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

  1. #41
    bkmcgaha is offline Rookie
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    Hey bull24471 i have been in a cdl mill and had to ride in the back of the truck no windows, no seat belts, they had 5 in the truck at once and none of us got to drive at any time. If you can get your cdl on your own then you need to look up cdl help in arlington tx they are the BEST. I passed my cdl road trip on the first try because they teach you what you need to know.in 21/2 hour i learned more than i did in a TDI Dallas now i am a maverick driver. Companies or some companies do not require a school certificate just a cdl A.

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  3. #42
    Rookie-Paul is offline Rookie
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    I have a problem. Not that one!

    Recruiters and companies are quoted as saying a first year driver can make 30-40k. I come up with about 27k. Please check my numbers. Average starting cpm .26 x 2500 miles over 7 days = 650/week. Looks good until I figure weeks driving. If I earn 1 day off for every 7 and I have a 34 hr restate on top of that. I come up with only 38 weeks of actual work. 365 days per year/9.42. The 9.42 is 1 day earned plus redraft of 34/24=1.42 days. So, 38x650 = 24,700.

    What am I missing?

  4. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchno1 View Post
    tell me why cant you americans just start off driving local trucks as in dumpers, town frieght, rubbish etc to get bit of experience as far as insurence ,and other licence credentials you need for interstate,it seems your companies dont really help you that much or are there rules just to tough,owner operaters must have it easier but then from what i see in here they get ripped off quite good
    We American chaps don't have to start out that low. Many do, however, and there is nothing wrong with it. Many drivers on here started in farm operations or local hauling. I have the most respect for them. But, a new driver starting out today, is looking for something more. This is a big and beautiful country, and many of them have never seen it all. And driving a "big truck" is different than anything else in the CDL "business."
    Remember... friends are few and far between.

    TRUCKIN' AIN'T FOR WUSSES!!!

    "I am willing to admit that I was wrong." The Rev.

  5. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie-Paul View Post
    I have a problem. Not that one!

    Recruiters and companies are quoted as saying a first year driver can make 30-40k. I come up with about 27k. Please check my numbers. Average starting cpm .26 x 2500 miles over 7 days = 650/week. Looks good until I figure weeks driving. If I earn 1 day off for every 7 and I have a 34 hr restate on top of that. I come up with only 38 weeks of actual work. 365 days per year/9.42. The 9.42 is 1 day earned plus redraft of 34/24=1.42 days. So, 38x650 = 24,700.

    What am I missing?
    LOL! I might ask the same thing! That one really stumped me, too.

    First... you need to learn how to quote the passage (with attribution) that you want to reply to, thereby separating yourself from the "thoughts" of another poster here.

    Second... What ARE you missing? Do you want to know about pay? How many miles you will run, or hours you will sit? Do you want to know HOW to gross more than $600/wk... or get to a GRAND within your first 3 years?

    If I earn 1 day off for every 7 and I have a 34 hr restart on top of that.
    I think this is where you "missed." You don't get a 34 hr restart ON TOP of a day off. It (the day off) is INCLUDED. Recalculate.... and call me in the morning.

    You will make about 35k a year on your "first" job. But, if you play your cards right, you could make more... or sooner.
    Remember... friends are few and far between.

    TRUCKIN' AIN'T FOR WUSSES!!!

    "I am willing to admit that I was wrong." The Rev.

