Can you get CDL without school

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by supremeguy, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. supremeguy

    supremeguy Light Load Member

    Messages:
    155
    Thanks Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Without paying thousands of dollars for school, can you get a CDL?
    Is it like a test in DMV that you pass and get a CDL right?
    Going to school greatly increase chances of getting hired than without school right?
     
  2. Lilbit

    Lilbit Road Train Member

    Messages:
    16,545
    Thanks Received:
    12,136
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Let me check my logbook
    Most companies that hire students require a school. A lot of DMV's don't even administer the CDL road test. Wisconsin doesn't. You have to test out through a third party tester, which the schools have arrangements through.
     
  3. ls6firebird

    ls6firebird Bobtail Member

    Messages:
    41
    Thanks Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    I didnt go thru a school to get my cdl. My dad has a cdl and we borrowed a truck to practice and test with. Then got hired at a local construction company.

    I'm still went to a cdl school thru a community college tho because I wanted as much training as possible.
     
  4. Lilbit

    Lilbit Road Train Member

    Messages:
    16,545
    Thanks Received:
    12,136
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Let me check my logbook
    You had access to a knowledgeable person and equipment that most people don't have. OTR companies that hire new drivers won't work with people that didn't go through a school.
     
  5. ls6firebird

    ls6firebird Bobtail Member

    Messages:
    41
    Thanks Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Yea I lucked out. I realize thats not an option for most people. From his post, I thought maybe he was under the impression that you have to go to school to get a cdl.

    The company I work for has trained people to get their cdl too. That also is hard to come by, but is another possible option.
     
  6. ls6firebird

    ls6firebird Bobtail Member

    Messages:
    41
    Thanks Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    But thats also just a local construction company and not otr.
     
  7. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

    Messages:
    6,642
    Thanks Received:
    7,496
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    You can get your CDL without going to school. It is a little more involved than getting a regular drivers license. You will need to do a road test. That will require you to have a truck and trailer. That could be a problem unless you have someone who will allow you to rent or borrow their equipment. It will be necessary to have some driving time on the equipment before testing. You will be limited to where you can work until you get some training unless you can find someone who will put you to work with their truck. The biggest obstacle that any new driver has is insurance. Most insurance companies require 1-2 years driving experience. Better insurance companies want at least 2 years experience. In order for many new drivers to get into the business they will need to go with one of the major training carriers, such as Swift. There are minimum number of driving hours that some require before they will allow you to drive one of their trucks without another driver or trainer in the truck.

    It is possible to get started without the school. But there will be challenges. I have had a commercial license for about 40 years. We didn't have driving schools when I first got my chauffeur's license. That is what we had before the CDL. We learned on the job. In fact, many of us had little or no training before we picked up our first load. Things are much different today. If you could get your license and find someone who would help you get at least 6 months to 1 year driving experience, you could probably go with one of the major carriers or anyone else that has trucks and get a good job.
     
  8. Big Duker

    Big Duker <strong>"Don Cheto"</strong>

    Messages:
    2,918
    Thanks Received:
    2,819
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    Weatherford, TX
    Depends on where you are. Like Lilbit said up there it is harder. In TX you can self study and there are literally hundreds of places and individuals that rent trucks and trailers to take test. One in my town w/of FW has single axle old IH. Auto transmission and pup trailer. Charges like $450. Takes you to DMV in town and lets you practice as long as it takes, within reason, the backing , parallel parking, etc. Then out onto same course that DPS troopers take you on. When you are confident he will have you set up date for test and have vehicle there that morning. I hear they are lax on pre trip because they know him. But brake test is what gets most. It's simple and he gives you the 4 step procedure they require.
    Thought about finding an old rig and giving him some competition. Don't know if I could handle some of the Bozos trying to get licensed.
    If you have a community college near you that is your best starting point. Most have some kind of driver training available or can steer you to some. Good luck.
     
  9. supremeguy

    supremeguy Light Load Member

    Messages:
    155
    Thanks Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    I got a ticket 4 years ago and an accident 2 years ago with a warning but no ticket, so if I go to school my chances to get hired as OTR driver is still high right?
     
  10. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

    Messages:
    6,642
    Thanks Received:
    7,496
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010

    Most carriers only go back 3 years on your mvr. The accident might cause a problem, depending on the circumstances. One accident or ticket doesn't usually cause much of a problem. Again, they only go back 3 years. Before spending the money on school, you might check with a few carriers and see what they say. I would first get a copy of my mvr to see what is on your file before doing anything. Some recruiters are willing to look at any potential new recruit.