Is It Better To Get A CDL Through Company Sponsor Or 3rd Party?

Topic 9850 | Page 1

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Phox's Comment
member avatar

Yo so I have another question for all you "experts"

I really want to start this trucking thing ASAP. My local community college has a CDL program with classes year round every 2 weeks that are 5 weeks long Mon - Fri 8-5. I figured I could do that in between the fall and spring semester and then use the flex 1 (first half only classes) to save up some fin aid money to have a little nest egg of savings. Once that's done I can start a career in trucking without having to do THEIR cdl training and be contracted in (although I'll prob stay for at least a year it opens up the window to MORE companies I can start with)

That's 1 option, option 2 is to go through company sponsored training , be limited to those companies and also be stuck weather I like it or not for a year, I don't foresee that being an issue but it's the principle of the matter.

My question to you guys is, is either option better for me to get a job. Is it just as easy to get hired with having obtained my cdl through a 3rd party such as my community college as it is to go through a companies sponsored training. say I still wanted to go with prime, would my chances of being hired with them be equally as good if I had my cdl already vs going through their schooling?

I'm afraid to spend that money only to find it be harder to get a job. The lady at my college says they have companies all the time asking for new cdl grads and they haven't had any students complain about trouble finding a job yet. To me that's standard recruiter talk because if she said "no you'd do better at a company sponsored course" the college wouldn't get any students.

So I want to know what you guys think, should I get my CDL through my college in their 5 week, 5 days a week 8-5 class or should I go with company sponsored school options.

Also please tell me why you pick that choice.

The cost of my local college is not an issue because I have a trust fund that pays my tuition so no need to factor that in for my situation.

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.

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.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

As far as choosing a private school versus getting your license at a trucking company, I would say the decision really comes down to money and personal preference. It normally doesn't cost anything up front to get your training through a trucking company, whereas the schools will require you to pay before you begin. So I would say that if you can come up with the money, I would take the schooling at a community college. In your case the financial side of this decision is not a problem. Company-Sponsored Training are a lot more fast paced so you'll get your career started in a short amount of time though. But it's a lot of stress to have to learn that much material in so little time. The community college route will put less stress on you at the cost of prolonging the start of your career. You will have your license, but you will still need to go through more training once you sign on with a company.

I have spoken with many hundreds of drivers over the years that have gone through one type of schooling or the other, and nobody has had any problems either way. Regardless of your choice, you'll get your license and be on your way with your career.

Let me add a couple things. First of all you're correct - if you get your training through a trucking company they will indeed require you to stay on for one year, or you will have to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. If you go through a private school you will have the freedom to work anywhere you choose.

But regardless of the schooling you choose, I highly recommend you stay on with your first company for at least one year. It seems like a long time, but it isn't. One year without any accidents at a company is like "earning your badge" in the trucking industry. If you can do that, you can pretty much go anywhere you like - as long as there is nothing crazy like a DUI , a ticket for reckless driving, or anything like that on your record. If you get through one year of safe OTR driving at a company, you're generally free to move around quite easily.

And one year is a very, very short time in trucking. You know very little about how to really handle a rig, schedule your days, and handle the day to day affairs within your own company - like with your dispatcher , load planners, and safety and logbook departments. Your entire first year will be like hardcore schooling - believe me. Don't think you're a real trucker when you graduate from school. Schooling only teaches you enough to get you a job. Once you're on the job, the real training begins. You'll sure see what I mean when you get there. Listen damn close to your trainer, watch everything very closely, and learn from everything you do. Get all the advice you can from the other drivers out there. 98% of them will be more than happy to answer your questions and give you some good advice. After all, they have to share the road with you - and so do their families and friends. Besides, they remember quite well how it feels to be a new driver. Some people act like they've forgotten, but believe me, nobody has.

Focus on one year of safe driving with one company and then you'll be ready to try something new. Moving around a lot early in a driver's career, and expecting to be treated like king of the road right out of school are mistakes that I've seen a lot of drivers make. Be humble, listen far more than you speak, and watch everything that everyone does - and learn from it. Doing that, along with some very smart decision making, will turn you into a real trucker and lead to an awesome career.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

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.

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

If money isn't an issue, go independent or community college 5 week program. Here's why;

You can then go to work for any of them. You'll still go through their orientation/training but already having your CDL means you can be hired by companies that so CDL school and those that don't.

I Completely agree with Daniel on the sticking with the company for a year plus the less stress you'll receive @ an independent or comm. college.

I Did independent because it opened up more possibilities and I'm glad I did. The company I drive for doesn't do CDL school in my area. Good luck!

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.
Joshua C.'s Comment
member avatar

Yo so I have another question for all you "experts"

I really want to start this trucking thing ASAP. My local community college has a CDL program with classes year round every 2 weeks that are 5 weeks long Mon - Fri 8-5. I figured I could do that in between the fall and spring semester and then use the flex 1 (first half only classes) to save up some fin aid money to have a little nest egg of savings. Once that's done I can start a career in trucking without having to do THEIR cdl training and be contracted in (although I'll prob stay for at least a year it opens up the window to MORE companies I can start with)

That's 1 option, option 2 is to go through company sponsored training , be limited to those companies and also be stuck weather I like it or not for a year, I don't foresee that being an issue but it's the principle of the matter.

My question to you guys is, is either option better for me to get a job. Is it just as easy to get hired with having obtained my cdl through a 3rd party such as my community college as it is to go through a companies sponsored training. say I still wanted to go with prime, would my chances of being hired with them be equally as good if I had my cdl already vs going through their schooling?

I'm afraid to spend that money only to find it be harder to get a job. The lady at my college says they have companies all the time asking for new cdl grads and they haven't had any students complain about trouble finding a job yet. To me that's standard recruiter talk because if she said "no you'd do better at a company sponsored course" the college wouldn't get any students.

So I want to know what you guys think, should I get my CDL through my college in their 5 week, 5 days a week 8-5 class or should I go with company sponsored school options.

Also please tell me why you pick that choice.

The cost of my local college is not an issue because I have a trust fund that pays my tuition so no need to factor that in for my situation.

Yeah I agree with these guys. If I would have had my cdl paid locally i for sure would have done it. You could go straight to tnt with prime making 700 a week and possibly more depending on how hard you run. I was done with psd in about 3 weeks but it was 7 days a week, sharing that truck with someone during both psd and tnt. About 3 months total. I talked to a trans am driver the other day. He went to a school then went to trans am. He had his own truck in less then 2 weeks. Prime you'd have to drive with someone for about 2 months or so.

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.

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.

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Nasser S.'s Comment
member avatar

How I get that chance because am in Tanzania please I need help Thank you

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Nasser, here's some bad news: for a CDL commercial truck driver license in the USA, you must have a "private" automobile driver license for at least one year. Then you can consider the training for a commercial one.

So you need to be a resident here before you can start that process.

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.
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