New To Trucking How do I do this?

PARMELLIAN

New Member
I'm interested in trucking but I have no idea where to begin. Can someone give me advice to help me avoid the pitfalls and get started?
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
It's better to go to a CDL school than sign up for indentured servitude. No that's not a relic from the 19th century, it still exists today in the trucking industry. They provide you with very basic CDL training they think is worth $4500 or whatever, and in turn you agree to be their poorly paid and disrespected servant for a year or however long.

Community colleges operate better truck driving schools than stand-alone CDL mills.

But if you don't have $3000-4000 for the school, you'll have to go the indentured servitude route and deal with being spoken to like you're a child, and learn in a pansymatic rainbow pride truck at some overgrown kindergarten trucking outfit.

Avoid CR England, CRST and Western Express at all costs. I hear Swift ain't that bad but I sat in the driver's seat of a Swift truck a few years ago and I was just SHOCKED at how many warning labels and stickers they put all over everything on the dash, it's like they deliberately hire the kind of retards who need to be told not to eat AA batteries. Or Tide Pods.

Then again, the trucking industry does seem to be a dumping ground for unemployable imbeciles with college degrees in things like "gender studies" and "comparative religion". So maybe they do need all those warning labels.

OK I'm rambling now so I'll shut up.
 

PARMELLIAN

New Member
Thank you. Sadly, those imbeciles you spoke of are everywhere. Is there not a way to get a CDL without attending a trucking school or community college?
 

Nomad1

Forum
Supporter
In TN you can go take the written test and then learn from a person how to drive the truck and then go to certain DMV offices and take the road test. I doubt you would ever find anyone willing to teach you to drive their truck or anyone to hire though. I know of one small company that has a school. It is R E West. You will have to put up with low pay for at least 6 months after getting your license.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Thank you. Sadly, those imbeciles you spoke of are everywhere. Is there not a way to get a CDL without attending a trucking school or community college?
any school is only going to give you enough education to pass your CDL with the state.


So you would be better off to go to your State office and get the manual for your commercial driver's license.

Process is you have to get your CDL permit first. That's based off of test coming out of the CDL manual material. There are online test that you can practice too.

Technically you can't even start training with one of those indentured servitude companies without your permit.


Once you get your CDL permit, you would be ahead of the game on any one of those schools. You do not need to pay somebody to go down to the state and take that written exam.

It's no different than your regular class c driver's license.

when I worked with the state, we actually had five people that never even had a driver's license. Part of their probation was they had to get their CDL. The state paid for their training.

I have also seen that at dirt companies, as well as garbage companies
 
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Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
Thank you. Sadly, those imbeciles you spoke of are everywhere. Is there not a way to get a CDL without attending a trucking school or community college?
It deends on the State. Washington requires training, Idaho requires you pass the tests.

I don't think so. I mean there's the indentured servitude route. I think @Injun might've went that way with Swift, or maybe Prime. I don't remember.
Swift. But it's not Swift anymore. It's Knight now.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
Are you saying Knight bought Swift?
Sort of
Knight and Swift merged into a single management company with the actual operations kept separate in name only. One of the Knight boys is CEO of Swift now. I'm sure you've noticed the new Swift logo with the lightning bolt S on a shield. The shield is a nod to Knight.
 

Nomad1

Forum
Supporter
Sort of
Knight and Swift merged into a single management company with the actual operations kept separate in name only. One of the Knight boys is CEO of Swift now. I'm sure you've noticed the new Swift logo with the lightning bolt S on a shield. The shield is a nod to Knight.
Ok. I didn't know they merged. That makes sense now. I wonder if they will use one company name for each division in the future.
 

Fins

Well-Known Member
Most of the states CDL manuals are online. You can DL them and read at your leisure instead of logging onto the states DMV site and looking for the section that you last read.

Lightning bolt? I thought it was a snail trail.
Lightning bolt makes more sense.
Snail trail is much more fitting. They do the Target dedicated down here. You will always see trucks go by them in the far inner lane because they are weaving all over the road acting like big time Smokey and the Bandit drivers jerking the wheel all over the place.
 

BlackBart

Shorebilly
Supporter
Thank you. Sadly, those imbeciles you spoke of are everywhere. Is there not a way to get a CDL without attending a trucking school or community college?
Hell with that commune college shit

Try findin a smaller kind of drivin school that gots trucks. They out there... just gotta do a little huntin.... and you save a boatload without havin to sign on no dotted lines
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Hell with that commune college ****

Try findin a smaller kind of drivin school that gots trucks. They out there... just gotta do a little huntin.... and you save a boatload without havin to sign on no dotted lines
Community college is a good way of going about it. It's like paying someone for their time and truck, except they were taught how to teach instead of being some fool with no patience.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
They charge a damn fortune tho
No more than a company or private school will. Most likely less too.

Considering I did go to a tech school and not a company school, I KNOW it was less money as well.
 
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AllabouttheBS

DRIVES ME NUTS
Supporter
some of the smaller companies like mine have their own driving schools now It doesnt get you away from the indentured servant routine but I was brought up in a time where it was common to pay your dues to get ahead. Veriha I believe talks that half of the fleet went thru their school. And still there is a large turnover rate because trucking no matter what part of it you are in is different then 9-5. I believe most places these days have insurance companies that are not going to allow drivers off the street CDL or not without schooling or experience but that is what I hear not fact based. I also hear you can still work on a farm tag and not even hold a CDL
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I believe most places these days have insurance companies that are not going to allow drivers off the street CDL or not without schooling or experience but that is what I hear not fact based. I also hear you can still work on a farm tag and not even hold a CDL
For the most part, my insurance company won't let me hire with less than two years at renewal time. So if you come to me with 14 months in August, have the right experience/training, you'd likely get hired as you'll have 2 years by next renewal.

They will give you 6 month experience if you have an accredited training program to show. Most companies they won't count as accredited, but a community college/tech school they will. The litmus test for that is, do they receive student loans to pay for the program.

This is based off conversation with my agent as well as putting several licenses forward to him and seeing who they'd approve.

And I have had people with 14 month apply to me who were approved.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Going the indentured servitude route also sours a lot of new drivers on the entire industry, because they spend what seems like forever being abused. They end up leaving altogether.

Driving does suck after a while but it's not all impossibly bad for little pay. It's just crappy for good pay.
 

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