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At TruckingTruth, we've done a ton of research for you! We've contacted the company recruiters at Carter Express and put together a fantastic review of the Carter Express paid CDL training program.
We'll start you off with our opinion of their paid CDL training program and then we'll take you through all of the key features and important information you'll need to know. Some of what we'll cover:
Carter Express is one of the rare companies that offer guaranteed home time for two days each week!
Carter Express is one of the smaller operations running a company-sponsored CDL program, but could be an excellent fit for the right individual. Their CDL school offers small class sizes, especially at the Indiana schools, and they place heavy emphasis on classroom learning time.
Carter Express appears to be an excellent choice for those living in their hiring areas. Being a regional carrier, they guarantee at least 2 days of home time per week.
Their on-the-road company training period is also run as a solo operation, in which the trainer is always awake to assist while the truck is in motion.
Carter Express is a regional carrier founded in 1983, operating mainly throughout the Midwest. They have a newer fleet of trucks, numerous safety and excellence in service awards, and a great company culture with low driver turnover.
Because they run mainly regional freight, drivers can expect to get plenty of home time, but may need to live near one of Carter Expresses terminals.
Running mostly regional and dedicated routes, Carter Express hires from the general areas of:
Carter Express is a smaller, stable company running regional routes mostly in the Midwest. Drivers will need to live within reasonable distance of their terminals, but most will get excellent home time opportunities.
CDL students attending their Indiana schools will need to live close enough to commute, while those attending the Arkansas school will have lodging provided. Their other requirements are average for most companies.
Carter Express requires that you get your CDL permit before attending school, and is also one of the few programs to require a Hazmat endorsement. Even though a US Passport is not required, we highly recommend you get one in case any future opportunities require it.
We also recommend you obtain all other CDL endorsements including Tanker, and Double/Triple certifications. Usually after studying the rest of the CDL manual, these exams can be passed easily and will only help you in the future.
Carter Express has schools located in:
Company terminals and drop yards are located in the following locations:
Indiana schools cost $4,400, the Arkansas school costs $3,300.
The student only needs to pay for their CDL permit and endorsements.
No, students must provide for their own meals.
Indiana students typically live close enough to commute to school, so lodging isn't necessary. Arkansas students will have lodging provided as part of the tuition.
Yes. After graduation, the student will still have to commit to a 6-week finishing program if they want to drive for Carter Express.
In Indiana: CDL school is paid off after working 12 months for Carter Express, otherwise the amount the trainee owes is prorated.
In Arkansas: CDL school is paid off after 19 months of employment, otherwise prorated amount is invoiced at $150/month until paid off.
The cost of Carter Express CDL school is average, but does not include any meals. The length of obligation after training is also a little on the high side, with the Arkansas school requiring 19 months of driving for Carter.
On the plus side, the amount owed is prorated over time, in case a driver does have to leave Carter Express before their contract is fulfilled.
The Arkansas school is the only one of their two school locations that students will be lodging at, and this is a general list. Students will be commuting to the Indiana schools, so their list will be shorter.
While a passport is not required, we always encourage drivers to get one for future opportunities.
Hazmat endorsement is required; tanker endorsement is encouraged.
Indiana schools are four weeks in length (5 days per week); Arkansas school is three weeks in length (6 days per week).
Approximately one week. More, if students need additional training.
Indiana schools – 1 student per truck; Arkansas school – 3 students per truck.
The first week, approximately 40hrs, are spent in the classroom. Additional classroom and home work time will also take place over the remainder of the course.
Both schools, approximately 80 hours.
The length of Carter Express's schooling is about average for most programs, at 3-4 weeks.
Students at Carter Express CDL school will have the benefit of small class sizes with only 1-3 students per truck. This should allow for plenty of practice time, to go with the above-average (80 hours) classroom learning time.
On-the-road training is 6 weeks.
For Week 1 - $350; For Weeks 2 thru Week 6 - $400 per week.
Trainer/trainee runs as a solo truck. The driver trainee drives while the trainer observes from the passenger seat. The trainer never drives.
Yes, but it isn't applicable as nobody is sleeping while the truck is in motion.
The corporate safety department intervenes and resolves any issues.
Yes, non-smoking trainers may be requested.
To become a certified trainer, a driver must have driven with Carter Express for 1 year; he/she must be accident free; must be moving violation free; no Hours of Service violations on electronic logs; recommended by Operations Department and approved by Safety Department.
Carter Express on the road training is about average length at 6 weeks, and the training pay is a little on the low side.
That said, the training is run as a solo operation, which means that nobody sleeps while the truck is moving, and the trainer is always available to assist. Carter Express also appears to have relatively high standards for becoming a trainer, as well.
Carter Express offers guranteed home time of two days each week, consistent miles, and regional runs. That's an excellent combination that you won't find many places.
32.5 cents per mile base pay; two bonus programs average an additional 3 cents per mile.
At the 12 month driving anniversary, the driver will receive a 4 cent per mile increase (a 12.3% increase) to 36.5 cents per mile, plus bonuses.
Yes, Carter Express does offer a fuel bonus, which fluctuates often.
Carter Express has three medical health plans to choose from, life insurance, dental, vision, short term disability, long term disability, 401k retirement savings program (with company match), paid holidays and paid vacations.
Drivers are eligible for benefits in 90 days.
Employee medical coverage runs from $30 to $59 per week.
The starting pay is a little bit on the lower end, but still not terrible, and drivers will get a hefty raise after 12 months. Carter Express also has several bonus programs which will help driver pay.
The benefits offered are average for most companies, nothing out of the ordinary.
Pets are not allowed.
After 90 days, a driver is allowed to take a passenger in the truck. The passenger must be 12 years of age, or older. A passenger accident/medically policy must be purchased by the driver. Cost is $25 per week.
It depends on the terminal. In some terminals, a new driver will typically start with regional route assignments. However, we have some terminals where all drivers in the terminal deliver dedicated routes.
Carter Express does not go to NYC.
Carter Express drivers are force dispatched, there are no options.
Carter Express guarantees every driver will be home a minimum of 2 days per week; however, as their drivers deliver regionally, the average driver makes two round-trip loads per week. Drivers are usually home once or twice during their five day work week.
About 80% of the freight is drop and hook.
Yes, a company driver must have 9 months, or more, of longevity with the company to be eligible for lease-purchase consideration. They do not offer a lease-purchase program to a brand new driver. A driver’s history helps determine the success rate for company drivers converting to independent contractors.
Local, dedicated, regional and reefer.
Being more of a regional carrier, Carter Express can offer excellent home time opportunities, though you will have to be living near enough to a terminal to be able to take advantage of employment with them. The other policies and opportunites are average, and Carter Express does not allow pets on their equipment.
Carter Express also does not push, and in fact does not allow, new drivers to enter into a lease agreement without first having the benefit of experience.
Freightliner and Volvo tractors. All have automatic transmissions.
Yes, 100% of the fleet is on electronic logs.
Trucks are restricted to 68 mph.
Yes, Carter Express trucks are equipped with APU's.
Noteworthy of Carter Express equipment is that all of their tractors have automatic transmissions, and are governed at a NASCAR-like 68 mph. They are also all equipped with APU's.
Like most companies this size, expect newer, well-maintained equipment. Carter Express is very proud of their safety record and youth of their truck fleet.