What About Night/weekend Schooling?

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Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

My first school was a come when you have time situation, where you sat in a class room and read a long packet they gave you. The teacher although a nice guy never drove a truck, he passed his CDL test and they made him the class room instructor, the other class room teacher had a whole month on the road before he decided he didnt like his company and quit.

If you go the company paid route they tend to be more forgiving too accidents and other problems you may have as they have a vested intrest in keeping you. If you come in with a CDL their interest and patience is limited.

Roehl I know pays you during class room and on the road training as for the other I am not sure.

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

Alright you guys have me leaning back toward paid training lol...I was considering Werner before. A friend of a friend went through their program about a year ago and has worked for them ever since. He said he's already made 75K+ on just his first year as a team driver and has been loving every minute of it. He said he tried C.R. England before that and it didn't work out, but he would go back to Werner again in a heartbeat if he had to do it all over again. Werner is also local, so I would not have to travel for the classes. The downside would be that he said they don't pay for your class weeks, just the training weeks...seems worth it if I can make anything close to what he has made his first year already, though. I was surprised that he had such a good review of them, based on all the bad things I read about them(I guess once again, that's internet reviews for you...)

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.

I totally agree with you about the amount of bozo's on Reddit lol...If you ever have any doubts, just head on over to the politics section and see what most of them are talking about :) Do you mind sharing what the cost was after leaving your paid training in three months? The class I was looking at through roadmaster appears to be about 5,000 up front. It still is kind of appealing, because they offer the weekend training...so right now I think I pretty much have my decision narrowed down to either signing up with Werner and doing their four week paid training program, or doing roadmaster on the weekends for 8 weeks while I work my current job, and then getting on with one of the companies who they are affiliated with. It's a tough choice.

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.

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.
Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

I'm the contrarian in the room, but with an explanation. I was a self pay, while still employed in another profession. I was working 2 on - 3 off - 3 on - 2 off, so attended part time. I completed the training (ultimately paid for 240 hours, more on that later) in about 7-8 weeks (if memory serves), but I was attending several days per week. The school was OK with that. I passed all of my tests on the first testing day missing only a point or two on the yard skills part, and was eligible to go to work right away, but an injury in my full time job resulted in my staying where I was at until the injury was corrected.

End result was a stale CDL. I went back for an 40 hour refresher, full time with a legit CDL. It can be done, meaning you can get your CDL on the first run through, if your diligent in studying, take it seriously, and cannot otherwise accomplish the task. Was it the ideal process? I don't know, since I was a year over issue date when I got hired by the company that took me on. I've said it before, they took a chance and gave me a shot, and I am grateful for that. I didn't have any wrecks, scraped a bumper on a low block due to a fail to GOAL, and never backed into another trailer in the first year and some months (with my original outife) I was driving. I was offered a counter salary when I turned in my three weeks notice from the outfit I was driving for. They were not able to give me the same deal I was getting, but they beat the hourly by a bit. I think that was, all said and done, a fairly acceptable outcome.

I don't disagree that, in a perfect world, going through all at one shot is probably the ideal. Can it work on an alternate schedule? Yes. Do I have a passion to defend either process? Nope. Your Actual Mileage May (and Should!) Vary. Peace

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.
Brian's Comment
member avatar

Man it was awhile back I'd have to dig up statements. But 2700 sticks out in my mind. So the school was also 5,0000 dollars and they felt 3 months of work was 2300. Another thing to remember unless I'm wrong with the paid program the carrier pays the school you are attending up front. So when you do owe money it's going to Prime for example not Roadmaster or whoever. So when you hear numbers like 10,000 dollars who's can afford to pay that? Or who is willing to pay that? Mega carriers don't need your thousands on thousands of dollars for training but obviously are expecting some compensation back per that contract.

If I'm wrong about any of that light me up.

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.
Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

Vincent S ~ I'm no expert here, but IIRC Werner Local is DOLLAR STORE accounts. Put that in the searchbar on here, and you shall see why. It's almost a set up for failure situation. Those stores are near impossible to get into, with the PV's, and such. Google Earth the one here in my town, in Lexington, Ohio on Orchard Park road. You pretty much have to jump the curb to get in there FROM the main road (US42) unless you are a SUPER seasoned driver. My husband's been driving 'legal' for 15 years, graduated in '03, and started with Transport America, then USX, and then FedEx/Linehaul, before he finally landed an 'intrastate' asphalt job, and now he pulls local boxes in boxes.

