Trucking Schools/Training In Michigan

Topic 29821 | Page 1

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Clare S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all! I’m a 28 year old woman looking pretty seriously into trucking as a new career. If I can get it together financially, I’m leaning toward the private schooling route but I’m also researching paid company training. Any Michigan based truckers out there who know of good schools to look into? Or any Michigan or Midwest based companies that train? My cousin drove for 15 years with Stevens Transport and loved it, but Dallas might be a little far to travel for training all the way from Flint! Thanks for any help you can offer!

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

High Road CDL Training Program

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

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

Hello Clare, and welcome to our forum!

If I can get it together financially, I’m leaning toward the private schooling route but I’m also researching paid company training.

You didn't really elaborate why you are leaning toward private schooling, but allow me to make just a few comments in general about some common misunderstandings about trucking school. Many people seem to think that they will get better training if they can afford to pay for it. Also people tend to think they will have more "options" if they attend private schooling. Neither of those things are true. No matter what school you attend, they each have the same goals and they each offer the same thing. There is one objective to truck driving school. That objective is to get you to the point of passing a driving test that allows you to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). That's what you get from trucking school if you pass. You are still not a truck driver, which is why you will still go through almost a month or more of training when you actually get a job. Then you will probably take almost a year or more to even really feel like you are getting the hang of the job, which is why so many folks wash out of trucking early in their pursuit of this challenging career.

It seems logical to think private schools are better since only the folks who can afford them get to attend them. Those Paid CDL Training Programs must be for the poor schmucks who can't afford to pay. Therefore they are not as good a program. They are almost like subsidies for the poor. That kind of thinking is seriously wrong! These company sponsored programs are set up because the trucking companies found this to be a most effective way of developing strong drivers to fill their needs. These programs are highly effective and they don't cost you much at all. They are designed to get you behind the wheel as quickly as possible with little or no expense on your part. They are highly effective programs. We recommend them all the time. Many of the successful drivers in our forum obtained their CDLs in this fashion.

Don't shy away from these programs just because you think you will have more options or better training by paying for it yourself. It simply isn't true. Another objection is the commitment required from the driver. People get all hung up over making a commitment. Usually the driver must commit to a one year contract. One year is a drop in the bucket when you are considering a career. It is really a short time. With all the new stuff you will be learning as a truck driver, it will pass before you even realize it. Ask yourself how long it will take you to save up about 6,000 dollars at your present income and expenses. That's about what you will need to pay for and attend a month long school without working your job for that entire month. I bet that is more than a one year commitment for most average working folks. If you try to commit to a saving plan you may very well not stick to it. If you stick with your commitment to a trucking company they will gladly pay you every week for your dedication and commitment. That is a great trade off. You are committed to them and they are just as supportive of you and your efforts at improving yourself as a commercial driver. That is what I call a "Win Win" situation!

Take a look at these articles. I hope they help you with your research into this...

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private Schooling

Busting The Free Agent Myth In Trucking

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.
Jim W.'s Comment
member avatar

Clare, There is a ton of information on this site that I used extensively to research the type of training and company I wanted to go with. Also, It's probably one of the best resources to study for your permit and endorsements. There are plenty of companies that train in the Midwest, and many provide transportation. I'm heading out myself in a few days to orientation and training with Roehl in Wisconsin and will be doing my best to keep updating my journey in the CDL Training Diaries section of the forum.

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.
Clare S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, thanks for such a quick response! I think you nailed why people like myself tend to think of private schooling as “better” and you make some great points about company training. That may ultimately be the path that makes the most sense because, yeah, saving even a few hundred at my current job is near impossible. And as for the commitment aspect, you’re completely right that a year or so with a company is nothing compared to what could hopefully be a great career.

John's Comment
member avatar

Hi Clare! I echo what Old School ('Congrats on 10000 posts!) said.

I have not gone to CDL School. I have not even talked with any companies yet. I am still researching, and starting to study for my permit. But, I can almost guarantee I am going to take advantage of a program offered by a company.

A CDL school may work for you. But, regardless of what school you go to, you are still going to need to get training, and still need to get experience. The CDL School will teach you to pass the CDL test, just like a company sponsored program. You will learn the same thing. With a company sponsored program, you can basically get your CDL, get the training, and get a year experience (in most cases you are under an agreement to stay with them for at least a year, or certain amount of miles)...at minimal cost, or even nothing. In my view, the company sponsored program is the way to go.

