Schneider CDL Training:
Schneider Training Academy
After speaking with a recruiter from Schneider National and reviewing their website, Schneider's Training Academy seems like a very good option to consider. As I always say about the information we present, they are not the only
one, so be sure to do your research! Here are some of the details.
I'll start by giving you some information straight from their website, then I'll follow that with some of my own notes.
"Schneider National's world-class truck driving school is the best in the industry, with a strong emphasis on safety. The comprehensive program consists of classroom, hands-on and over-the-road training. Before you come to the Schneider Training Academy, you must obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) permit, which requires studying for and taking a written examination. These online study guides
will help you prepare for the CDL written exam. If your state does not have an online study guide, they are also available at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. After you study, you can test your knowledge with Schneider National's practice tests
Schneider's training regiment is broken into three tiers:
1) Classroom training
This portion of training focuses on safety procedures, mechanical operations and maintaining logs of your routes and hours. A classroom instructor will provide exercises in these development areas. Be prepared for some homework each day throughout training.
2) Simulation-based training
Schneider drivers will benefit from the life-like situations produced in our state-of-the-art simulators. These simulators provide a safe environment for practicing critical skills, including driving in hazardous conditions, decision-making/reaction time and accident reduction techniques. Don Osterberg, VP of Safety and Driver Training says the simulators are an important step in our training process, "[we are] dedicated to proving and maintaining safe working conditions for all our associates, and proactive training is critical for us...we are always seeking smart technologies, and then working to bring them into our fleet."
3) Pro-TREAD safety and regulatory training
This ongoing, web-based training provides innovative training options for our drivers, due to the flexible nature of Internet applications. It allows drivers to defer part or all of the required in-house training to online training-helping to achieve a better work-life balance. Lessons can be taken at your own pace from the convenience of your home or cab, 24/7.
4) On-the-job training will include:
- Making turns with the tractor and trailer
- Handling intersections and railroad crossings
- Driving through city and highway traffic
- Backing the tractor-trailer
- Coupling and uncoupling the tractor to the trailer
- Inspecting the equipment, including the complete pre-trip inspection
- Conducting brake tests
You will also get practice in slow maneuvering, OSHA pallet truck operation and tandem/fifth-wheel sliding. Plus, you'll receive additional training in permitting, injury prevention and how to manage fatigue.
You will also study Department of Transportation regulations, map navigation and the detailed planning of moving a loaded tractor-trailer legally across North America. You'll learn about hazardous materials, operations and satellite systems, as well as detailed information about cargo claims, theft prevention and winter driving.
More extensive over-the-road training will begin when you are assigned to an experienced training engineer. You'll drive with the trainer for 1-2 weeks. Once you complete the initial phase of training and your skills are perfected, you will be assigned your own truck and begin your truck driving career.
Schools are located in the following locations:
- Green Bay, WI
- Harrisburg, PA
- Charlotte, NC
- Dallas, TX
- Fontana, CA
TruckingTruth's Notes On Schneider's CDL Training:
After speaking with one of Schneider's recruiters for a while there are a few things I'd like to explain.
First of all, my overall impression of the program is positive. The process was explained thoroughly to me and if I was considering becoming a truck driver today, I would consider Schneider a good possibility for sure. Again, you must do your own research. I know a little bit about Schneider's program, but I don't know anything about you. You have to find the program that's right for you.
No Hire Zones
Schneider does not have any permanent no-hire zones. However, they do analyze their driver base and freight contracts on a constant basis and will from time to time determine whether or not they would like to hire drivers from a certain area or not. So contact the company before making your decision on where you would like to go to school to see what their current policy is for your area.
Out Of Pocket Expenses and Up-Front Costs
The only out of pocket expense that you will have with Schneider is the cost of getting your CDL permit - which varies from state to state but is rarely more than $100, and often times much less. Schneider will pay for your bus transportation to the school, and pay for your place to stay while you are there. You must cover the cost of your own meals.
Your Obligation After Completing the Schooling
After completing the training, you will pay $12.50 per week through payroll deduction for 18 months. They consider the total cost of the schooling to be $4500, of which they will cover 3/4 of it. If you decide to quit before your 18 months is up, you will be required to pay them $62.50 for each week you had left in your obligation. So say you quit 8 weeks early, you will owe Schneider $500.00.
If you remain with the company for 18 months after the schooling is up, your obligation will be complete. At that point you will have paid in a total of $862.50 for the schooling. However
, if you remain with the company for an additional 6 months (which makes a total of two years with the company) you will receive a $1000 bonus! So, that would completely cover the cost of your schooling and at this point you actually would have $137.50 extra in your pocket. So if you're looking for a schooling opportunity that is completely free
, then stay with Schneider for two years and you've got what you were looking for - free truck driving school.
How The Schooling Is Structured
You will have about 14 days training at their facility. It will be a mix of classroom, simulator, and driving on the road. The amount of time you spend in each area can vary slightly from one student to the next depending upon the areas each student needs the most work in.
At this point you will take your CDL exam and head out on road with a trainer for approximately 1-3 weeks, depending on how well the student is handling the training. Your trainer will decide when you are ready to be given your own truck.
During this period with your trainer, you will be paid a flat salary of $300 per week. The money for your schooling will not be taken out of this pay. They will begin payroll deduction for the schooling once you get assigned your own truck.
Once you get your own truck, the pay will vary based on the region you are running and the fleet you are in, but I was told a first year driver can expect to make between $35,000-$40,000.
Some Final Notes About Schneider's CDL Training Program
- Schneider's recruiter told me they will not likely be starting any new students before January 1, 2009, but will be taking applications.
- They will more than likely have you get your CDL permit at home before coming to their schooling. However, some states do not allow this so you should check with Schneider before doing so.
- Schneider has a training simulator that students will get to spend a lot of time in. I personally think this is outstanding. Although I have never been in a tractor trailer training simulator, I have in fact spent many hundreds of hours using flight simulators (my hobby) and I can tell you from experience that a simulator will greatly speed up the development of a student and will make getting behind the wheel for the first time far easier than it would have been otherwise. I think this is an excellent feature of Schneider's schooling.
- You will have the opportunity to drive in any of Schneider's fleets upon graduation - including regional and dedicated fleets. This is not an option that all companies will give you.
Overall, I feel this is a very good program to consider. Their pricing and payback program is competitive and the options and pay you will receive after graduation seem as good as any company out there. Please do your research and consider all
of the companies out there, but I do feel this company has a nice program to offer.