Wil-Trans / Jim Palmer

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Reginald L.'s Comment
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My wife and I have been looking at both Wil Trans and Jim Palmer and are wondering if anyone is currently employed by or in training with either company and can give us some insight into either company. We are impressed with what we have read so far but would like some real world insight from anyone that is associated with or have dealt with either company.

Old School's Comment
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Reginald, since you guys are a little bit new to all this, I want to share with you my personal experience with getting started in trucking. I'm hoping you will find it both useful and helpful, because I have seen so many people like yourselves in here searching and looking for that secret little nugget of information that they think is going to lead them to the perfect company. They are certain that someone has some sort of secretive "inside information," or "personal experience" on various trucking companies that will help them make a really good start to this career. Typically people wear themselves out making all kinds of inquiry into this business, hoping they can make just the perfect decision on where to start. We've even had people in here making lengthy spread sheets comparing all kinds of data and information until they are just blue in the face, and then after all of that rigorous research, they jump into their career and still fall flat on their face once they actually get started at it. The one secret that you guys need to know, or "real world insight" that will help you make a really good start at this is simply that it is your "approach" to this career that will determine your success. Everyone goes into this thinking that it is their "assessment" of the various companies that is critical to making a good start, but you can analyze these companies to death and still not get anywhere at this career - there is no secretive or current inside information that anyone can provide you with that will even be close to helpful. Both Jim Palmer and Wil-Trans are very successful operations that are closely associated with Prime - they pull Prime's trailers, and haul Prime's freight. They are both top of the line trucking companies that any serious professional driver could do very well at. Yet there have been plenty of people start at both of them and fail badly.

Let those last two sentences of the previous paragraph soak in for a minute, because it is critical in what I want you to lay hold of. When I first started in trucking, it was for a second career. I was already thirty years in the work force, at a point where many people choose to retire. I was convinced I was the perfect candidate, fresh out of private trucking school, and looking for that perfect company to make my start with. My first choice in trucking companies flat out rejected me - sent me home from orientation. Then that happened again, and then once again! I got rejected three times in a row. I then finally settled on a company that had given me a pre-hire consideration, but everywhere I looked on the internet people said to run as far away from that trucking company as you possibly could. I was scared to death when I headed to orientation, thinking that I was going to get cheated and have a very terrible experience at my first trucking job. I discovered a truth about trucking that I have been trying to teach people ever since, and it is sure starting to look like you guys need to take heed of what I learned on my own - it is the "real world insight" that you are looking and longing for. Here it is: Success in trucking is completely up to you. You will make or break yourself at this career, and researching it to death usually is indicative that you are already on the wrong path. We sometimes refer to it as "paralyzation by analyzation."

This whole career is performance based. That is what I learned when I started at a company that most people referred to as a "bottom feeder" in the industry. Boy were they ever wrong about the company being a bad place to get your start, and to this day I wish I had not stressed and labored over my decision so much. It was all wasted efforts. The one place you want to put all your effort is how you approach this career. You will set your own path and determine your own success. It honestly will not have anything to do with the company that you are working for. The folks who lay hold of this truth can be, and are very, successful at trucking They can take that success and apply it at any trucking company in the country. I did very well at my first trucking job, and then I found my niche job that I am thoroughly enjoying today. That is the path to success out here. Get yourself a job in the industry, apply yourselves thoroughly, learning all you can about how to do this job efficiently safely, and productively Then you will be on the path for success. Don't even give much concern about who it is that you are getting started with. Focus on tangibles like your preference for home time, or the type of freight you want to pull. For you guys, you should also focus on which companies are looking for good solid husband and wife teams. Everything points to refrigerated freight in your scenario, so go with a good refrigerated freight company like Prime, Jim Palmer, or Wil-Trans, but forget about finding some good inside information on them. Everything you need for success is right at your own doorstep.

Best of luck with your new careers. I hope you can get your minds wrapped around the things we teach folks in here. I promise you that we know what we are talking about when it comes to making a really good start at this.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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.

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.

Dan Snyder's Comment
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I jumped onboard with them today. I've spoken to quite a few folks, and haven't found a bad thing yet (other than normal online ***** fests). Everyone has been VERY helpful and provided good information. I can't wait till next month when I get there and get this show started.

Old School's Comment
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Reginald, I've been driving this morning since about 2:30 a.m. I've had this thread on my mind and it occurred to me that the advice we give in here is contrary to approximately 95% of what you'd find elsewhere on the Internet. Then I wondered, "How many people think we are off our rockers, since we try to get them to focus on the tangibles instead of all the seemingly informative comments from knuckleheaded truck driver wannabes who never seem to be able to get their trucking careers launched successfully?"

Well, consider this... There is approximately a 95% failure rate of entry level truck drivers if you measure their success by the number of them who continue on as successful drivers after their first year in the industry. I hope you see where I'm headed with this train of thought. 95% of what you will discover online about how to go about getting started in trucking is pure baloney, and that us a huge reason why so many folks never make it. They do all this research, then they start thinking like all the knuckleheads they've been taking advice from.

This web site is responsible for a huge amount of success in this business when it comes to complete newbies getting started. I hope you realize that when we don't answer your questions specifically addressing the things you ask, it is only because we are hoping to help you realize that you're maybe not even asking the right questions.

