[A Certain] Trucking School - An Honest Review

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Jason E.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh, geez. Where do I start? To be completely honest, I wouldn't recommend [School Name Withheld] to my worst enemy. They treat you as another check walking through the door and that's about it. Unfortunately, like many things, the recruiters will make promises that won't hold up once you're enrolled and getting into it. For me, I was promised that I would get to choose between the road/range class that went 5:30-14:00 or 14:30-23:00. I specifically spoke to the head of training (Mrs. T) way in advance to request this because I had doctors appointments and procedures that would cost me range time to attend. She said she would "try".

Shortly after, I found out I was placed in the morning class. That was my first strike. No big deal, I guess I'll have to miss a little bit. When I asked how I could make up this time I would miss because of my doctor visit and procedure I was basically told too bad, there's nothing I can do. Pretty sure there's an ADA violation there from a school receiving federal funds! I'm debating if it's worth complaining.

When we finally got broken up into our groups of three and put out on the range, things only got worse. I had to learn to drive and be proficient enough to drive in FIVE different trucks with three different transmissions in less than 10 days, because we kept having breakdowns. Those trucks being two freightliner, one international, a Volvo, and a KW. Even a prostar day cab. Everything was so broken down the school actually rented a day cab just so we could do maneuvers.

We started in a blue freightliner which had a check engine light on, but we were told to drive it anyways. It fell apart real quick when the night class came in. So the next morning, they put us in the black freightliner. This one had two engine light, a regen, and they abs light was on, but we were told to just drive it as well, it'd be fine. We'll, shortly after this truck broke down. Then they put us in the international, but somebody showed up late for their DMV test so they just yanked it from our group and gave it to that guy. For whatever reason, they felt it was right sticking my group with the broken trucks and sitting in the break room. All said and done, my group got about half the drive time they should have, because of Thanksgiving and the truck failures.

Oh, and if you have a complaint? Forget it. Mrs. T is an ex military drill sergeant that everyone is afraid to speak up to because they'll get "yelled" at. I'm pretty sure it's their jobs they're afraid of losing. Not being afraid I went to confront her about the joke of a process they use to get you your HAZMAT endorsement. I too got yelled at and then she began yelling at her secretary asking why I was still there and why was I standing in front of her door.

My instructor who I'll abbreviate as Mr. A was an inflated ego arsehole. He thought he knew everything there was to know. If you asked a question he would mock you and try to make you look stupid, or go on a long winded speech about some story on his life that nobody cares to hear, as if we had unlimited range time. I was scolded for reminding a fellow student while driving that he left his blinker on. He consistently talked crap behind the back of whoever was in the truck to the two people that were observing. My classmates and I confirmed this with each other. Mr. A believed I was a drug addict or some punk 21 year old skater kid up to no good. I don't want to be a part of an organization that treats it's students that way, but I was almost done and had already paid a large chunk of money so I stuck it out.

The office staff still uses paper for everything and is running the most disorganized operation I've ever seen. You can talk to them about something and go back ten minutes later and they have no idea who you are or what you're talking about.

I won't even go into the break room that had the stench of vomit for three straight weeks, so bad that I couldn't even eat my meals in there. There's also the small but irritating issue of the bathroom never having towels or soap. If you wanted soap or no vomit stench you had to go upstairs to the staff restroom, they had private restrooms but technically students aren't allowed to use those. Ha! Go figure.

All said and done, I'd say you should check out Southwest truck driver training, or absolutely ANYWHERE ELSE but [School name withheld]. At [School name withheld] the employees all have super trucker type attitude problems and will dance around your questions. You'll be lucky to get an answer, or a license.

Hope that helps!

Note: I left out names but you'll know who they are if you go there. Don't say I didn't warn you! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
I respectfully disagree with Oldschool on this. It seems that a lot of people on this forum have the attitude that we should bow down to these trucking schools and put up with their bad service because after all they are the king and we are just these poor slobs that are a dime a dozen and have to put up with it.

