Looking For CDL School, Live In Texas And Must Be Pet Friendly When I Finish With Training.

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Raelene E.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to start off saying I have been looking at forums non-stop for weeks. I can honestly say yours looks to be the best hands down!

Here is a bit about me...I am 47 years old, female and retired in March 2013 from a 20+ year career in law enforcement. I am looking for a job as sitting around after working all my life is just not working for me. I like to drive and really sat down and evaluated my options and have made the decision in that being a truck driver will be my second career. I have already completed all the written testing with DPS and have my CDL Learners Permit.

I am looking for a company taught school and intend on staying on with them until I really am ready to retire and live the lifestyle I choose then. So in looking, I have found there are several company owned schools, but they remind me of "Puppy Mills" only looking to see how many people they can crank out...quantity not quality! The reason I am looking at company schools is the time factor, community colleges and schools like this are taking way too long. I want to get out there ASAP and believe this will be a better option for me.

Also a very important issue for me is this, I want to work for a company, I don't want to lease a truck or become an owner operator. None of that crap interest me. In saying this, it is also important for me to bring my dog with me. I realize I may have to spend six months or so away from her but would like to be able to bring her with me when I am done with training and finally solo.

I truly am seeking some good information here and hope that some of you with experience will be able to give me some direction. I have spoken with many recruiters, but the fact is their job is to recruit me so anything goes. Can't trust anything they say. Anyway, please let me know what you have to say.

Thank you, Raelene

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Raelene, Glad you found us! Welcome aboard!

Have you checked into Prime Inc's program? I'm pretty sure they have a pet policy. These trucking companies are constantly changing the pet policy, so it's some times hard to keep up with whose got one and who doesn't.

Follow this link to Company-Sponsored Training and it might help you narrow down your choices.

This website has a list of trucking companies that allow pets so check that out.

List of Trucking Companies That Allow Pets

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.
Svetlana K.'s Comment
member avatar

I also believe Werner has a pet friendly policy, unfortunately I can't bring my baby with me, I'm going with a different company, not too happy with not taken him but my daughter will be taking care of him. Good luck in your search.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Raelene !!! and from a fellow LEO.....thank you for your service. Now...on to the truckin' deal !!! Company training schools are kinda like puppy mills, but with some real serious differences...they WANT to train you well...cuz they will be handin' the keys to 150,000.00 worth of truck and trailer, and then a shippers load to add to it. So it behooves them to make sure you know your stuff...That being said, its no lie that some companies are better than others..and we see new drivers come on this great site and we help 'em all we can, to get all the training they can BEFORE they go to school, help them all we can thru school, thru their time with their trainer, and on into their solo driving career. We never let go of them !! They have to run away from us like teenagers with their first car !!!rofl-3.gif Some of the schools that we hear alot about are Prime, Central, Werner, Roehl, WE, Swift, and some others. Now what you need to know is do they have a CURRENT pet policy....For that you will need to email or call them, and make your choice from whoever the ones are that will let you bring your dog. Some have a size limit for dogs, btw. But you have some time, so now is when you get those calls in. I agree, as do all seasoned drivers on this site, that recruiters are burnt out used car salesmen, who are not to be trusted. Somewhere, and I'm sure one of my fellow drivers will tell us where,...theres a list of questions that has been written. Things to ask the recruiter !! SO lets have some others chime in, and get you moving in the right direction... And we're danged glad to have you here on TT...And I'm happier than a worm on a cow pie, to see another lady driver in the making !!!!! We're darn hard to find sometimes..Come over and check out the Lady's Forum...we talk about all kinds of things lady drivers have questions about !!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Werner does allow pets. $250 deposit and $5 a week. Werner does not have a school but does have training for new grads or allows people that have been off the road to drive again.

Paul H.'s Comment
member avatar

When I did my research a few months ago, Prime was the only company that has both a school and a pet policy. That's why I chose them. And as it turns out, they pay better than most as well.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I have found there are several company owned schools, but they remind me of "Puppy Mills" only looking to see how many people they can crank out...quantity not quality! The reason I am looking at company schools is the time factor, community colleges and schools like this are taking way too long. I want to get out there ASAP and believe this will be a better option for me.

