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View Full Version : Is there a downside to having a CDL?


MDLawn
08-06-2010, 01:04 PM
For those that have it do you see any real negatives? If i were to purchase a different truck to haul my dump trailer the combo would land me in CDL territory. Just want to know if there is anything to know?

Thanks!

castlerockmo
08-06-2010, 02:18 PM
I don't have one but I know your blood akly level has to be lower if you stopped I know that. Their a lot harder on you if you have a CDL don't matter if your driving your personal vehicle or not. But no one should be drinking and driving or not ad hearinf to the law anyways. So no downside really!
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MDLawn
08-06-2010, 02:23 PM
I don't have one but I know your blood akly level has to be lower if you stopped I know that. Their a lot harder on you if you have a CDL don't matter if your driving your personal vehicle or not. But no one should be drinking and driving or not ad hearinf to the law anyways. So no downside really!
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Thats not realy what I was thinking!!! LOL :hammerhead:

castlerockmo
08-06-2010, 02:34 PM
That's the only thing I could think of off the top of my head. But I need to go get mine I got a warning the other day!
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bighornjd
08-06-2010, 06:13 PM
That's about it, if you get a DUI you will likely lose your CDL. Shouldn't matter but I guess it could be a problem for some people. It can be expensive to get but well worth it if you ask me.

BrandonV
08-06-2010, 08:16 PM
health exams every 2 years... not covered by insurance either.

unkownfl
08-07-2010, 02:21 AM
B.A.C. here only applies if operating a commercial vehicle. While operating a personal vehicle it's still .08%. I don't drink and drive so it doesn't matter to me... One down side to having a CDL is you better strap everything down perfect or you'll get a ticket really quick instead of a warning. On the flip side I've been let off a few speeding tickets for having a CDL or a Military donation license plate one or the other.

dbear
08-07-2010, 11:47 AM
health exams every 2 years... not covered by insurance either.
Mine are. My insurance covers a physical per year. I have to get my BP checked every 3 months due to being borderline high, and that's all covered too. Maybe cause my doc slips it by in conjunction with routine blood cholesterol testing (the result of getting old, I guess). Of course, every visit is $15, plus whatever is not covered for the tests.

Probably sum up the downside of a CDL by saying increased "cost of ownership"; more expensive to get and maintain.

360ci
08-07-2010, 09:19 PM
CDL license has different specs according to state/province. I know every 5 years you have to take a road test, with company vehicle or other to keep your license going. Most companies pay for this, however, if you drive for yourself it comes out of your pocket.

With a few hours of training you can technically go for your CDL license. There different CDL licenses as well, from straight truck, tractor trailer, as well as different endorsements such as air brakes.

If you plan on hauling heavy in the future it'd be worth while to get prepared now.

knox gsl
08-07-2010, 10:10 PM
I have a Class A and the only difference in TN is that the points for violations may be increased but not always. Also the license is $125 as opposed to $20 but last twice as long between renewals

bobcat_ron
08-07-2010, 11:03 PM
You will always get the feeling you need to drive something bigger and heavier to fulfill your CDL license.

whosedog
08-07-2010, 11:26 PM
NJ CDL holders can have their license suspended for 60 days for 2 convictions of: 15mph over,tailgating,reckless driving or any combination of those in a 3 year period.And if you drive a commercial rig and lose your cdl most company will not rehire you because their insurance carriers wouldn't allow it.My twin sons both have ClassA CDL's ,I'm always reminding them that if they lose their license,they also lose their trucking jobs,and wasted the money they spent going to Commercial driving school ($2,500 each)

-Dalton-
08-10-2010, 09:19 PM
LA has something like NJ does posted above. also renewing your license is much more expensive. the base price is higher and then $5 for each endorsement

PerfectEarth
08-10-2010, 10:00 PM
The difference for me is not major.... I don't have an air brake endorsement, but as a solo operator, I've had to join a random drug testing consortium to remain compliant. I've been pulled 4 times in two years for "random" testing, which has been not terrible, but it's a slight pain in the ass. 50 bucks a pop outta my pocket.

I will echo what was previously said about the rig you drive specifically- I have to make sure everything is tip top when I load up...straps, stuff tied down properly, pre-trip inspection, truck and trailer connections have to be perfect. As far as cost, it has not been terrible. My insurance would be the same.

outlaw1960
08-11-2010, 12:53 AM
What about CSA2010.....more points on violations, lose you driving privliges after so many points http://csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov/ might be something to consider.

