Smith's - "View
from the Cab"
Official Trucking Information Series
someone who may be considering truck driving as a new career, a major
obstacle for many is the financing for the CDL truck driver training
course. The average cost for the Commercial Driver License training
program is approximately $3500 but depending on your geographical
location, may run as high as $7000 or more.
There are several ways one can go about obtaining a CDL license but as many will unfortunately discover, it does not always mean the guarantee of a job. One program offered that is highly promoted through so-called "driver advocate" sites is the free cdl training course.
The Truth About Free CDL Training
In order for you to obtain a job as a professional truck driver, you must first meet the minimum driving experience that all motor carriers require. Graduating from a certified truck driving school gives you this minimum requirement which in return, qualifies you for possible hire.
Free CDL training is another term for Company Sponsored CDL Training but the term "free" instantly grabs your attention. This type of training will allow one to begin the training process without having to come up with the thousands of dollars for training or tuition purposes. However, this term is misleading.
The company sponsored cdl training program will provide you with the training needed to obtain your CDL but you will be required to sign a contract stating that you will work for that particular company for at least one year; this is where the "nothing for free" comes in.
Once your "free" training is completed, the company will place you with an experienced driver for another several weeks to gain further driving experience before releasing you out on your own. The problem with this type of CDL course is that the majority of these starter companies will use the new graduate as a form of cheap labor.
Most often, you will be working for the fraction of the pay that CMV drivers command. Although one cannot expect to start out at the top of the pay scale being a new driver, these companies will demand the same work load, schedule and professionalism from you as they do from their veteran drivers; however, you may find yourself working for wages below the poverty level.
The motor carrier that has sponsored your training assisted in relieving you of having to finance or provide the up-front cost, but most will begin their "career" with a wage as low as twenty-three cents per mile: cheap labor.
Should you decide to quit their employment before the one year contract expires, you will be responsible for paying back the cost of training in full and in many cases, with compounding interest.
New drivers who have gone through this type of training and left due to the cheap wage, actually ended up owing as much as $9000 for a course that was said to only be $3500 or less. As if this was not enough, they also found the sponsored company reported it against their credit and DAC report, not only damaging their credit but also ending any future possibilities for hire.
By using recent graduates of the so-called free training program, most of these types of motor carriers will use the graduate to move their freight at a low-cost and one way or another, they will receive payback for the course:.23 cents per mile.
Understandably for some, the only alternative for financing CDL training is through a company sponsored program. If you do, just remember that it is imperative you fulfill your one year obligation with the sponsored company or they will make sure you never work in the industry again. Never forget that when it comes to long-haul trucking, nothing is free.