• Report: #285644

Complaint Review: The Company Paid Truck Driving Training School Scam

  • Submitted: Tue, November 20, 2007
  • Updated: Thu, December 27, 2007

  • Reported By:Illinois Illinois
The Company Paid Truck Driving Training School Scam
Nationwide U.S.A.

The Company Paid Truck Driving Training School Scam Too Good To Be True - And It Is Throughout USA Nationwide

*General Comment: Thanking you in advance.

*General Comment: CR England Trucking Company School Scam.

*Consumer Comment: Completely untrue.

*Consumer Comment: They want a return on their investment

*Consumer Suggestion: Alot of community colleges are offering PTDI approved training

*Consumer Comment: I'm intrigued...

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With the current demand in the trucking industry of 400,000 drivers needed by the year 2010, many trucking companies (Schneider, CRST, P.A.M., CR England, and others) have opened their own so called "Training Academys". Also, with middle-class well paying jobs at an all time premium for people, and the need to change careers just to make ends meet. By providing training academys companies are able to offer "Company Paid Training" to attract and recruit drivers to supply the demand.

However, beware . . . in the private sector, company paid training means that the company requires you to go through their training program to learn the appropriate procedures in order to perform the duties of the job . . . in these "so called" company sponsored training academys they want to make sure you pay, and pay, and pay for your CDL. These companies really have NO interest in helping you to obtain a CDL, unless of course you meet their criteria and are coming to work for them. They don't want to train the competition's fleet.

These companies have taken their programs right out of TV's "The Apprentice" play book, in as much as you are in reality on a job interview throughout your CDL training classes. Believe me, it will be the most expensive "job interview" that you have ever been on. If indeed you are targeted to be "eliminated" in this case - it is better that you are eliminated early - before you sign the financial contract.

The reason for this is . . . is that you are billed on a prorated basis for the privledge of being able to interview for this company. It's a racket! The objective is to keep you in the program as long as they can, even if they don't think you will be hired, so that you have the enormous bill which is accumulating interest, and you walk away with nothing (except the bill), i.e., no CDL and a lot of wasted time. As I previously said, they do not want to train people to go to the competition - even if they are rejected. So, whether or not you make it past this portion of the "interview" you're paying for it. This is the first PAY I mentioned above.

Realistically, if you have made it through their onsite training program, they could take you to the DMV and get you your CDL, but they won't do that. They know that you are a captive prisoner at this point, before you can go to the DMV you need to be accompanied by a CDL licensed person and have a truck to take your test in. So, they use this to their advantage to keep you a captive prisoner.

The second PAY level is still before you've gotten your CDL (you're driving on a permit) you go on the road with a trainer for 3 (or so) weeks. During this level of the training you are paid between $300-$400/week, but expected to drive 600-700 miles per day. Even at the lower levels of truck drivers pay would be $235/day, but most pay would be closer to the $400/day mark. They are able to get by with this because you only carry a CDL Learners Permit. From this $300-$400/week that you are now getting paid, they begin deducting the so called "tuition" costs that you have accumulated - so your paycheck looks more like $150 take home.

During this "on the road training time" you don't think the company has accepted a "reduced rate" from their customers because they are using a trainee to drive the truck, do you. No. Of course not. So, here's the math . . . $300 x 3 weeks = $900 . . . $235 x 21 days = $4935 . . . So, during your over the road training realistically you have just paid the "company" another $4035 in addition to the $2500-$3500 that you paid for their "academy". Costs and programs vary depending on the company, but even on the lower levels your CDL has cost you $6535 - and you still don't have your CDL License!

Now, you have to return to the company's "academy" to go through their testing program. If you don't make it through this stage, you're not using their truck and the licensed CDL training to go through the DMV for your CDL. You have just wasted 6 weeks working on a CDL License which you still don't have, you have a combined payment of lost wages and tuition of $6535, and to add insult to injury - you also have no job!

