Schneider

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Robert F.'s Comment
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After recently obtaining Class A CDL I have a telephone interview with Schneider arranged for Monday. They have already offered me a conditional offer of OTR employment, promising weekends home. If accepted they said something about 18 day training in Chicago (forgot to ask whether I would have to pay for this). Schneider seems to have pretty good reviews, I will continue to trawl through the forums to get as much info as possible about them, meanwhile does anyone have any suggestions as to the type of questions I should ask the recruiter on Monday?

The other possible option is hauling milk tankers between farms here in western PA, a couple of potential employers have said they may take my military background driving into consideration, but would have to speak to their insurance companies first, but they did seem quite keen on me as an applicant, at least over the phone. Has anyone had any experience with this type of work, I'm guessing it's not easy with having to make several drops, but the big advantage is being home every night and knowing what you are doing day to day!

Thanks in advance. Rob

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jim A.'s Comment
member avatar

I do not work for Schneider or know much about them. I am sure someone will be right along to answer your questions. Although i highly doubt you will be home weekends as a OTR driver. I could be wrong but that isn't how OTR works

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.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

After recently obtaining Class A CDL I have a telephone interview with Schneider arranged for Monday. They have already offered me a conditional offer of OTR employment, promising weekends home. If accepted they said something about 18 day training in Chicago (forgot to ask whether I would have to pay for this). Schneider seems to have pretty good reviews, I will continue to trawl through the forums to get as much info as possible about them, meanwhile does anyone have any suggestions as to the type of questions I should ask the recruiter on Monday?

The other possible option is hauling milk tankers between farms here in western PA, a couple of potential employers have said they may take my military background driving into consideration, but would have to speak to their insurance companies first, but they did seem quite keen on me as an applicant, at least over the phone. Has anyone had any experience with this type of work, I'm guessing it's not easy with having to make several drops, but the big advantage is being home every night and knowing what you are doing day to day!

Thanks in advance. Rob

Congrats on getting your CDL! I don't know if Schneider would be able to get you home every weekend doing otr, but there are several drivers on here who work for Scheider so they might chime in and give you a better perspective there. I'm guessing they have a dedicated account (a little different than otr because you're mainly serving one customer--usually still counts as "otr experience" if you're crossing state lines) or two in mind that offers weekly 34 hr resets at home, which is totally realistic.

I wouldn't recommend the milk hauling gig right out of school. It's a neat gig and maybe something you'd want to look into after you get a year or so of safe driving under your belt, but we don't recommend that sort of gig for new drivers because of the risks involved. Driving tankers is a challenge in itself, especially food grade tankers because they don't have baffles. Not having baffles results in a lot more surge when you're driving, which is difficult for even an experienced driver to handle. The other problem with this gig is the fact that you'll be delivering to farms. Nothing wrong with that per se, but you're chances of getting stuck, hitting something, rolling over, etc, are much higher than just doing otr. Most people have one or two minor mishaps during their first year driving--it's typical, even expected. Otr--it's usually not the end of the world. You put a ding or two on the truck and it gets fixed--just don't let it happen again. This gig, a small error in judgment could mean flipping your truck, especially on dirt roads that may not always be stable after a hard rain. Flip your truck first few months driving and your career is pretty much over. It's important to protect your license at all times, but the first 6 months to a year are the most critical because you have no experience. If you're let go from your first company before even your first 6 months out, most reputable companies won't hire you.

There's a thread on here somewhere from a driver who had some experience under his belt and tried a gig like that and it still got the best of him. I'll see if I can find it and post it on here for you.

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.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

I work for Schneider, my phone "interview" was just them asking me to confirm what was on my application. I don't think you have to worry about asking the right questions to make an impression, I think you should just ask any questions you actually have about the job or company.

I obviously don't know everything about every job they have available, but my experience is that they have "regional" jobs where you get home every week, and OTR jobs where you're out multiple weeks at a time. The only real difference is that if you're regional , you stay within a certain area so they can get you home weekly.

Oh, and you will get paid for training, from the first day they tell you you are hired (Wednesday of the first week, I think) through to the last day, Friday of the third week. It was $80 a day when I did it in Jan 2016. The pay period goes from Sunday to Saturday, and they took out $35 from my first check for safety boots that I got the first day, and some amount from a later check for a kingpin lock you're required to buy.

