We received the following question by email about someone who might fail trucking company school. Vicki Simons responded and added below one other resource.
I have a friend that is attending a CDL course with a trucking company. If the trucking company fails him and sends him home for failing too many times and without his CDL, can they charge him for the cost of the course ($4800.00).
Hello, DM [name changed to initials to preserve privacy],
Thank you for contacting us through our website,
First off, I'm sorry that your friend has been failing his/her test in truck driver training school.
My husband Mike and I knew of someone at the school we attended who was in a similar situation:
Even some people who make it all the way through truck driver training school and start training with a trucking company don't make it as professional truck drivers. When I was in training at our first trucking company, the truck driven by another trainer -- with whom my trainer was running -- had a breakdown not far from the home terminal.
Well, the trainee that the other trainer had with him would not get under the hood of the truck to check out a few things -- because he supposedly didn't want to get his hands dirty. Well, in trucking, there are going to be times when a person has to get dirty. Anyway, it was apparent that the guy wasn't going to last -- and I think he quit.
Be that as it may, the answer to your question depends upon the contract or agreement that your friend signed. Please have him/her read the "fine print" on that contract/agreement to know for sure.
FWIW, we never recommend that someone take a CDL training course through a trucking company.(1) The reason is because then the company holds "all" of the cards in their hands regarding such things as:
- the miles assigned (most drivers are paid on the basis of cents per dispatch mile);
- the ability to earn money; and
- the completion of the training course/getting one's CDL.
For more information about this, please see these pages on our site:
There's also a related article here [about] trucker exploitation:
When your friend reviews the agreement/contract he/she signed, have him/her see if there a time limit by when the truck driver training course must be finished. The reason why I mention this is because just because he/she may have been failing now does not mean that he/she can't get the knack of things and pass later on.
He/she would have to know "why" he/she is failing and address that first.
Is it because of a skill that he/she needs to master? For example, two of the biggest problems trucking trainees have are:
- backing up (including 90-degree alley docking):
- passing other parts of a CDL road test (like the serpentine and stop line):
Also, is it possibly the case that your friend has had an impatient or hard-to-communicate-with trainer?
If so, then perhaps by changing the trainer, things may be better. Here are articles that may help:
Please let me know how it goes for you and your friend.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
See the website of the Professional Truck Driver Institute for truck driver training standards.
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