How did you guess that I got out of that job after the first year????
ANYONE who thinks that the children of today are well mannered, pleasant
people just needs to drive a school bus for about a month. If you make
it that long without wanting to drive the entire bus off a cliff after
realizing that "these kids will be ruling the world some day" you may
want to talk to a shrink....
Only if you want the hazmat endorsement, they have nothing to do with
CDLs without hazmat endorsements. I go my hazmat endorsement and it was
fast and easy, and extra $60 or so, a quick appointment for fingerprints
and my updated CDL with hazmat endorsement in about two weeks.
Yes, if driving CMVs for commercial use. Personal use of CMVs is exempt
from logs and hours of service, but since Iggy is looking to haul stuff
for his business he will need to keep logs, which isn't that big a deal.
You can rent a CMV for your road test, and when you get your CDL
"learner's permit" after you pass the written test, the truck rental
place can take you out on the road to familiarize yourself with the
truck before your official road test. It's not brain surgery, if you can
drive a pickup with a trailer you can most likely drive a semi just
Yes, certainly, get the A and the extra endorsements, it's not much more
effort. I got all endorsements except for passenger.
This is where it gets "fun"
The laws say you have to keep an accurate log for the hours you are in
operation as well as 7 days prior. So if you went to an auction to buy
stuff last Saturday you would have logged that. Then you decide to take
a load of stuff to another auction this Saturday. Well now you have to
log the days in between as well because those now count. Also the way
you log hours gets interesting. You basically have four hour types, Off
Duty, Sleeper Berth (must be an actual sleeper) Driving and On Duty Not
Driving. Driving is just what it says. You are actively the driver of
On duty Not driving gets interesting because anything that is connected
with the business but NOT driving counts. Loading the truck, getting
fuel, even sitting at the auction house or at a shop waiting to buy/load
items gets counted.
Yep. That is why practicing with the vehicles gets to be important. Oh
and FYI unless they have changed the driving test the basics are
Pre trip inspection (tires, lights, safety gear, leaks,security of the
load, HUT tag and such) Engine start, air pressure and gauges check,
Driving forward and making turns as the brownie directs. Straight line
backing, and parallel parking were in there as well. Nothing like
backing a west coast tractor with a 53 foot box in a straight line then
pulling up and dropping into the cones and having the brownie get out
and use his foot to measure the distance from each set of duals to the curb!
Both passenger and Haz-mat require background checks, and fingerprints.
If you do one you may as well do both. Gives you the option of buses and
such if you want a part time job.
I knew it was 7-something :) Not real critical until I get a CMV myself,
and even then since I won't be running a business I'll be exempt.
This varies a bit from state to state and office to office. Around here
the pre-trip inspection is a written test only, and the DPS guy just
does a quick walk around to check lights and whatnot. They also do
minimal parallel parking, basically just move the rig closer to the curb
and reasonably parallel. The truck rental places also supply a 27'
trailer, not a 53' so that's a bit easier. I think they are reasonable
in looking for you to have control of the vehicle, not be perfect and
ready for the trucker's rodeo. You need to be safe on the road, but
perfect comes with experience.
No! No passengers! <runs screaming> Give me a nice big vacuum truck and
let me clean sewers...
I know when I did mine in NY the pre trip counted toward the points. I
took mine in downtown Syracuse on a Monday just before lunch.
LOT'S of "fun". Only thing I missed was I didn't call attention to the
brownie wearing his seat belt. I simply said that it was his choice if
he wanted the ticket.
On Tue, 09 Aug 2011 16:57:15 -0500, Ignoramus11295
If you get the CDL, I'll give you ten to one that you start selling
liquidated big rigs, too, so go the course.
It would truly behoove you to get the behind-the-wheel time, Ig.
I passed my Contractor's license exam after studying a book and CD for
several weeks. I doubt there's anything available from the DMV for
that, though, but you could call them and the local truck driving
schools to see.
Well, what do you know?
Let us know how it works out, Ig.
Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.
-- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
I recently go my CDL, class AM with TX endorsements (double, triple
trailer, tanker, hazmat). It is not at all difficult if you are smart
enough to understand how air brakes work, and can handle a vehicle with
a trailer. I got a few CDL books and reviewed them over the course of a
couple weeks in my spare time, then I went to the DPS office here and
took the written (computer based) tests of which I passed all 8 or 9 I
took on the first try in a total of about 45 minutes.
After that I got in touch with one of the area "rent our truck for your
CDL test" places and rented a truck for the road test. The truck place
provided a nice Kenworth T2000 auto-shift truck and a 27' "pup" trailer
as is normally used in a tandem configuration. The truck folks met me at
the DPS office early in the morning and gave me a review of the air
brake test and an hour or so of drive time to familiarize myself with
the truck, which was on the actual route the DPS uses for the road test.
After I passed the road test I waited in line at the DPS to do the last
paperwork, then waited at the truck for the DPS tester. The actual road
test was not difficult at all and the DPS guy was very nice, the test
took perhaps 45 min. After that a quick visit back in the DPS office
where I received my paper temporary license, with the regular license in
the mail a week later.
For the hazmat endorsement which you may not care about, there was an
extra step of an appointment for fingerprints to go to the TSA for check
and approval (new post 9/11). The TSA approval came in less than two
weeks and the new license with the hazmat endorsement in the mail a few
The total cost with books, truck rental, license and TSA fees was around
$750. If you'd like I'd be happy to loan you the books, or you could
just order the best one "Bumper to Bumper the complete guide to
tractor-trailer operations" which goes for about $48 and I believe is
used by many of the schools.
The bottom line is that it's not brain surgery and you should have no
problem passing the test. You will need to get a DOT physical exam,
CVS's Minute Clinic does them for $60 or so, and you'll need a log book
for any commercial driving you do. Also note that you can't get any
traffic tickets waived or the like as you can with a non commercial
Pete, this is an amazingly great answer, something that I have been
hoping to hear. Thanks a lot. This is the way to go. I just ordered
this book. I will stop by a CDL facility tomorrow, to get a Illinois
Great! Right now its legal for me to buy and operate a semi as part of
my farm in MN. Main restriction is 150 mile limit from home. My son
wants me to get one but I'm hearing this farmer provision is going
away. So, I've been dragging my feet. I thought a CDL was far more
expensive both in time and money.
I've been told to watch for a '97 or older because its pre-ABS brake
and this is a huge problem on high milage tractors. Have you heard
this? OTOH, I'd own the tractor for for maybe 20 years and don't want
a friggin' antique. Anyway, where would i go for advice on what unit
to watch for?
I don't think that farmer provision is really going away, but as you
note, it limits your range to in-state and near your farm.
CDL schools cost a bit, seems like $2k-$4k, and even the community
college CDL classes are overpriced. As long as you have a clue, the rent
a truck and take the test route works fine. The truck rental places
typically offer test insurance for a bit extra where if you somehow fail
the first test, you get to use the truck for retests at no extra cost.
Most people won't have a problem passing the first time, but the extra
comfort level of knowing you won't have to pay for a retest can make it
easier to pass that first time.
I haven't heard of ABS issues on class 8 tractors, perhaps what was
being referred to is emissions controls (DPF) on the newer rigs. Those
DPFs are expensive to replace when they wear out, but if you get a truck
with a recently replaced one it ought to last you forever in the light
service you'd give it compared to normal trucking.
The ABS problems were mainly on the older rigs when the systems were
first being tested out. They didn't have the ability to cope with the
huge load differentials. The newer systems are pretty good.
As far as the emissions PIA I would hunt for a rig from 2000-2007, most
of those are pretty trouble free and don't have a lot of the extra crap.
The new regs are causing a lot of problems for the fire service. Due to
the way the engines get operated they have a hard time passing the regs.
Many companies went out and bought stockpiles of pre reg engines and
gliders or tagged frame rails to build on. So you can buy a brand new
custom built rig in 2011 that gets registered as an 09!
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.