Starting Out/ Needing Advice

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Carla C.'s Comment
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Me and my boyfriend are looking to get into trucking.. But, we are stuck at which route to take. We have been looking into a course at our local community college where we can use our financial aide as well as company sponsored training. We can see the benefits of both, such as with the community college option we can work where ever we choose when done but are not guaranteed to be able to find employment. In this course we do a 5 week class and obtain our license, then for the next 10 weeks we are employed and generating income with a motor carrier (separate of course.) As with the company sponsored training we receive training and a job, but are tied down but able to get experience. We really want to be able to drive together ASAP. We also realize with company training we will be separated as well for training but, afterwards will we be able to drive together? Also how long will we be separated? We have also played with the idea of doing the community college program first, then trying to find employment and save money. Then if we can't get a job on our own we can do company sponsored and have saved enough money to pay the bills while we are gone.. I also believe we make more money already having gotten our license? I'm not sure, plus this way if we can't find a job, more experience can't hurt us right? Any and all advice/ ideas are appreciated. Thanks!!!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

Me and my boyfriend are looking to get into trucking.. But, we are stuck at which route to take. We have been looking into a course at our local community college where we can use our financial aide as well as company sponsored training. We can see the benefits of both, such as with the community college option we can work where ever we choose when done but are not guaranteed to be able to find employment. In this course we do a 5 week class and obtain our license, then for the next 10 weeks we are employed and generating income with a motor carrier (separate of course.) As with the company sponsored training we receive training and a job, but are tied down but able to get experience. We really want to be able to drive together ASAP. We also realize with company training we will be separated as well for training but, afterwards will we be able to drive together? Also how long will we be separated? We have also played with the idea of doing the community college program first, then trying to find employment and save money. Then if we can't get a job on our own we can do company sponsored and have saved enough money to pay the bills while we are gone.. I also believe we make more money already having gotten our license? I'm not sure, plus this way if we can't find a job, more experience can't hurt us right? Any and all advice/ ideas are appreciated. Thanks!!!

I can see so many scenarios going wrong with this all based on what you guys need and want. Tough question really! I'll make this short and say go with the Community College. I went to a sponsored program threw a company but that best suited me because I didn't have to worry about anyone else, I would have hated to have to worry about my significant other while putting in 14hr days 20 days straight trying to get my CDL. I'm confident you guys would be able to find a Job once acquiring your CDL but you will have to do your training separately.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Carla C.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay, thanks for the reply!! We just were sure if we would be able to find a job...., considering that we want to drive as a team and we would both be inexperienced. Training separately isn't a huge concern just being able to team drive afterwards is. :)

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Alright, I haven't given a good answer to anyone in awhile so you'll be my lucky recipient.

Both routes will have their own challenges. If you go to the community college you'll be able to learn it all alongside your significant other. Which may or may not be a good thing, it wouldn't in my marriage haha. You'll always have a million things on your mind during school and especially when practicing driving or backing and the last thing you want is a distraction.

You also won't be as rushed to get your CDL as you would in a Company Sponsored School. Company schools are extremely fast paced, you'll get a little more breathing room with the community college.

However, just because you will have your license doesn't mean you both can just apply to a company and be in a truck the next day. Not at all, even though you'll have your license you still have no experience. You'll have to still go through training, and along with that comes being separated.

It depends on the company, but expect the schooling to be 4-6 weeks long. And that's after your community college. So make sure you two can handle being away for about a month. I should mention, every trucking company is severely lacking in female trainers. So you might want to be prepared for a wait time.

As you know, you sign a 1 year contract with those Company Sponsored Schools. Don't pay attention to this. You want to stay with your first company for at least a year anyways. So that contract means absolutely nothing. The last thing you want to do is switch to a different company with only a few months experience. Get that year!

Before I forget, please don't worry about not finding a job. Company, and I mean every company, would fall head over heels for teams. You will find a job, unless there things on your record I don't know about. As soon as you mention the package deal to the recruiter you'll likely notice an instant boost in their motivation to get you on board. Companies will want you no matter what route you take. As soon as you both get promoted to a solo driver is when you both will get a truck together and start driving.

Here's how a typical company sponsored schooling program goes from someone who has been there and done that.

Get shipped to the terminal. Paperwork, drug screening, physical Study for permit test. Get permit. Get introduced into idle speed movements with you driving. Get introduced into backing. Get license. Team drive with a trainer for approximately a month.

