Getting a CDL at 18

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by bigbengck, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. bigbengck

    bigbengck Bobtail Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Garden City, KS
    I'm almost 18 and have been thinking about getting a CDL when I do turn 18. I currently work for an equipment rental company with more deliveries/pickups than our 2 drivers can keep up with. I already do some deliveries in the local area and am getting accustomed with our larger customers. I would need to do some studying for the general knowledge and air brakes test but have been getting some seat time with our more experienced driver who thinks i can pass the skills/road test without much trouble. I know I could get a raise and spend more time driving (which I want to) but my questions is would it be worth going through the process now or should I just wait until I'm 21?
  2. blackw900

    blackw900 The Grandfather of Flatbed

    Jul 12, 2009
    If they will or rather if their insurance will allow you to drive a combination...I say go for it!
    I started while I was still in high school and was an O/O very early. These days it isn't quite as easy to find someone that'll let you drive a tractor trailer at your age but the wheel time will be invauable later on if you can get it now.
    volvodriver01 Thanks this.
  3. 7122894003481

    7122894003481 Bobtail Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    I was 18 when I did it. Go for it. It wont be easy to find a job, your best bet until you turn 21 is driving for farmers. Thats what I did.
  4. RickG

    RickG Road Train Member

    Jul 22, 2008
    Owensboro , KY
    Sounds like you don't even have a CDL permit . You and your employer as well as the driver with you would be in serious trouble if you get stopped by the police .
  5. ravenrider4

    ravenrider4 Bobtail Member

    Nov 19, 2011
  6. American-Trucker

    American-Trucker Road Train Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    i got mine at 18, my advice is go for it if they'll hire you with just a CDL no school. But if you want to go the CDL school route (which you WILL have to do before any big OTR company will touch you at 21+) i recomend you get a few not just 1 companies to agree to hire you apon completion of school and getting your CDL.

    also keep in mind, even if you go to school, get a job and drive local for 3+ years and then want to go OTR, if you intend to work for any medium to large company you will have to go to school all over again or at least a refresher course depending on the company and what your local exp was. Thats what i had to do, but it was deffinatly worth it, paying for school the 2nd time sucks, but if you look at the money you made driving local plus all of the experiance you got its well worth the price of school.

    Good Luck!

    American Trucker
  7. ltzSupra

    ltzSupra Bobtail Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Bronx, NY
    I'm 19 with a Class B. Counting every single day until I turn 21 so I can finally get my Class A and start running!
  8. 7122894003481

    7122894003481 Bobtail Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    You only have to be 18 to get a class A.
  9. 123456

    123456 Road Train Member

    Oct 22, 2010
  10. special-k

    special-k Heavy Load Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Southern Ontario Canada
    Go for it. I got mine at 18 or 19 and was able to get experience delivering tires when the regular guy was sick or they were swamped with work. I was also able to get work in the winter while I was in school picking up baled tobacco(think bales of hay) Not too many 40 year olds want to load 500 bales of tobacco by By the time I was 24 I had no issue getting a good trucking job. A good company will look at the the experience and references you have rather than some truck driving school diploma.
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