Observation: The Rediculous Cost of CDL Schools

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by BuddhaTim, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. BuddhaTim

    BuddhaTim Bobtail Member

    13
    0
    Nov 1, 2006
    0
    When I first started looking into getting my CDL I looked at the local CDL mills here in the Houston area. I really didn't want to be contracted to any one company for my first year (plus) of employment. $350 was the average price but you know how that training is.... there ain't none. Here's the fuel peddle, here's the brake, here's the push button auto shifter, it's a day cab with a 30 foot flatbed. Let's go to the DPS office and take the driving test - be there at 4AM to wait in line. Oh permit and endorsements, you gotta get those on your own to. I wanted training.

    I looked around online and saw prices for CDL schools all around the country for prices reaching close to the $5000 mark. Ouch!

    I then went against myself and checked out some of the big companies offering driver traing as part of their recuitment. With most, I would have to pay back the loan if I quit before my contract was up and it seemed to be a fair amount compaired to the private schools, but it was still a huge sum of money. The course length for all the companies was about the same, 3 weeks plus orientation. Then hit the road and drive for slave wages, less than $5/hr or about .10cpm. And I still didn't like the idea being contracted to one company for any amount of time.

    So I looked into the the local community colleges. My local college didn't offer CDL training. The next closest, about 25 miles away did and so did one that was furthest, about 60 miles away. The furthest, Houston Community College, Houston, Tx, was PTDI certified, the other was not. HCC also is a trainign facility for Stevens, USA and CRST.

    HCC's course cost $2475 which is $1500+/- cheaper than most of the large companies cost for tuition and many of the other private CDL schools. Luckily I could I had the cash and could afford the tuition. Others in my class had their tuition paid for in one way or an other by the state. HCC's tuition cost includes EVERYTHING - DOT phys., MVR, books, job placement assistance/counseling, application faxing, fuel, insurance, 3 students per instructor and is accredited thru PTDI. Oh, and of course the all the big name companies recruiters :puke: visit on a weekly basis. Oh, and the course is 7 weeks long - thats better than twice as long as all the big companies course and 2+ weeks longer than some of the other private CDL schools charging much more.

    The classroom is 3 weeks long before even setting foot on the range. The course work has been very thourogh IMHO. I am very satisfied so far. I'll be starting my 6th week next week and I go to take my driving test at the DPS Wednesday. So far in the 2 weeks on the range, I've spent, what seems like, somewhere close to 3 days to straight line backing, 1.5 days of parrallel parking, to many days to count double clutching up and down thru the gears, breaking, button hook and square out turns, space/lane management, we've been running the many of the Houston roads and minor hiways and a little Interstate, route planning, logbook logbook logbook and guess what, more logbook. Lot's of HOS stuff.

    And speaking of log books... right before the holiday break the school was shy an instructor for the USA class that was attending so they were put into our class for the day. It was route planning/logbook training day. The USA class said they'd already been trained on the logbook. I was NOT real impressed with the knowledge they had gained on logbook work. During lunch they stayed in class with some of us and we had to carefully explain there is a limit to the number of hours in a day.... folks, there's only 24. And of those you can only be on duty 14 hrs and there had better be 3 hrs worth of breaks within those duty hrs logged. W/O any log book or time manipulation you have 11 hrs to drive, depending on what your average the speed is, it's going to be about 600 miles give or take 50 miles. Thery had a hard time grasping it. Anyways, I'm ranting and I shouldn't.

    I've realized the training provided by the big companies might not be much better, if any better, than what the $350 CDL mills provide. I think the big companies depend more on OJT. I believe I'll be much more prepaired than the run of the mill rookie outta of big company CDL mill.
     
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. Splitter

    Splitter Bobtail Member

    41
    1
    Dec 11, 2006
    Washington State
    0
    I have a friend who just recently graduated from Western Pacific Truck School. He paid $4500.00 for an 8 week course.
    Another company known as Checkride services, charges $3800.00 for there 8 week course.
    Being that I've had my CDL for many years. I would not want to pay this kind of money for a CDL endorsement.
     
  4. dstockwell

    dstockwell Light Load Member

    278
    6
    Oct 11, 2006
    Georgia
    0
    The community College route is the best and least $$$ if you can do it.
     
  5. lookingup

    lookingup Medium Load Member

    682
    20
    Dec 3, 2006
    0
    After finishing college course and getting license most companies allow you you to drive without further trainging?
     
  6. sail

    sail Bobtail Member

    24
    2
    Mar 23, 2006
    0
    I doubt if any company will do that.
     
  7. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

    10,311
    5,250
    Jan 1, 2007
    NASA HQ
    0

    Most will need to go to a training company. Then go out with the company trainer until the trainer feels you are ready to upgrade to solo. I have heard of one or two that was put in a truck solo straight out of school. Don't think either one of them made it though.
     
  8. heyns57

    heyns57 Road Train Member

    2,209
    1,007
    Dec 30, 2006
    near Kalamazoo Speedway
    0
    Read 'em and weep. In 1964, I took a four-week driving course at North Carolina Truck Driver Training School. My tuition as an out-of-state student was $250. North Carolina residents paid $200. Our classroom was on the campus of North Carolina State College, now NC State University, in Raleigh. Our practice yard and garage were outside of the city. Raleigh is where we learned city driving and took our final road test. That school is now affiliated with Johnston Community College, Smithfield, NC. In 2005, they graduated their 500th class. Since beginning in 1949, they have trained over 20,000 truck drivers. They have tuition assistance for those in need. It is called "The Ron Nichols Scholarship Fund."

    Immediately after truck driver school, I entered the U.S. Army and did not drive a class 8 truck for three years. After my discharge, I accepted a driving job with a manufacturer in Sedalia, MO. With no further training, I began running flat-bed from Sedalia to Texas, Florida, Minnesota, etc.
     
  9. BuddhaTim

    BuddhaTim Bobtail Member

    13
    0
    Nov 1, 2006
    0
    Most companies will NOT hire noob drivers for insurance reasons. But many will give you 3 to 6 months driving "credit". As an example, Knight Transportation will not hire right outta you school, but they will after 3 addtional months of OTR. They'll start your pay as if you were at 6 months... Where other drivers will have to have 1 yr OTR before Knight will hire.

    Below is from a PM "lookingup" sent.... I ain't got enough posts to be able to reply via PM.... so it goes public.

    Yes, this past Wednesday (day 3 ofthe 6th week) I took and passed my Class A CDL license test the first go 'round. :smt040 :hello1: :occasion5: :headbang:

    Matter of fact, all 9 of the students from HCC that tested that day passed the DPS tests.

    Houston Community College is located in Houston, Tx.

    Hope this helps and if there are any other questions plese let me know.
     
  10. BuddhaTim

    BuddhaTim Bobtail Member

    13
    0
    Nov 1, 2006
    0

    No, your gonna have additional training.... Great driving schools ain't gonna make you no full fledge professional driver yet. HCC is a really good familiurization course and that all it really is. I know that sounds like less than it is hyped up to be, BUT it is 100% better than the CDL mills where they seat you in a truck and give you just a few hours of training before sending you for your test. I know I will definately need additional training.

    Most training companies, I'll name a few of the larger well know but deffinately NOT the best comapanies, Swift, PGT, US Xpress, etc., will have you on the road with a trainer from anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. Different companies have different training regiment as does different types of cargo have different requirements for safe efficient transportation. The companies will train you in their own way for the cargo they transport.
     
  11. lookingup

    lookingup Medium Load Member

    682
    20
    Dec 3, 2006
    0
    Where do you get the expeience if they won't hire you? Keep going back to school?
     
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted