Bullet points - Springfield, Missouri area. No 1 year contract/non-compete from either program for any company!
- 4 week program - $4k
- CDL training course
- 168 hour program
- learn the basics
- take the test
- no other certs
- job placement
- 5 month - $10k
- CDL, all basic certs - tanker/hazmat/doubles-triples
- 600 hour program (more classroom and behind the wheel local training)
- forklift operator
- warehouse, dispatch process/familiarization
- electronic log training
- route planning
- possible tuition reimbursement (even though gov't paid for it)
- job placement
I'm a 20 year Navy vet. Plan is to be owner/operator in 5-7 years (maybe more, reality will dictate). Vocational Rehab will pay for all of my original training. Plus additional $850 mo. for OJT. Decreasing amount every 6 months for 18 months.
Which plan most quickly gets me to the appropriate level of knowledge/experience to be an O/O profitably?
Should I 4 week it and pound the roads? Or spend some time in house and get a more in-depth education and THEN pound the roads to speed up the process of acquiring the knowledge needed to be a successful O/O?
Current income can suffice through either program so short term money is NOT the most important aspect.
Extra $6k worth the education? Plus the loss of 4 months income, keeping in mind the 5-7 year plan?
Few other pro's/con's, but that is the main points of the overall program.
Thanks for any wisdom.
4 week or 5 month training program?
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4 week. You learn best by being on the job out on the road. No amount of classroom instruction will mimic real-life situations you’ll encounter on the job...
And you can learn how a company’s elogs work your 1st day on the job. And your company can teach you to drive a forklift and get certified for free, no need to pay an extra $6K for stuff like this...
Agreed, 4k program.
But I'd strongly recommend finding a cdl course without the one year non compete contract. Try a community college.
Check ooida for info on being a o/o. You can take the web seminars and learn at your own pace.
Take the 4 week course & hit the road.
Get all the endorsements before graduating from the 4 week school. All the answers to the questions for endorsements are on this website; scroll to top of this page and click on ?CDL Practice Tests."
As @Oor posted, become a member of www.OOIDA.com for later in your career. This is a business website for the owner-operator.
What type trucking job do you want?
Schools do have job placement, but you probably will get better leads on this forum from other drivers.
You will understand that trucking schools are generally all the same.
You will learn just enough to take the State Road Test without killing anyone with that truck. You want to be sure there is a Manual transmission truck availible for the test otherwise you are hit with a automatic restriction.
YOUR REAL education starts when you are hired on and given a load packet after Orientation, then you are told to get going you're late.
The 10K course is way too expensive. You can get those certifications elsewhere for essentially free. There is nothing wrong with a plain CDL with airbrakes. Just no double, tanker, hazmat etc.
Anyone can do trip planning versus time remaining. You will know pretty well that you are either on time, early or late. If you are late, call into dispatch and tell them that you are late and will be there x hour on day Y. And need a new appt time for at least that date and hour.
ELD is essentially the paper logs being done for you as you drive, sleep and take the mandatory 30 minute break after 8 hours driving etc. (This I don't like, really knocks me out of the groove to sit.
Wow. I'm impressed. I really thought I had researched this, thought it through but the different perspectives you all put on it has me stompin on the brakes.
@DTP - Never even thought that the company would be able to train me on their elogs so fast and easy. Great insight and makes total sense. And the other certs being free, good points. I can be makin money and learning as I get those.
@Oor - I have done tons of webinars in the past for other topics, so I'm no stranger to those. Didn't realize (should have) that those are available to further my education towards o/o. Have checked out ooida but not joined yet. Will do that soon.
@Chinatown - have been taking those tests a lot recently. I try to do at least one from each section per night. Will be joining ooida, too. As far as what type of job I want, I'm not really sure. I'm pretty sure I don't want flatbed (lots of physical disability issues would make it tough - not a shrinking violet, as I'm a cattle rancher right now, but wear and tear from lots of miles is taking its toll). The main reason I'm doing this is to make some money for the family and for retirement. Lots of responsibilities. Have accepted that I'm gonna get worked like a dog for at least the first year (already discussed with the wife, as well) so I guess I'm pretty open as to what job to take. I'm smart enough to know that I don't know didly about a lot (most) of them. Guess I'm looking to get experience with most of 'em and be able to make an informed choice based on my experiences with each. Also, I called that company you mentioned and they recommend C1. I'll be doing some research on them now. Great idea, btw.
@x1Heavy - Good call on the manual transmission so no restrictions. I have seen that before but had forgotten about it (lots of information to absorb with all this research). As well as the info on route planning and ELD's.
Overall, one of the big things I learned in the Navy was that I sometimes I am responsible for things that I have no idea about. One example that jumps to mind that I just learned recently is that there is different GPS units for trucks and for cars. Had no idea about that but I could have done a #### ton of damage to an expensive rig simply because I didn't know about truck routes (really hope I'd be smart enough and paying attention enough to not run into an overhead bridge but never can tell . . . ).
That is another of the main reasons I was thinking about a longer school so I'd have time to learn the basics and then the finer points or less thought of points or the things that shorter schools just don't have time to go into, as they are teaching me to not kill someone and operate a truck.
Sounds like the general opinion though is that the real education happens when the rubber meets the road.
Thanks everyone for the wisdom. Just goes to show that I really don't know what I don't know. LOL. Which scares the crap outta me.
Keep the ideas coming, I'm learning a lot.Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
I agree with @Chinatown and go a little further. Get all endorsements BEFORE you APPLY for a job.
You can get a TWIC card and passport now. For a driver, passport card is fine.
There is no reason to think you have to be "worked like a dog" your first year. You also do not have to work for a "starter company" right of school and pay your dues for a year. Many good companies hire rookies.
The thing that is selling me on the 20 week program is that the director of the program met with me and he said that he set the program up in such a way that what is in it took him about 2 years to learn as a driver. This would be a significant speed up toward the ultimate goal of o/o after I learn enough.
He seemed truthful/honest and a no BS'er. No sales job, said either program is good to go through.
I've heard all that's been put out here. In addition, they even had a student pass through (post test passing) and recommended the 4 week program over the 20 week.
I've been a believer in higher education. Perhaps its time to put that to the side. Think I'll call Monday and set up a seat in the 4 week program.
Last call for any thoughts, pro/con for either program.
Thanks all for your wisdom. The only thing I value more that higher education is the opinion of those who have been there and done that.
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