i seen a job posting with fedex for a driver apprentice where all i need is a cdl permit and they train me while i work the dock. am i reading that right?
hoping to clear up contradicting info
Page 2 of 6
This is a long shaggy dog answer to your question, but for the benefit of others reading this forum I submit it.
The hardest area of trucking to attract drivers is OTR due to the conditions, pay and hours. Competition between carriers drives revenues down and so far, companies are able to fill the seats in spite of conditions and pay. Going to school to get a CDL can be expensive so one of the ways the companies attract candidates is to have their own school, which is usually more expensive than a private school. But they mitgate the cost to the student by hiring them and indenturing them to a minimum period of driving before part or all of the tuition is paid. Often these companies, also known as 'starter' companies will require your working one year or two before the debt is covered. The pay is low...0.22 to 0.30 per mile are common numbers. Even at 0.30, your driving 100,000 miles per year only nets your $30,000. To someone who has been making $10/hr, this is good. But to a former factory worker that was earning $16 to $30 per hour, plus OT plus benefits...this is a major adjustment.
But the economy keeps churing out people that can't get a job, so they turn to trucking where they get 'free' training and 'an exciting career in transportation'.
The transformation for so many of these displaced workers is so shocking and hard that most don't or can't stay.
One of the ways for these workers to stay in the industry is to find a local job. So what we have are thousands of drivers looking for a local job in a market where dozens or possibly hundreds exist.
The companies with local jobs don't have to offer training or school. They don't have to accept newbies. They have a line stretching around the block of qualified and experienced drivers wanting to come off the road.
It's true some companies will hire newbies. You have to search hard for them and there is a great deal of luck. I had a younger brother that got the state to pay his CDL school costs under the Displaced Workers Act. He decided he didn't want to go OTR and all my older brothers (also drivers) and I could say was, "Good Luck!"
I'll be darned if he didn't land a job pulling a propane tanker two weeks later. Home every night. But his timing was perfect. The guy had just lost another OTR driver who walked away and decided to try 'a fresh face' so he could train him his way. Joe just happened to walk in the door an hour after the last guy quit.
Timing and Luck!
So the jobs are out there, but they are hard to find and require some luck. But they are out there.
So it is possible to get your license for free and get a local job. But I don't see it happen very often.
OTR is the training ground for most drivers. It's where most experience is gained, largely due to the training companies running drivers thru the grist mill to keep their costs lower and deal with competition.
BTW, training companies make a lot of money off government 'retraining funds', so there is an incentive to march the masses thru the system regardless of qualification or any real vetting process. If the government were to take those funds away, those same companies would be required to pay a lot more to keep good qualified drivers and we would end up with the OTR being the top of the food chain (as it once was) rather than the bottom, as it currently exisits.
Hope this explains things a bit for you.
Good luck in whatever you do.
Keyster, most companies that hire you after your training from the WIA will require you to be an OTR driver. You will get low pay with starter companies who will require you to be in a contract for one year. If you quit or get fired within that one year period then they can hold you to a certain dollar amount that will be paid to them for hiring you after getting out of school. Once you have your one year period in with the starter company, then most companies will bump you up in pay or you may just want to look for a company that better suits your needs. I highly suggest that if you go to school, and get your CDL to be prepared to be away from home for 2-3 weeks at a time, but there are some companies that hire student drivers that will have you home on a weekly basis. This doesn't mean that you will get home every weekend, but you would be able to be home some time through the week.
If you have little one's or a significant other then it is very hard to adjust being gone for long periods of time and can put alot of strains on a relationship. If this is what you truly want to do, then I would say go for it, but you need to realize that you will have long hours and low pay for awhile until you get the experience behind you.
I was aware that regardless you must go OTR, but my Unemployment Office wasn't until recently.
My point being that even they are screening people for OTR capability, because their research showed that WIA granted guys were refusing to do it after the fact and remained unemployed.
Once private school is paid the starter companies don't have you under indentured servitude, that's only if you go to their training "academy". The other option is you pay for school out of pocket and the starter company reimburses you, but I believe that does generate a contract if you quit before 6 months or a year, then you have to pay them back what they reimbursed; could be wrong.
I have no one at home and looking for some adventure out there.
I would not do this if I had family and/or was desperate for money.
My goal is one year and then re-assess my options.
Hey man, I am Pennsylvania not to far from you in the Lancaster/ West Chester Area. I hear what you are saying wanting to get a cdl for free and drive local.
You said you are unemployed right. Are you collecting unemployment benefits? If you are, you can qualify for a WIA grant to help pay for training. WIA- Workforce Investment Act. Go to your local careerlink office to get info and apply.
If you are not collecting, you can still go down to the careerlink office and talk to them. You might be able to qualify based on your past/current income. I met someone down there who qualified based on the fact he was making a few bucks above minimum wage for the past couple of years. Just google Pennsylvania Careerlink to find the office near you.
Also, If it is a daytime driving job you want, and you should have some great customer service skills being from retail, is to contact the local bus companies for your school district. Most of the Pennsylvania School Districts use privatized transportation and have a huge shortage of drivers. Most will train you for free to drive the bus and get you a Class B cdl for free.
I know, it isnt a class A, but think about it. 1. You will be home every night 2. the training is free 3. it gets you experience
There are a bunch of Class B Straight Truck Expediting Companies that Hire Class B drivers after 6 months experience. This will get you on the road a little more and pay you some more money.
After time you will gain some experience Expediting, and then maybe hook up with someone who can get you a class A with little or no money. And with your foot in the door expediting get yourself a local job either with the same comapnay or somewhere else.
I almost went this route till I got the WIA grant. And my situation is different, older, divorced, not much of a people person, nothing holding me to this area AT ALL......
Give it a thought
Need any info on the WIA grant just send me a pm or let me know with a response
\m/ Geo \m/GMCTtrucks Thanks this.
Page 2 of 6