New School

Topic 10829 | Page 1

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Driver Guy's Comment
member avatar

I'm looking into opening a truck driving school in southeast Michigan. Does anyone have experience running a truck driving school. I am a recently licensed driving instructor and I am trying to add to the driving school my family owns. I'm looking to find out what's required and costs among other things. Really I'm just trying to get insight into an area of driving that I have little knowledge in.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

You could check out the listed schools here: Truck Driving Schools, see what's desirable in a school here: How To Choose A School, and see what trucking companies want here: Company-Sponsored Training .

And check with The Professional Truck Driver Institute to get PTDI certification.

Oh, and (why not ask?) Offer a discount to students referred by Trucking Truth!

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Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Look up Lake Cumberland CDL Training, Inc. In Columbia, Ky. *just moved corporate office but the number hasn't changed. owner is Cindi Alexander. She's very very nice so give her a call. Obviously, MI might be a bit different, but what you want to ask her about is her deal with Amazon in Kentucky for the CDL weekend (Fri-Sat) classes. She leases most of the trucks we use for our school I believe. Amazon has a new FC in Michigan, so it might just be worth your while to look into this.

Our Career Choice program will pay for up to 95%, in advance, for any amazon employees who has been with the company (blue badge) for at least 1 year. It's a newer FC, so you should have time to prepare.

They offer part time classes here, so employees can still work fulltime and go to cdl school... very important to offer part time. They have started 3 classes of 12 students each here, and have done the same thing at other kentucky FC locations. This is in addition to her community college courses. She has 11 locations.. yes, eleven.

they have classes through community colleges the other 4 days (Mon - Thurs). They charge $4k and amazon pays $3800 of it. They include the cost of permit/testing and dot phyicals.

it really seems like a good way to get a school going. Get accredited with your state also.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Driver Guy's Comment
member avatar

Very cool. Are you an Amazon employee? Is that why you are in CDL school? What benefits do you have by getting your CDL license as a worker at an Amazon FC?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Yes I work at Amazon. I had planned on attending a school to get my cdl and was actually in the process of trying to figure out how I was going to cover my bills while I took a 1 month personal leave to attend school, when Amazon arranged these private employee only part time classes with Lake Cumberland CDL Training. Apparently we were the last FC in Kentucky to have these special part time classes lol. They've had many in Hebron and Lexington already.

The classroom part of school was actually held in a training room at work. We use the same road range that the school uses for their Mon - Thurs classes at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. They looked for a place to rent a large parking lot/range in Shepherdsville, but better for me that its in Etown since its closer for me from home.

Amazon always has plenty of yard driver positions open, but the pay is pretty crappy so very few people are interested in that job here.

Amazon offers a program called "Career Choice" to blue badge employees (not temps) who've been there at least 1 year. Career choice pays 95% of tuition, books, fees, for certain higher paid technical training programs, up to $3k per rolling calendar year for up to 4 years. It doesn't have to be job related and won't cover a bachelor's degree program, but will cover higher paying things in high demand professions like nursing, hvac, auto or diesel mechanic, etc. It only covers associate degree or certificate programs which are accredited. If an employee qualifies for a Pell or other grant, the career choice program pays after the grant is used. They work with the school and it's not a reimbursement type of thing.. they pay it in advance. Even though the cdl school is over $3 k, they make an exception for cdl programs because they're not long enough to qualify for a Pell grant. So yeah, my school cost me $200 out of pocket.

I have no obligation to stay at amazon when I'm done, and I have no intention of staying. Amazon will actually pay me $1k for each year I've been there up to $5k to leave as soon as I have my cdl. They also make that same buyout offer to all employees every February.

Lol, I already have 2 degrees as I worked in healthcare for 20 years. I decided to get my cdl and let amazon pay for it. Driving is something I know I will enjoy, so im doing this for fun for me and to build on my retirement.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
918Girl's Comment
member avatar

Yes I work at Amazon.

Hi Susan,

I'm a current Amazonian! I am planning to start school at Swift or one of the others right after Peak. Considering your experience with Career Choice, do you see any advantages of taking the route that you did to get your CDL? Other than finishing my studying through High Road Training, etc., I am set on 'GO!'

Nicole

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
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