Advice For A New Driver

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by bubbatrucker23, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. bubbatrucker23

    bubbatrucker23 Bobtail Member

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Oxford Alabama
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    First off i am a new user to the site,and lots of helpful information here but not the one question i have. I am sechudled to start Driver Solutions on 02/22/2010 in Little Rock Ar if anyone has any advice on this location please let me know
     
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  3. foodmojo

    foodmojo Light Load Member

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    Nov 29, 2009
    chesapeake Virginia
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    Hey BubbaT, I was going to go through driver solutions as well but after doing some research i found that was not a sound decision. Look up at the top of the page where the catagories are and in the serch window type driver solutions or really any question you might have.

    After several months of research and talking with the Veteran truckers here Three weeks on the training before you get behind the wheel is not smart. A Community College (if your close to one or can go) will yield you a cheaper way to recieve your CDL. My Community college is for Eight weeks at $1500. and i Believe Driver Solutions is $6000. with a compounded daily intrest rate around 20% or so. You say "but it's free".:biggrin_25513:

    Nope, there going to take 50. each week till it's paid or if you get let go before the training or fail you might still be on the hook for the money + intrest. From what i was told they lose about 1/3 of the guys in each class due to qualifications, as soon as you sign the contract your stuck for the money and if you don't play their way and get let go you won't be able to drive for anyone anyway for two years because your under contract. :biggrin_25510: I've decided that sighning a contract is not the best idea because your on the hook with these guys and there's nothing you can do. Each Co. that has there version of driving scool also gets a check from the Federal Government for placing each student in school, whether you stay or go. It's all terribly one sided in their favor. Look for Threads on here about trucking schools and talk to the guys that have been doing it a while. Don't rush into this if you can help it, if you rush into it and make a mistake it could cost you, and depending on the seriousness of the infraction you might not be able to drive again.

    READ, READ, READ! These guys for the most part are going to help you make a good decision.

    If you must go to a company sponsored school i've personaly spoke with some guys and have been told they believe they would do either Schneider or Prime.

    I was going to do Prime, Training is $3000. , You don't pay it back if you work for them for a year and the bill is prorated if you decide it's not for you after 4 and 6 months. You'll get your learners permit in three days nad then go on the road immediatly with a trainer while getting paid 600. per week garaunteed while training. Anyway Good luck and do your research.
     
  4. foodmojo

    foodmojo Light Load Member

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    Nov 29, 2009
    chesapeake Virginia
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    I Copied and pasted this from another drivers post, again go to the search window and put in trucking schools and read for a better decision, read/learn/rise above



    Folks, this HAS to be posted.

    I have had contact with another fine person seeking a new career, who has been victimized in just about the absolutely worst way imaginable by another Truck Driving School.

    The most recent complaint involves CDI/TDI located in Christiana, Tennessee. Upon doing some research, they are not endorsed or accredited by any credible source that I can find, but are authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Center to operate as a training facility for the purpose of training truck drivers. Sponsoring carriers involved are Covenant Transport, Stevens Transport, H.O. Wolding, and Transport America for that location. Other sponsers at some of their associate locations include Werner, Swift, and some smaller, lesser known carriers.

    To ANYONE considering attending a school...PLEASE read this post over and over, until you understand each and every point I am about to raise. This is all too important. There are some really shady players out there, posing as training schools, and they escape the eyes of those that would have the power to shut them down, because they play things very close to the vest, in order to protect themselves from allowing proof to be released that would allow prosecution for their lawlessness.

    I really want to invite people to chime in on this one, for a couple of reasons. I have never attended a training school, number one, and number two, those of you that have, can offer valuable information to others that will help them make better and informed decisions.

    First of all, when anyone is considering the career of driving a truck, and they have no experience, they are going to have to find a way to be trained and introduced to their first job. If you have read my other posts, you are aware of many of my recommendations.

