If Money Is Not An Issue....

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Dominick V.'s Comment
member avatar

Would you recommend paying your way thru CDL school so that you can keep your options open and aren't contracted to a company for x amount of months?

Or would you still attend a company sponsored CDL program?

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Would you recommend paying your way thru CDL school so that you can keep your options open and aren't contracted to a company for x amount of months?

Or would you still attend a company sponsored CDL program?

Still attend a sponsored training program. I got one on one instruction and was thrust into the lifestyle immediately. My friend went to a school and three others were in the back seat while he drover and vise versa. So he only drove 25% of the time he was there and watched others drive. Of course they all learned from each others mistakes and questions.

You should stay with the same company your first year anyway so what's the big deal? Do your research to find the one right for you if that is what you choose

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.

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.

Tastebuds's Comment
member avatar

While Rainy's view is very valid, I went the other way. I realized that while many companies offer CDL training, some good companies hire newly graduated personnel but don't offer CDL training. I wanted to keep my options open, so I paid for mine out of pocket. Some companies offer tuition reimbursement, and if I am hired by one of them, the price is a non-issue. Also, while I'm going to school, I can take care of loose ends at the house and should be on schedule to put it up for sale shortly after I'm hired.

With that being said, if you do decide to pay to go to a school, I'd HIGHLY recommend going through a Community College instead of a private school.

With that being said 2.0, there are good and bad on both sides of the coin. I'm still in school and I love it. I don't regret it at all. It boils down to it being your choice and you have to fit it in with where you are at. Most people on this board will recommend what Rainy said and, again, they're not wrong for doing so.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I would say do some research on the various companies before committing to one type of schooling or the other. You can apply for pre-hires to various companies to see who is willing to give you a shot. We have a ton of information about pre-hires here:

If you're interested in working for a company that has a training program and they'll accept you then by all means go through their program. If you're interested in working for companies that do not have their own training program then apply for a pre-hire and see who will accept you first. If you can get pre-hire letters from at least a couple of the companies you're interested in then go ahead and attend a private school and go with your company of choice. Oh, and any company you'd like to work for can give you an approved list of schools they hire from. Not all companies hire from all schools.

Here is a ton of information on choosing a school:

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.

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.

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.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

I personally did the community college route because of my GI Bill. It is financially more beneficial to me that way. By getting my CDL first it did open a lot more options for choosing a company. However, I agree with Rainy, company sponsored program perhaps may be more thorough in your training. Plus by doing a company sponsored program that company is more vested in you. Yes they get supplemental income from the government to run a school. I doubt any additional funds they get make them rich. At best they probably break even running their program. By getting your CDL first any company you go to will not have that vested interest to such a degree. You have more expectation to perform.

Let's say hypothetically a company, with their own CDL school, spends $10,000 on you for orientation, CDL training, and finishing training. During that time you have been with the company 3 months. They have $10k and 3 months vested in you. They want you to succeed so they can see a return.

Now let's say you show up with your CDL. The company you choose spends $3,000 for orientation and finishing training. At the end, you have been with the company 6 weeks. You can plainly see that they do not have near the amount of resources put into you. Plus they have tuition reimbursement. So by keeping you around it is costing them more money. Unless you are performing, they have far less incentitive to keep you.

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.

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.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

I chose Company Sponsored Training with Swift. $3900.00 Tuition. No money down. 1 year contract. $37.50 per week payroll deduction for 1 year. Swift "Matches" that payment. That totals the $3900.00 tuition. If I choose to stay with them for an additional year, they will add $37.50 per week to my paycheck for the next year, making my Schooling free. If I leave after 1 year, my Schooling only cost me $1950.00. I chose to keep my money in the bank and let Swift finance the Schooling at 0%. Also, the other "Benefit" of Company Sponsored Training is that you are virtually "Hired" when you pass the State CDL Exam. Instant Job! The bottom line is, any CDL School will give you the skills necessary to pass the State Exam and acquire your CDL A. It does not make you a Truck Driver, far from it. The Company you choose to work for will provide the One on One training with an Experienced Trainer/Mentor that will teach you the ropes, so to speak. Good luck to You!

smile.gifgood-luck.gif

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

My path was identical to Tractor's, except I attended a Swift school in Richmond.