  6. #45
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    What you need to know, this is a great thread.
    On top of all I've read on this thread about money these schools say you can make, let me share with you my findings.
    When I decided to make my carreer change, and choose truck driving, like many I'm sure, did alot of research on what is told to us on what we can make and how "the industry" needs 400k+ drivers. It looked like a great carreer to get involved with.
    So a natural process is what school is best?
    Ive found PDTI, prof. truck drivers institute to be the guidelines for what is called accredited schools.
    This means many things, like training you would recieve, such as Hrs. on the road behind the wheel (BTW) or Loaded miles (OTRBTW) on the road behind the wheel, or night time driving again (OTRBTW) just to name a few.
    Now in my research, because of my background, I figured I needed to get into the best accredited school possible, accredited also meant I would qualify for government loans with like a 8% payback, no problem right, being like you would make 30-40k a year first year right? That seems like a great investment, so I choose Fox Valley Tech. in Appleton WI. being it was a 10 week, 43hr a week school, and many posts, and friends said I should go to because they were the countries best, and with my self employment background 20+ years, and my record, I needed all the help I could get getting into the business, so naturally I thought to offset where I was lacking I should attend the best school possible. On top of what school you attended, your record, employment history that most companies look into, I found one thing most correct, and thats to find a company that will hire you before you sign up to one of these schools.
    This is a big issue, and you hear of the term "CDL mills".
    Im going to go out on a limb here and say that CDL schools are ALL businesses, there to make money so believe nothing that you hear, and I recomend you read on as I went to a again 10 week,43 hr a week, =400+ hrs. of training right, well hear is how this broke down upon graduation for me as it did for most of those I seen "graduate"
    After all this time this is how it broke down.
    I had 392.25 hours in school, ( 2 days off for school holidays, and a day and a half aprox. 13.5 hrs I missed after I figured out how this works, basically because I figured out I was paying almost $3k dollars to be trained in a accredited school, which would mean that I'd have some of the best exp. leaving a school, all be it still a rookie. and that my best "training" is no better then any other, so called CDL mills, or shorter corses, mind you there are 4 week accredited school out there.
    All of them seem to bad mouth each other or chuckle about each other, it's a competitive business, truck driving schools.
    First they hype up the accredited part, which is really based of of PDTI, profesional truck drivers institute, because they set really the guidlines for the "minimum" training standard. Like 44 hrs. BTW on the road etc.
    There are other ratios like students to a truck, or instructors to student ratios, etc.
    So in my 10 week, 43hr. weeks I attended 392.25 hrs.=740 miles.
    I had 46.5 BTW on the road. which I didnt get till my last few days after I brought it to their attention, on my last week I had 35 hrs. BTW on the road, after I figured out things and after a apology from the dean and another head guy, I was offerd another free week to which I replied, why would I waste another day here? Im still getting my deploma like the rest.
    Other hrs. were I had 10 hrs. pulling loaded trailers =253 miles.
    1.5hrs pulling doubles =53 miles.
    1hr pulling tanker = 10 miles.
    40 hrs. driving on the range, basically in the parking lot, backing like alley dock, streight line, blind side, offset and 90 degree, along with coupling and pretrip inspecition time etc.
    I had 17.5hrs with instructors, on the road BTW time.
    I had 58.75 hrs. = 722.5 miles co-riding other students, being I did great, got my cdl first, and passed my tests right away as I studied.
    I had 0 night time hours.
    so basically I had 159.5 hrs in various trucks?
    and 199 hrs class room?
    Something else I found, say like the guys that didnt get their CDL's till the 8th and 9th week actually got more hrs, twards what we were suposed to have to meet the accredited requirements.
    And the guys that did great and could actually drive the trucks were used as CDL co-riders, being told we could learn alot taking out the screw ups. It was all really about business.
    We where required to purchase overpriced books, required materials, of which we didnt use, unless you say opening a map book twice is using the books, and at the end of it we were told the school had a buyback policy, basically theyd give you $4 bucks for like a 60+ unused book.
    Recruiters were mandatory and there where ALOT of them. If we choose to skip a recruiter say, Snider or Rail, of which I knew already said they wouldnt hire me, they would take your truck the next day, which meant you co- road for others.
    Mind you I seen 60+ students , level 1 level 2 and level 3 and level 4 graduates.
    Now they also picked and choose when and with whom these rules applied, for examle.
    I missed one recruiter on monday of my 9th week, was told my next day there I couldnt have a truck for my last wensday possibility for night time driving, after 5pm BTW on the road. Prior to this I missed no days and spent most of my hrs, co-riding and helping other students having problems.
    That verry same day the same instructor right after telling me NO, took out a guy who missed like 9 days in a row, missing log books etc, missed the same recruiter and MANY others, the guy probally missed 3 weeks, if which we were told you could only miss 16hrs.
    He waved at me and smiled as he left the parking lot with this guy, knowing he held me to account and I had to basically co-ride 168 miles that day, basically a completed wasted 11.5hr day. No other instructor could overturn his call, even though I knew they thought it was really ignorant. And there were like 6 others that missed recruiters and still got truck the next day.
    Mind you this is an adult education were told, of which we are PAYING for.
    We were told there were things to learn from recruiters, that is laughable yet some bought it hook line and sinker.
    I could go on and on about this 10week/43hrweek/400+hr driving school but it would only get worse, when you consider Im not the only one and there are hundreds that are put through schools like this and others everyday.
    My advice is even if you have a squeaky clean record and excellent employment record, your chance of employment is one in the thousands that are put through these schools everyday.
    Also I'd ask about what I mentioned above and maybe get it in writing, if they are an "accredited" school, this means something.
    How many hrs. is the class,
    Whats your student to truck ratio
    Whats your instructor to student ratio
    How many hrs. btw on the road will I have? 44? thats the min. by the way accredited and set by PDTI
    How many loaded hrs? 12 is what your suposed to have, again by PDTI stardards
    How many night time hrs?
    How many hrs with various types of trucks, say van, doubles, tanker, loaded, 48'-53'?
    Again do your research on the schools! Accredited is suposed to be the BEST that most companies hire from.
    The 10week/43hr a week/400+ hr school I went to had a 100% graduation rate... things that make you say hmmmm, as I found upon graduation most still couldnt back up the damn truck without 6+ pull ups. And their hrs in various trucks were all over the place.
    In the end it's all about money and the big companies, insurance companies and not about you or how hard you work or want it.
    Yes alot are hired by big compaines, but many more are not. Check into it.
    I question schooling now and these big companies that get these accredited schools/govenment loans on so many things, my latest is that who are they really looking out for?
    How bout mexico and letting what they say is "only" 35 mexican company drivers across the border with there trucks.
    They say they have to meet the same CSA standardards, same truck standards, and same training standards?
    I had did my best, and was told I was damn good, but dont think you are rewarded for it, don't assume ANYTHING.
    Even if you have streight A's through your course, show up everyday and do awsum, have a accident free record, it don't mean youll find what your looking for.
    To be fair, I am a felon 1986/1996 and have a dui record last 2003. you will find that most don't or limit dui's to 1-2tops. No matter how great you did, It will be not considerd, companies have MANY MANY to choose from. Don't mean you WON"T get a job, as I start one, suposed to on Monday, 2days! That came with alot of hard work, a hundred apps, and in the end. LUCK
    Everything now days is regulated, and everything is getting more regulated.
    It's not only not for everyone, it's alot harder job then "just driving a truck" or going to a particular school.
    There and YOU will have ALOT of compition.
    In the end I will tell you accredited is accredited don't matter the time length.
    what matters is felony/misdomenor record, dui's, accident record, your willingness to do what you don't want to do, your work history and much more.
    Even if you meet all this, know you may still get a lame excuse as to why they aren't hiring right now.
    I have found you WILL get a job, if you are willing to do whatever it takes, they say if you have a CDL and no job it's because you dont want one, that is misleading.
    It is hard to know what you are getting into when you decide to become a truck driver, my advice is also to "WANT IT LIKE YOU WANT NOTHING ELSE". Thats is your start and to be willing to not let ANYTHING including being away from your family get in your way.
    In a closing thought.
    Pay your respect to the old timers in the business, they are a dieing breed, they have made their honest living doing what most people take for granted everyday, lived a life that breaks most men.
    As the Rev. above says,
    TRUCKIN' AIN'T FOR WUSSES!!!
    Drive safe and see you's on the road!

