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Old 06-09-2009, 12:59 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 37
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
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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Old 06-09-2009, 06:51 PM
jburd's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 67

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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Old 06-16-2009, 02:42 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 931

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.

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.

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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Old 06-16-2009, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 931

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 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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Old 06-18-2009, 06:50 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Somewhere between Rochester NY and Gaults' Gulch
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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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Old 06-18-2009, 08:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 145

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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Old 06-20-2009, 04:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Pulling a Tanker for Superior Carriers!!
Posts: 3,000

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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Old 06-26-2009, 09:50 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Somewhere in this World
Posts: 337

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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Old 07-15-2009, 03:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 32

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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Old 07-17-2009, 02:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 25

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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levy, tax lawyer

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