Looking For Company-sponsored Training

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Jerry's Comment
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Hi TT Members!

This was originally an email to Brett when I first found this forum, but I'm betting on my domain email being sent directly to spam so he may never have gotten it. I see he's active here though, and that's what inspired me to go ahead and join and make this post.

I found your website when I was using Bing to do some searches today (written on 6/17), and I haven't been able to pull myself away from it. I have been reading your articles and the articles of the other Authors on your site and I am very impressed by what I am reading. Before I get into my story, I want to offer my condolences to you for your dad passing. It was hard to read that.

I am 26 years old, will be 27 in August. I got married on 9/10/11, and our relationship is okay at best. I have worked form home doing stuff online for the past 5 years now, and times have gotten so hard that we are forced to live on just $200 a week, and that's gross income. Short story is that the situations we've been facing are really beginning to rip us apart.

I am a traveler - I am obsessed with travelling, driving, and anything that has to do with a vehicle on the road. I don't get the opportunity to do what I want to do though, because of my financial situation. Not to mention the fact that where I live is absolutely not worth the money I pay, especially since I am miserable beyond belief here. So, as you can imagine, I am at rock bottom and don't have much more room to fall.

Being the type that wants to be on the road all the time, I've decided to begin looking into trucking companies that will train me to get my CDL then make an agreement that if I work for them for X months, the tuition for the CDL schooling is paid off. I do not have any startup funds, or any funds for that matter to pay for schooling, so clearly my options are very limited.

I have one speeding ticket that is brand new on my driving record, but nothing else. I've done so damn good at staying within the law with my driving just to have this epic failure happen to me, and I am afraid that this ticket will now stop me from getting a job with anyone who's going to train me. I also have a misdemeanor that's going on 4 years old for petty theft, but I learned my lesson and will never make such a dumb mistake again.

Now, the reason I am emailing you is because I would love to know if you have any recommendations for companies at all that will train me for my CDL, but also not force me to pay up front (aside from my license fee of course) as well as offer a tuition pay plan if I sign a contract to work with them for so many months. This company would need to be able to have me home, at the very least, on the weekends (hopefully, and after my training and 'initiation' miles are complete. I would not mind dealing with full OTR for the first 6 months, or a year or so, but I do have a wife that needs me too, now more than ever due to the strain we're suffering. This company would also allow me the option to have a rider once I am in my own truck, too. So yes, I have already developed a few 'requirements' from a company I would work for, but I know they're possible.

**After Training is done, etc** * allow me to drive solo - no forced team driving * allow me to (pay the fee) to bring a rider along (my wife) * have regional options after some time (this is what should have me home on weekends right?)

So, that said, do you think you can possibly give an aspiring driver a bit of guidance? My name is Jerry, I'm from Ohio.

I hope you have a great day!

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.

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.

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.

Jerry's Comment
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Also, small suggestion - can you make the new Thread Title a required field? I forgot to add one, and not it looks funny. My apologies.

Britton R.'s Comment
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There's a section on the site that lists companies that offer sponsored training. I'm sure someone will post a link here for you. I'm not sure how to do it from my phone. That section is great. I found a lot of information and that helped me learn how the companies did their training. It lists the requirements and structure for each company. There you will see if your ticket will be an issue. Each company does their training a little different and may have some up front fees. Once you've exhausted the info here and narrowed down your choices give the companies a call and talk to their recruiters.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Welcome aboard Jerry! I'll have to check my email to see if yours made it.

Well you have a pretty good idea of what you're looking for which helps a ton when selecting a company.

Now hopefully that speeding ticket isn't more than 15 mph above the limit. That's considered reckless driving and that would put a huge damper on your chances of getting hired. But if it's below that, then it's not a show stopper. The misdemeanor for petty theft is going to be a bit tougher. Again, not a complete show stopper, but it might keep you from getting on with the Company-Sponsored Training Programs you're interested in. They usually have pretty strict requirements when it comes to things like that, especially in the past 5 years. But it never hurts to take a shot so we'll see what we can come up with.

For starters, if you want to get home on weekends you're going to want to look at flatbed or dry van companies. Very few reefer outfits have the opportunity to get you home on weekends. They usually keep you out 2-4 weeks at a time. You're in Ohio, and pretty much everyone hires from Ohio, so no problem there. You may have to run over the road the first 6-12 months with some companies before getting a regional opportunity to get home on weekends so you'll have to look into that with the individual companies.

