Newbie Seeking Imput: "free" CDL Training With Companies

Topic 13842 | Page 1

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Alfred G.'s Comment
member avatar

This is my first post here. My name's Alfred, and I'm looking into trucking. I am working for peanuts currently (though my bills are paid), yet I'm moving towards getting my CDL-A. I'm working for Waste Management as a temp (not driving), and I'm looking at returning within a year as an experienced driver. I know I'll have to do some time OTR.

I looked into 3 local schools. My biggest block is my credit. Trucking schools don't use federal financial aid, so I'd be dependent on my personal credit. It's not too good, not too bad.

And I looked into company sponsored CDL schooling. I called Swift first, but they're not recruiting in FL, my home state. I looked into Prime and CRST too....and CRST seems more attractive to me, mostly since a recruiter called and texted me (just being honest :-) ) However, I'm curious if team driving, CRST's norm, is best for me or not. I think it'd be nice, but TT's founder did not advise team driving for new drivers. Can someone explain the "not so obvious" reasons?

And more simply: it doesn't truly matter which company I'm working to train with. I've looked over the company sponsored CDL training page (though I've not looked over every company). I'll relook once I've posted this.

I am open to feedback. I've eyed CRST simply since.....it's an open door. I'll take any cues here.

Thank you all for your help, as this forum offers a LOT of help.

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.

deezo's Comment
member avatar

This is my first post here. My name's Alfred, and I'm looking into trucking. I am working for peanuts currently (though my bills are paid), yet I'm moving towards getting my CDL-A. I'm working for Waste Management as a temp (not driving), and I'm looking at returning within a year as an experienced driver. I know I'll have to do some time OTR.

I looked into 3 local schools. My biggest block is my credit. Trucking schools don't use federal financial aid, so I'd be dependent on my personal credit. It's not too good, not too bad.

And I looked into company sponsored CDL schooling. I called Swift first, but they're not recruiting in FL, my home state. I looked into Prime and CRST too....and CRST seems more attractive to me, mostly since a recruiter called and texted me (just being honest :-) ) However, I'm curious if team driving, CRST's norm, is best for me or not. I think it'd be nice, but TT's founder did not advise team driving for new drivers. Can someone explain the "not so obvious" reasons?

And more simply: it doesn't truly matter which company I'm working to train with. I've looked over the company sponsored CDL training page (though I've not looked over every company). I'll relook once I've posted this.

I am open to feedback. I've eyed CRST simply since.....it's an open door. I'll take any cues here.

Thank you all for your help, as this forum offers a LOT of help.

Hey I just finished going through Prime's training program and am waiting in the hotel for my company trainer right now. I have heard bad things about CRST but I don't know, maybe I just got bad information. CRST, Swift, Prime, and CR England were the companies I was choosing between when I was in your spot a few weeks ago; I ended up choosing Prime in the end. I came in never driving a manual in my life and knowing nothing of trucks/trucking. I had a good recruiter who would text me and stuff, the hotel, food, and bus fare was all paid for. After 1 year you are free of any payment for the training program, there is a 7 day grace period if you decide trucking isn't for you. I think I made the right choice

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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

There's another current thread that includes thoughts on Team Driving.

Alfred G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey I just finished going through Prime's training program and am waiting in the hotel for my company trainer right now. I have heard bad things about CRST but I don't know, maybe I just got bad information. CRST, Swift, Prime, and CR England were the companies I was choosing between when I was in your spot a few weeks ago; I ended up choosing Prime in the end. I came in never driving a manual in my life and knowing nothing of trucks/trucking. I had a good recruiter who would text me and stuff, the hotel, food, and bus fare was all paid for. After 1 year you are free of any payment for the training program, there is a 7 day grace period if you decide trucking isn't for you. I think I made the right choice

Thanks. I'm looking at Prime now. I'd originally dismissed it for one reason: being away from home (and my daughter) for a full year. But even on their site it says one can pull out in 6 months if needed (and they'll have some tuition reimbursement though). I originally told her 6-8 months I'd be gone, so I'm looking at them now. CRST says 10 months minimum, no alternatives.

