Deflated - Celadon, Knight, Roehl Won't Take Me & Pushing Roadmasters

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LadyDee's Comment
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embarrassed.gif

They rejected me because of where I live. Mr. Aquila told me from the beginning that this might happen.

In Celadon's case, they said I needed to live in Ocala, FL or points north of that. Ocala is within 3 hours of St. Petersburg. I could've driven there.

In Knight's case, they told me they're not doing CDL training anymore and I need to go to Roadmasters Truck Driving School in Tampa, FL. They hire from that school. Which means I'd have to get financing from Roadmasters' lender and go on a tuition reimbursement plan of some kind.

Roehl said they're not currently hiring for their CDL training program out of Florida. I would have to move to Alabama because that's where their closest school to me is.

The last school on my list is PAM Transport, and they're forced team for the first 6 months after training. embarrassed.gif

What I need to know right now is, have any of you gone through Roadmasters and got hired by a known, reputable company? What was your experience with them like?

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.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

@ Daniel

Thanks. It was easier for you to get started because of where you live.

As far as the tuition reimbursement, I've found that trucking companies are paying something like $100 a month to drivers who come in on a tuition reimbursement plan, and they state that YOU (the driver) are responsible for making the monthly payments to your lender. If I go to Roadmasters @ $7000 tuition, I would have to stay at my hiring company for about 6 YEARS. I don't believe that this arrangement is "portable" between companies. If any of you knows anything different, please clarify for me.

Hi Debra, I did a quick perusal of places near you that might have info. I know nothing of these businesses. I am only providing them so you can check them out.

The last one seems to have scholarships and tuition reimbursement.

You may also want to check with the county to see if they offer some sort of assistance for you to go to school.

Tampa Truck Driving School

Pinellas Technical College

CCC Transportation

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.
Guzinta's Comment
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Great Answer!
double-quotes-start.png

I don't have answer; just wanted say keep your chin up. Life often throws us roadblocks because we're headed in the wrong direction. There's hundreds of places in this country...you'll find the right one!

double-quotes-end.png

That may be true, about "hundreds of places in this country", but I (unfortunately) am financially challenged, which is why I was focused on company-sponsored programs. Roadmasters Truck Driving School charges about $7000 for their training. shocked.png And their recruiter said that whichever company picks me up, would cover about 90% of that via tuition reimbursement. That (still) sounds like a contractual obligation to the trucking company of some kind, plus I'd still have to pay the balance to their lender the same way that you would pay any other bank loan (a note every month). The recruiter is trying to convince me that, going through them is better because my starting pay out of school would be higher, and I'd have more "freedom to move" to another company if I felt the need, or if a better opportunity pay-wise presented itself.

Of course, I'm skeptical. Roadmasters said that they deal with several of the large companies, including the ones I originally named. So again, I'm interested in feedback from you guys and gals - specifically about Roadmasters.

Check with you department of labor in you state. There's a federal program WIA (Workforce Investment Act 1998), and a follow on program, administered through states. You may qualify for a partial or full grant, depending on you circumstances. Worked for me. Hope this helps...

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.
Christy R.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't have answer; just wanted say keep your chin up. Life often throws us roadblocks because we're headed in the wrong direction. There's hundreds of places in this country...you'll find the right one!

LadyDee's Comment
member avatar

I don't have answer; just wanted say keep your chin up. Life often throws us roadblocks because we're headed in the wrong direction. There's hundreds of places in this country...you'll find the right one!

That may be true, about "hundreds of places in this country", but I (unfortunately) am financially challenged, which is why I was focused on company-sponsored programs. Roadmasters Truck Driving School charges about $7000 for their training. shocked.png And their recruiter said that whichever company picks me up, would cover about 90% of that via tuition reimbursement. That (still) sounds like a contractual obligation to the trucking company of some kind, plus I'd still have to pay the balance to their lender the same way that you would pay any other bank loan (a note every month). The recruiter is trying to convince me that, going through them is better because my starting pay out of school would be higher, and I'd have more "freedom to move" to another company if I felt the need, or if a better opportunity pay-wise presented itself.

Of course, I'm skeptical. Roadmasters said that they deal with several of the large companies, including the ones I originally named. So again, I'm interested in feedback from you guys and gals - specifically about Roadmasters.

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.
Trucktographer's Comment
member avatar

I went through Roadmasters, specifically the one in Tampa. And I had pre-hire letters from plenty of companies (some you named) even though I live in Clearwater.

The instruction at the Tampa campus is pretty solid. Could they stand to update some of their gear (ie computers and trucks)? Sure. But what you're there for is the knowledge the instructors can impart. Out of the dozen, or so, I interacted with I only had one bad experience. Most of the people there truly want to help you learn to drive a truck.

