Is Community College Training A Bad Idea?

Topic 20813 | Page 2

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Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Rick Dees' wrong idea:

you are not a slave to a certain company

I know Brett already called you out on this. But it still ticks me off to see this idea in print. Under contract with the company you get paid nearly the same as any other driver. This financing is simply paying the company back for the expenses of training.

Suppose you borrowed three grand from a bank so you'd be that "free agent". Your not indebted to you employer. But if you change companies, do you simply tell the bank "I don't work there anymore, so don't bother me."

Robert F.'s Comment
member avatar

As I read more and more on this site I am realizing that most everyone is going through a company sponsored training. Am I making the wrong decision to goto a community college? I already have medical card, and learners permit. Orientation is tomorrow with drug testing. Then class starts mid to late October.

I chose this route honestly because I am not sure the direction I want to go with trucking.

I would appreciate your thoughts.

I attended community college. I opted for their 20 hour course and got my CDL at first time of trying. Got a job straight away. For a number of reasons I won't go into it wasn't to my liking. Just been offered another job so would have to say the community college route suited me fine and only cost $2000 for everything and I am completely a free agent!

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.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

What's the deal today? Was it a full moon or something? The "free agents" are strutting around in here today like a bunch of Bantam roosters!

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I opted for their 20 hour course

Is that a typo? 20 hours, or 200?

So you got a job right away and you didn't like it. I'd guess if you were making great money you would have liked it. Now you're going to leave and start over somewhere else with no seniority and no proven track record of performance. It's going to cost you even more money transitioning from one job to the next. So that $2,000 tuition has to be weighed against what you would have been paid to get your CDL at a company-sponsored program and against the wages you would have made if you had gotten good miles and made good money straight out of the gate with a company you were happy with.

So that $2,000 tuition isn't looking quite so hot right now. You have also given yourself the label of job-hopper. I'd say as a free agent you probably should have retained counsel. You're happy right now that you get to make your own decisions, but it seems to me your decision making might not be that hot.

So let's suppose you get in a little fender bender two weeks into this next job and the company, who has no vested interest in you, decides to let you go. Now how valuable are you as a free agent? You've had two jobs in a very short period of time, got in an accident right away, and got fired from your last job.

On a scale of 1 to 10 that makes you about a 2. On a scale of 1 to 10 a brand new CDL holder without any experience is about a 4. So what you've done at that point is establish a track record as someone who isn't safe and isn't loyal to any company. You've also shown a lack of understanding about what it takes to establish a new career, which happens to be rather complex and dangerous to begin with, on solid footing.

You're not a valuable commodity. I know you think you are because for now you can quit one job and get another. But you're not being given these jobs because you're valuable. You're being given an opportunity to prove that you can become valuable, or in the case of the scenario above, prove that you will not become valuable.

So go ahead and run your career like you're a high roller in Vegas and you'll find out the hard way like many, many others that have come before you just how little value a new CDL holder actually has. I certainly wish you the best of luck. But your view of this industry and your decision making as a newcomer to this industry is like that of an infant child, a newcomer to this world. A child thinks that it's fun that they can just decide to rush out into oncoming traffic or walk right off the edge of a cliff or jump into the deep end of a swimming pool. It's only through the guidance of someone with more experience in this world that the child lives long enough to realize their decision making in the beginning was actually quite naive, and very poor.

Unfortunately this industry has an incredibly high failure rate. A lot of people aren't around long enough to get to the point that they're able to make wise decisions based upon experience.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rick Dees' wrong idea:

double-quotes-start.png

you are not a slave to a certain company

double-quotes-end.png

I know Brett already called you out on this. But it still ticks me off to see this idea in print. Under contract with the company you get paid nearly the same as any other driver. This financing is simply paying the company back for the expenses of training.

Suppose you borrowed three grand from a bank so you'd be that "free agent". Your not indebted to you employer. But if you change companies, do you simply tell the bank "I don't work there anymore, so don't bother me."

Ditto here...a slavery comparison to a one year contract is a moronic and totally disrespectful statement. I am sure the poor souls who actually were enslaved, would have gladly traded their bondage for the regular paycheck and basic freedoms you have Rick.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Robert F wrote:

I attended community college. I opted for their 20 hour course and got my CDL at first time of trying. Got a job straight away. For a number of reasons I won't go into it wasn't to my liking. Just been offered another job so would have to say the community college route suited me fine and only cost $2000 for everything and I am completely a free agent!

20 hours? That doesn't sound right.

And to be clear, the free-agent thing is highly over-rated, quite the joke. Fresh out of school you have no real value other than a warm body with a CDL. Totally untested and unproven in a performance driven and highly competitive industry. Regardless of a contract or not, an entry-level driver should absolutely commit to their first job for one year minimum. I am glad the CC route worked out for you Robert, but please chill on the notion of being a "free agent" as a great reason to avoid Company-Sponsored Training Programs, it's total baloney.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I regularly mention that this industry has tons of drivers with plenty of experience that never really get how this industry works. The fact that Rick still equates being under a training contract to being enslaved and that in another thread Frito said he feels he should be paid to watch tv or take a nap is exactly what I'm talking about.

I respectfully but strongly disagree with Brett's assertion that detention pay should be dismissed or that expecting it somehow potentially makes you look bad....as an RN on the night shift once the patients were medicated and asleep I was paid to "sit and watch TV" at times. This is what businesses/professions that value and want to retain good employees do.

To say that you're a slave because the person who paid for your training would like a return on their investment shows a real lack of understanding and a self-important perspective.

To say that you expect to get paid for watching tv or sitting around being unproductive also shows an elevated self-worth and a lack of understanding about your role as a member of a successful team.

Even with a lot of life experience and a lot of trucking experience some people never really gain that ultimate perspective. They never seem to grasp the concept that their company is constantly making sacrifices for their good also. They don't even see or appreciate the sacrifices and perks being thrown their way because they just feel entitled to it. They expect it. They're so obsessed with everything they're being asked to do that they never take a moment to consider what's being done for them.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I attended a community college programs. ONLY because I got a unique opportunity and my school was paid for by my current employer except for $200 that came out of my pocket.

Now if I was going to have to pay for CDL school out of my own pocket, I would have jumped at the Company Sponsored schools. Seriously, why spend cash you don't have to?

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

Also when I said "current company" I didn't mean West Side Transport. It was paid by the company I worked for before getting my CDL and while attending CDL school.

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.
Robert F.'s Comment
member avatar

So you got a job right away and you didn't like it. I'd guess if you were making great money you would have liked it. Now you're going to leave and start over somewhere else with no seniority and no proven track record of performance. It's going to cost you even more money transitioning from one job to the next. So that $2,000 tuition has to be weighed against what you would have been paid to get your CDL at a company-sponsored program and against the wages you would have made if you had gotten good miles and made good money straight out of the gate with a company you were happy with.

Yes 20 hours was not a typo and actually the money was very good! The reasons for me leaving are personal and not taken lightly, from what I could tell they were a good employer, we left on good terms and I was respectful enough to let them know it wasn't for me during my training period with them. At the end of the day you can only determine whether a job is right for you by actually going out there and doing it. If staying with an employer for such a short time has a detrimental effect on my chances of being hired then so be it but the guy taking me on now understands my reasons for leaving my last job, I have nothing to hide, my mantra is that honesty is always the best policy. Also at my stage of life I have come to realize family and health are the two most important things, and I want a job that provides a good work/life balance, and I am optimistic this next job will be more suited to this need.

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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