Thinking About Going To Private School Instead

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Old School's Comment
member avatar
Hiding one perspective does no one any good, but by all means make your strongest argument for what you hold true.

Mark, I honestly don't think we are guilty of "hiding one perspective." I freely admitted in my response that I went to a private school. Brett and I both attended private schools. We have a lot of members here who attended private schools. We even have pages on our web sited devoted to helping people find private schools in their area.

What we have seen and learned over the years of helping and watching new entry level drivers make a start at this career, is that the highest success rates come from these Paid CDL Training Programs. We want to help people succeed at this challenging career. We work hard at that every day. We believe in teaching "best practices."

It seems you felt compassion on the folks who failed at the company sponsored training program you attended. I understand that feeling. I never like seeing people fail. Unfortunately the same thing happens at private schools. You are required to pay up front to these private schools for that very reason. I watched two perfectly competent people fail out of my private sessions. One of them just couldn't operate a large vehicle with any degree of safety, and the other one just got frustrated with their lack of progress and stormed out the door one day to never return. Both of them had already paid for the training.

You are correct when you say that "one size doesn't fit all." Just remember that trucking is all about our performance. It is a performance based business. We keep close tabs on the industry. We have people coming to us all the time for help. We hear plenty of sob stories and success stories. We do our best to put people on the best path for success. There is no free lunch in any worthy endeavor. Trucking is the same way. We all have to prove our worth. Having our employer get behind us at the start is a definite advantage. That's exactly what they do in these programs where they pay folks to train with them. They have determined ahead of time that we are worth taking a risk with. That is a big advantage.

We just want to help drivers have every advantage they can get. There are plenty of success stories of drivers who went to private schools. Heck, Brett and I both fall into that category. If we had to do it all over again, we both would attend a company sponsored training program. That's how strongly we feel about it. That's because we have seen how much more successful these programs are at producing trucking career success stories.

Just to be clear: I hold no animosity against anyone choosing a path that is contrary to what I recommend. I just want to make sure they understand how things work out here. That is our biggest struggle. Misinformation is rampant concerning this career. It's the very reason we named this site Trucking Truth. We believe "truth" matters. I know you guys recognize the difference in our site from others. In fact, that's the reason many of you are here. We are the only ones I know of who do things the way we do. We have never aimed to be the biggest. Our aim is to be the best. We want to provide the most accurate and helpful information we can. Sometimes that puts us at odds with others. Sometimes it causes us to be misunderstood. Sometimes I even misunderstand someone, like maybe I did with you Mark. When I do that I will be quick to apologize.

I can't apologize for the clarity of what we teach though. We always want you guys to know your best options. We call them as we see them. We have had a lot of time to analyze the path to success out here. We will teach "best practices." We will help everybody who comes in here as long as we can. Again, I am sorry if I came across as confrontational. For me, that phrase "free agent" belongs in the world of professional sports. In that arena the rookies already have all kinds of talent and experience. That is what makes them a "free agent." They have clout and demand attention. They bring great value to the team. A guy who just got out of trucking school has only a nice shiny piece of plastic in his pocket. There is no way to tell if he will bring value to the team or not. He certainly doesn't have anything to draw attention to himself. He is unproven. Free agents have already established themselves. Trucking schools cannot do anything to establish us. They merely get us to beginner's status. That is true whether they be company sponsored or private. The advantage comes when someone has invested in our success. They are more likely to play the long game with us. That is critical, because the long game is where we establish ourselves. We will make a few mistakes along the way. We want to have our employer as committed to us as we are to them.

So I wish you well and hope you get to know me, we share the same passion for helping others.

Mark, I appreciate your response. I am getting to know you, and I am quite pleased with that. I think you will have a great future in this career. I hope you will share your experiences with us. I can promise you that you will have some struggles. I haven't met a new trucker yet who didn't suffer through a few issues. We will certainly be here to help if you need or want it. Godspeed to you in your new career!

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.

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.

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.

Mark C.'s Comment
member avatar
Company paid usually helps more than local schools who could charge you additional fees to retest after failing or for extra practice.

Drivers Solutions requires retest fees be paid by the student. Six students, two who were among the best, failed their tests. Those who retested paid the fee.

Anecdotal evidence is the least reliable, so I'm not trying to say you're wrong. What I am saying is the "woulda/coulda's" can apply to either path. The best advice I've seen on this thread is pick the job first, then the best way to achieve it, be that paid or private. Then never quit going forward.

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.
Mark C.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, I think this is a really good topic that's evolved into more than trucking school, and I've plenty to say, but I'm as opinionated as you and no less prone to defending my my words, and I can match your wordcount ;) As much fun as it would be, I don't want to fill this thread with such a back and forth. The proper thing to do would be to move our entire exchange to its own thread, or delete it and let sleeping dogs lie. The one thing this forum lacks is the ability for creators to edit their content, making poor grammar and misunderstandings stand for all time.

Godspeed

Old School's Comment
member avatar
The one thing this forum lacks is the ability for creators to edit their content, making poor grammar and misunderstandings stand for all time.

Mark, if you are wanting to change something in your posts you must do it before hitting the submit button. When you make a post hit the "preview" button first. That gives you a chance to read it over in a format similar to the actual forum. If you want to make some changes at that time then you just scroll back up to where you entered the text and make whatever changes you want. Then you can preview it again as many times as you want. You are right though, after hitting submit your remarks are forever sealed.

By the way... it may interest you to know that I home schooled all three of my children. They are all grown now, flown the coop and produced grandchildren. The youngest is now 24 years old. So, I also was home schooling before it was cool. Well, we always thought it was cool.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

You noticed i said USUALLY.

