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  1. #1
    Bobtail Member
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    Some questions. CDL companies, lodging, sick, and death.

    1st Question:
    I know most of these are borderline rackets, but I am curious. If you had zero money, maybe enough to pay a cheap fee here or there..could you get started with anyone? In other words, is there any company out there that will training you for your cdl with nothing out of pocket? I understand you have to pay it back out of your checks when you get going but most I have seen still want you to put something down.

    2nd question:
    Do any of these actually include a place to stay while you train, rolled up in the cost? Or do you still have to pay for that too or live in your car for the next 3 weeks?



    3rd Question:
    How do most trucking companies handle you being sick? Like say you get the flu and its coming out both ends and you are days away from home..how or what do you normally do?

    4th Question:
    Similar to the 3rd but more dreadful..how do they handle a death in the family? My dad is sick and frankly would be surprised if he's with us 2 years from now. How do most companies handle getting you home?

  2. #2
    Road Train Member celticwolf's Avatar
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    I can answer 1 and 2 There are lots of driver mills out there that make you sign you life away for a period of time. The Shortest I found is CRST, They own you for 8 months after you get your CDL.

    #2 I know CRST does. Well it's a bed in a room with two other people.

  3. #3
    Mutant Trucker ironpony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNVol0001 View Post
    1st Question:
    I know most of these are borderline rackets, but I am curious. If you had zero money, maybe enough to pay a cheap fee here or there..could you get started with anyone? In other words, is there any company out there that will training you for your cdl with nothing out of pocket? I understand you have to pay it back out of your checks when you get going but most I have seen still want you to put something down.
    Prime requires that you pay for an initial DOT physical, and have the fee for the CDL learners permit when you come to orientation. I think that is about $150 - you should ask that of a recruiter to be sure. The tuition cost is completely waived if you stay with the company for 1 year after becoming solo qualified; you owe only half if you stay for at least 6 months.

    Training pay at Prime is actually very good for this industry - a lot of drivers don't make as much per week in their first year. They advance you some money while you're getting your CDL - you aren't an employee until after you get your ticket. The advances are taken out of your checks after employment at $25 per week. I believe this to be correct, but after you get your CDL you're paid $500 per week before taxes. After the first month it jumps to $600 for miles below 5000, or 12-cpm for all miles - whichever is greater, and of course, the taxman still gets his bite. You must be available for dispatch (not sitting at home with your honey) in order to be paid.

    2nd question:
    Do any of these actually include a place to stay while you train, rolled up in the cost? Or do you still have to pay for that too or live in your car for the next 3 weeks?
    Prime actually owns a motel - its not the Hilton, but it is clean. There is a cafeteria at the motel, and a more substantial grill at the main terminal. Your room and board are covered while you're training. Otherwise you'll be out on the road with an instructor or trainer depending on what phase you're in.

    3rd Question:
    How do most trucking companies handle you being sick? Like say you get the flu and its coming out both ends and you are days away from home..how or what do you normally do?
    Depends on the company. At Prime you'd let your fleet manager (FM) know so that your load would be covered, then go to the nearest emergency room. They have gap insurance availble from day 1 of employment, and you are eligible for health insurance the beginning of the 1st month after you've been employed for 90 days.

    4th Question:
    Similar to the 3rd but more dreadful..how do they handle a death in the family? My dad is sick and frankly would be surprised if he's with us 2 years from now. How do most companies handle getting you home?
    Again, you let your FM know. I had a friend in this situation a couple of years ago. They arranged a load swap with another driver within 6 hours of being notified. She got home as quickly as she could legally drive there. She was allowed to drop the load, and another driver took care of the delivery.

    Make sure you do your research on training companies before you jump. There are some real bad ones out there.

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