I am in the 4th day of CDL training of Burns Harbor for CR England and I want to make myself available in case anyone else is considering here as an option. If your curious what to expect for real you may feel free to pm me or I can message you IM at times. Or any questions post them here and I will give my honest answer.
So far this school has been pretty tough, you must be strong willed to keep going. Alot of people weeded out already in 3 days for various reasons. BUT as far as I can see it was their own faults (drug screen, failed permit 3 times due to lack of study). You have to be willing to give up your life as you know it for at least 16 days, you need to be well disciplined and humble.
If you do not have these characteristics then I can strongly recommend going elsewhere. This place is not for the weak. You will be cold, you will be tired. If you fear you will fail a drug screen, dont come here. If you cant make yourself stay up until 11:30 studying then be at school at 5:30, forget it. You will never make it. I seen 12 people in 3 days vanish.
I am training at CR England Burns Harbor Indiana
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Sorry for the long delay, if you attend this school and want to pass it you will have very little time to make posts!
Day 1 and 2 studying HARD for permit (and staying up late to keep learning it)
Day 3. All day at DMV taking the 3 tests for permits. All us guys who stayed up till midnight passed, the others who didnt went home on a greyhound if they were from Illinois because we only had one shot. Other states all get 2 more chances in the coming few days.
Day 4. Spent day on the range getting familiar with trucks and straight line backing.
Day 5 was Thanksgiving, they gave us the day off. Was supposed to be another day on the range.
Day 6 and 7, Orientation (12 hours each day yawn)
Day 8, 9, 10 and 11. Since I am in Illinois I went on "flex training". Went to Indianapolis and trained with a local driver 7 PM to 7 AM, was put up in a motel 6.
Day 12 spent on range doing straight line backing, alley dock and stop. Also studied pre trip in between.
Today is day 13 but im not there yet
for future students, do yourself a favor. if you are going to attend a school in your state of residence, you DO NOT have to be enrolled in any CDL school to study and obtain your CDL permit on your own.
i live in TN, and the CDL A permits are good for one year. i had mine 6 months before i ever started classes. now if you go to a school that is company run, you will probably have to switch your license over to the state that the school is in, so taking this step would be a waste of time.
I am sorry that it took me so long to reply, we have been running hard. I will try to answer the questions as best I can, I hope I am not too late for some of you.
1. Why stay up so late to study, was I new to driving a truck?
A: No but its been many years and I wanted to make sure I passed the permit test on the first try. Also I befriended a few people who were struggling, I felt as though I helped them pass. Some people are slow learners.
2. Kevin, I was thinking about this school. What happens next for those who make it? Weeks on the road with a trainer; how many?
A: I am on day 12 of my 30 day phase 1 training. I am ri=ding with an owner operator, super duper nice guy. He is showing me the ropes of buying a truck (not leasing), using the qualcom and etc. Once I get done with my 30 days (Jan 17th) he drops me off at Burns Harbor where I meet with them and they ask me what I want to do.
I myself have a few grand saved and I am going to try to buy a truck and then become a phase 2 trainer like he did, and get it paid for in a year by moving freight 24/7. But if this doesn't work out then I am going to have to go to what they call phase 2. Some people claim phase 2 don't exist anymore, but thats not entirely true. If you are not going to lease (which none of us had better) then you have to ride with a lease operator for 60 more days paid at 12 cents a mile for every mile the truck moves. Then you can go company. If I get to this sad point, I will complete my 6 months and move on.
3. Did you get the free school w/ 6 month contract to stay on?
I have never heard of this offer. I asked at orientation about an obligation to stay with CRE since we attended the school and they say there is not one. My first thought was to get my CDL and run, but after looking into the industry nooone is willing to touch me until I have a minimum of 3 months under my belt. So I stayed, CRE seems just as good to me as the other offers out there to train. I decided to try and at least get my 6 months in and move on.
If there is now an obligation and or a contract to work for CRE once you attend their school then its new, it didn't exist last month.
As a final note my experience has been a good one. I know you read a lot of bad on this forum about CRE, let me tell you 80 percent of it so far has been BS. They are a company that I will not want to be driving for as a company driver this time next year, but as an owner operator you can make some serious cash with these people and they can keep you consistently moving. My trainer is buying his 3rd truck in 2 weeks and has become a small fleet owner under CRE, he came to this school 2 years ago without enough to eat on. He fell victim to the lease but he teamed up with his trainer and they made good money, then with CRE if you complete the lease option and don't bail on them, there is another option, they will finance you a truck with no credit check and nothing down.
For him, that was a great proposition this guy has money.
You hear a lot about CRE lease program, and its true. Avoid it.
However if you can wrangle them into selling you a truck (usually a minimum of 5 grand down or complete a 6 month demo lease) then your golden. You can pay the truck off in a year if you team or become a trainer then after that your on your own. There is a maintenance account that is automatically set up for you so if you break down it will get paid for, and they pay a lot of the cost of fuel.
Plus as an O/O you can pick and choose loads, no forced dispatch here with this guy
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