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About to finally train to get my CDL but having a hard time choosing a company sponsored training.

Topic 20364 | Page 1

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Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone. My names mike and I'm 25 years old. I am soon to be starting CDL-A training with a company but am having a really hard time deciding which one to go to. I am certain that I would like to go to a company that has a dry-van division and does not force you to drive teams after training phases are complete. At this point I am thinking of going to Knight or Swift. I really like that swift has the computer simulator training, does anyone know if Knight does as well? Can anyone give me some advice on choosing which one is right for me. I have heard that knight recently bought Swift so I don't know if that will change anything for either company buts its something I was made aware of. Also if anyone has a different company they would suggest I train with that would help also. I know that compensation should not be the biggest concern a new driver has about which company to choose but it is definitely in the top 3 things I am concerned with. The way I see it if I can get a better financial start by going one way or the other I'd like to do so. Any information will help thanks in advance! :)

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.

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.

OtrReferCreeper's Comment
member avatar

Why bother with simulator training when you can train in the real thing from the get-go? I digress but I recommend Jim Palmer Trucking or Wil-Trans (sister companies). Truly free and paid training, small class size (mine had 2) and we were driving on day 2 within an hour of getting our permits. Everyone is extremely friendly and being a smaller company you don't get lost in the numbers - they will know your name - something I like but to each their own. Also, pay is pretty good to start so that helps.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply buddy. I don't mean for it sound like I plan to use the simulator training as an end all be all its just that knowing they have it available makes me feel like the company has recent technology available to assist with training. I will look into Palmer and Wil-Trans but I am fairly sure that I wish to work with dry-vans specifically (no flatbed reefer or tanker) at least for my first year. The other thing I am sure about is that I do not want to be in a team driving position for longer than it takes to get comfortable enough to go solo. Although I will find out in my research do you know if those companies align with that?

Why bother with simulator training when you can train in the real thing from the get-go? I digress but I recommend Jim Palmer Trucking or Wil-Trans (sister companies). Truly free and paid training, small class size (mine had 2) and we were driving on day 2 within an hour of getting our permits. Everyone is extremely friendly and being a smaller company you don't get lost in the numbers - they will know your name - something I like but to each their own. Also, pay is pretty good to start so that helps.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
member avatar

Hey there creeper...I'm solo JP0037. Hope you are well man!!

I'm the #2 in creepers class. JPT is a solid outfit.

Why bother with simulator training when you can train in the real thing from the get-go? I digress but I recommend Jim Palmer Trucking or Wil-Trans (sister companies). Truly free and paid training, small class size (mine had 2) and we were driving on day 2 within an hour of getting our permits. Everyone is extremely friendly and being a smaller company you don't get lost in the numbers - they will know your name - something I like but to each their own. Also, pay is pretty good to start so that helps.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Blakowt's Comment
member avatar

GREETINGS Michael B. and WELCOME ABOARD!!

Whichever company YOU CHOOSE needs to satisfy YOUR requirements.

When I decided to begin in Trucking in late 1998, I chose a Private Driver Training School, then went Company hunting. I've ONLY done Flatbed and Dry Van.

TALK TO COMPANY DRIVERS because not all single recommendations are consistently truthful and not all in house Company Training programs deliver enough Training. Find those Drivers with 5, 10, 15+ years at your choice of company.

Find out the needed information BEFORE agreeing to any Orientation. Recruiters are paid to FILL SEATS and will tell you what you want to hear, regardless of Truth. NEVER believe most of what is said by a recruiter. TOO MANY Students (and there will be more) have stated "But my recruiter told me.......add whine here......"

A "simulator" is no trainer (we had some in High School in the 70's for Driver Ed and were worthless) and it might "prepare" one for driving yet "preparation" is not Experience. The ONLY WAY to get Experience is to be in the Driver Seat of the specific Vehicle(s).