This entire process takes about 6 weeks. From signing those papers, to get your own truck! Only 6 weeks..

Company sponsored schools will definitely get you in that drivers seat the quickest. But, short training isn't always a good thing....

Hope I gave you a few ideas. And I'm proud of myself that I've still got it!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Carla C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks so much for your response! So, basically community college is the way to go. Also, I do have a speeding ticket on my record that I forgot to mention, it was over a year ago... He has nothing on his.

Carla C.'s Comment
member avatar

So, basically if i understand correctly, do the community college route, then on to a company sponsored program. This gives experience and a job. :)

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

So, basically if i understand correctly, do the community college route, then on to a company sponsored program. This gives experience and a job. :)

Community college isn't experience. You won't apply to a company saying you have experience.

Honestly, you two would save a lot of money (depends if you get financial aid) by going to a company sponsored school. You won't have to pay anything out of pocket. And you go through their schooling and get a job. I think this community college deal is just complicating everything.

It's completely up to you. But I went to company sponsored schooling and I don't regret it at all. I got my CDL completely free!

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.
Nighttrain03's Comment
member avatar

It's up to you how you want to do it. I'll presume that you don't have you're CDL yet? If not, and if you pursue the company training route; be mindful that if they provide the training you'll most likely be required provide some time in return to them. A lot of companies also provide tuition reimbursement. Do your research and decide for yourselves what is best. If you decide to do the local college route, be aware that it could take up to 2 - 3 months with them. Either way is a viable option, just be mindful of the plusses and the negatives of each. Once you get out on the road, you'll be travelling the country and getting paid to do it. it's an awesome feeling to get in your truck and just cruise down the highway to your location. Good luck in whichever avenue you decide to take.good-luck.gifgood-luck.gifgood-luck-2.gifgood-luck-2.gifgood-luck-2.gifgood-luck-2.gif

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.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to Trucking Truth Carla C.! And congratulations on your decision to become truckers!

Definitely take into consideration that once you are with a company, you may have to wait for a female trainer while he goes ahead on the road, before you do. Some companies offer the option of training over the road with a male trainer but if that's the case, you and your significant other will have to decide if that's something you want. When I heard it, it sounded odd or awkward but everyone's different and it might not bother some. Having to wait for a female trainer is not a deal-killer; it'll just be something you'll have to endure a little, to reach your goals as a couple.

Also, be sure the two of you come to some sort of agreement as to how you will handle the obvious comparisons you are going to make with each other. One of you might be really good in one area while the other struggles and vice-versa in other areas. This will be a test of your relationship because you will have to agree that this is a team effort and when one of you is down the other might be reeling from a great day. Although I did well in school, it was an emotional roller coaster. I never showed my emotions at the school but on rough days, I'd definitely come home and consult with my friends and even my kids for support. (sometimes these young adults have more common sense than we do and I never would have made it without my childrens' support) I can't imagine going through it with a partner and the complicated feelings that might have added to the mix, especially if he had had a great day while mine was terrible or the other way around. I don't know how all that works with companies hiring teams but just to keep one's mind open, sometimes that kind of thing (training) is even better when couples go through it, one-at-a-time. Just a thought; and that may be totally opposite of what you were planning but it might be a way to have one of you go through some of it first and then be able to say, "Hey Honey, when you get to this part of the program, remember to handle it this way," where one of you could give the other the scoop on everything ...which, in turn might better promote the "team" mindset that the two of you want. It's merely a suggestion. You two must decide what's best for the two of you.

I'm with Daniel B. Get a company-sponsored CDL program. Whatever the expense for CDL school, you two have to double it, to get you both into the driver's seat. And a commitment to a company for a year? Oh, wow. Hurt me-ee. Who wouldn't want work? Isn't that what we're here for? Work? So I say, "Cool if they paid for training and offered you a job right after." I couldn't do it that way, because I never found any companies that offered CDL training and a job locally. I can't go OTR because I'm a single parent with no other parent to share in the raising of my brood; but if you two are free to roam, then go for it! Let someone else pay for both of you and give you both a job once you've earned your way through their program. That's a swingin' deal!

Good luck to you both and keep us posted on how your journey progresses!

-mountain girl

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.

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.

Carla C.'s Comment
member avatar

We will be getting financial aide. We are also aware schooling does not count as experience hence why I said afterwards to do the company training route.. But, it seems on one side why waste time doing the college route..? But, anyone know how much you get paid in training? Also community college is 15 weeks, generating income for 10.

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