Big Scott's Comment
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Sounds like you chose them. In case you don't know, Will-Trans owns Jim Plamer. They are all the same family. Good luck. Keep us posted. We are all here to help. What you find on this site are the facts. The good, bad and ugly. We call BS on people when needed. Any questions you have will be answered from expierence as Old School has.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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"How many people think we are off our rockers, since we try to get them to focus on the tangibles instead of all the seemingly informative comments from knuckleheaded truck driver wannabes who never seem to be able to get their trucking careers launched successfully?"

This has always been one of the biggest challenges we've faced. Everyone is used to the "Amazon Method" of learning about things. You let every knucklehead in the peanut gallery say anything they want unfiltered and make everyone sort through 100,000 comments trying to figure out what's helpful and what isn't.

Fortunately we have a much better system. We let a handful of really talented, intelligent, experienced drivers who have succeeded at the highest level answer your questions for you. And one of the best reasons for this is:

we are hoping to help you realize that you're maybe not even asking the right questions.

That right there is one of the most valuable services we provide. We know what matters most when it comes to getting your trucking career off to a great start and we're happy to let you know. The biggest problem many people run into is that they think they know more than they do. They figure trucking seems simple enough on the surface so they ignore our advice and pursue the answers they're looking for. And as we know, there is a huge amount of really bad information out there coming from drivers who just couldn't cut it in this industry or never could figure out how it works.

Reginald L.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett and Old School, we appreciate your responses however I want you all to understand where we are coming from. We are approaching this as we would any job we would be considering irregardless of the field. Please understand our final decision would not be based solely on answers on this or any other site. Our faith and our creator helped us make our decision. We have basically made our minds on the direction we want to go, we were just asking generally what people thought of the companies. I have never made a decision on anything based solely on someone's opinion, in fact I have always been a believer in finding out for myself and making the best of any situation. My wife and I have considered all the things mentioned on these posts and along with prayer we made a decision on what is best for us. We both believe the success of any job or for that matter anything that you do is based on what you put into it. We don't expect an easy road, in fact we know we are going to face challenges we have never seen before and we are prepared to deal with those. With everything in life there is good and bad, it's how you handle the bad that determines your true success. We are getting into this business because we are empty nesters, we love to travel and we love spending time together so why not get paid for it. But believe me when I say we don't expect this to fall into our laps. We believe if we approach this like we have everything else we will be successful and happy in the long run. So we value the real time and real life info provided on this site and will continue to ask questions if we have any and hopefully we will ask the right ones one day!!

So we made our decision and we are sticking with it provided we make it through acceptance and training. If all goes well look forward to speaking with all of you down the line. In the mean time you all stay safe and maybe (God willing) we may meet on the road one day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
We are approaching this as we would any job we would be considering irregardless of the field.

Reginald, this is exactly what concerns us. Trucking is unlike any other job you've ever been associated with. That is something very hard to convey to new rookies who are full of excitement and grinning from ear to ear about the prospect of criss crossing the country in a shiny big rig. You can't go into it like you are just going into another job. It is a complete lifestyle that you are going to be embracing. I hope you guys will keep hanging around in here. There are going to be some surprises, and a few bumps along the way that I know we can help you with. Please don't just try to get in there and figure it all out on your own without some help.

So we made our decision and we are sticking with it provided we make it through acceptance and training.

Very exciting! Who are you guys getting started with?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Please don't just try to get in there and figure it all out on your own without some help.

Oh no worries, Old School:

Our faith and our creator helped us make our decision

rofl-3.gif

And besides, why worry? They're obviously doing this for the right reasons:

We are getting into this business because we are empty nesters, we love to travel and we love spending time together so why not get paid for it.
Oh boy.
Brett and Old School, we appreciate your responses however I want you all to understand where we are coming from.

You don't have to tell us where you're coming from. You're coming from outside of trucking. That means you need some serious help, though you obviously don't realize it, which most people don't.

I don't see any scores for you in our High Road Training Program. Are you preparing yourselves for the testing that's coming? Are you preparing yourselves to know how to do your job when the time comes, like loading cargo properly, redistributing the weight of the cargo, calculating fuel burnoff, etc?

Have you gone through our Truck Driver's Career Guide or read Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving?

We believe if we approach this like we have everything else we will be successful and happy in the long run

Sure, cuz trucking is just like everything else.

There aren't enough red flags in the world to mark all of the things you've said that worry me, or would worry me if I was counting on you to get through this. It's easy for us to spot someone who thinks they have it all figured out, who thinks they know more than they do.

Do you know how many people get started in trucking thinking they're going to fail?

Zero.

Do you know how many people who get started in trucking at a company-sponsored school actually get their CDL and wind up driving one mile solo in their career?

About 25%

Do you know how many are still with the company at the end of one year?

About 5%

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Reginald a couple of things really jump out here.

My number one reason for getting into trucking was that I love to drive. Cannot get enough of it. That hasn't changed. I didn't see that stated in your original post or your reply. Driving and sleeping is the majority of what you'll be doing. And sleeping? You've never experienced sleeping in a moving truck. Some folks can do it, some cannot. You won't know until you actually experience it. Considering quality rest is a vital component of safe operation, this is a very big deal.

The other piece is spending time with your wife. Have you ever spent an extended period of time with her in a space the size of an average walk-in closet? I'd guess,...no. That's what you'll be living in...all day and all night.

Quality time will be fleeting because while you drive, she will be sleeping and visa-versa. Team trucks keep moving, constantly.

Not in any way trying to dissuade you...just setting expectations.

Have you read any of these three links?

If you haven't, I strongly urge both of you to step back and read material created by experienced experts. Along with what Brett and Old School have written, plus this will better prepare you and level set expectations.

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.
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