Portland Maine Area Folks, CDL Schools....

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N14's Comment
member avatar

This one is for the folks out of Maine. Has anyone attended the CDL class at Northeast Technical Institute (NTI)? If so, what are your thoughts?

This seems like its the only commercial drivers school in the area, so not much choice. Looked at NETTTS when I lived in Mass, but no way I am driving 1.5+ hours each way to get down there.

Thanks in advance!

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.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Have you tried Paid CDL Training Programs? Get paid to learn. I went through CFI's paid training. It's an excellent program. You would have to see if they would hire from your area.

Have you seen these?

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

This one is for the folks out of Maine. Has anyone attended the CDL class at Northeast Technical Institute (NTI)? If so, what are your thoughts?

This seems like its the only commercial drivers school in the area, so not much choice. Looked at NETTTS when I lived in Mass, but no way I am driving 1.5+ hours each way to get down there.

Thanks in advance!

My advice is find a company that hires in your area and apply for a job and company school. And this is from someone who is currently paying for school.

If you insist on paying for your own school, figure out where you are planning to work and be sure they will hire you after you finish. I am paying because the company I hope to work for doesn’t offer a company paid school. But when I asked about a prehire letter they asked what school, as there are only certain schools they will hire from. It would suck to pay for school and find out you can’t get a job.

Applying to a company school will save you money and you know you will have a job when you finish.

As far as having to sign a contract, you are going to want to stay at least a year anyway, since most places will want a years experience, so that shouldn’t be a concern.

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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

I went to NTI a few years ago. I could write a lot about what happened while I was there, but I'll just say that I passed and got my CDL which was the goal, so I can't argue with that. I would say if you can possibly take the weekday classes then do that, because when I was there the weekend classes were much more crowded, so we got a lot more time behind the wheel during the weekday classes. It might be a better idea to look in to company training programs, as was mentioned above. In any case, good luck.

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.
N14's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply! Would you mind elaborating a little?

Not going to get too deep into it, but I will not be going to a company sponsored training. Will be private school for me!

I went to NTI a few years ago. I could write a lot about what happened while I was there, but I'll just say that I passed and got my CDL which was the goal, so I can't argue with that. I would say if you can possibly take the weekday classes then do that, because when I was there the weekend classes were much more crowded, so we got a lot more time behind the wheel during the weekday classes. It might be a better idea to look in to company training programs, as was mentioned above. In any case, good luck.

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.

N14's Comment
member avatar

@Heavy C - I know you are in the Portland area from your profile. Any wisdom here?

This one is for the folks out of Maine. Has anyone attended the CDL class at Northeast Technical Institute (NTI)? If so, what are your thoughts?

This seems like its the only commercial drivers school in the area, so not much choice. Looked at NETTTS when I lived in Mass, but no way I am driving 1.5+ hours each way to get down there.

Thanks in advance!

This one is for the folks out of Maine. Has anyone attended the CDL class at Northeast Technical Institute (NTI)? If so, what are your thoughts?

This seems like its the only commercial drivers school in the area, so not much choice. Looked at NETTTS when I lived in Mass, but no way I am driving 1.5+ hours each way to get down there.

Thanks in advance!

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
Not going to get too deep into it, but I will not be going to a company sponsored training. Will be private school for me!

Why don't you go deep into it so we know what you're thinking and can help ensure you're making decisions based on sound principles and not misunderstandings.

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.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Not going to get too deep into it, but I will not be going to a company sponsored training. Will be private school for me!

double-quotes-end.png

Why don't you go deep into it so we know what you're thinking and can help ensure you're making decisions based on sound principles and not misunderstandings.

I agree. No one can help you without the facts.

Reading between the lines of Kurts post, it does not appear he was very impressed with his school.

I am currently sitting home waiting to go back to school at Sage, who from my research seemed to be one of the better schools. All I will say for now is I hope not. The instructors are great, no issue there, though the classroom is a complete waste of time, at least for anyone who did the High Road Training here. But the administration has their head firmly planted in their rectum, and are, in my opinion, incompetent.

As Kurt said, when I am done, I'll have my CDL , but I definitely wish my employer had their own school. And unless money is no issue at all, why in the world would anyone pay for their own school? I am in a better position than most, I can afford school, and sitting for a month waiting to go back to get my driving practice and CDL, most can't afford school, let alone any delays.

If you think you will have a problem staying with a company 9 months to a year to pay off your school and gain experience, then you are probably entering the wrong business. And if you think it is because of the mega carriers reputations, then you are watching too many YouTube videos, or visiting too many negative trucking forums.

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.

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.

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

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, I guess some of the 'drama' that happened while I was there wouldn't be relevant now. I know they did seem to be having a problem with the student success rate when I was there, specifically the percentage of students passing their CDL test on the first attempt. You could probably ask the school about their current stats. I also don't know how their stats compare to other schools.

Having said that, I've met a lot of drivers who went there. Like you said, it's the only one around. Heavy C wrote about his time there somewhere on this site, if you can find the thread. If I remeber correctly, he only had good things to say.

Thanks for the reply! Would you mind elaborating a little?

Not going to get too deep into it, but I will not be going to a company sponsored training. Will be private school for 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.

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.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

One NTI Journal

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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