Here Are My Ten Choices For Company-sponsored CDL Training

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Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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Professor_Eye_M, you will do great in this career. You have the right attitude and are willing to learn. I have to correct one thing you stated,

I'm coming to understand that it doesn't matter if I go to a CDL school or go to a company-based CDL training. The reality is, it's all about your drive and motivation. True, going to a CDL school you're able to better hone into your skills, get more of training with adequate time, and get all the practice you need prior getting a CDL and going OTR versus going to a company-based CDL training and cramming about only a certain percentage of knowledge to you in such a short period of time (between 4-6 weeks, give or take) before going OTR.

This is a huge misunderstanding. At a private school their job is to help you get your CDL in 4 weeks. With no guarantee of a job. With Paid CDL Training Programs, the company has done all or most of their background check. The whole process is an interview. However, they have a vested interest in your success. They will give you more chances in the beginning and be more interested in helping you succeed. This is why we highly recommend Company Sponsored Training. I hope that makes sence.

Also, with Company Sponsored Training , you go from getting your CDL to out with a trainer who helps you hone your skills. This is what I loved about CFI. I had 4 weeks of school, followed by 4 days of orientation. I met my trainer on the last day of orientation, then we spent that day and the next practicing on the yard. Then I drove us out of the yard with my first load. I then drove 7500 with my trainer sitting next to me telling me how to do things and what to work on. I did all the driving and backing. I backed into every dock and every parking spot at truck stops. After all that, I upgraded and got my truck. Then the learning really began.

Good luck. Do not be afraid to ask us questions. We all have our successes and failures. You should also read through our CDL Training Diaries, to get a good idea of what CDL school is like. You will learn that we all struggle in the beginning.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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You definitely sound like you've been paying close attention to what we teach about the industry and you've caught on quickly. It really is all about your performance, work ethic, and attitude.

The one thing I would like to clarify is regarding this:

True, going to a CDL school you're able to better hone into your skills, get more of training with adequate time, and get all the practice you need prior getting a CDL and going OTR versus going to a company-based CDL training and cramming about only a certain percentage of knowledge to you in such a short period of time (between 4-6 weeks, give or take) before going OTR.

Actually it's the opposite. The training at the Company-Sponsored CDL Training Programs, also known as Paid CDL Training, is better than it is at private schools. One of the main reasons is because private schools are training you for profit. Unfortunately that means the less money they spend on your training the more profit they make. The most expensive part of the training is having you behind the wheel. The most expensive part of running a school is buying and maintaining the trucks. So again, the less money they spend on trucks the more they stand to make.

There is very little profit to be made by running a private truck driving school, so unfortunately most of them have lousy equipment and try to limit the time you get behind the wheel. They also don't have any skin in the game. Once you've paid your tuition they've made their money. They just want to train you and move you on down the road.

Company schools are training you to work for them, hopefully for years to come. They are investing in you personally by funding the start of your career. The only way they recoup that investment is if you go on to be a safe, productive driver for the company for at least one year. So they not only want you to succeed, they need you to succeed, and they're banking on it. The training will indeed by fast paced, but thorough. That's to weed out the people who really don't want to be there or really don't belong behind the wheel in the first place, and believe me there's a lot of those types. They don't last long.

Have a look at this article I've written:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

You definitely seem to understand what we're teaching and you have the right attitude. Personally, I knew trucking was for me in a big way before I ever got behind the wheel for the first time. I wanted to do it so badly I used to sit by the Interstate every evening after truck driving school and watch the trucks roll by listening to Bob Seger and dreaming of the day I'd get my chance to get out there and do it. It's a tough job and a demanding lifestyle, but it's one hell of an adventure and that's exactly what I was after. It certainly didn't disappoint.

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.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Professor, I think you'll do great.I don't know a lot about trucks except, once have a job washing by hand, a fleet of Ryder rentals. GMC cabovers. I did get to pull them into the was bay, that was in Arizona many many moons ago. My email is listed on my profile, feel welcome to email me anytime. It's there for everybody else to! Everybody welcome!

Professor_Eye_M's Comment
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Will do Doug C. and keep us posted with whoever company that brings you in. I would love to hear your progress.

Hey Brett Aquilla, I have a question for you that I would like to ask you personally. Is there a way I can send a message/email to you in confidence?

Old School's Comment
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You can email Brett @ brett@truckingtruth.com

Old School's Comment
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By the way... the poor guy gets a ton of email, so be patient for the reply. I know you think you've got something that needs to be private, but there are very few things we can't help you with in here. We like to keep the conversations public. A lot of people learn from the discussions we have in here.

Professor_Eye_M's Comment
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Thanks Old School!

Professor_Eye_M's Comment
member avatar

It's not that I want it to be privately or anything nor am I ashamed or anything, I am new on here and from all the responses that Brett had been putting on here, I'd felt that his knowledge would be beneficial but I can ask publicly.

So here's the situation. I had applied at KLLM about 2 years or so ago and I had soon started in their training program, which was going through the classroom portion of the course (training to get a CDL permit). Soon, the classroom was taken to do our DOT physical. When I had took my physical, unfortunately I had failed the drug test. I wasn't thinking at that time because I was going through a dark period moment in life. I'm not making any excuses or anything and take full responsibility for my mistake. That was 2 years or so ago and hadn't applied or even tried to get back into getting into the trucking industry.

Recently, I had revisited the idea of making another attempt to get into the trucking industry and this time, I'm doing some extensive research in what to expect in this industry, something I hadn't done in my first attempt. Thus, I created an account on TT do get more an educated insight of how to become successful.

So the question is, with the failed pre employment drug test, what are my chances of getting a company to give me a shot with their company-based CDL training? I had done some exhausting research on the web, including on TT, to find answers. So far, I'm getting some conflicting answers. Should I just hang it up and find another career or would I have a shot?

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Well, that changes everything. You are going to be required to answer questions on a federal document, one of which will be have you ever failed a pre-employment drug test. Are you prepared to answer that honestly? If you do, your chance of getting hired is out the window. If you lie, you are falsifying a federal document. Are you willing to accept the consequences for that?

I am sorry to put it this way, but that failed drug test has pretty much shut you out. You can try going through a S.A.P. program, but even that doesn't guarantee you anything. I'm sorry to be so straightforward, but you've got a huge uphill battle to get hired.

Here's some information on the S.A.P. process...

Return To Duty Process

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I'm gonna throw this out there. I'd rather not see everybody piling onto this guy about this. It took him a lot of courage to bring this up. He knows he screwed up. I've tried to point him in the right direction. I figured he was unaware of the S.A.P. process so I gave him a way to look into it. He already knows drugs and truck driving don't mix. He found out the hard way. Let's hope he can figure out how to get this all straightened out.

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