Current Class B Driver Considering A Class A Career

Topic 27689 | Page 4

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midnight fox's Comment
member avatar

I don’t consider it evil. I think it’s a good thing all I’m saying is if you don’t give them a year you will be on the hook for more than you might have gotten through private school for.

On the flip side, there may be a real question as to the quality of a private school if its costs are so significantly less than company sponsered training.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Jay repostes:

All I’m saying is if you don’t give them a year you will be on the hook for more than you might have gotten through private school for.

Do some research, Jay. The following numbers are dated, but this program is still going at Swift: sign on for company paid training, contract for 13 months. While you drive for the 13 months, payments are deducted, but Swift pays you back for taking their training, and your out-of-pocket (old pricing) would be $1,050. Then they continue paying you back another 13 months, and your training could be free.

Take that into consideration, and it's not so bad.

Also, I think you can forget about being "on the hook" for this because it's an investment into your future career, which starts immediately after you get your CDL.

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

Rookie Doyenne's Comment
member avatar

RWD wrote:

..... The only reason I am considering company sponsored training is because of the advice from members here. Before I felt like it was a trap, but I'm read their replies carefully and am taking that into consideration. I try to be open minded, not stuck in my ways and get into arguments with the experience folks here about how I'm right. Ultimately they know more than I do and I'm taking that into serious consideration.

At the same time, I have high recommendations from friends, one that's been doing this for 5+ years, speaks highly of our private school here and once again, it's right by my home.

Compare the size of the pool of companies that hire from this school to the pool of others who may be willing to hire you. From which might come more options for your initial choice?

I really like the idea of being able to do my training and going home to my own house at night, especially when after all is said and done, I'll need to hop on a truck for several months with a driver mentor. I feel it makes the whole learning process a lot easier than going to a company, staying in their motel possibly with another student, sharing a room, then straight after hopping on a truck with a trainer for several months. I just like the idea of being able to have a bit of an easier ride in a private school and being able to go home every night.

Consider how much weight this should really have in your decision-making, because the time involved is a drop in the bucket in the bigger picture of your career span and your life. You comment on "the learning process". How about "the process" vs. the body of knowledge & experience you'll acquire? Where you sleep at night after daytime classroom and field experience is irrelevant to educational content. Further comment to follow on what you perceive to be "easier", a descriptive you used several times...

At least it takes 3 weeks off the bill of staying in motels with other people and the inconvenience that comes with it.

Factually this is incorrect in the case of (what I think is) the majority of companies that do not charge for lodging but include it in their training package. Further comment to follow on what you perceive to be "inconvenience"...

Like I said before, I'm a lone wolf type, like to be on my own. I know I gotta do my time with a trainer in the truck, but if I can minimize the inconvenience with a private school by being able to travel from home to school each day easily and feel a bit more comfortable, that is actually important to me regardless of what people think. .....

continued....

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.

Rookie Doyenne's Comment
member avatar

RWD, my experience consists perhaps of being some months ahead of you in the process of looking at the industry. I don't get a referral fee; have I drunk the "kool-aid"?

Well, I started out with views similar to yours. Across the months those have been amended by what I've read here. BEYOND what I've read here is how information has interacted with me to change my views. Everyone can read what's written here but depending on what each brings to that, different responses will be formed.

In my case, out of my broader life view prior to trucking I look at what you cite for comfort and convenience as small and transient in a bigger picture. I wouldn't weight what is so brief and temporary very heavily against other factors of potentially deep value that I'm looking to capture for long term gain.

In my now amended view of preparation and training for this industry, I'm actually looking at what you see as negatives as positive potentials. It's maybe an imperfect comparison but many vaccines work because they introduce a tiny amount of the target disease or substance in order that the body adapt and build effective defenses to sustain a healthy immune response; I think you get the idea. Basically, after reading about what does or might comprise daily life on the road after training, I look at early "less than perfect" realities as opportunities to get my attitude in shape. Ultimately, attitude rules. Two people in an identical situation could be having radically different experiences depending on what attitude is brought to bear. It looks to me that trucking will be make-it or break-it for me, as for that ~95% that keeps being alluded to in this thread, from this realization.

I can relate to that based on considerable other life experience, so yes, I have bought into this particular "kool-aid", the one regarding underlying attitude, which is a life view, not just a trucking view.

Strengthening or amending core belief or attitude doesn't just turn on a dime and happens best with conscious effort and qualitative support. So I'm doubly appreciative, and this is after the fact of being on here for months, to realize this is happening in my case and that I've had generous advance time to get ready to transition into this career.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hi.

I went with the company-loaned 'paid' training route in 2015. Very happy. New baby. Zero debt. Zero issues. Zero complaints. Brand new (1k-5k miles on the odometer) trucks all the same.

I ended up quitting for the sake of my new family and landed a local 'cement truck' (ready-mix is another name or barrel truck) at around $22.50/hr (before 10-15hrs of OT a week) here in Texas. I had just under 12mo of OTR experience (thanks to jury duty in Nov. of 2015).

I was making $0.36 CPM (split 50% due to co-driving; 18 CPM; nearly maxed out on miles per week all year long).

The local job itself was fun, exhausting and quite an experience. It paid far better, but was overall less rewarding.

If you have experience with motorcycles, manual (5-spd? 6-spd?) transmission vehicles (ATV, "car" or whatever else): It really doesn't translate that well into a 10-spd transmission in a semi-truck.

The general awareness of having a large and tall truck (box truck; which I also have years of experience with) is all that really translates. My $0.02.

In fact: I have a wide range of experience in this industry now.

Personally: Study the CDL questions from the mobile program that Brett A. made. Aside from being on the DOT written test: They may save your life like mine while OTR.

I'd go with a company sponsored training any day before I go private. If pay or home time is your concern: Stick locally with a class B.

As it has been stated many times before: OTR is literally a life style; as are a myriad of other comparisons (the US Navy comes to mind).

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

Class A training vs Class B is quite different in scope and depth. There is simply just more aspects involved with the A training which leads to longer programs and higher costs. You can pay a private school for a B and likely find a job quickly depending on what you'd like to do be it Concrete hauling aka ready mix , auto wrecking , Bus driving ( which is what I do , btw there are quite a few different types of this just like in trucking . You can also do local straight job deliveries in box or flatbed. Some of these pay well and most are by the hour but they are a lot of physical work and usually are long days as well not unlike OTR . Remember class A is usually more of a lifestyle at least in the beginning.

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.

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