CDL Through Megas

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Gabriel A.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings everybody! I want to get my CDL A. I have enough money saved up to pay for the school, but big companies train you if you agree to work for them for a year. Which route is better? 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.
Suicide Jockey's Comment
member avatar

General consensus here is to go through company sponsored training. Many people on this site have done it. I'm one of them.

I got my CDL through Prime, and drove for them almost 4 years. Highly recommend their training program.

Now I drive a fuel tanker locally.

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.

Trucker Chris (CK)'s Comment
member avatar

Why pay for something you can get for free? Megas also provide paid on the job training after you obtain your CDL. Schools teach you to pass the test, but not to do the job. Prime Inc pays $900/wk during the on-the-job portion of training, which is typically 30,000 miles.

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.
Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings everybody! I want to get my CDL A. I have enough money saved up to pay for the school, but big companies train you if you agree to work for them for a year. Which route is better? Thank you!

If you are able to get hired by a company that has its own school or sponsors trainees to go to a school, that is the best route to go. If you have no background issues, have 0 issues with recent drug use, and stable employment history, you can pretty much pick any company you want that provides training to obtain your CDL.

Here are some links to check out on the site:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Best of luck to 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.

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Gabriel, welcome!

I can’t tell you what’s best for you. I can only tell you what worked for me and why.

I did private school (three weeks) and went to Schneider. Why? Well;

1. At the time Schneider did not offer CDL Training and I wanted to go with them.

2. I wanted Schneider because I wanted a short “orientation” period and start earning full paychecks as quickly as possible.

3. Many (if not all) of the mega carriers, that didn’t have CDL Training did Tuition Reimbursement. So, I was okay with fronting the $.

4. I knew my commitment level was stronger than most. I planned to stay wherever I went. This wasn’t a game for me. It was providing for my family.

As a result, I was driving solo about two months after starting CDL school and made quarterly bonuses from day 1.

I had considered company-sponsored training and think it’s the best option for many people. There are other reasons I opted for the route I took, but these are the big ones.

By the way; I studied the HRTP here and got my permit before starting CDL School.

Whatever you decide, START HERE in the High Road Training Program.

I hope this 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.

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.

Kandyman's Comment
member avatar

Save the money. Go to company sponsored training. Studying this site I like Millis, Prime, Swift, and Stevens. Maverick for flatbed. A company not on this site is Continental Express I believe just started a program. Hirschbach also has a program.

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.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

There are some important differences between a company school and one you pay for. First off, paying for your own school doesn't mean you will automatically get your CDL. They don't sell you a CDL , they sell you instruction that may lead to you getting your CDL. That only happens about 80% of the time (although I've seen some school graduation rates as low as 40%). What happens if you finish the course but you're not ready to pass the DMV test? The school will provide you additional drive time for additional fees. I know drivers who paid ~$800/day for additional training.

In a company school if you're having difficulty with the training they just, "recycle" you - let you repeat that week of instruction with the class that started a week after yours did - at no additional cost or obligation. Still, not a guaranteed CDL, but they will give you every opportunity to earn one without going out of pocket. At my company school several students were recycled, some more than once. Word of mouth was that a student had failed months before. He was from an island in the Caribbean and had never driven a manual transmission before. (This was before automatic transmissions were widely used in trucks, yeah I'm old). He was only sent home after being recycled for several months. HUNDREDS of others earned their CDLs at the school every month so the graduation rate was > 95%.

Some folks feel they will have better job opportunities if they pay for their own school. The truth is school just teaches you enough to pass the DMV exam, not enough to actually take a truck on the road by yourself. Basic things like how to fuel the truck aren't covered. As a new driver most companies won't hire you. That's because they'll need to pay a trainer to show you the ropes for about a month and then it will cost them more than $1,000/month to insure you than it would to hire an experienced driver with a clean record. Who will hire you? The same companies who were offering to train you for free. There are a few smaller companies that aren't big enough to run their own schools, but the pay is going to be about the same because they also have the increased training and insurance costs.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Gabriel A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you everybody!

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I went private school and would do it the same way again.

If you have a less than stellar background either criminal or vehicle related I would avoid private school and go to a company program. If a company is willing to put you into school you already know you passed their background check and didn't waste money on a CDL you can't use.

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.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I chose company provided, with Knight for several reasons. There is no contract. You are hired before you start school, so you start earning a paycheck the day you start school. Much of the other carriers had a contract and you are not an employee until you finish school and or training. Knights training period with a trainer was short at only two weeks if you attended top gun training, done on a closed course for a week. During which time you are earning a paycheck. If for some reason it didnt work out, I could leave at any time with having only a zero interest loan with low payments. They definetly do things different than most.

All in all it worked out and I would repeat it again.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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