We are in need of some advice:
The question is go to school at our own expense or company paid training?
I have looked at both and it is very hard to decide. I have looked at Con-way and Usexpress if we went to school on our buck and I also looked at Central Refigerated as a possibility of a company paid.
Husband and Wife starting CDL school in Nov
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I would reserve comment until I was aware of the key bullet points of the "Carrier Sponsored Training" contract. i.e. what is the minimum employment length required to be released? What is the "early exit" cost fee structure? Does the carrier have any min/max "responsibilities" to the driver? How will potential reimbursement costs be reduced over time? etc. This also has to be weighed and balanced with published beginning pay structure for the potential carrier options. In other words, certainly don't let yourself be screwed with not only a potentially iffy contract, but with comparatively poor pay/benefits, too.
In some cases, company paid and sponsored training may be the way to go, in others you may be prudent to pay your own way if there is any way possible. But understand, a new driver is going to have a difficult time getting rehired at any competing carrier with less than 9-12 months OTR experience, regardless of recent 1st job performance feedback. (that may or may not be accurately provided)Lady K Thanks this.
My husband and I went through the schooling for Central... And we are still with Central... We went thought the schooling about a month apart, so had separate trainers and he was solo for a month while I went through. There was a couple that went through at the same time Klingon did and they were on a single truck for training... Not sure if they still do THAT or not... Mighty crowded with three on a truck!
if either of you are military, have your DD214 available and they will give you a discounted rate... Not sure of what though. They took the cost of our schooling/training out on a per week basis for a year... And matched what they took out. If we had left before that year was up, then we would have been on the hook for the total amount of $3000.
Its not a bad company, but its not the BEST either... You will get out of it what you put into it... Either way though, it is a good starter company...
if you want to read more of our/my adventure here is a link to our thread.... LINK
If you can afford to pay for a private school yourself, that's what you should always do.
There is a financial liability you will carry should you leave a company school early, and more people than not, leave early or before one year's time. Most carriers will reimburse you for private school, maybe $150 month, so it's not as if you lose that money completely. It's very important that you leave your options open.
Be aware that once you and your husband get your official CDL's, you will be hitting the road seperately, with trainers for 5 weeks or more. You may have to wait several months for a female trainer, or just go with a male if your husband doesn't mind. It could be a while before you're actually teaming.
Remember this, School is just getting your license. It isn't learning how to drive. If you go to a company school you are committed to the company. Ask yourself if you want that or if you would like more choices. As a husband and wife team you are the hot hires in this industry. You are more likely to stay on the road and to stay on the job. You have roots.
If you go to a school that is connected with a community college you are eligible for Federal Aid. Of course the country is in debt but take the money.
You will find that even companies that normally do not hire newbies will hire a husband and wife team.
Of course on of the really bad things about having your wife in the truck with you is that women always complain when you leave the cap off the bottle. (And yes, that is a bathroom joke.)KateL Thanks this.
I am a big fan of the community college. Usually, truck driving is a certificate program and you need to pay up front, and you rarely get financial aid unless you are Going through something like Vocational Rehab, or recent military or something like that. On the plus side, the community college is cheaper, and half days and you can work another job if you are still in town. You learn at a more leasurly pace and that makes for less stress. Other benefits are that community colleges have job fairs, career centers, and short cuts for their students to get into companies that do not take "students"-- it all depends on the school. Crete Carrier traditionally recruits students from the school I go to, and yet, they "do not take students" . I have a job with Hill Brothers, and they "do not take students." So a lot of this stuff about having to have 1 year OTR is not 100% accurate. Basically, look around-- across the country if need be (some community college truck driving programs are the same price for in, or out of state students.) I'd look at how many hours you get driving. How many hours on the road do they promise? I looked at 2 schools in my area and they were very different.
As far as the truck driving companies you asked about. My first choice was Seward Freight but they ended their student program just as I was applying, then my second was Hill Brothers, my third choice Crete, my fourth was Con-Way. I was impressed by Con-Way, and among the mega-carriers, I would chose them over others. Maybe with you it would be different?
Do your research-- that is the best advice I can give. Why? The drop out rate for truck drivers is so high that you want to get something that you like, to set yourself up for success instead of failure.flood Thanks this.
I recommend refrigerated trucking companies; you'll make more money, especially teams.
I've heard positive things about Central Refrigerated.
Two more companies I've heard positive comments about are drive4marten.com & Navajo.com, but they don't have their own driving school, you would have to attend a private school first.
driveffe.com has their own school & uses teams.
Lots to choose from; look at their websites carefully & see what best fits your wants and needs. Some websites will have "one year experience" or "6 mos. experience" required, but if you read carefully, it may also say, recent CDL/driving school grads.
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