Is this a reasonable idea?

Papa

Member
I really want to get into trucking, but I don't like the idea of having to indebt myself to the tune of $5000 or commit to a trucking company for a year and a half.

Not many options in terms of training here in Montana and I live 100 miles from the closest school.

I would like your opinion of this plan: I can get the State to pay for a cheapo CDL training course. All the book training is on-line and then I get about 10 hours of truck driving time. Just enough, they claim to pass the driving test for my CDL (they furnish the truck and driving instructor).

I'm the first to realize and admit that at that point in time, I'll know just enough to be a hazzard on the highways, so the plan continues:

I read a story about a gentleman with a CDL, but no experience, that went to a major trucking company's school. He claimed that because he already had his CDL, his classroom training was abbrieviated and he spent most of his time driving with an instructor and graduated from the school in two weeks.

Because he was not required to take the whole course of instruction, he was not required to sign an employment agreement with the company to repay the training expense.

My question is whether you believe that this might be a viable alternative to the more classic driver school training?

Thank you very much
 

GAnthony

Methuselah
Supporter
I really want to get into trucking, but I don't like the idea of having to indebt myself to the tune of $5000 or commit to a trucking company for a year and a half.

Not many options in terms of training here in Montana and I live 100 miles from the closest school.

I would like your opinion of this plan: I can get the State to pay for a cheapo CDL training course. All the book training is on-line and then I get about 10 hours of truck driving time. Just enough, they claim to pass the driving test for my CDL (they furnish the truck and driving instructor).

I'm the first to realize and admit that at that point in time, I'll know just enough to be a hazzard on the highways, so the plan continues:

I read a story about a gentleman with a CDL, but no experience, that went to a major trucking company's school. He claimed that because he already had his CDL, his classroom training was abbrieviated and he spent most of his time driving with an instructor and graduated from the school in two weeks.

Because he was not required to take the whole course of instruction, he was not required to sign an employment agreement with the company to repay the training expense.

My question is whether you believe that this might be a viable alternative to the more classic driver school training?

Thank you very much
no, i don't believe he's telling the whole story. from EVERY one that goes through a company driving school YOU DO SIGN A CONTRACT....

so, basically, shop around, try and get the name of the place he went to, just don't be too surprised he tells you they ain't in business no more, or they "changed" thier policy....
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I would like your opinion of this plan: I can get the State to pay for a cheapo CDL training course. All the book training is on-line and then I get about 10 hours of truck driving time. Just enough, they claim to pass the driving test for my CDL (they furnish the truck and driving instructor).
That is what you call a CDL Mill, and those places are about to be run out of business. A place like that is not teaching you what you need to be taught, and is setting many drivers up for failure in the trucking industry. Don't go that route.

If money is an issue, look into a company like Schneider. They will put you through their training program, and it is one of the better ones in the industry. You will have to stay with them for a certain amount of time, but you have to drive for someone anyway, might as well let them train you and give them the required time in exchange.
 

whitedovek

New Member
dont do it

I know you stated you didnt want to get into debt right off the bat. Unless i read your post wrong ( i may have) you want to take an online course then just take the CDL test. You really really really need that on the road time. Driving a truck is not just getting in and starting it up. There are many things you have to learn, it doesnt matter how long someone has been driving a truck they learn each day. if they say they know it all they need to stop driving. I was lucky and had 2 yrs riding with my husband before i decided to get my cdl, he was also my trainer. There is so much out there that we have to learn. please think carefully , driving truck is a heck of a lot different than driving a car.
whitedove
 

Papa

Member
I said that I knew that just getting my license would make me a hazard on the road without some significant driving experience.

I've applied to Watkins Shepard for their driving school. I picked them because they are the only trucking company in Montana that has a terminal within 85 miles of my home and three terminals in Montana. Home time is the most important factor for me.
 
Home time is the most important factor for me.

Having a terminal close to your house does not necessarily equate to good home time policies.

All of the major outfits try to get you home every 2 to 3 weeks for a couple of days. The most difficult part for a company is to get you hometime while you are training. If your trainer doesnt live close to you, it can be a pain. In looking at just hometime as a company selection tool you quite possibly could short change yourself as to employment opportunities though. Depending upon where you live, and what freight is available for; delivery, pickup, or stop-overs while passing through loaded, hometime could be easy or ugly for any company.




In echoing the words of Bullwinkle, Schneider has a good program.
Also, you mentioned not going into debt. Good News! Schneider doesnt require you to already have your CDL, just get a CDL permit from where you live and you are set on that part of it.

Best Wishes and Good Luck!
 

truckingupchick

Active Member
school

montana is different.im a 100 mi north of missoula native.the schools do more ojt than most..i know the program you speak of..the only companies who really go there are jim palmer, swift, werner, or yellowstone..i know yellowstone got bought out, if they hook you up with the right folks, you will be ok. Most of us learned to drive with no license, and with 400000 folks in the whole state we worry more about wildlife collisions, than car collisions.ha just be safe because growing up with no speedlimit makes it a a witch to slow down and do 57 mph for the rest of our trucking careers..yikes.
 

The New Yorker

Is a way of life
I back up The Moose. Driving a rig is a lot to learn and a lot to understand and it never stops. And when it does or when the time comes you get through a tricky situation and think nothing of it or find your self saying what ever I'll just do it, then it will be time to quit.
4 wheelers have no idea, none. And when ever I talk to ANYONE who knows nothing of driving a truck or anything beyond their Honda I am floored on what they say about driving, and they know so much and do no wrong. In fact a few days ago I talking with someone who was telling their story about being in a major hwy and had to stop short. She Slammed on the breaks and stopped just in time. I then asked her did you ever look in your mirror before hand, or look for a out without SLAMMING the breaks on a major rd? She said "no, why would I? I almost hit these people". That kinda scary, if I was loaded and behind her and she stopped like she said, I may have taken both cars out.

basically you need rd time with a driver, it's a must. Schneider is a good choice, just have to grind your teeth for a year or so. But it's worth it if you really wanna drive a truck.
 
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