LawnmastersMikejr
08-11-2010, 12:04 PM
BAL in Ohio with CDL is .04 no matter what you're driving. I had some friends find that out the hard way.

unkownfl
08-11-2010, 04:50 PM
Here you can't take the driving improvement class to waive the points off your license if you have a CDL.

Duffster
08-11-2010, 05:17 PM
I don't have an air brake endorsement

Neither does anyone else. (In the states) :laugh:

but as a solo operator, I've had to join a random drug testing consortium to remain compliant. I've been pulled 4 times in two years for "random" testing, which has been not terrible, but it's a slight pain in the ass. 50 bucks a pop outta my pocket.

I would say the drug test is the biggest downfall.

allinearth
08-12-2010, 08:09 PM
I think you are supposed to keep a log when you drive. That seems like a pain to me. Once the Government has you they will keep their hands out for more money.

whosedog
08-12-2010, 08:48 PM
I think you are supposed to keep a log when you drive. That seems like a pain to me. Once the Government has you they will keep their hands out for more money.

I believe you use logs when you drive tractor trailers interstate,some companies like Werner use computerized logs called Qualcoms; I think if you stay in state(Local),you don't need logs( If anyone knows different correct me)You also have to stop and rest after 11? hours.

Duffster
08-12-2010, 08:59 PM
I believe you use logs when you drive tractor trailers interstate,some companies like Werner use computerized logs called Qualcoms; I think if you stay in state(Local),you don't need logs( If anyone knows different correct me)You also have to stop and rest after 11? hours.

Doesn't matter if you are interstate or not if it requires a CDL.

Driving a 10K+ CMV requires logging for all interstate travel and intrastate travel in the majority of states.

knox gsl
08-12-2010, 10:01 PM
If traveling over 100 miles from your shop address you need to log in a commercial vehical, most of us stay in town and don't need to worry about it. I don't remember if it includes intersate travel in that rule or not. When I drove OTR I'ld average 600 miles per say so everything got logged or creatively logged.

MDLawn
08-15-2010, 02:18 PM
CDL license has different specs according to state/province. I know every 5 years you have to take a road test, with company vehicle or other to keep your license going. Most companies pay for this, however, if you drive for yourself it comes out of your pocket.

With a few hours of training you can technically go for your CDL license. There different CDL licenses as well, from straight truck, tractor trailer, as well as different endorsements such as air brakes.

If you plan on hauling heavy in the future it'd be worth while to get prepared now.


This is what got me thinking. Kinda of the "You never know" thing. Would rather have it then wait until it is needed. Its mainly that a combo vehicle could put me over the 26,000lb GCWR limit if I upgrade a vehicle.

alan mather
08-23-2010, 06:17 PM
No downside here in michigan, but there is the dot physical every 2 years, i always love it when i tell the secretary at my doctors office i need a dot physical, and she says what is that? The only reason i got one is so i could get a better job as a diesel mechanic. I guess if i was on a test drive and got into a accident close to quitting time, i would be pissed because i would automaticaly have to go in for a piss test, and what ever else they do for the investigation. I think it would be funny, because they can do their test and find nothing. Oh well i guess that the rules.:)

rcpeoples
08-27-2010, 11:29 PM
Having a "clean" CDL is a great moneymaker. You guys gave a lot of situations of ways to loose your CDL. Now think of all those job openings for guys with "clean" CDL's. For guys in cold climates who don't plow, home heating oil companies higher a lot of seasonal drivers and all you need is CDL "b' w/tank & hazmat. My CDL has only been positive for me.
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knox gsl
08-27-2010, 11:54 PM
Having a "clean" CDL is a great moneymaker. You guys gave a lot of situations of ways to loose your CDL. Now think of all those job openings for guys with "clean" CDL's. For guys in cold climates who don't plow, home heating oil companies higher a lot of seasonal drivers and all you need is CDL "b' w/tank & hazmat. My CDL has only been positive for me.
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I'm like you, I drive for a local production company in the winter and helps alot with income. I usually make more in the 3 coldest months of the year than any other season because of this.

