Comments By Mathiasinthe573

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Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Gyms in major truck stops?

This is unfortunate, I guess I'll throw some resistance bands in the truck or something.

I'm getting ready to start school this Monday. Of all the challenges I'll face my first year on the road while, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is getting a lot of my attention. I figure there is very little I can control out on the road, but I can still be in control of this.

I've been researching/practicing various body weight exercises that if done right can provide pretty quality cardio and strength training in small spaces with no equipment and a minor time commitment. If you're a technology person there are some apps out there that provide guided workouts. I've been using FirStar because it's made by FitBit which I'm already a user of.

I've noticed results in a few of weeks in size and strength of my upper body.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Anyone here use Sprint?

Used to work for them and still a customer. As long as you stick to major cities, interstates, and major highways - you will have coverage and reliability most places you go. There will always be a few struggles here and there, but I like only paying $95/3 lines/25GB of high speed data. Their unlimited freedom plan is pretty cheap too. TMobile would be other decent option for value.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

Update:

It will be at least another month until Maverick could get me into their driving school, so I am planning to start training with Witte Bros on Monday. It's the longest program out of all the ones I considered at 8-12 weeks (4-6 weeks on site in Troy, MO learning the basic skill set, then 4-6 weeks with a trainer OTR). The loose timeframe was unnerving at first, but after talking to a couple of drivers I like that it's not a one size fits all format and it's geared towards the individual. I'm not going to be stuck if I adapt quickly or rushed if it takes me a few tries. The drivers I've talked to, new and old, seem to love the company and the equipment. Plus - they're very close to home at 90 miles (soon to be 45 when the wife & kid move to St. Louis in a couple months).

So - a few more days until my journey begins.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

From everyone I've talked to and everything I've read it boils down to the fact that they're a paid CDL Program, with great training, great pay, great equipment, good hometime, and are committed to safety and professionalism. So - they've got a business to run and if they've got tons of applicants and they're looking for maximum return on investment, they can be selective.

I've got no hard feelings. I know my driving record isn't perfect and I'm committed to continuing to keep it clean and being a safe, responsible driver.

Down the road, if I need a change and I've got my CDL, experience, and established a pattern of safety - I can always try again.

If I didn't need training or had loads of experience, maybe they would have taken me because there's less money out of their pocket to lose. Who knows. Can't dwell or be bitter for things I did to get me there. I respect their decision.

I keep seeing a theme of TMC passing on people. What's up with that?

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Crunch time and decisions to make.

I got my CLP on Wednesday - I already had a USDOT Med Card and I used the High Road materials to study. So - check that off the list.

TMC passed on me based on the driving record for now.

Maverick - Approved and on the waitlist for orientation. I initially chose Regional Flatbed, but because their focus is Temp Controlled - I offered to go that route if it gets me to orientation sooner and my foot in the door. Nothing says I can't switch fleets later on down the road. Maverick definitely pays the best for rookie drivers. The orientation being one big interview still makes me nervous to leave a job for no guarantee. But high risk, high reward. Should know by the 16th if I get to go orientation at the end of January.

Roehl - Interview went well and was invited to start the hiring process. They offered me Midwest Regional right away. Though I'm concerned if they'll honor that or still have me running further and longer, but just at a lower CPM. Submitted my medical questionnaire and received a call back to schedule physical and drug test. The nearest facility is 60 miles and is out of the forms. So - there will be a delay in getting it scheduled.

Witte Bros - Interview went well and was invited to their training. They're waiving their $500 admin fee for January, but I think I'm pushing it out to February to give myself time to see where things go with Maverick, but they're a viable option. They're a regional compan that runs a lot of LTL. So there's a lot of stops and unloading. The rate is a little lower than most at .26 CPM at 0-3 mos, .28 at 3-6 mos, and .31 at 6. But they also have progressive stop pay that adds up. $12.50/1st stop, $22.50/2nd stop, $32.50/3rd stop and each stop after. Recruiter (grain of salt required) says the average rookie makes the equivalent of .45 - .49 CPM and they're averaging 23-2700 miles. Trucks are 15-17 Petes and Freightliners with Fridge and Microwave provided - which would keep some expense down.

Down to these three. Now I have to decide, commit, and don't look back.

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Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

Crunch time and decisions to make.

I got my CLP on Wednesday - I already had a USDOT Med Card and I used the High Road materials to study. So - check that off the list.

TMC passed on me based on the driving record for now.

Maverick - Approved and on the waitlist for orientation. I initially chose Regional Flatbed, but because their focus is Temp Controlled - I offered to go that route if it gets me to orientation sooner and my foot in the door. Nothing says I can't switch fleets later on down the road. Maverick definitely pays the best for rookie drivers. The orientation being one big interview still makes me nervous to leave a job for no guarantee. But high risk, high reward. Should know by the 16th if I get to go orientation at the end of January.

Roehl - Interview went well and was invited to start the hiring process. They offered me Midwest Regional right away. Though I'm concerned if they'll honor that or still have me running further and longer, but just at a lower CPM. Submitted my medical questionnaire and received a call back to schedule physical and drug test. The nearest facility is 60 miles and is out of the forms. So - there will be a delay in getting it scheduled.

