Getting CDL On My Own

Topic 8738 | Page 1

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Spanky FKA A.Meggs's Comment
member avatar

Hope all is well with everyone. Have a question for you drivers that's been around for awhile. As I still sit waiting on a few companies to take a shot at me I can't help but wonder how hard would it be to obtain my cdl on my own. Have a family member on wife's side that has been considering buying another truck and is interested in training me for the spot. Of course I would go to dmv , get permit, ride with him for a time and learn the steps of driving, truck control, and all other aspects of this profession in order to obtain a cdl. I would use his truck for all testing and pretrip. If I had no other option but to go this route (trust me this would be my last resort as I would rather go through a school for this but really can't fork out the money right now and another bill would be tough as its tight as a wire at the moment) would ant other companies consider me down the road since I didn't get my training through a school or would it be just taking a refresher course to prove my worth and then on from there. Family member knows I would only be driving for him for bout a year or so till I could get with another company and he is fine with that as he will just find another driver. And who knows may decide to stay but he pays percentage, paper logs and I'm just not sure I would want to stay in that position. Maybe look for local companies after that time and if it's an option the good thing is I would have no obligation or tuition to any company. Any of you have experience in this area or know how it could work out either good or bad option. Thanks and hope you stay safe.

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.

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.

Chris the stick slinger's Comment
member avatar

As long as it's a fair share a percentage of the load will pay as well or better than CPM. As for paper logs they are awesome.

If you have exhausted all other options what can it hurt to go the only viable option for you? As far as working for other companies goes, as long as you have a year or so OTR and a somewhat clean driving record that can be verified you shouldn't have any problems going to another company.

Keep all your old logbooks and receipts and you will have your own verification of driving.

.02

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Snappy's Comment
member avatar

Man, if I could have gone that route and not had a big old school bill, I would have jumped on it. :)

Spanky FKA A.Meggs's Comment
member avatar

Man, if I could have gone that route and not had a big old school bill, I would have jumped on it. :)

That's the way I was thinking at first but then thought, at least going thru school would prepare me BEFORE going on the road as far as most things (logs, tandem position, basic stuff) but I kniw hands on will work great too. Although I am really liking the fact of no obligations and no tuition. My other concern is that (no offense to anyone :) ) but I know some old school drivers develop habits that nay not be so great at certain companies and may be hard for me to break when going somewhere else. Guess if I can learn to break habits from four wheel to truck, I could learn to break from independent to company standards. Suppose to hear back from PAM Tuesday so if over next couple weeks I don't get any good news then I may be on to "shade tree trucking" lol that's what I've been calling it. Anyone have any thoughts on PAM, haven't seen much about them on here and read where Brett has mentioned before that he doesn't hear too much about them as far as thru trucking truth. Thanks again

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Spanky FKA A.Meggs's Comment
member avatar

As long as it's a fair share a percentage of the load will pay as well or better than CPM. As for paper logs they are awesome.

If you have exhausted all other options what can it hurt to go the only viable option for you? As far as working for other companies goes, as long as you have a year or so OTR and a somewhat clean driving record that can be verified you shouldn't have any problems going to another company.

Keep all your old logbooks and receipts and you will have your own verification of driving.

.02

He had stated starting out would be 15-20% depending on the load, not sure if that's good or bad. My other concern was paper logs. seems most old school drivers prefer them but I know this guy runs like crazy and I'm sure his a little loose :) so hate to get into bad habits then get changed over at a company later to elogs. There are definitely some pros and cons. One downside that really bothers me is having 10-99 so have to keep up with my own taxes. We all hate to rake over money once it's in our hands so would really prefer a paycheck with taxes already deducted, as well as insurance (health) which of course he wouldn't provide, can you say "shade tree trucking" :)

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

Aaron G's Comment
member avatar

I know in Missouri you can go to a career center and get funded by the state to go to a CDL training school. Just a thought.

I've talked to a lot of companies that will hire CDL grads only if they went to an approved CDL training center.

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

A. Meggs, I don't like this option at all. For several reasons.

For starters, you won't have a certificate from a truck driving school so none of the major carriers would consider hiring you unless you get 6-12 months of safe, verifiable OTR experience. Now say you go this route, have a falling out with the truck owner, and he denies you ever worked for him. You're almost certainly in the same spot you're in now...you'll be looking for a school or hoping to land a job with some mom-n-pop company who isn't worried too much about verifiable experience. And if they're not worried about such things you know they're desperate for drivers, and you can probably imagine why. They can't be a great place to work.

Secondly, as you mentioned, this guy is a veteran who runs really hard. He's going to expect you to run your brains out. Paper logs is almost the equivalent of not having any logs because you can make up anything you like. So there's nothing stopping him from pushing and pushing and pushing you to run crazy amounts of miles right out of the gate. It's extremely dangerous for a new driver to try to turn big miles right away. You just won't have the stamina or the time management skills of the veterans yet.

