Smith & Soloman School

Topic 13083 | Page 1

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Robert P.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow what great forum . Ask and you will get feedback. I am new and want to make informed decisions regarding training. Went over and spoke with Smith & Solomon recruiters yesterday. The pricing is ok, seems to be in line with most other company sponsored training. Except they are not a driving company simply a school. Even though they boast that they will provide job placement (they have various Trucking company recruiters come in ). Anybody have any feedback pro & or con about going with them for my CDL training. Thank you Robert

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Private trucking schools really give no guarantees of placement. Their purpose is to help you obtain a CDL Class A.

Conversely - if you get on with one of the "Training Companies" (Prime, Swift, etc.), upon completion of training you WILL HAVE A JOB.

Many people find this advantageous over making the financial commitment to a private school, with no idea whether or not you can get hired on afterwards.

Even after graduation from one of these schools - you are still going to have to do "finishing training" OTR with any company that takes "recent grads", as again, these schools are geared towards obtaining your CDL ONLY - and really teach nothing about operating as a CMV Driver over the road.

Rick

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Completely agree with Rick here:

Check these links out:

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

Trucking Company Reviews

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.

Robert P.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Rick & G Town, I know your right about just being trained with S&S to get the CDL. I was wondering if anyone has trained with Smith & Soloman. Are they a reputable company as far as their promise to help the grads find a" Job"? I do like the CSL trucking 20 /10 plan I've read about, but was going to try and stay close to home here in South Jersey to be able to get the training done and then find a job. I know I can do this my records clean ,and I am confident I will be able to pass the test. I realize that I have much to learn and know real world training is the true teacher. I would love to go 100%OTR but can't do it to start at this time. Until then looking to drive regional or local. Seem's like most of the company's that you speak of only do OTR. Do I have the option to ask for a 20/10 plan when training is done with Prime or Swift. Robert

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Robert, Most (not all) companies will require you to train OTR; away from home for 5-6 weeks. Not sure of CSL Trucking's training policy of if they hire entry level drivers. I drive for Swift Dedicated, and not aware of any 20/10 plan.

Good luck.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I live in South hersey.. and a decade ago they were good. I know 3 ppl who went there recently. ... can't find d jib.. can't pass the test and find it a total waste of 6k. Plus the recruiter lied and told my friend there was no way I was driving otr so quickly. . So I sent my qualcomm pics. Ask around. ... but as stated... my friend can't find a decent paying job cause he never went otr. Go to a company sponsored and get it free

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Robert P.'s Comment
member avatar

Randy thank you for the heads up certainly will look further. Where did you school? The price they (S&S) quoted me was $3700 plus I have to pay the NJ permit $125.00. My concern is going away and having to cover cost of training along with hotel and food. I know company will front you the training but you end up having to pay them back with a 8-12 contract. who are you driving for and do you like the company and the OTR Life? Thank You Robert

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

I can't speak for that school, but I went to a private trucking school and got hired straight out of school with no problems. What I would suggest before committing to that school I'd to find out what companies will hire students from that school and research then to see if you want to work for them. Or if you have a specific company in mind, find out if they hire students from that school.

Sam the Wrestler's Comment
member avatar

In nosing around, I have found that a lot of companies that hire recent grads, have what schools they accept grads from. Just a thought.

DaveDiesel's Comment
member avatar
Except they are not a driving company simply a school. Even though they boast that they will provide job placement (they have various Trucking company recruiters come in ).

If you are interested in attending a private school, it's a good idea to obtain some pre-hire letters before you enroll.

Pre-hire letters article

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.

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