Tips On Choosing Private Or Company Sponsored Trucking Schools_ Any Tips Would Be Appreciated

Topic 31866 | Page 1

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Rick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Good morning to all the truckers and soon to be truckers. I am new to the commercial truck driving scene. I am in the process of finding either a private trucking school or maybe a company sponsored trucking school. Do you have any knowledgeable tips I can learn, watch for to choose a good school? The few private companies I have contacted seems refuse to give me on a email communication an estimate to what would be the fees for a CDL A license with 160hrs. Practical hours and classroom time. I personally do not have any practical driving hours. They insist that I go in person so they can disclose to me the different program fees. Is this a common practice with the private trucking CDL Schools? I do want to stay local commercial driving and maybe regional. Any advice would be deeply appreciated. Thanks! Blessings and Be Safe to You All!

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
member avatar

Howdy, Rick C. ! Welcome to TT:

You could (as we suggest) go FEE free, right here!

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Read the above, as a start;

And this: Paid CDL Training Programs

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Others will stop in with more links & ideas;

~ Anne ~

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.
Wile E.'s Comment
member avatar

Rick C.

The overall consensus here favors the company sponsored training path. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I'll go further and say that it is likely the best route for the majority of prospective drivers looking to get into this industry.

For some, the private school is the way to go. I chose that path, for a number of reasons that I won't go into in this note, but it was the better fit for my situation. I do not mean this note to discourage you in any way from company sponsored training. It is your decision.

Know this: the school training will get you your CDL. No more than that. That is true with either path. You won't know much about the actual job from the basic school training, and you'll know just enough of the laws, rules, and basics of handling the truck to get your CDL. The training of being a truck driver comes on the road with a trainer, and each company has their way of doing that. But that period will be where you learn the daily ins and outs of life on the road, and that education will continue after you're solo. How do I know this as a student driver? I read and listen to the men and ladies that have been doing this for many years. A LOT of those people are here on this forum. Also, I drove for 5 years a long time ago, and decided I wanted to get back into driving for the last years of my working career.

As to your question about schools requiring you to appear in person: I considered 6 different schools in my search, looked them up on line, searched through the info on their websites. I contacted 3 of those schools. All three provided info regarding tuition/fees via email. Two did ask me to come in and meet with them face to face before signing up, but again, they provided their fees before asking me to meet with them. I got the distinct impression when meeting with them that they were sizing me up, getting a read on me, whatever you want to call it. No worries, just the way they do things.

You mentioned driving local. Some LTL companies have a dock to driver program, but not knowing where you are, I can make no other suggestions.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

After looking through the links Anne offered you you can begin to narrow down your search. Consider what division you'd like to start with (dry van, reefer , flatbed). Some companies with sponsored training programs offer all three. If you have any questions about the pros and cons of each division, use the search tool to find out what other members have posted about them. If you need more specific info, feel free to post any questions you have.

You can contact companies and ask a recruiter if they have any regional or local positions that are available to drivers fresh out of school/training. If the recruiter starts talking about "Dollar this" or "Dollar that" (Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree) tell them you are not interested in working on a Dollar account. Those accounts are not recommended for most new drivers.

Most company sponsored programs require you to be away from home for a fairly long time while being schooled and subsequently trained after getting your CDL. Some of those companies will grant you a weekly stipend while going through school to help cover expenses. They will then start paying you after you have passed your CDL exams and enter the training process.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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