Also, I looked up the team driving reading: it did ask some good questions. Team driving may make some choices less possible with a stranger. I'm grateful I was given that reading.

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.

Terminal Rat ( aka...J's Comment
member avatar

Alfred, you're not gone for a full year or even 6 - 8 months, that is just your commitment to the company. You can basically get home time, ranging everywhere from a couple of weeks out, to 3 or 4 weeks out and you usually get 1 day of home time for ever week you are out on the road. If you are out on the road for two weeks you get 2 days at home, out three weeks, you get 3 days at home and so forth.

JJ

Michael C.'s Comment
member avatar

Most of the schools will let you get a loan through them even with bad credit Due to the fact that both of the companies reimburse you for your schooling. I don't know how close you are to Truck Driver Institute in Florida but I do know they allow you to take out a student loan through them with a cosigner. Your co-signer can be your wife. Try talking to a few of the schools and tell them about your financial situation and they will tell you what you can do.

Alfred G.'s Comment
member avatar

Question about Prime I'm considering:

Will I be strongly advised/pushed into a lease once finished with my trainer?

I ask since I read this from Ranting Warrior:

"It turns out there was a catch. This trucking company offered me schooling if I stayed with them for a year, a free bus ride to the state of the school, advance money for food and housing, and they would pay for the CDL fee. Well hot damn - I was there!! I wouldnt even need to bring my bank card. But wait....you get all that alright, but after training, you are only a company driver for 6 months, at which time they offer you a leasing deal. If you refuse the lease to become your own boss, than they can not guarantee you a company driver position, which means you will be 6 months short of paying off the schooling. Which means you had better find another job ASAP. I dont know too much about the whole leasing thing, but I do know its not for me. I think the lease they were offering was anywhere from $690-$900 a week depending on the truck. In a business I know next to nothing about, I do not want to risk it. Brett has a great article on leasing called So You're Thinking About Becoming An Owner Operator?, and I agree 100% with him. You should check it out."

I am looking into Prime currently, so I'm wondering if I should be aware of this myself.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

deezo's Comment
member avatar

Question about Prime I'm considering:

Will I be strongly advised/pushed into a lease once finished with my trainer?

I ask since I read this from Ranting Warrior:

"It turns out there was a catch. This trucking company offered me schooling if I stayed with them for a year, a free bus ride to the state of the school, advance money for food and housing, and they would pay for the CDL fee. Well hot damn - I was there!! I wouldnt even need to bring my bank card. But wait....you get all that alright, but after training, you are only a company driver for 6 months, at which time they offer you a leasing deal. If you refuse the lease to become your own boss, than they can not guarantee you a company driver position, which means you will be 6 months short of paying off the schooling. Which means you had better find another job ASAP. I dont know too much about the whole leasing thing, but I do know its not for me. I think the lease they were offering was anywhere from $690-$900 a week depending on the truck. In a business I know next to nothing about, I do not want to risk it. Brett has a great article on leasing called So You're Thinking About Becoming An Owner Operator?, and I agree 100% with him. You should check it out."

I am looking into Prime currently, so I'm wondering if I should be aware of this myself.

I haven't made it as far as that guy but they haven't forced lease on me at all. In fact they hardly even mentioned it, just left it up to me to choose. I think the guy in that review is more of an isolated incident. Once you get your class A cdl you are officially a Prime employee and move on to the next part of the training, the company training. I don't want to lease either and plan on sticking to my own no-lease policy; if Prime decides to screw me over in 6 months then so be it, I will find another 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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I went solo 2 months ago this week. I was told I would not be allowed a condo and I would be pressured to lease. Both were lies. I am a company driver and did NOT get the lighyweight. They made me wait an extra day for the condo to come in. Big deal! As far as the lease they said one time "are you planning to go compnay or l3ase? Oh company... here's your form for your truck"

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