I was enrolled in a well-known National School that just started operations here in Oregon and unfortunately I didn't do enough homework to find out that they had NO instructors working the yard until the third day in the yard, second week. I got fed conflicting and wrong information by fellow students who were acting as instructors here, so I decided to pull the plug before it could go from bad to worse. I kid you not, the instructors they DID have were grousing constantly about the low pay, long hours and being understaffed, and this was BEFORE getting to the yard to find out how bad it REALLY was.
So what would your advice be in this situation?
I have my permit, medical card and I can do a pre-trip with the best of them, so I'm not relishing paying another 5k just to basically "cool my heels" in class for a week, that seems kind of pointless. I understand that these Schools are "for profit" but I want to get as quality of training as possible, not just put money in some Dude's pocket back east who doesn't give a #### that his enterprise here only has a 40-45% graduation rate. They still had a fellow there who was practicing his straight backing 4 weeks into the program, this doesn't exactly bode well for me. Granted, I was working on offsets and 90 degree backing on the second day, but when you are being given conflictory advice from a fellow student for your training I don't like your chances of actually passing the exam when it is time for that.
So as in the title, what the heck would YOU do?
Maybe I should have stuck it out, but it sure seemed like a train wreck getting ready to happen to ME, and I don't want to start off my trucking career so far behind the curve. If any of you can recommend a School in the Pacific Northwest that ISN'T a snatch and grab for cash I would appreciate it but I have a few inquiries out. At any rate I didn't want to be standing in the yard 4 weeks in and outside of ANY potential refund with a dead in the water career and NO outlook for the future.
What if you get to week two and there are NO Instructors?
Page 1 of 2
Here's a school in Portland that's free and a good job at graduation. I think the next class starts July 1st. Hourly pay during cdl school.
Tuition-free CDL Driving Academy - Truck Driver Jobs ...
Get Paid to Earn Your CDL
Get Paid to Train: Four Weeks at a YELLOW CDL Driving Academy. The CDL training program consists of classroom instruction and behind the wheel training with an experienced instructor in preparation for the State Class A CDL Skills and Road Testing.
As a full-time YELLOW employee you’ll receive amazing benefits:
- 100% paid healthcare for you AND your family
- Great pay. Road drivers first year expected income $60-65k plus
- Paid holidays, vacation, and sick days
- Great home time
- Company paid hotel for overnights
- When the wheels stop moving we still pay you: hourly pay for load delay/layover
even i "groused" about the low pay and long hours.
but i HAD a CDL, and doing what i did best, "jumping ship", landed me a job worthy of my time.
in your situation?
i'd seek out the owner of the school, and comploan to him/her. if you got a student loan, call the holder/bank of your account, and tell them you ain't gonna pay a red cent.
Here's a good one that hires lots of Oregon and Washington drivers.
Wilson Logistics. A family-owned trucking company that knows our drivers as well as we know our customers. Check Out All We Have To Offer.
No instructors is a plus. Get in a truck and practice backing , drive around the yard, learn to shift, back up next to the other truck.do it blind side. Learn to back under a trailer and hook up. After a week, find someone with a C D L and go get Your C D L.. learn how to do a paper log.
Didn't DO that but DID get my money back. Went with a company that has a BBB rating (None around here do, tellingly enough) and it's all good now. The owner of THIS training company does extensive contracting with the USFS, Daimler, NW Natural Gas, Portland General Electric and is a third party licensed examiner for Oregon DMV to name just a few. He actually taught the CEO of Daimler Trucks to get his CDL here in America, since his German one was no good here. I did well enough in class to be one of only two people to graduate on their first try come exam day. Missed 2 of 30 points on pre-trip, NONE on backing and 5 off my drive. Not too shabby.
They took the bad stuff I had learned (along with some good) and turned it into usable information I could use. I now have my Class A combination with air, hazmat, doubles and triples and tanker endorsements and a US passport to boot. Got offers from Western Express, May and Knight so far but not everyone has been heard from yet. Prime flat out denied me for my tickets and Marten did the same for lack of experience but I am a newb so I got to pay my dues somewhere. Roehl will run a regular credit check, even on a regular driver so of course THAT was used against me there but I am not discouraged, there are still enough companies out there that ARE interested, just have to keep plugging. Probably going to go with May, they are locally based in Salem, Oregon and since I have no home life to speak of since my Wife was killed in a rollover we were in back in '19 I think I can hack the long hours, days and weeks away from the wreckage I used to call home. I hear a lot of crap about them but I also know that people only tend to report the BAD things on the internet, they seldom post if everything is going well.
I realize with a couple of tickets still showing in my printout that I am NOT top drawer material so I will have to prove myself as I say, but I am confident that I will be able to run hard, learn quick and overcome obstacles and difficulties on a day by day basis, and hopefully that will stand me in good stead as I head out onto the roads on this late stage adventure I have embarked upon.
Wish me luck and thanks to ALL of you here,
Page 1 of 2