Truck driver training is an industry to make a profit off people who know nothing about trucking. The target, those who can get a guaranteed student loan, qualify for financing with as much cash down as possible, or acquire some sort of government assistance work program like a workforce investment act voucher (WIA). Suitability for living the lifestyle required to be an “Over the Road” truck driver in the long term is focused on less in early recruiting, this is why is individuals should understand the truck driver student industry before they enter it.
Many people you will meet in student carriers are not made aware that they would be expected to drive 11 hours a day and that the pay in comparison to hours worked calculates out at less than minimum wage. Entry level truck driving students are often stunned to learn that truck drivers do a great deal of unpaid labor that is not logged according to FMCSA regulations and contrary to what they were taught at CDL school. This causes immediate conflict for some qualified candidates who do not understand “how it works” when you are only getting paid when the wheels are turning and not for all of the other daily responsibilites of a long-haul truck driver.
Student truck drivers are required to begin as OTR (over the road). This puts a great strain on familes when pay expected falls short and hometime requests are ignored. Some truck driver training carriers maximize their profits by exploiting student truckers by pushing them to perform “team driving” with persons of unknown origins. Training carriers with an associated lease owner-operator program are generally one-sided contracts designed to have the student essentially paying the carrier to work for them. Controlling miles dispatched so that new drivers make just nough to cover the truck payment and little else. These stressors are contributors to the high turnover of first year truck drivers.
There are some trucking carriers who employ practices to get the most out of ill-informed job seekers entering trucking. These carriers are setting you up to fail from day one, avoid them if possible. If you have already committed yourself to one of these carriers make sure you understand the tricks they play so you can beat the odds and go on to a better carrier.
Click the following links of carrier names to get an idea of some of the current complaints made by recent job seekers who thought trucking was a road to employment for them:
Read the complaints and understand these are often the same complaints by different people year after year. They are not isolated complaints by a few disgruntled employees. There is a pattern and practice by some carriers that generates student turnover for a constant stream of new low wage drivers. This is a profit strategy.
**Team driving may work well for a married couple but if you are a single person in a carrier that has primarily team miles you are painting yourself into a corner. Carriers who use the “team model” like CRST and Covenant Transport give few options to complete training in a safe enviroment. Team driving for multiple months or being pressured into becoming a trainer before you are fully prepared is dangerous for you, your student and the motoring public. Don’t put yourself in a carrier who will eventually place you in a situation where you have to choose making enough money to survive, over safety.
Please Google any carrier you plan to commit yourself to for truck driver training followed by the word “complaints”. For Instance: GOOGLE: “CR England Complaints” and read how carriers you are considering, treat student truckers. These are people who came into the industry hoping for a new chance at life but found nothing but rip-offs.
Always look at the date of the complaints for current issues and evaluate the complaints and criticisms. It is not unlike a carrier to pose as a regular person launching a critical attack on anyone who writes poor reviews about them on the internet. By the same token, there are drivers who complain about every little thing and are difficult to please. Evaluate the “anonymous” attacks and recognize that some paranoid carriers and organizations DO engage in online bullying tactics on the internet. Use this conduct as a snapshot of an internal level of professionalism, consider it as the way you will be treated as a driver employed by them. There are carriers who value drivers but it takes time to find the right fit for you and they may not advertise.
Rule of Thumb: The more you see the recruiting ads, the more you should be suspicious.
Other things to take into consideration are carriers who are “dumbing down” student truck drivers by teaching them electronic logs without teaching them how to do a paper log for a backup or teaching them only to drive an automatic truck, not a manual transmission. This will handicap your future as a truck driver.
Suggestion: Skip over any training carrier who is not teaching you how to think without technology.
Central Refrigerated, CRST Van Expedited, CR England all have recent allegations of trainers, supervisors, “lead seat” or co-drivers making unwanted sexual advances and/or sexual misconduct toward female trainees.
Research carefully before choosing your training carrier so that you don’t end up with a useless CDL. This is what happens to many student truckers who enter the trucking industry with the best intentions.
If you have current information about bad trucking carriers and poor training carriers to help warn others please post on this page. Another good place to look up carrier warnings is on the truckers report.
Please stick to the details and do not use foul language toward others.
Our Mission is to help others make better choices in truck driver training so that they will not be ripped off or harmed physically from the unprofessional training carriers that have created an industry of student truckers.