Making the best of a bad cdl school

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by dommac, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. dommac

    dommac Bobtail Member

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    Hey everyone, looking to get some advice to make the best of a bad situation. I recently enrolled in a local trucking school to get my CDL class A. After paying up front I found out that my school is short on instructors and with the 9 hours I spend here a day, I spend about 15-20 minutes driving the course and the rest waiting my turn to drive, leading me with not as much practice as I’d like. Another huge drawback is that almost all the trucks they use for training are automatic, and they charge $200 an hour to practice on a manual truck, which I need to do to avoid an automatic only restriction when test time comes around.. Does anyone have some ideas on another way I’d be able to practice on my own time? I am considering a chargeback due to the fact I was told my tuition would get me a CDL A, not a CDL A with a massive restriction (automatic), but I want that to be a last resort.
     
  2. VantaiTatted

    VantaiTatted Light Load Member

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    That’s rough what kind of school charges extra to use a manual truck?? I’d ask for my money back and find a better school. That school sounds jank to me. Unless this is what normal happens in most trucking schools.
     
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  3. dommac

    dommac Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for the reply. It’s definitely really shady I just had no clue if it was commonplace in trucking schools now. When I complained about it they told me it’s not a big deal and that automatics are “the way of the future”...
     
  4. Broke_and_Hungry

    Broke_and_Hungry Light Load Member

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    There are a few options.

    Check your training agreement (contract) for the refund policy to see where you stand. Be careful what documentation you sign or initial each day regarding training and driving time.

    Does the $200 p/h mean 1 on 1 with the instructor? You wouldn't need a manual for backing practice, or initial road time, but you will for shifting, this might be a value.

    Many states require a minimum amount of Behind the Wheel (BTW) time for each student, check the state regs to see if this is addressed, hold their feet to the fire. Your contract may also have information on this.

    Lastly, do you know where you want to go to work? Many carriers will help new drivers remove the auto restriction after you've begun work.
     
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  5. dommac

    dommac Bobtail Member

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    Thanks you for the insight.

    I signed a very vague “no refund” policy, but it was signed under the pretense I would receive a class A, not a class A with an automatic restriction. Very grey area legally.

    The $200 per hour is one-on-one. Since I am proficient in driving manual cars and double clutch anyways (how I was taught to downshift when I learned), they said I should only need an hour or two to learn how to rev match and all. There is no minimum behind the wheel time, I’m in Florida.

    And lastly I am looking to work locally, first choices being fedex freight and soda/beer distributors to get experience.

    I’m just so lost because I spent everything I have to make this work and quit my job to give this my all, to train equipment I won’t be driving or testing in, and a very small part of the time I’m here at that.
     
  6. TankerP

    TankerP Heavy Load Member

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    Your proficiency in driving manual cars will not translate well into trucks. Just a heads up.
    Did they give you a reason why manual trucks cost more?
     
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  7. Ironwindow

    Ironwindow Light Load Member

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    So I'm in a very similar position here. I just started CDL school 2 weeks ago. Fortunately I already have Class A's but I'm restricted no tractor trailer, so that's why I'm in school.

    The school I'm going to advertises only 10 students per class but they work off the theory that we'll start classes with 25-30 students then after the drug test, physical, background check, and first week, we will only have 10 students.

    The last 3 classes have only dropped 5-7 students per class in the first week so we have 40 some odd people standing outside trying to practice maneuvers. I stood in line for 3 hours just to practice off set backing Wednesday. It sucks.

    Next week makes my class the senior class on deck so the instructors will give us presedence over the newer classes. Hopefully I'll get more time in to practice and drive now. I know the class that just graduated said they got a lot more time their 3rd week.

    Maybe waiting it out might be the thing for you to do to.

    As far as the automatic transmissions, I seriously wouldn't fret it too much. Won't be long before every one's running autos.
     
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  8. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    how do you guys pay for this?
     
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  9. Ironwindow

    Ironwindow Light Load Member

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    I told uncle Sam that he could try and get me killed but if I survived he had to pay for me to get an education.

    So he paid for me to get a diploma in turning wrenches, another diploma in small business management, and with the last little bit I can squeeze out of him, he's paying for my CDL school.
     
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  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Which state and nearest city do you live in?
    Plenty of good companies will hire you at graduation and use automatic trucks.
     
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