Company School Or Private? East Texas

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Alyssa M.'s Comment
member avatar

Morning y'all ! I'm 38 and a woman living in east Texas looking to obtain my CDL and start a new career . Can anyone point me in the right direction on whom to talk to ? Thanks a bunch , Alyssa

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.
Daniel T.'s Comment
member avatar

I've got the same question. Am considering Truck Driving Institute in Tupelo, MS. I've googled all the truck driving schools in my state,and have found nine. I've only heard an opinion regarding one of them. Also, would like to know if private truck driving schools are something to be wary of.

Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

I am also trying to figure out the same situation. I am in contact with driver solutions and am set up to be in Fort Worth on the twenty-sixth of January, only I have been reading allot of horror stories about them and the company PAM which would be the company I would drive for. I would be obligated to PAM for one year or expenses due to termination(contract). I do not know if all the complaining is done by weak links or if I should take heed to their complaints. I have decided to take a look at a six week program offered by Lone Star College in Spring, Texas. They claim 98% job placement and cost are only around thirty-five hundred. It seems like having a extra three weeks of training(240 hours) would be a plus going into this career plus the ability to decide your fate for a year. Anyone who could give advice, it would be greatly appreciated. By the way all the advice I have received here has been very insightful. Thank You.

Joe M.'s Comment
member avatar

I just recently completed school, here in Myrtle Beach SC where I live, and enjoyed being a part of the class. I chose Miller-Motte Technical College due to the fact that they limit the class to 4 people per 1 instructor. I found it very easy to learn, and we all got along great with plenty of seat time for all 4 of us. I was able to pay for the school myself which cost me $4k. I decided to go that route because I was told that it would be easier to pick a company rather than have a company sponsor me and then get locked into an agreement with them. This is just my personal experience and in no way implies that it is the right way to do it. I hope this helps.

Joe

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

I just recently completed school, here in Myrtle Beach SC where I live, and enjoyed being a part of the class. I chose Miller-Motte Technical College due to the fact that they limit the class to 4 people per 1 instructor. I found it very easy to learn, and we all got along great with plenty of seat time for all 4 of us. I was able to pay for the school myself which cost me $4k. I decided to go that route because I was told that it would be easier to pick a company rather than have a company sponsor me and then get locked into an agreement with them. This is just my personal experience and in no way implies that it is the right way to do it. I hope this helps.

Joe

Thanks Joe, It seems it might be a better option. May I ask how the job placement is going?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joe M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I just recently completed school, here in Myrtle Beach SC where I live, and enjoyed being a part of the class. I chose Miller-Motte Technical College due to the fact that they limit the class to 4 people per 1 instructor. I found it very easy to learn, and we all got along great with plenty of seat time for all 4 of us. I was able to pay for the school myself which cost me $4k. I decided to go that route because I was told that it would be easier to pick a company rather than have a company sponsor me and then get locked into an agreement with them. This is just my personal experience and in no way implies that it is the right way to do it. I hope this helps.

Joe

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks Joe, It seems it might be a better option. May I ask how the job placement is going?

Jeffrey,

During school we had drivers and recruiters from various companies that stopped in to talk with us. The school also had lots of brochures from companies including local companies willing to hire recent graduates. I also came here to TT and filled out applications to some of the companies. And, I had 7 companies sending me emails or calling me to explain their benefits and what to expect if I signed with them. After much debate and plenty of discussion with my wife, I chose to sign up with Roehl Transport (Rail) for flatbed. I start my training in Gary Indiana on January 19, 2015 and I'm really looking forward to it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hello to each of you that are in this thread, and Alyssa I'm an East Texan myself - from Nacogdoches.

Look there are a ton of resources available to each of you right here on this site. I would recommend that each of you start your research by reading our Truck Driver's Career Guide, it is so full of information for folks trying to work their way through the maze of getting started that it will clear up many of your questions, and probably will give you lots of fodder for more questions that you haven't even thought of yet. Then we have an equally informative section on How To Choose A School. And if that doesn't answer all your questions you can certainly spend a great deal of time finding out about Company-Sponsored Training by following that link.

When choosing a school I recommend that you choose one with job placement services, that will help you a lot. Some of them provide lifetime job placement services once you've attended their program. When attending a private school you will probably want to get some pre-hire letters, and if you'd like to learn more about that process you can read through our Understanding Pre-Hires section.

Company-Sponsored Training programs are very popular, and have a minimal cash outlay for those of us whose money is very tight. This is a good way to get into the industry with little cost, but you will need to be prepared to commit to an employer for usually about a year of employment. The great thing about this career path is that you are guaranteed a job upon successful completion of their program. Most of these companies will provide you transportation to their school, and while there they will feed and house you until you start out on the road with your trainer.

Please, if you have some more questions, feel free to ask and someone will jump in here with some helpful advice for each of you.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Hambug's Comment
member avatar

Hi Alyssa, Daniel and Jeffrey,

I just wanted to say hi and point out that Brett has set up the Truck Driver's Career Guide to help you figure it all out. It has sections on what to expect in a truck driving career, Truck Driving Schools, Company-Sponsored Training and How To Choose A School. One thing he recommends for choosing a school is to visit the school and ask your questions of the staff, including which companies hire their graduates. You should then check with those companies to confirm. He also recommends that you take some time with the students away from the staff, maybe on break or something, and ask them what they think of the school. Since they are paying for it they should be pretty honest about whether they feel they are getting the needed training.

And all the time you are investigating trucking and schools, make sure you do the High Road Training Program. It is free and I have read so many posts from folks that completed it reporting that they aced the tests and got their permit and endorsements, many in one sitting, and most without even using their state manual. Others reported a quick review of the manual after completing the High Road helped to know the few unique rules their state had that weren't covered in the training.

Keep posting your questions on this forum. It is one of the friendliest and most helpful forums I have ever read! Although the ham radio sites I go to are friendly and helpful, there is still the occasional flame session. But here, even when they discuss whether unions are helpful or not, its all civil!

Good Luck to each of you, Paul

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.

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.

Hambug's Comment
member avatar

Old School beat me to the punch!

Joe M.'s Comment
member avatar

Very good information from Old School and Hambug. I would also like to mention that 2 guys in my class did the school through Workforce Investment Act or WIA for short, while the 3rd guy enrolled using Military assistance.

Here is a link for Workforce Investment Act from the Department of Labor website.

http://www.dol.gov/recovery/implement.htm

I hope this information helps.

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