Thinking About Going To Private School Instead

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A Girl & her Dog (Tierra 's Comment
member avatar

Hey All,

So the original plan was to start with Wilson Logistics and do their CDL training program , but after they suddenly decided to not go with me (Approved a start date, ran MRV, Background Check everything good, Had me get CLP and MEC, Then MEC was filled out incorrectly they sent me to have that corrected. Then Had me upload my driver license, then ghosted me ) I don't know if I want to go through the whole process again with another company until I have CDL in hand.

I am currently researching schools and waiting on a call from 160 Driving Academy. Also will be applying to Prime again in March (they wanted to wait until my speeding ticket less fail off ) Hopefully everything goes according to plan and I can be OTR with a trucking company by Spring/Summer.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If you're going to apply to Prime next month, why go to a private school? Fork over a lot of money for a job you may not get hired to perform?

We always recommend attending company sponsored training because once you pass, you also are employed. Afterwards, stay at the company for anywhere from 9 to 18 months, and your CDL schooling is paid for.

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.
A Girl & her Dog (Tierra 's Comment
member avatar

Well I was going to decide between private and prime. The private company have carrier sponsorship where either Swift, Werner, Covenant or Landair sponsor and you work for them. So just weighing options.

If you're going to apply to Prime next month, why go to a private school? Fork over a lot of money for a job you may not get hired to perform?

We always recommend attending company sponsored training because once you pass, you also are employed. Afterwards, stay at the company for anywhere from 9 to 18 months, and your CDL schooling is paid for.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Everything looked like it was going to be Wilson, but it wasn't. Company sponsored training is almost a guaranteed job, and a better bet in my opinion.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, 160 is about 5 miles from my house! That's not a reference, though.

Swift has their own school at their Memphis terminal. Like PackRat says, getting into a company school you're all but hired (if you pass the course & get your CDL.)

There's too many opportunities for company schools over paying for a private one. True, recruiters will come to the ordinary schools, but bottom line you'll pay for that private school education job or no job.

BTW, I had an over 15 speeding ticket in July and Swift took me in in November.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Mark C.'s Comment
member avatar

I know I go against the grain here but if I'd to do over, I'd have gone private. Most starter companies will reimburse for the cost and the time offered to pull back is too short to get a real feel for the school. Going private would have cost half as much also, should I not finish my full year for some reason.

I watched several people fail and the only thought in my head was that they would be billed that $7K for the school and not even have their cdl. If you can't get the $$ up front, sponsored school makes sense, but if you can swing it (and look for grants) you're a free agent going private.

I should see my PAM mentor mon or tue next week, then it's PAM for a year whether I like them or not, else I have to buy out the tuition at full (inflated) price.

In the end, you make the choice that puts peace in your soul then stop looking over fences. Grass is always greener from a distance.

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
If you can't get the $$ up front, sponsored school makes sense, but if you can swing it (and look for grants) you're a free agent going private.

Okay, it's time for a brief lesson. This lesson is coming from a guy who went to private school - that would be me!

Mark, I appreciate your comments, but they are coming from somebody with zero experience. For over eight years now I have been involved in this forum. I have seen people get their CDL in many different ways. Some of them don't even bother with going to school. So there are a multitude of ways to get a CDL. What we want to help people understand is what can be considered as "best practices." A person with no experience can reason this out in their mind and still come up with a not so great answer to the question of, "Which way of obtaining my CDL is going to give me the best results as far as making a successful start to my professional driving career?"

I have witnessed plenty of people fail at this time and time again. I keep up with this stuff. I do that because I want to help people make the best choices they can when starting this career. The statistics of success stories at trucking are terrible. The high failure rate has little to do with how we actually obtain our CDL. The problem lies in the demands of the career. We just watched one of our new members Zach wash out really quickly. Unfortunately that is a common occurrence. This is a remarkable career that demands remarkable people. Mark, you made this statement...

I should see my PAM mentor mon or tue next week, then it's PAM for a year whether I like them or not, else I have to buy out the tuition at full (inflated) price.

You are already feeling the pinch. You actually sound as if you have already made up your mind that this was a mistake. Guess what? That is exactly what most newbies do. Before they have even figured out how many wheels an eighteen wheeler has they start thinking they have made a bad choice in how they got started. That's the truth! Here you are doing it. Not only are you doing that, but you are advising others to go to private school so they can be "Free Agents!" Badly done Mark - very badly done! What in the world kind of evidence have you accumulated at this point to make such a claim?