    Please understand that there is a new trend developing in the industry, where several Motor Carriers have tapped into sources of funding for "training" of displaced workers, and they are investing heavily into training facilities, and are aligning themselves with some very questionable non-profits in Washington to steer money their way.

    In the process of doing this, they are using hopeful and desperate people, who are seriously seeking for a better means to support themselves and their families. The sad fact is, some of these companies are not offering what those people are seeking. They want your signature on a contract. Whether or not you work for them for any length of time is immaterial to them.

    With your signature, you can be locked into agreeing to just about anything under the sun, unless it is illegal. Contractual law is vague at best, and at it's worst, offers no protection whatsoever to the consumer. If you sign an ageement, it often takes a civil court action to resolve disagreements. It's not very often that the consumer prevails in cases, because they willfully signed the agreement.

    The Federal Trade Commission offers little if any protection to people who sign tuition agreements for Truck Driving Schools. They don't receive enough complaints to act on them. The thing is, there is widespread abuse in some very specific areas of Federal law occuring on a daily basis. I want to raise these areas to an awareness level.

    First of all, don't be lured into a false sense of security by an accreditation claim. I have found through recent research, that where it concerns Truck Driving Schools, the accreditation of a training facility may be offered by a firm, hired by a group or consortium of Motor Carriers and/or training facilities that have banded together to obtain taxpayer funds for offering training to new drivers, and the endorsement is supplied by that Washington D.C. firm, who gets a piece of the action, so to speak. It's legal, but shady, to say the least.

    I've waivered back and forth on the issue of accreditation, but after doing some research over the past couple of weeks, I am going back to my original stance on something. I would only recommend CONSIDERING, attending facilities that are endorsed by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI)

    I do not consider EVERY school on their lists to be worth attending, but they are at least screened to some degree for standards in their training programs, where many others out there are not. You still need to be careful what you walk into, and know the terms up-front. PDTI, also known as PDTIA, has been around since 1973 in one form or another, and although they have changed hands a few times, they offer the best standards for these schools to live up to, although that is not saying very much. Training facilities continue to be totally unregulated, although the FTC does occasionally slap the hands of those that operate outside the norm.

    If you are interested in understanding a bit more about accreditation, you can read up on it here:

    http://www.degree.net/guides/accreditation_guide.html

    The contract you sign for any training program, ESPECIALLY one that involves tuition, is regulated under criteria of the Truth In Lending Act, Title 12 of the Code Of Federal Regulations, and by certain state laws that dictate how consumer loans are to be offered. You have certain rights, and these schools and associated lending institutions MUST follow guidelines when they have you sign contracts.

    When considering signing a tuition agreement, I urge you to ask for a BLANK copy of such an agreement up-front, so that you can understand the terms and conditions completely. If such a request is denied, I'd consider that a red flag, and an indication that the deal may have problems. Under no condition do you sign a THING, until you have an opportunity to see what the tution finance contract consists of. "Proprietary reasons or concerns" for denial of this request, if cited by anyone, are BUNK and further evidence that the institution has something to hide. If you agree with the terms of the blank contract, and decide to accept the loan for tuition, before you sign a tuition agreement, make sure that ALL lines and/or boxes are filled in or excluded with X's, and that nothing can be altered at a later date.

    This next point is absolutely important. GET A COPY OF THAT DOCUMENT IMMEDIATELY for your own records, as soon as you sign it. If this request is refused, ask for the document back, and TEAR IT UP INTO LITTLE PIECES, and find the exit door immediately. You have every right to a copy of ANY loan document at the time of signing (unless you have agreed to waive that right as it may be in the loan agreement...again you must READ IT!), and refusal of such a request is a violation of Federal law.

