I have a friend who went through company paid cdl training with a large trucking company. He signed a one year contract to work for them after he got his cdl training. Everything started out well the CDL training course was good, they taught him everything he needed to know. Classroom training, over the road training, log book’s, and regulations. Everything he needed to know to be a truck driver including how to drive the truck. Then he took the cdl test, and passed got his CDL, and the company put him with a cdl training truck driver for one month of over the road training. That went ok he didn’t like his trainer much but they got along. After that he got his own truck, and was so excited he called me on the phone Gonzotrucker I have a really nice new Freightliner, and I’m ready to hit the road, and make some money. I gave him some great truck driver wisdom “Take your time Drive slow, always get out and look” learn as much as you can from other truck drivers. I was sure he would make as a truck driver because he wanted this so bad. The first two months went well he was driving on average 2500 miles a week in the southwest. He was going to new places seeing new sites, and making a decent salary. He was happy he got his CDL training with a big company because they had the support for new drivers that no small company has right?
Third month on the road
Still doing ok he said on the phone but my miles are dropping off. Last week I only drove 2000 miles, the week before 1800. But my company tells me this is normal, and soon I will start to get longer runs, and more miles. In the mean time his wife had to take out a payday advance to pay his rent until he got more miles. You see what these big companies don’t understand is you need a regular steady paycheck most people can’t afford to go two or three weeks without a good paycheck you will start to fall behind on your bills. So I told him to get on a dedicated account where the miles would be steady, and they pay more consistent. After one more month of short loads, and not many miles he was transferred to dedicated account in the southwest hauling for the same warehouse every week. He fell behind on some bills but told me now he can make a steady paycheck and catch up on those bills.
Dedicated account month 5 after CDL training
He was excited again but not like when he first got his CDL training. The first 3 weeks went ok 2000 miles a week average but he was new to this, and not earning as much as he would like. His wife took a job to help until he can get some serious miles. What the company didn’t tell him was this account was on the verge of going away to another company who was under bidding them. The mile’s were steady dropping until the point where he was getting 1500 a week average, and spending more to live on the road than his take home pay. The company lost the account and he lost his job on that account, and had to go back over the road. Now he was regretting getting his CDL training with that company.
7 months after getting his CDL training
My friend quit! Going back to work at the casino as a bartender where his paycheck was steady every week. You see folks when you sign a one year contract with these big Company they don’t care if you get the miles because they know you can’t go to another company for one year. Now my friend has to pay back the company for the CDL training because he quit before the one year was up. He got a bad taste in his mouth of truck driving. It was not all the company’s fault he made a lot of mistakes too. First off when you get CDL training don’t expect to earn a steady paycheck every week your first year plan for that. Second he should have saved the money, and paid for the CDL Training himself that way he was not stuck in a one year contract he can leave if the company don’t give him the miles. But they will most likely give you miles if you’re not under a one year contract. Third he spent too much on the road eating at the truck stops, and wasting money when he was sitting around waiting for a load. My friend is going to try again but this time with a local company that I recommended for him. Don’t get me wrong big company have their benefits over smaller company I’m just saying it’s always best to pay for your CDL training yourself. Then you have more options of when and who you work for. I got my CDL training the hard way my grandpa. He trained me in one day with a lot of curse words then made me start driving local one hundred miles from the farm when i was just 16. So gonzotrucker went through a CDL training school of hard knocks.
CDL training options
There are several ways to get your CDL. The easy way is what my friend did if you go this route just expect to not earn a lot your first year. Second go to a truck driving school then find a company to hire you out of school. Third find an owner operator who is willing to train you to get a CDL then work for him afterwards. All three have their benefits, and downside too. All three ways don’t expect to make big time money your first year. You must plan and budget for this if you are going to succeed as a truck driver. Do your research I can’t stress this point enough. Go to the truck stops talk to truck drivers, go to the trucking school or company yard and have a chat with the drivers. They will talk to you, because Truck Drivers talk a lot so don’t worry about that. If you have any questions feel free to ask that’s what Im here for to help. I wish you luck with your CDL training. Gonzotrucker