Future CDL Driver

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Randy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I am starting the process to get my CDL license.

I got my physical on thursday 6/6 and took my written today 6/8/13

I just wanted to comment how much the free online CDL training course helped me out for the test. I was trying to do every section but got in a hurry this morning so I skipped the passengers section and did the next two section's I was not needing the hazmat.

I left home at 11:30 am for the DMV which close's at 12 noon.

I was at the DMV at 11:40am and was helped promptly, I asked if I could take the written and they said I could start it but might have to finish tuesday when they open again..

It takes a few minutes to go over some question's copy my medical get some info entered answer some question's the girl was going pretty fast.

I got to use a computer with a touch screen to take the test.

First question on the test I had no clue on.. brain freeze it said I could skip and come back to it at the end.. I got to the end and it gave me a score I had passed so it did not take me back to the early questions but said I missed 3 which 2 I had skipped, onto the next test..

So I skipped a few more question's that I thought would slow me down and got the test done by 12:02. The girl said she was going to shut me off but saw I was on the 3rd test already and let me finish it.

They said that was probably the fastest test they ever had. I for sure would have taken more time if it was available. I can't hardly get up there during the work week. I do have a full time job already, but switching careers.

Doing the free test that is on this sight helped me a great deal https://www.truckingtruth.com/cdl-training-program/

this morning doing the free test I was getting in a hurry and if you miss something twice it will make you pay attention to the question and get through it.. A very good tool to use.

I will do some more section's of it now that I have the written out of the way.

I have to line up a truck for the test now. They do have rentals in Illinois but the only ones I have located are in Chicago area. I might have to make a trip up north to get my driving test done. hopefully I can line up something in southern Illinois though.

Thanks again for the help getting me this far. Randy

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Randy. I'm really glad our High Road Training Program helped out and congrats on passing the exams!

Now I do have on major concern. You mentioned taking the road test on your own by renting a truck. So obviously you're not planning on going to a truck driving school. Have you tried applying for pre-hires or do you already have a job lined up? Because getting your CDL isn't enough to land you a job with most trucking companies that hire inexperienced drivers. Their insurance companies require new drivers to have a graduation certificate from an approved trucking school. So I'm concerned that you're going to get your license but will have trouble landing a job. What's your status?

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Randy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Randy. I'm really glad our High Road Training Program helped out and congrats on passing the exams! Do you already have a job lined up? What's your status?

At first I searched and read several books off amazon(including yours the raw truth) about doing this sort of thing.

I live in Illinois which has the no transfer CDL rule so that knocks out some company's that provide training. I did come across USA trucking and Driver Solutions. The school would be in Illinois and the cost would be between 4k and 6k depending on the option's that I went with. 4k is prepay with 2 plans for 6k.

I did the egears there and most of the other stuff but a friend of mine thought I could do better. He's been driving for sometime. So we have talked a lot the past few months about this. Driver Solutions cut me off from that sight but think if I call them they would turn it back on. At this time I am not going to USA trucking. But I thought that was a bit odd as I had told them all along I would not be able to go to the school till June 17th.

I searched some more and found a company that would hire me with just the CDL and no school time. They actually said they have to untrain some schooled new drivers and were fine with me not having much time. I would be with a trainer for 5 weeks after some initial training. This is paid training so I won't totally starve and I will have some vacation pay from my current job to help me survive that part.

I have worked the same job for 31 years and still employed there. I have talked and unloaded many bulk drivers in that time. I have seen plenty of good and not so good drivers.

Seen a team that had only drove 2 weeks and had never backed a tanker before only did drop offs near Memphis. The one flat could not back the truck and the other got it done but not very pretty. These two had class one week, rode with trainer one week and were turned loose. How safe was that?

Seen some quit because they could not go home for the holiday ect ect. Never saw one abandon the trailer though.

So yes I do have something lined up and supposed to be getting processed and then wait for a trainer to be lined up. I do have to have my CDL by that time. I have some work to get done still to take that test and will probably have to travel to Chicago area to rent a truck/trailer for the test.

Randy

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, you're taking a rough route into the industry. And if that one job falls through or doesn't last long, you're going to be in a tough spot because almost noone will hire you without the proper schooling.

Hopefully it will all work out fine. The worst that could happen is that you wind up having to go to school in the end, but hopefully not.

The company you have this opportunity with - do they run outside of Illinois or will you be staying within the state? If you leave the state it's considered over-the-road driving. If you can get a year of safe OTR under your belt then trucking companies will waive that schooling requirement and you'll be able to change jobs easily enough if you like. But believe it or not, if you don't leave your home state the OTR industry doesn't count that as OTR experience. Even if you stayed there for a year and wanted to go elsewhere you'd be running into the same problem - they'll consider you an inexperienced driver without the proper schooling.

The trucking industry is very fickle about such things. The insurance companies govern all of this and set the standards in such a way as to limit the damage from lawsuits.

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.

Randy D.'s Comment
member avatar

The trucking industry is very fickle about such things. The insurance companies govern all of this and set the standards in such a way as to limit the damage from lawsuits.

The one I am looking at runs 48 states and Canada. I will know the first week if that is going to work out or not.

I was going to do the school route before, so worse case I am just back to going the school route but with a CDL already I might have some options looking outside of Illinois now. I talked to a few that would not hire Illinois non CDL drivers because their school was in Indiana or something similar, so that might now be an option since I would not need to do the CDL part.

Most schools are there to make money so might be able to work out something of a shorter course with a school also. Never know if you don't ask. I have seen some schools have refresher course's so maybe some have some sort of building time program Since I would have the CDL I would also not be limited to Illinois schools either.

Insurance company's control most of the world it seems. I know most small company's can't or won't hire newer drivers because of their insurance.

Thanks again, for the forum and the online course set up.

randy

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.
Randy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I passed my CDL test today and now have a CDL with air brakes. :)

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

Congratulations Randy, and best of luck to ya!

Randy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Randy, and best of luck to ya!

Thanks I still have to be processed, hopefully pass that stuff and then to training but at least I have one more step out of the way.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey congrats!!! Yap, it's a lengthy process so just keep moving forward one step at a time. smile.gif

Randy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey congrats!!! Yap, it's a lengthy process so just keep moving forward one step at a time. smile.gif

thanks Brett, I am still doing your CDL course, I think it is still a good learning tool even though I am done with the CDL testing. And reading through other blogs add's much info also. Thanks for a great sight .. Randy

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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