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Kirk P.'s Comment
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Hey there, I'm pretty new to this forum and this will be my first post. I've recently been looking into everything I can to try and get plenty of insight into the industry before I fully commit to a company. I enrolled for CDL training with my local tech college right down the road and it should last about 6 weeks. I've been in contact with Schneider National recently and I've been leaning towards them simply because they are military friendly, or at least they claim to be. They take military service and count it as experience with the company and I would like to use their apprenticeship program for a year so I can receive additional pay from my GI Bill (which I'm also using for CDL training). I'm hoping this will help offset the lower pay I'll receive for being an inexperienced driver.

My wife and I were both in the military and we have spent plenty of time away from each other, I've already talked with her about the decision and she is on board with it so I don't think that will be a problem. With my personality I don't really like working with other people, and I don't like having a supervisor breathing down my neck, although I can tolerate it if need be. So I don't think the time alone will bother me, I'm pretty comfortable with myself and manage to keep myself occupied and when I'm working or in this case driving, I'm confident that is where most of my focus will be.

I plan on going with Schneider and getting through orientation and then going OTR for about a year and getting the experience I need. From what I read on the forums and articles is after a year OTR is when a lot of other opportunities open up and then I can start searching for better pay and more home time. I doubt I will be doing owner operator , even if I do that will be far down the road and after I completely understand the industry

I want to know if this is a solid plan, is Schneider really military friendly and are they a good company to start out with? I don't live near a terminal , but when I type in my zip code on their website it shows me that they are hiring for my area, so I'm guessing I am in a freight lane (I-70 through Kansas?). I've been told that I will be able to take the truck home since I live in a rural area and don't need to worry about parking, not sure how true this is because another person I spoke with over the phone said it depends on which job a choose.

I also need some more insight on when you pick up your first truck. Do you receive a truck after orientation or do you go home and wait for one? Could I be lucky and be delivering a load near home right after training? I would also like some tips on time management and trip planning. I've seen multiple people talk about how when they get to their shipper or receiver they just go to off duty status to help save time on their clocks, even though a company says they will reimburse you for time spent at shipper or receivers it's better to just save your time for when your wheels are moving, is there any truth to this and is it legal? Sorry for the long post and so many questions and I'm just at the point now where I'm looking in between the lines for the stuff that people don't talk about too much. Thanks!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi.

First Schneider is well respected. My friend is very happy there and with less than a year got a regional route so she is home weekends.

You probably can take your truck home, I do at my company. Because of this, proximity to a terminal does not matter.

Off duty/sleeper at customers is common practice. SOME companies pay detention pay if you are held longer than scheduled. For example I get paid per minute after two hours of wait time past the appt window. You do not have to be "on duty" to get paid detention. And yes I have gotten paid for up to 24/hours of waiting at a customer while i slept, watched movies and played on the computer.

Trip planning...get to the company as early as possible and run as many miles as possible the first 24 hrs are crucial. If you fall behind it might be hard to catch up so stay ahead of it. Learn your avg speed, and plan your parking before you start. I have a list of parking spots that are always open. Running at midnight in the beginning was easier for me cause when I shut down for the day parking lots were empty.

You'll learn it in training...and will get a truck after training. Home time would depend on your arrangement with dispatch. I waited one day in a hotel for my truck and got home two weeks later.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi.

First Schneider is well respected. My friend is very happy there and with less than a year got a regional route so she is home weekends.

You probably can take your truck home, I do at my company. Because of this, proximity to a terminal does not matter.

Off duty/sleeper at customers is common practice. SOME companies pay detention pay if you are held longer than scheduled. For example I get paid per minute after two hours of wait time past the appt window. You do not have to be "on duty" to get paid detention. And yes I have gotten paid for up to 24/hours of waiting at a customer while i slept, watched movies and played on the computer.

Trip planning...get to the company as early as possible and run as many miles as possible the first 24 hrs are crucial. If you fall behind it might be hard to catch up so stay ahead of it. Learn your avg speed, and plan your parking before you start. I have a list of parking spots that are always open. Running at midnight in the beginning was easier for me cause when I shut down for the day parking lots were empty.

You'll learn it in training...and will get a truck after training. Home time would depend on your arrangement with dispatch. I waited one day in a hotel for my truck and got home two weeks later.

Thanks so much for the reply! So with dispatch will I just be scheduled for a shipper or receiver near my home when it gets close to my reset time?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I tell my dispatcher a month ahead of time when I want to be home (or take my home time in other parts of the country... I visit friends and tourist spots instead of going home). He asks for only a week in advanced notice. I know Swift has a specific "home time macro" which is basically a form message you send to dispatch to request home time.

Then I get a load that usually drops within a couple hundred miles of home. Some customers let me drop the trailer and roll, other times I drop the trailer at a drop yard or another customer and bobtail home. When I get back on the road I pick up from a nearby customer and the miles I drove from the delivery to the next customer that gets me on the road gets added to my next load. Meaning I get paid for the miles that got me home on my next load out of home time. (Did I explain that in a way you understand?)

