I was looking for a career change and went to Roadmaster Driving School in Orlando, Florida. I was greeted by a 'guidance counselor named Tom' who began to tell me what a great truck driving career he had been so blessed with and how other 'blessed' professional drivers were there to share their skills through training for a price. My first thought is "if you are so blessed in trucking why are you sitting behind a desk and not out there driving a truck?" I was told of injuries that prohibit him from driving professionally and we moved on to cost. I was told the training would cost me $6,500 and when I told him I didn't have it he told me "why not let the Truck Driving Company pay for it?". I was then told that I could start in a week and upon finishing I would go to the Trucking Co. of my choice and start driving, paying the Trucking Co. back the $6,500 over a years time. Sounded good to me. I signed up and started school the next week. Upon starting we all went and took our CDL learners permit test, which we paid for and then, upon passing, did a few days of classroom work, took my in-house physical and eventually went out on the road in an actual 18 wheeler with an instructor and 3 other students. The time on the road was mostly spent as a passenger, taking turns driving mostly on deadend streets and finally was allowed to drive back to the school, being the fastest learner. We then were put out in the yard to learn parking skills and after 3 days of that were told if we wanted to go any further with the training we had to pay the school at least $1500 of the $6500. Already 2 weeks into this, most students sold their cars and whatever else they could to come up with the $1500...? I was then told by a receptionist that Trucking Co's dont hire rookies out of Florida for what they pay in most other States and if I get my CDL in Florida I have to keep my address in Florida for at least 1 year. She got in a lot of trouble for divulging this information to me and I believe was fired. I immediately quit the Roadmaster School and was immediately harrassed with phone calls and emails to myself, my girlfriend, all my family (Roadmaster requires a full list of all your relatives upon acceptance), luckily some of whom are Federal Agents. This led to an investigation of the Roadmaster School and I was not required to pay any of the $6500 but this led to the split up with my then girlfriend and prospective future wife.
I also had left my job to pursue this new career in Truck Diving and lost everything I owned in the midst of an unemployment crisis in the United States, Florida in particular. BEWARE ROADMASTER DRIVING SCHOOL! They are pure predators in a time when Americans are already hurting for hope. They are nothing but crooks. You are paying them for training you get direct from the Trucking Companies anyway. My advice: if you want to drive 18 wheelers, go straight to the Trucking Companies, skip these crooked schools.