FL Boy Going To Iowa For CDL Training (Iowa Central Community College)

Topic 14418 | Page 1

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Alfred G.'s Comment
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I began looking into trucking 6 years back. And since I'm working around trucks now (Waste Management), I asked driver after driver about their experiences. I decided this was what I wanted to do myself considering all the factors.

I'm in Florida, and CDL schools abound. I looked, found out prices and offerings, and gratefully, I went to a good local school for a presentation. He told the truth, as many people had gone to $1000 schools, but they couldn't find jobs. We even had a guy listening to the presentation who'd gone to a $7000 school; he was still having trouble with maneuvers (lots of watching vs. driving). The one challenge for me: I needed a cosigner since the school is $5000. I began doing my CDL studying, as I wanted my permit before asking people to cosign.

Something happened during my time of waiting and studying. I prayed for guidance. I don't always, but this is a major decision, and I'd affect those closest to me; specifically, my 11 year old daughter. Well, one morning I was on the john, with my bible in front of me to Proverbs. I was NOT looking for anything specifically. My eyes caught 2 verses on 2 different pages. Both spoke of the danger of cosigning someone's debts. I thought "if it's bad for them, it might not be kosher for me either". I said "God, I think you're talking to me. If you don't want me to go into this, close the door. Otherwise, open it and give me eyes to see it".

That afternoon, I called 2 companies for sponsored training. One went to a recruiter's voicemail, and I spoke to the other. I'm in southern Florida, this company only hires out of northern Florida, but he recommended a website to keep looking (I honestly don't know it, plus I've cleared my cache numerous times since).

I checked the site for Florida jobs. And I saw a CDL school within the job listings: Iowa Central Community College's Transportation Technology Center. They train people from all over the nation constantly. But what caught my attention for this school is something I have NOT seen anywhere else yet: they take federal financial aid = no cosigner. Wow.

I stayed on the site for an hour or 2, considering all things affected. I realize I'd been given my answer. I'm almost in (still have to fax my paperwork), but I've done my financial aid paperwork and have been studying for my FL permit. I have no legal or medical barriers. Here is my list of pros:

3rd best school in the country 10 weeks of training vs. 3-4 = less fear and hustle; more thorough training Lots of OTR trips with trainers (2000 miles or more) Will be offered very good jobs upon completion due to reputation only $500 for housing (covered by financial aid) school is $5500 plus $800 for fees plus housing at $500 = $6800 6 month deferment is standard for all federal student loans Less uncertainties I'll have while out there (FL has no ice, mountains, or snow AT ALL) Plus the 3 weeks following training, you're hired on with a company for OJT, given credit for it, meaning you have some experience already for many employers.

This took so much stress off me. I've been asking questions to Jamie, the first contact, and she's been very helpful. This is my plan, and I'm heading towards it. Has anyone else been there?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

That's quite a story, Al. You do have a problem living in southern Florida. It's not easy for most companies to get you a trip back home for that precious home time. Before you fork over money (or sign on the dotted line), get Pre-hire letters from a few companies.

Those aren't a promise of a job, but they do mean a given company would be close to hiring you.

Your school quote is a bit high. First look at Company-Sponsored Training Programs and you won't be financially committed to so much dough.

Truck Driving School Listings aren't free, but check with companies that get you a pre hire letter to set if they can cover the tuition.

Your real problem, though, is that South Florida address.

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.

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.

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 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.
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