Starting School In The Morning.

Topic 8859 | Page 1

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Tom W.'s Comment
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I want to thank Brett and all the contributors to TruckingTruth for sharing your insights about life in the trucking industry; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've been visiting this site for a couple of months or so and have read for hours and hours learning whatever I can to help decide if trucking would be a good choice for me.

After much contemplation, I start truck driver school tomorrow morning. I am excited, and a little nervous, to jump in with both feet and pursue this new career. I will do my best to post every now and then about how things are going, the surprises I run into along the way (maybe that's a bad phrase for a driver to use), and to ask questions of y'all...whether about things being learned or about career options as they arise. Since I will still be working some during school, there may not be much time to check in, but I'll do my best. Hopefully, I will have a thing or two to share so the next guy or gal who is considering this career will glean something useful from it. Also, if any of you trucking veterans sense I need a different or better perspective on some part of this life, I do welcome it. I'd rather be corrected now than to be working off of an incorrect mindset. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this very new venture in my (and my wife's) life and am glad to be a part of this forum.

JakeBreak's Comment
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I am also starting school tomorrow. I am really hoping i made the right choice, really nervous and excited at the same time. I already have 1 prehire so that makes me feel a little better, but still really nervous about getting my cdl.

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.

Prehire:

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.

Tom W.'s Comment
member avatar

I am also starting school tomorrow. I am really hoping i made the right choice, really nervous and excited at the same time. I already have 1 prehire so that makes me feel a little better, but still really nervous about getting my cdl.

Hey JakeBreak, I wish you the best in school. I will be looking to hear of your success through school and landing an excellent job.

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.

Prehire:

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.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Oh there will be questions. Maybe not so much during school, but, definitely after... During training with your chosen company.

I'm sure you know by now that this is the place to come for many answers.

Go in there tomorrow with a "let's do this" attitude and keep it throughout all of your school and training no matter what happens. Once you have solo'ed for a while you will begin to form your own understanding and opinions about this industry which will either help you develop as a trucker or send you in another direction.

Good luck to you and all the other newbs who have the courage to jump in the seat of a big truck!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Craig H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Tom W. I start CDL school in the morning (June 1st) also. I too have been coming to this site for a couple on months to check into the try the trucking business and have found this site to be helpful. Thanks to all the members who contribute. I am a little nervous but I did drive transit and coach busses earlier in my life. I am going for it as a trucker and new career after losing my job after 31 years! I will let you guys know how it goes.

Craig H. from Minnesota

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

Hey, best of luck to all you guys! The next few months are going to be a roller coaster ride. There will be times you'll think trucking was the best decision of your life, and times you'll be certain it's going to ruin your life. You have to see it through. It's a long, crazy process and everyone has a lot of ups and downs. Have all the fun you can with it and keep learning every day.

Most importantly, before you make any major decisions about your career or regarding any difficult situations, come here to TruckingTruth and run it by us. We're always happy to help out. So many times people will come back to tell us about major decisions they've made and then ask us if they did the right thing. Well it's a little late at that point, right? And sometimes they turn out to be terrible decisions.

So if you're uncertain about things we want to hear what's going on so we can help you make great decisions along the way.

Best of luck!

smile.gif

Tom W.'s Comment
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Hey Craig H. and JakeBreak, How did it go today? I'd love to hear.

My first day was rather tame but I suspect it will not be that way for long. Going through a good bit of the CDL Training Materials here on TruckingTruth already paid dividends when I was able to breeze through all the quizzes they gave us plus most of a large "test" I jumped ahead and took. My brain got stuck last night when I ventured into the material on combination vehicles and it just so happened that that was the last topic on this test I did today. I was stuck on it again as I read the manual they gave us so tonight that is my assignment. I will use the material here and work on it again. I am very thankful such a learning tool has been made available for all of us.

Brett, I plan on taking you up on the offer to run my career options by all of you. All the contributors here have already played more of a role in my career direction than you probably can know. It would be foolish of me to ignore the nuggets of wisdom I can get from everyone on such an important decision. It reminds me of the old adage, "If you are going to walk through a minefield, follow someone." While we are on the topic of career direction, I will throw out my preliminary thoughts to you now just to get the ball rolling. Mind you, I realize this is still very early in the process but it will go quickly.

I have a resource here locally in a gentleman who has been in the trucking business as a driver and owner of a few rigs for 55 years. Talking on the phone, the one thing that stuck out with me was to find a way to differentiate yourself to one degree or another, thus making oneself a little more valuable to the right company and their customers. By this he is not suggesting that there is a way for me to be different from EVERYONE who drives. But rather, he is simply saying if I can learn an extra skill or two early that most new drivers don't, or even pick an area relatively few drivers want to enter into (yes, there are often good reasons the masses aren't attracted to some areas of the business), I will be a little more "needed" than otherwise. Ideas like driving tankers, flatbeds, or even linehaul are areas of trucking where not as many people choose to enter compared to, say, dry van. By this, he is not putting down one driver or career option over another. He has done all of it and knows it is all honorable and noble work. He is just suggesting I strategically think about how to make this career a bit more lucrative than otherwise.

If I can make an additional $5-10K as a rookie (and maybe $10-20K/yr more ongoing) driving one type of truck and still enjoy it, that will definitely play a role in my decision making. Yes, I very much realize that the first year needs to be viewed mostly as training and gaining general experience, but if I'm going to be on the road away from my wife most of the first year or two (or much more) I need to find how I can make the most of it.

This is one part of my thinking at the moment and will leave it there for the moment (that's enough for tonight and for one post). Please, if any of you have thoughts about this, please feel free to jump in. As you can probably guess, I respect the opinion of someone who has done something for 55 years but I realize that is still only one man's opinion. Agree or disagree? Different thoughts all together? I value the many voices here on TruckingTruth and want people to be free to jump in anyway they see fit. Thanks.

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

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.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

Hey Tom i started a post in the training diaries section. Im gonna keep everything updated there. I had a pretty good first day it was mainly going over policies and studying the cdl book so pretty boring overall.

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.
Tom W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Tom i started a post in the diary's section. Im gonna keep everything updated there. I had a pretty good first day it was mainly going over policies and studying the cdl book so pretty boring overall.

That's good. I'm a bit embarrassed to ask though, being that I really have been on this site for some time now, but where is the diary's section? I am unfamiliar with 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.
JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Hey Tom i started a post in the diary's section. Im gonna keep everything updated there. I had a pretty good first day it was mainly going over policies and studying the cdl book so pretty boring overall.

double-quotes-end.png

That's good. I'm a bit embarrassed to ask though, being that I really have been on this site for some time now, but where is the diary's section? I am unfamiliar with it.

CDL Training Diaries Forum I think thats a link to it im not sure i did it right.

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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