I posted on this site once about a year ago and stated I would be retiring as a Police Detective. Well, I did. The pension checks have been rolling in since July of 2022.
I’m ready to get my CDL and start a new career. Anyone have any suggestions or personal regarding truck driving schools in my area? I’ll be paying cash as I don’t want to be married to any particular company. Retirement is great, but I’m only 46. All of my contemporaries are still employed. Playing golf whenever I want is awesome but there’s lots of staring contests with my dog as well. I’m too young to hang it all up.
Thanks in advance,
CDL Schools in Socal (Pasadena area)
tscottme Thanks this.
- TAKE YOUR TIME. The overall freight market right now is down quite a bit from the spring-summer of 2022. It's not the "driver's market" that it was back then. Thus--choose your CDL school carefully. The world will still be there when you finish.
- "Pick the bride--THEN pick the church". By that I mean--do some real soul-searching on what type(s) of freight that would interest you the most--then zero in on specific companies that do such freight--and then ask them what schools near you that they prefer. DON'T DO IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND (i.e., "cart before the horse").
- When you finally do graduate, and get your CDL--get ALL of the CDL endorsements then (tanker, hazmat, and also...doubles/triples). You may well need them in order to stand out from other driver applicants. Besides--those endorsements are door-openers, and also money-makers!!! DON'T LET SOME WEENEY TALK YOU OUT OF HAZMAT. MOST HAZMAT LOADS ARE REALLY NO BIG DEAL: hairspray, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc. Most hazmat loads are not nuclear waste (or similar).
- Stay the #### away from any job or account that has you delivering to any of the so-called "dollar" stores: Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. Those jobs are meat-grinders for new CDL grads. And thus--you've been warned.....
Choose a cdl school that's at least 160 hours.
DO you want a local home every day job, regional or OTR?Several trucking companies to choose from in the Los Angeles area or OTR/Regional companies that hire new cdl school grads from that area.
Thanks for the responses. I appreciate it.
I definitely do not want to do OTR work. I have been in contact with a few companies regarding the school. The answer has been the same. Any 160 hour school is the common answer. There are several around here but I was curious if anyone here had first hand knowledge of any of them.
As far as the trucking market being slow, I’m good with that. I’m fortunate that my pension will pay me more than any trucking job as a new driver.
Old Dominion has a yard near me as does Estes Express. Intermodal work seems interesting as the ports of LA/Long Beach are not too far and I’d be home every day.
My brother hauls vehicles from dealers to auctions and seems to love it. He’s lived in upstate NY for 20 years so he’s no help with a local school here. I also spoke to a recruiter from DOT foods. Apparently they run 4 on/4 off which wouldn’t be horrible. Seems like a good company but their only opening for a trainee was in Bullhead City AZ. If I had a CDL they could place me close to home. Starting pay was like 60k and 87k after a few years. My pension is in between that right now.
Just looking to make a little money and stay busy while doing something I think I’d enjoy.
Thanks again. I’ll keep the board posted.
DOT Foods/DOT Transportation (that you mentioned, above) is an excellent example.
I would be pulling loads for them, myself--except their nearest facility is too far away (for them--but NOT for me ).
Barring any good feedback from anyone else--one way to look for possible CDL schools of strong merit is to merely look at the ones DOT recommends on their own website (if you haven't, already):
DOT Transportation -- map & info of recommended CDL schools in the lower 48
None listed there are really closeby for you (the nearest appears to be up in Bakersfield)--but at least you get the idea.
These schools have very likely been hand-picked/vetted by DOT....so you really couldn't go wrong with any shown on that map.
Suggestion: if you maybe have a friend or a relative that would let you stay with them while you went to one of the listed schools (nearby to them) shown on this map--that would indeed be a fantastic way to get started.
Also: if possible--go to a CDL school that won't put an "automatic only" restriction on your license. You'll need to test out on your final exam with a tractor that has a manual shift, to avoid that.
Keep us posted on your progress.....