Advise On Starting Out

Topic 6707 | Page 1

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Shilo M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all, this has been quite a helpful site in many ways, and I hope I'm not being redundant in my query here, but here goes: I have a place here in Toledo, Ohio called "Trainco" I could go to get CDL training, cost is $4k. I read all the articles here on training, but have a few more specific I'd like to ask. For one, anyone have any personal exp with this school? I could maybe go to a "paid" training company, but from some of the experiences I hear of is like selling a $5,000 wedding ring for a mere $75 bucks in return. I guess what I'm asking is if I could pay the $4k, is it a no brainer to go that route? I guess I'd rather pay the $4k and have the freedom and ability to choose any job I want, and possibly make a whole lot more money the first year than the original $4k I save. Is that a fair assumption? One more quick one, I assume I'd still need to drive with a mentor for some weeks or whatever, how would I be able to do that going through a private school? Why would anyone want to hire me knowing they have to pay the wage of a mentor to drive with me. Is this an obvious downside t a private school, or not a big deal at all? Thanks in advance :)

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

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.

David's Comment
member avatar

Hey all, this has been quite a helpful site in many ways, and I hope I'm not being redundant in my query here, but here goes: I have a place here in Toledo, Ohio called "Trainco" I could go to get CDL training, cost is $4k. I read all the articles here on training, but have a few more specific I'd like to ask. For one, anyone have any personal exp with this school? I could maybe go to a "paid" training company, but from some of the experiences I hear of is like selling a $5,000 wedding ring for a mere $75 bucks in return. I guess what I'm asking is if I could pay the $4k, is it a no brainer to go that route? I guess I'd rather pay the $4k and have the freedom and ability to choose any job I want, and possibly make a whole lot more money the first year than the original $4k I save. Is that a fair assumption? One more quick one, I assume I'd still need to drive with a mentor for some weeks or whatever, how would I be able to do that going through a private school? Why would anyone want to hire me knowing they have to pay the wage of a mentor to drive with me. Is this an obvious downside t a private school, or not a big deal at all? Thanks in advance :)

Hey Shilo,

First off, I have no knowledge of "Trainco", I don't recall anyone saying anything about them here either. Could be wrong though....

If your having trouple deciding school to go with then check outHow To Choose A School good source of info...

If you have 4k laying around and want to do a private school, that is fine, however, you'll want to work on getting pre-hires. Understanding Pre-Hires will aid in that. Upon getting pre-hired, the company you choose will provide you with a trainer that basically gets paid by the team miles the truck makes. You'll get paid a flat rate (400-600 /week) and the trainer/mentor basicaly makes what you would make as a team driver. hope that makes sense.. If your planning this route, i'd start looking for pre-hires now. That way when you finish school you can immediatly hope over to said company and start working. Apply For Truck Driving Jobs will provide you with a way to submit 1 application to all the major company's such as knight, swift, prime, crst, cr england, etc.. Trucking Companies is a list of all the major companies in the USA. You'll also want to make sure its 160+ hrs of training (including class and range time)

If you would rather hold on to the 4k and use it for supplys you may need on the road, then Company-Sponsored Training will provide you with companies that have their own schooling. You'll enter into a contract with them and you'll work for them for a year and after the year, you wont owe them anything and can switch to another company if you choose. There are a few that will deduct from your pay XX amount per week to pay for the schooling (Swift does), but after a year you'll only pay half of the full tuition and your deal will be done. Its a good program if your low on funds. You are also hired after schooling and will then continue your training with a mentor from said company.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Find out what companies hire from that school and if any of those companies are ones you would want to drive for. I went to a private school paid $5k and got a job with Sygma Network. They had me with a trainer for four weeks before I went solo.

You could also research companies and find out you might want to drive for a company that has company sponsored schooling and save some money if you go with them.

For instance I now drive for Prime and could have saved $5k if I had went through their school. But I have no regrets I really enjoyed school and my first year with Sygma.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

I doubt you would really be able to make much over 4k by going to work for a company after going through a private school. Make sure to do some research there. They typically have a more thorough training program than the company sponsored ones though. So still might be worth it if you do not like being rushed.

I went through a company sponsored program and graduated with only 16 other people out of an original class of 50+ students. My requirement to work for them was only six months. Overall I think I made the best choice going that route over a private school, though I have no way of knowing for sure.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

You'll find a lot of information on this site.

Below is a link to what I posted after completing training at an independent school.

Good luck!

Training

Shilo M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the helpful advise that I will take :) Quick question about driver training...are there driver training/mentor programs if I want to work for a company that I would say drive for 500 miles and come home, or is it only for OTR drivers? Dumb question, what exactly are the minimum requirements (drive/away time) to be considered an OTR driver? Thanks!

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.

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