  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatoff9530 View Post
    TRUCKIN' AIN'T FOR WUSSES!!!
    . . . and Flatbedding really AIN'T FOR WUSSES!

    CLICK TO DRIVE MAVERICK

  8. #47
    Cheap is offline Rookie
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  9. #48
    jbar2004 is offline Rookie
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    I have had my Class B for 8 years and am upgrading to my Class A. I am only taking 3 private driving lessons in a local school and will have my Class A. What companies will hire me ? Do I have to spend 2 months in school to get a job ?

  10. #49
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    Good post..
    You need to keep certain things in mind before you get into a school. You don’t want to choose the ‘CDL mills’ if you have the funds to go to school on your own. The contract business will take a toll on you in the long run. Also, while choosing the school, you need to make sure whether they have the job assistance that they claim to have. Make sure you will get hired when you qualify.

  11. #50
    jbar2004 is offline Rookie
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    Thanks for the info...

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    Thanx for the Information

  13. #52
    Eli Bocanegra is offline Rookie
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    Matcron33,

    With that being said what kind of advice would you give to someone who has a cdl class A but no experience? Should I look into owner operator who would be willing to take on a new driver as a partner?

  14. #53
    Ferry is offline Rookie
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    Of course in the world not all things are good, not all bad. Similar is the case with truck driving school. You have to choose very carefully.

  15. #54
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    Any new drivers working in the ND oil fields out there? I'm thinking very seriously about going up there. I've heard some companies will provide training for a CDL an Hazmat, but I don't know if that's true. Any advice would be appreciated. I do have driving experience, mostly light trucks and delivery vans.

    Thanks in advance.

  16. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfhobo View Post
    We American chaps don't have to start out that low. Many do, however, and there is nothing wrong with it. Many drivers on here started in farm operations or local hauling. I have the most respect for them. But, a new driver starting out today, is looking for something more. This is a big and beautiful country, and many of them have never seen it all. And driving a "big truck" is different than anything else in the CDL "business."
    but hobo isnt that were the danger is ,a new bloke straight into a maximum weight carrying unit [here it is 45.5 tonne].over here for bout ten years they have a gradual licence system ,for a full truck and trailer licence it take bout 2yrs .

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    Quote Originally Posted by johndawg View Post
    Any new drivers working in the ND oil fields out there? I'm thinking very seriously about going up there. I've heard some companies will provide training for a CDL an Hazmat, but I don't know if that's true. Any advice would be appreciated. I do have driving experience, mostly light trucks and delivery vans.

    Thanks in advance.

    new to this site, but i got a buddy who is out there making about 200-300 a day, says senior drivers making 700 a day which is crazy, you will need your hazmat and tankers endorsements..the only issue he stated are drivers not wanting to stay long, its very cold, isolated..gl

  18. #57
    arelrob7 is offline Rookie
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    We should have to knowledge about the driving school which we are going to join.
    About the trucking trainer.
    Training Cost.
    Training duration and after training placement facility.

  19. #58
    trucker372 is offline Rookie
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    I never new that my post would stay at the top of the list this long. So much has changed in for years. I wonder if the post is still useful to new drivers.

  20. #59
    cdreid is offline Board Regular
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    ok...

    Class a no experiience is exactly as good as a class c no experience. The only way to "get hireable" is to spend the next few years driviing for a farm or get intobedbugging where they'll use you as a class c and b driiver , then maybe a class a will take you under his wing and take you out for a month as his personal laborer and maybe teach you to drive.

    Class b with years experience to class a is possible you just have to find the right company. If youre smart you'll go to school though. Trucking aint "jump behind a wheel and go! cause im an excellent driver".. trucking done went and got compex.

    Theres nothing wrong with the guys who drive for swift/jb. There is a LOT wrong with their training!!!!!!!!

    Noone gives a flying damn about accreditation.

