Best Course of Action

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Frankie81, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Frankie81

    Frankie81 Bobtail Member

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    Nov 19, 2014
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    Hi all,

    I'm new to the forum and just had a question. I'm sure it's been asked in one form or another pretty often around here, but I haven't found an answer that covers what I need it to cover. I won't get into all the background of my situation, so

    Is signing on with one of the big companies for the CDL in exchange for a contract always a losing proposition? I've been considering CRST or England. Say I get in, get my CDL, and decide to leave for another company. Will my association with one of these companies harm future job prospects? From what I've read, some people have had bad experiences, but not everyone has a bad experience right? If I want to do this, this is my only option at the moment. I've been looking for a career change and trucking is always something I've had on my mind. Still on my mind after a bit of research. It's more hours than I had figured initially, but I'm single and don't have children, so I'm willing to deal with it.

    My main concern is getting caught up in some sort of scam or stuck in a hopeless situation.
     
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  3. Arielit0oo

    Arielit0oo Light Load Member

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    First off, both companies you mentioned are terrible.

    Anytime a company pays for your CDL, most have you sign an agreement that you'll work for them for 1yr or they'll charge you the class. You will definitely want to leave both those Mega Carriers, they don't pay ####. Save up and get your CDL on your own, if possible.
     
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  4. ncmickey

    ncmickey Road Train Member

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    Durham NC
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    Put your location..... makes it easier to suggest companies, schools ect
     
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    If my only two choices are CRST or England, then I would choose CRST.

    Why are they your only two choices?
    Put your location on your profile.
    Several other trucking company schools to choose from so make some more comparisons.

    Swift Transportation
    Celadon - free room & board
    Southern Refrigerated Transport - free room & board
    Knight Transportation
    Pride Transport
    Schneider - pays for private CDL school
    JBS Carriers - pays for Roadmasters
    KLLM
    Mesilla Valley Transportation

    Depending on where you live; there are others also.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
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  6. Frankie81

    Frankie81 Bobtail Member

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    Oh, sorry. I'm in Laramie, WY but willing to relocate.

    England and CRST are the first two I've come across as I'm still early in the process. I still have a little time to be more selective though.
     
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    Probably won't have to relocate. I-80 is a major freight lane.
    No personal income taxes in Wyoming; keep that in mind.
    Nothing wrong with trucking company CDL schools. Probably a million unemployed would love to sign a contract for a guaranteed job the next 12 months.
     
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  8. KMac

    KMac Road Train Member

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    The biggest scam at a lot of these companies is the lease program, not so much the training. I would suggest you concentrate on finding a company that stresses tue training more so than the lease to start with.

    While I do not know a lot about CRST, I know they are a team operation and I am not sure how much training the new guy is getting if the senior driver is sleeping, but what always has bugged me about England is the sign on the back of their trailers...


    Lease
    Train
    Drive
    Team

    Lease is at the very top, that should give you pause to think.
     
  9. Richter

    Richter Road Train Member

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    In my opinion, find a way to get CDL first and dont get it through the company you will drive for. Many community collages will finance it for you.

    Problem with a contract. All the CDL with carrier programs are different, but most require a 1 year contract with them. They pay horible rates, give you horible loads, and make you sit empty sometimes. You dont like it? Well if you leave you owe them 3000-8000 dollars for the CDL they got you. they dont need to treat you well because they know you cant afford to leave. You are literaly an indentured servant. In the past, people would be forced to work to pay off travel cost to America. Now days your forced to work to pay for the cost of you CDL. If you make it the year you wont be in bad shape, but a year is a long time to go working for a company that knows they can treat you however they want and pay your horribly.

    This all assumes you actualy pass their class. The fail rate is over 80%. If you fail, you still owe them all the money and dont have a job. Now your left 3-8k in dept and no cdl. If you do get your cdl, they can fire you at any point and demand the training cost.

    If you manage to get CDL on your own, you need to finace 3000ish for a cheap community collage class. A company will still train you after you get your CDL, but for free since you already passed. Most companies will give you some money every month to reimburse you for the cdl cost. You now get the company to pay for it still, but you can leave at any time and go to another company. Most community collage programs will finance your education even if you have horrible credit and no down payment.
     
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  10. brian991219

    brian991219 Road Train Member

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    Most of the training companies are the same so it does not matter much although unless you like being with other people constantly and sleeping in a moving vehicle I would stay away from the team only outfits such as CRST. You will be teaming and with someone during your training but I would look for a company that will let you run solo after that so your life is not dependent on someone else skills, plus it can be challenging to be in a truck 24/7 for weeks on end alone let alone with some stranger.

    If you have a high tolerance for bs you should make it thru the training and initial contract period of a year, after that you are golden to go any where. To answer your question about it hurting you with future employers to be associated with a starter company, no it will not hurt you prospects of getting a better job as long as you keep your nose clean, no accidents, incidents, tickets, etc, and complete you contract. Do not abandon the truck and walk away because you get frustrated, that is the quickest way to get blacklisted in this industry.

    Also to point out, you do not have to go to one of the major OTR training companies to get on the road, there are several local and LTL freight companies that have training programs if you are willing to start at the bottom and work your way up in the warehouse or on the docks. These can be very good paying jobs with great benefits and may be a better fit than OTR for some people. I never did a day of OTR until I was licensed for 10 years, and then it was my choice, I wanted to do something different. I started at a local bus company and then went to an oil company then to an grocery distributor and finally an auto auction all before I ever drove a dry van OTR. Funny, I came back to the car haul business and have not looked back again, it took a little while but I found what I am meant to do.

    Good luck, make the most of your new career and Stay Safe!
     
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  11. Frankie81

    Frankie81 Bobtail Member

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    Nov 19, 2014
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    Thanks for the responses.

    Yes, I read that getting a CDL on your own first may be preferable for some people, but the thing is that I already have debt and I really don't want to take on more debt. Even if I could, I doubt I would be approved even though my credit is good. Also, there are no CDL programs here locally so I would have to move, which is already tough to do as I am unemployed at the moment. But it's also the perfect time to just go for what I want.

    So, I do realize that if I go to company sponsored schooling and sign a contract with the company in question that I will very well be stuck with them for the short term. They'll have me right where they want me, but I was hoping it wasn't all doom and gloom as some people make it out to be.
     
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