Free Training for your CDL

Free Training for your CDL

There are 226 comments on the story from Apr 10, 2007, titled Free Training for your CDL. In it, reports that:

Free Training: Here is what really happens: Companies need drivers because there is so much demand for freight in the American economy. The more drivers a company has, the more freight they move. Some companies that need a lot of drivers have decided to start training drivers to meet this need. To get a lot of people to go into the training, some companies claim that the training is free. They tell you it will cost you little or no money. But then they tell you to sign an agreement with a lot of fine print (sometimes you won't see this agreement until after you have quit your job or have traveled to the training location -- so your stuck!). The agreement usually has two important catches: (1) that you have to work for the company for some period after training and (2) that if you leave early you owe the company for the costs of training. These agreements can require one or two years of work with the company before you can take another job. That is a huge part of your life to in debt to one company. Many times the company will also try to make you pay for the training by either taking back part of your pay every week or by providing a reduced pay scale until you have paid them back for training. Either way, it's not free.

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Mobile, AL

#227 Nov 22, 2013
You are correct Long Haul. I went to a school in Kentucky and Hired on with swift while training there. Once I got my cdl I trained for six weeks (probably not enough) and then went solo. Swift took a certain amount out of my check each week until I had paid the school bill off then started reimbursing me until I was totally repaid for the school touition. I started out at 26 cents a mile after the training period. While that was pretty low after 4 years I was making 42 cents a mile. I now work local and am home every day. I had a very positive experience with swift because I knew what they were about, I have a good work ethic and know you get what you give. they treated me well because I did what was needed.Truck driving isn't a hard job, just a question of paying attention to details. I worked on towboats for over 20 years and because of a spinal injury had to find something easy. While this is a job, anyone who thinks this is hard work has never worked hard before. I drag a tank these days and put in some long hours but am sure glad for the experience I got from swift. What you put in is what you get out. If you treat an employer shitty you will get treated the same way.

Las Vegas, NV

#228 Jan 5, 2014
If you are looking for FREE training for a CDL, check with your local trucking school to see if there are GRANTS available. Grants are being provided under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Grants do not have to be paid back.

Next, Werner may contract with a local school in your area and pre-hire you.

Next, The following companies have company schools that will train you. Some will take payments out of your check, some will just require you work for them anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. The starting pay during training is anywhere from 325 to 600 (Prime) per week, then when you graduate training anywhere from 25 CPM to over 41 CPM (Prime) with bonuses.

C.R. England
Knight (Squire)
USA Truck
Central Refrigerated

Note: There may be others.

Please note that many truckers consider some of these companies the bottom of the barrel, and some of them are known as "student driver" companies. However, some of them EXCEL in what they pay(*) and how they treat their drivers.

Main qualifiers upfront are 3 years CLEAN background, and 3 years safe driving. It varies from company to company.

Also, for the military out there, many companies have extended "Apprentice" programs that will allow you to collect some GI Bill money on top of your pay for up to 1 year.

Incidentally, if you drove CDL trucks in the military an can prove via military license or signature of commander (on proper form) you can now get a CDL without school. This is an FMCSA approved program called the "Military Skills Test Waiver".

Many folks considering being driver are not aware that you can take all your tests at your local DMV. They have the study guide there for free, and there are lots of websites that will help you practice test and study. Of course you would have to pay that way, but could gain yourself a complete permit with endorsements, and just have to pass a driving test with a Class A (or B) vehicle.

In states like Texas, you can "rent" CDL trucks, sometimes with a little training included for as little as $250 for testing.

I wouldn't recommend this route unless you have driven combo vehicles before, as it would be dangerous for you and others on the road if you haven't had proper training or experience. As an option, perhaps you have a friend or relative that could take you on the road for training with your permit?

I would suggests any new driver research all your options and companies on one or several of the available trucking forums out there. there is a lot of great comprehensive information out there.

Safe travels.

Walla Walla, WA

#229 Oct 28, 2014
I need to get some training for my business management class. We are having some real-life situations that we have to deal with. It would also help me at my job as a manager.

“Trucking Is Not A Job-Its Life”

Since: Jun 07

Richmond / Colonial Heights,VA

#230 Nov 1, 2014
Since the poster of post #228 did not take the time to post what is needed to qualify for WIA Grants I will post it for him.

How to Apply to Workforce Investment Act Grants
Meet the basic requirements to apply for the training and WIA grant. You must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. Applicants must have been laid off, with no opportunity to be rehired to receive a training grants.
Evaluate your current skills. Anyone having difficulty finding a new job due to inadequate skills is eligible for the WIA grant.
Register for selective service in a WIA program. Male applicants age 18 to 26 must be registered to be eligible for the WIA grant (see Resources).
Apply for the WIA
Visit a One-Stop Career Center (see Resources). Express interest in the WIA grant and ask about a waiting list. Most career centers maintain waiting lists for WIA applicants and will assign these applicants to WIA case workers as they become available. The wait may last several weeks.
Use the core services, which include outreach services, job searches, placement assistance and labor market information. As part of the Workforce Investment Act, One-Stop Career Centers offer these services.
Begin the "Intensive" phase. Your case worker will take you through this phase, which includes preparing your application, assessing your career and making an employment plan.
Provide documents to support your application. You will need to show your driver’s license, Social Security card, birth certificate or passport, notification of your layoff, notice of eligibility for unemployment insurance, a completed job application and a resume.
Use the WIA training services. Once you have received approval for your WIA grant, select a training provider and begin occupational training.

Since: Jan 15

Location hidden

#231 Mar 8, 2015
Actually, there is free CDL training IF you can find a school that accepts truck driving school grants like the Pell grant. Most truck driving schools don't accept the Pell grant because their CDL course isn't long enough to qualify. There are a few trucking schools that do, though. There's a very informative article at that tells you all you need to know about how to go to truck driving school for free using the Pell grant.

Since: Jan 15

Location hidden

#232 Jul 7, 2016
There is a really great article that reviews 22 different company paid CDL training programs offered by 22 of the top trucking companies in America. The article shows you what you can expect when you get to the CDL school, how long you'll be in the classroom, how long you'll train on the range, and how long your over-the-road training will be. The article also tells you how much each trucking company pays their students while they train and if they provide free room and board while the students are in CDL school. The article provides a lot more information than what I can type here. You can read the article here:

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