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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


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Truck Driver Training and Trucking Companies- Comments and Questions

Mar
14,
2009
17

We’d like to “freshen up” a few links to very important posts that need to be more easily accessible. Please add your comments to them accordingly.

1) Truck Driving Schools and Trucking Companies: Post Your Comments about Them Here:

There are almost 200 posts about schools and companies that could help you in this post. Also, it is an opportunity for you to post to others and help them out, as there could be a question about a company or school that you have experience with and would want to share.

2)  A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker

This is Truck Desiree’s Journal, where she gives a daily description and trail of events of her life in CDL school and trucking company training. Desiree has become the favorite of many throughout the trucking world as she shares her life experiences in the hopes to help other students and trainees.  Some of her posts have stirred up quite a bit of contoversy and we suggest you read this if you want to know the “behind the scenes” of what really goes on.

3)  Truth About Trucking- Your Opinion, Comments, and Testimonials

Here are some more comments, questions, and testimonials from others.


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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

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17 Responses to Truck Driver Training and Trucking Companies- Comments and Questions. - Post a Comment

  1. Greg Adkins

    Just wanted to assure ALL readers that the posting calling for other “victims” of the practices of ‘Nu Way’ truck driving “school” in both Livonia, and Pontiac, MI – is from MYSELF, Greg Adkins, of the Detroit area, and not anyone affiliated with the ‘Truth About Trucking’ website. I do appreciate the site’s help, though – and AND STILL HOPE TO HEAR FROM AS MANY OTHER ‘UNHAPPY’ ‘NU WAY’ GRADS AS POSSIBLE.
    – Greg Adkins, metro-Detroit

  2. Pat

    Good going Greg! I notice that suit has been filed as of May 2009. Nu-Way is one of dozens of CDL mills that are rooking working people who just want a decent job.

    How do we get to the other ones? My husband was a victim of Truck Driver Institute, which has branches in 10 states. I encourage anyone who was conned into paying up an exorbitant contract to 1) complain to your state’s attorney general 2) complain to the Better Business Bureau 3) file in small claims court for the services you didn’t get. Greg shows the 4th option — band together and sue the $%^&s.

  3. Greg Adkins

    Thanks for your response, and support. This whole thing is really a BIG “can o’ worms” here, actually… Just wait ’till the general public gets wise to the fact that their SAFETY ON THE NATION’S HIGHWAYS is often at risk – due to all the ‘licensed’ but inproficient semi-drivers driving right along side them out there! All because some school, like ‘Nu Way’ – wanted to stick the poor guy for a $10,000 debt because he did the only thing he could figure out to procure a job and (supposedly) – earn a living; listen to all the sales hype and promises from a trucking school “recruiter”. I’m not saying ALL driving schools are bad – or that no one comes out of them as a proficient driver. But from what I saw at ‘Nu Way’ – most ‘graduates’ who appeared to have good skills when they left apparently had a good aptitude to learn to maneuver a ‘semi’ when they arrived – they didn’t pick it up from any particularly “good training” from ‘Nu Way’. Some of ‘Nu Way’s”trainers” had just finished their program themselves 6 months earlier, and had just a few months ‘OTR’ before getting hired to instruct.
    – For the record, I contacted Michigan’s Attorney General, Mike Cox, about a year ago about ‘Nu Way’. He referred my complaint to the State’s department over ‘Motor Vehicle/Driver’s Training Programs’, to a department head named Greg Lantzy. Lantzy apparently forwarded a copy of my complaint to ‘Nu Way’ in Livonia. A representative there responded by basically saying, “no, none of these complaints are valid; we do everything in a wonderful, professional way here at ‘Nu Way’.” – State bureaucrat Lantzy concluded his ‘desk-top’ “investigation”, by saying something like, “okay, well then I don’t see what the problem is then.” – end of case (or so they thought!) In my opinion, he chose the option that gave him less work to do. I also suspect that Michigan’s dire job market may encourage state officials not to want to “rock the boat” with any entity who may possibly help create a few jobs for Michigan job seekers. – This is just my theory; and it does not mean some of these schools don’t need a lot more oversight – or to just be shut down!
    – More people need to get involved in having this whole industry, particularly the ‘driving school’ – trucking companies relationship looked into more seriously by government officials.
    – For some more interesting, and VERY ENLIGHTENING reading, look into the recently begun lawsuit initiated by officials in Tennessee against the “driving school” operated by the ‘Swift’ trucking company!
    – Greg.

  4. Pat

    I looked up the case you mentioned. It appears the same thing happened in Missouri and Tennessee — thousands of drivers had their CDLs suspended because they got them at an investigated school. Not very convenient for the drivers… I hope the investigators stuck around to suspend the schools’ accreditation and let the media know about it.

    My husband and I are proceeding with actions involving Truck Driver Institute and Standard Financial Services. Would like to hear from anyone else who got nicked by TDI. The problem has been that many (as high as 70%) don’t wind up with a job. And you, Greg, are evidence that even when you do get a job, you can get stuck for the “tuition.”