whosedog
08-28-2010, 06:36 PM
Having a "clean" CDL is a great moneymaker. You guys gave a lot of situations of ways to loose your CDL. Now think of all those job openings for guys with "clean" CDL's. For guys in cold climates who don't plow, home heating oil companies higher a lot of seasonal drivers and all you need is CDL "b' w/tank & hazmat. My CDL has only been positive for me.
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The OP asked for downsides to having a CDL,that's why he got those replies.If he wants the upside,we can give him that too.My son just got a job working for a lumberyard;without a cdl,starting pay is $12 per hour,with CDL $14 per hour,he was hired because he has a class A CDL,after a few years he can earn up to $26 per hour because he has his CDL.His brother also has a class A and worked for a beer distributer,without a CDL start at $8.50 per hour warehouse worker,with CDL $13 per hour driver. So as long as you keep your CDL clean,you will earn better pay,you just can't take risks while driving even in your personal vehicle.My son was ripping on his motorcycle doing 60 in a 25 and got pulled over by a cop that he knew from fire training academy,he could have lost his CDL (and job)for a year but got a stern warning instead because the cop knew him;I hope he learned a lesson from that because if he didn't chances are the next cop will write him up,and there goes his good paying job.

shooterm
08-28-2010, 11:09 PM
Failing a health card inspection will tell you a few years ahead of your gut feeling you need to retire out of the construction business. Its a negative and a benefit how ever you look at it.

rcpeoples
08-29-2010, 09:27 AM
Failing a health card inspection will tell you a few years ahead of your gut feeling you need to retire out of the construction business. Its a negative and a benefit how ever you look at it.

Yea i know guys that the only time they see a doctor is when it's time to renew their medical cards :confused:. I don't see any drawbacks in having your CDL. It's always good to have options.

GravelyNut
08-29-2010, 05:15 PM
Yea i know guys that the only time they see a doctor is when it's time to renew their medical cards :confused:. I don't see any drawbacks in having your CDL. It's always good to have options.

Other than cost in time and money, there really isn't any drawbacks. Unless you drink alot. Then you shouldn't be doing it anyways and driving. A Haz Mat endorsement is the one that is now a pain in the butt.

And I wonder how many here actually have a CDL of any class?

rcpeoples
08-29-2010, 07:10 PM
Other than cost in time and money, there really isn't any drawbacks. Unless you drink alot. Then you shouldn't be doing it anyways and driving. A Haz Mat endorsement is the one that is now a pain in the butt.

And I wonder how many here actually have a CDL of any class?

I actually have class A with all endorsements. Haz Mat is definitly pain now with fingerprinting, background checks and waiting period. Really though offers those of us with Haz Mat more job options cause guys dont want to go through process then pay extra money for endorsement.

MDLawn
08-30-2010, 11:54 AM
Thanks for all the replies. It definitely seems to be something that is helpful to have. Yea you have to be more careful but I don't drive like a idiot (speeding, drinking, etc..). Those days are past, too many things to worry about.

Now for another question, what is the process of obtaining a CDL (NY specifically but others can chime in as well)? I know you need a to obtain a learner permit and only drive the combo vehicle with licensed CDL driver before you take the test. Test seems pretty thorough and not just a basic drivers test. Any pointers, things to watch out for, etc... Remember the need for the CDL would be because of a truck with a GVWR in excess of 12,500 but not over 26,000 and a trailer with a GVWR of 14k. Not sure when or even if I'll take the test because I am under the 26,001 combo vehicle as of right now. But you never know.

GravelyNut
09-06-2010, 09:43 PM
I actually have class A with all endorsements. Haz Mat is definitly pain now with fingerprinting, background checks and waiting period. Really though offers those of us with Haz Mat more job options cause guys dont want to go through process then pay extra money for endorsement.

It wouldn't have been a problem for me to keep mine as the Feds have done plenty of background checks on me in the past. But it does cost and you have to take the written test every time. Just not worth it to me anymore.

rcpeoples
09-07-2010, 08:03 AM
It wouldn't have been a problem for me to keep mine as the Feds have done plenty of background checks on me in the past. But it does cost and you have to take the written test every time. Just not worth it to me anymore.

I hear what your saying about FEDS. I got my TWIC card about year ago, which is government issued id. Did whole process of fingerprinting and background checks, but cant use this info towards renewing HAZ-MAT. They tell me i had to do their process, WHICH IS EXACTLY THE SAME, even though the are also government agency. But recently read in one of my trade magazines where they are in process of changing this rule.