Left Training. Need Honest Input On Next Step.

Topic 12442 | Page 1

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Allen S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone, I've actually been a part of TT community for a bit now simply as someone who has always admired the trucking lifestyle from afar, and who absolutely appreciates the hard work our truckers do on a daily basis. I was lucky enough to have a really really great job with the federal govt for most of my adult life, but finally decided to take a stab at trucking because I could just NEVER get it out of my genes. Anyways, late last year I went to one of the Company Sponsored training schools that specializes in getting you up and running with your CDL in 3 weeks. It was a really awful experience for me personally. I just had a really difficult time adjusting to the training style, and even worse, I had a huge problem with the driving portion. For some strange reason, I could do all the skills test as if they were second nature, but I had a difficult time shifting (although I was pretty good in the Volvo but was absolutely abhorrent in the Freightliner in which I always seemed to end up in) In the third week, I was part of the second half of the group that was held back a few extra days while the first half went to orientation. That 3rd week Monday, I had to leave the program due to a family emergency, and I didn't go back.

So that brings me to the present. I'd really like to try again. I have the opportunity to either go with another major company that trains you one on one instead of boot camp style OR I can pay out of pocket to a longer term technical school. Although it is still an option, going back to the original Major company's training program is NOT a desire for me. Now understand, I had a roommate at the hotel who breezed through the whole program and actually got through his Mentor phase quickly and is now solo SO I'm not trying to pin the blame on the training program. The fault lies with me. I just had more of a difficult time adjusting.

So I need an honest assesment. I know many of you don't mince words, and I won't be offended with your answers. So the questions that I've formulated: If I had a really difficult time handling the quick aggressive pace of Company Sponsored Training Academy and the screaming and yelling by instructors (although they were pretty cool with me because I was struggling so much), could that be an indication that perhaps I'm NOT meant to to be a truck driver or have any of you known of someone that has had the same struggles and benefited from perhaps a change of training style/venue? If you feel that perhaps a change could be of benefit, then would you recommend Company training that involves going out on the road with a trainer? Or would you stick with a Technical school which, in this case, has a 6 week program (5 weeks behind the wheel) that's alot and I do mean alot slower paced? I tried researching my answer in the forums prior to posting but I felt that I would benefit better from all yall's customized input to my situation. Thank you all in advance. :)

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.

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.

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.

Skar Hed's Comment
member avatar

Absolutely go to a non company affiliated school. That's what I would tell anyone if they can afford it. Pay for a service (CDL preparation and instruction) and be assured of getting it, and of being treated respectfully. Once you have a CDL you can then deal with potential employers from a stronger position.

'' If I had a really difficult time handling the quick aggressive pace of Company Sponsored Training Academy and the screaming and yelling by instructors (although they were pretty cool with me because I was struggling so much), could that be an indication that perhaps I'm NOT meant to to be a truck driver ''

That by itself is just an indication that you weren't meant to be in their training academy. Nothing more. That training academy ain't the job.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

And I was going to say the opposite. Perhaps the school males a differenece. I have three friends that went to local school. Which in NJ is $4000 to $6000 easy. Two of them can't find good paying jobs because companies want the miles and experience. The one went to two schools and he said both sucked. After finding out about my great experience he is coming to Prime.

If you go local and pay are you going to share one instructor with 10 students? How much drive timw and backing time will YOU get. My friend goes to class four hours a week and only gets about 45 min of time. Is that with the money?

Also... you said instructors yell??? Ih.. no not happening at my company. Trainersight get frustrated but I have 3 different trainers....and NONR of them would yell or curse Prime stresses respect. Good luck in all you do

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
could that be an indication that perhaps I'm NOT meant to to be a truck driver or have any of you known of someone that has had the same struggles and benefited from perhaps a change of training style/venue?

Well it's impossible to say for sure if you'll ever enjoy trucking as a profession because we don't know you well enough as a person. But almost anyone can learn the necessary skills if they're determined enough to stick with it so it's almost a certainty that you're plenty capable of doing it.

Whether or not someone is meant to be a truck driver normally isn't about whether or not they can learn to handle a rig. It normally comes down to whether or not they can handle the environment. It's a risky job that requires a sense of adventure and a willingness to risk your own life and be responsible for the lives of those around you every single day. Your sleep schedule is erratic, you're often working 70 hour weeks, you're not treated very well most of the time by the general public you're serving, and you spend almost all of your time either alone or surrounded by strangers far away from home. Quite simply, you have to be willing to go far beyond what most jobs would ever ask of a person to make it in this industry.

If you're willing to stick it out and keep at it then I certainly think you should. We have seen many, many people come through here that struggled mightily during their training but then went on to do a fantastic job and have enjoyed their careers immensely. But, a big part of their success was a newfound understanding of what it's going to take from them as a person to make it in this industry. They figured out they're going to have to handle the pressure better, they're going to have to have a much thicker skin, and they're going to have to learn to accept a lot of things that are far less than ideal, and that includes the personalities they'll come across along the way.

