Trucking School Vs Paid CLD Training: Survivor Stats?

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CajunWon's Comment
member avatar

I understand Brett's take on this (great site btw) as well as "Winners Win and Losers Lose" . I'm excited to get into this, and have a Winning attitude.

My only trucking friend says to take the JCC (Johnston County Community College) school Jan. - March $1300 These paid training schools are setup as no risk to the company since you're on the hook for $3k-$7k from day 1.

Have been reading reading training reviews here. Not many post here beyond 3 months in, and (except for the regulars) hardly any posts after 1 year. And it's no wonder: After reading the Sleeping Birth thread - wow, seems like DOT is a real hassle and like to issue citationswhich would force you out.

Is this a "only 5% make it" career? If so then 95% would benefit financially from paying the tuition at a highly rated school.

What percent of New Truckers make it past year 2 for Paid Company training vs tuition based schools?

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Hi. It would be impossible to give you that stat because there is a difference between "schooling" and "training" regardless of where you go to "school"...you still need "training" in order to become a truck driver, "schooling" only gets you the CDL but training refines the skills and teaches you the company's policies and requirements.

With that said... When it comes to this site, most leave us once they become successful because this site is geared for newbies. I am still in contact with plenty who no longer post but are indeed still in trucking. This site better prepares people with expectations as well as giving support for new drivers.

When it comes to Prime.... As a member of the Prime Driver Advisory Board I can tell you that the 2019 figures for us was a turnover rate of all drivers of 35%, including those in training. DOT Foods for example had a 20% turnover rate but only hires experienced drivers.... So Prime did fairly well. Our rehire rate was 16% per week were former Prime drivers. This is one of the best when it comes to mega carriers.

When it comes to DOT regs and such, it is no big deal. You know what needs to be done and do it. If you were a chef you would.keep the food temps proper and avoid cross contamination. If you were a paramedic you would know what to do to help people and follow rules. It is no different. Follow the law and regs and no one gets killed and you dont get tickets.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Anyone can go to school and get a CDL. That does not make you a driver by any stretch. There are several factors that go into wether someone makes it or not in this industry. Here are a few in no order of importance.

Some folks have unrealistic expecations. That is why those of us stick around to help prospective new drivers get honest answers on getting started and how to be successful. They start and find out it isn’t what they expected or wanted and leave the industry.

Some people do not have the proper background and decided they would just become a driver. They fail to understand how important a clean background is. They go the private route and then are not hireable.

Some get going and struggle and instead of putting forth the effort to improve they just bail out. Recruiters tell me that on average half or so of new hires quit before 90 days. Another 25% will leave before 6 months and another 10% don’t stay a year.

This is a great industry, but it is not always easy. Things don’t always go smoothly and sometimes you get very frustrated. However it is not everyday, and there are normally many more great days than bad ones.

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.
CajunWon's Comment
member avatar

Recruiters tell me that on average half or so of new hires quit before 90 days. Another 25% will leave before 6 months and another 10% don’t stay a year.

Very helpful replies -thanks. OK, so 15% make it to year 2. And 75% of those opting for prepaid company sponsored CDL training leave as bag holders for a significant portion of their $3k -$7k fee. rough #s of course.

I have been doing the High Roads online course. Not difficult, especially how it is arranged. I had to make an appointment with DMV for the CDL permit & endorsement tests: December 22 am. I have put in one application with TMC and have communicated with Prime, CRST, Millis, Roehl. The latter have suggested to wait until mid December to apply. But I think I should enroll in JCC Driver's School by December 10, with the intention to drop it if hired prior to class start in January. I'd be good at this! but even though age discrimination doesn't exist, I will be 60 by then, so class is the fallback to get the CDL, it's $1300 but would be April before potentially starting company training. Health, and the skills assessment will definitely not be an issue.

(I'm guessing the TMC guy said to submit the app just to help his recruitment #s -just a wild guess)

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Most companies only keep an active application on file for 30 days.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I started my career and still with CFI. My training did not cost me a penny. Simple stay the year. Money I paid for DOT physical, permit test, CDL and Hazmat background check were all reimbursed. When they renew, they get reimbursed.

Every Paid CDL Training Program is a little different. However, work the contract and it's free.

Because the company has a vested interest in your success, they will put more effort into you and more quickly forgive those minor accidents.

It takes them a couple of years to make back the money they invest in students.

Why pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for what you can get for free?

