Bloomberg Article On Blue Collar Student Debt

Topic 20504 | Page 2

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Paul's Comment
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As I am about to start in this industry, and doing so is causing a drastic change in my family's dynamic in so many ways, I have had to spend a good deal of time ensuring it was the proper course and trying to convince those who care about myself and my family of the rightness of the choice. Mission accomplished...until this article. The next day, a barrage of negativity flowed my way, and even funds to help along the way we're withdrawn. You are right, Rainy. This makes new drivers look like idiots who are jumping in to a major life change with no foreknowledge. Frustrating.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

I'll give my experience.

I researched extensively, I knew what I was getting into, and I've been treated quite well by prime so far. I'll be glad to give them a year as compensation. It's fair. however I really did not know that the attrition rate of trainees was so high. In other words, only about 20% of the people entering company sponsored training , actually upgrade to solo driver. (It's what I have heard, I'm not certain it's accurate though). I may not have attempted it had I known that but I have only about 15,000 miles left to upgrade to solo. Ive beaten the odds so far. Fingered crossed.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

As I am about to start in this industry, and doing so is causing a drastic change in my family's dynamic in so many ways, I have had to spend a good deal of time ensuring it was the proper course and trying to convince those who care about myself and my family of the rightness of the choice. Mission accomplished...until this article. The next day, a barrage of negativity flowed my way, and even funds to help along the way we're withdrawn. You are right, Rainy. This makes new drivers look like idiots who are jumping in to a major life change with no foreknowledge. Frustrating.

Do what YOU want and don't let anyone stop you. If you follow others you will die with a ton of regrets for not trying all the things you wanted.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Paul wrote:

As I am about to start in this industry, and doing so is causing a drastic change in my family's dynamic in so many ways, I have had to spend a good deal of time ensuring it was the proper course and trying to convince those who care about myself and my family of the rightness of the choice. Mission accomplished...until this article. The next day, a barrage of negativity flowed my way, and even funds to help along the way we're withdrawn. You are right, Rainy. This makes new drivers look like idiots who are jumping in to a major life change with no foreknowledge. Frustrating.

Paul, the article is one person's opinion and not written in an industry affiliated publication. Obviously no one vetted the content. She is not an expert and has zero clue of what we do and how we got here. Please do not let allow one feckless opinion negatively effect your resolve.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

G-Town, your comments were spot on. Very, very well said. This article doesn't seem professional to me by any standards. It sounds like someone looking for a handful of eye-catching quotes to garner attention, with a few government facts and figures sprinkled in to make it sound legitimately researched.

First I'd like to say thanks once again to the mainstream media for creating a poor reputation for the trucking industry in order to generate revenues for yourselves. They pick one guy as an example from CRST's program, who called himself a slave to the company even though he quit and went to work somewhere else. Great example.

What I'd like to know is where is the personal responsibility in all of this? CRST paid for that man's training up front. They provided the trucks, the fuel, the trainers, pay the insurance, and provide the room and board for these students. All they ask in return is for the students to repay the debt and work for the company for a few months. By signing up for that contract this driver took all of those funds and instead of repaying them, he went to work for a competitor.

Bloomberg considers themselves a leader in the financial world but apparently the simple ideas of repaying your debts and honoring your contracts passed them by completely. Then, when CRST attempts to collect the debt they're owed they're painted as the villain, while the man who broke the contract and stole the company's funds is painted as the victim.

Great job, Bloomberg. Real high level business journalism there.

Like CRST's lawyer said,

"every year CRST brings something on the order of 10,000 persons into the driving field (which is starved for workers) who are not qualified or licensed drivers. I also know that a fairly large number of those folks decide that driving is not for them in fairly short order but that for the remainder, driving can become a reliable, if not lucrative, source of income.”

So 10,000 people complete the program and go to work for the company but not one of them gets interviewed. Not one. Just one guy who quit to go work for a competitor.

If 10,000 people can get through the program just fine every year, what seems to be the problem then? Could it be that some people aren't cut out for trucking? Could it be that some people don't mind walking away from the company since it wasn't their money that paid for the training anyhow?