Now, you may think you can make it through the "academy" (we all want to believe that we 'can do it'), but the numbers that I've heard are only 40% advance through to the "over the road training" level. That's 60% of the people that enter one of these academys that are being ripped-off, because what they are paying for is the training to achieve a CDL. Another 20% fail after the over the road training. Some of the students that enter these programs already have their CDLs, and are required to take these courses at these expenses before they can be employed by these companies. But, from what I've seen, having a CDL when entering these programs does not guarantee that you will pass the program - but at least you will still have your CDL (and a bill) when you're put back on the street.

Those that do make it through the complete program are also committed to that company for a period of time at a reduced rate of pay - indentured servitude! The third level of PAY! Length of "indentured servitude" varies depending on the company, but all companies have it. If you add the reduced level of pay to the cost of tuition over that period of time - you have the true cost of your CDL. It's not a great deal, believe me.

A far better investment, in my opinion, would be a dedicated truck driving school for $5000 (or so). The primary reason for this is that in a truck driving school, you are the customer. You are the one paying for the education and the instructors are there to work for you. Without you, they are out of business. Your chances of graduating with a CDL are greater. Most schools will also help place you with a company, which you can also interview to see if the company meets your needs.

Company sponsored truck driving academys have one master, that is the company!

Illinois, Illinois

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/20/2007 09:03 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/The-Company-Paid-Truck-Driving-Training-School-Scam/nationwide/The-Company-Paid-Truck-Driving-Training-School-Scam-Too-Good-To-Be-True-And-It-Is-Throug-285644. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Thanking you in advance.

AUTHOR: E'Drene McKenzie - ()

I would like to thank you for providing the information that you did. I was looking into some companies that provide "free" and paid training like Schneider, Prime, Knight Transportation, Swift, and C.R. England. Some of your information in this rebuttal helped me a little bit. I live in South Carolina and I wonder if you could give me some pointers on good trucking companies to work for after I obtain my CDL as well as good driver training schools that I could attend. I haven't taken any steps yet as far as getting my CDL permit (which I am sure is the first step of them all), going to a school, or through a company, but any information would be extremely helpful

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#2 General Comment

CR England Trucking Company School Scam.

AUTHOR: Tomk - ()

My granddaughters husband reported to the CR England School in Burns Harbour Indiana this morning, 02/03/2014, only to find he would be required to pay for a "student loan" of $5000.  To top that off he would be required to lease a truck from them for an undetermined amount.  All told, it would make his annual salary about $15000.  He could make that much working for a local hamburger place such as McDonalds.  

The company purchased a one-way bus ticket for him to Burns Harbour and now he is stuck there with no job, no CDL, no transportation, and no place to stay.  I am sending him a bus ticket home.  It would seem to me this is a criminal action by this trucking company as their website doesn't say any thing about the cost. In fact it says free training programs.  Nor does the recruiter say anything about it.  Who can we contact to do something about this scam.  Surely the truck drivers union has something to say about this mistreatment of drivers.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Completely untrue.

AUTHOR: Jeff W. - ()

While anyone can certainly understand a company wanting a return on their investment, it doesnt stop there. The problem is that these companies treat their people like farm animals while theyre under contract.....in fact worse in most cases. A farmer wouldnt beat a plow horse the way companies like PAM and CR England beat their drivers. The pay is pathetic and virtually impossible to survive on, the home time is worse. Even worse yet is that if you quit before fulfilling your contract, even if you pay off your training debt, these contracy companies will put negative and many times false information on a drivers DAC report and destroy that drivers opportunities for the future. Its pathetic and these contract carriers need to be investigated by the Justice Department....some people need to go to jail. They prey on people at their weakest moments and the consequences can be devestating.

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#4 Consumer Comment

They want a return on their investment

AUTHOR: Teresa - (U.S.A.)

You have to look at it from their point of view. It does cost quite a bit of money to put anyone through their schooling. And when it says company paid did you expect them to put you through the school of your choice? The company will train you for employment with their company.

