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Thread: what you should know before you go to trucking school

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    Matcron33 is offline Rookie
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    Default what you should know before you go to trucking school

    If you are like alot of americans. you are out of work!!!! and now with a bad economy. you are looking to be a truck driver as a last resort plan... you have talked to a few driving school recruiters. and they are saying that now has never been a better time to become a truck driver. that's an out rite lie... they are merly sales people. they will tell you anything to get your money... and just like any other school in the country.. there are good driving schools and bad driving schools... they are some what hard to tell apart....

    but that is not what this post is about... I am setting up this post to help people understand what they should know before going to school...

    Right now, is a very bad time in the trucking industry. with factories closing or moving out of the u.s. freight is slowing down.. about every trucking company either has a hiring freeze. or they are laying off... unlike a couple of years ago. where there were more freight then trucks or drivers. now there are more drivers and trucks. then there is freight.

    here is what you need to do before signing up for school.

    the no hires are

    bad work history
    bad driving record
    criminal record
    drink driving convictions
    drug possession convictions
    felonies
    location of your home
    age. 21 is the youngest you can aply for an class a cdl for interstate work. most companies will not hire under 23 years of age.. it's an insurance thing..
    medical/health related problems
    experience in trucking.

    it's a short list. but that is what will most likely get you turned down on the spot. they won't ever tell you that. but that's what happens..

    I suggest you use this site or any other trucking job based website. to call around and talk to the trucking companies first.. find out if you have a chance at driving a truck.. I have read where too many driving schools are ripping people off. the school can not promise you a job. they are no different then any other school in the country. you could spend alot of money on the school. and never beable to get a job driving a truck.. so know before you go to school... if no one will hire before you go to school. then your not going to get hired after school.. if you have anything in the no hires above... then you need to be honest with the trucking company recruiter about it... and they will tell most of the time if they can hire you or not. if they act kind of ify over the phone to you. then it is no they can't hire you... make a list as you talk to trucking compaines that will and won't hire you. and weight the list and everything about how they responded to your questions. and go based on that. and then if you still decide to go to driving school... keep the list of will and won't hires with you. so as you do the applications. you will know up front which applications to fill out. it will save you alot of wasted effort..

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    jburd's Avatar
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    Good post Matcron33,

    Just getting out of Swift's driving school I saw many peopel get the "bum's rush" for something that happened 20-25 years ago.They are getting more thorough and pickier about new recruits.Be sure and admit everything you've done even if it seems minor to you it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
    Pull your own driving history record and see what your State has on you.

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    Kevin0915's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matcron33 View Post
    If you are like alot of americans. you are out of work!!!!
    and how many is 'alot'? Think the problem is with americans out of work, is they CHOOSE to remain out of work. There are companies who are hiring, but they cannot fathom going from $30/hr to being a department manager at Sears (or somewhere) making $12. Like my brother, worked for USA (formerly Rockwell International) at Johnson Space Center in Houston for like 15 years, they let him go just before christmas last year. He STILL hasnt found a job. But then again, his unemployment pays better than any of the jobs he's looked at or been offered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matcron33 View Post
    and now with a bad economy.
    and NOW with the bad economy?? its been bad for the last couple years, and only REALLY got bad in the last months of Bush's sorry stay in the White House. Yet Obama inherited this economy, and you all expected him to turn it around within the first 100 days in office. The economy is getting better. Its better than it was 3 months ago, yeah?? My miles have been picking up, and so is the freight. Some of you indepentant drivers are just too damn picky what you take, and that isnt the fault of the economy, its YOUR fault. You want nothing to do with frieght that pays $2/mi, and you'll only take $5/mi freight going 1500 miles.

    As far as recruiters blowing smoke up possible students butts, hey, its been going on long before the economy went bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matcron33 View Post
    I have read where too many driving schools are ripping people off. the school can not promise you a job.
    Are they really ripping people off? You just said that the recruiters are sales people. Driving schools ARE like every other business in the country....out to make money for the company. But if someone is having a hard time finding work becuase of bad work history, or because they are a felon, or because they are 800 lbs, and cant walk from the parking lot to the front door without stopping 3 time to catch their breath, so they apply for a handicap sticker at the age of 30, that isnt the fault of the school...that is their own damn fault. Should be a clue if you apply at wal-mart, and you cant get hired there, you might want to take a look at your past. Why should law abiding citizens NOT get the job over a felon? We've got too many crooks who have jobs that shouldn't......and i'm talking about those 'employees' in Washington DC.

