Company Training And Licensing: Whats The Catch?

Topic 11038 | Page 1

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Matthew G.'s Comment
member avatar

Me again. The Poverty kid. Anyways, Still looking at this option. Waiting until February of next year to give myself plenty of time to think.

So being that I work minimum wage I obviously would not be able to afford a pay to win CDL school. I take it the license is hard to obtain if you just go the "Get a book and take the test" route. And even if you do that I read that it is hard to get hired with no point of reference for the company.

But there has to be a catch to the free CDL courses sponsored by the companies. What are those catches? Do you have to sign a contract saying that you will work there a year? Do you get stuck with the worst and longest and most dangerous routes if you do this? I can't imagine they would train you without some guarantee, even if the industry has a 100% turnover rate. What am I -really- buying by getting the license from the company?

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Matthew. I wouldn't say there's a catch but you do make a deal with the company. The deal is they will train you and pay for that training up front. You will in turn agree to work for the company for a specified amount of time, normally around 8-12 months. That way they can recoup their investment in you.

Company-Sponsored Training really is a great opportunity. Many people do not have the cash to pay for their entire schooling up front, and truck driving schools rarely qualify for Federally backed student loans because the courses are so short.

Here is some reading that will help you understand how these programs work and help you determine which type of training suits you the best:

Private Schooling Versus Company-Sponsored: The Basic Differences

What You Need To Know Before Choosing A Truck Driving School

Article Category: Choosing A Truck Driving School

Truckers Career Guide Chapter 4: Choosing A Truck Driving 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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I take it the license is hard to obtain if you just go the "Get a book and take the test" route. And even if you do that I read that it is hard to get hired with no point of reference for the company.

You're right on both accounts. You definitely do not want to try to go that route.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Do you have to sign a contract saying that you will work there a year? Do you get stuck with the worst and longest and most dangerous routes if you do this?

Do you watch Ice Road Truckers? Those routes are "the worst and longest and most dangerous routes" but they don't go to rookies.

Your driver training has nothing to do with what business you get when you start out. But the dispatcher wants to know if you can handle the job, so all new drivers start out slow.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It's a great way to go if you don't have the money for cdl school, and is still good even if you do. I went through Prime's cdl training program and have had a successful first year.

The company training you has an interest in you doing well, they are looking for drivers. Your dispatcher or fleet manager gets paid by mileage/loads just like you do, so they want you to run and be successful.

There's no real catch other than you are agreeing to work for one year or pay X amount for the training you recieved.

I've made my year already and my wife is going through the program now so we can team, I cant find any reason to leave. I've been treated pretty well here.

I'm sure the other mega's programs are very similiar, with small variances between them regarding pay, home time, freight lanes, etc...

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.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Boomshaker E.'s Comment
member avatar

Most company paid training programs will require you to either pay them back or give them some time in service back to them.

Example: C.R. England...... will pay for your schooling up front. In the Philly area they have a fast track program. C.R. E. gives you 3 weeks to pass the course. At which time you either pass or fail. If you pass you will get your Class A. However, before school starts you will sign about 10 pages worth of paperwork. (no lie, I know this personally) The course costs $6,000.00. BUT, they sell this contract to a financing firm. After interest the total cost is $9, 585.00. You also sign a promise note to drive for them for 9 months. Should you choose not to drive for them or do not fulfill the total 9 months you will be obligated to pay them back the 10g's and you are barred from working for any other company they deem as their competitors for those 9 months. They also state in their contract if they find out you are working for another company they can go after you in court, and get that company to dump you because of the contract you signed.

So a word of caution. Before you chose any company paid programs. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Matthew G.'s Comment
member avatar

Most company paid training programs will require you to either pay them back or give them some time in service back to them.

Example: C.R. England...... will pay for your schooling up front. In the Philly area they have a fast track program. C.R. E. gives you 3 weeks to pass the course. At which time you either pass or fail. If you pass you will get your Class A. However, before school starts you will sign about 10 pages worth of paperwork. (no lie, I know this personally) The course costs $6,000.00. BUT, they sell this contract to a financing firm. After interest the total cost is $9, 585.00. You also sign a promise note to drive for them for 9 months. Should you choose not to drive for them or do not fulfill the total 9 months you will be obligated to pay them back the 10g's and you are barred from working for any other company they deem as their competitors for those 9 months. They also state in their contract if they find out you are working for another company they can go after you in court, and get that company to dump you because of the contract you signed.

So a word of caution. Before you chose any company paid programs. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS.

So if I'm reading this correctly C.R. England (The company on the top of my list) does not charge you anything if you drive for them for 9 months? Or do you have to drive for 9 months AND pay them back the 10 grand? If you have to pay them back is it in installments, or do you have to drive for free for X amount of time till that unpaid work equals 10,000$?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Boomshaker E.'s Comment
member avatar

So if I'm reading this correctly C.R. England (The company on the top of my list) does not charge you anything if you drive for them for 9 months? Or do you have to drive for 9 months AND pay them back the 10 grand? If you have to pay them back is it in installments, or do you have to drive for free for X amount of time till that unpaid work equals 10,000$?

You pay for nothing out of your pocket up front. The only thing you pay for is the General Knowledge and air-brake test at your local DMV. And your DOT physical. (which is only a few bucks) After you pass and go to work for them, they will take out around 45-50 bucks per pay until your contract is paid off. They state that after 9months you are paid off. To me the math doesn't add up. What is not clear is, what do you have to pay back if you leave before the 9 months? ONLY what you haven't paid off by working for them, or the entire 10grand? I couldn't get a straight answer from them. And that is why I dropped their ass like a bad habit.

But please do not let me talk you out of working for them. You have to go and ask all the questions you can. You have to feel comfortable for yourself brother. If i can remember anything else, I'll post it up so you can ask.

P.S. my information is less then a week old. Just dealt with them.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Boomshaker is taking about one company - CRE. No one will teach you for free.

Swift signs you up for school, the contract is $4,400, tuition, transportation and hotel. (Not food)

The tuition's $4 grand is interest free. If you drive for Swift for 12 months they do this thing: they deduct I don't know how much from your paychecks for 12 months. I believe it's not even the $4,400. That's for 12 months. BUT at the same time, if you're driving, they pay you on each paycheck, for two years.

This bottom line is: after one year, your tuition is paid off. After two years, they pay it all back to you.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Boomshaker is taking about one company - CRE. No one will teach you for free.

Swift signs you up for school, the contract is $4,400, tuition, transportation and hotel. (Not food)

The tuition's $4 grand is interest free. If you drive for Swift for 12 months they do this thing: they deduct I don't know how much from your paychecks for 12 months. I believe it's not even the $4,400. That's for 12 months. BUT at the same time, if you're driving, they pay you on each paycheck, for two years.

This bottom line is: after one year, your tuition is paid off. After two years, they pay it all back to you.

Swift will deduct $37.50 each week during the first year ($1950 total), during the second year $37.50 will be added to the weekly take-home pay.

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