TMC Transportation: Company-Sponsored CDL Training

TMC Transportation paid CDL training program truck

Introduction To TMC Transportation Paid CDL Training Review

At TruckingTruth, we've done a ton of research for you! We've contacted the company recruiters at TMC Transportation and put together a fantastic review of the TMC Transportation 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:

  • Student Hiring Requirements
  • Truck Driving School Locations
  • Driver Pay During Training
  • Advantages Of Working For TMC
  • Cost Structure Of CDL Training
  • CDL Training Itinerary
  • TMC Pay And Benefits
  • Vacation Pay And Home Time

TMC Transportation Has Top Of The Line Black Peterbilts!

Not only are TMC's trucks the best looking trucks on the road, the interiors are designed to provide superior driver comfort. Here are just a few of the features offered on their trucks:

  • Leather seats and top-of-the-line interior package
  • Power heated mirrors
  • CB radios
  • Power steering & power windows
  • Wingman Collision Warning System
  • 13 and 9 speed transmission, automatic transmission
  • Cat C-15 475 horsepower engine and Cummins ISX15
  • Qualcomm System with electronic logs

Read on!

TMC Transportation Review

TMC Transportation truck

TMC Transportation is a larger company with a long history of success, over 40 years, and new drivers can expect their training to be thorough and top-notch. TMC Transportation boasts that their drivers are averaging $65,000 - $75,000 – and that includes first year drivers. They have a unique payscale that offers a choice between percentage and mileage pay.

Keep in mind that TMC's training area is limited to students from Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Southern Wisconsin and Southern Minnesota, with limited opportunities for applicants residing in Western Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas, and New Jersey.

For qualified trainees from those areas who are interested in starting out in flatbedding, TMC Transportation would be an excellent choice. Additionally, most of their runs are less than 500 miles, and most drivers are home every weekend. As most drivers choose the 'percentage pay', there should be less concerned about the number of miles they actually drive.

About TMC Transportation

TMC Transportation company training

TMC Transportation began in Des Moines, IA in 1972 with only 6 trucks. Today, TMC Transportation is the largest and most successful privately held flatbed trucking company in the United States, operating throughout North America. In addition to accepting experienced truck drivers, TMC Transportation offers their own CDL training program, and also hires inexperienced drivers who recently graduated from an approved truck driving school. TMC is still led by its founder, and is employee-owned, through shares gifted to the employees.

TMC Transportation - Specialized Division

We're growing, so our gain is also yours! TMC is now hiring qualified flatbed drivers to join our Specialized Division. This coveted division was once only available to current TMC drivers, so contact us today before this unique opportunity ends!

Getting Hired By TMC Transportation

TMC Transportation Minimum Hiring Requirements

  • Must be at least 23 years old.
  • Valid Class A CDL or ability to obtain one.
  • No more than three moving violations within the last three years.
  • Solid, stable work history.
  • No DUI's in the last 10 years.
  • Able to perform essential functions of the job with no restriction.

TMC Transportation Hiring Areas

Where do you accept CDL trainees from?

TMC Transportation also has limited opportunities for drivers living in: Western Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

TruckingTruth's View On TMC Transportation's Hiring Requirements

TMC's hiring requirements are fairly typical, and they do specify that you bring work boots and a Rand-McNally Road Atlas. TMC also has a personal appearance policy that reads:

Hair should be clean, combed and neatly trimmed or arranged. Shaggy, unkempt hair is not permissible. Men: hair length should be no longer than the bottom of the shirt collar and ponytails of any length or shape are unacceptable. Sideburns, mustaches, and beards should be neatly trimmed. Tattoos or body piercings must be covered.

TMC Transportation New Hire Intro Briefing

TMC Transportation Facility Locations

TMC Transportation School Locations

TMC's CDL training facilities are located in Des Moines, IA and Columbia, SC.

TMC Transportation Terminal Locations

TMC Transportation terminal locations
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Joplin, MO
  • Gaston, SC
  • Indianapolis, IN

TruckingTruth's View On TMC Transportation So Far

TMC tarped flatbed

For students who live in the specified training area, TMC offers an excellent opportunity for those drivers interested in flatbed, and 90% of their drivers get home every weekend for an average of 45-50 hours at a time.

Cost Structure Of TMC's Paid CDL Training Program

No Cost CDL Training With TMC Transportation

There is no cost to the student if they fulfill a commitment to drive for TMC for at least one year. TMC offers the value of training in exchange for a successful, professional driver.

Other Financial Requirements For TMC Transportation's Paid CDL Training

TMC loaded flatbed truck
What are all of the up-front costs?

There are no up-front costs

Will my meals be paid for?

Yes, most meals are provided at no cost.