Have a family member on wife's side that has been considering buying another truck and is interested in training me for the spot...Family member knows I would only be driving for him for bout a year or so till I could get with another company and he is fine with that as he will just find another driver. And who knows may decide to stay but he pays percentage, paper logs and I'm just not sure I would want to stay in that position.

All kinds of red flags here. First of all, why would someone want to hire a driver who not only has no experience but doesn't even have a CDL yet? If you're a large company it's because finding a large volume of drivers all the time often requires taking some risks and making some extraordinary efforts. But if you're one guy with one truck, why would you have to bring in someone off the street? It's super risky, totally unnecessary, and doesn't make logical nor business sense. And on top of it he's going to take that level of risk, go out of his way to spend weeks training you, and he's fine with the fact that you're planning on leaving before you've even started? Doesn't make sense.

What if he starts going broke or isn't happy with you in some way or another and decides he's going to take over the truck or stops paying you? Without enough experience you're going to be out of a job and right back in the position you are now. And trust me, this happens far too often with owner operators. They start going belly up and everything unravels.

Another concern - insurance. Insuring you as a brand new driver without any schooling would be cost prohibitive in a big way. In fact, it would be nearly impossible to find someone to insure you. That means he's likely going to lie to the insurance company about your experience level. If you were to get in a wreck and someone wanted to sue or further investigate the situation they're going to find out the truth and once again you're going to be in a mess. Of course this family member will be in a much bigger mess.

And paying percentage is also a red flag in my book. There's no way to know what you should be paid. You would have to take his word for it. It's a great way to siphon a few extra bucks into his pocket, especially if times get tough.

Then of course you have the family aspect of this if things were to go South or there was a falling out.

I say stick to the traditional route. Find a Company-Sponsored Training Program that will give you a shot. Someday down the road when you know your job and the industry a bit better, and this family member has proven himself capable of running a trucking company, you can consider it. But I see absolutely no advantage in you taking this route and I see no logical or business sense in this family member offering to buy a truck and train 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.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Keeping it all in the family can be done, but like Brett wrote, it's the ol' snowball in hell if you have to/decide to move to a "real" company.

There's a rule for teaching your own children to drive (regular drivers license): Don't! This probably applies for any family member relationship on the more complicated CDL-A.

Anything outside of the School -> Trucking Company -> 1 year experience pipeline will hamper your future prospects.

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.
Spanky FKA A.Meggs's Comment
member avatar

A. Meggs, I don't like this option at all. For several reasons.

For starters, you won't have a certificate from a truck driving school so none of the major carriers would consider hiring you unless you get 6-12 months of safe, verifiable OTR experience. Now say you go this route, have a falling out with the truck owner, and he denies you ever worked for him. You're almost certainly in the same spot you're in now...you'll be looking for a school or hoping to land a job with some mom-n-pop company who isn't worried too much about verifiable experience. And if they're not worried about such things you know they're desperate for drivers, and you can probably imagine why. They can't be a great place to work.

Secondly, as you mentioned, this guy is a veteran who runs really hard. He's going to expect you to run your brains out. Paper logs is almost the equivalent of not having any logs because you can make up anything you like. So there's nothing stopping him from pushing and pushing and pushing you to run crazy amounts of miles right out of the gate. It's extremely dangerous for a new driver to try to turn big miles right away. You just won't have the stamina or the time management skills of the veterans yet.

double-quotes-start.png

Have a family member on wife's side that has been considering buying another truck and is interested in training me for the spot...Family member knows I would only be driving for him for bout a year or so till I could get with another company and he is fine with that as he will just find another driver. And who knows may decide to stay but he pays percentage, paper logs and I'm just not sure I would want to stay in that position.

double-quotes-end.png

All kinds of red flags here. First of all, why would someone want to hire a driver who not only has no experience but doesn't even have a CDL yet? If you're a large company it's because finding a large volume of drivers all the time often requires taking some risks and making some extraordinary efforts. But if you're one guy with one truck, why would you have to bring in someone off the street? It's super risky, totally unnecessary, and doesn't make logical nor business sense. And on top of it he's going to take that level of risk, go out of his way to spend weeks training you, and he's fine with the fact that you're planning on leaving before you've even started? Doesn't make sense.

What if he starts going broke or isn't happy with you in some way or another and decides he's going to take over the truck or stops paying you? Without enough experience you're going to be out of a job and right back in the position you are now. And trust me, this happens far too often with owner operators. They start going belly up and everything unrav

Thanks Brett, this would be why i like Trucking Truth. For these same reasons I was concerned and feely uneasy about it myself. The though of no tuition was starting to look good but the safety of it all doesn't seem so safe. Another good point was the pay, I had already thought of that, how would I be certain what I should get paid if I don't know the original deal and we all know in business alot of times family is the first to roll you oveer. Then all the other "red flags " that you mentioned, doesn't really look all that great of an option after all. Think I'll just keep applying and waiting it out. Thanks again brett, you know how to break it down and show what it might look like Down the road.

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.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Spanky FKA A.Meggs's Comment
member avatar

Not sure how this keeps happening but I reply to a post and it ends up inside the others paragraph like all mixed in together :) sorry if its confusing

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