Does Roehl Charge Tuition If You Fail Your CDL Exam?

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Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar
I was already in school before I discovered TT.com

My local community college requires you to attend a pre-registration information session. The CDL program director did not impress me at all, but the best advice he gave was suggesting that potential drivers go to Trucking Truth website to learn about the industry.

I'm glad he did because I would never consider a community college program or private school at this point.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Let's do some math. I like math because it's useful. Some say numbers don't lie.

This isn't even aimed at Marc, it's just something I'm hoping others following along here will take note of when considering the merits of this conversation.

I'm not even sure how many weeks Marc has been out of his trainer's truck, but he keeps stressing over a recent post where somebody failed their training and now owes 7,000 dollars. That's a fair concern.

But... in today's market a good rookie driver, with a will to learn how all this works, can usually make 1,000 dollars a week.

Let's say Marc hasn't been working now for 10 weeks. I'm throwing that number out there - I didn't look it up. This situation he's in has cost him 10,000 dollars in lost income. Granted, that's not debt, but it's his first cousin, and should be taken into consideration. I think the math may help some of you see the point with a little more clarity.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Let's do some math. I like math because it's useful. Some say numbers don't lie.

This isn't even aimed at Marc, it's just something I'm hoping others following along here will take note of when considering the merits of this conversation.

I'm not even sure how many weeks Marc has been out of his trainer's truck, but he keeps stressing over a recent post where somebody failed their training and now owes 7,000 dollars. That's a fair concern.

But... in today's market a good rookie driver, with a will to learn how all this works, can usually make 1,000 dollars a week.

Let's say Marc hasn't been working now for 10 weeks. I'm throwing that number out there - I didn't look it up. This situation he's in has cost him 10,000 dollars in lost income. Granted, that's not debt, but it's his first cousin, and should be taken into consideration. I think the math may help some of you see the point with a little more clarity.

NOT DISPUTING THE GENERAL CONCEPT BUT YOU ARE USING ME AS AN EXAMPLE, SO...

Marc works as a handyman when he can't do other work. Formerly it was IT Project Management, most recently it was Trucking Training.

As soon as it became apparent that Marc was going to be out of a truck for a while, Marc spent $5 and placed another ad on Craigslist. Marc makes more money working as a handyman than he did training for JB Hunt. Now as Hunt was $15/hr. plus overtime and Schneider is $80/day, THAT will be a downgrade. But the "inexperienced driver sign-on bonus" should offset some of that. (FULL DISCLOSURE NOTE: Yes, probably paid over time and will be reviewed before I can start but Recruiter said it is only Experienced driver bonus being reviewed and normally they only go up not down)...

CPM also lower so messing up @ Hunt also has other costs. Lucky to be getting another chance, hoping to "redeem" myself, and it was 3 weeks (not 2 days as someone stated) on my Trainer's truck.

On the other hand... preparing for Prostate surgery, being unable to lift over 10 pounds for 6 weeks... now THAT has had some significant costs.

Perhaps a "generic" computation will make the intended point.

Yes, going to Company-sponsored school, getting on the road quickly and getting closer to the magic "one year" sooner may have been the better call. Just wasn't something I was willing or able to go (given my personal circumstances and obligations at the time)...

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Craig L.'s Comment
member avatar

I will say I have a lot more respect for you guys and the job. I drove 100 miles an hour and half on back roads.... Didn't totally hate it but didn't mind it either. I spend 1 day on the range watching guys struggle w/alley dock while the instructors sat in the shade (makes me rethink the schooling program too) and it was hot out. I see how challenging it can be to drive these machines. I was actually a bit tired driving back home even though all I did was stand in the head and watch them for about 2-3 hours. I drove home asking my self "Do I really want to get into trucking?"

I still have more thoughts to process and more thinking and learning.

Jeremy's Comment
member avatar

I guess ill share my experience quick i also went to private school my thinking was i drove log truck for 18 yrs i dont need to go otr for a major carrier and i refuse to live in a truck with another driver Well this is what i had to go through due to my decisions. My first day i was handed keys given a dispatch and thats that had never slid tandems before had never actually backed to an active dock didnt own a trucking gps or heard of one before for that matter i was completely clueless as to what i was doing while i was lucky enough to make it through the first few weeks and pick everything up and have become what id call a pretty succesful driver ive said to myself 100 times man life couldve been so much easier if id have had someone like myself to show me the ropes so even though i went that route id call it a mistake and if i had it to do again id take a different route. My ability to drive a truck due to my years of driving log truck is prolly the only thing that got me through what these people in private schools dont understand there is alot more to being a truck driver than driving truck My wife is currently in the school i went to but that is 100% only because my company agreed to let me take her on my truck and train her as soon as she obtains her license so im acting as her company training i look forward to it as itll be nice to share my knowledge with her There is obviously much more detail to my story but the moral of it is even with 18 yrs behind the wheel private school was a mistake on my behalf

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Marc I read your latest reply. Although very commendable, most of it is irrelevant, a clear deflection. No idea what is motivating this, but the “example being made” here, is the one you set.

I called you out on one basic premise, to paraphrase:

You concluded that Paid CDL Training Programs DO NOT go the extra mile to help slower students and that Epic Fails are common.

In short; that’s utter bulls**t.

The parity that exists in Company Sponsored Training is consistent; it’s goal is to train and groom new drivers, preparing them for employment. They quickly recognize “wheat from chaff” and act decisively. For the most part private schools; TAKE YOUR $$$$.$$...!!!

