Private Trucking School Or Company Training

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Pretty Boy's Comment
member avatar

Hello fellow truckers. I am battling with a topic that I need some SERIOUS feedback on,and I firmly trust the views and opinions of fellow truckers here on this page/site. I'm torn between paying out of pocket ($4,000) for CDL school (TWIC and HAZMAT included with price) or choosing one of the "Starter Companies/Schools" to obtain my CDL'S. I have seen many posts,YouTube videos,etc and I have been spoken to 3 recruiters regarding my options. I understand the fact of paying my dues OTR(Not a problem),but I would like to hear some one else's opinion who may have paid out of pocket vs going somewhere like Swift,C.R. England,PAM,PRIME,etc. Any info regarding this matter will be greatly considered! I plan on making a final decision on leaving my job of 7yrs next month to obtain my CDLs,and I know the decision of what I'm contemplating will be a hard one to chew on!! So please advise me with your most "UNBIASED" opinion,as it will help me decide definitely if I should keep my $4,000 or go to some company sponsored training/company since I know you have to go OTR for at least 2yrs to be ome experienced. Thanks...

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

I personally went to a private school (I didn't pay for it but got a state grant) and would recommend it to anyone. The two things that sold me were 1. I was able to somewhat set my own pace for training. I had a test date scheduled but went to the instructors and said I don't feel ready to test. They immediately rescheduled my test for s week later and focused on where I felt like I was lacking. 2. Because I chose a private school, I was able to pick the company that I wanted to work for. I had 6 pre hires and was able to choose which company was going to work best for me and my life without having to worry about being in a contract.

Given, this is just my opinion and I'm sure that there are plenty out there who have had great experiences with company training. Hope this helps!

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.

Pre Hires:

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.

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.

Pretty Boy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks ChickieMonster! I had visited 2 local schools within minutes of my home,and both schools stated that if I attend,I basically can write my own check to say the least. But upon further research,I have found that some,if not many people who have done the same ended up going to one of those training schools because of not having the minimum experience needed. I would love to go to a Private school (21days), but I'm terrified about not receiving/obtaining a job right away!! I was told to start my Pre-hire applications once I enroll,but most of the companies that accept new drivers have their own training schools. And I was thinking,I could keep my $$$$$ in my pocket (I'm gonna need it for my first year in the business) and apply at one of those Company sponsored schools,and have a job immediately after obtaining my CDLs. I know that if you come into the business as a New driver already having your CDLs,you can start making .29-.42 cents per mile. If you go to Company Sponsored training ,you share miles for 2-6mos and your checks are $250-400wk. I just want to make the wisest decision possible with all the info here,along with the knowledge and strong factual opinions of the other drivers here at TruckingTruth.com. Thanks and I appreciate your input ChickieMonster

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.

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.

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.
I Hustle''s Comment
member avatar

I wanted to learn truck, I decided to go with Crst, best decision ive ever made. 2 week crash course and i had my lisence!! It's when you finally hit the road for 30 days with a trainer you'll be "more" ready to be on your own. I wanted local to be with my family, I researched everywhere and found that most good local jobs require a minimum of 1yr exp. At Crst they have the quickest contract (10 mths I think it is now). 4weeks out/5 days home. My first trainer let divers laugh at me when learning to back, he didn't help me with anything, most trainers everywhere are o/o and they just wanna hurry up and cross coast to coast to make money. Well, back in my home terminal after 1 horrible week with the walking dead, I fired his azz!! Crst just invested a lot into me, they weren't gonna just let me go because my trainer and I didn't get along, so they set me up with another. Thank you Lord for that man, he cared, he wanted me to learn just as eager I wanted to myself, I've always given everything I've done 120%.

Wtf: long story short, you need time on the road, learn the ins and outs, might as well take advantage of a 10mth course, that's practically free!!

Crst= get in, get out. +Hazmat

Advise=get all endorsements, pay around in the industry until you find what you like, buy your own truck never lp and make real money one day, stick out your contact, Crst will honor you everywhere, everybody will give you a job once Crst vouches for you, they vouch for you in a matter of minutes when you apply to different companies. "Yea Chickie, we know that guy. He's the shyt, let me forward you all his info, and you may wanna give him the job, he finished his contract." HaHa

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

I Hustle''s Comment
member avatar

$250-400 a week??!!?? I've heard CR England made that kind of money, but when I attended Crst I always made a healthy paycheck, low $550 high $800.. They have great contracts, your running Fed ex, Conway, Estes express, Ups, Yellow, Railroad. No other companies have those kind of contracts. It's called air freight, pick up at one terminal and drop at the other one cross country. But you have to make your appointment times or they'll cut your azz off air freight immediately!! That's why you better find a co driver that's just as eager as you to run 10hr minimum shifts and make some good money!!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pretty Boy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks I Hustle', I too had spoke with a recruiter from CRST and I have to make up my mind about which company/school to choose. I heard back from Driver Solutions/PAM Transport and have a tentitive date set to leave on April 25 to arrive at their school. I would like to drive Flatbed for TMC,but I have to aquire my CDLS first,and they only reemburse $1500 of my school tuition (I'm paying out of pocket). They have a $100 sign on bonus as well for new hires,and I spoke to them about a Pre-hire pending obtaining my Class A's. Thanks for giving me a little more incite to CRST I Huslte',because I also have looked into them as well. Thanks

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.

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.

I Hustle''s Comment
member avatar

Whatever you decide brother, good luck out there!!! Take it easy, you'll get better and better with time. And don't ever lose your spark to learn more and more.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

I went to a local community college to obtain my CDL. I would recommend this route over any to anyone who is financially stable enough. Most companies will have tuition reimbursement to pay you back for whatever you spent out of pocket. The difference with the community college was that it was a lot more slower paced. I was able to keep a full time job while attending school. I was able to get a lot more driving time and backing practice in. We also spent a good amount of time on logbooks and trip planning. These are all things that you don't typically get much time on with company sponsored training. My trainer at Crete Carrier even pointed out that my skills were better than most of the students he had had on board. I owe all of it to my teacher and experience from going to the community college.

You can read about the cost and details of my experience on a thread I started back then called Follow Me to CDL School! If you have any questions about my community college route please feel free to reply or private 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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

Pretty Boy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Anchorman. I was going to try a Local trucking school here in Delaware which has a really good program from what I've seen through my research. I spoke with the actual owner who operates the school,which had been a Trucker himself for over 30yrs. He also advised that he would throw in the Hazmat as well as the much needed TWIC card included in the tuition to his school. The cost was $4500,but upon showing him that I already had a head start with previously aquiring a DOT medical card,a spotless criminal record,as well as a spotless driving record,he dropped the price (in writing) to $4000!!! He stated that I am "Very Marketable" in this industry and would love to have me in his school! Now I know he also recruits for his own business,but what caught my eye was he is a direct training facility that solely offers TWIC,and others dont. The TWIC office is footsteps from his front door! It's looking like I may choose to attend private school,but that small fear of possibly not finding anything quick due to experience still haunts the back of my mind,and knowing that if I end up at a Company sponsored school for a job,I would have wasted the $4000,because most companies only pay a small amount for tuition reimbursement. Thanks for your link and info Anchorman

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar
It's looking like I may choose to attend private school,but that small fear of possibly not finding anything quick due to experience still haunts the back of my mind...

As long as you are being offered a legitimate 160 hour training course then you should have no problem finding a job in the end. You can call some of the companies that you are interested in and give them the name of the school to verify that they hire graduates from there.

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.

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