If you feel that perhaps a change could be of benefit, then would you recommend Company training that involves going out on the road with a trainer? Or would you stick with a Technical school which, in this case, has a 6 week program (5 weeks behind the wheel) that's alot and I do mean alot slower paced?

I think you might enjoy the technical school more, assuming they have instructors with pleasant personalities and a little slower pace. But don't make those assumptions because there are plenty of private schools with miserable instructors and a face-paced environment. Paying cash up front for a private school does not assure you of a pleasant experience.

The other concern I have is that I don't want you to get the impression that you came across some extraordinarily difficult circumstances at school. You said it yourself - you knew people that breezed through the program without too much trouble. So the school itself wasn't the issue even though they had instructors that were far less than pleasant. You're going to come across people every day of your life in this career that are far less than pleasant. You have to be able to deal with that kind of stuff. You should have been able to get through that schooling just fine, but you didn't. So if you want to be successful the next time around you have to make some changes to your approach.

So I would say consider a private school but go for a visit first and speak with the students that are currently attending and get the inside scoop. Don't assume anything. But I would also qualify that statement with this - you have to toughen up at the same time. Don't doubt yourself. Don't let miserable people derail your efforts. Don't think for a moment you can afford to be kinda soft and seek out the easier, gentler path in this industry because there isn't one. It's all difficult no matter what driving job you have.

Struggling with the driving part doesn't concern me much at all. Not everyone catches on at the same pace and historically that hasn't been much of an indicator of the success you'll have out there. You'll pick up the driving skills. The question is whether or not you have the personality for it. If you feel you're ready to give it another shot then by God you certainly should. Fall back, regroup, rearm, and go get em again.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

In light of your situation I want to give you my opinion based on my own experience.

I've always wanted to be a truck driver and my desire goes back to my early childhood. Back in the 70s, I enlisted in the Army National Guard and my MOS was "light and heavy vehicle operator" which was basically a truck driver. I enlisted because I was too young to get into truck driver's school. Needless to say, fast forward to now. Back in October, my husband called it to my attention that the school bus driving that I was doing was having a negative effect on me and that he thought I should try to achieve my dream. I knew what he was talking about and time stood still for just a moment.

I immediately started looking for a school. Decided on Interstate Truck Driving School in South St. Paul, MN. I signed up for the 160 hours course which consists of a minimum of a 100 hours of classroom and coursework AND 60 hours of simulator, backing practice on my own, backing with an instructor, behind-the-wheel, pre test behind-the-wheel and ultimately the CDL road test. Like I said, the 160 hours is a minimum that most trucking companies are looking for when they're considering hiring a graduate of a truck driving school. Also, a big seller about this school was the effort they put into assisting in job placement. Before I even started class on Nov. 16, I already had one pre-hire letter and three more in the works.

As a veteran myself....I did end up paying my own because I'm not post/911 but most truck companies offer tuition reimbursement so you basically are repaid for the cost of your school. Plus depending on your situation, sometimes there are other programs, like YMCA or your state's Workforce Center that will pay for school. It depends solely on your situation.

Never once did I feel stupid for asking questions throughout my classroom or driving time. And I feel I have had sufficient time to prepare for the road test, which by the way is tomorrow, Jan. 15th. If I had felt I needed more time in any part of the classroom or driving, all I would have needed to do was speak up and ask for more time. I was told that one student had actually put in 300 hours to accomplish his goal of becoming a truck driver.

I have a job already with Werner. And yes, I did question the recruiter about going that far to say that. Because the pre-hire letter is just an invitation from a company to go to their orientation and it not a job offer. He told me, that I have a job period. So when I leave for orientation in early February I'll be bringing down, in addition to other paperwork, my school transcript and school completion certificate.

So in researching a school to go to- I work suggest that you also look into if they offer assistance with job placement. Like I said, once I toured the school the admissions person gave me a folder about the school and included in that was a two-sided sheet of paper listing companies that are hiring graduates right out of school. The list had all the contact information for a specific company including their website and recruiter name.

I'm going for my DREAM.

As far as the shifting, and yes I have struggled with that too. I found a 3 pt. series of videos on youtube.com Do a search for "Double Clutching 101" by yourboyetrucker. Great help for me, especially the second video where he shows the steps for up shifting and down shifting. I took notes while watching and actually wrote each process on a sticky note and would take them with for sim time and driving time to remind me of the sequence. For up shifting, I say to myself "clutch neutral, clutch shift" or "1,2" and for down shifting I say to myself "clutch neutral, REV, clutch shift" or "1 2, 3". The videos really did make a difference for me and I have recommended them to my other classmates that have told me they're struggling and they have come back and told me that the videos really helped them out. And yes, I have seen these videos recommended elsewhere in this forum. I have found a additional resources on www.truckingtruth.com which is a website that was recommended to me through school. Check it out, it is free.

Where there's a will, there's a way. And like another person commented, the school you choose doesn't define you as how you'll be truck driving. There are many different personalities in anybody working with the public and unfortunately some people get in the position to teach that shouldn't be there. Keep what information you can use and benefit from and let the rest go. As a school bus driver, I learned to never take anything personal. It's not that I don't care, but I have to take care of Number 1 and that's me.

