yes they do pay extra, but they are also a whole lot of extra hassle. It would be a better idea to wait a couple years. See if trucking is for you and then go get all your endorsements at the same time. Most people that enter trucking end up quitting soon after.

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.
Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

I never got any of those endorsements and do not plan to. There was quite enough stuff for me to focus on when getting my cdl. Now I have the perfect driving job that I will hold onto for the rest of my career if possible.

Ya if someday you are looking at a job that requires you have hazmat then great you are all ready for it. But I say to chance it that such a thing will not happen and relax. Why go through all the extra effort of getting those things you are not likely to use? There are plenty of jobs with no extra endorsements needed.

Yes they do pay extra, but they are also a whole lot of extra hassle. It would be a better idea to wait a couple years. See if trucking is for you and then go get all your endorsements at the same time. Most people that enter trucking end up quitting soon after.

There's really no extra hassle at all and that's my point. You're already at the dmv taking a couple of tests so why not take a couple more that are only like 15 questions. No extra fee and not really a significant amount more info to learn. You're right that you may never need them or use them. But I'm not seeing where there is any extra hassle. Plus it looks that much better when going for a job even if they don't require it.

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

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I agree 100% with Heavy C ... you get all of the endorsements because someday you might want to use them. It's a super quick, super easy written test you take on time and you have it for life. I passed the passenger one back in the day without even studying for it. They're that easy.

The Hazmat has to be renewed every two years and the test is a bit more involved. The rest are super simple exams, you'll be done in a jiffy, and then for the rest of your career you have no limitations on what you can do. There's simply no worthwhile advantage to not getting them.

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

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I never got any of those endorsements and do not plan to. There was quite enough stuff for me to focus on when getting my cdl. Now I have the perfect driving job that I will hold onto for the rest of my career if possible.

Ya if someday you are looking at a job that requires you have hazmat then great you are all ready for it. But I say to chance it that such a thing will not happen and relax. Why go through all the extra effort of getting those things you are not likely to use? There are plenty of jobs with no extra endorsements needed.

Yes they do pay extra, but they are also a whole lot of extra hassle. It would be a better idea to wait a couple years. See if trucking is for you and then go get all your endorsements at the same time. Most people that enter trucking end up quitting soon after.

double-quotes-end.png

There's really no extra hassle at all and that's my point. You're already at the dmv taking a couple of tests so why not take a couple more that are only like 15 questions. No extra fee and not really a significant amount more info to learn. You're right that you may never need them or use them. But I'm not seeing where there is any extra hassle. Plus it looks that much better when going for a job even if they don't require it.

Actually - Florida (at least) charges for each endorsement - not a lot.

It is the HazMat that costs (mostly for the background check) and the interesting thing about that - is that most CDL's are 6 year licenses. HazMat has to be renewed every FOUR YEARS, so an H endorsed CDL expires when the HazMat expires - meaning, you pay the fee for a 6 year license, that expires in 4. Not that big a deal really (from a $$ perspective), just found it a little weird.

Keep in mind also - that having an HazMat endorsement doesn't mean that a company is going to put you under a load of high explosives or nuclear material right out of training either. But a load of laundry bleach is of a sufficient quantity to require placarding, as is a load of car batteries, are are many other "household items" we might not consider to be HazMat - but an entire truckload of them ARE. And most companies aren't going to put a brand new driver under a High Value/High Risk HM load for awhile anyway.

And if you're going to get a HM - might as well get the TWIC also. It's some additional $$, most "starter companies" require it also (as well as HM). You probably will not get to use it very often (airports, ports, government installations, etc.). In some states, you can get a discount on the HM background check, with a recently acquired/renewed TWIC - as the same agency (TSA/Homeland) does the vetting for both the HM & TWIC. You can (should) get it BEFORE you do your HM (which you can't actually "get" until you pass and obtain a FULL CDL). A CDL isn't even required to apply for a TWIC - as all port workers are required to have one. It will make your HM background come back REALLY FAST.

As far as doubles/triples go - they are mainly line-haul. The average driver-in-training is not likely to haul a double, unless he signs onto a division of the company that actually hauls doubles/triples on a regular basis (and this is typically all highway, from one side of the state to another - where the trailers are relayed onto a driver for their destination. It's cheaper (from a logistics/resource standpoint) for a company to have one truck haul three trailers - than 3 trucks.

Likewise with Tanker - unless you're going to sign onto a division of a company, or a company that specializes in tanker loads - the "average" recent graduate is not likely to get a tanker load - and bulk-dry handles a lot different from "wet" food or other materials - requiring some additional training (both in the driving, and how to deal with clean-out, etc.). So unless you are SEEKING tanker work - you are not likely to see any - even with an endorsement.

THAT BEING SAID - (as Heavy C mentions) - it LOOKS BETTER to perspective employers to have full endorsements - as well as enhance your prospects down the road. You may just get that call one day, where you DM needs someone to get him out of a jam - and your ability (and willingness) to do so, usually does not go unnoticed (or unrewarded). "hey driver - I got a doubles with a tractor broken down on the turnpike - can you go drag it for me?".

Rick

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hey Randall - relax dude. You're over-thinking this. Pulling doubles is not a big deal, neither is hazmat. I'm not trying to say there isn't added responsibility involved, but trust me when I say that I'd much rather pull a double set through a tight city than a single 53' box. They maneuver better.

I got my doubles / triples, hazmat , and tank when I got my CDL A. I'm a linehaul driver and started my career pulling those wiggle wagons. In school I learned with a sleeper cab and 53' trailer. I pulled a 53' and 48' while doing my city driving training at my job. But the majority of my time has been pulling pups (doubles) running linehaul. It's all I pull now since I've been solo. There are some added responsibilities, some added steps during a pre-trip, some added safety precautions when driving, but it's not a big deal. I prefer pulling my wiggle wagons.

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

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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