If you need your CDL and have no way to pay for it, CR England is a decent alternative. Just realize you will be married to them for one year, and the first 6 months worth of pay is starvation wages, the next 6 months are not much better. You will start out on a trainers truck, and in the four years I worked there AS a trainer, I noticed a definite degeneration in the quality of the trainers. This is because at a mere 6 months with the company, ANYONE can become a trainer. So, for instance, if you come aboard in the spring, and decide to become a trainer at 6 months, your very first winter driving experiences is training new drivers in winter conditions, up and over mountains, that you yourself have zero experience doing. This, in my judgement, is lunacy. But it's the only way to make any money right out of the gate.
This is a mega carrier. Huge. As such, you can get lost in the shuffle very easily. The driver managers are decent, but anyone above them, good luck. They have built a system where, the system itself, is very effective at micro managing EVERY. SINGLE. ASPECT. of your job. The freedom of trucking in not having a boss sitting on your shoulders micro managing you all day. Well, not at CR England. You go a couple miles over the governed speed limit of 62, they WILL be calling you, and are not very nice to deal with. They say it's for safety. Don't let them fool you.
Going 62 on a highway that has an 80mph speed limit is unsafe. It's all about the money in fuel. They will call you if you idle your truck to long, (which is a trick in itself, considering the truck automatically shuts itself off after a couple of minutes), so if you're parked, want to use electricity to watch some tv or play a video game...good luck with that. After 5 minutes your auxiliary plug ins shut down so that you don't drain the battery.
You WILL run teams. Very few get to be solo, and not for very long. They will starve you into it.
The trucks themselves are nice trucks. They keep them very well maintained, in my opinion. There is a little bit longer wait while your truck is getting worked on than I'd like, but not to terribly bad.
If you need a trailer, finding one is a HUGE hassle. I've spent over a whole day on many, many occasions on a scavenger hunt driving to multiple shippers and receivers just to find one. And, no, they do not pay you for that. They have a "trailer hotline." No, it does not work.
There are many other nuances that I could go on about. But this review is a bit long in the tooth already. So, in closing, come to CR England if you need an out of pocket CDL, and run just as fast as you can as soon as your obligation is up. If you leave beforehand, they will hound you, threaten you, and turn you over to a collection agency. A lot of companies that have hired drivers in the past from CRE who left early won't touch you because CRE had made their lives difficult. Because, oh yeah, in the fine print of the contract they make you sign on day one is a none compete agreement. Drive for CRE and only CRE until you reach your year obligation, or pay them back the $6000+ and "free" your CDL.
They can micro manage every aspect of the operation down to minute details...
Yet, they can't keep track of where their empty trailers are at?
Wanna team me with a New Driver Trainer of 6mos and have him show me how to handle Wyoming in January with 70mph winds and blowing snow??
Wanna treat me like an animal and not let me keep warm, or cool, because they say I can't idle... but won't provide an APU... but THEY have air and heat in their office ??
I know it's an outlet for those that have to do something.
Thanks for the review. I held off a while to avoid that kind of employer and found a good local company that was willing to work with my new CDL. Thank you to all on this board who suggested that course of action.