Need Advice Please

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Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Yes I'm impatient when it comes to getting my cdl , because I want it that badly, like yesterday.

I was supposed to start my class in August. Anticipating that, I began immediately studying and preparing for the class. Long story short, instructor illness, I got delayed and couldn't get started until later as I got shifted to the 2nd class. They also wanted to split up a large number of students for our weekend class and then there was labor day weekend. I had already begin obtaining prehires. . Can I say I despise my current job and I'm ready to leave? Lol. Anyways they said.. no worries. . We won't extend the class and you'll still graduate on time. Ok.

So we've been on the range 2 days after getting our permits. Btw, we left early BOTH days. It was raining, cold, and range instructors had driven from a different location (they have several) and they didn't want to get home late. I must say, that weather was forecasted, the truck heaters worked well and I was completely dry in my rain gear. Yes I was prepared to be out in that weather. We are supposed to begin at 8am. However at 8am, we are all sitting in front of a locked gate waiting for whoever they lease this lot from to open the gate. The range is located behind a large maintenance shop of some sort. The shop owner FINALLY arrives to open the gate.

So we're starting late and finishing early. I feel cheated already. A girl from the first weekend class.. I hear her asking an instructor if she can come in on a Thursday this week to get some extra practice. He tells her to call the school to make sure its ok as he doesn't teach there Mon - Thurs so he's not sure if they have a class going from the college or how many are in it. I'm thinking cool, they'll let us get some extra practice time in if its available.

So, today is my day off work. This morning I call to see if I can drop by this afternoon for some extra practice. I'm told "due to a personal emergency, all classes at ALL locations have been canceled this week". I realize that things happen, but it seems to me this place has more "emergencies" than Carters has liver pills. I ask if that includes our special weekend classes and told they hadn't decided yet and they would be in touch with us tomorrow.

So we shall see. If the delays keep continuing and our hours keep getting shortchanged, I am considering notifying my employers scholarship program. . Because they paid the school in advance for our training... and yes, whether they cancel this weekend or not, we are already feeling cheated as students.. in my class anyways.

Plan B would be to get into a company sponsored school. I went this route because I could work full time while I attend school and it's been paid for with no obligation. I'm not afraid of obligations or commitments. I cannot afford to be unemployed.

I am going to cool my jets and see what happens Friday and Saturday, but IF they cancel our classes again, I'm going to begin contacting company sponsored schools. I'm going to need one that pays while I'm in school, as I'd take an unpaid leave of absence from my current employer if I have to do this. Are Averitt and Knight the only 2 who do this? And what do they pay while attending 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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Prehires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Unless I'm mistaken, Prime pays while you're training. You have to pay for a few things, like licensing and some tests outside of their facility, but I think their program is all inclusive. They even front you a few hundred dollars when you get to the part of training where you go out on the road for a few weeks with your trainer. If you work for Prime for 1 year after getting your CDL the training is considered paid in full and you owe them nothing. It's one of the reasons I'm choosing Prime.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong/elaborate on anything I left out.

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.

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.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Regardless, it sounds like a pretty awful position to be in. That place sounds super sketchy and I would say to cut your losses and move on so you don't lose any more time.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Yes it all sounds sketchy. . One major emergency after another. HOWEVER, the school is highly recommended, state and industry approved, and runs the cdl training programs at several Kentucky community colleges.

Most of our equipment is better than I expected for a cdl school. Currently at the range where I attend, all trucks are 10 speeds. We have 1 freightliner cascadia, 1 volvo (which is even nicer, but can't take it off the range til they replace a drive tire since a student curbed it and put a huge bubble on the sidewall), and an old international, which amazingly they took on the road last weekend. That poor truck looks like its been through h3ll and back, and probably has lol.

Apparently the truck (another cascadia) we will test in is still at the state testing facilities, because a few others had yet to test. They are going to try to have it available to us so we can practice with it.

As I've said, this school offers the cdl training for many community colleges in the state. But, why the heck don't they have a key to the gate to get into their own range.. why are we out there waiting for almost an hour for someone to unlock it. We're getting a 160 hr certificate, but will obviously be missing a large chunk of those 160 hours. Yes, I'm concerned. I really feel like I need the hours we are supposed to have had, and they were paid for. The way they are shuttling instructors to our class, I think its a "lack of enough available instructors" emergency to be quite honest. My employer has paid this school $144,000 (in advance) to train 36 students to obtain their cdl since August 22, 2015. The first class should be testing out in the next week or so.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Also, I have my permit, a 2 yr dot card already, and would have loved to be able to go to Prime, however, their hometime schedule doesn't meet my family's needs at this time... heck I would love it, but, it is what it is. I hear both Knight and Averitt pay during cdl training and I live in their major freight lanes and they both have a home weekly option here.

I'm simply trying to figure out a worst case plan B. I would like to believe the school will get whatever emergencies handled and out of the way so we can get on with our training as expected. I'm talking to recruiters at 2 of the companies I've got prehires with pretty much weekly and they need me to be finished with school, as much as I need to be finished.

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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Prehires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Also, I have my permit, a 2 yr dot card already, and would have loved to be able to go to Prime, however, their hometime schedule doesn't meet my family's needs at this time... heck I would love it, but, it is what it is. I hear both Knight and Averitt pay during cdl training and I live in their major freight lanes and they both have a home weekly option here.

