Choosing A School

Topic 23934 | Page 2

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Blackandgold's Comment
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What area are you in?

Pittsburgh area

Blackandgold's Comment
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The local jobs offered at school were either overnight or you would be working from early morning to 8, 9, maybe even 10 PM.

Doesn’t leave much time for a home life. And almost all the local jobs want a years experience first.

I put a lot of hours in at the pizza shop every week, I'm not afraid of the grind. Anything under 60 hours a week would be a break plus there are many weeks I don't take a day off.

I was talking to the driver from the food distributor for the pizza shop and he said there are guys there who attended the schools that I'm looking at. That is not my dream driving job but I could do something like that for a few years, he said they are always hiring. I would love to do OTR for a few years but like I said, that is not an option right now while my kids are still in school.

G-town thank you for the links, I will check them out tonight.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Blackandgold hears things:

I've heard its better to go to school than to be trained by a company whose only concern is training you for the way they want it done.

You go to [trucking] school to get trained in truck driving, truck legal matters and truck operations.

If you go to a Company Sponsored Training Program, the company will train you on truck driving, truck legal matters and truck operations. Yeah, the same thing. Nearly all truck driving schools are focused on one thing: getting you ready to pass the CDL road tests. That's it.

The negative thought that a company might be "training you for the way they want it done" is ridiculous. True, each company has their own system to get things done their way. But if every driver did things their own way nothing would get done.

We hold that company sponsored training is better than a private school because the company will be investing more in you than the ones they hire right from an outside school.

Finally, a private school takes your tuition money and teaches you how to drive. No real guarantee for a job, tough it's not hard to get one.

But the company with a school takes a hard look at you first, and if you get into their school you all but have a job.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
RealDiehl's Comment
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What area are you in?

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Pittsburgh area

"blackandgold" suddenly makes sense

Rob T.'s Comment
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I was talking to the driver from the food distributor for the pizza shop and he said there are guys there who attended the schools that I'm looking at

I went the route he told you about. However, my company Performance Foods paid for my schooling. Its a very difficult AND RISKY start to this career. I did a diary about my first year Local foodservice if you want a better look at it.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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The local jobs offered at school were either overnight or you would be working from early morning to 8, 9, maybe even 10 PM.

Doesn’t leave much time for a home life. And almost all the local jobs want a years experience first.

, that is not an option right now while my kids are still in school.

If the kids are all right by themselves at 60 hours now, then you could probably get away with a local run. But you still may have to do some kind of company school to begin with, I'm not sure. It is also rough for a new driver, backing in on narrow city streets, etc.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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You might also consider finding some other type of work for a few years until the kids are ok on their own, then getting into trucking. It's not impossible to find a local job right out of school, but pretty close to it, and it's definitely a very risky way to start your career. Local work is just way too demanding for a brand new driver. You're in heavy traffic, on a tight schedule, working insanely long hours, and oftentimes you're trying to back into a number of docks every day which are extremely hard to get into. It's a recipe for disaster.

Old School did an article on this:

Why You Should Not Start Your Trucking Career As A Local Driver

You're in a tough spot right now for sure. If there is a way you could make a living for a few years doing something else I would strongly consider that. Then you could get into trucking the safest way when you can go regional or OTR.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

You might also consider finding some other type of work for a few years until the kids are ok on their own, then getting into trucking. It's not impossible to find a local job right out of school, but pretty close to it, and it's definitely a very risky way to start your career. Local work is just way too demanding for a brand new driver. You're in heavy traffic, on a tight schedule, working insanely long hours, and oftentimes you're trying to back into a number of docks every day which are extremely hard to get into. It's a recipe for disaster.

Old School did an article on this:

Why You Should Not Start Your Trucking Career As A Local Driver

You're in a tough spot right now for sure. If there is a way you could make a living for a few years doing something else I would strongly consider that. Then you could get into trucking the safest way when you can go regional or OTR.

There are LTL companies that will start you on the dock, then let you (and maybe even pay for) your CDL when you are kids are grown and you are able.

Old Dominion, maybe? Maybe someone can expand on this that has more knowledge.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

There are LTL companies that will start you on the dock, then let you (and maybe even pay for) your CDL when you are kids are grown and you are able.

Old Dominion, maybe? Maybe someone can expand on this that has more knowledge

At Old Dominion you can work on the dock, once you prove yourself there you can move into the driver training program which splits half your day on the dock and other half working on your CDL. You would be paid hourly through out your training and as long as you stay a year OD covers the full cost of the training. Then you go on the road with a either a P&D trainer or a linehaul trainer depending on which position you took.

If you go to private school as I did, you can skip the dock portion and go straight to on the road training which is all paid at $25 a hour.

Linehaul is almost all overnight but generally pays better. P&D is all hourly and more of a "9 to 5" feel, since your hours are typically less than set and should be more than 55 a week.

Estes, YRC, XPO, USF Holland all have similar programs that are more or less the same.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

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

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.
Blackandgold's Comment
member avatar

So I just got back from my first school visit at Rosedal Tech. It is alot more expensive than I was anticipating. Everyone was very professional and nice, which is expected when they're giving a tour to a potential student, but I felt it was genuine. I got to talk to an instructor. He actually got out of a truck and talked to me for a couple minutes so I know it wasn't scripted. He was able to tell me about a decent amount of companies in the area that hired students from the last couple graduating classes for local driving jobs. I'm having a hard time getting past the price though, wondering if its worth it or if I should start calling some companies and asking about on the job training for my cdl.

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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