Uncommon way to obtain your Class A CDL for the beginner
by Ray Sirko
(mount pleasant, nc)
If you're young enough, and definitely want your CDL. There are companies out there in the industrial cleaning field that will help you get a class B. License. Just Google vacuum truck services and a list of companies should pop up.
Now it would be helpful if you would to obtain a permit first with tank endorsement first, before applying to these jobs. Not gonna lie to ya now, it will be a job, hard work to. But, they will teach you to drive. It may take as much as a year or as soon as 3-6 months.
Now, the trick is to drive and operate these vacuum trucks as much as possible. Once they see that you are ready they will start to work with you on freeing up a truck for you to get your license.
Don't limit yourself just to drive the vac trucks either. They will also have pick ups with trailers that you can drive without having CDL. Practice on backing into tight areas. This is good once you master them short trailers a 53' trailer will be a breeze. Because this is what your after in the first place is to get class A certified.
If they don't work with you on getting a truck for your test and you know you are ready to get your CDL, you can rent a truck through a certified school in your state and a examiner will test you. It may cost up to 500.00 bucks, but your not spending 5k.
Once you get your class B. Before you leave the DMV get your class A permit on the way out.
Practice on getting your shifting down pat, practice on backing and when you feel comfortable with obtaining your A, go back to the school and rent the tractor with the the trailer and take the skills test.
If you fail don't sweat it, you should have at least 3 times to get it right.
This is how I got started. Took me 2 times to get my class A. But it was worth it.
Remember you will be making money all at the same time. Don't worry to much about not being able to find a OTR job. They are lots of dump truck driving jobs to.
They also have dump trailers to, this would assure that you will get the tractor trailer experience you need. Then your done. Happy trucking!