Company truck driving school

Topic 20865 | Page 2

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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I can totally understand the desire to be apart as little as possible, but look at Prime's pay versus CR England. You're going to give up a ton of long term pay just to be together a little sooner.

I always try to make all of my decisions pay off over the long run. I don't think you'll get anywhere in life if you're always taking the easy path or you're sacrificing a great long term position for a slightly better short term position. Training is only a very, very short period of time and you're going to be so overwhelmed with information and exhausted all the time that it will go by quickly enough.

I highly suggest you choose the company you'll be most comfortable with after the training is over.

Here is the list of companies that offer training:

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

You can apply to a bunch of them at once with one super quick application right here on our website and hear from their recruiters today:

Apply For Company-Sponsored Training

Definitely choose the company that's going to put you in the best long term position. CR England is a good company but unfortunately their pay is not competitive. I wouldn't care about a difference of a few cents per mile, but it's a lot bigger difference than that. But we have tons and tons of information on the various programs - pages of it. Don't just focus on pay. Look at the whole picture.

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.

Reginald L.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, thank you for the information. I have read through the information provided on this site regarding the different companies training program. My question to you is what are your true feelings about Prime? What have you heard about the company and simply would you recommend them? Also if I may ask, who do you/did you drive for?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

All of the companies with training programs are fantastic places to get your career started, but they all have a little bit different setup. It's not about choosing good versus bad. It's about finding the right fit:

  • Home time
  • Pay and benefits
  • Types of freight
  • Regions of the country they run
  • Future opportunities in other divisions

Use those metrics to pick a company that suits you well.

Prime is a fantastic company. We have a ton of people in this forum that have worked for Prime for quite a long time and they're all happy there. The one thing about refrigerated companies is that they offer very little home time. So if you want to get home on weekends, you'll want to look elsewhere. They also have a very long training program where you'll be running team with someone for up to 3 months. You shouldn't choose a company based on their training program but you have to be aware of that.

I drove for quite a few companies that don't exist anymore - Gainey, Great Coastal, TRL, and a tiny tanker food grade company out of Iowa. The last company I worked for was US Xpress for almost 6 years. Then I spent a year local running auto parts out of Canada and Syracuse into Buffalo.

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.

Reginald L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks again Brett I completely agree with your assessment on how to make a decision. It is looking like Prime is a good company, based on your knowledge and communications with others would you say there is another company comparable to Prime with a shorter training period? Please know training is not going to be our only determining factor we just want to be as informed as possible when making the decision. Home time is not an issue for us as our children are adults with their own families, it is just the two of us.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Reginald your best bet is review the contents of this link:

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

My choice was Swift, I'm still with them. We have drivers on this forum representing many of the companies offering training (found in the link)

Good luck!

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Well in some ways there really are no companies that can compete with Prime.

For one, Prime has tremendous scale. They're one of the largest carriers out there.

Not only do they have scale, but they have a lot of diversity when it comes to opportunities. They have strong flatbed and food grade tanker fleets, along with one of the largest refrigerated fleets in the country.

Not only scale and diversity, but their pay is at the very top of the scale for OTR companies and especially for new drivers without any experience.

The very first factor that someone has to consider with Prime is home time. They simply won't get you home often. If you're ok with that, then the next thing to consider is that you'll be running a lot of coast to coast. If you're planning on running team you'll be doing that anywhere you work anyhow. If you're planning on running solo, there are carriers that will keep you in one region of the country and get you home more often if that's what you prefer. Prime does have some dedicated accounts that might be able to do that, but they're only a small percentage of the fleet and you'd have to look into what it takes to qualify for those fleets.

If you're ok with the home time thing and running coast to coast then the only other negative factor is the length of their training program. But as I've said before, that should not be a factor in your decision. That's a short term factor. You'll get past that soon enough. Focus on long term factors when making your decision.

As a husband/wife team I would highly suggest a refrigerated carrier. They have a high percentage of coast to coast freight and they'll have the best opportunities to keep you busy all year without the major fluctuations you tend to see in other types of freight. Compare Prime with other refrigerated carriers and see how they stack up as far as size, pay, equipment, and other opportunities outside of refrigerated.

Two companies you can apply to with our application right here on the website are Wil-Trans and Jim Palmer. They are both owned by the same family and they have an interesting story. They're actually under the Prime umbrella because they get most of their freight through Prime. They also do a lot of things the same way, such as their training itinerary. However, they are run as completely separate companies from Prime. They do their own dispatching, their own hiring, and their own training. They're smaller companies than Prime, but they're still very large carriers and they enjoy a lot of the benefits that larger carriers have because of their association with Prime. I would highly suggest you talk to those people also and see what you think. It's kind of an interesting mix of a slightly smaller family-owned company but with advantages of a super large carrier.

Roehl is also another one to consider. They're really large, they also have a large variety of freight, but they also have one of the most flexible home time packages of anyone in the industry. So if down the line you decide you'd like to pull a dry van and get home more often, Roehl might have exactly what you're looking for without changing companies.

