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Thread: Semi-Truck Driving

  1. #1

    Default Semi-Truck Driving

    Hey guys,

    Okay, so I am seriously thinking of just getting a CDL A? License and doing truck driving for a living sense my career in the Navy has been flushed down the toilet.

    I was wondering if those of you who do this for a living can recommend a good company to work for and if they will train me to get my CDL. I realize this is a HIGH-STRESS environment and that drivers are driving on a time limit. But, I have to do what I have to do.

    Also, how long does truck driving school usually last at say a Technical College? I would think it be something like the entire Semester/Quarter and then I would be good. I believe there is a state qualification test to obtain the CDL right?

    If anyone could tell me more I would really appreciate it.


  2. #2


    The last time I looked into formal training for a Commercial Driver's License, Class A, the course was expected to take about three weeks. Something else to consider, will you need additional endorsements? You can only get those after you're already received a CDL A.
    In the US the minimum standards are set by the Department of Transportation.

    There are, in fact, a number of factors driver's must balance, but that really depends on what sort of driving you're doing. Local, short-haul you'll still need to log hours, but probably won't actually need to worry about running over. Long-Haul, on the other hand, you'll be responsible for tracking your own hours and ensuring you're still in compliance with rest and break regulations.

    Lastly, most employer's I spoke with prefer experience, particularly for long-haul drivers.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Cory2010 View Post
    I realize this is a HIGH-STRESS environment and that drivers are driving on a time limit.

    i eat wagon drivers for breakfast

    anyway, aside from the technicalities of licensing and while possibly awaiting such, if you can worm your way into a transport/haulage company, even if it's at a labourer level, you'll gain experience of the industry and may be given shunting duties around the yard which will familiarize you with reversing articulated vehicles (semi's), the hooking up and all that can go wrong with wagons and hauling.
    the company may also put you through the process of becoming qualified (conditionally) which is how a lot of people do it over here.
    anyway, good luck.

    and, o' to be paid to sit on my arse and listen to the radio

  4. #4


    you can make a living you will have to pay your dues you can go to warner they train but rember you know nothing untill you have driven years. IF you can never leace a truck oh it looks good but your making the company rich not you.I have 2,500,000 miles logged in a semi truck 24 years

  5. #5


    There are companies like Warner that will hire someone with no experience or CDL and give them the training required to get the CDL. In exchange, they will want you to sign a contract to work for them for a minimum period of time or pay them back a pro-rated amount for the training. Kind of like a cell phone contract but on a bigger scale . These companies tend to work people pretty hard and not pay very much. However, once your contract period is up you have the option and experience to start looking for a better company. It helps a lot if you're not trying to support a family during this time.

    Once you you have some experience under your belt, you can also look into local companies. My dad hauled groceries for a local chain for 30 years as a union driver, with excellent pay, benefits, full retirement and was home every night. Even though he's retired now, he's still on their list to call when they have more loads than drivers and works one or two days a week for them. My grandfather and one uncle hauled concrete pipe, two other uncles hauled groceries for another local chain. None of them would have considered doing anything else.

    If you wind up driving long haul, you'll either be driving as a team or solo. Team driving means sharing a truck with another driver with one of you driving while the other is off duty (and sleeping). That requires a LOT of trust, especially in the mountains in the winter. The two of you will be spending nearly 24 hrs per day in a very small area. If you drive solo, be prepared to spend weeks at a time alone. Some companies permit passengers, others don't. It can really get depressing at times. I considered my Sirius radio to be worth it's weight in gold.

    On the plus side, as a long haul driver you'll see a lot of country. I've been all over the lower 48 states and through several Canadian provinces. Driving down the Frasier River canyon or through the Rocky Mountains is really spectacular. If you become independent, you will have control over where you go, what you haul and how long you stay out at a time. You set your own hours. I spent two years hauling RV trailers and cars with a semi-truck, and during that time I didn't set an alarm clock a dozen times. But that was kind of a special case.

    If you're really interested in driving, follow up on it. Research several companies, and find out what current and former drivers have to say. Google is your friend. If you have any relatives that drive trucks or friends, or relatives of friends, talk to them. Beware of lease/purchase agreements. Most of them greatly favor the company and make it very hard to make any money. If you spend a lot of time around a computer, get a short subscription to the online streaming version of Sirius or XM (Welcome to the world of satellite radio - SiriusXM Radio, around $3.50 per month) and listen to the Road Dog channel. There are a lot of call in shows about driving, regulations, running a business, and a lot of other things that will help you be successful.

    Good luck.

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