What I would do is simply apply to all of the trucking companies that offer CDL training and see if they offer you a shot. With that misdemeanor I'm not sure who is going to take you and who will rule you out. It's the busy season we're entering into so that's going to help you a bit. But ultimately you won't know who is willing to give you a shot until you apply.

I hate to say it because I know you don't want to run team and you'd like to get home on weekends, but your best shot with that misdemeanor is probably going to be CRST or CR England. CRST will force you to run team and CR England won't be able to get you home on weekends. But in your position it might pay to get on with one of those companies and work there for the duration of the contract and then go elsewhere. Once you get some experience a lot of places will be more willing to overlook the misdemeanor, and their contracts are pretty short - like 8 months or something like that.

I wish I could give you more solid answers. If we knew you could have your choice of companies I'd say Swif, Roehl, PAM, USA Truck, or Millis would be your best bet for getting home more often and not having to run team.

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.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Okay. I've read all of your VERY informative replies, and I am pretty sure there's no way that Brett could see that I've spent literally hours on the Company Sponsored CDL Training information pages. It's a very large amount to absorb, so I've had to pay a couple visits to them all recently to try to figure them out.

I am going to be opening a blog soon, to write all about this whole process I am going through and eventually I will be writing about my life as a trucker if and when I get into it and start running loads. I am very excited about that and cannot wait til I can free up $10 to buy the domain.

Brett, I have a couple things I want to mention about your site that need a tad bit of attention.

I read about Roehl today, and I am VERY interested in them. The one thing that I know will hold me back is the hair follicle test due to the fact that I've been on several different meds for nerve problems in my back. It's being successfully treated with a non-narcotic pill now, but I will "fail" the follicle test and I cannot verify a couple of the meds I have had to use over the last several months. Long story short, I'd probably have to wait a few months for it to be out of my system. Maybe I should just shave it all and wait for the 1.5 inches to grow back so I know its clean lol.

The speeding ticket was (thank GOD!!!) only 14MPH over :D:D

CRST called me, I spoke with them and the recruiter sounded like he was ready to get me on board immediately. The forced team turned me 100% off because, to be honest, I am in a bad stage of my marriage and the nail in the coffin may very well be because I can't bring her along (after training)

CR England gave me a very detailed email and phone call about their offer to me, and will allow me to have my rider (wife) with me after training, but their training period and forced team training in the beginning seems very long compared to, Roehl for example.

My misdemeanor was questioned by CR England and completely ignored by CRST. It's been long enough that I think they will just disregard it, or question me about it and see what I say, but I was ignorant back then and obviously I've grown up and I am taking responsibility for my miserable life's actions and I am trying to improve it for my wife and myself.

I will look into USA Truck and Millis and see what I can find with them. But in all god's honesty, I am really very interested in Roehl due to the short time for training, their "first load in a homeward direction" and their awesome as hell pay from the start. I love it. I'm wanting to do it for not only the experience but to be part of this awesome community and especially for the money.

I really look forward to your replies to this post.

Also, Brett, my OP was almost 100% of the email I sent to you, so you don't have to hunt it down if you don't want to. But, if you want to whitelist my domain (this one shouldnt be BL'ed anyways) the email is wm at market4android dot com

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.

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

Jerry, you sound like you have a wonderful attitude and you are approaching it very well. You are doing great by keeping your wife on your mind. My wife used to ride with me for two months and she loved it. Your wife will eventually want to ride with you after you share your experiences with her - that's why my wife wanted to go with me. So if you think that will happen then please stay away from team driving.

And I went to Central Refrigerated, basically same training length as CR England and I can tell you that the 5 weeks with the trainer will fly by quickly so I wouldn't let it bother me too long.

But im glad you are trying to save your family, I was in the exact situation. I made almost no money and she had lost her job and we were sinking into debt with little options and the financial debt was getting between us. I'm rooting for you and I guarantee that you'll be making a "I got my own truck" post soon!

Jerry's Comment
member avatar

Daniel!

You're the one whose profile I read that really inspired me today. I was lurking around the forum, reading some of the other stories and threads and I couldn't stop. Then I saw a post you made and I checked out your profile and I thought your story was absolutely awesome.

