Most Cheapest/smartest Way To Obtain CDL A?

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James S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll preface this saying that I'm completely aware no trucking companies will touch anyone without CDL School because of their insurance. Thus, doing away with thinking I'll do this self-taught which is clearly not an option.

I also don't want to go with a company sponsored CDL school as they all want you for a year or more minimum from what I'm seeing. The horror stories don't seem to stop with this arrangement as you're basically entrapping yourself it seems as they dangle "Make ***up to*** $70,000 your first year!" in front of you and the reality ends up being guys slaving away for $300-$800 per week and want out only to be hit with a $7000+ bill with interest.

Some people say one year and you have a lot more options, but I'm seeing decent looking indeed.com posts stating 6 months experience is all that's required. 6 months I could commit to anything not utter garbage if I was able to get a cheap or free CDL A I've come to terms with.

I've decided to go hit up the Vocational Rehabilitation center in my state to see if they'd front a community college CDL A program or something. If that doesn't work, I've even came across schools in Texas and Arizona (not soliciting them, more so interested in feedback) offering $1500 CDL A Training that I imagine I could negotiate tuition reimbursement with with just about anyone (if this is indeed a legitimate enough program). https://cdlschooltexas.com/ & https://cdlphoenix.com/

Thoughts anyone? All feedback appreciated and looking to act on it. Thanks.

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.
Army 's Comment
member avatar

Hello

My son went through company sponsored training. It was FREE and he is about halfway thru his contract obligation. He loves what he does, and considers himself lucky that a company was willing to insure him, put him behind the wheel of their equipment with no experience. I think you need to stop surfing the web of lies and misinformation. You mention the cheapest way to get something. Have you ever heard, you get what you pay for?

Best of luck

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.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

Why worry about tuition reimbursement if you're not willing to commit to a year at a company?

If the program is cheap then it fits your need. The cheapest smartest way to obtain your cdl will always be company sponsored training for multiple reasons.

1. You are guaranteed a job if you pass.

2. They have a vested interest in you.

3. Their programs tend to be more legit compared to the $1500 schools. (Avg cost of cdl school is around $6k. How are they able to offer it for 1/3 of the cost? )

As a mentor I listen to horror stories from students that went with cheap. Very little instruction, crappy equipment, and even less practice than the company schools. Half of them still ended up going through company school.

Best of luck to you.

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.

midnight fox's Comment
member avatar

I also don't want to go with a company sponsored CDL school as they all want you for a year or more minimum from what I'm seeing. The horror stories don't seem to stop with this arrangement as you're basically entrapping yourself it seems as they dangle "Make ***up to*** $70,000 your first year!" in front of you and the reality ends up being guys slaving away for $300-$800 per week and want out only to be hit with a $7000+ bill with interest.

I'm looking forward to earning $300 a week out there. I just wish your secret sources kept this a secret, they're going to ruin it for everyone.

dancing-dog.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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

James, Google this term: TANSTAFL. It's safe for work, and I dare you to.

Here's a real estate term: OPM (Other People's Money)

Lastly, choose two of these three: 1)Fast 2)Quality 3)Cheap. You can't get all of them.

Now why fork over money when you can use the Big Company's? Here's a hint: they want you!! They will get you up to speed in the fastest possible time to get you out on the road

Once your training is over, which could be less than three months, you'll be getting the full pay of an OTR driver. We don't do "horror stories" here. Horror stories are mostly fiction written to get sympathy for their author. We do Truth here. A newbie who doesn't mess around, and goes for good training, can make $40K+ in the first year.

You say you hear about companies accepting 6 months experience. Fine. Now how, as a potential driver with a brand new CDL , how do you interview for a job to get "6 months experience" then move on? Any serious company will spot a job hopper and not waste their time.

My suggestion to you, your path to a well paying trucking job in the shortest amount of time, is to

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.

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.

James S.'s Comment
member avatar

Why worry about tuition reimbursement if you're not willing to commit to a year at a company?

If the program is cheap then it fits your need. The cheapest smartest way to obtain your cdl will always be company sponsored training for multiple reasons.

1. You are guaranteed a job if you pass.

2. They have a vested interest in you.

3. Their programs tend to be more legit compared to the $1500 schools. (Avg cost of cdl school is around $6k. How are they able to offer it for 1/3 of the cost? )

As a mentor I listen to horror stories from students that went with cheap. Very little instruction, crappy equipment, and even less practice than the company schools. Half of them still ended up going through company school.

Best of luck to you.

I figured they cast a very wide net focusing on filling up their classes. Interestingly, their FAQ references this website and makes it sound legitimate: https://cdlschooltexas.com/cdl-san-antonio-training-faq/

If you go to any legitimate CDL school and get the license I understand it's not difficult to get a gig, no?

Ultimately, I hope Vocational Rehab lets me go through CC for it and would think this is the best option for anyone if they can get it.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

James, have a look at this article:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private Training

That will help you understand the advantages of 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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

James figures:

I figured [company schools] cast a very wide net focusing on filling up their classes.

Are you thinking of a trucking company or a private school? Consider what either of these two is in business for.

Trucking companies make money moving freight. In actuality, a company school is a cost center, not a money maker that supports their main line of work. For a private school, their money is made by filling those classroom seats. And by the way, a VoTech school does exist by way of filling classroom seats, too.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh, yeah, I forgot this one:

If you go to any legitimate CDL school and get the license I understand it's not difficult to get a gig, no?

This is true. I tell my CDL students that once they get a CDL license, they'll never need to be unemployed. (A secret: all you need is at least a year of road experience to get to this promise)

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

James if you only knew how many people come through this website with the exact same "false" premise as you have...you'll never know how good you can possibly have it, unless you are willing to commit to your first company for at least 1 year. In reality, it benefits you more than you realize or perhaps willing to believe.

Many of us on this forum, are still with our so-called "starter company". With 6+years of accident free driving, 100% on-time deliveries and a professional approach to conducting my business, I can literally drive for any company. I choose to stay with Swift; committed to a NE Regional Walmart Dedicated account. I have yet to see a compelling reason to look elsewhere. It suits me...I am 1 of 20 drivers with a similar service record who are just as happy with their long-term employment decision. Here is another perspective: Committing To Your Starter Company Beyond 1 Year

And all the garbage and negative information you've heard or read about companies that train? It's 99% BS; written by a group of people who failed for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with the company name on their door or poor schooling/training. Don't buy into any of this...it's toxic and NOT helpful as you figure out the best path to success.

Good luck.

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.

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.

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