My end goal in all that I do here in this forum is to help prepare you guys for the realities of this career. Most people enter this field with grandiose dreams of touring the country and making so much money that their bank accounts are swelling and overflowing. I love this job, and get very frustrated by the vast volume of people who jump in with great expectations and then leave feeling bitterly abused by an industry that means so much to me. It is a great career, but when you are just getting started it can literally crush you with disappointments and unrealized expectations. It's fine for Jason to gripe about the school he went to, but I just want you guys to realize there are very few driving schools that can afford to have the latest greatest shiny new trucks. This industry works on a razor thin profit margin. You are going to come across so many people in this job who have terrible attitudes, and who are just downright slobs - it is an extremely diverse group of people who make up this thing we call trucking.

When we use the phrase "roll with it", it's because we have experienced all the manifold frustrations that come with this job, and somehow we still love what we do. The reason the industry has a 100% turn-over rate is because most people just can't take the frustration of not being able to do anything about their job's difficult circumstances. We in no way think you should just bow down and get trampled on, and you certainly have not come to know me very well if you think that is my attitude in life. I do what I can to help you guys understand beforehand what you are going to be facing, but some still insist on wearing their own set of blinders. When we tell you that as a driver you are the lowest man in the chain of command, it is absolutely true. You will have little or no say in most matters that concern you in this job.

If you have got gobs of money and you think that will get you the best service, then go ahead and spend it at the finest school you can find. I don't care if you spend 15 grand for your truck driving school, it does nothing to change the magnitude of what you are about to get into once you've got that shiny new license.

And if you think the idea that these trucking companies might be testing you is "bogus"... well, all I can say is I have tried my best to inform you and prepare you for what lies ahead. How you deal with it will be your responsibility. But, I want you to know that I will always be here if you need some advice, and I will gladly share with you what I have learned.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
. . . this whole thing is like an out-of-body experience . . .

LMAO!! rofl-3.gif

That's for real! Seriously, life out there moves so fast, the days are so long, and life is so completely different than anything most of us have ever experienced that the weeks blend into months and the months into years. Looking back a lot of it is a blur. The erratic sleep schedule is another one that gets ya. I'm the type that can fall asleep or wake up like flipping a switch - anytime, anywhere. Thank God! Because a lot of times you're begging for a nap anytime you can get one. Yet you want to run as hard as possible to make all the money you can. Heck, if you're going to out there travelling you might as well make a solid paycheck!

Oh, and of course you can work 70 hours every 8 days. That alone is almost two full time jobs and that's when you begin living the rest of your life - eating, laundry, television, talking to family back home....the days are really long. One week out there feels like a month when you look back on it because you're so busy all the time. And heck, 3,000 miles a week is a lot! I don't care who you are, doing that week in and week out is a huge amount of work.

I loved my years on the road. The endless challenges, the risk, the adventure - that was exactly what I was looking for. And of course nothing on Earth is cooler than driving a big ole American Big Rig. But almost nothing about it is easy, make no mistake about it. It will challenge you to the core and you'll risk your life every single day doing it. It's always ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Once you've seen a few big wrecks you can't ignore the fact that you could always be three seconds from being dead out of the clear blue - anytime, anywhere, without warning.

So you really have to be pretty hardcore to do this well for any length of time. That's why we're trying to discourage people from worrying about things if they can help it and just keep pushing forward. That's what trucking is all about - overcoming that neverending parade of obstacles and getting the job done safely.

Every day of your life out there you're going to have 100 reasons to be p*ssed off or miserable. But you'll have 100 blessings to be thankful for at the same time. In the end it comes down to what you decide to focus on and the attitude you have toward everything and everyone. If you'll take the right approach you'll get through that first few months of trucking and a lot of what we're saying now will make perfect sense.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
For you to call him a "complainer" and say "your not sure this is the best career for him" and to say that "he will not like his first three or four trucking jobs" is not at all fair. You are judging his character by his description of his experience with a trucking school and that isn't fair. At least that's my opinion which is probably worth exactly what you paid for it.