Feel free to PM any questions you may have.

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.

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.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Florida is a tough state to live in for a lot of the larger companies to hire from and has been for a while, Brett has mentioned a few times as to why.

The thing that gets me is that you're worried about the commitment to a company that is willing to foot the bill for your training? Big company is willing to put you in an expensive vehicle, carrying even more expensive loads and trust you to not destroy the equipment or get anyone killed. In the meantime, they're going to take you at your word that you're going to work hard for them, not give up like around 90% of new drivers do, pay off your school or a large portion of it and all they ask is for you to do your job professionally and make a small commitment in return? It's really not that much to ask.

LadyDee's Comment
member avatar

Florida is a tough state to live in for a lot of the larger companies to hire from and has been for a while, Brett has mentioned a few times as to why.

The thing that gets me is that you're worried about the commitment to a company that is willing to foot the bill for your training? Big company is willing to put you in an expensive vehicle, carrying even more expensive loads and trust you to not destroy the equipment or get anyone killed. In the meantime, they're going to take you at your word that you're going to work hard for them, not give up like around 90% of new drivers do, pay off your school or a large portion of it and all they ask is for you to do your job professionally and make a small commitment in return? It's really not that much to ask.

confused.gif

Sir, you've got it wrong about me. I'm fully aware of all the points you made. You don't know me so don't judge me. I don't have a problem with driving for 6 months, 8 months, or a year to repay a company for their trust and their generosity. I have a stellar driving record and plan to keep it that way. What I'm worried about is getting myself into deeper financial water than I'm in.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

I wasn't judging you personally, more the statement. It's a statement you read time and time again and people forget that all education is a risk. There's no guarantee that after all is said and done, you're investment works out exactly as planned. Private schools are more expensive mainly because after you graduate, you're gone. Company schools can afford to be cheaper because in addition to follow up training, you're an employee that's making them money and an investment to them so the payback isn't as much.

If you want to talk about debt and education, my wife has a bachelor's in micro biology and her Master's in Clinical research administration. After the military deferment, we still owe around 130k in school loans. Oh and btw, she's been killing herself for a year and can't get a position in her career field. Trucking school is cheap in comparison and if you can handle the lifestyle, there's 100% chance that you'll get a position with a company when you graduate. I'll take those odds. In fact. I did and am working and winning :)

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Renae S. (Angel)'s Comment
member avatar
I don't have a problem with driving for 6 months, 8 months, or a year to repay a company for their trust and their generosity. I have a stellar driving record and plan to keep it that way. What I'm worried about is getting myself into deeper financial water than I'm in.

Hi Debra!

I really feel for you. I'm in Idaho so I didn't have the trouble getting a school to accept me. I can't even imagine that frustration. The financial stuff, boy howdy do I feel that!

I also worried about getting myself deeper financially and then I REALLY thought about it. Am I serious about making this change in my life? Am I going to have options and opportunities after my training and company commitment is completed that I wouldn't have otherwise? Do I think or do I KNOW I can handle the training and at least the 9 months to a year of company commitment? Do I want to try to get a loan with my credit history? Or do I want to get a job that will automatically pay back the loan as long as I hold up my end?

I leave for CR England tomorrow morning. As long as I do the training well and get my CDL , I've got a job. Yes, if something goes horribly wrong I'm financially committed to repaying the company. But, if I look at every WHAT IF that can happen, I'll be paralyzed by indecision and nothing in my life will change. It will never be better because I didn't take the chance.

Limits, restrictions, and what if thinking are for when you're already set up and not worried about the things like food, rent, and electricity. Letting what ifs paralyze me would put me behind the counter as a gas station attendant, AGAIN. I'm worth the time and effort. My future is waiting for me to arrive. You're worth the time and effort anything that you really want will require from you.

So I've got dues to pay and a lot of learning to do. That's okay. Nothing new about that. I've been knocked down so many times I should have myself permanently encased in bubble wrap. Silly me, I wobble to my hands and knees. Then, I groan my way to my knees. Then, one foot lands solid. Dang, it's so hard but the other foot plants itself and suddenly I'm standing. Still bent over with tears in my eyes, but by God I'm up. A few deep breaths, a heartfelt curse and a groan later and I'm fully upright. Wow! The view is so pretty over there. Okay, we're up. Let's take that first step. Suddenly, upright becomes mobile and that view I spotted in the distance is that much closer.

Renae (Angel)

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.
Andrew C.'s Comment
member avatar

I love Renae's response. I found great inspiration reading it. The hardest part is taking that first step. Good luck Renae!

Renae S. (Angel)'s Comment
member avatar

Just an addendum. CR England has a school in Florida. I'm not sure about anybody else.

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