Even if money were no object I still would have taken the same path.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I guess I'm the odd one. I chose private school, paid for it and am wrapping up second year with Schneider and they've been paying tuition reimbursement.

What should you do? What meets your needs. I wanted to get rolling quickly, making decent money, with a solid company.

All of the other Drivers that replied would probably be successful at any company. But they wisely chose the route best suited to them. I believe the key is knowing what you want and need.

When you start to perform well, it won't make much difference which medical school you attended, just that you completed the operation without killing anyone. Oh, different career. Well, same goal.

😆

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Would you recommend paying your way thru CDL school so that you can keep your options open and aren't contracted to a company for x amount of months?

Or would you still attend a company sponsored CDL program?

Didn't you like - fly down to Tampa from NY, to go to Tampa Truck Driving School already?

We kinda beat this topic into the ground with you a few weeks ago (and engaged in endless debate with TNTrucker - who turned out to be an EMPLOYEE of said school(s)).

We discussed the very expensive "private schools" - which basically only gave you around 3 weeks of "intense training", whose sole purpose was to get you your CDL (and nothing else). We discussed the more laid back pace of the Community/VoTech environment - where the training was much longer and way less expensive - whose aim (again) was simply to obtain your CDL.

We also discussed the "company in house" training - that gets you EMPLOYED AND PAID while you train, obtains your CDL and "Finishing Training" (and gets you paid), gets you real life EXPERIENCE (because the second you hit the road in company-sponsored training , you are ACTUALLY DOING THE JOB IN REAL LIFE), and doesn't talk about their "placement assistance" - because you ALREADY HAVE A JOB WITH THEM.

Have you already committed to the school in Tampa? Thought you had a PRE-HIRE already from Stevens? Didn't you have issues getting a company-sponsored hire out of NYC?

Having second thoughts? What's up Dom?

I did the County VoTech route - because I had the time/$$ to do school full-time and still run my business. The only regret I have, is that I should have gone the COMPANY ROUTE back then, when I had the OPPORTUNITY TO BREAK FREE of my business and responsibilities down here. While I have done some equipment moves for a friends company down here - I still haven't gotten to go FULL TIME OTR , because I can't get the heck out of HERE. I rent a Tractor from Penske for a couple of days, once a year or so - and bobtail around, just so my skills don't get too stale.

So WHAT'S REALLY UP DOMINIC?

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Dominick V.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the advice. I'll do some more research before I make my final decision.

I'm scheduled to enroll in Tampa Truck Driving School on 1/9 and have a prehire by Stevens Transport. Upon further review, I see that Stevens while a solid training company, offers lower than average training pay ($350/wk) and starting pay (26cpm). Although I know first year's pay isn't really what to focus on, I will be making a move at the end of the month from NYC to Tampa and going a year without decent income will effect me financially.

I spoke to a recruit at Prime and she told me that if all my info is as I claim, they should have no problem getting me into their program which offers much better training pay along with better starting cpm.

My dilemma is this... I'm moving with my wife to Tampa. Obtaining my CDL-A is something that I've always wanted to do and given Florida's low wages, its something I can do and make a decent living for myself. Problem is, I'll be away for quite a while for the first year before I'm able to land something regional or local and it'll be hard for her to get acclimated by herself in a town where she doesnt know anyone while I'm out. I know its going to take some sacrifice, but that's why I was thinking about paying my own way thru CDL school and trying to find a company who will take me straight from school that will allow me to start off regional where I can get more at home time for at least the first year while we get settled in. Is that something that you think is possible?

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Prehire:

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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