No Team Driving In Company Sponsored CDL Training?

Topic 23156 | Page 1

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Zoen M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi there everyone. I've just joined this forum as a guy who is interested in the possibility of trucking as a career. I'm in my 40's and in college, but I've found I can't afford to finish. A real bummer.... but I have a couple of friends who have gotten into this industry and they really do well for themselves. I've been scouting around companies like Roehl, Prime, Swift, and KLLM for company-paid CDL training, but I recently became aware that some of these companies do team driving during company training, after the CDL school. I don't like the idea of that: me, a rookie, responsible for a moving weapon with zero supervision. Does anyone know any CDL school that are company sponsored that the student and driver sleep at the same time?

Thanks in advance! And thanks for this site - it's a great resource,

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 D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi there everyone. I've just joined this forum as a guy who is interested in the possibility of trucking as a career. I'm in my 40's and in college, but I've found I can't afford to finish. A real bummer.... but I have a couple of friends who have gotten into this industry and they really do well for themselves. I've been scouting around companies like Roehl, Prime, Swift, and KLLM for company-paid CDL training, but I recently became aware that some of these companies do team driving during company training, after the CDL school. I don't like the idea of that: me, a rookie, responsible for a moving weapon with zero supervision. Does anyone know any CDL school that are company sponsored that the student and driver sleep at the same time?

Thanks in advance! And thanks for this site - it's a great resource,

Hi this is understandable and quite misunderstood. CFI for example has a trainer sitting next to you for 7800 miles during your training after school with your CDL, but before you go solo. My company has a student drive with the trainer next to them one on one delivering loads OTR with their permit. By the time they test they already have as many miles driven as some companies require to go solo. When the team phase starts, the trainer usually guides for about a week before going full team. So feasibly you could do about 13,000 miles before even starting teaming, nearly double what other companies give you before going solo.

Check out this article about the team training. I understand it isnt for.everyone and it is tough, but can be very beneficial, especially if you want a more intense training.

Team Training: The Fear and Misunderstanding

As for the various companies, check out these links.

Paid CDL Training Programs

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Zoen, welcome to our forum!

One of the craziest things about getting started in trucking is that it's a common phenomenon that the new guys coming in are convinced they know better than the people who've been doing this stuff for generations. That seems crazier to me than team driving during training!

I'm gonna give you some links to a few articles that I'm hoping can ease your fears and doubts. Your perceptions about training are a little misguided, but if I were to tell you that Schneider does not do team driving, would you want to go there? Wait a minute... now let me tell you that you will only be on the trainer's truck for one year week at Schneider. How do you like them now?

Here's the articles I'd like you to read...

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

Fears And Misunderstandings About Team Training

By the way, Schneider has an excellent training program, as do the companies you mentioned. Each of them has their own way of doing it.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Wait a minute... now let me tell you that you will only be on the trainer's truck for one year week at Schneider.

Haha, sorry about that! It should read "one week" not one year!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Swift?

You left out a very important fact of their training program; the first 50 hours of student driving is fully supervised with the Mentor in the passenger seat the entire time.

Once the first 50 is completed; a decision is made to move into the teaming phase. You, your Mentor and the Driver Development Manager have input into that decision. It’s not arbitrary.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

Like Rainy said CFI does not do team training. You also have a 99% chance that your trainer's truck will be automatic as well as whatever you drive. CFI's HQ and schools are in Missouri. Our training starts with, now, 3 weeks of school to get your CDL , then back to Joplin for 4 days of orientation. After orientation you are given a choice to go out from there with your trainer or go home for up to 7 days and wait for your trainer. You will be out with your trainer for at least 7500 miles, about 3 weeks. While with your trainer you are dispatched as a solo truck. You are expected to do 100% of the driving. Your trainer sits in the passenger seat to guide you. You sleep while the truck is stopped.

CFI pays for your transportation, hotels and meals for your training and orientation. They pay $100.00 for orientation. While out with your trainer, you are paid 26 CPM. Once you upgrade you will be at 35 CPM. During your first year you will go through increments to 42 CPM.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

So the question then becomes;

Is it better to get thrown to the wolves before having any experience; without direct supervision sitting next to you?

Or...

Is it better to transition from fully supervised to a teaming scenario with your trainer available on a moments notice for several more weeks?

Don's Comment
member avatar

For myself, I liked the idea of the trainer being in the seat beside the trainee. Teaming while ttaining seems to be a disaster-in-waiting, but drivers and companies have survived for quite a long time doing it that way.

So the question then becomes;

Is it better to get thrown to the wolves before having any experience; without direct supervision sitting next to you?

Or...

Is it better to transition from fully supervised to a teaming scenario with your trainer available on a moments notice for several more weeks?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Team while training. Here's a big picture of it:

A trucking company is going to trust you with their $200,000 machine, and loads maybe worth another $200k. And you'll be pulling that small fortune through traffic, on roads from high-speed interstate to two-lane winding country roads.

What better way to see if they can trust you than to have you do all that, using one of their trucks assigned to a driver. Said driver is also responsible for his/ her truck and loads. Your trainer has a vested interest in making sure you do all the right things. Hence you will be learning the finer points of the truck driving career.

Additionally, after the first week or two, your trainer should trust you enough to handle the regular (and more boring) part of daily driving on your own for 4-600 miles on roads.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Swift?

You left out a very important fact of their training program; the first 50 hours of student driving is fully supervised with the Mentor in the passenger seat the entire time.

Once the first 50 is completed; a decision is made to move into the teaming phase. You, your Mentor and the Driver Development Manager have input into that decision. It’s not arbitrary.

This makes sense to me, though how the trainer sleeps is beyond me. :)

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