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CDL A Drivers- what's the cost?

Discussion in 'Employment Opportunities - Help Wanted - Skills' started by Oneofsix, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix Non-compliance manager Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Mainly, for getting started? I see some tempting ads online...
     
  2. Ghost1

    Ghost1 Member

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    Go get the study guides from dmv and take the tests for your permit. Then find someone who is willing to let you drive and will let you test with their rig. The license will cost you, fingerprinting will cost you, and med cert. will cost you up front. Companies will usually pay for that stuff once hired and some will hire you with a permit and train you.
     
  3. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Staff Member Charter Member Life Member

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    The fingerprint are only for hazmat. You can do it the way stated above but the likelihood of a company's insurance taking you on isn't very good. Unless you go to a driving school or its a fly by night company. This is from almost 20 years in the industry.
     
  4. Beef15

    Beef15 B or somesuch

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    DO NOT let some recruiter special company pay your way thru truck driving school. It's like $2k up front to pay your own way, but usually comes with a higher pay scale from those same companies and the option for far better companies.

    If they pay your way when you get burnt out after 3, 4, 6 mos of sitting around eating crackers for three days at some papermill or drop yard waiting on a load that delivers 60mi down the road so you can start the process again you'll be on the hook for more like $5-6k.

    Don't expect good (dedicated) routes or lots of miles in your first year. Do get Hazmat, it gives you options, options mean less sitting. Don't expect to learn anything but how to hold the steering wheel and back up three specific ways in school. Ask about forced dispatch to the NE, you don't want that, ask about forced dispatch into NYC, you really don't want that. If they don't do forced dispatch do not volunteer, that's not usually consenting for just the one time. One's a blackhole you'll spend weeks getting out of, the other is just hell and you'll be real lucky to drop and get out in legal hours.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix Non-compliance manager Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Schneider is advertising regional routes, no NYC and mostly drop n hook for .43/mile. I need to get out of being a PM. Too much stress currently.
     
  6. Beef15

    Beef15 B or somesuch

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    I would think regional would suit anyone with a home life better than OTR if the miles are there. I only drove briefly OTR for a very lame company, wrenched for a great one. Sometimes think about going back out, miss some things.

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  7. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Staff Member Charter Member Life Member

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    Expect no more than 2k miles per week with them. If you want to get in a good paying cdl job. Go to a community college. Get your cdl. Go to work anywhere for a year. Then get on with a local company. Where you are Conway is a great company. Out and back daily. Get on with a fuel company home everyday. And for the love of god don't get messed up in the container companies.
     
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  8. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix Non-compliance manager Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Riding the desk for 10-12 hrs a day is killin me. I used to be in hospitality service- meaning I drove 2-4 hrs one way doing service calls on tv equipment in hotels.
    Now I've decided the stress level is unacceptable and need something less stressful, as worrying over 18 properties+ daily is a bit much. Maybe I'm just being a puss....
     
  9. blink.

    blink. Member

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    I paid $3,250 for truck driving school at Charlotte Truck driving school. That covered everything except the DMV fees for my license and doubles/triples/hazmat/tanker and passenger endorsement. All the endorsements and license was from what I can remember $200-300 (you pay by year for endorsement, so the less endorsements you get the cheaper)

    Class is about 6 months of classroom/driving and like most schools they assist in helping you find a job after school and a lot of the companys they find for you will do a school buyback program where if you work for a written amount of time they will pay you back what you paid the school.

    There are MUCH cheaper routes such as taking the classroom part at a community college and some offer the driving part also.....If not there are places that take care of that part. It's just more hassle setting all that up.

    Whatever you do don't take a job offer where they train you on the road for your CDL, you will be struck riding doubles across the US and spend months on the road stuck in a truck cab with another driver or worse another student and a driver.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  10. rotorhead

    rotorhead Active Member

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    I did the schneider thing back in 1998, in their glass hauling, flat bed division. Honestly, they teach you how to drive like a bitch and you 'agree to stay with them for s year. Back then it was $110. For a CDL. It's changed on the hazmat side since 9-11. Companies like that are ok when you're starting out, but it gets old after a while seeing virtually everything on the road going faster than you are.

    If you have the means, go to a reputable school and then sell yourself to the highest bidder after you get hooked up with the CDL Get used to the road and the little aggravations that come with it, you'll be fine. There's fun to be had, but only if you and your family can adapt to it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  11. Skeeter190

    Skeeter190 Life is good! Supporting Member

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    I would Highly recommend you get your training at a Community College and i would Highly suggest you steer clear of the no money down schools or the on the job training with a company!!! The latter 2 options will put you on the hook for owing more money and making less miles.
    The industry is hurting for drivers like no other time before so you should NEVER sign a contract with anyone to drive a truck!
    Most Community College courses are 8 weeks and you will receive a plethora of job offers from various companies with no strings attached. Good luck in your search.

    As far as cost expect around 2k for the course of 8 weeks training.
    You would need a medical certification, CDL A permit, drug test and a copy of MVR to get started.
    HazMat requires a background check at 86.50 if i remember correctly.
    I would suggest tanker endorsement also if getting HazMat.

    Total cost of around 2500 to complete.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
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  12. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix Non-compliance manager Charter Member Supporting Member

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    All very good info, thanks all!