I wish you the best and if there's any questions you have, feel free to message me.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.

Pre-hire:

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.

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.

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

Let's start with the shifting... Volvos shift better then freightliners so that was probably part of your problem... Everyone struggles with shifting in the beginning... Just search here on this site keywords problem shifting and kick back and read how everyone struggled but ended up passing... You can to...

Company-Sponsored Training is a fast paced environment and not for everyone so if you think you need a slower paced course check out Truck Driving Schools. . I went to two company sponsored programs and passed both of them and was treated with respect all the way through and don't think I seen or heard anyone being yelled at or disrespected...

Never give up... If you want something bad enough you will find a way to make it happen... I wish you the best of luck...

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.

Lynn V., Unwritten's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

could that be an indication that perhaps I'm NOT meant to to be a truck driver or have any of you known of someone that has had the same struggles and benefited from perhaps a change of training style/venue?

double-quotes-end.png

Well it's impossible to say for sure if you'll ever enjoy trucking as a profession because we don't know you well enough as a person. But almost anyone can learn the necessary skills if they're determined enough to stick with it so it's almost a certainty that you're plenty capable of doing it.

Whether or not someone is meant to be a truck driver normally isn't about whether or not they can learn to handle a rig. It normally comes down to whether or not they can handle the environment. It's a risky job that requires a sense of adventure and a willingness to risk your own life and be responsible for the lives of those around you every single day. Your sleep schedule is erratic, you're often working 70 hour weeks, you're not treated very well most of the time by the general public you're serving, and you spend almost all of your time either alone or surrounded by strangers far away from home. Quite simply, you have to be willing to go far beyond what most jobs would ever ask of a person to make it in this industry.

If you're willing to stick it out and keep at it then I certainly think you should. We have seen many, many people come through here that struggled mightily during their training but then went on to do a fantastic job and have enjoyed their careers immensely. But, a big part of their success was a newfound understanding of what it's going to take from them as a person to make it in this industry. They figured out they're going to have to handle the pressure better, they're going to have to have a much thicker skin, and they're going to have to learn to accept a lot of things that are far less than ideal, and that including the personalities they'll come across along the way.

double-quotes-start.png

If you feel that perhaps a change could be of benefit, then would you recommend Company training that involves going out on the road with a trainer? Or would you stick with a Technical school which, in this case, has a 6 week program (5 weeks behind the wheel) that's alot and I do mean alot slower paced?

double-quotes-end.png

I think you might enjoy the technical school more, assuming they have instructors with pleasant personalities and a little slower pace. But don't make those assumptions because there are plenty of private schools with miserable instructors and a face-paced environment. Paying cash up front for a private school does not assure you of a pleasant experience.

The other concern I have is that I don't want you to get the impression that you came across some extraordinarily difficult circumstances at school. You said it yourself - you knew people that breezed through the program without too much trouble. So the school itself wasn't the issue even though they had instructors that were far less than pleasant. You're going to come across people every day of your life in this career that are far less than pleasant. You have to be able to deal with that kind of stuff. You should have been able to get through that schooling just fine, but you didn't. So if you want to be successful the next time around you have to make some changes to your approach.

So I would say consider a private school but go for a visit first and speak with the students that are currently attending and get the inside scoop. Don't assume anything. But I would also qualify that statement with this - you have to toughen up at the same time. Don't doubt yourself. Don't let miserable people derail your efforts. Don't think for a moment you can afford to be kinda soft and seek out the easier, gentler path in this industry because there isn't one. It's all difficult no matter what driving job you have.

Struggling with the driving part doesn't concern me much at all. Not everyone catches on at the same pace and historically that hasn't been much of an indicator of the success you'll have out there. You'll pick up the driving skills. The question is whether or not you have the personality for it. If you feel you're ready to give it another shot then by God you certainly should. Fall back, regroup, rearm, and go get em again.

I appreciate your insight and you have given me much to think about.

I think that with the support of my husband, family, my school and the wealth of information I have found here on TruckingTruth. I WILL be fine. I've been driving school bus since 1989, so with a 12 year sabbatical but still keeping my CDL , I drove for 15 years. It too is stressful and I'm hoping that with my experiences there that I have a grip on the possible, yet certain stresses of my chosen lifestyle/profession.

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
I have found a additional resources on www.truckingtruth.com which is a website that was recommended to me through school. Check it out, it is free.

I've don't believe we've ever had someone come here to recommend our site to one of our visitors. Thank you!

smile.gif

Lynn V., Unwritten's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I have found a additional resources on www.truckingtruth.com which is a website that was recommended to me through school. Check it out, it is free.

double-quotes-end.png

I've don't believe we've ever had someone come here to recommend our site to one of our visitors. Thank you!

smile.gif

No, THANK YOU Brett ~ Hey, when I find something great that works wonders for me, I spread the word about it to others Brett. On my CDL school's website - interstatedriving.com, if you click on New Students and then on Permit Test Prep, there in the last sentence is a link to your website AND if click on Resources, there's also a link to your website. So with me going ahead and checking out your website, I found tons of info that I found very useful, first off in preparing for my permit tests and second, the forums 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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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