Which Company Would You Suggest?

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Bethany M.'s Comment
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I am getting my CDL but need the schooling a company would provide. I originally thought I would go with C. R. England but it has been hard to get information out of the recruiter that I am working with and I have read MANY horrible reviews about their home time. First question, what is the amount of time I would be gone from the first day of classes to my first home time day? I am actually set to leave for IN this evening but am considering delaying it a few days because I hear that Roehl might be a better option. I may also have an issue with the hair follicle test. I used to be a light marijuana user but have of course stopped using it entirely for a number of reasons. Second question, would Roehl even hire me? I kind of need answers fast! Thank you all for your time as I know this is a GREAT website for information and I value EVERYONE'S opinions! =D

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to Trucking Truth, Bethany! We will give you our best answer for any question.

First, I believe CRE has a clause in there school contract that if you leave the company before you pay off tuition, you cannot drive for another company till the bill is paid. Now, if you intend to stay with CRE for your first year, that is no problem. We recommend you do stay with company #1 for your contract time. Here's are some links you might be interested in:

C R England review

Roehl review

Most reviews you read on other forums are written by people who failed at trucking and want to blame there company, and not take ownership of their own issues. We don't do that here.

Here's our deal on hair follicle testing:

Hair Follicle vs. Urinalysis Drug Testing

As for your question

would Roehl even hire me?

You will have to talk to a Roehl recruiter.

Lastly, Bethany, here's our "starter reading" for new people:

Good luck! Ask more questions here!

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

It's hard to say with the hair follicle test but it seems about 6 months should be a safe bet. But no one really knows for sure.

Now let me say this about having your doubts. You really need to be fully committed if you're going to do this. Why you would be looking at reviews of other companies after agreeing to go work for one already I don't know, but it's pretty common that people do that to themselves. If you're not ready to commit then postpone the departure, otherwise I can almost assure you that you'll wind up on a bus home in no time anyhow. If you're ready to commit to this 100% and just focus on being successful with CR England, then get on that bus and go make it happen.

You can do well with either company and you can ignore the bad reviews about CR England. Every company gets a lot of bad reviews, but CR England also accepts a lot of students that most companies would reject, so naturally the failure rate is higher and so are the petty grievances you'll find about them.

But seriously, commit 100% to becoming successful with whatever company you choose and don't let doubts creep into your head. There is no easy path into this industry. There are no magical companies that are going to make this process easier or give you a better chance of success. Students face the same struggles no matter what company they choose because life on the road is the real struggle, not life within any company.

Either go for it 100% or wait until you're ready. You're going to have doubts and fears no matter who you choose. You just have to realize that it's you that's going to determine whether or not you succeed or fail, not the company you choose.

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.

Dart's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum, Bethany.

Errol posted links to some great information. I can provide some about Roehl specifically for you.

-Roehl typically takes about a month from initial application to school start.

-Roehl states that the hair follicle test goes back 12 months (other people say 6). If this does not come back clean, you most likely will not get hired.

-Roehl also can sometimes be a bit picky as to who they hire.

-From the day you leave for CDL school, you're looking at about 3.5-4 weeks before going home. If you live close enough and drive your own vehicle there, you may be able to go home on weekends depending on class schedule.

-You'll spend anywhere from a couple of days to a week at home before going out with a trainer.

-You'll typically be out 19 days or so with a trainer, then routed to a terminal to test out of phase 2 and be assigned your own truck.

-Once assigned your own truck, you should be routed towards home. Expect to be gone 3-4 weeks when you start with a trainer.

-You'll then follow your fleet's hometime schedule.

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.

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.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I can give you some info on CR England however it is all second hand. A buddy I went thru CDL school with went to CR England. They covered his tuition.

His major complaint was pay, but it is what it is. I can tell you the first 6 months expect to be in a forced team situation. I don't remember his pay while he was with a trainer. After being with a trainer you get teamed up with another rookie. You will be 2nd seat and get paid 14 cpm. That lasts a few months. After that you will get your own truck, sort of. Once you get your truck you will get a student fresh out of training. You will be first seat and make 16cpm. That situation will last a few more months. After which you will be allowed to go solo if you desire it. If you go solo you will make 32cpm. If you decide to team you and your partner will split 42 cpm.

I wish I could be of more help. My friend really didn't have a lot of reasons for hometime, so he didn't discuss it much. So, I am not sure how they are about getting you to home time.

Maybe someone else in the forums drives for them and can give you more info. Also if I got any numbers wrong they can correct me.

