What Is The Best Way To Select A Paid CDL Training Program/Company?

Topic 32499 | Page 1

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Nick S.'s Comment
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What is the best way to select a Paid CDL Training Program/Company?

Looking at the list of Paid CDL Training Programs suggested in this forum, none of them are located near me. The closest one near me is about 1 ½ hours from where I live.

So if I sign up with one of these companies (then do the training and then get licensed), will that location be the business location that I must report to after getting hired to drive under a 1 to two year contract (as I pay back my schooling/training)? In this case, if I pick the trucking company closest to me, does that mean that I will have to drive 1 ½ hours (each way) to get to and from work?

What is the norm when working with a company that offers Paid CDL Training and eventually being hired by them to do a one to two year driving contract, when you do not live near that business location?

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.
NaeNaeInNC's Comment
member avatar

Terminal location only matters with companies that require you to leave the truck at the yard. Prime wouldn't hire me with a Montana DL for reefer division, because we don't have enough freight there to get me home in the time frames promised. I moved to NC and made it happen.

I was lucky, in that I knew a woman who drove for Prime, so I knew what I was looking for fit what they offered.

Are you looking for paid training? Are you looking for specific amounts of home time? What is your home life looking like? How long are you willing to commit? Can your finances take the hit for the time you are in training? Do you have a partner that will be a ride along later? Do you have a pet that will be on the truck?

A lot of things people come here looking for from their first company, wind up being non-issues or a blip on their radar while looking for a different company. There is a whole crowd of people hung up on the name on the door, as being the big factor in where they go. Don't let someone who possibly failed and is bitter influence your future.

What is the best way to select a Paid CDL Training Program/Company?

Looking at the list of Paid CDL Training Programs suggested in this forum, none of them are located near me. The closest one near me is about 1 ½ hours from where I live.

So if I sign up with one of these companies (then do the training and then get licensed), will that location be the business location that I must report to after getting hired to drive under a 1 to two year contract (as I pay back my schooling/training)? In this case, if I pick the trucking company closest to me, does that mean that I will have to drive 1 ½ hours (each way) to get to and from work?

What is the norm when working with a company that offers Paid CDL Training and eventually being hired by them to do a one to two year driving contract, when you do not live near that business location?

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar
if I pick the trucking company closest to me, does that mean that I will have to drive 1 ½ hours (each way) to get to and from work?

You don't have to worry about where the terminal is if you drive as an over the road truck driver. You can take the truck home with you and park it at your house if you have enough room. If not, you can park at a secure area, like a truck stop, closer to your home if there is such a place near you. There are some companies that let you take the truck home even if you have a home-daily position. My company is one.

Some companies have accounts that are dedicated to hauling loads for a specific customer. If you can find a company like this that has a customer location near your home, you might be able park your truck at the customer each night. Some Walmart distribution centers and Home Depot distrubution centers come to mind for this type of scenario.

What is the norm when working with a company that offers Paid CDL Training and eventually being hired by them to do a one to two year driving contract, when you do not live near that business location?

Like I said above, you bring the truck home with you or find a place nearby where you can park your truck while at home. I've never worked closer than 2hrs from a company terminal. Terminal location doesn't matter for the most part.

Most companies will get you a rental car to drive to the nearest terminal for orientation. If they don't provide a rental car they should get a bus ticket or some other kind of public transportation for 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.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I went the company sponsored path with Swift, driving for them 8+ years… I was mid fifties when I went through their training.

My suggestion is to first look at the three links below (assuming you haven’t). I think it’s important to have basic understanding of what you might be getting yourself into, reset expectations before attempting to select a company.

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Trucking Company Reviews

Once you’ve reviewed these links… then give us a shout with thoughts and further questions.

Good luck.

Klutch's Comment
member avatar

I live in upstate NY. I went through sponsored training with Schneider in Indianapolis because that’s where they had an opening the week I wanted to start. I was originally working out of Green Bay, WI because that’s where my division and DTL were located and currently work out of Carlisle PA (463 miles from my park location).

Schneider finds an approved location for you to park for home time, for me it’s a truck stop about 20 miles from home.

At least with some of these companies where you train or the location your “based” out of really has no or minimal effect on you.

Nick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to take this opportunity to thank the following people for taking the time to read my post and provide some good answers and feedback.

Thank You!: NaeNaeInNC RealDiehl G-Town Klutch

I was not expecting so many great and helpful responses. I sincerely and greatly appreciate all that you have shared with me. I will try my best to respond to all of you that replied in this one reply, so that this post does not grow super long, while hopefully being helpful to other potential truck drivers in the same boat as I am.

Thus far, I have read enough about the life of being a trucker. Overall I feel that I basically know what I am getting into. Thus far, what has been shared, are excellent reminders of what I am getting into, I am very willing to commit. Best of all, based on what was shared, I now feel more comfortable about being able to easily get home (when I am not working).  Based on what I have read in the past 24 hours, there really does not seem to be any one “good” or “bad” starter major trucking company that provides paid CDL training. Now I feel, if things are really bad with a starter trucking company I end up going with, I feel pretty confident that I can stick-it-out for 1 to 2 years (as I gain valuable driving experience and payoff my training/CDL licensing obligation). I have had a few jobs in my lifetime that I absolutely HATED, but was able to stick with it for 2+ years, until I was able to get into a much better job situation. As a personal rule, I will always stick with a horrible/bad job for at least two years, before moving on to greener pastures. 

Most of all, thank you all so much for taking the time to read my post and for taking the time to share so much useful information with me as you did. Thanks a MILLION all of you. :-)

Kind Regards,

Nick S. 

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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