I'll tell you why it's fair......because anyone who thinks that what Jason went through at a private school even remotely resembles the hardships he's going to face out on the road is in for a very, very hard lesson in trucking. Going to a private school is by far the easiest part of getting your trucking career underway by a mile! It's like a birthday party compared to life on the road. You're not risking your life on a daily basis. You're not away from your home and family for weeks at a time. You're not sitting for 12 hours without pay in an empty parking lot alone at night 1000 miles from home the day before a holiday. You're not lost in Downtown Chicago at night during a snowstorm in rush hour traffic hoping to God there isn't a low bridge around the next corner. You're not sleep deprived, broken down, lost, freezing, isolated, or being issued an expensive ticket by the DOT. You haven't had great paying loads taken away from you, schedules flipped upside down, or waited three hours for weekend dispatch to finally respond to your urgent requests. You haven't missed a major Holiday with your family, had to work 70 hours in 8 days, had an arrogant dock worker go to lunch with only two pallets left to unload, and you haven't been sent to pickup an abandoned truck that the last driver literally p*ssed and pooped all over the inside of.

If you think the people, the conditions, and the expectations at a private school are more than you can handle then what are you going to do when you realize that was like a dream compared with the realities of life on the road? You're going to become a statistic is what you're going to do. So we're trying to set your expectations so that you can handle anything that gets thrown at you because I can promise you one thing - nobody has any idea how difficult and demanding this job is until they're out there doing it by themselves. That includes myself, Old School, and anyone else that has done this for a living. It's a brutal job. There's almost no way to help people understand what they're in for when they get out there. We can tell stories til we're blue in the face and we can implore everyone to expect the worst but until you're out there doing it you really can't understand the challenges and demands you're about to face. It will push you to your physical and mental limits on a regular basis.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Larry B.,

You're the same guy who told me that I have no integrity a few days ago. All about a situation that you've never been in but somehow you know all about what to do even though you haven't turned a single mile.

I'm going to post in this thread once and then I'm out, nothing good can come of it and I can't believe it takes three experienced drivers to tell you something without you blowing it off. Go ahead and rule Brett out, after all, he hasn't been in a driving school in many years right?

Alright, so maybe I can shed some light on this considering I went through what the poster went through. I went to a school, I drove on an ancient 1992 Freightliner with about 1.4 million miles on it. I also did my training in the winter time. That trucks transmission was worn, the heater didn't work, and there was 4" of mud on the ground. And guess what? This was a multi-million dollar company running this school. If they can't afford to put us in a brand new truck then how do you expect an independent private school to?

And why do you even deserve the best of the best? You're just someone coming in trying out for trucking. Just because you can fork over 5 grand doesn't mean you'll survive this job. Fact, my class started with 10 and ended with only 2 graduating. So why have great trucks for students when the typical student doesn't even graduate? Your 5 grand means nothing compared to the cost of a decent truck, not to mention the fuel costs that the student racks up driving it as well as all the damage to the transmission that each student causes with their grinding.

If people would stop being customers to these "low budget trucking schools" then they would close down. The last thing they'll do is buy new equipment for their students to destroy within a week.

So lets get back to my experiences.

I never complained about having to drive that 1992 Freightliner. In fact, I fell in love with it. I complained only about one instructor and that was to my wife because this particular instructor just wasn't a good teacher (not all of them are). The transmission sucked but I dealt with it and I bought myself boots for the mud. A successful future driver doesn't complain, they make it happen.

In that school I learned on three different trucks. When I went to take my test I did it in a completely different transmission and truck. I still passed. Why? Because I got to studying instead of going online complaining.

You're right about being a paying customer, but you're forgetting that there's a million grey areas in trucking.

We can't really explain it to you any better. You just have to figure it out on your own when you get out here. But judging from your previous posts, I think you have it figured out better than anyone of us do.

As for Old School, respectively, get off his ass. The man makes one "bad" post in 2,000 posts and you raise your pitchforks like you did with me.

Anyways, good luck out there.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
And it looks like we ran him off so all this is a mute point anyway. He came here trying to help and look what we did.

That's not how I see it at all.

First of all, he came here ranting about a school, wanting to slam them as hard as possible. That wasn't an honest review, that was a personal vendetta. Why? We're not sure. That's what I was hoping we could find out. If he doesn't come back to help us understand the situation better and pursue this further then you know he wasn't here to help anyone but himself. He simply wanted to vent and lash out. If he comes back and we can have an honest, helpful discussion about the circumstances at the school then maybe we can help. Not only can we make sure his career stays on track, but I can make some phone calls if necessary. I've called schools a few times over the years when I heard what I thought was a legitimate concern and I would do it again if I could get a bit more reliable and accurate information.