You have yet to address or recognize the points I made and Rainy made to factually counter your claim. Yes you witnessed your school helping a failing student. No denying or downplaying that. However you never experienced company sponsored school/training, yet advised a value judgement elevating private schooling as a better choice because of one event. That’s not how this forum operates. And something I and the other Mods. will not tolerate.

Please give us your experience Marc, advise accordingly, tempering your opinions aligning them with actual and relevant experience. Nothing more. Easy.

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.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

My Son, went to a PAID CDL school. After completing his 10K miles, he went back to test for his CDL. He struggled to pass the backing portion of the test. It took him, 3 attempts, and about 2 weeks of staying in Springfield to pass. They did give him extra pad time and extra one on one training. They also allowed him to stay in the hotel during his additional time. I commend his choice of schools.

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.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Marc I read your latest reply. Although very commendable, most of it is irrelevant, a clear deflection. No idea what is motivating this, but the “example being made” here, is the one you set.

I called you out on one basic premise, to paraphrase:

You concluded that Paid CDL Training Programs DO NOT go the extra mile to help slower students and that Epic Fails are common.

In short; that’s utter bulls**t.

The parity that exists in Company Sponsored Training is consistent; it’s goal is to train and groom new drivers, preparing them for employment. They quickly recognize “wheat from chaff” and act decisively. For the most part private schools; TAKE YOUR $$$$.$$...!!!

You have yet to address or recognize the points I made and Rainy made to factually counter your claim. Yes you witnessed your school helping a failing student. No denying or downplaying that. However you never experienced company sponsored school/training, yet advised a value judgement elevating private schooling as a better choice because of one event. That’s not how this forum operates. And something I and the other Mods. will not tolerate.

Please give us your experience Marc, advise accordingly, tempering your opinions aligning them with actual and relevant experience. Nothing more. Easy.

G-Town,

I do not believe I ever expressed an opinion on company-sponsored training. I merely told a truthful story based upon my personal experience with how the school I attended worked to help a struggling student. That is all I believe I did.

I also seem to recall Rainy (I hope I have this right) being sent home from two programs before she landed and excelled where she is now. That was and is a fear of mine.

FYI... We had three students drop out of my class. One early on when still on simulators. The other two when we were driving. Students and instructors tried to help them before, during and after. One came back and left again. Again, the truth, the whole truth...

And to be clear, I do not know if the student I spoke of was charged more or not, and if so how much. I was told the re-test fee is $50 after the initial $150. (When I was told of the almost-last minute change in my test truck, I offered to pre-pay the retest fee!).

Not trying to continue pulling us down the "rabbit hole". I accept responsibility for what I have said but will not for what I have not said.

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.

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

We're 11 pages deep and still debating?

Rick

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Marc wrote:

I also seem to recall Rainy (I hope I have this right) being sent home from two programs before she landed and excelled where she is now. That was and is a fear of mine.

Nope. Not correct at all.

I went to Prime and only Prime. Got my permit on day 2 of orientation thanks to the High Road. I was OTR with a CDL instructor on day 6.

After driving almost 10k miles with my permit and one on one training over 3 weeks delivering loads, I went back to test.

I passed my Pretrip with no problem. I failed the backing. My instructor had a family emergency and went home so another instructor gave me one on one instruction.

I then passed the backing with no points, but failed the road test twice due to automatic fails of stalling the truck, impeding traffic. The clutch on the new truck was so different from the first truck that it took me more time to adjust. Had I been able to test on the first instructor's truck i would have had no clutch issues at all.

Long story short... I had:

1. One on one instruction, and all of my time was spent with me driving and backing. I drove through rain, fog, wind, 7% down grades, truck stops, fueling, scaling, toll booths, Atlanta, St. Louis, Dallas, NYC bridges, and at all hours of the day and night.

2. I never shared a truck with another student.

3. When I needed extra help, I got it.

4. I paid absolutely nothing for schooling. Only $155 upfront for the permits and processing fees.

5. I had my permit, was OTR and tested months before my friend who started a local school at the exact same time. My friend's local instructor told him I was lying and there was no way I could be driving, and that Prime was one of the worst companies to drive for. (We have been on the top 20 Best Fleets to Drive every year I have been here, so that was a lie). I sent him a picture of my Qualcomm of me driving over 500 miles per day, and then the same instructor told him "Well of course, Prime is one of the best. What did you expect?"

6. The day I passed my exam, I was placed on Prime payroll. Got there on September 21. Passed my exam on Oct 30th. Got paid on that pay cycle on week later.

7. The entire time I was in school, my world concentrated on trucking and learning without home or social worries to distract me.

Prime Testing Facts: I cannot give the stats for other programs.

At Prime, most of those who fail and/or get sent home fail the Pre trip. That is something an instructor cannot memorize for you. That rests on the student. Those students would have failed any program due to inability to learn.

More students are testing sooner and passing due to an entire automatic fleet. Now that shifting is not an issue, student can legally test 2 weeks after getting theor permit. So many are getting 1 week of orientation and 1 week of drive time then testing.

Most people who are sent home from orientation have criminal, DMV , or medical issues. that they either lied about or assumed were not a problem. It does not matter if they have a permit, nothing, or CDL. Some drivers will get sent home from orientation forntheir own issues.

I repeat, even with a CDL, you can be sent home from company orientation.

Removing the restriction is easy and less stressful tha people think Those who later paid a local school to test on a manual to remove the restriction had a much easier time passing. This is due to only having to concentrate on shifting during the exam. After months or a year of driving, the entire rest of the test regarding lane control, turns, sigsn etc was a breeze. A lot less nerve eracking too.

So, no. I have never been to another company. And yes, anyone can be sent home from orientation, even Marc Lee.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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