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  13. Flounderfs92

    Flounderfs92 Low speed/high drag

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    I got my class A working for pepsi. Only problem is i have only driven 40 ft trailers and no time on stick shift tractor. So its been hard for me to leave because companies want a guy that can get right in the seat and go. I would need a little more training. I keep looking though.
     
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  14. BigWaylon

    BigWaylon Head philatelist Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I have a Class B and had to add the tanker endorsement two years ago to drive water trucks. No hazmat for water.

    However, when I was up there a couple weeks ago adding a different endorsement, the examiner said they'd now combined the tanker and hazmat into one. Haven't looked up the info, so maybe you can still get just one? Or maybe it's a both/neither as one now...

    I just know my renewal next year will be $274.40 for 8 years. Uggh.
     
  15. Skeeter190

    Skeeter190 Life is good! Supporting Member

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    They only combine them if you get both. You can get either one as a stand alone endorsement. The price does keep going up for sure.
    Most companies want you to get tanker also if you have HazMat because of the tote tanks that most facilities use for liquid hazmat.
    Most trucking companies will pay for your renewal fees if you are an employee.


    Do I need a tanker endorsement?
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rolled out a new regulation meant to keep the roads safe from commercial drivers carrying large amounts of liquid or gaseous freight without the proper training. In order to do this, the FMCSA changed the definition of a “tanker,” which, in turn, has changed the requirements for which drivers are required to hold a “tanker endorsement” on their CDL. This change means that even those who are driving dry vans, reefers, flatbeds, and box trucks will be required to hold the endorsement if they meet the requirements below. If the following conditions occur, you are responsible for obtaining a tanker endorsement on your CDL:
    1. Your cargo includes liquid or gaseous individual containers larger than 119 gallon capacity.
    2. The containers are loaded, and not empty.
    3. The total combined volume in those containers exceeds 1,000 gallons.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
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  16. JimP42

    JimP42 Mostly harmless Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Trucks will be mostly robots in 10 years. At least the long haul highway ones.
     
  17. dman24

    dman24 Active Member

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    In my opinion the best way to get your cdls is with a company that will train you. My dad got his through Pepsi, I got mine through Coremark International. I started as a yard guy, then going out on day trips. They let me take a truck and take my test. Once I got my license I started driving on team trips, then went out on my own. I miss that job some times, I sit behind a desk 10 hrs a day and rarely get out. Best driving job I’ve had was doing flatbed. I really enjoyed hauling equipment with EW Wylie, but the terminal manager in the Sanford branch is a horrible boss.
     
  18. chiefjason

    chiefjason Vendor and Leather Hack Vendor

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    FYI, this is why you take the DOT test in the biggest thing you will be driving. If you take a short trailer, DOT will only endorse you for a short trailer. I learned on a 53' but pulled a single wiggle for years for a furniture company. Got lucky and that company took me on with a permit and trained me for my class B, then class A.

    Keep in mind some larger companies demand 1 year experience behind the wheel. So you may have to take a lesser job to get it. But with the market now, even we are relaxing that a bit.
     
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  19. Flounderfs92

    Flounderfs92 Low speed/high drag

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    I got my class a long enough ago i dont have any restrictions. The guys we have been training rcently have automatic transmisson only restriction on their liscense. I did one year in a 40 ft box trailer and 1 year on a 16 bay gooseneck. For the last 5 i have been on a 8 bay straight truck. They won't let me near the bulk rigs. They know i'll get that experience and leave lol.
     
  20. chiefjason

    chiefjason Vendor and Leather Hack Vendor

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    The automatics have come a long way in the last few years. The first one we had only started in 1st. It would nearly twist your neck off every time you started. The new ones start in 2nd or 3rd and are much smoother. Still prefer a stick. You can't feather the clutch in reverse with an automatic. It's all or nothing. Whiplash when that thing hooks up.
     
  21. DCGallim

    DCGallim Resident Smart-A$$

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    The Allison’s still go 1-6, the Mack mDrive sucks for what we do. I’m sure it’s fine for OTR but stop and go, heavy loads, bad terrain it just can’t perform like a manual.
     
  22. chiefjason

    chiefjason Vendor and Leather Hack Vendor

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    We are running Volvo's. I'm assuming it's starting in a higher gear because it's not twisting the body like the old one did at startup. Still don't really like them though.

    Speaking of don't like, don't get me started on brake assist or Wingman radar systems. :mad:
     
  23. 9outof10mms

    9outof10mms Purveyor of Professional Enginerding Supporting Member

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    Not sure of the exact cost since my place eats the cost. I do know that they’ve started issuing “restricted” class A’s if you show up and test in an automatic. You won’t be able to drive a stick.
     
  24. DCGallim

    DCGallim Resident Smart-A$$

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    The Volvo tranny will be the same as Mack just a different name. It is starting in a higher gear. I tried to take off weighing 70k pounds on soft mud and the truck decided 4th gear was appropriate. It ain’t that smart.
     
  25. Flounderfs92

    Flounderfs92 Low speed/high drag

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    The pepsi 40 ft box trailers with an international tractor of some flavor are super easy to drive. They are not going anywhere in a hurry, but they are easy to drive, easy to manuever in tight spots. I am currently in a 2000 (yes) gmc top kick 8bay truck. It sucks balls. All of the balls.