Newbie Here! Best Advice For A Woman Thinking Of Jumping In...

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Tammy A.'s Comment
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Actually I called social workers and asked if there was any way Henry can go on respite for 2 months and when im done get him back. The answer is YES. The reason I say 2 months and get him back is if I dont get my cdl or something happens during training I will have a job to come back to. If I get my cdl well im going otr full force. SO a BIG duck in a row now.

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Ok-- so one more question... and I think this one is the most important of them all.

I'm gonna start off by saying, I don't care much about company pay, etc. I figure the first year-- my main mission is just to learn the job and get as good as I can at what I'm doing-- the money comes with knowledge.

So having said that-- are there any company sponsored training programs that you experts here think are better compared to others? Any programs that a rookie with little to no experience in anything larger than a minivan should stay away from? (I've heard that Roehl is pretty ruthless with their quickness to cut rookies that aren't catching on fast).

Really-- with everything else I've been able to glean from relentlessly reading this board-- I think this is the last important question in me deciding which way to go.

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Brandie, I can only speak about Schneider training. I believe that it was top notch. But when you are new, you are a beggar not a chooser. Get on with a big company with a training program. You are right, just take what you are offered and go with it.

There are two of you here. You and Tammy. Both of you have my respect, but I wonder about your ability to follow through. How about your children? When I was young, I didn't get any help from my parents because they were unable to provide any. Instead, I helped my parents financially until their deaths. How about your children? Are they able to help you pursue your dream?

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.

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.

Brandie W.'s Comment
member avatar

As of right now:

Wilson Veriha Prime CRST

Also got an email from MAST-- but I'm a little too far outside their 2hr radius requirement.

PackRat's Comment
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As of right now:

Wilson Veriha Prime CRST

Keep in mind CRST is 100% team driving.

Brandie W.'s Comment
member avatar

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As of right now:

Wilson Veriha Prime CRST

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Keep in mind CRST is 100% team driving.

Yeah.. CRST is the choice of last resort with me because of that. If they are who ultimately takes me-- so be it, I'll suck it up and ride out the contract...

Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

I can honestly say that everyone at Wilson Missoula has been extremely easy to work with (except my first 2 trainers). It seems that they are definitely pulling for you to succeed. The only people that I know that didn’t make the cut quit themselves. That being said, you get 2 shots at your CLP , 2 shots at your CDL and learning the pretrip is totally on you. Those things can get you sent home

I went 3 weeks without pay. The first week was training in the yard and the second 2 was training before you get your CDL. The week after I began getting paid. The pay scale has changed so I am not sure what they pay for the first 10k miles (it was $600 a week when I started) but after that first 10k it’s $900 a week. Hope that helps!

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.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

One of the reasons I went with Knight was that you actually get paid and are employed with them the day you start school. I figured that was unique in that I would be making money while in school. But...and its a big but. Yes, you do get paid while in school there, 480.00 per week. The but is that you have to pay for your lodging unless you are military and you have to pay for your food. (unless you live close to a Knight campus.) So in the end it washed out. My hotel came to 400 a week. My recruiter paid for one of the weeks, I paid for two.

Training pay is 800 per week. If you do Top gun, you have 1 week of that at 800 per week and then two weeks of training, each at 800, then you go solo with guidance and that is .46 cpm base pay plus bonuses, and you get a transition bonus as well.

Most of the large carriers equate out to about the same, their structures may be different but the concept is the same.

If it helps, I think I actually detailed my expenses and how much I needed for the duration of school and training in my diary here. It was a very large concern that impacted what choices I made in getting into this.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

As of right now:

Wilson Veriha Prime CRST

Also got an email from MAST-- but I'm a little too far outside their 2hr radius requirement.

Dangit, about MAST. They are a super company here in Ohio...

Wilson . . . I would be on their 'coattails' if I were you~!!

Then, exactly the 'next' in order, as you have listed. Not knocking Prime, but.. longest training there is, then again, maybe not a 'bad' thing.

Have you seen Kearsey's videos? Truckin' Along with Kearsey!

Davy's spell out of Knight looks pretty enticing as well, though!

~ Anne ~

ps: I've got my 17 y/o 'LAST nester' doing something . . . In January. Homeschooled via Covid last 2 years, with 2 college credits; been FUN! (HAHA, NOT!)

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Brandie W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the insight on Wilson-- I did read your diary and I'm so glad you got everything worked out even with that 2 trainer issue. I'm pretty sure if they brought me on-- I'd be going to Springfield based on my location (assuming it's based on your home location-- you're from AZ if I remember right.) The only one of my 3 where I'm not sure where I'd go for training would be Prime-- I'm literally 8.5 hours from Pittston and 8.5 hours from Springmo.

Yeah-- I've been binge watching Kearsey the past couple of weeks. And yeah-- my kiddo essentially finished out his high school career via homeschool-- they went back 5 weeks before graduation, and with him a senior-- he only went 2 of those 5.

I'll check into Knight-- I think they haven't pinged my radar because they never responded to my mass application drop.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

So... plot twist!!

Was informed by someone local that I qualify for a program that will cover the cost of me getting my license... so I could get my Class A here at home.. for free-- and then sign on with someone-- which means I don't have to lose income!

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

No disrespect Brandie, but that plan may be a little short-sighted. Your plan involves potentially more risk, both long term professionally and financially.

Company paid training is also free, provided you hold up your end of the deal. You simply have to cover a little upfront investment by saving enough ahead of time to cover your expenses for a very short period. The return on your investment will come on the back end, in the form of greater training and support from your company.

I strongly urge you to read this before making that decision:

Why I prefer paid CDL training over private CDL training

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.
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