Need Some Help 7

Topic 18809 | Page 1

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Big Red 's Comment
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Hey guys So I will be graduating from my CDL school on Friday. I'm so excited to get this new career started. I have a few questions about orientation locations if you guys could help me out. Sorry for the long post but I just want to hear from some experienced people. I'm going to make my own decisions of course but it doesn't hurt to get some insight from some veterans in the industry. First off I just got out of the Active Duty Army and decided this was the career for me. So an apprenticeship program is very important to me.

As I know starting out in this business you will not get rich and start at the bottom of the food chain. That's where the VA benefits will come in the play and help compensate the low pay every month at least for the 1st year. So I have some companies in mind but what is key to me is orientation near my location. I will be living in Davenport, FL which is roughly 20 - 30 minutes from Lakeland, FL or Orlando, FL. I will say Werner has been 1st choice from the jump. My gut has always told me to go with them for some reason. So I have an Orientation date of 29 March 2017.

I would have love to go to Schneider but I'm not willing to go all the way to Atlanta, GA for training. I did apply to Knight Transportation which is in Lakeland, FL as well but have not received a phone call from them yet. And its been over a month so that tells me right off the back they have bad communication in their company. I also applied to HeyL, which is about 1 hour away from me but when I asked about an apprenticeship program, they didn't even know what I was talking about. So thats off the list. So at the end of the Day its Werner. I signed up for OTR so I can go ahead and get that experience, but once I get to orientation I will put myself on a waiting list for one of those dedicated accounts besides Family Dollar and stuff like that.

I don't mind working, but I'm going to be honest. I'm not getting into this business to unload trucks. I want to drive trucks and the thought of unloading trucks again is horrible. I done that before the military and it sucks. I need to focus on driving and moving freight. So now that you got a little bit of my story what are your thoughts or suggestions? Like I said kind of looking orientation around my area maybe 2 hours out. I just applied to J.B. Hunt before writing here even though my father forbidden me because he use to work for them back in the day and by the way he has over 45 years of experience so I take what he says seriously, but come on over 20 years ago trucking industry and that company has changed since then. At least I hope so.

LOL well just share your thoughts and let me know what you guys think. Like I said I think Werner is the way to go, but would go with the right company if the miles and pay is there to compensate the VA Benefits. Just want to make sure I'm not over looking anything. Thanks for all the help guys and I really appreciate it and sorry again for the long post.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jaybird's Comment
member avatar

OK so after reading your whole post I can tell you I did the Werner thing I worked out of there Joplin location on their Dollar General dedicated route and it absolutely sucks. Orientation the people were nice but besides that nothing that they told me actually pan out the way it was supposed to. Because I had experience I didn't have to wait for a trainer know that but you will and you will wait I can tell you that I went to the orientation and stayed with him for four days and I had to leave I couldn't take it they were on organized trailers get loaded sloppy the U-boats that they load stuff into is damaged but the biggest thing is nobody holes in the Florida on a regular basis especially Werner. They have one hub in northern Florida has a skeleton crew and a very small fleet. Honestly I think your best bet if you don't want to unload trucks go to CFI. The reason I work with them is because they're organized their fair they're not perfect and don't expect you to be. And right now they're redoing their whole fleet so odds are you'll be in a brand-new 2016 Kenworth T680. Ultimately though I mean you need to pick where you think you're going to be most comfortable but from my experience it's not going to be Werner.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Old School's Comment
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I did apply to Knight Transportation which is in Lakeland, FL as well but have not received a phone call from them yet. And its been over a month so that tells me right off the back they have bad communication in their company.

Big Red, would it surprise you if I told you that there was a recruiter at Knight assuming you aren't really interested in the job because you never checked back in on the status of your application? Always follow up on an application with a trucking company after just a couple of days. Recruiters handle thousands of applications, and you can always bring yours right back up to the top of their stack by making a simple phone call.

You made an assumption that is totally off base.

Jaybird, to assume that Werner is just not a good company to work for based on the problematic Dollar Store account would be very short sighted. We've had some very successful Werner drivers in our forum. Very seldom do we hear success stories from Dollar Store drivers no matter which company they are working for. That is one tough gig. I will agree with you totally though, if that is the job they are offering to Big Red.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Jaybird, to assume that Werner is just not a good company to work for based on the problematic Dollar Store account would be very short sighted

I totally agree. You had a few days on one account and now Werner's no good? Come on, man. One of the largest carriers in the nation, one of the most consistently profitable carriers in the nation, and loaded from top to bottom with fantastic equipment and all sorts of opportunities.

