Reply To: Company Paid CDL training in Southern California

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I’m not Red. I’m someone helping him answer questions as a 20 plus year veteran driver. Neither Red or I can pick a trucking company for you. I will say, in my opinion, I would never consider CR England. They essentially hire anyone, convince most of them to lease-operate the truck, and most of those newbies fail within a year. You want to get paid to drive a truck, not assume all costs and risks of paying for the truck, especially if you have not driven before.

Your driving record and your age are working against you, which is one reason why some trucking companies will not consider anyone under 23. Shifting a truck is easy once you learn it. EVERYONE has some difficulty for a week or two. And EVERYONE learns to up-shift (as when you are accelerating) faster than down-shifting (as when you are slowing down). Chances are you will drive an automatic truck, but I don’t see a good reason to volunteer to be restricted to working only in automatics. Having no experience shifting anything is THE BEST BACKGROUND for learning to shift semi-trucks. You DO NOT shift a truck like you shift a car. EVERYONE with car shifting experience has MORE trouble learning to shift a truck.

Make sure you stay away from marijuana for at least 6 months. If you can’t do that stay away from trucking. You will be drug tested numerous times, including randomly. Nobody in the industry wants to hear you opinion about how serious marijuana is. Even if your state makes it legal, it’s prohibited in trucking. Some companies test your urine and some test your hair. If you think you can smoke a little bit or smoke from time to time you will be discovered and fired then put into an industry-wide blacklist that will keep you from working again until you complete a long and very expensive recovery program. If pot is no big deal then it’s no big deal to never smoke again. All it takes to be discovered, even if you never screw up, is one drunk hitting your truck. You will be tested. Nobody said life was fair.

Take the personality profile to see if you can be happy in trucking. If it doesn’t match your personality you will fail and it will feel like doing time in jail.