And like Old School, I too noticed a number of glaring omissions like whether or not he graduated and got his CDL. I also noticed he didn't have the first good thing to say about anyone or anything at the school. Nothing. An honest review, even a negative one, should include any good points also. There is always some good and some bad in everything. We look for that in order to determine the quality and purpose of the review (or vendetta).

So we certainly didn't run off anyone. We're here taking a lot of time discussing the topic he brought to our attention and we're hoping to help somehow. If I was new to an industry and several experienced people were willing to take a chunk of time out of their day to talk over my concerns I'd be thrilled! I certainly wouldn't run off. So hopefully he'll be back.

Oh well, he never would have made it out there anyway right?

I'm sure he's perfectly capable of making it out there, but so are most people who fail to get their career off to a great start. It's not that they can't shift or backup or navigate the country. It's their approach and their attitude that messes things up for them. They start out with the wrong expectations and the wrong approach. Then they start getting aggravated by what they perceive to be incompetence, disorganization, or manipulation on the part of the schools and companies. It builds for a bit and then they start lashing out at teachers and management. That just makes things 10 times worse because now the teachers and management figure they have "one of those guys" in class that has a lot of attitude and very little potential. They want the student out, the student soon gets to the point they're just p*ssed off about everything, and before you know it he's home surfing the Web again looking for a different career. And of course they often find their way to trucking forums to blame everyone and everything outside of themselves for their own failures. They don't care much about how misleading or harmful their "information" about the trucking industry may be to others hoping for a great start to their career - people like yourself.

So I hope he returns so we can clarify some things, help him keep his career on track, and maybe look into the management at that school if their seems to be some legitimate problems.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Hope that helps!

Wow!

Jason, I'm just gonna tell you that your descriptions of that school, from the egos, to the office workers, and right on down to the broken down trucks sounds like a description that a complainer would make about most of the major trucking operations I've been around. I'm not sure this is the best career move for you. One of the phrases that Brett uses so often is "Roll with it". In this career you will need to learn to do just that. There are going to be egos, policies, and procedures that you aren't going to like at all, but as a driver you have absolutely no control over any of them. The driver is the lowest man in the operation, and he has little or no say about anything except whether he is going to drive or not.

You failed to mention whether you obtained your CDL or not. If you did, then you got what you paid for. They agreed to help you get that far and they did what they said they would - you might not have liked the way it went, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say you probably aren't going to like your first three or four trucking jobs either.

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.
Larry B. 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Jason I appreciate that honest review.

I respectfully disagree with Oldschool on this. It seems that a lot of people on this forum have the attitude that we should bow down to these trucking schools and put up with their bad service because after all they are the king and we are just these poor slobs that are a dime a dozen and have to put up with it. Well that's bull. If you are paying for a service (trucking school) you have a right to expect a good clean outfit with good equipment or you can go to a different school that has that. This attitude of excusing horrible service because that is just their way of "testing your patience" is bogus.

As long as this school has students with Olschools just take the bad service as long as you get your CDL they have done their job attitude, then they will continue to offer a terrible service. It's just like anything else if your paying for it and are not getting your money's worth take your money somewhere else. If enough people did that I guarantee they would offer a better service.

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.
Indy's Comment
member avatar

As someone that's about to plunk down $5000 for the services of a CDL school ... I couldn't agree more with Larry.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Jason, did you get your CDL and graduate?

Do you have any pre-hires?

I had to edit your comment and take out the name of the school until we can get their side of the story. Nobody gets to blast anyone without a fair opportunity for that person or entity to defend themselves and share their side of it. I'd be happy to contact them to learn more about this situation and see if there's a problem we should let people know about. But to be honest you can find complaints like that about every single school and company in the nation. At the same time you'll find classmates and co-workers that have exemplary opinions of those same schools and companies. In fact, Old School used to work for a company that nobody could find the first good word about anywhere and he loved it there.

