New Guy Here... Questions About Schneider

Topic 20594 | Page 1

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Dennis B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Everyone!

I am going to be getting my Class A CDL (Minnesota) with any and every endorsement I can (thank you Dept. of VA voc. rehab) , and I am seriously thinking about Schneider as my first company. I would definitely like to go OTR with as much time as work as possible (I'm 40 have no family and I am hoping to retire overseas) and the company seems to have many employment opportunities. I have a valid TWIC and US Passport.

Any input on how well a rookie might do with the company?

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

You'll do great with Schneider; they give their drivers outstanding support. On the convenience side, their terminals are located along most of the major trucking lanes, so you're never too far from getting laundry done, their trucks are well-maintained and training is good; i rarely have to pull into a weigh station or DOT scale because I always get the in-cab message to "bypass." More importantly, you'll be given all the tools you need to become a successful driver, it's up to you to make use of them to develop into a good, better, or best driver. While i do drive for Schneider (bulk), I will admit most everything I wrote, could be said of most of the 'starter' companies. They all want you to succeed and will do everything they can to put you in that position. 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.

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.

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.
millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

You'll do great with Schneider; they give their drivers outstanding support. On the convenience side, their terminals are located along most of the major trucking lanes, so you're never too far from getting laundry done, their trucks are well-maintained and training is good; i rarely have to pull into a weigh station or DOT scale because I always get the in-cab message to "bypass." More importantly, you'll be given all the tools you need to become a successful driver, it's up to you to make use of them to develop into a good, better, or best driver. While i do drive for Schneider (bulk), I will admit most everything I wrote, could be said of most of the 'starter' companies. They all want you to succeed and will do everything they can to put you in that position. Good luck!

Heres the basics on what you are trying to do. Brett and the other Moderators have said it well before: it doesn't matter whose name is on the side of that truck. Whoever you go with make sure you stick with it for that ever important first year. Then the opportunities will open up big time for you, especially if you stay SAFE and accident FREE. There are drivers on here that currently drive for Schneider and I am sure that they will give you their honest opinion on their experiences whenever they can find the time. The basics you should be looking for in a company are:

What type of freight you want to haul.

How often do you want to be home?

Types of equipment they use and have.

Whether you want to team or run solo once done with training.

Pet or passenger policy if this applies to you.

Most importantly of all imo anyway: What opportunities are available WITHIN your company.

Brett or Moderators, if I have left something out feel free to reply and let me know so he will know.

Anyway if you want to change divisions or do another type of trucking make sure your first company has those opportunities. From my experience the larger the carrier the more opportunities available for what you may be lookin for. What are you lookin for? Whats important to you? I would look into that before committing to a company.

These links will help you get started:

Read Brett's book there before doin anything else. It will help you determine what to look for or what to expect out here.

Also these may help out also:

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

Apply For Company-Sponsored Training

Or if you want the private school route:

Truck Driving School Listings

Anyway welcome to Trucking Truth. We are glad to have ya here and are also glad to answer any questions you may have.

good-luck.gifgood-luck-2.gifsmile.gif

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dennis B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Pete B.!

Mind asking a few quick questions? I learn new things by the day, and since you're with them, maybe you might have an answer before I start bugging some poor recruiter over the phone.

1. Though I will have my schooling paid for by the Veterans Dept., will Schneider still compensate me the $200.00/wk for the "cost" of my CDL?

2. My current geographic location is a means to an end, and to be honest, I am kind of a reformed drifter. Would Schneider allow for me to, during my "home" time, allow for me to take said time in another state? Or, do I have to report to the location I got hired from?

Example... I live in Indiana. I have my CLass D and A CDL from Indiana and was hired in Indiana, but my woman lives in Georgia. Can I get my "home" time in Georgia?

3. With so many options for truckers such as OTR , regional , intermodal , etc... is it possible to switch between say OTR to intermodal in my first year if need be?

Thank 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.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Truckin'Rey's Comment
member avatar

Hello Dennis,

Regarding your first question, I too, am receiving VocRehab benefits from the VA and am currently in CDL school. We had a recruiter from Schneider come and visit us a few weeks back...I asked him the same question, "Would I still qualify for tuition reimbursement even if it was paid for via VA's VocRehab program?". He stood there and said regardless of how it was paid you would still be eligible for the $200 reimbursement.

Not sure how much weight his statement holds, but we may find out as I have them on my short list. Good luck!

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I started with Schneider and averaged 10,000 miles per month the first year. That was with five days per month hometime.

Also, I live in Florida, but visited multiple times in Columbus, OH near my best friend and Carlisle, PA near family and attended my Son's wedding (SNI gave me time off for that).

Also, I went as far north as Minnesota and Maine, south to Laredo (many times and without being stuck there, like other companies), west to Los Angeles and...well, all over.

Bottom line; it was a great company for me to start with and enough opportunities you can stay for a whole career.

Good luck! And thanks for your service!

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Dennis, to answer your questions, starting with (1) tuition reimbursement: sorry, but can't answer your specific scenario. I paid out of-pocket, so I'm getting reimbursed. As another party is writing your checks, not sure if you're still entitled. But I will say that if you get it in writing (email) from your recruiter, it will happen, you will get reimbursed. My recruiter handled my tuition reimbursement and sign-on bonus. So get it in writing. (2) yes you will be able to take advantage of parking at a Schneider OC or approved park location other than where you have been assigned, when taking time off. That is something you will coordinate with your 'driver business leader.' (3) sorry, again cannot answer this specific question; if a position is available and you meet the minimum requirements, i don't see why not. Definitely ask/bug the recruiter about this, it's what they get paid to do. Make him/her earn their dollar!

I hope this helps; keep us abreast of your progress, and don't be afraid to ask questions, of us or the recruiters.

Dennis B.'s Comment
member avatar

Again, Pete B., thank you so much for your input. Question two was the big one as far as what I was dying to get answered!

I will have $2000 in out of pocket tuition expenses after my GI Bill coverage (not as much remaining as I thought, but $3000 paid is $3000 paid). My trucking school allows for financing at $200/month and Schndr pays out such (seems like an industry-wide standard billing/reimbursement plan)... so that is a zero-sum game.

As far as question number three... man, once I park that truck in Florida... Florida is my new home.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok Dennis, hopefully some day we'll bump into each other, whether you're with Schneider or someone else.

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