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

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I got my CDL through National Tractor Trailer School in Syracuse NY. I was hired by a local company right after I completed my training and passed the road test. Actually allot of companies actively recruit out of NTTS. Gypsum Express (Who I currently drive for), TMC, DOT Foods, Swift, Warner, H.O. Wholding, McClain, JB Hunt, and NFI. I echo the same sentiment of this thread once you get your CDL it will only get you through the door what ever company you hire on to you will still have to complete their training requirements just the same as if you applied for Company paid training. Of course the big issue driver retention! Sticking with the Company for at least a year TT can not stress this enough! You are going to have to pay your dues and prove yourself. I've been driving for Gypsum for going on 20 months pulled Dry Van for 15 months and I just recently transferred over to flat bed hauling Metal Coil. When I started out in Dry Van I thought I had been exiled northern New Jersey because all I did was bring a load in and bring one out! But I stuck with it and now I'm at a place where I have steady schedule a consistent miles. Good luck on which route you take. If you decide to go the CDL school route make sure the school is reputable and have an active job placement program for their graduates.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

CajunWon's Comment
member avatar

Extrapolating from Brett's advice on why not to do Lease/Operator. That companies offer L/O as a profit center, considering the turnover, they get the truck back, re-lease it to another driver who thinks he/she will be in the 10% group that make it work throughout the lease term.

Same with Company Sponsored training. These companies would not offer CDL Training if it were not a profit venture. 15% make it through the contract term (12 months, 120000 miles,...). The other 85% are literally paying for the "company sponsored" CDL program. And these are not small obligations: Roehl $7k, TMC $6k, Millis $4.5k As reimbursement for their cost of the, what, 3 week CDL class, yet keep you on the hook for 12 months. Even if this commitment is the only way some can afford to get a CDL, most find out was not the best decision and end up further in the debt. Get the CDL, fall out of program or get dismissed, get a big bill, company profits either way. There are no job guarantees, they can of course dismiss you at any time. Some of these training companies don't completely vet until after you've arrived at training (Prime, Roehl,..). DAC Report, MVR often not reviewed until after you are 1000 miles from home.

Can't blame the companies, they must make a profit. But schools charge the same amounts. Trucking companies would prefer a recent CDL school graduate, over a CDL holder who was dismissed within the 12 month obligation period.

The numbers demonstrate "company sponsored CDL training" is a poor risk/reward. It does work well for some, like frequent posters to this board, not for most.

Just conjecture, and hope this is not the case.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

I would recommend reading Brett’s blog on why he would choose to do company-sponsored training , if he could do it all over again.

He states — much more eloquently than I’m paraphrasing here — that a company that’s already invested thousands of dollars in your training, will be much more likely to forgive a rookie mistake such as backing into a telephone pole or knocking off a bumper. A company that hires you after having made no investment will see the same mistakes as nothing but a liability, and therefore be more eager to cut you loose.

That said, JUST DON’T HIT ANYTHING! Lol. Decide for yourself that you are going to be in the 15% who make it. Show up with a positive attitude, a willingness to listen, a teachable spirit, and a strong work ethic, and treat everyone you meet with courtesy, respect, and civility — even if they “don’t deserve it.” Good relationship and communication skills are important in keeping your job, which is what i took away from brett’s experience with the termination after the early arrival.

I am just in the research phase like you, and hope to start my training soon, so I have no personal experience to relate this lesson. The moderators will correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the lessons from this site are to treat your training and your career with the attributes above, and you’ll go far. I wouldn’t cynically assume you’re worse off going with company sponsored training

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.

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.

SRJ's Comment
member avatar

Just a few comments to your post.

“The numbers demonstrate "company sponsored CDL training" is a poor risk/reward.” My question would be, what makes a CDL School a good risk/reward?

You pay tuition costs to go to a private school or trucking school. The tuition costs for community college’s seem to range from $2500-$4500. Trucking school costs are all over the board. I read awhile back someone paid $7500 to get a CDL.

Anyway, what is the success rate of the above? How many get hired right out of school? Who is guaranteed a job right out of school? If hired, how many complete 6 months or a year? If you don’t make it in the business, you still have the responsibility of paying your school debt or if you paid it upfront, “x” amount of dollars you no longer have in the bank.

I would think there may be profit in company sponsored training as there is in college tuition or truck driving schools. Companies, schools and businesses don’t usually last long if they aren’t profitable.

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.

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