    Your warning about state officials taking the easy way out is timely. We are planning to work with Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and possibly Mississippi; surely one of them will have some guts. The excuse “these are hard times” makes it all the more important to get the scammers out of the way of REAL truck driver training opportunities.

    Where’s Chris Hansen when you need him?

  5. Ken Heslin

    It has been a little more than a year that I was discharged from a trucking company that was my 2nd CDL job after completing CDL A training in Jan 2008.

    My first job I was discharged due to Aether unit failure in the truck that was “A violation of Company Policy” that was never really explained and me feel like it was my fault for an undisclosed electronic problem. That was my 1st solo truck that had many other mechanical and electrical problems at US Xpress.

    My 2nd was Class A Job was with Werner within 2 weeks after my 1st in April. With Werner I had 3 Trainers. The first had a 13 speed with Owner Operator issues with recent repairs.

    Due to unfortunate issue of verbal and physical abuse as a Student Driver Trainee and reported it to my SDM in Omaha NE. Due to my phone call I finally was allowed to get off of the decrepit Trainers truck. It would stall going up a steep hill on the South Side of Birmingham AL and the paperless logs went to line one. They assured me that they would allow me to file a “special report” about the incident.

    Once I got off his truck in Lithia Springs GA, the SDM claimed he couldn’t get me back to Columbus OH due to that company didn’t have freight that went north from the South. So I start in early May sitting in Motel Rooms in Douglassville GA.

    They let me go out with one more trainer that was an Owner Operator for a couple days with his crude way of shifting a super 10 speed with his queer African American hand on mine while I attempted to double clutch and shift that Super 10.

    After about 3 days I called my SDM and told him about the trainer’s way of shifting gears. They let me of his truck and so I went back to a motel room. While at the motel I heard horror stories about that company.

    I finally spoke to another student and then the SDM about rent an Avis car to get back to Springfield OH.
    They made me test out in Springfield with a 9 speed and built a case to justify why I was discharged.

    After 3 days of Orientation plus I had 16 days behind the wheel out of a total of 45 Days.

    A month and a week later, I went to PTL Murray KY and Quit/Resigned 2nd week of October due to low miles and no home time.

    I came home to attend to family matters and late November began apply with other OTR companies.

    After my above dissertation, I know my having three jobs within 10.5 calendar months doesn’t look very good along with 2 discharges and 1 Quit/Resigned.

    Is there a way I can get at least one of those discharged expunged or just wait or try to get a CDL job around home? I have already had personal time thinking about how I had such a bad 2008. I am not asking for sympathy.

    I paid for my own tuition for both CDL Class B training in May 2006 and CDL Class A in December 2007.
    Having owned and managed a family business from Nov 1976 to Aug 2002. My goal was to embark upon a career change. But unless proven otherwise, I also feel like I made a bad investment at a CDL Mill both times that I tested both times for my CDL licenses.

    I can accept constructive criticism and candid advice.

  6. Allen Smith

    Hi Ken: Practically the ONLY way for a newcomer to trucking to get the experience required by the companies and insurance carriers is by way of OTR driving. Just starting out, 3 jobs within 10 months is bad, but very understandable, believe me. This comes with trucking ….driver turn-over rate. First starting out, one must complete that all important one year of driving. I know how hard this is sometimes due to such things you wrote about. There are a lot of “dirty little secrets” in this industry and I try to share that with as many newcomers that I can …. without understanding how the industry works … things like this will continue to happen. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to land a local job, etc., without first, having that one year of verifiable driving experience under your belt. Some people have been lucky to land local jobs with area construction companies, like dirt hauling, etc., but it can still be very difficult, especially now with the way the economy is. You can try to give your side of the story on your DAC report, but with 3 jobs in 10 months and just starting out, chances are slim …. I’m just being honest. You can keep trying to apply and maybe a company will give you a break …but I’m afraid they will look at you now as not really wanting a driving career. They don’t care about the low miles, trainer abuse, etc., trucking is a tough vocation….check around with local construction companies and give it a shot …. other than that, apply where ever you can …. I hate to say it, but beating your previous record is going to prove very tough …. good luck, Allen

  7. Eric G.

    A month and a week later, I went to PTL Murray KY and Quit/Resigned 2nd week of October due to low miles and no home time.

    So HOW LONG were you at PTL?
    2 weeks, a month?
    Most Trucking Companies have a certain time line for the Drivers to get “accustomed” to the Dispatchers and vice versa.
    They discover what a Driver is apt to do whether the Driver is a good runner or a lazy whiner.
    PTL states VERY CLEARLY what the Home Time allotment is and usually AFTER a minimum 10-14 days, one can get home after waiting 7-10 days to put in for home time.
    I drove for about 8 months in ’02 for an Owner Operator leased to PTL.
    I quit the Owner Op and then PTL called and asked if I wanted to run directly for them. I declined because I did not want to drive an Autoshift.
    If I had a place to park a Combo (since I live in a Condo community), I would have called PTL last year (along with the over 40 Trucking Companies I either spoke with or applied to from 9/08-12/08) after I lost a 2.75 year gig (12/05-9/08) because of the Economy (HIGH fuel prices, low broker rates).
    Since I cannot “provide a safe and secure location” to park a company Truck or Combo, ALL companies I’ve spoken or applied to have rejected me for that one reason.
    I REFUSE TO LIE to get an OTR job then be confronted with the task of acquiring a suitable location for parking when on home time IF the company doesn’t have their own suitable and reasonably located location (and most do not).