Apply for company-sponsored training

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bob D.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't know how it all works but at my local career link you can go and apply for funding to go to a CDL School and get your licence. I don't know if it's based on income or what but I would look into it before I went to a company sponsored program. I lost my job and got funding through the government through TAA. I had to go through the state career link and met a few people who was getting funding for cdl school without TAA but through other state programs. In 3 to 4 weeks you will have your cdl and then you will have your pick of the litter. And you will have that if you go to a half decent trucking school. I had an offer from every major trucking company that takes on students in the country 2 weeks before I got my CDL. This let me pick the company that worked the very best for me. I picked my wage, my home time, my health insurance, my freight and the list goes on and on. I'm in love with trucking. I been bugging my wife to get her cdl so after the kids grow up and move out she and I can team drive into retirement. 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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
In 3 to 4 weeks you will have your cdl and then you will have your pick of the litter. And you will have that if you go to a half decent trucking school. I had an offer from every major trucking company that takes on students in the country 2 weeks before I got my CDL. This let me pick the company that worked the very best for me. I picked my wage, my home time, my health insurance, my freight and the list goes on and on.

Bob, you are really throwing out some unique opinions here today. This is not the type of forum that just allows everybody to throw out their opinions on how to go about getting started in trucking. There is a really good reason why Brett named his site "Trucking Truth." We like to deal in facts, not baseless opinions. We are trying like crazy to provide factual information for newcomers to our industry and it makes it hard when people just throw out something like you've done here. The companies that are providing Company-Sponsored Training Programs are some of the top rated companies in our country - that is partially why they are able to do such a thing. There are plenty of companies that one can choose from when they go the company sponsored route, they still get to make their "pick of the litter" as you called it. They just make their choice before going to school as opposed to the way that you are so enamored with - after going to school. What is the problem with that?

You seem to have that attitude that you were a free agent, a rock star who was able to call all his own shots! And yet somebody else paid for your ability to make such a claim - are you really proud of the way you have presented this?

I've got to tell you that I would reconsider my position on this if I were you, but you've already thrown it all out there so why don't you try to break it down for us with some facts and show us why this approach is so superior to a person who makes a commitment to a company who is willing to take them on, make an investment in them, and give them a shot at working for one of the top rated trucking companies in the country? I'd love to hear what you have to say about it.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Chad B.'s Comment
member avatar

We have a husband and wife team here at Schneider on the regional Walmart account. Instead of teaming they have their own schedules so they can enjoy more time at home and time together vs. one person driving while the other is sleeping.

I'm curious, how did you settle on CR England being one of your choices? They're a great company as far as miles and equipment are concerned, but their pay is really low. Now maybe they just recently changed that, but I haven't heard anything.

There are a lot of companies that offer training and we have a ton of information on them. Pages and pages of information in fact:

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

You can also apply to a bunch of companies at once with one quick form on our site to see what opportunities you'll have:

Apply For Company-Sponsored Training

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.

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.

Dan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Little late to the party here, but I'm a current CR England driver. Here's some details on the things Brett mentioned, as well as some details on what you can expect from before school to going solo. Keep in mind, they do change things and some of this is a year old, but it should still be fairly accurate.

Home time: This varies based on what you're doing. You do not get home time during school or training, which last a combined one month. When you upgrade to Phase II you are in the national division which allows for home time once per month at a rate of one day earned for every week on the road. This rate is similar to what most of the jobs in the company offer, with the difference coming in how frequently you can go on home time. For instance, I earn a day per week as well, but I'm able to take it every two weeks as a Western Region driver. Local drivers, obviously, get home every night (with some rare exceptions).

Pay and benefits: During training you're paid $15/hour for drive time, $10/hour for on-duty not driving. When you upgrade to Phase II you get changed to mileage pay at 14 cents per mile team pay(so for every mile the truck rolls you get 14 cents, not just what you yourself drive). When you upgrade to Phase II Lead you get bumped up to 16 cents per mile, and Phase II Advanced Leads get 18 cents per mile.

That's the crappy part, but it gets better from there. At just over a year in I'm on a sliding scale ranging with an average pay of 36 cents per mile. One thing I really like is that I'm also getting about $15/hour, and get paid either for mileage or hourly, whichever is higher. So I know that whether I'm doing 600 miles per day or take 14 hours to go ten miles but am working my butt off, I'm going to get paid decent.

They offer full insurance at what I consider an affordable rate, though as a disclaimer I don't have much experience in this so I might be getting bilked.

Types of freight: England is primarily a refrigerated freight company, so a lot of produce and dairy. But the great thing about a refrigerated trailer is that when the refer is off, it's just a fancy dry van. As such we haul everything that doesn't require an endorsement or strapping(with the exception of a couple small fleets, like our PODS fleet and we do have one hazmat tanker fleet of like five trucks out east).

Regions of the country: We run all contiguous 48. No Canada or Mexico. I hear they do have a prank trip in the system that some DM's hand out from time to time as a joke with a load to Hawaii, but fortunately it'll get pulled off your truck before pick-up as our trucks don't float all that well.

Future opportunities and other divisions: The main ones we have are national, regional , and dedicated. National is exclusively teams and trainers, driving all 48. Regional covers an area of several states. Dedicated varies significantly, from local routes to national routes but for a single customer rather than several. We have several specialty fleets as well such as PODS, which gives a taste of flatbedding, relief and recovery which supplements dedicated accounts and also recovers stranded trucks(one of the only driver positions where you can fly around the country), school instructor, yard dog... Perhaps not quite as varied as a company like Swift or Prime, but still quite a few options.

[continued in next post...]

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

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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