I was driving a dedicated local account here in metro Detroit/Windsor but I'm back to OTR and found I prefer it. Driving the same route everyday bored me silly. If you really want to do this, you can and I'm living proof of that. Especially since I'm 65 and only started last year!
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago
The Benefits Of Staying With Your Starter Company Beyond One Year - article by G-Town
Schneider paid for my CDL in exchange for a one year commitment and that year has flown by like you wouldn't believe. It's been over a year now and I have no plans to go anywhere. Are there other companies out there that are better? Maybe. Are there other companies out there that are worse? Definitely! I've worked hard and I've shown myself to be dependable and reliable. I can handle most situations out on the road on my own. My DBL (driver business leader) has better things to do than hold my hand every time there's a problem. When I was on a local daily run last year (home nights and weekends) I stepped up and offered assistance as the "go to" guy since our base of operations for this particular account is in Indy. Don't think that didn't get noticed and it's paid off far more than just dollars. By the way, I discovered a local, dedicated run wasn't for me; I was bored silly driving the same route every day.
When I was a VIP chauffeur with a "world wide chauffeured sedan service" a few years ago, our general manager told me he knew he didn't have to worry if I was picking up the Emperor of the Universe at Detroit Metro at one in the morning. The last thing he wanted was a phone call from an irate client demanding "Where's my car??" He knew I'd stay on top of the flight and be there to pick up my client. I hoped I'd be held in the same regard at Schneider and I believe I am. I've developed a great relationship with management and that doesn't happen overnight. You have to prove yourself.
I've had three (or is it four?) raises, bonuses, Schneider merchandise (shirts, jackets, etc) perks at six months and one year not to mention a new pair of very nice boots. I'm not interested in the aggravation of rolling over my 401K and changing health insurance not to mention my other employee benefits. I'm no kid and I really don't know how many more years I'll drive but I have no intention of going anywhere.
If Schneider was a lousy employer then yes, I'd probably start looking elsewhere but I did my due diligence prior to applying to Schneider and I'm satisfied. I had a very short list of companies I planned to apply to and very specific reasons why I wanted to work for them.
A lot has happened in a year and I see no reason to throw that away and start all over again someplace else. Sure I think about it once in a while but actually, I'm pretty happy right where I am today.
Posted: 5 years, 4 months ago
When I started 7 months ago as a Pumpkin Driver I was a decent backer but I still stressed over it; especially if I had to stop at a truck stop for the night. I tried to find local rest areas/travel plazas on the highway because most of the time they're pull through spots. I always check out the shipper/receiver on Google Earth to get an idea of where I'm going and what the dock situation looks like. It could be a brand new DC with tons of room right off the Interstate or an old warehouse on 21st Street in Chicago where I had to back in off the street with a line of impatient Chicago drivers glaring at me (as I did about 8 pull ups!).
Take your time, don't over steer, don't be concerned with what other drivers may or may not be thinking, GOAL, do as many pull ups as you need and don't hit anything. It just occurred to me the other day I'm not nearly as stressed as I used to get over backing. Time and practice has taken care of that but I still have days where you'd think I was an old veteran and back in like a pro and then another day where I look like I just started yesterday. You'll find with practice, your backing will become more intuitive and you'll know just how much you need to steer to get the trailer to go where you want it to go.
Posted: 5 years, 8 months ago
I've been with Schneider almost three months now and home time depends on what work/home plan you're on and also whether you're OTR, regional, etc. I'm OTR and started out 2 weeks out and three days home but I've recently been able to change it to 11 days out and 3 days home. I did my orientation in Green Bay which is my home OC (operating centre) but I live in metro Detroit. You're paid a daily rate for orientation from your first day of hire which is the second day of the first week after you've passed the pre-work physical and your DOT exam. Schneider likes to use their own physicians (in my case a physicians assistant) for your DOT card even though you already have one. The pre-work physical makes sure you can bend, lift, climb, squat and do all the other things necessary while you're a driver. Frankly, I see some guys at the OC's who I can't imagine ever passed the pre-work physical but that's another story.
Posted: 6 years, 2 months ago
After much research I have chosen to go with Schneider. I have chosen to attend a local CDL school with Schneider covering the bill in exchange for one year of service in their dry van division. Here is my story.......
This is exactly what I'm about to do. You must be at the Wayne, MI, school. I start February the 3rd. How did you DOT physical go?