Witte Bros - Interview went well and was invited to their training. They're waiving their $500 admin fee for January, but I think I'm pushing it out to February to give myself time to see where things go with Maverick, but they're a viable option. They're a regional compan that runs a lot of LTL. So there's a lot of stops and unloading. The rate is a little lower than most at .26 CPM at 0-3 mos, .28 at 3-6 mos, and .31 at 6. But they also have progressive stop pay that adds up. $12.50/1st stop, $22.50/2nd stop, $32.50/3rd stop and each stop after. Recruiter (grain of salt required) says the average rookie makes the equivalent of .45 - .49 CPM and they're averaging 23-2700 miles. Trucks are 15-17 Petes and Freightliners with Fridge and Microwave provided - which would keep some expense down.

Down to these three. Now I have to decide, commit, and don't look back.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Getting nervous about orientation.

Thanks for the reassurance everyone - I appreciate it.

I'm ready for the challenge. As everyone has mentioned - I think the key will be to go in with a positive, can do attitudue, be willing to learn, and work hard. I've been honest with all the companies about any potential issues they may have and even brought up a couple things they didn't ask about, just to be sure about them.

Also - if it wasn't tough or they didn't take it seriously or have high standards - that wouldn't be the kind of company I'd want training me to be responsible for a 80,000 pound tractor. I chose my top companies for training and safety - so of course they'll be stricter.

Ready to get this journey started. I can do it. Thanks guys and gals.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Getting nervous about orientation.

To be fair and considerate - I want amend my previous statement to say 'Many of the folks that are sent home' is due to the reasons mentioned. But - there are other quite determined and respected members I've read posts from that have just had bad luck or frustrating circumstances.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Getting nervous about orientation.

Sorry if this a dead horse subject.

I've been accepted into the company CDL training program for TMC, Maverick, and Prime. Tomorrow I'll hear more from Roehl and Witte Bros on whether they'll be inviting me to orientation - I assume it's likely from the conversations I've had.

My struggle is this - as I'm been researching each of these companies further to prepare to make my final decision - the stories of people being sent home are a little unsettling. I have a job, granted I'm not quite making the bills right now, but it's better than being unemployed. So - my biggest fear is going to orientation - which some have likened to a two-three week job interview - and walking away with no job.

I'd like to think of myself as an intelligent, respectful, and teachable guy - physically - I'm 6'1", 180, and 8% body fat (down from 450lbs two year ago). My upper body strength could be better, but I'm not weak.

It seems like the ones that fail to make it through don't want to listen, don't understand what they're getting into, or just don't have the common sense to be trusted with an 80,000 pound vehicle.

But - as much as I tell myself this - my greatest fear is letting my wife and two kids down by coming home jobless from an orientation.

TMC is my first choice right now - Maverick has limited spots for regional Flatbed, so I'm waitlisted. I'm not particularly interested in Prime due to hometime. Witte Bros is local, pay is a little lower than the others, but the company seems really good to work for and has solid training and they are very close to home, but they do Reefer and I was leaning towards flatbed.

I'm rambling now - I guess I'm just curious on how many people in these orientations make it through to being solo drivers?

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

I spoke to 7 recruiters today. What a day!

I got to speak to my top 4 of TMC, Maverick, Witte Broa, and Roehl.

None were too phased by my 16 over ticket. It was only a 3 point offense and was 18 months ago. Apparently it could have been worse. My accident was long enough ago, they're not concerned with it either. Those are the only things on my MVR, so they all felt I should be good to go. TMC is requesting a copy of the accident report, which has proven a pain to get, but should have it to them by Thursday at which point they should have everything back to give me a final answer.

Maverick also gave me positive indications - they said I am good to do their Regional Flatbed division first day solo. Downside is that because their recruiting focus is OTR Refrigeratored right now, it could be a couple sessions before I'm off the waitlist and into training. So could be February or March since they run every 4 weeks.

Witte Bros scheduled a phone interview on Thursday evening for me to get the process rolling. They'd like to have me finalized to start training by the end of the month.

Roehl scheduled me a phone interview for Thursday on my lunch hour. They emphasized getting my CLP asap. I'm going to go test in the morning, I've been working on the high road materials and feel pretty good about passing and I've already got a valid USDOT Medical Certificate. Only thing I'd really like to know out of Roehl that I didn't get to ask today (recruiter felt rushed) was about regional division availability and hometime. This is playing a big factor considering the other 3 would be home every weekend.

So - all in all - it's still early, but seems positive so far. No one has outright rejected me based on driving record, and have said they're not worried about it.

I guess we'll know more soon.

Now I need to do some research on Percentage Pay vs mileage with TMC.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

Mathiasinthe573, make your decision based on the long term, not the short term. Don't worry about the length of training, whether you'll get paid during the initial phase of training, or the length of the contract. That's like picking an amusement park based on the experience you'll have getting through the front gate.

Focus on the meat and potatoes stuff:

How often do you want to get home?

What regions of the country do you want to run?

Who has the best pay and benefit package? And by the way, evaluate that over the course of the first year, not just in the beginning, because a lot of companies give big raises throughout that first year. So you might start out at less with one company but ultimately make more in the end with another company that gives more raises and has better benefits.

