Company Training vs CDL School Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Coriolanus, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Coriolanus

    Coriolanus Bobtail Member

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    Evening people.

    I have a CDL B with passenger and school bus endorsements. I was originally going to go straight to a company and sign on for training. But one of the issues I have is that I don't have a car. I live in NYC and mostly use public transit. But if I sign up for one of the paid training companies (Swift, etc.), I would most likely have to relocate for training. Without a car, that might be an issue, and certainly would eat into any pay if I have to keep taking Uber everywhere. And I don't know how not having a car would affect things afterwards once I complete training.

    So now my plan is to instead get a local job with my class B (local deliveries, Access-a-Ride/Paratransit, coach driving (I do NOT want to do school bus). While I'm doing that, I can get my CDLP with all endorsements by November and also save money and purchase a car around the same time. Then, since it would be fairly easy to save the money, I would pay for my own CDL training. I have already looked at a number of schools near me and it seems that a decent training package would be around $4000. I should be able to get my CDL A by April or May at the latest.

    The benefit is that I would not be locked into a contract with a company, which I was always wary of. The other benefit is that all of the training schools that I have looked at have an option to train on manual transmission trucks. My long-term goal is to purchase my own truck and be an owner-operator. I have looked at some of the main truck sales sites and see that the majority of the trucks seem to be manual. And I have heard that many of the large companies mostly use automatics and therefore train their students on automatics. I don't really want that restriction.

    Do you guys foresee any downsides to this approach?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
     
    austinmike Thanks this.
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Thousands of new drivers, every year, start trucking without a car.
    Save your money; keep it in the bank and attend company sponsored training.
    Maybe deep down, you are a little skeptical about being an OTR trucker,
    You need a couple years experience as a CDL-A driver before becoming an owner-operator.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  4. FozzyNOK

    FozzyNOK Road Train Member

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    Its its one and the same driver... There is no difference in the "grand scheme". The issue is having your training costs reimbursed after the schooling phase. If you pay outright for your school or finance it privately, you can get those costs paid back by a carrier with that program, if you go to a sponsored school, they will pay the costs of the schools over time (a year or so) Either way you're still going to pay for your training and get it paid back. Pick a carrier or two, find out what their schooling requirements are and then shop schools that meet their requirements. Long training periods or shorter, it depends on when you need to start making your own money. Driving around for for weeks with other student's is good, but you'll be in the plateau phase and its really not going to help that much.
     
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  5. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

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    If you Don't mind changing your address to TX. Having a car won't be an issue. Stevens Transport has a couple of shuttles and they will drop and pick you up. Plus there's a bus stop right out front of the yard and the public transportation is good in DFW.

    Sounds like you're single. You won't need a car. Or really an apartment. Assuming you have family you can crash with for a couple of days when you're on home time. But you can take home time anywhere. So you can see the country. Live out of the truck and save money. You have to stay a year and pay off your school. But you want to stay at your first job for a year or so.
     
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  6. lovesthedrive

    lovesthedrive R.I.P.

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    Your better off to learn slowly with a college or institute that takes weeks or several months. As opposed to a company that is going to give you a crash course in 3 days and hope you remember it all.

    To get my license it was a 5 week course. When I went to CR England I can remember students that were having a mental break down. Many potential drivers were quitting on the spot from the stress of learning to do it in 3 days just to get the learners permit.
     
    Coriolanus Thanks this.
  7. UsualSuspect

    UsualSuspect Road Train Member

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    I get that you don't want to be on the hook for a year to get your CDL through a Company. Have you tried talking to anyone about a WIOA grant? Just Google WIOA and the City you are in, should show you where a nearby office is.
     
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  8. Coriolanus

    Coriolanus Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses guys. Very good points to consider.

    Nobody touched upon the manual transmission thing. Does anyone think that that matters anymore?

    Well, honestly, I was thinking no more than a year before I would get my authority and buy my truck. I think that should be enough experience driving, the rest of the day to day running of the business I would learn as I went along. Is there anything specific that you think I might learn in year two that I might not learn in year one?

    Yeah, even though I am a quick study generally, I would hate to deal with that kind of situation. All of the programs I have looked at are at least 4 weeks. And they all have very good reviews from at least a few hundred students.

    Thanks, I have looked into it. I found one school near me that seems to be a part of that program. I will have to call them and get more details on how it works.
     
  9. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Yeah, the reason myself and others recommend a year or two as a company driver, before buying a truck, is insurance costs and many brokers won't give loads to 0/0's that only have a few months experience as driver.
    ~
    As for quitting trucking like some do, before really giving the new career a chance; you won't do that because you're already a driver and used to dealing with grouchy customers and fighting city traffic. The transition to CDL-A driving will be easy for you.
     
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  10. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I suggest trying to find a trade school that will help you get a CDL. As for that car thing? If you get into the right situation you won't need one!
     
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  11. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

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    Learning on an automatic is not going to matter. If you buy your own truck. They sell automatics. Majority made are automatic. Just that they are going directly to companies. Reason you see adds for manual transmission. Is old school truckers.
     
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