Orientation and Training

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How long is orientation, and what should I expect?

Orientation itself is usually around 3-4 days, again depending on the company. It will consist of a lot of paperwork, safety training & videos, company physical & drug test, and for experienced drivers, a road test before they get their own truck. As you are constantly being evaluated on how well you will fit with the company, many people get sent home during orientation for failed drug tests, failed physicals, non-disclosure of something in their background, etc.

What should I bring to Orientation And Company Training?

At least 7 day's worth of clothes, a pair of hard-sole shoes, work gloves, jacket. Loan agreement, contract, or your receipt if you paid for your tuition in full. List of names, Social Security numbers, and birth dates of dependents for enrollment of insurance benefits. Lack of storage and living space is probably a driver's biggest consideration when packing for CDL school, on-the-road training, and solo life on the road. Drivers will generally pack lightly for school and training, and their company should give them a general idea what items to bring.

Where is orientation, and how do I get there?

Orientation will be held at one of the company facilities. Usually, the trucking company will arrange for bus transportation, on Greyhound, though some companies will fly prospective drivers in. And some will either reimburse you for a rental car, or if you have your own car,  you can drive it there and they will reimburse you for gas.

What will we do at company orientation?

The day usually starts around at 7am. A word of advice...Don't be late!! most companies very serious about being there on time every day. The first part of the morning is nothing but paperwork. Most of the usual paperwork you would fill out when starting a new job. then usually the second part of the day they will most likely start taking you for your (Physical & Drug Test). then you will probly  watch company videos dealing with (safety, regulations, and Company policies)

Then the last two days are what I call the "meat and potatoes" of orientation. Lots of driving with our trainer, pre-trip inspections, post-trip inspections, backing, and coupling and uncoupling. Lots of time behind the wheel.

After Orientation

Managing to get your CDL is just the first part of your truck driver training, as your CDL schooling will have taught you the barest of essentials. New CDL drivers will almost always have to go through some type of company-training period, with an experienced trainer, to help prepare them for solo careers.  You will normally be living in the trainers truck for 3-6 weeks or so, as you learn not only the companies way of doing things, but how to handle real-world driving.

What else will I learn during the company training phase?

Before you can get assigned your own truck you will have to go back to a Company Terminal and take a series of tests so the company knows you are   knowledgeable enough, and safe enough to drive solo in your own truck.

How long is the company training phase?

Generally, company training will last 3-6 weeks, with some programs lasting longer. Every scenario is different, as it depends on many things such as your competence and safety behind the wheel, and your understanding of  the (DOT) Department of Transportation rules and regulations regarding truck drivers. 

Will I get home time?

Now there are some exemptions to this rule, but you 

generally you shouldn't expect to get home time during training, one of the main reasons is the (Travel Lanes), which basically means depending on on where you live, and where you pick up and deliver a load, You might be driving anywhere from CA to NY and anywhere in between.  

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