Does Roehl Charge Tuition If You Fail Your CDL Exam?

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Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Damn, sounds like I am in for a world of pain and learning.

And again - since you are opting NOT to go out OTR - you're in for some pain in finding a local gig. Either with NO EXPERIENCE, or straight out of school (which again, is no experience, although you most likely will have a CDL-A in hand upon graduation).

I went to McFatter VoTech - which is now, Sheridan VoTech - the school is out on 27 and Sheridan. But it IS 9 weeks FULL TIME (7AM-3PM), $1,900 + Materials. The instructors are good, the equipment is excellent, and you get a bunch of hands on - 1,000 miles of combined city/highway driving.

I've heard of OTR companies that hire out of the program (other than CRST & Armellini), but not of LOCAL companies.

And even here in Fort Lauderdale, maneuvering and delivering in congested city streets (and it gets worse with the congestion by the day down here lately). Not something I would have wanted to take on myself right out of school.

This takes COMMITMENT, even in school. The second you get frustrated or impatient - you cold end up costing someone their life, causing thousands of $$'s in damage, and end up unemployed.

Again, there ARE PEOPLE who have went and made it starting out local - but it's the MUCH HARDER PATH, than what most everyone here has done.

Rick

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Epic fails are usually a culmination of many things.

This truth is clearly missed most of the time. All we ever hear is how the training program let somebody down or sent them home unfairly. In any learning environment the onus is on the student. It's easy to think the school failed, but that is completely illogical when so many other students pass and go on to succeed.

We have to realize we get only a partial look into what really happened when people come here complaining that they failed. We hear their perspective, which is typically off base and not a true sampling of the whole situation. We've all been through these programs. We've all witnessed those who fail, and most of them can be predicted by day 3 of the program.

So many times if we engage a person in some dialogue, the truth will slowly trickle out. It is a challenge to be helpful when we are kept in the dark. Unfortunately some people who fail at this are so clueless about what they're getting into that they are completely blindsided. It is really challenging when they themselves don't realize how their attitude, comments, or general approach to the whole training experience gives out big red flags to the employer. Most failures at training for this career fall squarely on the trainees shoulders.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar
and most of them can be predicted by day 3 of the program.

And sometimes in their first post here. lol

As soon as I see someone complain about the hotel or free meals at a company sponsored school, how mean the instructors are at a local school, or how "abused" they are that they had to be out in the yard in the heat/cold..... we all know they will fail then blame the school/company.

There was a woman here years ago who bashed her company because every day she missed class due to heat exhaustion. She passed out on the pad and the "mean, heartless" company who provided her room and board and medical attention, despite her not yet being an employee, decided to send her home because she physically could not handle the job.

Oh poor me, I am going to sue. That Professor X mentioned earlier, I knew he would quit as soon as he complained about breakfast his first day.

Too many things happen out here that throws a wrench into our day and plans. You need to be flexible and deal with it. Otherwise you become miserable and will make dispatch's life hell. My favorites are the "my mother's cousin's neighbor is a truck driver so i know all about it". yeah ok.

Learn as much as you can.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
NOT DISPUTING THE VALUE OF COMPANY SPONSORED TRAINING B U T EPIC FAILS ARE APPARENTLY A HUGE DOWNSIDE.

Marc, it's fantastic timing that you're here once again trying to justify going the private school route and hiring on with a company that has no vested interest in your success. It's fantastic timing because the past couple of days I've been considering going through your entire story from the beginning and assembling it into a cautionary tale about what happens when someone ignores our advice and goes to a private school instead of attending one of the Paid CDL Training Programs.

Take a look at this conversation:

Instructor Announced 1st Time EVER Newbie Hiring @ UPS & J.B. Hunt!

You were so excited that you might land a gig that normally wouldn't hire new drivers. Old School said:

The benefits of one short year of over the road experience will far outweigh rushing into the pursuit of big money in trucking. Many a trucking career has been derailed completely by rushing headlong into a job where the driver was nowhere near prepared for the demands.

That's all I'm going to say at this point, but I'm convinced you need to take a much more cautious approach to this. Don't go chasing rainbows and pots of gold just yet. You've got a rude awakening lying just down the road. Throw on your flashers and slow down - there's trouble up ahead.