Here's what happens: Trucking hits us in the face pretty hard at the beginning. Poor Zach gave up very quickly. He went to private school. He didn't feel any pressure to keep that one year commitment. He spent his money. He is now broke and jobless. It had nothing to do with where he went to school. It had to do with the fact that he was not prepared for the challenges of this career. That is what finishes off most of the rookies who can't hang for one year. They get blindsided. They didn't have a clue about the demands that were going to be placed on them. That first year as an OTR truck driver is one crazy emotional roller coaster ride. No matter where you went to school, you will ride that roller coaster. It finishes off many a newbie long before they can even get the hang of things out here. It is already working on you Mark. That is why you now think you should have gone to a private school. You are already experiencing feelings of trepidation. The next thing you know, you will be taking action on those feelings. Here's how it will unfold. You will convince yourself you made a bad choice of company to start with. You mark my words - I am confident of where you are heading. You have made it very clear with your comments.

Continued...

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You are feeling confined and restricted because now you have got to make a commitment. You don't like that, and you especially don't like it because you are "feeling" that you are stuck at a "bad company to start with." Please do us a favor and don't start trying to teach other people about this career when the only basis you have to go on is your floundering emotions at this point. That is all you've got right now. You are feeling this emotional turmoil that you made a bad choice. So you are espousing another approach that you think would have relieved you of these emotions. You don't have a clue whether that is true or not. You are back and forth in your mind and that is going to come down hard on you during your training and first few solo months. I hope you make it, but this post gave me reason to keep a close eye on you. I want you to make it. I also want you to be able to give sound advice in here. I don't want to see you posting like some newbies - nothing but problems and complaints.

Are you aware that Pam now has an investment in you? That's right - the last thing they want is for you to wash out and quit. They trusted you enough to commit to you and train you without charging you for it. They took a huge risk on you in hopes that you will develop yourself into a competitive driver for their team. Do you know what that means? Here's what it means. They will stand behind you if you get into a minor scrape like most rookies do. They may even stand behind you in a serious accident depending on the circumstances. Our friend Zach made a few minor mistakes, but he didn't ever even hit anything. He got fired! The company he went to after attending private school had no commitment to him. They weren't losing anything when they decided they didn't need him. Can you see the difference? It is a huge factor in the success rate of rookies. When you can get trained by one of these Paid CDL Training Programs, they have some "skin in the game." They will get behind you and give you everything you need to make a go of this. It is in their best interest. That is worth a lot in this competitive environment.

Here's an article that covers some of this same stuff. I hope you guys will read it and understand that we get nothing for promoting these concepts. We have helped and witnessed a lot of rookie drivers over the years as they went through this whole training process. We have seen so many people crash and burn their careers because they weren't prepared for the challenges. We have also watched a lot of people struggle and make it. Most of them who go through the paid training programs seem to have an edge over the private "free agents." I was a free agent, and I couldn't hardly get a job! My friends who went through paid training had a job lined up already. I had the funds to pay for schooling, but it gave me zero advantages. In fact it ended up working against me.

Busting The Free Agent Myth

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Free Agent?

Yeah right! "I'm a great hire. Zero experience, but I have this shiny, new diploma."

A Girl & her Dog (Tierra 's Comment
member avatar

The point I made in my post regarding the reason for considering school then choosing a company is because of the inconsistent and inconsiderate natural of the way the companies can string you along and in the end it was a waste of time . And it’s partially my fault putting all my eggs in 1 company but the reason I did was I was approved and then all of a sudden nothing . So I’m considering is it better to already have cdl in hand when applying to a company is better.

Also I’ve been reading all through the forum and I’m aware of the challenges of becoming a professional driver and it is the reason i am drawn to it. I enjoy challenges , problem solving , decision making etc.

In the end I’ll make the decision which route to take is best for me after weighing all options and opinions.

Also with the school I am considering the cost would be sponsored by a company, the only difference is I would do school in my hometown and avoid having to travel all the way to company for training and having that possibility that the company can decide to send me home at any time for any reason .

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.

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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