I'm simply trying to figure out a worst case plan B. I would like to believe the school will get whatever emergencies handled and out of the way so we can get on with our training as expected. I'm talking to recruiters at 2 of the companies I've got prehires with pretty much weekly and they need me to be finished with school, as much as I need to be finished.

I apologize if you already stated this, how far along are you and do you have a contract with either your employer and/or the school?

If you do have a signed contract, you might want to check the terms and conditions before doing anything to determine your obligations. All things considered, owing them a chunk of money after your departure would only elevate your aggravation.

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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Prehires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
If you do have a signed contract, you might want to check the terms and conditions before doing anything to determine your obligations. All things considered, owing them a chunk of money after your departure would only elevate your aggravation.

Excellent point.

If you were the only student in this scenario I would think it might be more of a concern. If your company already paid these people for training then I'm pretty sure they're going to make sure they get what they paid for. We could speculate all day as to what the problem is with the people running the operation but I would just be patient and let it run its course. Nobody wins if you guys sit around without training and without getting your licenses. It's in everyone's best interest for them to finish the job they've been paid to do so wait it out a bit and see what happens.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

G-Town, I'm in a very unique situation. I don't generally advertise where I work, but I currently work for Amazon North America at one of their Kentucky FC operations. Amazon does have a bad rap for treating their employees horribly, but this is absolutely not the case in our "node" which is a collection of 3 FCs (fulfillment ceners) all located next to each other. Amazon does this cool thing for any employee that's been with the company over 1 year. It's called Career Choice. It's a scholarship program that will pay (in advance) for up to $3k per rolling calendar year, for up to 4 years, for a total of $12k. They will not pay for bachelor's degree programs, but will pay for higher paying technical/professional 2 year programs or shorter term certificates of completion. For CDL programs, they waive the $3k per year thing and pay 95% of the tuition. . In advance.

Yes, my state accredited school has cost me only $200 out of my pocket. Because most schools last 4 weeks, they will give us a personal leave of absence to attend cdl school, which is unpaid. To try to help Kentucky employees (we have operations all over the state.. Ky is Amazon Land lol) and they desperately need yard drivers, they have arranged for this school to offer special weekend classes that we can attend so we can still work fulltime while in school (aren't we lucky lol). Once class has been funded (before day 1) an employee can quit, stay, take a leave of absence, whatever. We are not obligated to remain with amazon or repay anything. In fact, they will actually PAY US TO LEAVE upon completion of any certificate or degree program.

The day I receive my CDL-A and my certificate, I will be offered and plan to sign my buyout offer which contains a no rehire clause. I will immediately be escorted out of the building, will not be eligible for unemployment. I will receive on my next paycheck an additional $1k for each year I've been there. This buyout offer is also available every March. Since my next stocks don't vest until April 2016, I'm not hanging around. It's simply not worth it to me. They don't pay their yard drivers enough so I won't even consider that.

Now for the meat of my problem here:

My class was supposed to last 10 weeks and be held 2 days per week (20 classes or the equivalent of 4 weeks/160 hours full time). My graduation date is in 4 weeks (November 7th) (8 more classes.) Ok, so we are already 2 classes short due to Labor Day weekend. If they cancel us this weekend, we will be short 4 days of class/range time. Because we started late and left early both days last weekend, we were essentially shorted another day.. so we're up to 5 missing days, That is 1/4 of the total class! Mind you CDL school only teaches you enough to pass your state exams.

YES! IM CONCERNED! I feel like this missing 40 hours of training in a state accredited, DOT approved 160 hour training program, is less than ideal. Honestly, this is scaring the crap out of me.

I need real advice and real answers. Do I run to my employer, who paid for this, notify the state of what's happening (OMG), ride it out and pray that they get their **** together-- whatever is currently going on, or just cut my losses, say nothing and get out, moving on to a company sponsored school to finish my training? This IS NOT the way this school typically operates! They've previously held multiple sessions of these classes for Amazon employees in Kentucky in both Lexington and Hebron with no issues.

I want out of Amazon before our peak season hits.. I can't be working tons of mandatory overtime while trying to finish school. Time is of the essence and my buyout payment is whats going to pay the bills while I'm making less $ with a company trainer, so I really can't quit my current job until ive got a certificate in hand, but I can try to get an unpaid personal leave of absence to attend a different 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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Sue, I completely agree with Brett's response.

Take a deep breath, and try to calm yourself... you don't know what is going on, so don't speculate yourself into doing something rash or hasty.

Try to be extra patient and see if they can get it together. One of the biggest mistakes people make when going to trucking school is letting their expectations of what it should be like cause them to be disappointed in the reality of what they are getting. Don't let that cause you to act irrationally.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Brett and Old School. I'm just trying to figure out a worst case plan. And that would definitely be worst as I've pretty much decided who I want to work for already, with the type of driving job I want, hometime, pay... it's all been ironed out and in writing for weeks now. I've already made arrangements for my teen at home for the 30 days when I'll be with a trainer and unable to come home, also. It would mean switching companies... everything. However, if they don't get things ironed out, I'll have to consider it. My employer certainly isn't going to pay for 2 schools.

Also.. Old School you need to return those panties immediately! You know, the ones you got hung up on your truck while blazing through that flooded yard in SC.

😃😃😃😃😃😃

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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