G-Town said:

nothing is easy when you start this career...approach it with an over-confident, cavalier attitude and it will crush you like a bug in the blink of an eye.

I had said:

Definitely take what Old School says about starting your career OTR very seriously. You can't believe how many drivers manage to wiggle their way into a local gig and immediately find they're in over their heads. Many get fired from that first gig, others get lucky and hang on for dear life long enough to figure out how to handle that rig.
Then we have this conversation: Was Let Go Today (Fired) where Old School said:

First I want people reading this to realize Marc didn't get fired for falling out of the truck. He's got two separate issues going on here. His real problem right now is that he can't get a current medical card. He isn't even really a CDL licensed driver without that. He can't work for J B. Hunt as a driver without that.

Secondly is how this whole scenario confirms the things we stress to newcomers in here about the value of Paid CDL Training Programs.

This whole situation would most likely have gone completely different had the employer had some skin in the game, or had Marc been a proven experienced driver who was an asset to the company. Had this been a situation where the company had already invested 8 or 9 thousand dollars into their potential employee they would have good reason to work this out differently. The way it is right now gives them zero reasons to continue with Marc. It was an easy decision for them.

This driver has no history, the company has nothing invested in him, and there's no reason to keep him at this point. Once he gets his medical issues straightened out they might reconsider him, but at this point they've got other potential guys who can get started today. It's a business. They make decisions based on what's most likely to impact their business positively. It's that simple.

Marc has very little in his favor in this situation. We all wish the best for him, but he's got to figure out how to get back in the game. I went through this same kind of stuff at TMC. I just had to move on and find someone who would give me a shot.

Then I said:

This is a great example of why we prefer the programs these companies offer. They're investing their money, personnel, time, and equipment up front to train you to drive for them. Not only is the training better than you'll find at private schools, but it puts you in a much more secure position as a brand new driver. The only way these companies can hope to recoup their investment in you is if you go on to become a safe, productive driver for the company for about one year. If they lose you before that time they've lost their investment.

If JB Hunt had paid thousands of dollars up front to train Marc already it's highly unlikely they would have let him go like that. Not only does this apply to medical issues, but it applies to safety issues. It's quite common for new drivers to get into some small incidents. Normally they're slow speed incidents like backing into something or cutting a corner too sharp and hitting something.

If a company has a lot invested in you they're going to be a lot more lenient if you make a mistake or two. If they have nothing invested in you and you have one or two little mishaps they may just decide to let you go. Then you'll have a hell of a time finding a decent opportunity after that. I get emails regularly from people asking me what they can do after getting fired from their first job after a couple of incidents. Telling them to pray isn't a very nice thing to say, nor a great option, so I just try to encourage people to apply everywhere and hope someone gives you a chance. There isn't anything else you can really do.

Hopefully Marc will get this worked out and he'll be out there driving before too long. But this is exactly the kind of scenario that we worry about when someone chooses private schooling instead of paid training.

Then Turtle said:

My thoughts were prompted by another recent thread:

Companies that hire new graduates straight out of CDL school

In that thread numerous key points were made that have direct significance here. Most notably how a company that relaxed their hiring requirements to get you in, also dropped you like a hot potato when you were down.

(continued......)

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Marc, from day one you thought you had this trucking thing figured out and you've been trying to forge your own path against our recommendations. It's been a complete disaster from the start. It hasn't worked for you at all, and yet you continuously try to justify the private school route for yourself and others. You also thought you had found the "road to riches" in an "easy" job with JB Hunt which we had also cautioned you against taking. You wound up being fired almost immediately.

Please stop trying to debate the merits of different career paths and leave the career advice up to us. Face the reality of your situation. You've made a tremendous mess of this. Your life and career would be completely different right now if you had followed the advice we'd given you. Please stop trying to justify it or encourage others to do the same.

Yesterday I posted a topic called A Reminder About Who We Are And What We Do where I had said:

I have always said from day one that we will always give you very direct and honest advice. We will share the hard truth with you, whether you want to hear it or not. In fact, the truth is most valuable to those who are trying hard not to see it. With those types we have to be even more blunt, maybe even a little gruff, because that's what it takes to get through to some people. Even then it doesn't always work, but we're always going to give it our best.

