As a new graduate of a CDL school I contacted WIl-Trans by phone. My first reaction was that I "couldn't believe my ears!" The recruiter explained that they would be charging me as an incoming student driver $2985.00 for the opportunity to be an over-the-road driver with them. I explained that I already had my license that I had received by going to a private truck-driving school (that was $3000) and that I didn't need a "school."
The recruiter repeated himself in a well-practiced and scripted voice that the $2985.00 was the cost of their DOT physical ($60.00), training, (working on truck), etc., then it got worse when he added that they had a fifteen month Employment Contract! He then said that they would deduct the "tuition" weekly from my check which he said would start at ten cents a team mile or $500 a week.
I realized that there was something wrong with this picture considering that other trucking companies actively recruit new drivers and pay them to go through training, albeit they are profiting from the low trainee wages, but at least they do not charge $2985! What's up with Wil-Trans?
Yet, the recruiter explained that they offered the best training in the country and that a commitment to them would assure me of a good career over the long haul, and after five years they would give me a $10,000 bonus! I accepted the possibility of the "good training," was enticed by the bonus, and I realized that a "payroll deduction" for "training" might not be so bad if they were really the best! I proceeded to fill out an online application.
A few days later I received an e mail from the recruiter stating that we had to get over my past employment "obstacles." (The short story was that I had gone to a school two years ago (not related to trucking but in a social work field; I then quit two experimental jobs in that capacity). Because of that the recruiter suggested that I had a bad employment history. I explained that "social work is not trucking" and my decision to quit that field and enter trucking was a perfectly logical move.
He said that he would call me the next day. I never heard from him again. I was subsequently accepted by three other companies who pay during training, where there are absolutely no fees to them, and no indentured servitude. These firms are the accepted standard in trucking.
My conclusion is this: Wil-Trans wants the $2985 as that is how they pay their lazy recruiters and also pad their pockets with additional income from the backs of starry-eyed students ($2985 buys a lot of tires). Also they have a pre-employment filtering process, as if someone shows a previously gap in employment regardless of any reason including the poor economy, they might not get their $2985 over the fifteen months of servitude! Further I am sixty years old...why would Wil-trans want me? I might croak and they might not be able to get their $2985! BEWARE ! Not a good deal ! There are lots of companies out there. Look around !