Best way to get CDL

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by petesout, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. petesout

    petesout Bobtail Member

    Mar 24, 2007
    Sioux City, Iowa
    I know a place where I can get my CDL for 250 bucks in a day.I can see you all cringe at that one.I use his truck and trailer and the truck is an automatic. Now I haven't even been in a truck before except some straight trucks at a feed mill.Thats after I pass the tests and get a permit to drive with him. After reading here for a couple of days I have decided to go to the local community school and get it there.My first question is. Should I go get the CDL then take the course? I am kind of thinking if I do have it already when I take the course Maybe I could get more driving time or get my hazmat or just study on my weak pionts when everyone else is studying for the written tests. Is it possible to just get driving time after you have the CDL at a communtiy college? If I do finally decide to drive a truck for a living I want to be safe and professional.. I know that will take time but I do want to be a safe and courteious driver. For the last 12 yrs I have done a lot of driving in my business which I am about to close. Between the 2 Cavaliers I have had I put 500k on the road so I like to think I have some raod smarts. I know trucks are a lot bigger and more to handle and how long doe's it usually take to get used to that. I'll be looking for your answeres. Thanks
  2. rr58

    rr58 Bobtail Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    if you want to become a good, safe and courteous driver, then invest in yourself and go to a good school and learn from experienced trainers who were/are drivers. Like driving on the road, if you take unwise short cuts you may end up paying big time sometime
    toddjb26 Thanks this.
  3. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

    Jan 1, 2007

    No sense in paying to use a truck to get the CDL. Put the $250.00 towards the school. Without a decent school (not a CDL Mill) your chances of getting hired are slim to none. Most companies will send you out with a trainer after you complete school. Some have tuition reimbursement so you could get your money back. Good luck!
  4. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Medium Load Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    I went this route back in 2002 when I let my CDL expire. I would never suggest this to someone without plenty of truck driving experience. This is nothing more than driving in a day cab and a 27 foot trailer in most cases, no more difficult than driving a 1 ton pickup and a horse trailer.

    You don't learn any of the basics about OTR driving in including log books, pre-trip inspections, and the tons of other advice that a good truck driving school can teach you.
  5. BigPappa

    BigPappa Light Load Member

    Jan 29, 2007
    Keller, TX
    Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you all. This is exactly how I did it. I studied my book and took all the tests in one day and got my permit. I then rented a truck for $375 and told my road test and I got my CDL. I got a job 2 days after I received my CDL and was sent out on my own soon after I was hired (that night in a beat up, no A/C, broken mirror, didn't meet DOT for nothing truck). I now have a better truck and have learned alot in the 3 weeks I have been there and I can honestly say that I prefer this method then spending $3-$5k on school.

    One other thing is that I really wanted to learn how and since I am a fast learner it took me no time at all figure everything out.

    MGASSEL Road Train Member

    Mar 27, 2007

    wow that company must be stupid to hire you with no exp and no school diploma they must like having high insurance.

    I mean come on why take a short cut you may get yourself killed or even worse kill another person. I would not reccomend this way to anyone if you want a cdl go to school period.
    Just because you learn fast is no excuse to not go through school you may think that you know all but there may be some stuff that you do not know that can get you in big trouble with dot man.
    I mean you said your first truck did meet dot requirements heck by that alone would show you should of lost your license for driving that you the driver are resposible to make sure that is up to dot requirements so apperantly you do not learn that fast or you would of refused to let that truck move with you behind the wheel.
    warlord2324_2000 Thanks this.
  7. jorlee

    jorlee Light Load Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    I took the permit tests on a day off of college, passed easily. Then during my coop (work experience) 8 months later I asked if I could use a state truck and trailer to take get my CDL. They said sure. I went out twice to get accustomed to the truck. Practiced the dock backing once. Then took the test when the appointment was. Passed with 2 or 3 points off I believe. Also was paid to do all of it. :)

    Only reason I could do that is my background. Started driving farm truck at 14, small stuff. By, 16 I was backing them up (to get the grain door 10" wide into an area 16" wide) and dumping them myself, all day long. Started working for bigger farmers with semi's, and taking them to town at 18. After HS I went to college for Diesel Technology, hense the coop experience.

    If you have no experience driving truck of any sort, go to a reputable school and learn that way. We know you'd rather be safe than sorry.
  8. Joelmc59

    Joelmc59 Bobtail Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Palm Bay FL
    Well, I retired from the Air Force after 22 years of faithful service. After trying numourous jobs out there, I decided to try something differant. I had always thought of being a truck driver so I check into CDL schools in the area. The first one I check out was Roadmaster in Orlando FL. SO I called and got an invite to a short meeting on a Saturday. Went up there and didn't get any warm fuzzies on this school, so I never went back. After a few weeks, I called a recruiter in my area and he was the recruiter for a school in Sanford FL called TDI (Truck Driver Institute). So I went to see him and he put on a great hourse and buggy show. But being a retired military guy, I knew right away not to believe everything a recruiter tells ya. So anyway, after about 2 weeks I received a call from the recruiter telling me that I was fully approved and financed to go to this school in Sanford FL. Now this school is about $6000 to attend. So I left on a Sunday for the school that started on Monday morning. Well, after being in school for 3 days, they called me into the office to tell me that I was only approved for half of the tuition and that I had to come up with the other half. He also told me that they do not even out in for financing until the first day of school which is not what the recruiter had told me. So I stayed until the following Friday and I left and never went back. Then that weekend, I called a local truck driving school that they told me that they could get me the CDL for $2500.00, less than half of the TDI school and also told me that a lot of people are scammed into the TDI school and end up forking over the extra $2500 out of their pocket and having a student loan for the other $3000. So I attended the school and got the CDL in two weeks. Now I am waiting for a trainer to call me from a trucking company I have signed with. Also, some people can get their CDL school paid for just by contacting their local job bank and asking for a career change. I understand you take some kind of test and if you qualify, the state will pay for your training. I wish I had known about that before I paid the $2500 out of my pocket. You bet I will be deducting that fom my taxes. Good luck everyone.
  9. Cynical Driver

    Cynical Driver <strong>"Eternal Cynic"</strong>

    Aug 27, 2006
    One time on the ice in North Dakota with the wind blowing hard south and an empty trailer, and you'll realise the folly of your ways my friend. No amount of "being a fast learner" will make up for some good old fashioned training, in any way. I had good training, and I have had to use every bit of it. Even at 7 months there's still a lot I don't know. Nobody is that fast, period.

    Oh, and I am also a fast learner... So fast I passed the tests for my permit with one night's read, it's not hard to get the CDL, it's knowing what to do when you get screwed that's hard.
    warlord2324_2000 Thanks this.

    MGASSEL Road Train Member

    Mar 27, 2007
    I Too am kind of a fast learner but in no way do I claim that I know everthing.
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