What About Night/weekend Schooling?

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Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm sold on paying for my own training and the freedom/"I don't owe you anything" factor that comes along with it. The only hurdle is that I would have to miss over a month of work to attend the classes, which would hurt more than the cost of the course. Night/weekend schooling seems like a good solution. Is there any downside to doing this? It looks like RoadMaster is local and offers weekend training. It says I can complete it in just 8 weekends. Will I get the same level of training as attending their weekday classes that are 5 days a week for 3-4 weeks? If anyone has done this and can chime in, that input would be especially appreciated!

Dm:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Vincent, just about every person we've seen take that path regretted it. I think maybe I remember one person who liked it okay. The problem with it is that each week when you return to school you've forgotten how to do what you learned the previous week. The lack of daily continuity hurts your progress. This is the same reason trucking companies don't hire rookies who have been out of school for a few months without landing a job. Their newly acquired skills go stale very quickly.

By the way, we're pretty big on the Paid CDL Training Programs. They have a lot of benefits that help you be successful at this. Here's two articles I hope you'll read and consider the information in them.

Busting The Free Agent Myth

Why I Prefer Company Sponsored Training

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.

Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

By the way, we're pretty big on the Paid CDL Training Programs. They have a lot of benefits that help you be successful at this. Here's two articles I hope you'll read and consider the information in them.

Well, to be honest I'm getting a lot of conflicting advice on that point. I did read these articles when I first started researching this, and I had initially planned on going that route. Then I got onto Reddit and I got tons of responses telling me pretty much the exact opposite...that it was a much better idea to pay for my own school if I could swing it.

I'm not sure how accurate some of these responses are because it's just advice from anonymous internet users...but at the end of the day, is there really any difference? It seems like either I pay several thousand up front and get job offers from the same companies without a commitment to stay with them attached, or I get "free" schooling in exchange for being stuck with a company for 1-2 years and paying ????..?

I'm wondering what your take is on some of the reasoning they gave me, so I've summed up a few of the responses I got, which aren't really addressed in those articles you linked:

1) As long as you go to the right school, you generally get solicited by multiple companies(the same ones who offer paid training) to come work for them before the schooling is over, so it's not like you're going to be hung out to dry if you buy your own schooling...Roadmaster for example, trains for at least 5 of these same companies that offer paid training and from what I understand those companies will generally come to you with offers, if you are attending school at roadmaster. Our local community college is also affiliated with a few of the companies who also offer paid training and apparently recruit from people who paid for classes through the college.

2) If you sign an agreement for paid training, and you leave before your contract is up, the company charges a massively inflated rate for your schooling. In contrast if you buy your schooling ahead of time, the company generally just reimburses you a little each week with no commitment to stay with that company. This way if you're miserable there and happen to find another company that will hire you with 6 months experience, you can leave and still get some of your schooling paid for, with no chance of them charging you a ridiculously inflated price + interest. I read one response and the guy was telling me that he left a company early and they billed him almost 10,000 dollars for the training...

3) Companies know they pretty much own you if you sign up for paid training and treat you accordingly. They may not treat you much better as a driver with little to no experience, but at least you can leave and go elsewhere if you're totally miserable. The term "exploited" was used in several separate responses lol...

Is there something they're leaving out/overlooking when giving this advice?

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.

Dm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I went the private school route and it worked for me, but I would recommend avoiding the night/ weekend school route. I tried part time school and wasted a year while learning nothing, I finally took the plunge and went full time and in weeks walked out with my CDL. The school I went to offered both full time and weekend classes , the instructors told us that the part time students struggle more as they only drive 1 day and are in the class room 1 day then have 5 days off so they where rusty and out of sync when they returned and would spend half their next class getting their stride back. When full time we would drive every day and spend time in the yard every day and the class room once a week. In my opinion when learning to drive, shift and back a truck repetition is invaluable I noticed that for myself and classmates just taking the weekend off come Monday it would take a couple tries on the practice pad as well as a few shifts to get back into shape. In fact one the students in my class switched from weekends to full time because he was struggling with having 5 days off.

I have been with Old Dominion for a year now and am on my way to making over 70k for the year, I wish I would have done this years ago instead of being on the fence for so long. I would recommend going with a paid company training like Roehl or prime.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

To answer your questions above if you sign on for company training and said company as invested thousands of dollars in you, countless hours and risk in trusting their $200,000+ 80k pound machine to you they have a vested interest to make sure you are successful. It make absolutely zero sense to have $200,000+ plus in equipment sitting around costing them money when it could be rolling making them thousands. Yes when you first start out you have to take shorter lower paying loads but that will be the same if you come in with your own CDL or not. Once you prove yourself over the course of weeks or months the miles will come. As for the whole "exploited" horse hockey I wont even go into it as I never understood this whole every trucking company is out to screw the driver nonsense it does not make sense. I hear the same dribble when I drove a limo, just come in do your job, keep your nose clean and the miles will come.

