Curious Youngin' Needing Advice?

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Desirae B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, I posted the same questions on Yahoo Answers and they gave me a link to this site. I'm going into that National Guard and I'm going in to be a trucker. I was wondering if after all my training and completion, even though I'm only 17 (Will be 18 when I get out of Basic and Training ) I was wondering if the state of PA would allow me to put in all the paper work to get a CDL to be a civilian truck driver because of my military background and training? I tried to call DOT about it, but I couldn't get anything other than a machine ( ugh. ) I decided I want to be a Truck driver because my father drives a big rig and he enjoys it so much! When he comes home, He will let me in his truck for awhile and it feels so natural to be in there! I mean, he isn't home a lot, but the pictures and statuses describing what he sees and the awesome things and people he encounters , I want to see amazing things too. It maybe isn't the best reason to want to be a trucker, but I know it's what I would love to do.

Other things that might be important to know: I'm a girl ( My dad says being female creates a lot of hazards in the trucking business ) I have never actually driven anything that uses air brakes I'm kinda short >.< Like, when I drive my Dad's Cadillac and my van, I have to scoot my chair up until I can't scoot it up any more so I can reach the gas and brake pedals >.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
Hi, I posted the same questions on Yahoo Answers and they gave me a link to this site.

Hey, that was me! smile.gif

but the pictures and statuses describing what he sees and the awesome things and people he encounters , I want to see amazing things too. It maybe isn't the best reason to want to be a trucker, but I know it's what I would love to do.

Hey, that's one of the big reasons I became a truck driver - I wanted to see the land and experience as much of this wonderful country as I could. And in my book that's one of the best reasons to become a truck driver. To me, trucking isn't a very good job if you're just looking to make a living. The pay really doesn't stack up very well when you look at all of the stress, risk, and challenges you face day in and day out. But if you're the adventurous type that loves a challenge and would enjoy the travelling lifestyle, then trucking is perfect because that is what really makes trucking an awesome career in my book.

And the fact that you're short and you're a female isn't going to stand in the way of having a great career in trucking. Nothing to be concerned with. I mean, yeah, you're going to have a few jerks say obnoxious things on the CB or blow their horn when you walk across the parking lot - stupid things like that. But certainly nothing you can't handle.

As far as the state of Pennsylvania goes, I've found some gems for ya. It appears that Pennsylvania will waive the skills test for former military personnel under certain conditions. Here's a quote from the Military Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Skills Testing Waiver FACT SHEET

Act 133 of 2008, allows the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to waive the CDL Skills Test specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 383.113) for Pennsylvania residents who are active duty military or recently discharged veterans with at least two years experience operating a commercial motor vehicle as part of their military job requirements. The waiver applies to CDL applicants who will be operating vehicles similar to those they operated in the military. Therefore, those who drove combination type commercial (Class A) motor vehicles in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for a waiver to drive a combination type vehicle and those who drove a single motor vehicle of commercial type (Class B) in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for the waiver to drive that type of vehicle.

There's a lot of information on that fact sheet, so take a look.

On another page that talks about Military Commercial Driver’s License Skills Testing Waiver:

Military members and recently separated veterans must first apply for a CDL by completing a DL-31CD Form ,"Application to Add/Extend/Remove Commercial Driver’s License", and return it to PennDOT along with the DL-11CD Self Certification Form and applicable fee. The applicant will be sent a Knowledge Test Authorization Letter which they will take to their nearest Driver License Center to take the applicable knowledge tests. After successfully completing all applicable CDL knowledge testing, the applicant must complete a DL-398 Form , "Military Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Skills Test Waiver Application", and take it to their nearest Driver License Center with supporting original documents to apply for the waiver. For more information about the CDL Skills Test Waiver and to find out if you are eligible, please refer to the Military Commercials Driver’s License Skills Testing Waiver Fact Sheet . Please visit the Locations Information Center to find a Driver License Center near you.

Lastly, there appears to be an amendment to the current law that is being considered right now:

In the near future, I intend to introduce a bill amending Title Code 75 (Vehicles) further providing for commercial driver’s license qualification standards for members of the armed services.

As the law currently stands, military personnel and veterans who have two years of experience driving a military commercial vehicle are eligible to waive the skills test when certain criteria are met. One such requirement states that the applicant is eligible for waiver if “the applicant has legally operated, for at least two years immediately preceding application for a commercial driver’s license...”

This bill will strike “immediately preceding,” allowing for military personnel and veterans with at least two years of military commercial driving experience the opportunity to apply for a CDL with the possibility of a waiver at any time.

How's that for some fact finding? smile.gif

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.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • 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.

    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.

    OWI:

    Operating While Intoxicated

Martin S.'s Comment
member avatar

Pa web site says 18 to get a cdl but most companys from what i have seen are 21 to 23 to be hired probably because of their insurance.

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.
Britton R.'s Comment
member avatar

I believe you have to be 21 to cross state lines as a driver. You can probably get your license at 18 but may not be able to get a job. You can try calling local companies and seeing if they will hire you. My guess is you will have a hard time finding anything.

Ozzy's Comment
member avatar

You can get your CDL when you are 18 but most likely you wont be able to find a job until you are at least 21-23. You have to be at least 21 to be able to cross state lines with a commercial vehicle.