So I can contact them if you'd like me to in order to find out more about what's going on over there. I also wouldn't mind hearing from some of your classmates. If we can confirm that this isn't just a personal vendetta you have and that there is really something wrong with that school we'd be happy to let people know about it. This website will get about 2.7 million visits this year alone and it's still growing at about 40% a year. We have significant reach and we're working regularly with various schools and large companies across the country. So if there's a legitimate problem with that school I'd like to know more about 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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
I respectfully disagree with Oldschool on this. It seems that a lot of people on this forum have the attitude that we should bow down to these trucking schools and put up with their bad service because after all they are the king and we are just these poor slobs that are a dime a dozen and have to put up with it.

My end goal in all that I do here in this forum is to help prepare you guys for the realities of this career. Most people enter this field with grandiose dreams of touring the country and making so much money that their bank accounts are swelling and overflowing. I love this job, and get very frustrated by the vast volume of people who jump in with great expectations and then leave feeling bitterly abused by an industry that means so much to me. It is a great career, but when you are just getting started it can literally crush you with disappointments and unrealized expectations. It's fine for Jason to gripe about the school he went to, but I just want you guys to realize there are very few driving schools that can afford to have the latest greatest shiny new trucks. This industry works on a razor thin profit margin. You are going to come across so many people in this job who have terrible attitudes, and who are just downright slobs - it is an extremely diverse group of people who make up this thing we call trucking.

When we use the phrase "roll with it", it's because we have experienced all the manifold frustrations that come with this job, and somehow we still love what we do. The reason the industry has a 100% turn-over rate is because most people just can't take the frustration of not being able to do anything about their job's difficult circumstances. We in no way think you should just bow down and get trampled on, and you certainly have not come to know me very well if you think that is my attitude in life. I do what I can to help you guys understand beforehand what you are going to be facing, but some still insist on wearing their own set of blinders. When we tell you that as a driver you are the lowest man in the chain of command, it is absolutely true. You will have little or no say in most matters that concern you in this job.

If you have got gobs of money and you think that will get you the best service, then go ahead and spend it at the finest school you can find. I don't care if you spend 15 grand for your truck driving school, it does nothing to change the magnitude of what you are about to get into once you've got that shiny new license.

And if you think the idea that these trucking companies might be testing you is "bogus"... well, all I can say is I have tried my best to inform you and prepare you for what lies ahead. How you deal with it will be your responsibility. But, I want you to know that I will always be here if you need some advice, and I will gladly share with you what I have learned.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Larry B. 's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I respectfully disagree with Oldschool on this. It seems that a lot of people on this forum have the attitude that we should bow down to these trucking schools and put up with their bad service because after all they are the king and we are just these poor slobs that are a dime a dozen and have to put up with it.

double-quotes-end.png

My end goal in all that I do here in this forum is to help prepare you guys for the realities of this career. Most people enter this field with grandiose dreams of touring the country and making so much money that their bank accounts are swelling and overflowing. I love this job, and get very frustrated by the vast volume of people who jump in with great expectations and then leave feeling bitterly abused by an industry that means so much to me. It is a great career, but when you are just getting started it can literally crush you with disappointments and unrealized expectations. It's fine for Jason to gripe about the school he went to, but I just want you guys to realize there are very few driving schools that can afford to have the latest greatest shiny new trucks. This industry works on a razor thin profit margin. You are going to come across so many people in this job who have terrible attitudes, and who are just downright slobs - it is an extremely diverse group of people who make up this thing we call trucking.

When we use the phrase "roll with it", it's because we have experienced all the manifold frustrations that come with this job, and somehow we still love what we do. The reason the industry has a 100% turn-over rate is because most people just can't take the frustration of not being able to do anything about their job's difficult circumstances. We in no way think you should just bow down and get trampled on, and you certainly have not come to know me very well if you think that is my attitude in life. I do what I can to help you guys understand beforehand what you are going to be facing, but some still insist on wearing their own set of blinders. When we tell you that as a driver you are the lowest man in the chain of command, it is absolutely true. You will have little or no say in most matters that concern you in this job.