Some Companies seemingly force the Team thing, yet many do not after the Trainer certifies or eliminates the Trainee. *certify = GOOD JOB! Your Truck is waiting! / eliminate = go away or not trainable. C. R. England states such forced to lease AND team issue on all their Trailers: Lease, Train, Drive Team and people keep a waiting line. Unless you're financially comfortable, do NOT sign anything regarding Lease To Own until after at least 2 years O.T.R., and then, well, Your Choice.

Have ALL DUCKS IN A ROW as a good amount of Students in Orientations get the BOOT. U. S. Express for example has eliminated (and will eliminate) many Students during Orientation for various reasons. ANY Company has the option for any number of reasons.

The ONLY DRIVER SHORTAGE is QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED Drivers.

Trucking is not a "employment solution" for those otherwise non employable people although MANY keep giving a go.

YOU'LL DO WELL!!

Keep The Shiny Side UP and The Greasy Side DOWN!

There Is NO LOAD So Hot It Has To COOL OFF In A Ditch!

DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!!

NO Lot Lizards!

Thanks 4 Yur Tym! CHEERS!!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the info. I actually work at a warehouse at the truck entrance and get the chance to talk to a ton of drivers everyday. It has definitely been insightful. Its sort of an information overload though at the same time. I am comfortable now though with the fact that there is pro's and con's of every company . I look forward to getting started and will keep you guys updated .

GREETINGS Michael B. and WELCOME ABOARD!!

Whichever company YOU CHOOSE needs to satisfy YOUR requirements.

When I decided to begin in Trucking in late 1998, I chose a Private Driver Training School, then went Company hunting. I've ONLY done Flatbed and Dry Van.

TALK TO COMPANY DRIVERS because not all single recommendations are consistently truthful and not all in house Company Training programs deliver enough Training. Find those Drivers with 5, 10, 15+ years at your choice of company.

Find out the needed information BEFORE agreeing to any Orientation. Recruiters are paid to FILL SEATS and will tell you what you want to hear, regardless of Truth. NEVER believe most of what is said by a recruiter. TOO MANY Students (and there will be more) have stated "But my recruiter told me.......add whine here......"

A "simulator" is no trainer (we had some in High School in the 70's for Driver Ed and were worthless) and it might "prepare" one for driving yet "preparation" is not Experience. The ONLY WAY to get Experience is to be in the Driver Seat of the specific Vehicle(s).

Some Companies seemingly force the Team thing, yet many do not after the Trainer certifies or eliminates the Trainee. *certify = GOOD JOB! Your Truck is waiting! / eliminate = go away or not trainable. C. R. England states such forced to lease AND team issue on all their Trailers: Lease, Train, Drive Team and people keep a waiting line. Unless you're financially comfortable, do NOT sign anything regarding Lease To Own until after at least 2 years O.T.R., and then, well, Your Choice.

Have ALL DUCKS IN A ROW as a good amount of Students in Orientations get the BOOT. U. S. Express for example has eliminated (and will eliminate) many Students during Orientation for various reasons. ANY Company has the option for any number of reasons.

The ONLY DRIVER SHORTAGE is QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED Drivers.

Trucking is not a "employment solution" for those otherwise non employable people although MANY keep giving a go.

YOU'LL DO WELL!!

Keep The Shiny Side UP and The Greasy Side DOWN!

There Is NO LOAD So Hot It Has To COOL OFF In A Ditch!

DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!!

NO Lot Lizards!

Thanks 4 Yur Tym! CHEERS!!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

I went with CFI. They are a dry van company. After 4 weeks in school, it was out with a trainer for about 3 weeks. Then solo. With CFI you and your trainer are dispatched as a solo truck. So, your trainer is awake in the passenger seat while you drive. I have been very happy with this company. Here's a link to my training diary.

I think it is very important to find a company you want to stay with. I have a friend who works for CFI and he was telling me how good they were. I have not been disappointed. Check them out for yourself. I have other posts about my trucking journey, including my pay.

Good luck to you.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
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