DISCLAIMER: As I said my info is from a friend, NOT from any personal experience.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Bethany M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys for your advice! Errol, your info was extremely informative! I have decided to wait, as I finally talked to a recruiter that was upfront and didn't try to sugar coat it for me. Brett, I completely agree, I need to decide on the company I want to work for for a good portion of time before I go anywhere. From the day you get to class until you can even ask for home time with C. R. England is a minimum of 6 weeks. Not bad for someone with no home ties but as it is, I haven't seen my son in 3 months. He spent the summer with his dad and is coming back this Thursday. This is only one reason I decided to postpone leaving. I still haven't decided on a company, I also spoke with Prime and Swift. There are a few others that I applied for based on information I got on this website! Brett, THANK YOU! This site has helped me immensely! This is a HUGE decision for me and I really need to get more information before I decide on one company.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Bethany found out:

From the day you get to class until you can even ask for home time with C. R. England is a minimum of 6 weeks.

Bethany, this is mostly par for the course. School is at least 4 weeks, orientation soaks up most of another week. So your six week "quote" is accurate.

I started with Swift's school the first week of December. Tested out during the second week of January. (With the odd day "off" for the holidays.) I got on with my road trainer and saw my first paycheck second week of February.

Swift did manage to get some students home in between the "steps" in the process, but be sure you're ready for a month away from family.

Robert's Comment
member avatar

This is just my 2 cents. The way I decided was homework. I saw cr england and Pam transport first. They do a ton of marketing but I wanted to see the benefits, and that's why I continued to look. Not just here but at truck stops awkwardly asking real truckers (not saying no one here isn't) what they'd suggested. I looked at it all. I chose prime inc., because it suits my needs. Find a company that does that for you, and you can see yourself at least 5 years with them. I can't say what one to choose because I'm not you. I don't know your needs nor your wants. Look into what the companies do for emoyees and families. That's where I started as I have 2 kids and a wife.

I am getting my CDL but need the schooling a company would provide. I originally thought I would go with C. R. England but it has been hard to get information out of the recruiter that I am working with and I have read MANY horrible reviews about their home time. First question, what is the amount of time I would be gone from the first day of classes to my first home time day? I am actually set to leave for IN this evening but am considering delaying it a few days because I hear that Roehl might be a better option. I may also have an issue with the hair follicle test. I used to be a light marijuana user but have of course stopped using it entirely for a number of reasons. Second question, would Roehl even hire me? I kind of need answers fast! Thank you all for your time as I know this is a GREAT website for information and I value EVERYONE'S opinions! =D

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.

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.

Bethany M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Robert, thank you for your advice, I also have been looking at the benefits, I spoke with Prime today as a matter of fact, they stated that because I was terminated from my last full time job (even though I have had another job for 4 years, the same job) that they couldn't hire me for 6 months! I figured that they would be the best option for me as they had what I was looking for as far as home time, pay and benefits. I'm now looking at CRST. I need to get this ball rolling and can't wait for 6 months. I have my permit and medical card already, it really shouldn't be that hard to find a company that I could stick with but it's proving more difficult than I expected! C. R. England isn't off the table but the way the recruiter skimmed over the bad stuff is not what I'm looking for, I want upfront, clear answers and I am actually getting them from CRST and Prime obviously. I also understand that I will be gone for some time especially at the start however, C. R. England also stated that 6 weeks is the minimum you will be gone from start of first class to the first time you can even ASK for home time. I'm good with 6 weeks but there is no guarantee even after you ask for home time that you will be there until you finish phase 2. That's not just 6 weeks it's 12. That's 3 entire months, I can't go into this being gone from day one for 3 months. Honestly, that's kind of the minimum for C. R. England. There is always the possibility of being able to go home to get your permit and see your family for a few hours but it's not even close to a guarantee....

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I have my permit and medical card already, it really shouldn't be that hard to find a company that I could stick with but it's proving more difficult than I expected!

Bethany, you need to really lay hold of the advice Brett gave you. Let me remind you of just one of the many solid things he said to you...

But seriously, commit 100% to becoming successful with whatever company you choose and don't let doubts creep into your head. There is no easy path into this industry. There are no magical companies that are going to make this process easier or give you a better chance of success. Students face the same struggles no matter what company they choose because life on the road is the real struggle, not life within any company.

You can't make a start into this career and have everything go just the way you think it should. Being gone for two or three months at the beginning is not that unusual for folks who go through Company-Sponsored Training Programs. You are acting like that's unacceptable to you, which is a huge red flag that you are not 100% committed to making this work. We get it, we understand that's a long time, but each of us had to make our own sacrifices and we understand the process.

You cannot go into this career dictating how you think it should be. We've seen this thousands of times, and it never turns out good. Don't let the "tyranny of the urgent" force your decision making process. You've got a good deal of sacrifice that you will be making if you come out as a successful truck driver. This is not just a decision about switching jobs. You are changing your entire lifestyle. You need to approach this decision methodically and carefully. Rushing in somewhere because of the slight differences in how long you'll be gone for training is definitely not the approach of someone who has the Commitment For This.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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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