Bloomberg Article On Blue Collar Student Debt

Topic 20504 | Page 1

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Colin K.'s Comment
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I'm not in the industry so I don't know how accurate this article is. The title caught my eye though so I thought I'd pass it along.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-14/the-blue-collar-student-debt-trap

Stay Safe Out There, Colin K.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The article's author is "not in the industry" either. But you no doubt have read what Trucking Truth thinks of the interviewed drivers.

CRST and England make use of the non compete restriction in their school contacts. Not all company schools follow that practice.

Then Ms Pilon, who wrote the article, adds on some sexual harassment issues for additional backup.

I couldn't find an email for her, or I'd invite her to investigate the truck driving profession further here on TT.

This article is very misleading. It is built on anecdotal evidence and interviews with company lawyers. True, the drop out rate during school is high, and the ones who quit do owe tuition. But the great majority of new drivers at least get out on the road for that all important first year.

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.

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your feedback, Errol. I value your opinion and expertise.

Stay Safe Out There, Colin K.

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

The article's author is "not in the industry" either. But you no doubt have read what Trucking Truth thinks of the interviewed drivers.

CRST and England make use of the non compete restriction in their school contacts. Not all company schools follow that practice.

Then Ms Pilon, who wrote the article, adds on some sexual harassment issues for additional backup.

I couldn't find an email for her, or I'd invite her to investigate the truck driving profession further here on TT.

This article is very misleading. It is built on anecdotal evidence and interviews with company lawyers. True, the drop out rate during school is high, and the ones who quit do owe tuition. But the great majority of new drivers at least get out on the road for that all important first year.

I found this email address on her marypilon.com web page. Hopefully still good.

marypilon@gmail.com

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Bill does the deep research:

I found this email address on her marypilon.com web page. Hopefully still good.

marypilon@gmail.com

I'll send her a message. Thanks.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Ms Pilon answers! First, the message I emailed to her:

Ms Pilon,

A link to your article was posted on the​ Trucking Truth​ ​Forum. I believe you have focused on several anecdotes rather than the overall view of truck driver training.

Also, you have headlined two companies that include a non-compete clause in their training contracts. The great majority of company sponsored schools do not use this limiting contract clause - the trainees are certainly responsible for their tuition, but if they leave, they may still drive and pay off their account. They also lose some benefits of staying with their company - most often they will lose a built in discount.

Ms Pilon, I invite you to visit the Trucking Truth forum. You will find a more level headed atmosphere here, and if anyone comes in with the stories you have reported on (and they do!), we will try to explain how most of their problems are from their own (wrong) expectations and understanding. Trucking Truth is a community of helpful truck drivers, with helpful advice for anyone. Please take another look at the rookie truck driver side of this industry.

Errol Van Stralen
Swift driver for three years, so far.

Her reply:

Hello Errol,

Thank you for your note and alerting me to the Trucking Truth Forum. My brother is a trucker, so this insight is much appreciated. This is super helpful feedback as I look into future stories. And if there are aspects of the industry you think deserve more attention and aren't being written about, definitely let me know.

Keep me posted.

Cheers,
-Mary

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Sorry...messed up the quote placement...

Errol wrote to Ms. Pilon:

I believe you have focused on several anecdotes rather than the overall view of truck driver training.

Gracefully understated. Not sure about how the others on the forum feel about this article, but for me it epitomizes the chronic lack of credible, thorough reporting in the contemporary media. Everybody is a self-proclaimed subject-matter-expert after just a few conversations. Her brother the truck driver said "this", so it must be true. Factual/truthful reporting doesn't sell articles, win advertising sponsors, or gain TV ratings. No, swaying public opinion with partial facts and at least in the case of this article, a misrepresentation of the truth is the current de-facto reporting standard. The 4th branch of the government...in action. I am all for freedom of the press...but unfortunately their corrupt interpretation of "what" that actually means, continues to undermine the intellectual, morale, and ethical fabric of this country.

The most egregious of Ms. Pilon's hyperbole, is her reference to "indentured servitude" to describe Company-Sponsored Training . A truly confounded and surprising comparison, especially coming from an educated person (my assumption). During Colonial times indentured servitude was the only means possible for arguably half of the European Colonists to afford settlement in America. We were dirt poor. And yes my ancestors were part of the original settlement. If repaying a debt to a creditor is indentured servitude, than perhaps Ms. Pilon needs to investigate the financial institutions who regularly issue home mortgages and car loans. Default on either one of those so-called products, and either no more house or no more car. Her article exemplifies the incredible "walk-away" entitlement that many people believe is their God given right to erase a legal and reasonable debt. The debt to the trucking company is no different. Ms. Pilon either doesn't understand or has some other agenda, because if not for the existence of Company Sponsored Training I think (rough guess) 50% of us, including me, would not be on the Trucking Truth forum sharing our professional driving experiences.

I hope she can find the time to better understand the err of her way. Although I doubt a retraction is in the works, however considering the link between Bloomberg and Wallstreet, I believe her article is potentially harmful and at least misleading to the uninformed investor community. Not sure if you are reading this Ms. Pilon, but my other hope; my words anger you in a similar fashion as your words did for me.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

G-Town on the politic:

Gracefully understated.

It's that thing about honey and vinegar. I came in with the honey. My real opinion is with yours - the article paints a very distorted picture of the"new/ student trucker industry". And though we've dealt with the sexual harassment on this forum, I think Ms Pilon was just adding words to get her article large enough to get it published (and paid).

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

...indeed you got her to respond to your inquiry. Mission accomplished. Sometimes I use a sledgehammer on a thumbtack. LOL.

Now...we wait.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been mulling this over because I wanted to choose my words carefully. I'm still not ready to comment.

But I will say this.....it paints women badly. It paints women and new drivers as idiots who did no research then are shocked with reality.

Again, another article that wants to show people as victims. Where is the responsibility of the guy who had no idea what CRST training was all about because he did no research? What about the woman who stayed on a truck for three weeks instead of getting out at a truck stop and asking for help...demanding help. Calling the police. "He raped me"..uh you call the police a d swab that stuff for DNA and lock his butt up.

It makes men look like a bunch of hormone consumed fiends who can't control themselves..... After all...one woman had three trainers and the other had five and ALL were sexual????

I'm offended for both men and women.

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.

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