    Your experiences read like you’re not comfortable with Trucking and should NOT PURSUE any more avenues but stick with another avenue of Self Employment like your previous to Trucking adventure.
    Since you have not even a years worth of experience you’re most likely not going to acquire any more unless with a shyster company (low pay, pushy, etc.) of which sadly exist.

    Along with Allen, Good Luck!!

  8. David

    Is Pat still out there..I also have some info about Truck Driver Institute and Standard Financial Services. Need to find “Pat”

  9. Josh

    I am a victim of Truck Driver Institute and Standard Financial. I live in Georgia and attended the Forsyth school. Some of the instructors just “gave” us the answers to written exams. I answered an ad saying “train 3 weeks and get a job paying $750 a week” When the finance company called me I told them that was BS and she said “who told you that you would be paid that much money?”. I went to work for Schneider for $.32 cpm and only recieved $.15. Now I’m in debt with a useless CDL. What can I do?

  10. Nicknack

    Hello Allen, I’d like to know if You may know anything about any of the PTDI schools in Mississippi…I know there is one in Jackson,MS. and the other in Greenville,MS…how reptutable are PTDI schools anyways can the be just as corrupt as I hear some of these schools are?

  11. Allen Smith

    Here’s a link to some schools we’ve found. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t others in the area that are also good, it’s just what we have come up with so far.
    http://www.truthabouttrucking.com/documents/TruckDrivingSchoolGuide.pdf

    Also, a school needs to have a certain level of standards to be PTDI certified, however, it does costthem to be a part of PTDI. With that being said, there are many schools that are not PTDI certified, but are accredited just the same, many having better programs than schools with PTDI certification.

  12. Ken

    Thank you Allen for the reply. The Midwest is terrible for jobs of any type. I have tried construction companies with no success. The CDL mill I graduated from contacted me and offered to recertify me for $4,500. A Community College will recertify for $3,000. I have tried a Temp agency and all they have is non driving jobs. The trucking companies I have spoke with get belligerent when I mention I took early SSI age 62 retirement. Their reason, when asked, is the can’t verify my unemployment time. It is apparent our government, our economy, our FMCSA laws, our unwritten trucking company legal interpretations, our wet-behind-the-ears upstart young female HR educated idiots seem to complacate trying to stay qualified for hiring purposes.

    Thanks Allen.

  13. Claire

    Hi Pat,

    Could you possibly contact me via my email?. Wanted to know how things were going. My fiancee did 5 deployments since 9/11 and was promised by TDI Indianna that his 3 week course ($7000!) would be totally covered by his GI Bill from The Marine Corps – come to find out going through his paperwork that he was only ever paid back $400 of the $7000 he paid upfront. He never questioned this as he has combat related medical problems – Traumatic Brain Injury amd P.T.S.D. from his deployments. I called the VA and they told me the obvious that a 3 weeks course would not be covered – of which Ok I understand BUT he was not told this!. Should you look into a reputable truck driving school I just got off the phone with a guy named Bruce at “Take Flight National Training”. Told him our story and he said yes, that is why we inform Veterans that their school will NOT allow them to waste their GI BIll on a short term course as it wont cover it and they don’t want to see Veterans being ripped off – however, they do offer a longer course to them that is covered by the GI BIll, so that they can utilze their hard earned education benefits in an appropriate manner. He advised me to call Indianna State. I have put a phone call in and am waiting for a return call. I can’t tell you how it makes me feel knowing that they took complete advantage of a returning Combat Veteran!!!!!!.

  14. dennis bryant

    i enrolled at truck driving institute in oxford alabama only to have the instructors cheet or class thrue the corses.it is the most unprofessional school i have ever seen the finance company that financed my tuition is also nothing but a straight scam.there name standard financial institute nothing but lies and harassment from these people nothing i was told by my recruiter has ever come to light and know im stuck in debt

  15. FERNANDO

    werner = trash you are not alone
    most of the big companies are just bullsheet
    but werner is number one on the list
    3 times try… with this crap company and allways bad
    thankyou

  16. Kenton Orochena

    I am so thrilled I stumbled upon your website. I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Bing for something else. I like with what you said in your post. I never looked at it that way. Thanks for posting this.

  17. Gloria

    To all truck drivers seeking employment “Brothers Express, LLC” located in Dearborn, MI will cheated you out of your salary. This particular sorry company will have truck drivers driving to various location across the Midwest region of the United States and will not pay them their earn salaries. Brothers Express, LLC does business with various automakers which pays this company a lucrative payment for shipments. Unfortunately, Brothers Express, LLC is owned by XXXXX whom has traveled to United States for an opportunity to grasp a hold onto the American dream, while scheming to cheat truck drivers out their hard earn paycheck. Truck Drivers searching for employment opportunities do not applied to Brothers Express, LLC, 5000, Wyoming Street, Dearborn, MI 48126.

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