School Or Company Sponsored Training?

Topic 3044 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Adam S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all. I want to start my career in truck driving however I am stuck on what I should do. I don't know if I should attend a local school or go with a company sponsored training program. I was hoping some people out there have some company sponsored experience that they could share that's not negative. It seems that everything online about it is either outdated or negative and I know someone out there had to have had a positive experience with it. A local school would be nice since I would be close to home and have more employment options upon graduating however it's a bit expensive for this lower-middle class worker. Company sponsored training would appear to be the answer, however, you are locked in a contract with a company for a year and I don't really like the sound of that. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

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.

Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Well think of it this way.... You pay up front for a non company sponsored school. If you don't finish the contract period at a company sponsored school, you will have to pay the cost of tuition. It really is a wash either way. The advantage of company sponsored school is you have less out of pocket expense to get going going. You will be making about the same for your first year either way. Check out my thread in the dairy section of this forum. Is it titled, Roehl training from start to finish. I am in school as I type this.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

In regards to the local school option, have you checked in to any financial aid or grants that a school or labor department may offer? Also, many companies have tuition reimbursement that would cover your out of pocket expense. Here is an old post of mine on community college that you may find helpful:

Hey TruckingTruth,

I recently graduated from Georgia Northwestern Technical College on February 25. Here is a link to the program for those interested:

GNTC Commercial Truck Driving

I started school on January 7. It was an eight week program that ran Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 1:15pm. Before registering for the class I needed the following:

~DOT Physical $38 ~DOT Drug Test $35 ~Motor Vehicle Report $8 ~CDL AP Learner's Permit $45

In Georgia, we have what is known as the HOPE Grant. It helped fund some of the cost of the program. The school is also provided money from the government to help lower the cost of tuition. The approximate cost is $1,200-$1,300, and I paid $839 out of pocket. Most starter companies have tuition reimbursement up to $6,000, so I should not have a problem getting my money back. I spent an additional $32 on books. They included an hours of service book, two log books, and a road atlas. The main book for the class ($50) was provided by the school. They have copies in the class paid for by trucking companies. They lend them out, and we turn them back in at the end of the 8 weeks. At the end of the class, I had to pay $50 for my road test. It was given by a third party tester. He is a retired CDL teacher from the school.

I chose this program for a couple of reasons. The main reason was because it allowed me to keep my full time job while going to school. It also allowed me to keep my job options open after graduation. On the first day of class, I went in and noticed only one other student. AWESOME! It was only me and him for the whole 8 weeks. I had my own truck the whole time and ended up with 526 miles and 16.5 hours OTR behind the wheel. There where some days I was able to be OTR behind the wheel for 2-3 hours at a time. During my class, we went over the basic pre-trip, maneuvers, and road driving. One thing that really helped me out was I had the chance to do a full pre-trip on the truck everyday for 8 weeks. There where some days later on in the program that we just did a shorter version. We also learned log books and trip planning during my class. I have heard some other students in various programs say they were not taught this.

It was a great experience and I am very happy with the choice I made. I understand everybody's situation is different. I encourage you to do your research and find out which route is best for you. There are many different options for schooling out there. I am sure I have left out some information here so if you have questions please feel free to ask. I am always glad to help.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rockin' Rick's Comment
member avatar

What Anchorman said, and there is also a program called WIA that paid for the school for a few of my classmates...

The benefit of paying for an independent school is that you can pick which company you want to work for and already have your CDL and start working for them without any contractual obligation. On the other hand, as WT pointed out, if you already know which company you want to work for and they have a CDL school you'll learn quite a bit about your future employer every day.

Best of luck, have fun, and be safe!

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.
Jim M.'s Comment
member avatar

Adam,

Good luck with your decision.

As for me I chose a private training center. For the reasons that Anchorman described and shared basically. I start on the 7th of April, it is a 10 week course, 80 hours classroom and 320 hours practical. All hands-on training is 1-on-1, and I am signed up for the specialized training as well which will give me hands-on experience with flatbed, tanker, etc.

I am really excited about getting started, I got my physical completed yesterday and am all set to go.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hey Adam. Sorry I took so long to get to your question.

First of all, everything you said sounds accurate so you have a basic idea of a few of the differences. The one thing I'd like to point out is that we always recommend you stay with your first company for a minimum of one year. So in our opinion the contract is no concern at all. You can't establish a good reputation as a driver and get to know the important players in your company so you have allies when you need them if you're jumping companies every 6 months. And when you're new to trucking you don't know enough about your company or the industry to even make a good decision about which company to drive for. I mean, think about it...if you're worried about leaving your first company after just a few months that means you made the wrong choice in the first place. So what would make you think after just a few months you would now know enough about the trucking industry and the millions of companies out there to make a wise choice at that point? You wouldn't. And if you do change companies you're starting at the bottom again. So you're going to have to stay there for a year or so to really prove yourself.

See the vicious cycle people get themselves into? They never stay anywhere long enough to get the best treatment, the best freight, and the right allies on their side. That is how the experienced drivers get the great miles, the special favors, and the home time they deserve. They stick around a while, prove themselves, and get to know the right people. So don't worry about that contract. That's a good thing.

Now we have a million resources for tackling this subject so let me list some of em....

1) Our Truck Driver's Career Guide has a chapter on Choosing A Truck Driving School and it covers the differences between the two.

2) Our Truck Driving Blogs have a category of articles on How To Choose CDL Training. There's a lot of good articles there.

3) Our forum here has a section called CDL Training Diaries where people keep journals of their time in CDL training. You'll find entries on most of the company-sponsored programs out there and a bunch of private schools.

To me, the biggest factor in that decision is simply money. If you have the cash or can get some sort of financing like WIA (Workforce Investment Act) to go to a local school you're better off. Generally speaking the training is done at a slower pace, you'll get more one-on-one instruction, you'll be taught the "industry standard" way as opposed to a "company-specific way" of doing things, and of course you'll have your choice of trucking companies that hire student drivers.

But in the end you're not going to succeed or fail based upon which type of schooling you choose. Either one is going to get you where you deserve to be if you're willing to put in the work and keep a great attitude. You can save some money going the company-sponsored route but you might have a little better experience and more choices going the local route. I give a slight edge to the local route but if I were in a position where company-sponsored training was my only option I'd jump at the chance without hesitation.

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.

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.

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

Adam S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you so much, everyone. You guys have really helped and have given great advice. I am enrolled in this sites CDL training which is F'in rad. I LOVE watching WigWag Production videos on YouTube with TruckerMike. I just can't wait to start my new career 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.
Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Choosing A Truck Driving School Company Sponsored CDL Training
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More