    But beside the point, you also said that schools cannot offer jobs. So really, again i ask, is it really the fault of the school in question that they still run students thru class, get their $3k-4k, knowing that the driver market is so saturated, that 1 out of 100 students will find work with a big company?

    Maybe what would help, are the 85 year veterans on the road, who you hear complaining and whining about new drivers working for .30cpm stealing work from them. Complaining about cheap freight, blah blah blah....maybe instead of crying about it, it might just be time to dust off the walker, and step out of the truck. Obviously they have been use to loads that provided them a comfortable way of life, but now that the freight had slowed down, and the driver market is full of us kids willing to work for .30-35cpm, do anything to make a paycheck, its dipping into their back pocket.

    You all think this is a one way street, when infact it isnt. You all are upset because truck companies are laying off drivers, getting strict on idle time (just another avenue for the company to ax drivers), etc...but in the business world, they are out to make money and save money wherever they can. So to goes with the companies who need their goods shipped out on trucks. If a company has 500 loads of whatever that needs to go from New York, New York, to Houston, TX., do you think they are going to have that shipped out and pay driver/company MORE money than they would being able to send the same goods at half the price??

    Lets say you were the owner of a small trucking company. You have 1,000 trucks, and you know they each will fuel 600gal in a week. thats 600,000 gal. Now, you going to do your best to have them fuel at truck stops, or at your terminal, where you spend $1 less a gal on fuel? When you know you can save $600,000 IN ONLY ONE WEEK, what are you going to do???

    you are going to do whatever you NEED to shave wasting money. And for trucking companies, closing down or reducing the number of students they accept for school, is wasting money. That company needing to ship their goods, by NOT shipping with a truck company who can/will do it for cheaper, is wasting money.

    You're thinking this 'problem' is a one way street, but it isnt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jburd View Post
    Good post Matcron33,

    Just getting out of Swift's driving school I saw many peopel get the "bum's rush" for something that happened 20-25 years ago.They are getting more thorough and pickier about new recruits.Be sure and admit everything you've done even if it seems minor to you it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
    Pull your own driving history record and see what your State has on you.
    that is the key there....being honest. When i worked in the casino business for 6 years our gaming licenses were good for 2...so i had to re-apply 3 times. (4 if you count the time i worked in missouri), but what they are looking for is how honest you were. You tell them you've never been arrested, and they run your criminal history, and it ends up being longer than my........well....u know.....then why would they give you a job, since they already know you are a dishonest perspective employee.

    Why, if i was the owner of a trucking company, hire someone who from the start of the hiring process, showed signs of being not trustworthy? How do i know, when i give him/her that fuel card, that out of 300 gal of a tank of fuel, 10-20 gal dont get 'sold'. How do i know if s/he turns in false receipts for oil for the truck, that s/he is really putting in that oil and not selling it?? Or maybe worse, stealing out of the trailer? You make a mistake 20-25 years ago...guess what...not my fault. And i should get preferance over a felon because i can obey the law.

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    This is a good post But just wondering Kevin, Who pizzed in your Wheaties this morning? Your post has nothing to do with the OP!

    Check out the school!! ask them who hires the grads and then CHECK with those companies: make sure there hiring and from that school and in your area.

    A school that's PTDI certified is better than a non certified school ASK!

    Do they have job assistance, once again ASK

    What is there grad to hire ratio? do I need to say it again?

    Ask for some recent and not so recent grads phone # and call and ask questions

    Remember, You are paying them to get a CDL they will teach you JUST what you need to know to pass the test, nothing more! At that point you are not a trucker, you are now highly qualified to learn to be a truck driver.

