Going for my Class B CDL

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Vecchio Lawn Care, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    Don't mess around with a class B. Get an A right away. You can use a dump truck for the test for an A as long as you have a big enough trailer behind it. (That's how PA is anyway). Also, if you can't access an air brake truck, I think the air brake is just an endorsement, so you can get your actual license, then go back later take the written test for air brakes and be good.

    Forget UPS,they're a union outfit and to be a driver, you gotta put in your time. The best UPS jobs are nightly runs pulling doubles or pups. There's a long list of current UPS guys wanting those gigs. You'd be better off with a different company or a local owner operator.

    When I took my Class A test in PA, the DMV's guy was real picky on the pre-flight checklist. Had to know that inside and out. They also pulled me over halfway through to simulate a breakdown and had me walk them through the steps of chocking the wheels, putting the triangles out at the correct places, etc. They also had you parallel park on the passenger side, back up through some cones and stop with the trailer bumper in a little box. Nothing overly complicated but it'll take practice. Don't show up and grind gears during the entire test and expect to pass. I went through a local school cause I didn't have access to a truck. I saved myself some $ by taking the permit test on my own, that saved me "class time" at the driving school. For a few thousand bucks, I'd say it's worth going through a school. Check out your local Career & Tech schools. Most of them offer CDL & heavy equipment programs.
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,067

    Get your CDL permit and ride along with someone for a while then you drive with them riding with you for a while then go test on that truck. I would also get a class A, doesn't cost anymore to test for but gives you more options.
  3. 01thump

    01thump LawnSite Member
    from orlando
    Posts: 200

    I have had my class A with haz/double and triple plus tanker since 1999 the only thing I did not get was pass endorsement I do not now or ever will have the patients to drive people around so no need or want for it..anyway it will be hard for you to jump right into a trucking job with no experience behind the wheel just know this..most companies do not want to take a chance on a rookie..either pay a school to help you with that or if you know anybody in the trucking field now would be a good time to ask them for help and advice they might be willing to train you and give you a chance driving for them..its not what you know its who you know I have found this SO true with my last few jobs....remember keep your driving record clean it will follow you for a very long time and WILL impact the next driving job you will be looking for..
  4. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    one thing that wasn't mentioned yet is to get hooked up with a national carrier like Schneider. Most of them offer free training programs and get you right to work. All of those jobs are going to be "over the road" meaning you won't be home, ever. But after a year, you'd have some $, some time logged, some wild experiences, and your license. If you're young, don't have any major commitments at home, and are out of work, this might be a pretty good option for you.
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,717

    Might be wrong but I think you have to be 21 to operate interstate?
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  6. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,597

    I read the state cdl book thoroughly and watched you tube videos of walk around, aka pre trip inspections. I found those things to be very helpful.
  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,067

    I think you are correct, most insurance companies won't cover drivers till they're 23 as well.
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  8. GQLL

    GQLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 846

    That's correct you can hold a cdl at 18 for your state, but can not cross state lines in a commercial vehicle.
  9. Schrock Lawns

    Schrock Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944

    Gqll this is off topic but I know you run walkers , I've been getting alot more highend resi accounts and eather are going to get one of those or a 52 grandstand. How do you like them and wheir do you buy?
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  10. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    Start with getting an A permit. That way you can test in any truck you find later on. What you test with is what your license will be. Go get the CDL book at your local driver license office and study. It will tell you what sections for what license. Don't forget about the general knowledge as it's the heaviest section. Once you get that worry about the pretrip. Watch videos know all the parts and how to check. Know your air brakes and what psi everything is suppose to be at and allowed to leak. Make sure you know how to test your spring brakes this is where a lot of people fail forgetting to push the button in before bleeding down. Don't forget what needs to be on the truck too.

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