Looking To Drive For Coca Cola In Mass. Need To Get CDL... Need Some Advice.

Topic 767 | Page 1

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Christopher J.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

Im currently working in the warehouse for a Coca Cola plant in Mass. After years of broken promises about company paid training, Ive decided to stop waiting around for Coke and get my CDL on my own as Im watching them hire more and more drivers off the street.

With the help of this site I have obtained my CDL permit as well as my DOT card. My next step is to take some CDL training at a training school. Here in Ma I have a few options.

-NETTS (new England tractor trailer school) -Parkers Professional driving school -Nationwide Diesel Technologies In Northing Rhode Island. I have a couple grand saved up for training but I don't want to pay the full tuition amount seeing that I already have my permit so I don't need the classroom portion that involves getting your CDL permit. I've talked with Parkers and they do have a "pay as you go" deal where you pay $200 per 2 hour lessons. You need a minimum of 4 lessons before they allow you to take your road test. I was thinking maybe (10) 2 hour classes plus the road test fee as well as the admission fee that Parker school charges which will put my tuition up to almost $3000.

Now I may not need 10 lessons but I sure as hell want more than 4. The min I will take is 8 lessons if I was to even go this route.

I still need to talk with NETTTs and Nationwide Technologies to see if they will offer a discount or maybe charge half price for already having you CDL Permit.

Oh and just if anyone is interested about the trucks they have at Coke, Most of the Trucks are single Axel with either a 7 speed Manual transmission, or automatic. A few of the older trucks are Double with I think a high gear transmission. Those drivers with lower senority usually get stuck driving those as they aren't very desirable for local deliveries.

I was wondering if anyone by any chance has any experience with these schools or went about getting their CDL with already having obtained their permit?

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Christopher, welcome to the forum! Congratulations on setting some savings aside and on obtaining your permit. Your showing a genuine determination to get this done. I applaud you. I also had my permit before starting school, and many others have taken that same well thought out approach. Here's the thing to be careful about: it's not only the CDL you're trying to obtain by going to school, but there's a certificate that the school gives you after successfully completing your studies. This certificate tells your future employer that you've received so many hours of training. That certificate is of utmost importance when trying to get hired for your first driving job. Later on they just care about your verifiable experience, but that first job is going to require that certificate. So, make sure you're getting a certificate before laying out your hard earned cash. Most companies require a minimum of 160 hours

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard!

Old School is right. You don't want to try to save a few bucks by skimping on the fees for Truck Driving School and taking the condensed version. In fact, your own company may not hire you as a driver without a certificate showing you have the proper training. And besides, you're certainly not going to save much money (if any) at $200 for every two hours. You're going to have to learn pre-trip inspections, numerous different backing maneuvers, and of course the road driving portion of it. You're going to be paying enough to cover the full tuition at most schools.

It's usually the insurance companies that dictate the minimum hiring requirements for drivers. So make sure you check in to see what your company says about that.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Most insurance companies want a minimum of at least 160 hour course. That's $3,200 if my math is correct. Most full course programs that are accredited you only pay $2500 to $4500 for the whole 160 hour course. Your way does not save you money at all. And then there is the part about time. At 10 hours a day it will take a minimum of 16 days to complete. So a little over two weeks.

Christopher J.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the advice. After weeks of research I've narrowed my choices of school to Parker Professional Training School in MA. They offer a 6 week 120hr mon-fri course as well as a 8 week weekend only course. They are an accredited school so im trying to get Coca Cola to do tuition reimbursement.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Good Luck Christopher....Looks like you have things ironed out to get you where you want to be. And I hope your employer will pay your way....you would get the job you really want...and they will get a loyal employee !!! Keep us updated...

Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the advice. After weeks of research I've narrowed my choices of school to Parker Professional Training School in MA. They offer a 6 week 120hr mon-fri course as well as a 8 week weekend only course. They are an accredited school so im trying to get Coca Cola to do tuition reimbursement.

I'd use caution with the 120 school. Most trucking companies I have researched aren't interested in anything less than a 160 hour course.

Jason C.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck! I just got hired by Pepsi. Get that CDL and you will be set. And 160 hours is what you need. Why wont coke get it for 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.
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