    Last but not least this biz has a VERY high turn over rate, you will NOT start out making $50k nor will you be home every night!! Keep that in mind

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    Hey Kevin...its your attitude that helps to accelerate the RACE TO THE BOTTOM. Of course it always has been cheaper here and cutting costs there. But when you are a new driver accepting the low pay of today in 10 years you might be the one who worked his way up the pay scale and have also a higher way of living then 10 years ago. And now suddenly there comes a new driver (maybe even one of the million soon NOT to be illegal immigrants) who say: Hey.... we do his job for muuuch less. Then what????
    Here is an example....Our company just build a brand new terminal....and with the ongoing crisis they decided to get the starting pay way low........about 1/3 less then when i started and a lower top rate, too.
    Guess what???? They get nobody hired. And thats a GOOD thing. Or they kick all of our butts out for somebody who wants to work cheaper. The race to the bottom will never end....but we CAN make it slow down a little. When I started to drive truck in the US I was wondering why in gods name they still use antique double clutch over here. After talking to many drivers I heard stuff like afraid of change and such.
    But then somebody told me if all trucks are automatic much MORE people will come into this business and take our pay way down. That answer made most sense to me. And now that I am stuck in this machine called truck driving I dont want easy access into trucking either anymore. And the driving schools ONLY care about the 3k or 4k some driver already talked about. When I started driving with OTR (instead the LTL home daily stuff I do now) NOBODY told me about dirty truck stop showers, lot lizards and dock doors for straight trucks were you will park your 53 in. I remember my driving school teacher painting this nice picture that we see the nice country side and dont even have to pay for showers which are plenty and nice and you never have to wait and all that funny stuff. So if you want to work for cheap or almost free go right ahead....I just hope that others will NOT follow you.
    Live free like an American, drive a German car and eat like the French!
    OR DO YOU WANT to live like a German, drive a French car and eat like an American?
    Quote from Tonn Ostergard(CEO CRETE Carrier in a Pilot mag. interview): I HOPE for an economic downturn...that FORCES people out of their jobs and into TRUCKING!

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    Frankly, if I was a young man again.....Oh, to be able to do it over..... I would have done things very differently..... I damn sure wouldn't have gotten into this rat race..... Yes, its paid the bills, and 16 years of it has taken its toll.... thankfully I am rapidly approaching the age where I can hang it up..... (Never thought I would say that or get there... )

    In this economy.... I would be focusing on finding an occupation that has actual demand to it, even if one had to relocate to get the work. Or I would consider the military as an option. I spent 10 years in the Army....and wish I had done the full 30....

    But right now....with companies freezing hiring, and freight as slow as it is.... I don't think its the "panacea" that some think. There is absolutely nothing "romantic" about the job, unless you have a masochistic streak a mile wide..... Its a job, and its a tough one at times, as well as demanding, mentally and physically.....

    If I were younger.....I'd look to something more professional and technical that has better pay, conditions and security.
    Forrest Gump was right....and some people literally strive to prove it.....everyday. Strive not to be one of "them".... And "lemmings" are a dime a dozen!

    Remember: The "truth WILL set you free"! If it doesn't "set you free"....."it will trap you in the cesspool of your own design".

    They lost my original "avatar"....oh well.


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    boneebone is offline Board Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker View Post
    If I were younger.....I'd look to something more professional and technical that has better pay, conditions and security.
    Micky D's is always hiring.

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    NoBama is offline Rookie
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    Although this is not a political thread...I do beleive someone above:lol2: is way out of touch with what is going on with this administation and their socialistic agenda. Maybe if this cap and trade goes through,beurocratic health insurance :hellno::thumbsup:you can kiss alot more jobs good by. Sorry just being honest:thumbsup: 1. Don't expect anything. 2. If confused reread #1

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    lovely09 is offline Rookie
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    These are the things i consider:
    1.background of school
    2.professionals or instructor
    3.price or cost
    4.equipments and facilities

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    Default **** !

    this sound like I'm ****ed here,yeah OK I did some stupid stuff in my time and maybe not everyone has not, but just because I did them dose not mean I should not have a trucking job.
    I never killed or robbed anyone,the only one that I ever hurt was me.
    And the only people I ever helped was everyone. I'm good person I know I could use a break
    I just got out of school Sage truck driving school in Billings Mt.
    I'm actively seeking work now but what you saying is that just because I have some color in my back ground I'll never get hire in this job,a single dad will have to go to Micky-D's to support my son:eek2:

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    Rule of advice to everyone is don't mess with the Mega-Carriers I know that's easier said than done right now. They don't care about who you are or where you come from or if your a good person or not like a normal employer does. It's an insurance numbers game with them, does your mvr, dac, drug, and criminal record check out with their insurance, that's it. If you have ever dealt with a mega carrier and many of us have, you don't interview or even speak with anyone face to face you will never even meet your recruiter, you fill out an app answer some questions get on a Greyhound and go to orientation where they have a cattle herding process weeding out the unhireable and if you are one of those lucky ones then you get to find your own way home even if it is 2000 miles away. You then get a truck then get a load and go. Then you will start being asked to take this crappy load and that crappy load, get asked to take a hot load, sit and wait for loads, then you won't get home when you ask then you will question why you are out there and start rethinking that 9-5 you quit, and why are you away from you wife/gf and kids/grandkids, for really no more pay than what your getting. You'll start to realize why there is a over 100% turnover rate. Advice from all this yammering? Stay where your at if your semi happy with your situation, unhappy doesn't mean restless. I know countless others will tell you to get training and do something else well every industry is hurting at the moment even the medical field is catching up filling in all those positions they said would never be filled. If you can find a home at a small to mid size company take it and stay there. Right now is a bad time in the industry and not the time to be breaking in when things down the road recover and you have the dweller itch then make your entrance into the industry. Good luck to all out there.

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    I really can't be that bad, if I can carry a hazmat and the FBI letter that I just got said that I can renew and hold one, so whats up with that ?

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    wsclinger9869 is offline Rookie
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    ...with everything that has been said in this thread about driving schools, wouldn't it be a much better solution to get training through one of the schools like Swift or Millis, which I would think would not accept someone who they wouldn't be able to hire once the CDL was obtained and the road training was completed...

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    Default School vs. Company Training

    I was told by many drivers that it would be a better idea to try to get my CDL on my own, without resorting to the "CDL mills" that seem to be everywhere, I understand that you're commited to these companies for about a year if you get your license through them,I guess they make you sign a contract or something, I was this close to signing with England, but got lucky and got into a school instead.:thumbsup:

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    Fredog's Avatar
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    you'll only take $5/mi freight going 1500 miles.

    where can I find this freight? I want some



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    catlover is offline Rookie
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    Cool truck driving schools

    I've read all the sites about truck driving schools & i've come to the concluesion that community college truck driving schools are the way to go.:lol2:

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    what you should know before you go to trucking school



    That you should'nt go to trucking school!

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    Quote Originally Posted by catlover View Post
    I've read all the sites about truck driving schools & i've come to the concluesion that community college truck driving schools are the way to go.:lol2:
    if you want to drive long haul, don't listen to anybody. try it and then decide for yourself if you like the lifestyle. the best thing you can do when deciding about what trucking school to go to is FIND A COMPANY THAT WILL HIRE YOU first. If they hire trucking school graduates with 0 experience, ask what schools they hire from (they'll have a list of 'approved schools'). Then, go to the cheapest school on the list. otherwise, you'll spend 5 grand on a school and then discover that no one wants to hire you. that's how i did it. it works.

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    Cat , That is what i did even thought the only out of my pocket expense was my dot physical and my first drug screen for the class. I have learned more in this past week ( 8/31/09 to 9/4/09 ) then i ever would anywhere else. I have heard stories from other guys that the "CDL mills" have as many as 4 or 6 trainees in the trucks at a time . Now I do not know how true this would be never seen it with my own eyes but not a good way to learn. Only me , another trainee and the trainer in the truck where i am going to school.

    If you have the opportunity to go to a true driving school with a low number of students excepted at a time your going to learn more and get more seat time. In the past week besides 1 1/2 days of classroom time I have been in the truck the rest of that week. 1/2 day on the range last 3 actually out on the roads from I81 driving to the back roads of Virginia and West Virginia.

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