Will my room be paid for?

Yes, students stay free of charge at a TMC-owned and managed hotel: Baymont Inn & Suites in Des Moines, IA or Microtel Inn in Columbia, SC.

TMC Transportation Payback Obligations

TMC Transportation truck on the road
Can I pay for my CDL training up front and have no further obligation?

No, there is no option offered to pay up front.

What are the obligations for paying back the schooling after graduation?

There is no obligation for tuition as long as the one-year agreement is honored.

TruckingTruth's View On TMC Transportation's Training Obligations

TMC, like many companies offering company-sponsored CDL training, considers their program less of a school with students and more like on-the-job training, an apprenticeship.

TMC Transportation trains you to drive a truck, and in return, you work for them for at least one year. This is a pretty standard obligation for company-sponsored training throughout the trucking industry.

TMC Transportation Preparation For CDL Training

Items To Bring To TMC Transportation CDL Training

  • Hard-copy CDL permit.
  • State-certified copy of your birth certificate, OR a valid U.S. passport.
  • Hard-copy social security card (not the letter saying one has been ordered)
  • Voided check for direct deposit (TMC Transportation only uses direct deposit.)
  • Birthdates and social security numbers of any family members you will be placing on your insurance.
  • Work clothes/rain jacket, cold weather gear if between Oct-May
  • Work boots are required, steel-toed recommended. Also bring closed-toe/tennis shoes.
  • Rand-McNally Atlas. If you don't bring one, you will be required to purchase one from TMC.
  • Eyeglasses, if you wear contact lenses.
  • A set of headphones or ear buds, standard size 1/8" or 3.5mm.

Preparation For TMC Transportation Training

Do I need to get my CDL permit before attending school?


Do I need a US Passport?

A passport is not necessary but encouraged after training.

Which CDL endorsements are required or encouraged?

Air Brakes and Combinations are required; Hazmat is encouraged

TMC Transportation Training Itinerary

TMC Transportation CDL Training Itinerary

Describe the CDL school itinerary a bit:

Students will have a variety of classroom instruction, equipment familiarization, simulators, practice driving, backing, and other maneuvers.

How long is the training overall?

The initial CDL training portion is 3 weeks in duration before going on the road with a trainer.

How much time on the range backing up?

2 weeks

During the practice range phase, how many students share one truck?

2 students per truck

How much time in classroom?

40+ hours

TMC On The Road Training Itinerary

Is the training period based on number of days, number of driving hours, number of miles, or some combination?

A combination of all those, but new drivers will spend about 5 weeks with their trainer.

How much will I be making when I'm on the road with a trainer?

After the student has their CDL, they will earn $500 per week while out with a trainer.

Do they run the student and trainer as a "team" operation or like a solo truck?

The trainer must be in the passenger seat any time the truck is moving the first 2 weeks, with the ability to run more miles weeks 3, 4, and 5. TMC’s average length of haul is less than 500 miles.

Is there more than one student per trainer and truck?

No, one student per trainer & truck.

Do you have a "No sleeping in the top bunk while the truck is rolling" policy?

No, the driver trainer is required to be in the right seat at all times during training, so it's not possible.

What is your policy for handling disputes between trainer and student?

Each student has a training coordinator whom they talk to every day while training. Any disputes that arise are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Can you get a non-smoking trainer?

Yes, a non-smoking trainer may be requested.

What are the company's minimum qualifications to be a trainer?

At least 6 months of safe driving and have to have driven during one winter. Additionally, they take a class and must pass a test, and have to have approval of Safety and Operations departments.

TruckingTruth's View On TMC Transportation Training Itinerary

TMC Transportation sponsored race car

TMC Transportation's CDL training portion of their program is typical at about 3 weeks, with the equivalent of one of those weeks in the classroom and two weeks out on the range practicing backing maneuvers and driving skills.

Working For TMC Transportation

TMC Transportation old school truck

Advantages Of Working For TMC Transportation

  • TMC is employee-owned. Employees do not buy shares; employees receive contributions from the company each year as long as TMC is profitable.
  • Over 40-year old company with proven success.
  • Most drivers get home most weekends.
  • Largest privately held flatbed carrier in the nation
  • Custom, late-model Peterbilts. Weekly truck-washes paid for by TMC.

TMC Transportation Company Driver Pay And Benefits

TMC Company Driver Pay

How much will I be making once I'm running solo in my own truck?

TMC offers a choice between percentage pay and mileage pay. Percentage rates start at 26% for new graduates and go up to 34%.

Mileage pay starts at $.55 cents per mile for new drivers and can go up to $.68 cents per mile. According to TMC Transportation, 80% of their drivers choose percentage pay.

When will I receive pay increases?