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.

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.

Ukieboy's Comment
member avatar

I've been with Schneider almost three months now and home time depends on what work/home plan you're on and also whether you're OTR , regional , etc. I'm OTR and started out 2 weeks out and three days home but I've recently been able to change it to 11 days out and 3 days home. I did my orientation in Green Bay which is my home OC (operating centre) but I live in metro Detroit. You're paid a daily rate for orientation from your first day of hire which is the second day of the first week after you've passed the pre-work physical and your DOT exam. Schneider likes to use their own physicians (in my case a physicians assistant) for your DOT card even though you already have one. The pre-work physical makes sure you can bend, lift, climb, squat and do all the other things necessary while you're a driver. Frankly, I see some guys at the OC's who I can't imagine ever passed the pre-work physical but that's another story.

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.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

If they said Chicago, you'll actually be in Gary, IN, which isn't as bad as it sounds. The OC there is pretty nice; you won't have to pay for anything. They should provide you with a bus ticket, and lodging will be on them. You'll get training pay (around $80/day) every day that you're in training. Hotel is in really nice area 30 mins away; hotel shuttle gets you back and forth. Hotel features an awesome breakfast, and Schneider will provide lunch. You're on your own for dinner.

OTR and home weekends? NEVER going to happen. Maybe that was another position ya'll were discussing? Otherwise, the environment at Schneider is great. Everyone is super nice, treats you with respect, and go out of their way to help you. Good luck with your decision... if it's home time you're after, you shouldn't consider OTR with any company; at least for the first year, you'll rarely see it.

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.

Robert F.'s Comment
member avatar

I think I may be getting confused between OTR and Regional , it must be a Regional gig then. Yes I agree that hauling milk may best be left to experienced truckers, I joked to my wife that with me driving it would probably start off as milk but end up as cheese by the time it's offloaded! rofl-2.gif

Schneider is probably the best place I can start then, will update you all on the outcome of the interview, I recall them saying that the intakes are every Monday.

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.

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.

ChefsJK's Comment
member avatar

I have been with Schneider for 4 months now, I started OTR with 2 weeks out and 2 days home, you request your monthly days off a month or so in advance so you know they are there and taken care of. And just because you request off the weekend, doesnt mean you will get home for the days you requested off. A few times i was able to get home a day or two later than I had requested, but in fairness they did make up for the days I missed out on but adding them on to when I got home. And im assuming regional is pretty close to Dedicated which I have now changed to, time at home related I mean of course. And you can pretty much expect to get home later on during the day or night on Friday, and do your 34 reset and then head back out Sunday morning or afternoon, so it really isnt a weekend off how you might be thinking it is. Just some things to think about.

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.

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.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

I've been with Schneider for about 9 months now and I trained in Gary IN, which is pretty much Chicago. Gary is my favorite terminal , everyone there is nice and helpful, parking is easy (almost always a pull through spot available to drop a trailer).

I started out as regional being out for 2 weeks and home 3 days. I couldn't stand being off the road that long so I switched to OTR out 2 weeks and home 2 days. Huge average pay increase!

Schneider will work with you if you want/need to be home every week, but don't expect bringing home more than about $600 a week. It's not bad money to say the least, don't get me wrong, but if cost of living requires more, the longer you're out, the better your paychecks will be.

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.

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.

A D's Comment
member avatar

I had a phone interview last week with a Schneider's recruiter from across the border. It is very different from the US side from what I've been reading on TT. 500 miles radius from terminal , eastern seaboard at .37/mile first year then .39-1/2 for year 2,3. $10 each border crossing. Different choices for home time. 6 days out 3 days home 14 out 7 home. In both options you have to take your stuff with you home. Only Manuel trucks to start. Options for your own truck are 11out 3 home or 12 out 2 home or you can stay out longer if you want. Cab has no fridge, no microwave, no apu , no electric connections. It only has lighter connections. Training first week mostly paper work and some yard training , second week out with trainer for local deliveries, third week more paper work Qualcomm, logbook and in cab training then road test.

I need alot more training then this for me to be comfortable.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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