Small Vs. Large Training Classes

Topic 23900 | Page 1

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BullDozer's Comment
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I first want to start off this thread by apologizing for my attitude and how I responded to G-Town. I felt like I was being attacked when he was just offering his advice. So for that I am sorry. I would like to hear from anyone who is currently in CDL A training and what the pros and cons are of the number of students in classroom. Is it a big class size or small? What is student to teacher ratio? And how you feel about the training you receive. Now I understand everyone is different in their learning capabilities and some do good around a large group while others do not. If you could just let us know what your experience is and what you would prefer. Thank you. Please Trucking Truth forgive me. I am truly sorry for being an asshat.

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

At some companies like prime and wil trans, class size doesnt matter. they could have 250 people in the class but that is just orientation for applications physicals and drug tests. then you go out one on one with a trainer with your permit.

This was the best route for me, but then again if you get a trainer you cant relate with, it can be hard. watching other people make mistakes probably teaches as well and allows you to not feel so alone.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

In my opinion you are better off with a smaller class size. When I went to CDL school my class had 16 people in it plus all the other people from previous classes and those coming in after me (they had new arrivals every monday). We were split into groups for each instructor and my group started with three of us, then it went to four, then 6. When there was three of us we each got more time behind the wheel. For me I can absorb knowledge by watching and listening when others are driving or backing but nothing rivals actually doing it myself behind the wheel. So smaller class or group size is much much prefered to me.

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.
Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar
At some companies like prime and wil trans, class size doesnt matter. they could have 250 people in the class but that is just orientation for applications physicals and drug tests. then you go out one on one with a trainer with your permit.

Good point from Rainy, also depends how the company training is done. My company training facility was being closed for a little while to redo the area they did the skills training so they sent me to C1 in Springfield. Rainy's company does it all one on one.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Personally I don't think it matters much at all. Schooling for truck driving isn't intended to teach you anything more than the bare minimum it takes to get your CDL. That's it.

Once you go on the road with a trainer the real learning begins, and that will be one on one. At some companies you'll do that right away. At other companies you'll spend a few weeks at their facility working on the skills to get your CDL before you go on the road with a trainer. Either way works perfectly fine.

Now I understand everyone is different in their learning capabilities and some do good around a large group while others do not

Being able to adapt to constantly changing and difficult circumstances is a critical part of the job for every truck driver. You have no control over your environment, and no one is going to go out of their way to make your circumstances more comfortable on the road. The weather, traffic, tight schedules, and road conditions will keep you on your toes constantly. You'll have to learn to thrive being outside of your comfort zone a significant portion of the time out there.

So you had better learn to do well in a large group unless you think they're going to evacuate major cities at rush hour so you don't get the willies.

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.
BullDozer's Comment
member avatar

I would prefer a smaller class as well, again this is just for me. I don't like to be around large groups when I'm learning something new. I don't want to feel like there are a hundred eye's on me when learning something new. My nerves stay calmer and I focus more on what I'm doing.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I don’t care how many are in the class. The classroom part is no big deal.

But I do want enough truck time to be able to do the maneuvers required to get the CDL.

Then the real training begins.

So it depends on how many trucks they have and how long you get to actually practice. As long as you get enough driving time to learn the maneuvers none of the rest really matters.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I don’t care how many are in the class. The classroom part is no big deal.

But I do want enough truck time to be able to do the maneuvers required to get the CDL.

Then the real training begins.

So it depends on how many trucks they have and how long you get to actually practice. As long as you get enough driving time to learn the maneuvers none of the rest really matters.

With companies that train like Millis (and it may be all company schools for all I know) where you get your permit and then drive with a trainer and THEN get your CDL , it really doesn’t matter how many are in the class. You don’t need to practice much at all in that case.

For me, I have to get the CDL and then go out with a trainer, so drive time is important.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

For what it’s worth. Below was my response to the class room size; student to teacher ratio...

BullDozer...my response to your link is primarily for the benefit of others, because I think you have your mind made up and are completely uncoachable by me. You have shown a complete lack of respect for my experience, knowledge and reputation.

That said, thus is an apples to oranges comparison. Highly applicable to conventional academic environments, but not so much with Trucking schools.

First of all we are adults, not children.

Second the actual classroom study is a low percentage of how the trucking school curriculum is delivered. Most of the time is spent in the yard. The teacher to student ratio is about 1 to 5. As the class sizes dwindle, 1 to 4 or even 1 to 3.

How does that compare to the typical elementary classroom where it’s likely to have 25 students to one teacher?

BullDozer like I and Old School said, your making a good decision by going with Millis. You can believe the study all you want, that’s up to you, but I’m not buying into it. I’d suggest Millis’ teacher to student ratio is not going to be 1 to 1 or anything close to that, especially during the classroom phase which is less than 1/3rd of the actual schooling time. All it would do is drive up their costs without a significant return on that investment.

Apples to Oranges.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

For what it’s worth. Below was my response to the class room size; student to teacher ratio...

double-quotes-start.png

BullDozer...my response to your link is primarily for the benefit of others, because I think you have your mind made up and are completely uncoachable by me. You have shown a complete lack of respect for my experience, knowledge and reputation.

That said, thus is an apples to oranges comparison. Highly applicable to conventional academic environments, but not so much with Trucking schools.

First of all we are adults, not children.

Second the actual classroom study is a low percentage of how the trucking school curriculum is delivered. Most of the time is spent in the yard. The teacher to student ratio is about 1 to 5. As the class sizes dwindle, 1 to 4 or even 1 to 3.

How does that compare to the typical elementary classroom where it’s likely to have 25 students to one teacher?

BullDozer like I and Old School said, your making a good decision by going with Millis. You can believe the study all you want, that’s up to you, but I’m not buying into it. I’d suggest Millis’ teacher to student ratio is not going to be 1 to 1 or anything close to that, especially during the classroom phase which is less than 1/3rd of the actual schooling time. All it would do is drive up their costs without a significant return on that investment.

Apples to Oranges.

double-quotes-end.png

No, class will be one instructor. I believe I read their class size is a max of 6 but for the classroom that wouldn’t matter. There could have been 60 in my classroom and it wouldn’t have mattered

In the driving phase they say it is one to one, I’m not sure if that means when they put you with a trainer or during the initial practice sessions, but with their model it really doesn’t matter. You drove 50,000 miles I believe before you get your CDL , so by the time you take your road test you will have plenty of practice as opposed to a school like mine where you will have 44 hours of driving time. In that scenario I believe a one on one ratio is beneficial

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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