Types Of Training For CDL Grads

Topic 879 | Page 1

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Jamie S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Everyone,

So I just got my CDL last week, dancing-dog.gif , and now I'm looking for my first driving job. I was originally thinking about Swift or Werner, whose training consists of going on the road with a trainer for a month or two, but Schneider offered me to come to their orientation/training, which is a bit different. Its only three weeks, one week at a training facility, one week of OTR training, and another back at the training facility. It sounds pretty good, but I can't help to wonder: is that going to be sufficient? If anyone has any input on this training method, or has trained with Schneider, I'd love to hear 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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

When new people come into trucking there is so much thrown at them and even more to learn. Schneider will not let you drive if they do not think you can. One thing to remember is it does not matter if you had three weeks worth of training or three months worth of training. When first starting out you will still feel like you need more training. You only learn about 2% of what you need to know in school. The other 98% is learned on the road with a trainer or after you go solo in your own truck.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Jamie - congrats on getting your CDL!

Schneider does indeed have the shortest training period I know of. In fact, from the description you've given I think they actually made it a bit longer - I thought it was two weeks, not three.

Really, it comes down to what you prefer. Most people hate being on the road with a trainer. Running team can be a miserable experience, especially if you don't get along well with the trainer you have.

Some people would rather be with a trainer longer to allow themselves time to learn and adjust. Others would rather get out there on their own running solo as soon as possible. So it's really just a matter of preference.

I can assure you one thing though - Schneider is an excellent company and they are as focused on safety as any company you'll find anywhere. So I'm confident their training program is solid. Most of what you'll be learning on the road with a trainer will be things like using the Qualcomm , filling out company-specific paperwork, interacting with dispatch, and things like that. It's not as much about shifting, steering, braking, and backing. Those things you already have an introduction to and you'll get better with practice. So I don't think the shorter training period is any less safe or effective. To me it's more about your comfort level. How soon are you comfortable being on your own? That's probably the biggest question to ask.

But ultimately, you certainly do not want to pick one company over another because of their training. Training is only a very short period of time. Choose the company you feel suits you best. Don't pay any attention to training pay or anything like that. 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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, The main company in the running for me in my current job search is Watkins & Shepard (Missoula, MT). Their training is 10 days ... no truck time other than a road test, all in class learning the company way of doing things. Then you are on the road solo in the entire lower 48.

I'm a bit apprehensive that I can pass their road test, but pretty sure I can learn fast on the road, hopefully with a mentor program they have.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Their training is 10 days ... no truck time other than a road test, all in class learning the company way of doing things. Then you are on the road solo in the entire lower 48.

Now to be clear, they're saying they wouldn't send you out at all with a trainer on the road? I wouldn't go for that setup if that's the case. There's a lot to learn and if you've never been on the road before you don't want to learn everything the hard way by yourself. Even a week or two can make a world of difference.

Make sure you verify that with them. Taking students straight out of school with no OTR experience and sending them out on their own is crazy in my book. I wouldn't want to see a company do that and I wouldn't want to see a student go through that. It's going to be a bad experience for a while there from the student's perspective.

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.

Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

That's what the recruiter told me, unless I misunderstood her. I've submitted my job app, and expect to be getting a call within a day or two. I'll update you when I confirm the info.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I hope you misunderstood them. I really do. Cause going by what we have heard is dangerous and if it turns out to be true,which I hope its not, do everyone a favor and give some people a call. Not sure that its even legal to send people out in a truck that has zero road experience. But even if its legal I would run away fast if they are not willing to send you out with a trainer OTR for at least a little while.

Think about it. It like going to work for a car manufacturer and learning all the rules and doing the paperwork for that company and then told to go out and build cars for them with no training. Would you really want those cars on the road? I know I would 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Roy E.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Everyone,

So I just got my CDL last week, dancing-dog.gif , and now I'm looking for my first driving job. I was originally thinking about Swift or Werner, whose training consists of going on the road with a trainer for a month or two, but Schneider offered me to come to their orientation/training, which is a bit different. Its only three weeks, one week at a training facility, one week of OTR training, and another back at the training facility. It sounds pretty good, but I can't help to wonder: is that going to be sufficient? If anyone has any input on this training method, or has trained with Schneider, I'd love to hear it.

Hi Jamie, lam at Schneider right now and after my first day I would recommend this place. They wouldn't put anyone out there that is not ready. Good program. I believe 3 weeks is good. But that is my option.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

Well ... I confirmed it with the recruiter. Basically, what you get at Watkins & Shepard is advanced training. Mountain driving, more shifting, running with loads, navigation, scaling, etc., and of course, doing things the company way.

For someone from the west like me, I could run mostly in West, and mostly drop and hook loads. Many drivers choose runs that take them all over the lower 48. Several runs have multiple stops...sort of like LTL , but really dropping for a certain customer (La-Z-Boy).

I've been reading a lot of driver experiences, and most all are positive, in fact I have heard little dissent from anyone. Evidently the instructors are truly top-notch.

So...I have a decision to make tomorrow morning. Some Prayer and sleep on it tonight.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

As long as your getting proper training then I say go for it.

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