    It has come to my attention that there are schools that are not giving students copies of ANYTHING they sign, and tell them that when they are hired by a carrier and in a truck, all documents will be forwarded to them at that time. This is a completely unacceptable practice, and it may even be illegal, especially if the school has received compensation for your training prior to your being hired by any company. Disclosure laws demand that you are afforded a copy of the agreement NO LATER, than the time that funds are dispersed to the school. Personally, I would not sign a piece of paper that where no copy will be afforded at the time of signing. I get copies of EVERY piece of paper I sign for ANYONE, no matter how insignificant they may be at the time I sign them. They do not leave my presence for one SECOND, until I receive copies.

    You need to know EXACTLY who is financing that tuition, and when it is to be paid to the school. If that information is not included in the finance contract, the contract is more likely than not, illegal.

    Another disturbing finding, is the issue of what these schools are charging to train drivers. I have always thought that $5,000 was over the top, but I have come to learn that many of these people are being demanded to re-pay $10,000 in payments for tution. This amount if often demanded when a student does not hire on with an "approved" sponsoring carrier, or quits the carrier in less time than the contract stipulates for exchanging a service comittment for training. If this was not bad enough, the interest rates for these loans are topping 25%, in some cases. This is outrageous, and it's predatory lending in every sense of the word. In my opinion, it also borders on forced slavery, because you are basically signing away your right to choose an employer.

    Here's one more thing to consider. It is well known that some of the worst carriers, are aligned with the more questionable schools out there. The tactics used in cases where a newbie cannot cope with the job that they take, because it was misrepresented from the get-go, include the ruining of one's credit reports, illegal debt collection practices, blackballing of the former employee when requests for job references are made by prospective employers.

    As some of you may be aware, I endorse Schneider National Carriers, and their training program, the working conditions, and terms that they offer to newbies seeking an economical way to enter the industry. Time after time, I have heard that they have often forgiven the contract debt, even when one leaves them before their commitment is fulfilled. They don't trash credit reports, hound people, or blackball drivers, to the best of my knowledge.

    I urge anyone who is seeking for the most economical method of entering the trucking industry to check them out, because they offer a paid training program, one of the finest and most comprehensive programs out there, and the most comfortable environment for training that I am aware of. I am currently in contact with three people that are in their training program as I write this, and they are thrilled with it. I was in contact with their recruitment department a few weeks ago, to plead the case of one of these people that was not approved over a minor issue, and after a few minutes with a supervisor on the phone, they reversed their decision against company policy and hired this person. It is things like this that keep them on my list of companies that ARE worth a nod of approval. I consider Schneider a rare example of companies that are trying their best to improve their company. Are they perfect? No. They also may not be a good choice, depending on your own set of circumstances, which is why everyone needs to take the time necessary to make an informed decision.

    This exchange is far different from attending a supposed, stand-alone truck driver training facility, and then being forced to select from a few carriers. My advice...select the carrier you would like to work for FIRST, obtain a conditional approval for hire, and THEN worry about obtaining the training that they will accept. All the training in the world is worthless if your chances for staying on the job is in question.

    I am becoming convinced that the vast majority of the stand alone truck driver training schools are scams and shams, and there is more than enough evidence to suggest that some borderline RICO Act material is a part of the scene. Personally, I haven't found evidence that there are many legitimate ones out there. It is also becoming apparent that there are some rather large carriers that are making more from signing people up for school, getting funds for signing them up, and they could care less if a driver stays or quits. Is this what people are seeking? Not on your life.

    Please....don't fall into these spiderwebs of deceit. If you do not have a 100% clear understanding of what you are getting into, DON'T sign one piece of paper. If your sixth sense tells you something is not right, it probably is not.

    Your local Community Colleges and Technical Training Centers are going to be your best and most trusted sources of legitimate training, as well as the least expensive option for obtaining the training if exchanging a service commitment is not your style, and it will offer you the most control over your options. They will also work with legitimate providers of low cost/low interest student loans from traditional lending institutions. You can find the cost of tuition reduced by more than half to two thirds, over the stand-alone truck driver training centers. A decent student loan can be found in the 4.7% to 5.3% range today.