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.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Desi, with some experience in the Guard, and maybe your dad will let you ride along some ?? Don't think that you can't find an IN-STATE truck driving job....They are out there, and it may be tough to find, but look at it this way....the trucks that run in-state are varied. And with a CDL , and if the company will give you some training time, you could drive any one of them !!! So don't let your age be a stumbling block. Get out there and follow your adventure. And WELCOME to TT !!! Be sure and go to the Ladies of Trucking forum and introduce 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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
Hi, I posted the same questions on Yahoo Answers and they gave me a link to this site.

Hey, that was me! smile.gif

but the pictures and statuses describing what he sees and the awesome things and people he encounters , I want to see amazing things too. It maybe isn't the best reason to want to be a trucker, but I know it's what I would love to do.

Hey, that's one of the big reasons I became a truck driver - I wanted to see the land and experience as much of this wonderful country as I could. And in my book that's one of the best reasons to become a truck driver. To me, trucking isn't a very good job if you're just looking to make a living. The pay really doesn't stack up very well when you look at all of the stress, risk, and challenges you face day in and day out. But if you're the adventurous type that loves a challenge and would enjoy the travelling lifestyle, then trucking is perfect because that is what really makes trucking an awesome career in my book.

And the fact that you're short and you're a female isn't going to stand in the way of having a great career in trucking. Nothing to be concerned with. I mean, yeah, you're going to have a few jerks say obnoxious things on the CB or blow their horn when you walk across the parking lot - stupid things like that. But certainly nothing you can't handle.

As far as the state of Pennsylvania goes, I've found some gems for ya. It appears that Pennsylvania will waive the skills test for former military personnel under certain conditions. Here's a quote from the Military Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Skills Testing Waiver FACT SHEET

Act 133 of 2008, allows the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to waive the CDL Skills Test specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 383.113) for Pennsylvania residents who are active duty military or recently discharged veterans with at least two years experience operating a commercial motor vehicle as part of their military job requirements. The waiver applies to CDL applicants who will be operating vehicles similar to those they operated in the military. Therefore, those who drove combination type commercial (Class A) motor vehicles in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for a waiver to drive a combination type vehicle and those who drove a single motor vehicle of commercial type (Class B) in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for the waiver to drive that type of vehicle.

There's a lot of information on that fact sheet, so take a look.

On another page that talks about Military Commercial Driver’s License Skills Testing Waiver:

Military members and recently separated veterans must first apply for a CDL by completing a DL-31CD Form ,"Application to Add/Extend/Remove Commercial Driver’s License", and return it to PennDOT along with the DL-11CD Self Certification Form and applicable fee. The applicant will be sent a Knowledge Test Authorization Letter which they will take to their nearest Driver License Center to take the applicable knowledge tests. After successfully completing all applicable CDL knowledge testing, the applicant must complete a DL-398 Form , "Military Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Skills Test Waiver Application", and take it to their nearest Driver License Center with supporting original documents to apply for the waiver. For more information about the CDL Skills Test Waiver and to find out if you are eligible, please refer to the Military Commercials Driver’s License Skills Testing Waiver Fact Sheet . Please visit the Locations Information Center to find a Driver License Center near you.

Lastly, there appears to be an amendment to the current law that is being considered right now:

In the near future, I intend to introduce a bill amending Title Code 75 (Vehicles) further providing for commercial driver’s license qualification standards for members of the armed services.

As the law currently stands, military personnel and veterans who have two years of experience driving a military commercial vehicle are eligible to waive the skills test when certain criteria are met. One such requirement states that the applicant is eligible for waiver if “the applicant has legally operated, for at least two years immediately preceding application for a commercial driver’s license...”

This bill will strike “immediately preceding,” allowing for military personnel and veterans with at least two years of military commercial driving experience the opportunity to apply for a CDL with the possibility of a waiver at any time.

How's that for some fact finding? smile.gif

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.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • 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.

    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.

    OWI:

    Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh, and one more thing. I agree with everyone above that it's going to be very, very difficult to find a truck driving job under the age of 21. As mentioned, you can not leave the state in a commercial vehicle until you are 21 years old, and most insurance companies make it nearly impossible for the trucking companies they insure to hire anyone under the ages of 21-23 (depending on the companies invovled).

If you can hunt around and find someone willing to hire you before you turn 21, then go for it. But I wouldn't make the commitment to getting your CDL until you find a solid job lead or turn 21. The military exception states you have to drive for 2 years in the military before you can waive the skills test, but that doesn't mean you can't get your CDL now. You would just have to take the skills test.

But whether you use the military exemption or not, you're still going to have to go through a truck driving school in order to learn the rules & regulations and get hired on with a major company. You won't have to take the skills test, but I don't believe major companies will hire you without training at a legitimate Truck Driving School or Company-Sponsored Training Program. The military will teach you how to drive a truck, but civilian trucks are quite a bit different and you have to know the laws governing the civilian trucking industry which of course the military will not teach.

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.

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.

Hoodro Starr's Comment
member avatar

Hey folks ,I'm a 88 Mike truck driver with the Army Reserve. I've been driving for the Army Reserve for roughly 20 years. I've heard of this waiver as well,but need to find out what States honor this. I'm in Mississippi. I'm planning on going to cdl school here in my state.I'm studying for my cdl permit before I go because I hate being unprepared. I've driven many safe miles and been to Iraq.....been there ,done that,got the shirt. I'm hoping to use my military driving experience to land a local driving job (I have small kids). I want to take advantage of the waiver,but I want the schooling too. Any suggestions?

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.
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