I've heard horror stories about not getting home...and I think they are lies. Someone posted here once she was out for like two.months and denied home time. I seriously don't believe it. In the year I've been solo, only ONE time was i not home the day before my request...and that was last week cause I wasn't driving in a blizzard in Buffalo. I got home the 7th instead of the 6th. Big whoop. Lol I'd rather be late than arrive in a pine box.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

BTW.. I am from NJ but I'm dispatched out of MO even though we have a terminal in PA. That is how unimportant itnis to live near a terminal at some companies. Others might require dropping the truck at a terminal or drop yard so be sure to ask the recruiters.

And I prefer the MO terminal, so when I go for repairs and maintenance I go there and get a jacuzzi suite at a prime owned hotel where we get a discount. If in decide to stay longer I can use home time there beyond the repair time.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll add in my Swift home time experience. Yes there a macro (submit 5 days ahead). Enter the first day of your requested HT, and the ZIP code where you want to go. FYI, the ZIP code for Grand Canyon National Park is 86023.

I only had one "off" experience. I was in Atlanta when I needed to be heading home to Memphis. I was given a load that delivered near Jacksonville FL my second day of being home. I rejected that one, and still got home in time.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Everything the Schneider recruiter promised me over two years ago was true.

What normally happened for me was; I submitted home time request, DBL approved it and they got me home. Since I don't live near a shipper or Operating Center, they normally had me deliver a load, then drop the empty at a drop yard or another shipper closer to home. Then I'd bobtail home.

Please don't be surprised if you've got to give it two years instead of one, to see much better opportunities open up. Not necessarily with the same company, but some companies won't hire until you have two years experience driving.

Schneider has been a great company for me, but only because I've had a great DBL and the relationship worked well.

I'm confident you'll find success with Schneider.

Good luck, I hope this helps and THANKS to you and your family for your service!

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

BTW.. I am from NJ but I'm dispatched out of MO even though we have a terminal in PA. That is how unimportant itnis to live near a terminal at some companies. Others might require dropping the truck at a terminal or drop yard so be sure to ask the recruiters.

And I prefer the MO terminal, so when I go for repairs and maintenance I go there and get a jacuzzi suite at a prime owned hotel where we get a discount. If in decide to stay longer I can use home time there beyond the repair time.

Yea I think I understand what you are saying! Like I said I'm just looking into the finer details at this point and thanks so much for the replies. I start class Feb 6 and I find myself sitting here wishing it would hurry up and get here lol.

I'll add in my Swift home time experience. Yes there a macro (submit 5 days ahead). Enter the first day of your requested HT, and the ZIP code where you want to go. FYI, the ZIP code for Grand Canyon National Park is 86023.

I only had one "off" experience. I was in Atlanta when I needed to be heading home to Memphis. I was given a load that delivered near Jacksonville FL my second day of being home. I rejected that one, and still got home in time.

Hah now that's a good idea! Find a babysitter or family to watch the kids for a week or two and then bring the wife along for some tourist attractions! who needs a RV? plus I'll be making money for driving there! If I did that by myself though I might as well stay on the road and never come home because she would kill me lol.

Everything the Schneider recruiter promised me over two years ago was true.

What normally happened for me was; I submitted home time request, DBL approved it and they got me home. Since I don't live near a shipper or Operating Center, they normally had me deliver a load, then drop the empty at a drop yard or another shipper closer to home. Then I'd bobtail home.

Please don't be surprised if you've got to give it two years instead of one, to see much better opportunities open up. Not necessarily with the same company, but some companies won't hire until you have two years experience driving.

Schneider has been a great company for me, but only because I've had a great DBL and the relationship worked well.

I'm confident you'll find success with Schneider.

Good luck, I hope this helps and THANKS to you and your family for your service!

Thanks for the reply! and thanks for keeping America moving! I'm not too worried about the recruiters, I know they have a job to do and quotas to make but if what they say is true then that's all the better. You just read and hear about so many horror stories when it comes to trucking, at least what I've seen and read the past few weeks. Coming into the Army as a MP and the recruiter's exact words "Yea man it's just like being a cop except your on a base and deal with soldiers!" 3 months out of basic and I found myself in Baghdad as the gunner on top of a Humvee! My platoon sergeants exact words "Yea we don't do law enforcement around here, we just train and deploy!" 7 years later here I am sick of dealing with people and just want to work and be left alone lol. How are the dispatchers on a regular basis? I've heard some stories about them, hopefully it's just a small percentage that cause the perception of them being out to get you?

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Schneider does dispatch a little different than most. Planners assign the loads, based on a bunch of information. Your contact is called a Driver Business Leader (DBL). The DBL can have a tremendous influence over your dispatched loads. So you wanna build a good relationship with them. You will likely never talk to a Planner.

One thing I never experienced with Schneider was them letting me sit for a whole weekend. They aren't making any money if you're sitting and they gotta pay you layover pay. They'd rather get you moving and make some money

I hope this helps

Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

Schneider does dispatch a little different than most. Planners assign the loads, based on a bunch of information. Your contact is called a Driver Business Leader (DBL). The DBL can have a tremendous influence over your dispatched loads. So you wanna build a good relationship with them. You will likely never talk to a Planner.

One thing I never experienced with Schneider was them letting me sit for a whole weekend. They aren't making any money if you're sitting and they gotta pay you layover pay. They'd rather get you moving and make some money

I hope this helps

How about being stuck at a shipper or receiver for extended periods of time? or is that just a part of the beast that everyone has to inevitably deal with?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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