If you have got gobs of money and you think that will get you the best service, then go ahead and spend it at the finest school you can find. I don't care if you spend 15 grand for your truck driving school, it does nothing to change the magnitude of what you are about to get into once you've got that shiny new license.

And if you think the idea that these trucking companies might be testing you is "bogus"... well, all I can say is I have tried my best to inform you and prepare you for what lies ahead. How you deal with it will be your responsibility. But, I want you to know that I will always be here if you need some advice, and I will gladly share with you what I have learned.

Oldschool, l started my post with "I respectfully disagree". Which is true. I have a LOT of respect for you and the other professional truckers on here. But I believe if the school Jason attended was exactly like he described then that doesn't have to be put up with unless we are taught to "just roll with it"

For you to call him a "complainer" and say "your not sure this is the best career for him" and to say that "he will not like his first three or four trucking jobs" is not at all fair. You are judging his character by his description of his experience with a trucking school and that isn't fair. At least that's my opinion which is probably worth exactly what you paid for it.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
For you to call him a "complainer" and say "your not sure this is the best career for him" and to say that "he will not like his first three or four trucking jobs" is not at all fair. You are judging his character by his description of his experience with a trucking school and that isn't fair. At least that's my opinion which is probably worth exactly what you paid for it.

I'll tell you why it's fair......because anyone who thinks that what Jason went through at a private school even remotely resembles the hardships he's going to face out on the road is in for a very, very hard lesson in trucking. Going to a private school is by far the easiest part of getting your trucking career underway by a mile! It's like a birthday party compared to life on the road. You're not risking your life on a daily basis. You're not away from your home and family for weeks at a time. You're not sitting for 12 hours without pay in an empty parking lot alone at night 1000 miles from home the day before a holiday. You're not lost in Downtown Chicago at night during a snowstorm in rush hour traffic hoping to God there isn't a low bridge around the next corner. You're not sleep deprived, broken down, lost, freezing, isolated, or being issued an expensive ticket by the DOT. You haven't had great paying loads taken away from you, schedules flipped upside down, or waited three hours for weekend dispatch to finally respond to your urgent requests. You haven't missed a major Holiday with your family, had to work 70 hours in 8 days, had an arrogant dock worker go to lunch with only two pallets left to unload, and you haven't been sent to pickup an abandoned truck that the last driver literally p*ssed and pooped all over the inside of.

If you think the people, the conditions, and the expectations at a private school are more than you can handle then what are you going to do when you realize that was like a dream compared with the realities of life on the road? You're going to become a statistic is what you're going to do. So we're trying to set your expectations so that you can handle anything that gets thrown at you because I can promise you one thing - nobody has any idea how difficult and demanding this job is until they're out there doing it by themselves. That includes myself, Old School, and anyone else that has done this for a living. It's a brutal job. There's almost no way to help people understand what they're in for when they get out there. We can tell stories til we're blue in the face and we can implore everyone to expect the worst but until you're out there doing it you really can't understand the challenges and demands you're about to face. It will push you to your physical and mental limits on a regular basis.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Larry B. 's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

For you to call him a "complainer" and say "your not sure this is the best career for him" and to say that "he will not like his first three or four trucking jobs" is not at all fair. You are judging his character by his description of his experience with a trucking school and that isn't fair. At least that's my opinion which is probably worth exactly what you paid for it.

double-quotes-end.png

I'll tell you why it's fair......because anyone who thinks that what Jason went through at a private school even remotely resembles the hardships he's going to face out on the road is in for a very, very hard lesson in trucking. Going to a private school is by far the easiest part of getting your trucking career underway by a mile! It's like a birthday party compared to life on the road. You're not risking your life on a daily basis. You're not away from your home and family for weeks at a time. You're not sitting for 12 hours without pay in an empty parking lot alone at night 1000 miles from home the day before a holiday. You're not lost in Downtown Chicago at night during a snowstorm in rush hour traffic hoping to God there isn't a low bridge around the next corner. You're not sleep deprived, broken down, lost, freezing, isolated, or being issued an expensive ticket by the DOT. You haven't had great paying loads taken away from you, schedules flipped upside down, or waited three hours for weekend dispatch to finally respond to your urgent requests. You haven't missed a major Holiday with your family, had to work 70 hours in 8 days, had an arrogant dock worker go to lunch with only two pallets left to unload, and you haven't been sent to pickup an abandoned truck that the last driver literally p*ssed and pooped all over the inside of.