I'm honestly to the point where I cannot handle this miserable mess I am in. I've worked from home on the internet building and maintaining websites and writing content for almost 5 years now and it's tanked to the point where I cant pay bills any longer. So, that's why I am trying to do what I am doing.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Exactly! I know exactly how you feel man. I was working at Sams Club overnight and that job was killing me! I made very little money, never could afford even a movie ticket. I was so over that mess and I was miserable. I loved my wife and she loved me but things weren't working out. Life just wasn't what we wanted it to be. I came home at 7am from work and slept all day long then left to work again. We lived in a ghetto area and my wife was home alone at night. It was very scary. I was behind on my pg&e, smud, cell phone. I got my paycheck and paid some bills and that was it. Only reason we survived is because we opened a credit card so we put all our food on that credit card. Which rose to 2,000$!

The bottom line is that you're the man of the household, you're the husband - it's up to you to make it happen. I'm sure your wife still loves you and she feels the same way about your guys' situation. Trucking isn't an easy job but I trully believe that it will be your answer. Once you go solo you can cancel all your bills just like I did. I got rid of Comcast, smud, pg&e, rent, everything! And basically just play "catch up" like I'm currently doing. If you drive hard and have a good dispatcher you'll make good money. You'll do a lot of sightseeing which will bring both of us closer together. My wife was my "secretary", she handled all the paperwork and handled the shippers and recievers. They are extra nice to a female, it was a HUGE advantage.

I gotta say though, the path to getting your CDL and then your own truck isn't an easy one. It's the toughest thing I've ever done in my life. But you have the inspirationand there's no doubt in my mind that you can't do it. As long as your wife will be ok to not see you for a while you go through orientation and training.

Best of luck to you sir. Any questions or concerns you may have please either message me or make a topic. We are here to help!

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dispatcher:

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.
Jerry's Comment
member avatar

I have this fear that it will do more harm than good for me to be gone for basically up to 6 months without seeing my wife once. A lot of these training programs sound like they have you in a class for a few weeks then ship you off on a team truck for 4-6 months and make absolutely no mention of even at least trying to get you home. CR England says they're family oriented and in the next paragraph they say if you need off, they'll make "every effort to get you home within 2 weeks of your requested time". If I happened to have a family emergency that needs my semi-immediate attention, 2 weeks is not acceptable.

I do have another question...

When they do give me home time, how will I get home? I read somewhere that I'd be sent home loaded (truck/trailer/load) and with some other companies, if their terminal is 3-500 miles away... what's the point in "home time" at all??

If I'm sent home loaded, I'd have to move (which I want to do anyways) because this dump I live in now would cause me to wreck a truck if I pulled it into this driveway. Pro drivers can't get in here (I've had big stuff delivered on a 40' Pitt Ohio truck before and he couldn't get in here)

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Well Jerry...there are a few things that most of the trucking school sites don't elaborate on. You will be going to school for how ever many weeks, then you will be teamed with a trainer. but sometimes they don't have a trainer right away, so they may send you home until a trainer comes in. Also, after you have successfully finished your time with your trainer, the company almost always sends you home for some R+R. Then its back to the company, and you get your own truck !! Depending on the company, you usally get home time 1 day for every 1 week you are out...so you generally get 3-4 days off after a month on the road. They try to get you home on a loaded truck, or they may have you drop your loaded trailer at a yard, and another driver will deliver it. I will say that the closer you live or move to a terminal of the company you work for, the easier home time is to get. Or if you live or move to an area along a major freight lane, home time will be easier then too. So having said all that, if you are looking to move, then what area would you like to live ?? For trucking, Florida is the worst. Freight is hard to get going OUT of Florida. Do you want the east cost, or the west coast....cosmopolitan, rural, small town, big town, etc. If you are gonna start a new adventure, then if you have no ties where you are, pick where you wanna be !!! Life is all about the adventures, and I believe the more you have in your life, the better your life will be. So talk it over with your special lady, and truly listen to where she will be comfortable living.....after all, she will be there alone. And please have her come on here, and go into the Ladies of Trucking Forum. Its for all the ladies involved in trucking. She can ask anything there and get up front honest answers from us ladies who have been there, done that. It will help form a bond for you two. Were I you, in your situation, I'd apply at every trucking company I could get an app for. Be truthful and honest, and tell them your sticky situations upfront. The pain med thing could be easily taken care of with a letter from the doctor who treated you. That alone would be invaluable. The petty theft...ain't no biggy, just be honest.

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.

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