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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a woman and I am considering going into trucking but I am not completely sure. What scares me is getting a loan or signing a contract to get my CDL. If I'm going to take out a loan, I want to make sure that I am likely to do well enough to get the CDL. I'd hate to be stuck with a loan to repay and no CDL to boot.

I'm thinking that it's best to do a contract as then it is more likely to have a job lined up, IF I ACTUALLY EARN THE CDL.

If not for the loan situation I would do it without looking back. I guess there are no sure things but I want to be as sure as possible that I'll pass. I know that I can get a free CDL manual from the DMV. And pay 29.99 on one of those test websites to practice the test.

How hard is it to learn to drive a huge truck?
 

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I'm in the process of trying to obtain my CDL. My parents put up the money for trucking school, and I've gone through it but have failed two attempts at the test, largely due to nerves. But with those attempts, I've gained confidence, since I've been out there on that testing course and learned where my weaknesses were. The test will be 3 parts: pre-trip inspection (calling out all critical items that need to be checked, and what you're checking them for, plus air brake check), skills (various backing maneuvers between sets of cones), and the road test. Most people don't pass on their 1st attempt, so don't let it stress you out.

Learning to drive the truck itself- eh, not too difficult, really. Once you learn to back and double-clutch shift, you get fairly confident doing it, and it's a rewarding feeling. Change gears relatively slowly and zen-like- it's a habit to try to shift fast like a car, but remember to slow the motion down otherwise you grind.

Going through a sponsored training course that gets you pre-hired (tuition comes out of your pay) might not be a bad option, if you don't have a way to pay for the course yourself. Sure, you might be stuck w/ a company for a year or so, but that gets you experience too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool. So, you've completed your written test and just have to go back for your driving test again? I read that it's common to have try again.

I let the fears run thru my head for a while but then it's like just do it. Backing up into tight spots is the only thing that I might get sweaty about. But I've been in tight spots before harharhar.

Good Luck on your test. Lucky that you didn't have to go the loan or contract route. But yes, a contract sounds like a sure shot at a job and experience.

How long will you have to ride with a trainer? I hear it can be up to 4 months. I've worked with others for about 15 years, I can stand 4 more months.
 

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Yeah I have a truck licence..
 

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Trucking school is typically 160 hours (equivalent to a semester of college) and is typically done in 4-week programs, so it'll be Mon-Fri for 8 hours. First week will be the classroom part, which prepares you for the written test, which will actually be several separate test forms. The written gets you your CDL learner's permit- you'll need it for the behind-the-wheel instruction, which will be the next 3 weeks of CDL school. I passed my written on my first try, by the way. It's not that hard.

Individual trucking companies have their own policies for their training, as for how long you go with a trainer. Trucking school is just to get you your CDL but your "real" training will be once you get hired on somewhere.
 

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Trucking school is typically 160 hours (equivalent to a semester of college) and is typically done in 4-week programs, so it'll be Mon-Fri for 8 hours. First week will be the classroom part, which prepares you for the written test, which will actually be several separate test forms. The written gets you your CDL learner's permit- you'll need it for the behind-the-wheel instruction, which will be the next 3 weeks of CDL school. I passed my written on my first try, by the way. It's not that hard.

Individual trucking companies have their own policies for their training, as for how long you go with a trainer. Trucking school is just to get you your CDL but your "real" training will be once you get hired on somewhere.
guess its different in other countrys, I got into it through family, I got a learner permit and drive at night when the roads were quiet, I did around 20 hours official training...but damn that sounds like alot there...
 

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I'd venture a guess that almost anyone can do it if they want to. My dad was a trucker for decades and as much as I hate to say it, my dad isn't and never was a bright guy. I honestly don't know how he did it but he did. It's not that I don't think he was smart enough to pass the tests and stuff but he is so clumsy and gets things mixed up in his mind. I don't know how he kept a job for as long as he did.

I guess I'm saying if he can, anyone can. But it was probably easier to get into when he did in the 70s.
 

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I'd venture a guess that almost anyone can do it if they want to. My dad was a trucker for decades and as much as I hate to say it, my dad isn't and never was a bright guy. I honestly don't know how he did it but he did. It's not that I don't think he was smart enough to pass the tests and stuff but he is so clumsy and gets things mixed up in his mind. I don't know how he kept a job for as long as he did.

I guess I'm saying if he can, anyone can. But it was probably easier to get into when he did in the 70s.
yes your right my father/cousins done a bit of trucking, so I've been around a few truck drivers in the past and no some of them are not the sharpest, and then some of them are really smart, but you still need to be able to drive, Its a big responsabilty taking 40 tonnes plus out on the public roads, I'd say 80% of people could pass the test if they really wanted yes, Its been a few years since I did the test here and they've made it alot harder for new drivers since with more written exams, minimum training hours etc...
 
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