OF course a company will ask you to sign a contract for a year they are paying for your schooling and taking a risk on you, they do not want you to leave as soon as that shiny new CDL is in your wallet. They want a return on their investment which I do not thing is too much to ask. As for leaving before your year is up for a company that makes you happy, with that attitude you will never find one every one will have its up and downs its good days and bad days. Ive been with OD for a year now and had some weeks where nothing went right had I left for Saia because of that I would have the same problem there and be on to Estes by now. Plus job hopping never looks good especially so early on in your career. So avoid all the fools on the internet who where incapable of making it and blame the company instead of the person in the mirror.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Sorry didn't mean to come off so aggressive, this subject really touches a nerve with me, OD just gave me my 1 year pay raise so I am upto 64 cpm , going to try and by a house next year all thanks to them. I hate when people blame their failures on the company, come in take the load no matter how good or bad and the miles and money will come.. I saw the same complaints with the limos company I worked for there was a reason I was the #1 or 2 driver for my time there I took what ever ride they had and never complained and guess what?? I made more then those who whined about the short rides.

I better go to bed before I post another rant lol

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brian's Comment
member avatar

Old school and bobcat are right on the money. Just not an ideal situation at all. Also Reddit is full of Bozo's and freaks who comment on whatever they want. All of what you've heard is incorrect. At least for me. Nothing will be inflated that is false. I went through paid CDL training with Schneider and the contract is black and white. Either you drive for a year and owe nothing or don't drive for the year and will owe some money back. I was one who didn't finish the full year. Only 3 months and they way undercharged me what they should of. They pretty much split the difference with me. I was shocked. Went on a payment plan and knocked it out inbut3 months. And the 3 one same thing man not true at all you are going to be treated just like any other driver. Your dispatcher will not have a clue how you got your cdl and could care less.

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.

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.
Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

I went the private school route and it worked for me, but I would recommend avoiding the night/ weekend school route. I tried part time school and wasted a year while learning nothing, I finally took the plunge and went full time and in weeks walked out with my CDL. The school I went to offered both full time and weekend classes , the instructors told us that the part time students struggle more as they only drive 1 day and are in the class room 1 day then have 5 days off so they where rusty and out of sync when they returned and would spend half their next class getting their stride back. When full time we would drive every day and spend time in the yard every day and the class room once a week. In my opinion when learning to drive, shift and back a truck repetition is invaluable I noticed that for myself and classmates just taking the weekend off come Monday it would take a couple tries on the practice pad as well as a few shifts to get back into shape. In fact one the students in my class switched from weekends to full time because he was struggling with having 5 days off.

I have been with Old Dominion for a year now and am on my way to making over 70k for the year, I wish I would have done this years ago instead of being on the fence for so long. I would recommend going with a paid company training like Roehl or prime.

Man, a year?! I definitely do want to get this done and not kick it around for a year! The course is advertised at just 8 weeks and I was hoping it would take 8 weeks and not a week longer if I did sign up for that. Can you share some more details as to why it took a year? Was it supposed to be an 8 week program? From what I understood, this one is 8 weeks and they really don't want you missing classes or anything like that, they want you to finish in those 8 weeks. Maybe they aren't being upfront about it? I guess my thought process was that I can also study on my own during the week to keep it fresh on my mind, while also still making just over 1000 a week at my current job VS 0. I guess I didn't think that the lack of consistently DRIVING would be such a big issue. I'm a very committed person and I think I would be able to buckle down and get it done either way, I just wasn't sure if there is a massive dropout rate on the weekend courses or something...I definitely don't want to set myself up for failure by signing up for something that only a small percentage of people can realistically accomplish.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

To answer your questions above if you sign on for company training and said company as invested thousands of dollars in you, countless hours and risk in trusting their $200,000+ 80k pound machine to you they have a vested interest to make sure you are successful. It make absolutely zero sense to have $200,000+ plus in equipment sitting around costing them money when it could be rolling making them thousands. Yes when you first start out you have to take shorter lower paying loads but that will be the same if you come in with your own CDL or not. Once you prove yourself over the course of weeks or months the miles will come. As for the whole "exploited" horse hockey I wont even go into it as I never understood this whole every trucking company is out to screw the driver nonsense it does not make sense. I hear the same dribble when I drove a limo, just come in do your job, keep your nose clean and the miles will come.

OF course a company will ask you to sign a contract for a year they are paying for your schooling and taking a risk on you, they do not want you to leave as soon as that shiny new CDL is in your wallet. They want a return on their investment which I do not thing is too much to ask. As for leaving before your year is up for a company that makes you happy, with that attitude you will never find one every one will have its up and downs its good days and bad days. Ive been with OD for a year now and had some weeks where nothing went right had I left for Saia because of that I would have the same problem there and be on to Estes by now. Plus job hopping never looks good especially so early on in your career. So avoid all the fools on the internet who where incapable of making it and blame the company instead of the person in the mirror.

So would you agree that when it is all said and done with, there's probably not much of a difference between paying for the same school that they use in a paid training course, and signing a contract with a company in exchange for paid training? I other words, I can't really go wrong as long as I either sign up for paid training, or pay for my own schooling through one of the schools they use in the paid 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.
Vincent S.'s Comment
member avatar

Something else I am wondering about regarding the paid training program: it's basically 4 weeks of class and 8 weeks with a trainer, right? I notice some claim to pay 500 or so per week during "training". I assume that your four weeks of class are completely unpaid, but the following 8 weeks is paid at 500 a week? Or do they also pay you for the four weeks of full time school?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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