Because TMC Transportation drivers receive payment on a percentage of the load, they automatically get a raise when freight rates increase. Drivers could see increases as soon as their 2nd month. The percentage pay package is performance based and reviewed on a monthly basis, and ranges from 26%-34%.

Do you offer a Fuel Bonus?

Yes. Drivers are awarded points based on their fuel efficiency.

Additional pay is also offered:

  • Tarp pay
  • Breakdown pay
  • Layover pay
  • Referral bonuses
  • Extra stop pay
  • Detention pay
  • Borough pay
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Over-dimensional load pay

TMC Company Driver Benefits

What health insurance and benefits do you have?

TMC Transportation offers health insurance with all major standard benefits and options including life insurance and 401k retirement plans, vacation time, and Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

What is the average cost of benefits?

It varies. Drivers elect only the benefits they want, with exception to the ESOP, which is contributed at no cost.

How long until you qualify for benefits?
  • Health and dental insurance – Insurance benefits start the first of the month after 60 days of employment.
  • 1 week after 1 year of driving (Average weekly pay is paid to the driver.)
  • 401(k) starts after 6 months.
  • ESOP – After one year of employment the driver enters the plan. Other qualifiers, such as working at least 1,000 hours per year, are generally a non-issue since active drivers will do that. Values of the shares are paid into an account for the employee until dispersement. After six years, employees are fully vested.
What About Vacation Time?

Vacation time – 1 week after 1 year of driving (Average weekly pay is paid to the driver.)

TruckingTruth's View On TMC Transportation Driver Pay and Benefits

TruckingTruth Logo

TMC Transportation is unique in that they offer a choice between percentage pay and mileage pay. Their mileage pay is also on the high end of the scale for new drivers, and TMC drivers average $70,000 in their first year of driving. Either choice would put you in the upper regions of new driver pay.

Insurance benefits are typical of any large company, and their Employee Stock Program gives drivers actual stockholder ownership in the company and a stake in its success beyond just employment. Both of these things are pretty unique to TMC Transportation, as far as the rest of the industry goes.

TMC Transporation Employee Policies

TMC Transportation Dispatching Policies

Can a new driver run regional or dedicated right after school?

It depends on the account. A few accounts allow it, but most require a period of safe driving experience on linehaul first.

Will there be any NYC?

No NYC forced dispatch.

Are you forced dispatch? Is the driver given any options for different loads?

TMC policy is to not force dispatch.

How often can I expect to be home? For how long at a time?

Drivers get home most weekends. A weekend may vary, but on average TMC drivers get 45 – 50 hours of home time during weekends home.

What percentage of freight is drop and hook?

There are no drop and hook loads because all loads are flatbed. It's live loading and unloading.

TMC Transportation Pets & Riders

Do you allow pets?

No pets allowed.

What is the company's rider policy?

Must be a direct relative or significant other. Passenger must be at least 10 years old. There is a 90 day waiting period for new drivers before passengers are allowed. A rider permit is required to be in the truck at all times when there is a passenger.

TMC Transportation Driver Opportunities

Do you have a leasing program, and will I be persuaded or incentivized to lease?

TMC does not offer a lease purchase program to outside hires. TMC hires company drivers. Drivers who wish to become owner-operators may do so provided that they demonstrate safe driving and have a good understanding of how to run a business. TMC does not persuade drivers to lease, and they are predominantly company drivers.

What divisions do you have? (local, dedicated, regional, tanker, flatbed, reefer)

TMC Transportation hauls flatbeds only and has dedicated, specialized and linehaul divisions.

TruckingTruth's View On TMC Transportation's Opportunities

TMC offers a few different driving opportunities, but their main selling point in that regard is the opportunity to be home every weekend.

TMC Transportation Military Apprenticeship

TMC jobs for military

Currently, over 35% of TMC's Flatbed trucking fleet is comprised of veterans. TMC offers military veterans the opportunity to enroll in their GI Bill-approved Apprenticeship program.

TMC Transportation recently pledged to hire 500 military veterans by 2016 in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce "Hiring Our Heroes" program.

TMC Transportation Equipment

TMC Transportation equipment
What kind of trucks do you have?

Late Model Peterbilt 579’s, black-and-chrome.

Do you run electronic logs?


What are your trucks governed at?

65 mph.

Do you have APU units?


TruckingTruth's View On TMC Transportation's Equipment

TMC Transportation truck parked in parking lot

TMC has arguably the most beautiful looking trucks on the road. They're decked out with all sorts of driver comforts and they're impeccably maintained. They even allow you to get them washed once a week which is rare for a large fleet. You really couldn't ask for better equipment and in fact it's one of the selling points of working for TMC Transportation.

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