So you don't like the fact that they're trying to crank out students quickly, but you want to go to them because you want to get cranked out quickly?

confused.gifwtf-2.gif

They are not trying to crank out as many people as possible. But many of them do bring in as many people as possible because they tend to get a lot of low-quality candidates. So they push people to see who takes it seriously and who has a knack for it and often times send the rest home. It's more like a tryout than a normal school. They're investing a lot of time and money into training students and the only way they can recoup that cost is if the student goes on to be a safe, efficient driver for the company for a year or so. If they don't feel a particular student has that potential they aren't going to continue investing their time and money into them.

The pet policy is going to all but eliminate most of the companies as the others have stated already. I believe Prime Inc is the only Company-Sponsored Training Program with a pet policy.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Raelene E.'s Comment
member avatar

So you don't like the fact that they're trying to crank out students quickly, but you want to go to them because you want to get cranked out quickly?

I believe either I didn't explain well or you didn't read it. My concern with the "Puppy mill" is quality of training. I went and toured a company owned school near Dallas who will be left nameless. I am not hear to smear anyone, but what I saw was ridiculous! Pushing people who I understand were just looking for a better life through something so fast is unfair to them and to the people on the roads they will drive on. This is why I chose not to attend this location. It is fine to fast track something if the quality is already there. With that being said, yes, I do believe I am a qualified, quality applicant. Yes I believe I can handle that fast paced type of program that is offered by company taught programs. But I personally believe there are many companies who run these fast paced programs with a better standard than I wish.

Think about it...most law enforcement academies are 3 months long. Then they give us a gun and tell us to go out and keep the peace. Was that me...sure it was but I was also 21 and not very experienced. I am 47 now, have plenty of real world experience and what I saw at the Dallas location was unacceptable. That is why I started looking in these forums to find some answers. Not a avatar with "WTF" flashing at me.

I appreciate your information, but I also know that there are people in every profession who have no business being where they are. I cannot control that, but I can control my own destiny. I can make sure that I am getting quality training in the time frame I am looking for. Idle hands are the devil's playground! I don't want to be idle and give the devil a chance!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Raelene I think your missing the point of CDL school. That's understandable cause your new to the industry. Let me explain....

CDL school only teaches you enough to pass the CDL test. Nothing more. They are not there to teach you to drive. You will learn to drive once you go into training with your first company.

If you want to learn to drive while in school you will need to go through the 3 to 9 months of PRIVATE schooling.

There are no "puppy mills" as you put it. That is how it is everywhere.

That is the reason why you go through a secondary training once you get with your first company cause you are only taught enough to pass the testing and just barely at that.

I am sorry if you thought cdl school was like college and you are ready to face the world after school but its not like that in the real world.

There are steps to getting started in trucking....

1. Go to CDL school and learn just enough to pass the test.

2. Go to work with your first company and then start training to really drive a big truck.

3. Now you learned how to drive the truck now you get to go solo and start earning a living.

See? Its a 3 step process and you will not skip any part being new.

Hope this helps you understand a bit more about what the process really is.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I believe either I didn't explain well or you didn't read it

You didn't explain it well because I certainly read it. To be honest, you keep contradicting yourself and you've done it again. First you said:

Pushing people [...] through something so fast is unfair to them and to the people on the roads they will drive on. This is why I chose not to attend this location.

Then in the very next breath you said:

It is fine to fast track something if the quality is already there [...] I believe I can handle that fast paced type of program that is offered by company taught programs

Ok, so it's unfair to the students to push them so fast but it's fine to fast track them and that's exactly what you want? I'm sorry but that's another clear contradiction.

I guess I'm not understanding what you're looking for other than "quality training" which you haven't actually described. Let's approach it from this angle - what exactly are you looking for in your training? Do you want:

- Patient instructors

- One-on-one training

- Quality equipment to learn on

- A relaxed, friendly atmosphere

- Very thorough training

What is it that you would consider the perfect training program for you? Then we can steer you in the right direction.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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