Fact: My local CDL school cost $9,000 which my good friend attended. I went to Prime

Fact: He paid $500 for a retest and $1000 for extra practice. And yes I saw the bills

Fact: I paid nothing for Prime school Fact: I failed backing once and driving twice and paid nothing.

Argue all you want. But time and time again we see people here who go to local schools and then cant find jobs because something in their record or medical history prevents it. The school doesn't tell them and after trying for months to get hired, they are told they need re schooling because the CDL is stale.

One of my trainees worked 10 hour days then attended CDL school at night and was exhausted and did poorly. The other went though covid with the school opening and closing constantly so she struggled due to inconsistency. Both state they wish they went my route due to not being able to focus 100% on the schooling while attending a local.

People need to know the possibilities. Neither choice is rainbows and unicorns. Schooling and training is hard and it takes a tough person to do the job. Not everyone is going to.pass. not everyone is going to make it to upgrade. Regardless of where they attended school. A local doesn't guarantee you pass company training either. It doesn't guarantee you will find a job.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Mark C.'s Comment
member avatar

rofl-3.gif Old School, is it bad that I was thinking you too could do some editing too??

My on again/off again freelance work was in web development. Usually mods have some admin tools to move things around, this site looks custom coded with an old grid style css, but I can only see the html.

And I'm prone to a meandering conversation.

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.
Jammer a's Comment
member avatar

I went to school for my cdl and on some thing I wished I would have taken the paid training rout and other ways I’m glad I didn’t but I knew I was making big career change and I got on here asked what I beloved to be good questions and I wrote down all the answers given to me in a binder that I reference still to this day!! I have 6 buddies that have been driving for 3 to 6 yrs already and a father in law who has been driving 20 plus yrs that I was able to lean on and I’ve always been a obsessive compulsive reasearcher to best deal with surprises and I’m not afraid of s$?! I new was I gonna run into it and not give up I’m more into the money side than anything and problem so living and equipment that’s what moved me up in the oil field I’ve given myself a time limit to make a success out of this so private school worked for me I didn’t go into thinking this school would teach me everything I need to know !! That’s what made me see why paid training at a mega would be very helpful in getting you ready for the road I made my first three deliveries by the seat of my pants with mike b and Georgia mike on my headset guiding me lol but it worked out for me and I didn’t owe no money or sign no contract!! For me this worked out great because I don’t owe the carrier nothing but taking great care of my equipment act professionally when driving and dealing with the clients (shipper receivers) but I truly would have liked to known qaulcom trip planning and time management a lot more so I’m divided on this subject I see both sides if you go private and do the extra work and are self motivated it’s great and gives you a lot of freedom ! But if your not and need help in all areas paid cdl will get you goin .. as far as finding work at the end I found out I had a lot of opportunities and I was completely honest with my back ground with everyone and I’m still getting offers everyday so that’s my very humble opinion on the subject 😀

rofl-3.gif Old School, is it bad that I was thinking you too could do some editing too??

My on again/off again freelance work was in web development. Usually mods have some admin tools to move things around, this site looks custom coded with an old grid style css, but I can only see the html.

And I'm prone to a meandering conversation.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.
Mark C.'s Comment
member avatar
You noticed i said USUALLY.

yes I did.

Argue all you want

Ok, but we're not really arguing since I agreed with you in principle.

Anecdotal evidence is the least reliable, so I'm not trying to say you're wrong.

MY evidence is also anecdotal. You've nothing to prove to me. There is no tone font so if you think I'm being crass, it's not my intent. If driving or medical history is the main reason people don't get jobs after school, then maybe focus on that instead of who paid for the school.

I went to, what I would call, a bad school. It was company sponsored. It was bad based on simple academic standards not my personal test result.(yes, I did have a state teaching certificate and feel qualified to make that statement) It's also one of many schools contracted by driver's solutions so it can't be assumed to be the rule. I'm really having a hard time with the idea that paid training is universally superior to self-pay. While not worthless, your experiences on this forum are not statistically significant enough to make claims for the industry, for that claim I rely on my statistics classes. its complicated.

In the end, we have always agreed that the individual circumstances dictate which is the best route. Personally, I'd say focus on helping define criteria for making that decision over steering generically towards one or the other. And if we disagree, don't take it personally. I ain't mad.

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.

Mark C.'s Comment
member avatar
but I truly would have liked to known qaulcom trip planning and time management a lot more

This is interesting, when I think of sponsored or self-pay school, i'm only thinking of the school to get the CDL. You're still stuck with zero experience so you're bound for a big starter company, which all have their training programs. Even if I took the private route and went to work with PAM, I'd have to complete their training program with a mentor. I assume the same with Prime, Swift, Werner, etc. I've got a cdl , but have never hooked or unhooked a trailer. I had an hour class on keeping logs and zero instruction on elogs. I'm getting all that from my mentor in the true "paid" part of training, where I'm paid to be there.

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.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Jammer a's Comment
member avatar

Bingo all these things would help a lot cuz my mentor didn’t show none of that and didn’t want nobody touching qaulcom but I got on here and was told about the instruction guide lol mike b and Georgia helped me with the rest

double-quotes-start.png

but I truly would have liked to known qaulcom trip planning and time management a lot more

double-quotes-end.png

This is interesting, when I think of sponsored or self-pay school, i'm only thinking of the school to get the CDL. You're still stuck with zero experience so you're bound for a big starter company, which all have their training programs. Even if I took the private route and went to work with PAM, I'd have to complete their training program with a mentor. I assume the same with Prime, Swift, Werner, etc. I've got a cdl , but have never hooked or unhooked a trailer. I had an hour class on keeping logs and zero instruction on elogs. I'm getting all that from my mentor in the true "paid" part of training, where I'm paid to be there.

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.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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