I never expected Bloomberg to be one of the Terminal Rats Derailing Trucking Careers, but that's what they are right here. Just another source of misinformation and half-truths derailing trucking careers.

"

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Paul is taken aback:

As I am about to start in this industry, and doing so is causing a drastic change in my family's dynamic in so many ways, .... Mission accomplished...until this article. The next day, a barrage of negativity flowed my way, and even funds to help along the way we're withdrawn. You are right, Rainy. This makes new drivers look like idiots who are jumping in to a major life change with no foreknowledge. Frustrating.

Paul, this is called anecdotal evidence. Some individual stories instead of a look at the whole industry. These are the stories you'll hear in driver lounges or posted on other trucker oriented forums.

Which makes a better read?

A.

I completed my road training in "record time". I had a great time, my instructor taught me all kinds of stuff. I was able to practice different backing situations.

or B.

My instructor made me drive off the HOS log at least 14 hours a day. We never stopped unless he wanted to. I'm a girl, but I had to listen to dirty jokes all day. When we did take showers, either I could skip it, or use the same shower room as my instructor. I quit after two weeks.

#B gets posted, but #A is way more common. The great majority of new drivers do successfully finish all their training and get a start on a new career. Don't let the horror stories put you off.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Shoot, I could post quotes on here that would take up all my space! This is why I love this site--the wisdom and genuine care you guys show is awesome. I absolutely do not allow negativity to get me down. I take the nuggets of truth that I can find and then discard the rest. I agree absolutely with everything said about this article--it, like just about all media these days, is more propaganda than anything else. As much as we need the trucking industry and we need more drivers, why paint the industry in such a bad light if it does not deserve it? But we need many things that people are actively fighting to destroy--history, ALL cultures, children...

But this is not a political forum, so I digress. I really just posted my comment to show one more way this sort of article is hurting the cause rather than helping it. I am determined to succeed by all means possible. The funding was withdrawn, so we go to plan B -- my wife quits homeschooling, is registering the kids now for school, and she continues working until I bring an income into the household. NOT happy about that, do not like the school systems, but in truth it beats a loan. I wouldn't do it if my girls were older, but 2nd grade and below isn't going to hurt them. Most certainly will be a net positive in the end.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Paul plans ahead:

... so we go to plan B -- my wife quits homeschooling, is registering the kids now for school, and she continues working until I bring an income into the household. NOT happy about that, do not like the school systems, but in truth it beats a loan ...

FYI at Swift, I "quit everything" as you plan, and had no income for just over two months as I did my schooling, etc. Once I got in my trainer's truck, I got my training pay. That lasted about two more months. Then I upgraded to my own truck and started earning regular "trucker pay".

Sorry the Plan A financing didn't work out. Occasionally people post here the negative impressions their own family have. And you know trucking is not really like that.

Paul's Comment
member avatar

FYI at Swift, I "quit everything" as you plan, and had no income for just over two months as I did my schooling, etc. Once I got in my trainer's truck, I got my training pay. That lasted about two more months. Then I upgraded to my own truck and started earning regular "trucker pay".

Sorry the Plan A financing didn't work out. Occasionally people post here the negative impressions their own family have. And you know trucking is not really like that.

I benefit from living in Oklahoma, where the cost of living is crazy cheap--used to rent a 5 bedroom home for 850 a month if you can believe it--but it still takes pre-planning. Get rid of the luxuries, get back to basics. You'd be surprised how much you DON'T need and how little you can support a family on during the transition period. I quit driving my taxi a couple of months ago, by necessity, and we went through that process. It was incredible for us. Seeing how we don't need to make crazy amounts of money, can live happily on far below what the standard poverty rate is...well, it's liberating. Thanks for the comments, Errol -- I hope all of this is helping build some positivity for those who may have been dissuaded by that article.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Eh...find a company sponsored school that pays for training. Prime advances you $200 per week while you have your permit which is 3 weeks or so. Then you get $700 gross per week.

Other companies pay from the start but pay less per week. Save some money before you go. Don't go against your convictions and put the kids in school...make the wife work. By the time she finds a job you would be getting paid or perhaps done training!

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

Trucking Company Reviews

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.

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