We are the friendliest trucking forum you'll find anywhere, but that doesn't mean we're going to treat people with kid gloves. You're adults. We're going to give you the cold hard truth and we expect you to be able to handle it. No one here has the time to carefully craft each word in the most sensitive and polite way possible. We're going to be direct and straight to the point. We're going to tell it like it is.

I'm having to be a little gruff with you because even after everything you've gone through you're still here trying to justify your path or find reasons to go against our recommendations. Face the music, brother......you are the cautionary tale we always warn people about. You're living it. You thought you knew a better path than what we suggested and you crashed and burned. Yet here you are wrapped in bandages and covered in burns next to the smoldering heap of your career still trying to make your points.

I love having you here. You're a smart guy, you're super enjoyable to have around, and you always make for interesting conversations. But please stop having this debate with us or trying to cloud the decision making process for those coming behind you. We're here to share the truth about this industry. We share the realities of what it takes to get your career underway and we warn people against the pitfalls that lie ahead. If you were interested in helping us with that mission you would be warning people about the perils of choosing the private school route and then landing a job with a company that ordinarily doesn't hire student drivers.

I really do genuinely love having you around and I'm sure this wasn't any fun for you to read, but I'm afraid it was necessary.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

NOT DISPUTING THE VALUE OF COMPANY SPONSORED TRAINING B U T EPIC FAILS ARE APPARENTLY A HUGE DOWNSIDE.

$7K DEBT OUT TO COLLECTION, NO CDL?

If you buy a new car and decide you don't want it anymore, can you quit making the payments? If you flunk out of college, do you get your tuition and book fees returned?

Everybody signs a contract stating the EXACT TERMS of that particular training program. Unfortunately, very few read it, and even fewer understand it. Hey.........lifes a *****!

smile.gif

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.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Brett:

(And everyone else here who donates their time, knowledge, etc.), I am truly grateful and I again am not disputing the wisdom of your guidance.

But in the interest of Trucking Truth...

#1. I was already enrolled and attending a technical college school before I found TT.com.

I had investigated company sponsored training and had learned about the possibility of owing a significant sum of money if the contract was not fulfilled. I did not research it enough to learn that owing $7K which would be quickly turned over to a collection company and NOT getting my CDL was also a risk. I do not think that is mentioned here frequently, if at all, unless I missed it...

Despite all of my mistakes, I do still have a Class-A CDL with HazMat , Tanker and Doubles and Triples endorsements. My only restriction is eyeglasses. I have ZERO DEBT as a result of my training - in fact, I was paid to commute to and from school and reimbursed for all of my out-of-pocket expenses. AS I HAVE SAID MANY TIMES HERE... I am not looking for an argument or a debate. I did what I felt was best for me at the time.

As for contracts... I read them and encourage others to do the same! When I was hired out of college to sell insurance products the first thing I did (much to the surprise of my employers, BTW) was ask to see a policy or sample policy. When they asked why I informed them that if this is what I was selling, I needed to read it so I understood exactly what I was selling.

Tractor Man: I am not suggesting it is OK to change your mind and the contract should just go away.

I was merely pointing out that a "fellow" student (actually from another, earlier class) who got to the end of class and was unable to back or shift well enough to pass the tests was not sent home without a license owing $7k. They continued to work with him until he was able to pass. Time will tell whether or not that was a good thing.

Starting this endeavor at age 62 (now 63), getting sent home on a bus due to inability to pass an agility test (or for some other reason) was a concern.

While it appears we will never agree completely on much of this... I think we CAN AGREE that owing $7k and NOT having a CDL would be far worse than my current situation!

Going to call my Schneider recruiter now to see about possible start date...

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
While it appears we will never agree completely on much of this...

Wow, you're hard headed as hell. Just a typical rookie who doesn't know sh*t, arguing with a huge group of highly experienced professionals who happened to predict the very demise you're experiencing! I just pointed that out by quoting previous conversations we've had with you. I had told you a lot of drivers that take your path get fired from their first job, and you did. Old School told you to be prepared because there would be trouble ahead, and there was. Turtle pointed out how quickly that first company dropped you like a hot potato, exactly as we had warned you about.