I worked the Dollar Tree account with US Xpress and we always tell rookies to avoid the dollar store accounts until they get some experience. But I certainly wouldn't tell them to avoid an entire company because of one account.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't worry about orientation locations, Red. It's like basic training: you'll go to Fort Knox, then you'll be sent anywhere. Your orientation may be in Atlanta, but for only 3-4 days. Then you could still be based out of a terminal closer to home.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't worry about orientation locations, Red. It's like basic training: you'll go to Fort Knox, then you'll be sent anywhere. Your orientation may be in Atlanta, but for only 3-4 days. Then you could still be based out of a terminal closer to home.

Not only this...but sometimes terminals don't matter at all. Home to me is NJ, my FM is in MO and the closest terminal is 130 miles away from home. I take my truck home so it doesn't matter.

At my company it is like the military in that you go then don't come back until home time.

Good luck :)

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.

Fm:

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.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Schneider would be a good choice if you are less than a year out of the military. Schneider will give you a bump in starting pay based on your service. 1 for 1 for driving jobs, 1 for 4 for non driving jobs. It caps out at 5 years worth of experience.

Big Red 's Comment
member avatar

Thank you everyone for the replies. I like the way Werner is sounding and yes Bret they did offer me a family dollar account because that is the only account open in my area. The other option is OTR. Which is what I decided. Old school I should have clarified this but I have contacted the Knight recruiter by email and phone call by leaving a message and still got no responses yet. I understand you have to call them to check up on your application but I'm applying my military skills and I expect a follow up. Same on the military. If you had a kid come in wanting to join the military then it is your job to make contact, do follow up calls etc. That's how recruiters work. Communication is crucial in any business. In the military if you didn't have good communication with your people well let's just say the outcome of it can be deadly. But I get what you are saying. I also think that just because you had a bad experience with an account doesn't mean the company is bad. The home terminal doesn't really bother me. I mean my dad works out of savanah ga and drives back home once a month. So that's not an issue. I just wanted my orientation close to home so I can go home every night and not have to worry about them paying for a hotel for me and sticking me with someone I don't know. But if need be I will do it because I'm military and know how to adapt to changes and living with 100s of people on a cot in a tiny space. The other thing that got me was the training pay. I could put with living with someone for a few weeks but like with Schneider the training pay is like $400. Werner is going to give me $750 because of my experience. So that's a little more doable. I have a family thatbi have to support and my income right now is what we will be going off of. I just wanted to see if anyone could shed some light on a few companies I should look into that i haven't mentioned. Not your personal experiences with an account. I don't care about that at all. I care about relationship with drivers, company overall and equipment and pay and miles.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I just wanted to see if anyone could shed some light on a few companies I should look into that i haven't mentioned. Not your personal experiences with an account. I don't care about that at all. I care about relationship with drivers, company overall and equipment and pay and miles.

You see Big Red, that is why I responded in the way I did to your assumption about Knight. You said...

I did apply to Knight Transportation which is in Lakeland, FL as well but have not received a phone call from them yet. And its been over a month so that tells me right off the back they have bad communication in their company.

As a Knight employee, I can assure you communication with their drivers is a huge priority with them. I don't know why they aren't responding to you, but if I had to assume anything it would be that they have slowed their hiring in your area temporarily. Should they have communicated that with you? Yes, I would have expected that, but to assume the company has bad communication is not where I would go.

One of the things we try to teach people is to be careful about judging a company based on your recruiter's performance. Some recruiters are good, others not so much. Some may be total greenhorns, but you would have no way of knowing that. Persistance and tenacity are traits of successful truck drivers, and those two characteristics are often relied on heavily during the initial hiring and training process.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Hey Big Red. Just one more thought here, unless you have made up your mind cause I don't want to muddy the water for you.

I have been with Swift for over 4 years running Walmart Dedicated in PA, NJ, NY, DE and MD. I am very happy, have great relationships with my DMs and Planners and have no immediate interest in changing. I love the gig, and although it's not for everyone, if it fits your liking you can make very good money, drive the very best equipment Swift has and be part of a tight-knit, small group of drivers servicing the DC. If you choose, and have a stellar driving/service record it can be a springboard for Walmart's Private Fleet. I have seen that happen many times since I started.

Considering your experience, you might consider Walmart Dedicated with Swift running out of the Winter Haven DC.

Maybe food for thought, maybe not. Happy to answer any direct questions you have. Good luck to you!

Dm:

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.

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.

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