    UPDATE: I did a quick bit of research on what three of the community colleges are offering in my own area for CDL training. I found that the rates for one was $465.00 which was located in North Georgia, and two others in the Chattanooga area were $875.00 each. There were minor fees on top of those rates, but the fees would not add much to the cost. Compare this to a $5,000.00 tuition rate, with interest rates that are topping what is charged to credit card holders with the poorest of credit ratings, and the choice is not hard to make.

    The LOWEST tution rated training facility in my area, will require each and every student to have 750 miles of driving time behind the wheel of a tractor/trailer in order to graduate the course. From what I hear, the stand alone scam schools may allow you 200 miles at best. The Community College with the lowest tuition rate has a student ratio of 3 students to every 1 instructor. Compare this to the scam school....is it 10 to 1? 15 to 1? More?

    The drawback? The community colleges will space your training out over a period of 12-16 weeks. The scam schools will teach you everything you need to know in three to four weeks....right? Don't think that is so for a second. The training you will receive for the longer period will prepare you BETTER, and the chances that you will make mistakes that will end your career before it starts will decline dramatically, because you will have had more time behind that wheel. It's a far better program, for what could actually be a TENTH of the cost in some areas of the country, over the scam schools.

    Think about this for a minute. You can work while attending the course through a local community college, and then take the time you need to select the best job that will meet your needs. Contrast this to being asked to give up everything to attend a scam school, where you sign an agreement to pay some serious coin for a questionable amount of training, and subjected to having less control over your future, and an environment of involuntary servitude. Why would anyone do this?

    Think about one more thing, and I want it understood that I am in no way putting down inexperienced people. I was one at one time too. I simply want to illustrate that there is a REASON why some of these carriers are constantly trying to find ways to recruit drivers.

    If these carriers offered working conditions that would lend to an environment of contentment and loyalty, then they would not be scrounging through the dirt, or constantly advertising, to dredge up warm bodies to fill their empty trucks. Veteran drivers would be piling up applications on their desks.

    You HAVE to protect your own hind end, because there is no one out there that will protect it for you, as unfortunate as it is to state this. Companies are getting away with everything SHORT of murder in this industry, and this is a sickening thing to note, considering that we live in a country that is supposed to be known for it's attention to human rights, and are actively condemning others for their lack of the same.
     
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  5. IronRydr

    IronRydr Light Load Member

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    Do a Google search for the Sage Company. If they have a school location near you, I would highly recommend them! I attended one of their NC schools and couldn't have been happier and I've heard good comments from students in other locations as well. Relative to what you're looking at, Sage would be nearly half the price.

    Bubba
     
  6. Freebird135

    Freebird135 Road Train Member

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    May 7, 2009
    In the air conditioning
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    my best advice is go get your permit before you start school....think about it, your paying alot of money to learn to DRIVE a truck, you dont need them to help you study the book, you can do it on your own time for free and have more time to focus on the driving part....thats what i did
     
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  7. bubbatrucker23

    bubbatrucker23 Bobtail Member

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Oxford Alabama
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    I already have my permit will I still have to go to the classroom or can i go straight to the range
     
  8. The Challenger

    The Challenger Kinghunter

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    East Central FL
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    At roadmaster, they made me do the classroom work. Personally, it helped me at understanding logs, and I reviewed info I had not toughed in two months.

    KH
     
  9. Saddle Tramp

    Saddle Tramp Medium Load Member

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    Jul 13, 2009
    laurel, nebraska
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    I went to a community college that was PDTI certified. cost was $2000 & it was 6 weeks long. students had to have their permits to be able to drive.
     
  10. MtnDweller

    MtnDweller Light Load Member

    At Prime, once you get your learner's permit and go out with an instructor (instruction phase), you are "advanced" $200 a week that has to be paid back once you pass your CDL test and become an actual employee.

    You do not earn the .12/$600 a week until you pass the CDL skills test and become an actual employee (training phase).
     
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