Posted: 6 years, 6 months ago
Schneider National Paid Training
Schneider was definitely a company on my list but I knew they didn't provide training, until I did a job search on their website and discovered Schneider has teamed up with a school headquartered in Illinois and they have locations here in Michigan as well; four weeks, five days a week, 160 hours. The thought of a personal loan (if I could get one even though I have decent credit) for local schools left me feeling pretty leery about getting into that kind of personal debt even if it did result in a good paying job. I think right now as far as Michigan is concerned it's metro Detroit and the Saginaw region but a job search by zip on the Schneider website will confirm that.
So, enter Schneider. Last Friday I filled out the online application, Monday I received an initial phone call regarding my interest and what the needs of Schneider are at this time (OTR) and an appointment for a more in depth phone interview today at 11am. I had an unavoidable rear end accident on 12/29/2011 and as far as rear end accidents go, Schneider wants a clean five year history. So, on 12/30/2016, that accident will no longer be of any consequence and there are no other impediments to my being hired by Schneider. Schneider expects a one year commitment which I think is perfectly acceptable. The three week orientation in the Great Lakes region is at corporate training headquarters in Green Bay and I can drive myself there instead of relying on the Greyhound. Gas will supposedly be reimbursed. Home base will be a drop lot right off of I-75 and West Road south of Detroit. It's behind The Detroiter truck stop which some of you may or may not know.
Today's interview went well and I'll call my recruiter in December to get set up with the school. In the meantime I will now get studying and get my CLP prior to the start of school and probably get the ball rolling on the TSA background check for the hazmat endorsement which in Michigan I can't get until I have my CDL anyway although a hazmat endorsement is not obligatory with Schneider unlike some companies.
I don't know in what other states Schneider is offering paid schooling but they're definitely looking in Illinois and Michigan. I asked my recruiter if Schneider was doing this because of difficulties getting drivers and yes, they really need drivers in Michigan and Illinois.
I think it's the best of both; company paid training at a local school. I probably won't post again until I'm actually in CDL class and that won't be until the end of December or more than likely, beginning of January and what better time to start a new career than the New Year?
Posted: 6 years, 6 months ago
Older (Time wise) Prime Drivers very touchy question
Recently there was a story in either the Detroit Free Press or CBC Windsor about Americans bringing firearms into Canada. Even if it's an allowable gun, (and there aren't many) if you don't declare it there are hefty fines involved, possible impoundment of your vehicle and sending you back.
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago
I've recently started watching videos from Indiana Jack on YouTube and besides being wonderfully entertaining, they can be quite informative as well especially for someone like me considering a life in trucking.
Besides truck driving, Jack is an accomplished photographer and his video's are high definition and great quality. He really exemplifies the right attitude when one of many of the daily problems that are discussed on this site, occur. Shipper not ready, receiver not ready, shipment refused, where to park, bad directions, impossible docking situation, running out of clock time, and on and on.
While his video's are primarily for entertainment purposes, he does from time to time talk about things like the log, hours of service, dispatch and repair problems; it's not just a travelogue.
I highly recommend you check out his YouTube channel.
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago
(Newbie) I have chosen Roehl for my CDL School. Please chime in on my rationale
I've been doing my due diligence and if I go with a company that trains, I'll probably end up with Roehl. I like what I've read so far and Roehl has several pluses that I'm looking for in a company, one of which being they go to Canada.
Posted: 6 years, 8 months ago
Best and worst cities for trucking traffic?
I think they should figure out how to build truck-only bypasses around the biggest cities. No exits. Like a Turnpike. Just get on and keep rollin.
I've said that's what we need on I-75 south of Detroit; it's just one big convoy of truck after truck after truck.
Posted: 4 years ago
Intermodal with JB Hunt
I've applied with JB Hunt intermodal (Detroit-Chicago), 5 days out and 2 days home, currently in the early stages. I've already received an email with a link for the online part of what was formerly known as orientation so unless something really awful happens, I'm pretty sure I'll be in Chicago April 1st for training. Any company/driver info from current JB Hunt would be greatly appreciated. I had over a year with Schneider but while out on medical they didn't want to wait and said "Goodbye!". I know no company is perfect and they all say they have the best pay and the best fleet and the best management and on and on. I think I've made a good choice but I'd still like to hear from the drivers who are doing it every day. Thanks!