I have only been driving for 2 years. Before commiting to this I researched many companies and their training. My decision was to pay for the schooling myself. I saved until I had the money needed. First I picked up the handbook from the DMV and studied to get my Permit on my own. Then I went to the school of my choice for the rest of my courses. I obtained my license this way so I wouldn't be indebted to anyone if I decided this wasn't the life for me.

I love my job and team drive with my husband. We work for a great company and make good money. We are in our 40's, children grown and no expenses.

My advice to anyone wanting to get into this field is do your research. This job is hard work and not for everyone. The hours are long (60-70 per week) and the laws are strict. The stress level can be high and roads hazardous.

At times I think to many people have seen the movie Convoy and think it will be fun. This is a job like any other job but with deadly equipment (80,000 lbs. can't stop on a dime).

Do some internet research before jumping in.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Alot of community colleges are offering PTDI approved training

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

The community college where I live is offering a PTDI approved course. It is 8 weeks to complete though but looks like you get alot of road time during that training.

The price is about half as much as Roadmaster or other commercial schools as well as the price the trucking companies charge.
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#6 Consumer Comment

I'm intrigued...

AUTHOR: Anthony - (U.S.A.)

How is it that you have become an expert on matters pertaining to the trucking industry? I'll refrain from bringing up the extent of your vast experience in the industry, because it serves no purpose to do so.

When it comes to the perceived driver shortage issue, I have a sound rule of thumb. Good companies are not experiencing any shortages of drivers, nor will they likely ever be short of qualified drivers. They have all the applications they need when a driver is replaced.

Company paid training programs are nothing new, and in fact have been around for many years. There are good programs, and there are bad programs. I personally endorse only one of the larger company's programs, and that happens to be offered by a company that you had personal experience with, albeit a bad one. That company is Scneider National Carriers.

Every company sponsored training program that I am aware of, offers to train interested parties at no cost, and in fact, nearly all will pay drivers a diminished amount of compensation once they complete training for and after obtaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), once they are in a truck with a trainer and helping to generate revenue for the company.

As part of the exchange for providing the training to people interested in learning to drive big trucks for a living, there is usually a required commitment period of one to two years of service after the training period is completed. As long as the commitment period is honored, the student is never out a dime for the training.

A contract is standard in these arrangements. If the required service commitment period is not fulfilled, then there are agreed upon charges or tuition as it may be called, for defaulting on that agreement or contract. Depending on the circumstances, even a student who is involuntarily terminated may be liable for costs associated with their training prior to such involuntary termination.

The premise behind this is clear. Training drivers from the ground up is expensive. Fuel costs are very high. Salaries must be paid to trainers and instructors. The value of the truck and trailer combinations can cost well over $100,000 per unit. Required documentation and background investigations to clear candidates for training before they even get behind the wheel of a truck for the first time and/or hiring them on as an employee can cost more than $1,000 a student. When people default or are unable to qualify into full time driving positions, these costs cannot just be swept under the rug.

Contrary to your beliefs Mypie, the ultimate goal of all of the companies that train drivers is to qualify each and every one of them. They want those drivers in trucks one day, and generating revenue for the company to justify their compensation.

Some of these companies cannot retain a decent workforce for one of several reasons. Some companies are simply bad eggs and offer poor working conditions that most reasonable people will not tolerate. Some companies do a poor job of selecting support staff, resulting in frustration that drivers cannot deal with. Some are corporate entities, only concerned with profit, forcing employees and their needs and desires to take a back seat to all else. Choosing the right company is essential. Some are not worth a second look, much less the first.

Many drivers, be they experienced or inexperienced are either unable or refuse to see that the job is not right for them. They like the idea of trucking, but don't realize that it's not a cake walk. It's a job that requires immense motivation, planning, patience, dedication, and tolerance.

As to your assessment of the pay while in training, I can merely offer that you haven't put on your thinking cap. While a student driver is on the road, being compensated at a diminished rate of pay, the driver trainer, in exchange for the added responsibility and aggravation that can come with training a student, is usually making at least 25% more than what he would make if he or she were solo.