He wouldn't even to this DAY touch a dollar account; He values his CDL too much. We actually KNOW the guy that pulls for the store I described above. He's been with Werner for nine years, but was OTR for the first 3 before he went 'local.'

I've no opinion on the private/company schooling; hubby went to Roadmasters because at the time many companies teamed with them. Remember, that was '03 and much has changed in 15 years.

Anyone correct me if I'm wrong, ie: O/S G'Town etc... but I'm pretty sure Werner/local is usually Dollar Store accounts.

Wish you the best in your endeavours, and ultimate decision.

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.

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
It's almost a set up for failure situation
He wouldn't even to this DAY touch a dollar account; He values his CDL too much.

Anne, I appreciate your concern for drivers but these kind of exaggerations and alarmist statements are the kind of thing we're trying to avoid. People are trying to get their careers underway and you're telling them that they're going to be set up to fail and that even highly experienced drivers value their CDL too much to take these jobs.

I can speak from experience when I say those statements are utter nonsense.

I drove for US Xpress and I was on the Dollar Tree account for a year. It's a very challenging account that requires very good backing skills, time management skills, and physical fitness. It is not a "set up for failure" situation, nor does it make any sense to say your husband "values his CDL too much" to take this type of job. What does that even mean?

We highly recommend that rookies avoid these Dollar Store accounts because they do not have the skills to handle it yet. They should get a year of OTR driving under their belt before attempting a job that requires that level of skill. But please do not go off the deep end and start making outrageous statements like "setting up to fail" or "values his CDL too much". Exaggerating the reality of a situation and terrorizing new drivers into thinking they're being set up to fail is not what we do.

By the way, I made the most money of my career working that account. In 15 years of driving every type of truck imaginable I never made better money, nor was I ever in better shape. It was damn hard and you earned every penny, but it paid really well.

Again, I appreciate your concern for drivers but please be careful about what you say. The reason this site is called Trucking Truth is because it's the only place you can go to get honest, helpful, accurate information about a career in trucking.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I don't see how you could get the same training on weekends, even if you could remember from week to week, which I doubt.

The school I am looking at is 5 to 6 weeks, 8 to 4:30, 5 days a week.

If you go for company paid training, and you absolutely can't last till the end of the contract, then you pay the remainder of the tuition for most. I'm not advocating doing that, but it is possible, and most of the ones I have seen are cheaper than private school, and probably better training

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

I did exactly that. Private CDL training and took the weekend course. Which was also during the holiday/winter time. We actually missed a few days during that stretch for holidays and snow storms. So it got extended out. However I still had no problems getting my license. In fact I passed the first time out and still had two weekends to go before I finished the class, which I obviously didn't have to finish. I got what I needed. I had to take weekend courses to maintain my regular Monday thru Friday job. It may not be for everyone but I think it more depends on your level of retention. If you think you can retain the info and manuevers you learned the previous week then go for it. If not just go for the regular course.

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

Keep in mind i posted this on another thread:

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.

BTW i have NEVER been treated like i owe anyone anything EVER! quite the contrary. Im so spoiled at my company, i have no intentions of leaving. i get whatever i ask for. period.

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

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

The CDL school I attended, normally doesn't offer weekend classes, but they did a couple sessions. I did weekends (Friday and Saturday) and it was a nightmare for a variety of reasons.

The biggie is that you don't get the daily repetition necessary to efficiently gain your skills. You go to school 2 days, then off 5 and tend to lose your new found skills and start over the next week. We had an extremely high number of failures, and the few of us who passed (5-6 out of 3 classes of 12 students each), it took much longer than was originally scheduled. To the best of my knowledge, there are only two of us who drive just under 3 years later, me and another gal (and the other gal had quite a few hiccups) All this from a school that typically has a 100% pass rate on their traditional course.

My advice... Suck it up, and go to a company sponsored CDL school full time. You'll get better training and already have a job from day one.

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.
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