Advice On Trucking Overall

Topic 5007 | Page 1

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Sean S.'s Comment
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Hi guys. My name is Sean. I live in Michigan and I have decided to pursue a career in the trucking industry. I have spent the past few years trying to decide what to pursue in life. I realized that I want to experience what my dad had experienced as a driver. My current situation is this. I have no job or money to afford any schooling or traveling. The nearest trucking schools closest to my current residence are a great distance from me. I will do anything to make becoming a driver a reality. I am 26 years old and I have nothing holding me back from doing so. I have done some research but I am finding it tough on deciding where to go for training. Where do I go from here and how do I get there?

Bel A.'s Comment
member avatar

A thousand mile journey starts with a single step.

Though small, you've just taken it.

I believe there is a thread on here for company sponsored training.

Prime and Swift come to mind.

Remember - you are starting on your back foot, the company will be offering you everything. Therefore adversity and sacrifice will be encountered. A positive mindset will be of paramount importance.

Good luck. Stand by.

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.

Sean S.'s Comment
member avatar

I have read on this great site about company-sponsored training. Although it stated that it is an option/choice, it should be the first?

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.

Kai's Comment
member avatar

The company will usually pay for your Greyhound ride to their school. Accommodation is free and some companies pay for food. Check out Knight Transportation and their school in Indianapolis.

Sean S.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok I will do that. My next question is this. If I attend a school here in Michigan and once I am done with training, will the company I will be employed with be only a statewide position or will it be cross country? Will it depend on where I attend or is it the same almost everywhere?

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I have read on this great site about company-sponsored training. Although it stated that it is an option/choice, it should be the first?

As you said you have no money to pay for private schooling at this point so it's not your first choice. It's your only choice unless you can get a loan but with no current job and possible unstable work history I don't you would get a private loan through a bank.

You could try getting a loan from the government, which is very doable, but can take months to complete the process. So the best option and most for sure option, if you complete their schooling, would be a company sponsored school.

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.

Kai's Comment
member avatar

Ok I will do that. My next question is this. If I attend a school here in Michigan and once I am done with training, will the company I will be employed with be only a statewide position or will it be cross country? Will it depend on where I attend or is it the same almost everywhere?

This depends on the company you drive for. Most starter companies are long haul. If you start with Celadon, you will have to drive team first and then go solo. They have a lot of regional options later on.

You will go interstate. A company that have regional and dedicated/supply chain positions right from the start is Averitt Express. Go to their website averittcareers.com. Click the map and check if they have something in Michigan and in your area.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Sean. What you need is a large dose of our Truck Driver's Career Guide. The questions you have and a million others will be answered there. I consider it essential reading for anyone considering a career in trucking.

Follow all of the links you come across as you work your way through it. They'll lead to a ton of various resources.

There's an entire chapter of that guide dedicated to choosing a truck driving school. That will cover the differences between Independent Truck Driving Schools Company-Sponsored Training Programs and will help you understand how to evaluate them.

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.

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.

Sean S.'s Comment
member avatar

I appreciate that info Brett. I'm as excited as I can be to get started. I know I have a ways to go and a lot to learn, but I am ready to go full steam ahead. My dad was a driver for many years. When I told him this is what I wished to pursue he was very excited. He gave me a lot of advice and offered his opinion on it. He said my best bet is to look for a school that will teach me all I need to know to make this dream a reality. I am still searching and reading as much information as possible in the meantime.

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Sean... Lots of Us were or are in the same boat as you and what seems to work best is Company-Sponsored Training I narrowed down my choices and applied to several Companies and ended up going with Prime Inc. You get paid while training and once you complete their requirements have a pretty good paying job for a newbie driver...Quite a few Trucking Truth Members drive for Prime Inc and even one was a PSD Instructor, his name is Daniel B. so if you came this way you would always have a huge group for support but even if you didn't you'll still get all the help you need right here just by asking...

Ken C. good-luck.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.

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
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