Getting Tennessee CDL

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Voltrucker, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Voltrucker

    Voltrucker Medium Load Member

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    West TN
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    Little background about myself, I’m 23 years old been around trucks since I started walking. My plans all through school were to drive. I graduated high school and life happened. Given the situation at the time, I needed a job/career that I made decent money (room for advancement too of course) and benefits. I started in the river industry working on the Mississippi River on a river boat. My company has given us warnings of this winter when work gets slow. Due to COVID and demand being down on our cargo we haul, the whole year of 2020 has been a large ? mark. I’m afraid I will be laid off this winter and I can’t afford to be out of work. I want a back up plan (CDL) to limit my down time in case the worst happens. I’ve driven before with my dad, know my way around trucks, how they work, and how they operate.


    Now to my question. I’m wanting to get my CDL here in Tennessee. The closest road testing centers to me is Columbia, TN and Jackson, TN. I’ve heard through the grapevine from a few guys saying that the Columbia center is easier? Sounds REALLY SILLY to me honestly but it’s worth me to ask I suppose. I would figure they are the same but some ride along testers are tougher than others... Anyone have any input here? Any 1st hand experience with these 2 offices?
     
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  3. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    The great state of TN
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    Where are you located exactly? I got my CDL in Murfreesboro at Truck Driver Institute. There's a couple of schools there. It was pretty easy to get it in Murfreesboro. I'm living in Memphis now.
     
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  4. Lunatic Fringe

    Lunatic Fringe Light Load Member

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    I don't have an answer for the question you're asking but your post raised some red flags.

    1. You didn't mention a CDL school in your post. While you may, "know your way around trucks" and be able to pass the written and driving tests right now few, if any, companies would be able to hire you without a 160 hr training certificate. As with most hiring decisions, the insurance companies will require it in order for a company to hire you. You'll need to go to a school (whether you need it or not) to obtain the 160 hr. training certificate.

    2. A CDL isn't a Twinkie. It's not something you can put on a shelf indefinitely as a, "back up plan" and expect to be taken seriously when applying for a driving job months or years later with no verifiable experience. Depending on how stale your license is you may need, "refresher" training before starting to drive. Most companies don't offer this and those that do will want you to pay them for the training or sign a contract agreeing to work for them for a period of time.

    It only takes 3 weeks to finish a CDL school. Wait until you're ready to start driving. You can be earning a paycheck on the 22nd day if you do it right.
     
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  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    R. E. West Transportation in Ashland City, TN has their own cdl school and a job at graduation.
    The school is free and there's no contract to sign.
    They pay $10.00 hr. while in school and provide meals and lodging.
    R. E. West Transportation
    R. E. West Transportation
    R. E. West, Inc. is a proud member of the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Program. Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, …
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  6. Voltrucker

    Voltrucker Medium Load Member

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    I know plenty of people who drive trucks everyday and didn’t go to driving school. It can be done. But thanks for putting in your 2 cents that I wasn’t looking for.
     
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  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    TLD Logistics – Always Hiring Quality Truck Drivers
    Home Page
    TLD has been recognized as one of the 20 Best Fleets to Drive For five years running. With our high driver satisfaction, excellent CDL driving school, our state-of-the-art fleet of trucks, and high retention rate, it’s very easy to see why. Interested in driving with us?
    TLD Logistics Services, Inc.
    (A subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho America, Inc)
    [​IMG]
    CDL DRIVING SCHOOL @Voltrucker
    With locations in Knoxville, TN, Crossville, TN, Morristown, TN, and Lebannon, TN, TLD Logistics can get you trained and on the road in no time. Owned by Toyota Tsusho, you can count on TLD Logistics to have the latest equipment and state-of-the-art simulators that will get you on the road quickly.

    We have trained hundreds of drivers over the years, and if you want to be a truck driver, you will need a class A CDL. With TLD, you will receive your class A CDL and be able to start driving right after your graduation from the program.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  8. McUzi

    McUzi Road Train Member

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    That’s cool that you’ve been around trucks your whole life etc, none of it counts toward verifiable drive time.

    I think by going the route you’re looking to follow (as far as having your license as a backup), you’ll likely struggle to find decent driving work if your current job lets you go in the future, unless you’re cool with rock or dirt hauling with a triaxle.

    Consider doing the 160 hour school just to make your life easier if and when you’re let go. You literally have nothing to offer the insurance gods of the industry.
     
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  9. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Heavy Load Member

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    You apparently have all of the answers. Why did you post on this forum then?
     
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  10. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    The great state of TN
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    Some folks want " the secret to success," I guess.....that rhymed. I'm not sure why folks think that they can go to the reputable companies without the certificate. It's a number of people that learned to drive and got their license without a school, but the number that did, far exceed the one that didn't. Point is, none of those test centers the OP mentioned is going to test him without going to a school, be it 160 hrs or refresher.
     
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  11. Trucking in Tennessee

    Trucking in Tennessee Road Train Member

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    Nashville
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    You don't get your CDL at the driver testing center. You only take the written test there. You should go to an accredited driving school and they will train you and certify you on your road test. You take that to the DMV, pass your written test and get your CDL. Then you have to take your physical.
     
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