If you think the people, the conditions, and the expectations at a private school are more than you can handle then what are you going to do when you realize that was like a dream compared with the realities of life on the road? You're going to become a statistic is what you're going to do. So we're trying to set your expectations so that you can handle anything that gets thrown at you because I can promise you one thing - nobody has any idea how difficult and demanding this job is until they're out there doing it by themselves. That includes myself, Old School, and anyone else that has done this for a living. It's a brutal job. There's almost no way to help people understand what they're in for when they get out there. We can tell stories til we're blue in the face and we can implore everyone to expect the worst but until you're out there doing it you really can't understand the challenges and demands you're about to face. It will push you to your physical and mental limits on a regular basis.

See Brett I can take that statement and call you a complainer and since you no longer truck you are quitter because you couldn't take the very things you described. But of course I know that's not true, because I feel that I have come to know you a little bit from being around here for a while and therfore know thats not the case at all.

But for Old School to come out and judge the origional poster for describing his experience to try to discourgage him is just wrong. I believe he was actually trying to be helpful to the forum members and we probably affirmed his perception of truckers like the general public has of them.

Would not surprise me if we never hear from him again.

I don't even know why I'm standing up for him. I don't know him either.

I'm not even a truck driver yet, remember I'm a cop.

Oh yeah, maybe that's why I'm standing up for him. Thats what we do for people that are attacked for no good reason.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Indy's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

For you to call him a "complainer" and say "your not sure this is the best career for him" and to say that "he will not like his first three or four trucking jobs" is not at all fair. You are judging his character by his description of his experience with a trucking school and that isn't fair. At least that's my opinion which is probably worth exactly what you paid for it.

double-quotes-end.png

I'll tell you why it's fair......because anyone who thinks that what Jason went through at a private school even remotely resembles the hardships he's going to face out on the road is in for a very, very hard lesson in trucking. Going to a private school is by far the easiest part of getting your trucking career underway by a mile! It's like a birthday party compared to life on the road. You're not risking your life on a daily basis. You're not away from your home and family for weeks at a time. You're not sitting for 12 hours without pay in an empty parking lot alone at night 1000 miles from home the day before a holiday. You're not lost in Downtown Chicago at night during a snowstorm in rush hour traffic hoping to God there isn't a low bridge around the next corner. You're not sleep deprived, broken down, lost, freezing, isolated, or being issued an expensive ticket by the DOT. You haven't had great paying loads taken away from you, schedules flipped upside down, or waited three hours for weekend dispatch to finally respond to your urgent requests. You haven't missed a major Holiday with your family, had to work 70 hours in 8 days, had an arrogant dock worker go to lunch with only two pallets left to unload, and you haven't been sent to pickup an abandoned truck that the last driver literally p*ssed and pooped all over the inside of.

If you think the people, the conditions, and the expectations at a private school are more than you can handle then what are you going to do when you realize that was like a dream compared with the realities of life on the road? You're going to become a statistic is what you're going to do. So we're trying to set your expectations so that you can handle anything that gets thrown at you because I can promise you one thing - nobody has any idea how difficult and demanding this job is until they're out there doing it by themselves. That includes myself, Old School, and anyone else that has done this for a living. It's a brutal job. There's almost no way to help people understand what they're in for when they get out there. We can tell stories til we're blue in the face and we can implore everyone to expect the worst but until you're out there doing it you really can't understand the challenges and demands you're about to face. It will push you to your physical and mental limits on a regular basis.

I don't doubt at all what you guys say about the realities of being a truck driver. Seems to me, though, it's beside the point here. The original poster was a student ... who paid good money to learn how to drive a truck. He should expect to be treated as such - a paying customer. He didn't pay to be treated like he was a rookie driver for some company. - (Assuming what he said is accurate). For all we know, he may fully understand the realities of what lay beyond school - but thought he had a few more weeks before being treated like that.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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