About to make the leap

JCUSMC8152

Member
I'm probably the most rookie/newbie on this site.
I have my DOT card, CDL permit, now I'm looking at what's the best option to obtain my CDL.
I've spent the last couple months reading about trucking companies who provide training and assist in obtaining the CDL.
Does anyone know of good options in or near Knoxville, TN?
I currently reside in Maryland but I'm really wanting to get close to Knoxville because that's where my relatives live.
I'm selling my house in September and I'll be single, kids are grown, the only debt I'll have is my car payment.
I figure now is my best opportunity to transition into my new career since I have nothing holding me down.
I'm a 44 years old Marine Vet so I'm accustomed to being away from home for extended periods of time and living out of a rucksack. I love to travel but I'll also need some down time occasionally to get resettled with purchasing a home in TN eventually but I'm flexible on when that occurs.
I'm hoping to garner knowledge from the veteran truckers and those who could steer me in the right direction.
I've read horror stories on a couple company sponsored training academies but I've also read some great success stories. Like anything else if you have the ambition and self discipline it will affect your outcome in a positive way.
Any advice?
 

GAnthony

Non-Canadian truck driver
Supporter
I'm probably the most rookie/newbie on this site.
I have my DOT card, CDL permit, now I'm looking at what's the best option to obtain my CDL.
I've spent the last couple months reading about trucking companies who provide training and assist in obtaining the CDL.
Does anyone know of good options in or near Knoxville, TN?
I currently reside in Maryland but I'm really wanting to get close to Knoxville because that's where my relatives live.
I'm selling my house in September and I'll be single, kids are grown, the only debt I'll have is my car payment.
I figure now is my best opportunity to transition into my new career since I have nothing holding me down.
I'm a 44 years old Marine Vet so I'm accustomed to being away from home for extended periods of time and living out of a rucksack. I love to travel but I'll also need some down time occasionally to get resettled with purchasing a home in TN eventually but I'm flexible on when that occurs.
I'm hoping to garner knowledge from the veteran truckers and those who could steer me in the right direction.
I've read horror stories on a couple company sponsored training academies but I've also read some great success stories. Like anything else if you have the ambition and self discipline it will affect your outcome in a positive way.
Any advice?
how long till your permit expires?

some states, it's 6 months, some, 1 year.

i'd suggest getting your CDL at a school in your area if you can, rather than to be tethered to a company training program.

then when you move to TN, simply switch over your CDL

otherwise, try Swift, they "had" a training school in the state of TN, don;t know if they still do.

also, some states require a CDL permit, in the state where you are actually training, meaning that your current permit, may not be valid in another state.

here is one school in TN

 

JCUSMC8152

Member
how long till your permit expires?

some states, it's 6 months, some, 1 year.

i'd suggest getting your CDL at a school in your area if you can, rather than to be tethered to a company training program.

then when you move to TN, simply switch over your CDL

otherwise, try Swift, they "had" a training school in the state of TN, don;t know if they still do.

also, some states require a CDL permit, in the state where you are actually training, meaning that your current permit, may not be valid in another state.

here is one school in TN

My permit is only a week old and it's valid for six months. That's good info on permits having to be in the state your obtaining your CDL. I do have a contact here in Maryland who will take me out on the road to teach me enough to pass the vehicle inspection and driving skills test then bring his rig to the MVA to take the test. It will cost me approximately $1200 total for the multiple wheel time outings and test day.
Thank you for the info on Knoxville, too. It's very much appreciated.
 

SueAnn

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Hi and welcome! There are really great people here that will steer you in the right direction once you get past the tatas. :rolllaugh:
Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress. :couch:
 

nan

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I would almost pay $250 just to ride around with her for five days. I doubt I would retain any knowledge and probably fail the test though.
I already have my CDL and would pay $250 just to ride around with her for five days.
 

JCUSMC8152

Member
Swift
CRST
Roehl
Stevens Transport

Does anyone have any guidance on those four options?
All four provide training in obtaining my CDL.

If I obtain my CDL on my own there's still a chance I want get hired on somewhere without miles under my belt so I'm at a crossroads right now.
 

JCUSMC8152

Member
OK so I've read other threads on training and the advice left by some of the veteran truckers.
I'm going to pay for my own training here in Maryland with a local guy, small outfit, that only does training.
All totaled it should only cost me $1200 for the road sessions, pre trip practice and utilizing his rig for test day.
I've read too many bad reviews and horror stories on signing contacts for CDL training costing several thousand dollars and being put through the ringer when you try to complete your contact.
Plus I can do it locally, commute from home, eat at home, save money by avoiding expensive out of state training facilities.
Once I upgrade my permit to a license I'll start applying to local employers to get miles under my belt and then trade up.
I'll post my progress and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Supporter
OK so I've read other threads on training and the advice left by some of the veteran truckers.
I'm going to pay for my own training here in Maryland with a local guy, small outfit, that only does training.
All totaled it should only cost me $1200 for the road sessions, pre trip practice and utilizing his rig for test day.
I've read too many bad reviews and horror stories on signing contacts for CDL training costing several thousand dollars and being put through the ringer when you try to complete your contact.
Plus I can do it locally, commute from home, eat at home, save money by avoiding expensive out of state training facilities.
Once I upgrade my permit to a license I'll start applying to local employers to get miles under my belt and then trade up.
I'll post my progress and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Good luck!
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'm going to pay for my own training here in Maryland with a local guy, small outfit, that only does training.
One word of caution here.

You need to make sure there are places that will hire you after taking this route for training. Not sure about the local hiring process, but many OTR companies will only hire new drivers from specific truck driving schools.
 

JCUSMC8152

Member
One word of caution here.

You need to make sure there are places that will hire you after taking this route for training. Not sure about the local hiring process, but many OTR companies will only hire new drivers from specific truck driving schools.
Thank you for the insight.
I'm placing my name on a bid list tonight at my employer. Some positions just opened and the head of HR suggested I get my name on that list.
If selected then my employer will provide the training and the rig for test day and I can stay where I'm at just move into a CDL position.
At least now I have another iron in the fire.
If that doesn't pan out then I have a recruiter at Swift I'm speaking to. The Swift application asks if I have a CDL or don't have a CDL. So if I strike out with option 1 at my current employer then I believe I'll pay for the training and rig for testing with the local small outfit then proceed with Swift and see what they offer. There's also Stevens Transport I'm looking at., they're reefer and irregular routes.
My main focus is to proceed cautiously and not get locked into something where I'm going to be making .21/mile and struggling to buy a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter to survive on every paycheck.
 

nan

Well-Known Member
Supporter
If you can pay for your own CDL from a legit school, you'll have more options than you currently realize. And you'll be able to skip the indentured servitude with the training carriers.

As a brand newbie the first carrier will likely have you go with a trainer for a month or so but it's usually for insurance purposes, and it's not a year of teaming for no money. It's more like an extended orientation. But then you're making what everyone else makes.
 
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