But, if you choose to pay for the school yourself, most will reimburse you for the school, with a year commitment.

I also feel, if the company puts you through the training, they have a vested interest in your success. True? Maybe, maybe not.

Ultimately, your choice - but I would make sure you have your bills covered for at least a month - and apply for some company sponsored programs.

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.

John's Comment
member avatar

Good luck Jim. I am considering Roehl as well.

Clare, There is a ton of information on this site that I used extensively to research the type of training and company I wanted to go with. Also, It's probably one of the best resources to study for your permit and endorsements. There are plenty of companies that train in the Midwest, and many provide transportation. I'm heading out myself in a few days to orientation and training with Roehl in Wisconsin and will be doing my best to keep updating my journey in the CDL Training Diaries section of the forum.

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.
Chris E.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Old School,

First post here, but I just wanted to say thanks for the links regarding the paid CDL training vs private schooling, very informative and very much appreciated. I've gotten as far as contacting and talking with a private school here in MI to get the ball rolling, but have still been researching which route I want to take and which company to try to sign on with if I did go the paid training route. So again, thanks a lot for the information.

Also, hi Clare! Not trying to hijack your post or anything, I'm also from MI and it just felt comfortable clicking on your post and I'm glad I did. Good luck with your decision!

Hello Clare, and welcome to our forum!

double-quotes-start.png

If I can get it together financially, I’m leaning toward the private schooling route but I’m also researching paid company training.

double-quotes-end.png

You didn't really elaborate why you are leaning toward private schooling, but allow me to make just a few comments in general about some common misunderstandings about trucking school. Many people seem to think that they will get better training if they can afford to pay for it. Also people tend to think they will have more "options" if they attend private schooling. Neither of those things are true. No matter what school you attend, they each have the same goals and they each offer the same thing. There is one objective to truck driving school. That objective is to get you to the point of passing a driving test that allows you to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). That's what you get from trucking school if you pass. You are still not a truck driver, which is why you will still go through almost a month or more of training when you actually get a job. Then you will probably take almost a year or more to even really feel like you are getting the hang of the job, which is why so many folks wash out of trucking early in their pursuit of this challenging career.

It seems logical to think private schools are better since only the folks who can afford them get to attend them. Those Paid CDL Training Programs must be for the poor schmucks who can't afford to pay. Therefore they are not as good a program. They are almost like subsidies for the poor. That kind of thinking is seriously wrong! These company sponsored programs are set up because the trucking companies found this to be a most effective way of developing strong drivers to fill their needs. These programs are highly effective and they don't cost you much at all. They are designed to get you behind the wheel as quickly as possible with little or no expense on your part. They are highly effective programs. We recommend them all the time. Many of the successful drivers in our forum obtained their CDLs in this fashion.

Don't shy away from these programs just because you think you will have more options or better training by paying for it yourself. It simply isn't true. Another objection is the commitment required from the driver. People get all hung up over making a commitment. Usually the driver must commit to a one year contract. One year is a drop in the bucket when you are considering a career. It is really a short time. With all the new stuff you will be learning as a truck driver, it will pass before you even realize it. Ask yourself how long it will take you to save up about 6,000 dollars at your present income and expenses. That's about what you will need to pay for and attend a month long school without working your job for that entire month. I bet that is more than a one year commitment for most average working folks. If you try to commit to a saving plan you may very well not stick to it. If you stick with your commitment to a trucking company they will gladly pay you every week for your dedication and commitment. That is a great trade off. You are committed to them and they are just as supportive of you and your efforts at improving yourself as a commercial driver. That is what I call a "Win Win" situation!

Take a look at these articles. I hope they help you with your research into this...

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private Schooling

Busting The Free Agent Myth In Trucking

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.
Clare S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Chris! No worries at all. Happy to see another Michigander on here. And thanks everyone who has put in their two cents so far!

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Hi Clare....would you be surprised to learn that "schooling" is sometimes done OTR? So location of your home doesnt matter. My company sent me to Missouri for a few days then put me on the road with a trainer while I had my permit. We went to GA, MI, NY, MA, TN and more. We never went back to the terminal until I was about to test. So being close to home makes no difference.

There is a ton of reefer freight in Livonia and Grand Rapid...Battle Creek.. And IN....so easy to get you home when you want.

Good luck

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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