The actual cost to the company is about one and a half times the amount of a solo driver, while generating roughly the same revenue of a solo driver. You are not "paying the company" anything. You, while in training, are an EXPENSE to them.

I also find a little fault in another issue you raised and offered as fact. I know of no training company that does not require a student driver to have a CDL in hand BEFORE he or she hits the road with a road trainer. CDL learner's permits are issued for as long as it takes for a student to qualify for the CDL road test, given just prior to the issuing of the CDL by the State. It is only THEN that students move on the the next phase of being paired with an instructor in actual trucking operations and training on the road, thus into the paid phase of the program.

There are various reasons why students do not make it through the CDL training, or go on to be solo drivers after weeks of road training. The number one reason most people are cut from the first two weeks of class, are due to lies offered on an application, where information found in the background checks performed only after a student arrives on site for training, precludes them from hire. The second reason most are cut? They fail the drug test. The third? They can't pass the driving test.

Those that quit later in the program, usually do so because they discover that the job is not what they thought it would be. They discover that it's not all about sight-seeing all over the country and that there is actually some real work involved, combined with some rather high stress levels as well.

The bottom line when it comes to company sponsored training, is that while it may be the least expensive option when desiring to enter into the trucking industry, it's not necessarily the best way to go. You have to do the research necessary to know exactly what you are getting into, know that you are making a commitment that will have to be honored if you don't want to be stuck with a tuition bill, and know the history of the companies who offer such training, their level of training, and the success rates they generate.

My biggest challenge to what you have offered is your assertion that a stand-alone truck driver training school is the best option. The fact of the matter is that thse institutions are among the worst rip-offs out there. At least two dozen of these kind of schools are indicted for criminal activity, fraud, and for training deficiencies each year. The tuition rates for these schools are at the high end of the spectrum, and they are quite often fronts for some of the most notorious trucking companies out here.

Your theory that because you are a "customer" of a stand-alone school doesn't wash either. Many, if not most of the smaller stand-alone "CDL Mills", as I like to call them, are only in it for the money, and every person they can sign up often means receiving a granting of money by the Federal Government, meant for re-training of displaced workers, used to augment that which they bilk from students. Contracts are usually involved with those schools, and with some rather outrageous terms as well. Some will have language to the effect that you are not promised anything at all. Some will only give you a list of companies to call to apply to for jobs. Some will only give you one or two choices of companies.

Don't be fooled by claims of accreditation either. A quick check of the organizations that are quoted, quite often reveal that the accreditations, if not totally invalid, are set up by the schools themselves with the renting of a Washington D.C address to make them look official.

The only accreditation organization that truly evaluates CDL training programs, other than those set up by widely recognized and actual educational institutions, is the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). Their website address is as follows:


There you will find a listing, state by state, of the schools that they evaluate and certify for training standards. Granted, some of these schools are still over-the-top in terms of tuition costs, and some of them shouldn't be on the list, but no one is perfect. The thing is, not many of the listed schools on that site generate the type of complaints that can be found on the web regarding others.

And lastly, I will offer the BEST way to go about entering the industry. Seek out your local colleges and technical training institutions. The costs for training are most likely half to one third of the CDL Mills, are far more extensive in terms of training content, and they work with local trucking companies in your area, to help provide a better chance of longevity if you are selected for hire.

Another good piece of advice: Whenever you are handed a contract to sign under any circumstance, READ IT THOROUGHLY before you sign it. If you don't like the terms, then get up and leave immediately. Once you sign it, you're bound to it. As long as the terms contained within it are not illegal in the state in which you sign it in, you can be held to each and every point contained within it.

My personal recommendation is to always ask if there are contracts involved in any situation you are pondering, and if there are, ask for a clean copy of the contract to be faxed to you prior to making any decisions. If you do not have a fax machine, any office supply store, or your local library will offer fax service.

If any company, school, or service refuses to fax you a copy of a contract for perusal prior to your commitment, then you need to consider this an indication that you may be stepping into something you may not want to. Keep looking.
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