Having to go back to school, should I do a local school that teaches manual or a mega carrier?

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by Harvest, Feb 5, 2023.

  1. Harvest

    Harvest Bobtail Member

    Feb 2, 2023
    Since I forgot to self certify when my medcard expired because I wasn't driving, I have to get my CDL all over again. And no school will let me just rent their truck sadly. There is a local school That has a 5 week, 5 days a week course for cdl. And they also have a 18 week weekend only "advanced course" that also goes over maintenance on the truck. Which I like so I can work and go to school at the same time. Both of these courses are manual transmission, which is a massive reason I am considering this. My goal is to eventually do hazmat tanker, and I heard that tankers are better in a manual. Plus, I don't want to limit my career possibilities. I also want to do something hourly local someday, and allot of smaller companies use manuals. Should I go to this local school, or just go with a big carrier again, like Swift or Prime and just do their basic schooling and drive for them?
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Do the weekend only school if you can.
  4. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Do the school that fits into your life now. It sounds like the weekend school is best. The best reason to go to Mega's schools is to work for the Mega. Since that isn't your goal, don't do that. Tanker is best with a manual but both of my trucks in HazMat tanker were automatic and the industry is going auto. 10 years ago I would recommend pay extra to get the manual training. Now I wouldn't pay much extra and I would not feel like I am getting shut out of good jobs with only auto experience. So if the weekend school provides manual training do it. You will hardly ever regret getting manual experience, but it is less important every day. Manual skills don't disappear even if you don't use them for years. Newbies ALWAYS exaggerate the difficulty of manual and the perfection required to drive manual. Manual in a truck is NOTHING like manual in a car, except they both have clutch. If you have any manual experience in something smaller than a semi-truck it will delay learning a manual semi. EVERY CDL school will find someone to loan you money for school. Half the companies offer tuition reimbursement for new-hires. Having to sign a contract for 1 year at a company YOU WANT to work for is like signing a contract to get turned on by your high school sweetheart, the contract is meaningless. Signing a 1 year contract at a company you don't want to work for is like hoping to win a rotten hotdog eating contest. Even if you win, you hurt.

    During CDL school you will have ;little time to research companies. Pick your top 3 companies before school and make a decision before your weekend school finishes.
  5. Henley

    Henley Light Load Member

    Mar 11, 2009
    Rock Springs, WY
    I will always recommend training with a manual if the option is available. I agree with tscottme that manuals are becoming somewhat rare these days and most drivers are only going to use autos, but there's more to learning to shift a manual than just changing gears. One of the intangible aspects of learning a stick is that it teaches you to listen to the engine and to watch the tachometer so that you'll learn to work *with* the truck and let it tell you how it wants to be driven. I think you do develop a better feel for a truck driving a manual because you're much more involved in its operation, and I think it can make you a better driver because of that interplay. You can feel the engagement of the clutch as you let out the pedal, and you can feel and hear the gears mesh when you shift from one gear to the next. All that tactile feedback puts you more in tune with the truck.

    I'd also recommend learning on a manual because then you won't have any restrictions on your CDL or your employment prospects. Even if you only ever drive an auto, it's still nice to have the option to drive a stick. Especially if you're the only one without a restricted license and the company needs the old 18 speed moved. And there are still some segments of the trucking industry that prefer manuals.
  6. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014

    There always will be.
  7. Harvest

    Harvest Bobtail Member

    Feb 2, 2023
    Update yall, second week of cdl school. Learning in a 10 speed manual.
  8. Jenkins2020

    Jenkins2020 Light Load Member

    May 28, 2020
    I hope they train you on driving through mountains with heavy loads. definitely need to be in the right gear, especially if you're starting on a steep hill. I had to learn the hard way.
  9. Harvest

    Harvest Bobtail Member

    Feb 2, 2023
    Ill ask em about what gear to be in. I have driven down pretty long steep grades before in an automatic. Just put the jake on and stab brake. Been down Donners pass and a few others before.

    I live in Delaware, so no grades here to practice on, super flat.
  10. HogazWild

    HogazWild Light Load Member

    May 18, 2022
    Interested in where you get on driving manuals besides shady 1099 auction truck fleets.

    Estes has them for seniority drivers. Most either hire internally, or are owned by people you don't want to trust your livelihood with; ran out of rented lots with duct tape holding the front end on

    DRTDEVL Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Austin, MN
    Oof. I wish I had seen this back before you went to school.

    There is no requirement for ELDT if you were a prior CDL holder. If your license was merely downgraded for no medical card, all you needed was a DOT physical and to submit that with a fresh self-certification nd your license would have been reinstated.

    That is, if it hadn't lapsed otherwise.
    kylefitzy Thanks this.
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted