Millis Transfer, Prime Inc Or Sage Trucking Driving School.

Topic 23420 | Page 1

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Jacqueline M.'s Comment
member avatar

I have decided to get my CDL at the age of 50, soon to be 51 on 9/22/18. I have been in the banking industry for 19 years and completely burned out. I need a change bad!!! I never thought about being a truck driver before. Until I was looking at the career for my husband,I stumbled on women who were driving trucks. The more I researched,I starting thinking this is something I could do. I had the idea that I could team with my husband, but he has backed out of the idea. That's okay because I am determined to get my CDL and start driving as soon as I can. I need to tie up some situations at home before I go to training. I'm trying to decide if I should stay local at Sage Truck driving school, which cost about $4700. Go to Prime(no cost for 12 month commitment) or Millis Training Institute(about $2400 reimbursed after 18 months). I have researched these companies for weeks now and having a hard time making a decision. Any advise would be appreciated.

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.
Cynthia A.'s Comment
member avatar

I have decided to get my CDL at the age of 50, soon to be 51 on 9/22/18. I have been in the banking industry for 19 years and completely burned out. I need a change bad!!! I never thought about being a truck driver before. Until I was looking at the career for my husband,I stumbled on women who were driving trucks. The more I researched,I starting thinking this is something I could do. I had the idea that I could team with my husband, but he has backed out of the idea. That's okay because I am determined to get my CDL and start driving as soon as I can. I need to tie up some situations at home before I go to training. I'm trying to decide if I should stay local at Sage Truck driving school, which cost about $4700. Go to Prime(no cost for 12 month commitment) or Millis Training Institute(about $2400 reimbursed after 18 months). I have researched these companies for weeks now and having a hard time making a decision. Any advise would be appreciated.

I myself am 47 I will be starting CDL training at my local community college 6 week course. It will cost me 3500 I am paying for it myself. I thought by paykng for it myself it will give me more options on companies to choose from. I cound have gone to school at a 3 week course but I wanted more instructional time. I will be leaving a job I have had for 22 years self employed. Time for something new.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi ladies.

Theres a few reasons why we recommend company sponsored schooling as opposed to local schools.

1.) companies are more selective than local schools

One perfect example is what Monika is going through on another thread here. She got her CDL at a local.school then went to Stevens for a job. Stevens is a great choice and they do offer paid CDL training. When she got there, it turned out that she had something in her medical background she did not expect to be an issue. when you go to schools, you get a 2 yr medical card, but many companies have DOT physical.requirements beyond what the DOT dictates. Therefore, every company will.put you through another physical and drug test.

So after paying for school, she went to stevens who told her they want her to go back to her doctor for a.medical release. Last she posted, she was going to a doctor in TX, but that was last week and we havent heard from her since.

CDL schools will say anything to get your money, and they often overlook things that companies wont. For example, DUIs, tickets and criminal backgrounds. Schools will tell you they wont be a problem, but most likely they will be depending on how long ago they were. even then, some companies have lifetime limits on DUIs or felonies. and even if something is expunged, it will show on your record, and they will find it.

So if it takes you a few.months after school to find a job because of a ticket or.medical.issue you didnt see as a problem, your 160 hour training certificate becomes less potent and after too long, many companies will want you to go through the whole program again. which means no tuition reimbursement and you still have the 1 year contract.

Had Monika gone company instead of local, she would have known right away about her issue, not forked out a ton of money, and could come up with a plan to get things done without the stress she is having now. Now she is in debt and worried she wont get a job.

2.) The free agent idea is a myth. Any new driver should stay at their first company for a year, regardless of whether they went company or local. Its insanely expensive to insure a new driver, and many people think they will come in for a few months then go local. That isnt impossible, but unlikely due to insurance. Plus, the more you move companies, the more you show potential trucking employers that you will leave them. However, stay a full year with the first company, do it safely, and be early and you can write your ticket to any company you want. We see this on the forum a lot. A driver will jump two or three companies during the first year and gets trapped. The higher paying better companies wont look at them any more. Plus, there are perks to staying more than a year....many companies reduce insurance premiums and up the bonuses the longer you stay with them.

3.) Sometimes your training will be longer for less pay if you come into the company will a CDL. For example, someone who gets their CDL through Prime gets paid $700 per week gross for 30,000 team miles before upgrading to solo. If you come to Prime with your CDL, you get paid $600 per week for the first 6 weeks then goes to $700 for the remaining miles. and they must do 40,000 miles teaming instead of 30,000. this is because companies want you to learn their way and feel the need to untrain you to eliminate bad habits.

4.) CDL schools usually use old equipment with lots of students. SOME, not all companies, but some like Prime, Jim Palmer, Wil Trans, gives you one one training on the truck you would be driving. So I learned on a brand new Cascadia and a Peterbuilt. Since, i have had a 2015 and a 2016 Cascadia.. and already getting a new one.

5.) At company sponsored you get immersed into the training. Its exhausting to have to go.to work all day then schooling all night. Then to have to test while exhausted??? But at the company sponsored, you can fully concentrate on learning without the distractions of work or home. Most company sponsored will be in a school like setting with much smaller groups and classes. But some, like what I did, put me on the road one week after i got my permit. I was delivering loads all over the country, at night, in fog, in rain, over mountains over 9000 miles before I even tested. i drove through Atlanta, chicago and NY/NJ traffic before i even tested for my CDL. that was some one on one awesome training. It made me a great driver. I got so much more one on one time than local.schools will give.

6.) Companies will give you extra one on one time to pass. If you struggle and fail the first couple of times, companies will give you an instructor to work on your issues before you test again. Local schools are getting paid and will only give you the time in your contract. If you fail, they may charge you for extra pad time. Or additional testing, so read that contract carefully.

7.) Companies who trained you will be more forgiving when you hit something. They invested money in your training. You know what happens if you leave your first company after three months and hit something at your next company? you could be terminated. They didnt hire a driver with no experience. They hired a trained driver with a few months experience. They expect you to be better than that.

Brett explains this in this article

Why Company Sponsored Over Local CDL 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.

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Ill answer any questions you have about Prime and Susan here is with Westside Transport and she trains. GTown, Errol who trains at Swift, Old School is at Knight, Big Scott is at CFI, Millionmiler is at CRST (team only company). we have a vast group on the general discussion board.

Remember, we all love our companies and will swear its better than the rest. lol If we didnt feel.that way, we would go somewhere else. Any of us can because we put in the time and effort to prove our worth.

If you look in the training diaries section you can search and im sure you will find Millis or any other company of interest.

Jacqueline M.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy thank you for explaining about company sponsored training. I really leaning towards Prime or Millis. Can you give me some information about driving Prime's lightweight truck and driving as a team. How do they match you up with someone and can you team dream for a few months or do you have to do it for a year.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy thank you for explaining about company sponsored training. I really leaning towards Prime or Millis. Can you give me some information about driving Prime's lightweight truck and driving as a team. How do they match you up with someone and can you team dream for a few months or do you have to do it for a year.

1.) Light weight reefer is paying 49cpm which is good for a newbie. (condos are 44cpm to start)

you earn paid vacation pay at 85k miles in a light weight (125k in a condo).

The LW truck has less storage space. the bed is almost directly behind the seats. It has sorta shallow shelves around the top and no top bunk.

2.) Teaming is hard and honestly, if you learn to manage your time you can make the same amount of money solo. First you have to learn to sleep in a rolling truck, then you need to find someone you can trust while you are sleeping. Also, no matter.what youz will.drive each other nuts after awhile.

3) you can team or go solo as often as you like. I know a guy that does 3 mos solo then 3 mos team.

If you meet someone you want to team with, you just tell your fleet manager. many stay on the trainers truck after upgrading and stay team. Otherwise you can ask your FM to find you someone. They know their drivers and personalities. they also know the good drivers you can trust.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Jacqueline M.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy I read your bio and see you have been driving for a few years and I was wondering were you nervous when you started to drive solo. I'm feeling anxious about doing this by myself. I have only traveled to about 8 states, nothing out west . I'm excited to have the opportunity to travel and get paid while doing it, but feeling nervous about doing it by myself. I have been researching and seeing all the women who are truck drivers getting it done. I keep telling myself if they can do it, I can too. Do you have any advise to help me get rid of the jitters I'm feeling. If I choose Prime do you think it's good to go in the winter time, also if I want a woman trainer do I have to wait longer to complete the driving part of the training.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Understand at prime all of the training is driving. i had one week orientation for DOT physical, drug test, SIM training and some videos, then went on the road at the end of that week.

Kim was just there and yes she waited a few days longer for a female trainer, but that was labor day week and a lot of trucking events were going on so drivers were otherwise engaged. its kinda like going at christmas and expecting to not wait. theres a lot more women at prime now over the last few years. you wont be sitting there for 5 or six weeks without a trainer if that is your fear.

was i scared of going solo??? i wrote a freaking article about it. lol

Scared of Going Solo? You are not Alone

Im a very independent type and had already driven my car 1500 miles away using maps cause i am.not paying thousands of dollars fora Jetsons GPS in my car so if can call me stupid.

Driving the rig and driving the car are two different things. if you were nervous, you would be stupid. if you mean nervous about personal safety across the country...im a former postal workee.from NJ.with 4 siblings..im the one that scares people. lol

in winter you just go much slower. i went solo 2/14 and thought winter was almost done...nope. Colorado still.had chain laws.in effect in May. and it snowed on july 4th in WY!!!!

winter training is a debate. i came.to prime for winter training but my trainers were lease ops who get to choose their loads and would avoid snow. i got.minimal snow trainimg, however, im from NJ and so snow and ice werent as scary as it was to someone from FL. in bad weather you just shut down and message "shutting dowm due to snow." no big deal. it shows you are safe.

i gotta.go.will.write.later

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.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Omg.. i meant you would.be stupid if you arent scared. sorry.

If you are worried about being a woman out here, dont be. Men are nicer to and more patient women. They will.help you back, the trainers will want you, and the dispatchers will love you. Women are usually slower and safer drivers, listen better in training, and more efficient in general. thats sexist sounding, but true.

heres a couple of my articles

Sexism In Trucking

Why Im Not Just A Number

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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