Community College As A Means Of Getting My Cdl?

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Joel D.'s Comment
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Also pack rat my wife seems to be ok with it as long as it’s going to be 5-6 days out and a day or two home every week. I’m looking into flatbed as a driver.

G-Town's Comment
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Joel we have many recent examples of why Paid CDL Training Programs are the best choice.

Why I Prefer Company Paid CDL Training

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.
Banks's Comment
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Also pack rat my wife seems to be ok with it as long as it’s going to be 5-6 days out and a day or two home every week. I’m looking into flatbed as a driver.

I had the same battle. And at the same time, things kept coming up at home that required my attention. I just opted to put OTR on hold and I went LTL. It works better for my family right now.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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So after speaking with my wife again last night, she wants me to go with a private school. It’s closer to home and it will still get me my cdl. Not a guaranteed job, but still I get a cdl at the end of it

Joel, you're making short-term decisions and you're not considering what a tenuous position you'll be in after graduating from a private school.

First, if you want to keep your wife happy, the most important thing is to get a successful start in this industry. Are you familiar with Marc Lee's story? He went to a private school and landed a job with JB Hunt. He was injured within a few short weeks and was then fired. He got on with Schneider after that but lost his job before he ever even got on the road because his backing skills weren't up to snuff. Then he landed a job with Swift, only to have that offer rescinded before he ever left the house.

The most important reason for choosing paid CDL training is because the company will have a vested interest in your success. They're investing their money in you. If you don't succeed with the company, they lose their entire investment. Even if you're very slow to catch on they can still recoup their money eventually. If they let you go, they lose that entire investment.

If you go to a private school, the companies hiring you have no vested interest in your success. They can drop you like a hot potato anytime for any reason. Ask Marc Lee how true that is. He's had it happen three times and has yet to drive a truck solo one single mile in his career. Now he's sitting home with a private school certificate and a CDL, but without a job and without any real prospects, bless his heart. He seems like a super nice guy and he's put in a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort into this only to come up empty to this point.

I’m just trying to compromise and keep the peace!

If you think your wife would be unhappy with you going away for training for a few weeks, think about how unhappy she'll be if you spend $5,000 out of pocket to get your CDL and can't land a job anywhere after that. Have fun with that!

Highly successful people have certain traits in common. One of them is knowing how to learn from the people who have been there. You're going against the advice of quite a few people who have many years behind the wheel and have had success at the highest level in this industry. Others have done the same, and many have fallen flat on their faces.

Make intelligent long term decisions, and follow the advice of the right people.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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
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Joel, people misunderstand our push for Paid CDL Training Programs all the time. We teach best practices here. We want to see the folks who come through here succeed. We see many people fail - most of the time it's those people who think they've figured out the best way for their particular situation. Often it is just to satisfy their spouse. It's exactly as Brett described it - short-sighted.

Trucking is a huge Commitment. There's no getting around that. Remember that old saying, "Happy Wife - Happy Life?" You guys need to be on the same page. Right now she knows less about making a good start at this career than you do, and you know next to nothing. Now you're taking her lead. Does that really sound like a good plan?

Just for perspective... Brett and I both went through private schools. I had a terrible time getting hired. I've proven to be really successful at this career, so it wasn't anything I was doing wrong, and it wasn't my age. Don't even think the demand for drivers guarantees an easy time landing a job - it doesn't. They have accused us of getting corporate kickbacks and money under the table for pushing these Company Sponsored Programs, but it's all hogwash. We do what we do because it gets the best results.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

One more thing to consider about attending local school is how focused can you be. I was exhausted learning everything I needed to know to pass my test and got back to the hotel and had to study more and then slept like a baby. Being at home it's quite possible you will have distractions (spouse and kids) that will make it more difficult to stay focused. I dont mean that in a negative way by any means. The flatbed companies that get you home every weekend are pretty good at it but there will be times you get home late, or not at all that weekend due to breakdowns, customer delays etc. Even as a local driver this career puts strains on a marriage due to how demanding it is. I absolutely love it, but honestly it has changed my marriage in both good and bad ways. There are many families that make it work, but there are also many that cant.

Joel D.'s Comment
member avatar

Guys I really do appreciate all the advice you are giving me. I am not trying to not listen, it’s just trying to convince my spouse that paid cdl company training is the way to go and there will be sacrifices that will have to be made.

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

Joel, you want to look at the first year of your trucking career as an investment in your future. It's the foundation for the rest of your career and will serve as a platform for launching the rest of your life. If you don't get your career off the ground, nothing else matters.

Commit one year of your life to this and do whatever it takes to get your career established on solid ground. Once you get that year of OTR or regional driving under your belt, you'll have it made. You'll qualify for local jobs that get you home every night, you'll have a solid base of experience to work from, your driving skills will be strong, your finances will be in good shape, and you'll know what the best move will be to make sure your trucking career aligns with your personal goals and preferences.

The path we recommend is what we consider the safest, surest way to establish your truck driving career. It's not the only way, but with so much on the line, you have to get this right. Think long term. This year will fly by so quickly you won't believe it. After that, you're all set.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

HI Joel, welcome aboard. Sorry for late reply but I figured I'd give you my two cents as I was in a similar situation. A few years ago when I started, I wanted to get my cdl but wasn't sure of which option to take. Like you I considered private school, company sponsored and community college. I had called a few companies to see what the deal was with contracts and all but still wasn't sure. Eventually I found a community college about 30 minutes from my house. I applied and was quickly accepted. The the biggest advantage was not having to pay a dime for my training. I applied for financial aid and received a work grant from the state to attend school. It was an 8 week course, small class size of 8 students with plenty of trucks. I feel I got really lucky and blessed to have found the school. I was able to work my full time job while attending so i could transition the change easier. The best part is, recruiters from companies I was interested in all came in to do presentations. I ended up with Maverick transportation and loved it.

I'm not saying community college is the best route, I'm just saying it's a solid option. I wouldn't recommend private school however since it seems they'd just be after your money. I didn't attend one so I can't say for sure. As a final note, company sponsored is also a great option. You'll be guaranteed a job as long as you complete your training and will likely have nicer equipment.

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

If you make the right decision there will be peace. Even if there are rough patches. ahead of the peace.

Make the wrong decision? It won’t matter who gets to say “I told you so.”

Ask yourself if you normally make good decisions. If so, trust yourself by examining the advice, your objective and how the two come together.

Good decisions usually are not easy decisions.

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