    School/training/first 6 mos dont make you a trucker. They PREPARE you. In reality most companies and drivers wont really consider you a trucker till you are 2 years in.

    School wont teach you to back. It will teach you to back well enough to pass the test. Same for training (in another guys truck).


    If a company wont get you home every weekend tell them to f*** off.

    You will run elogs. The days of running illegal are over. There are very few of us who can still run paper logs. Our days are numbered and we know it.

    Trucking is goiing to change more over the next 2 years than it ever has. Shippers/recievers will provide parkiing or they will have to pay $$$$$$$$$$$$ to get their freight moved. Shippers are goiing to load FAST or face HUGE contract fines. There wont be any more "we only load during thiis small window" bull****. Shippers/recievers who arent trucking industry friiendlly are about to get a swift kick iin the ass.. because of new DOT bs.

    Rates are goiing UP. Miles per driver is going down. The push for teams is going to be huge. You'll start to see teams and drop and hook even in flatbed. (it's RARE now).

    I made 45k my first year. I started at .26. Was at .30 at 1 year. I ran hard. Trucking isnt for wussies.. or lazy people. I drove HARD. A manager at one company told me "you run like a chicken with your head cut off".. i used to run 3200+ in 3.5 days.

    The day of the o/o is coming back.. despite the fact that is exactly what the megacarriers are trying to end by pushing this dot stuff. They are trying to shut down everyoone but themselves. The bitch in charge in DC is firmly in their pocket.

    You will HATE trucking at first. If it gets in your blood you're f***ed because you wont be able to fit in anywhere else. ALL truckers are their own boss. Especially o/o's. You wont be able to handle some punk with issues looking over your shoullder or giviing you orders once youre a trucker.

    Best advice ii ever got: "specialise in something. early as possible and as much as possibe". I wish i had started off in flatbed.

    You will consider what your nontrucker friends make a week a joke and not understand how anyone can clear 500 a week and surviive. You'll "blow" more money a week than most of them make.

    You'll lose most of your friends. And family. If youre smart you'll do as i do and make them your #1 prioriity in life.

    If youre married w kids and you decide to become a trucker you are a frigging idiot. Youre wifes next husband, the guy the kids call daddy, will try to get along with you..
    You'll be able to telll the dude your wife sleeps with when you're out is a good dude by whether he replaces your beer or not. Hes probably one of your close friends now so you're probably all good.

    I HATE trucking. I also love iit. go figure. Im a trucker to my core. Before this ii was a skinny, preppyish intellectual. Computer programmer. I was going to be a genetic engineer or physiicist. I buiit a business on the net with 0 $ and was considered an expert in SEO by the industry. Now im a muscular, no **** takiing guy people assume is a truckker the second they see me. Thats weird btw.

    If you are single TRY IT. If you are desperate TRY IT. Truckers work harder than other profession. Period. They work longer hours. Trucking is INSANELY dangerous. People will hate you. And be terrified to say it to your face. EVERYONE willl have their hand in your pocket. Especially the .gov and the company. MOST people who start dont make it. Maybe 25% survive 6 months. Maybe 1% make 2 years. If you work hard, are professional, are careful, are a stable person trucking will change your life.


    Babbling finished

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    slacker is offline Board Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
    I've been reading around on the subject since Friday. I think I've decided I'd rather stick with wrenching and get my CDL on my own time through an independent school.

    Its greasy and stressful, but at the end of the day I'm happy doing it.
    If I was a young man, knowing what I know now, I'd become a Cummins certified diesel mechanic. Just look under the hood of all these new trucks and what do you see? Red engines. Cummins has a large majority of the new truck market, and will have for years. The waiting time to get stuff fixed at Cummins is days sometimes. I know from experience. Also, a lot of the hispanic shops won't touch a red engine, but only the green ones.

    I had a mechanic shop for 30 years and have been driving trucks for five. I made much more money in less time with my own shop that I ever have, even owning my own truck and trailer. The rates for freight are falling, but the rates to work on diesel trucks are rising............

 




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