Attending Driving School
I want to start to become a driver but i dont want to drive long haul.. CRST offered me free classes and a 8 month contract with them for OTR. Should I do it? Or I can attend a tech school so i can get my CDL and then begin to drive aleast regionally or locally? I want to drive rigs badly so i can get away from my crappy job.
-----Response from Vicki:
Thanks for asking your question about attending driving school. First, by way of background, we
have written about
* truck driver training schools
* becoming a truck driver
* mutual expectations between driver trainers and trainees
to help those looking for this kind of information.
So I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the resources we have already provided (if you haven't already).
As a disclaimer, neither Mike nor I have ever driven for CRST. However, there are plenty of people who have -- or have attempted to. We encourage you to search for their reviews of the company and their training process on TheTruckersReport.com: CRST
Also, you may want to poke around on our friend Allen Smith's AskTheTrucker.com
website about truck drivers who are exploited.
The lure of the open road and being relieved of a "crappy job" may be strong. However, you do not -- and I repeat "not" -- want to trade one crappy job for one that is even crappier.
Please do your due diligence regarding getting your CDL training, any truck driver training school you may choose to attend, and hiring on with the trucking company
of your choice.
Be aware that there are plenty of companies to drive for and you may or may not choose to drive for one headquartered near you. Talk with drivers who are currently working for the company you're looking at. Get the pros and the cons. Do not underestimate the problems as they could affect you more than you can imagine.
If a company promises something and doesn't deliver, what is the worst thing that can happen? You can be stranded far from home and left practically penniless unless you prepare ahead of time. It can be very expensive for you in the long run. Do not promise 8 months of your life to pay back something if it is not really a good deal for you.
Based on what we have read about some trucking companies that provide in-house CDL training, some of them are so unscrupulous that they hang would-be professional drivers out to dry like this: they promise CDL training, a CDL and a job for a set contracted period of drive time (such as the 8 months you have described).
However, when you get out on the road in their equipment, they may keep you far from home for long periods of time, with few miles (not even enough to pay expenses), terminate you for spurious reasons just before you finish your contract and then you are without
1) a job,
2) the opportunity to continue working for them,
3) a clean DAC report (a black mark will hinder your chances of going to work for a different company) and
4) money that is "owed" for the training you never finished.
Think about that -- long and hard.
If you have the option to go through technical school to get CDL training and you pay the tuition, we think it will mean more to you and you will be independent of some company's potential scam.
When you make and carry through a decision, please write back to us and let us know how it went for you. We're interested. Thanks.