So no, we'll never agree because you're simply wrong but refuse to see it. You chose the wrong path by going to a private school and then chose the wrong company as we had told you at the time. Even though that's painfully obvious to the rest of us you'll defend your thinking to the bitter end, no matter how wrong you are. Hey, that's your right. You can do that.

I think we CAN AGREE that owing $7k and NOT having a CDL would be far worse than my current situation!

No, we can not agree about that because that wouldn't have happened to you, and it almost never happens to anyone. It does, however, happen more often to people in private schools than it does in paid company training programs because of the differing business models involved. It's pretty obvious why that would be.

A private school gets their tuition paid up front and makes a profit by spending less money training drivers than they collect in tuition. Once they've invested as much money in someone's training as they collected in tuition they're no longer profitable and have no way of making up for that loss. Therefore, every private school I've ever come across has some sort of limit as to how much time you'll get in the trucks before you have to pay more tuition. I noticed you said they worked with this driver a lot on the simulator. Why do you think he was on a simulator instead of in a real truck? Because it's a hell of a lot cheaper and they weren't going to spend any more money on him.

A paid training program invests their money up front in your training. They get their investment back only if you go on to become a successful driver for the company. The last thing in the world they want to do is train someone and then send them off to work for a competitor. They want you to be successful and drive for their company. They have a vested interest in that outcome.

The fact that you chose a private school because you were afraid of being sent home with a big bill and without a CDL shows that you were given bad information. The web is full of bad information, unfortunately, which is why I named this website what it is.

I have ZERO DEBT as a result of my training - in fact, I was paid to commute to and from school and reimbursed for all of my out-of-pocket expenses.

You would've had zero debt with a paid training program. They would've paid for your training up front, transported you to their facility, and fed you while you were there. You also would've had little or no tuition to pay back.

If I recall correctly you even had to go through a big fight to get your expenses reimbursed because they weren't going to do it.

Well I'm not going to argue with you about it anymore. You can believe what you like. I'm sure we've made our points clearly enough that reasonable people can understand what we're saying and make the right decisions. The results speak for themselves. You're sitting home at the moment without a job after being fired from your first company, just like we predicted. I hate to see that happen to anyone, which is why we recommend paid training programs. That's the takeaway from all this as far as we're concerned.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

I noticed you said they worked with this driver a lot on the simulator. Why do you think he was on a simulator instead of in a real truck? Because it's a hell of a lot cheaper and they weren't going to spend any more money on him.

Not what I said at all.

I said he didn't even have simulator-level skills, much less ability to shift in real-world driving situations.

And yes, I had to fight to get my training paid for and again I was already in school before I discovered TT.com..

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Marc Lee wrote:

I again am not disputing the wisdom of your guidance.

OMG, of course you are...

...when you write BS like this:

While it appears we will never agree completely on much of this...

Based on what Marc? Your 2 days of experience in a trainer"s truck? Wow... wtf-2.gif

Did you read all of the replies to attempt understanding, or just a select few to build a counter-argument. Both Rainy and I each gave compelling examples how, and others as to why Paid CDL Training Programs absolutely go the extra mile to help drivers who are struggling. Countless examples on here of that sort of thing. It went in one of your ears and out the other..."not even pausing". That said, they will also quickly cast-off those who demonstrate they DO NOT have what it takes, a poor attitude or lack of focus. And do so many times without any attempt to recover money. Private schools...they will just take your money and think nothing of it. What you experienced was an anomaly.

Do you realize you are one of the people Brett directed yesterday's reminder on "Who We Are and What We Do" thread? Wake-up...you are not teaching the class yet...

Look, I respect what you have been through thus far and that you haven't given up. Huge props for that...but for whatever reason, you fail to see what is obvious to most of this forum and ALL of the moderators. And honestly...your focus should be on getting your sh** together for your run at Schneider. Your leash will be short and tight with them. They are taking a chance on you and trust me when I say this;...you'll need to perform; safely immediately and efficiently sooner than later.

Marc, but I cannot agree with you and will not "agree to disagree". You are in no position to offer advice as to the merits of private school/community college vs Company Sponsored to anyone.

Sorry...you are completely out of bounds on this, too dense to realize or admit it. Frankly if it were up to me, you'd be in moderation so in the future we can avoid "rabbit-hole" discussions like this.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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