And we always, always recommend strongly that people stick with their first company for a minimum of one year. So the length of the contract means nothing. Rarely will a driver leave their first company within a few months and find themselves in a better position. Most of the time what seems like greener grass on the other side was simply an illusion. As a brand new driver you really won't understand how things work at these different carriers or in the industry as a whole so you're really not able to make well-informed decisions until you get some time under your belt.

Another reason to stick around is because the company that trained you now has a vested interest in your success. They paid up front to train you so now they really want to see you succeed so they can recoup their investment and run their company successfully. If you leave the company that trained you and go to another company you're now far more expendable than you were before. If this new company drops you it's no loss for them. They'll just pick up another driver the same day.

So it pays in a number of ways to stick with that first company for at least one year.

Go through these materials if you haven't already. This is our "starter kit" you could say. You'll learn all about how the industry works, learn how to choose a school and a company, and prepare yourself for the written exams and life on the road:

Thanks for wisdom. It is really easy to get caught up in the here and now, but the long term does need to consider.

I'll continue to sleep on it and of course see if my driving record has more influence than my personal preferences. But - considering your advice, I think I'd have to pick TMC right now for the long term pay and home time, even if it's means borrowing money from family to get by until the paychecks start coming in.

I'm hoping to start finding out some info on my preferred carriers tomorrow. I called them all today, but my top picks were closed. Prime, Jim Palmer, and CR England all responded to me today. I didn't have a chance to chat with any of them really. But I'd like to hear from Roehl, TMC, Maverick, Knight, and Witte Bros before the others anyway.

Fingers crossed.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Companies that will hire with a 15 and over.

Just an update, got off the phone with Roehl and they are more than happy to accept me with that being the only thing on my record. Rather exciting as I think I would rather work for Roehl. Decisions decisions.

This gives me hope - Roehl is tied with TMC for my first choice. I applied late on Saturday - so I've had to wait the long holiday weekend without recruiters in the office to talk to. I've also got a 15+ over (86 in 70) from 18 months ago that I'm nervous about. But - I've also got an accident from 3.5 years ago - hoping it's old enough to not count for trucking jobs, if it's too old to rate on my auto insurance. Congrats and keep us posted on your journey. Hopefully I'll see you out there soon.

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The whole idea of being paid the whole time sounds just so lovely to me and my bank account....not to mention all my bills.

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Roehl is indeed an excellent company but do yourself a favor and decide where to work based on the long term, not short term. I just made this statement in another conversation - choosing a company based on their training pay is like choosing to go to an amusement park based upon the experience you'll have getting through the front gate.

Whether or not you get paid for three weeks of training will mean absolutely nothing from the start of the fourth week until the end of your life. If you have to save a little money or sell something to cover your costs for a few weeks it will certainly be worth it if it means working for a company that suits you well.

Make your decision based on their equipment, the types of freight they haul, regions of the country they run, other opportunities that might be available down the line, home time, and pay and benefits over the course of the first year. A lot of companies give a series of significant raises during that first year.

Just make sure the company you pick suits you best over the long term. Here are some excellent resources to help you understand how to evaluate and choose the right company:

That advice was to me I believe. Haha. I'm taking it - Even if there first months will be little leaner.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

Just be honest with your recruiter about everything.

Most definitely - no intentions of hiding anything. Direct and honest. The last thing I need to is to conceal something, get an offer, leave my current job, then find myself without a job because of concealed information. Doesn't do much good.

Hopefully I'll have more info tomorrow when the recruiters are back in the office.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

The 15+ MPH over ticket will hurt you the most. Have you looked here Trucking Company Reviews and here Paid CDL Training Programs? Good luck and keep us posted.

Yep. Those have been very helpful in narrowing down my top picks

Overall - I like the paid on day 1 part of Roehl and the varied options for fleets and hometime, but they do have the longer contract to fulfill in return for training.

TMC doesn't pay until you have your CDL - which is rough because my family relies on my income. But - from the drivers I've talked to, they make a little more money, have the nicer equipment, shorter contract, and pretty consistent hometime. Just have to make it 3/4 weeks without an income to start bringing in something.

As far as the ticket - I'm hoping that it being a year and a half old helps. Wish it were older, or not at all. But - can't change the past.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Looking to go with Roehl or TMC - Couple of questions about the hiring process.

Been lurking here for a while - but after finally deciding to take the plunge, I'm posting for the first time.

I've narrowed down my preferred companies to Roehl and TMC - primarily for the quality of training, home time, and company cultures that I've read about.

I don't have my CDL and I'm looking to do the in house programs with one of these companies. I've already got my DOT Medical Card and I'm studying up to get my CLP this week, I'm hoping to speed up the process.

I do have a couple of questions for of you that have experience with either company, while I'm waiting for the holiday weekend to end and talk to a recruiter.

1. How long did it take from applying to getting hired to your first day?

2. I have an 86 in a 70 speeding ticket from 18 months ago and an accident 3 years 8 months ago. In anyone's experience, will these disqualify me from these companies?

3. Any other insight I may not have read on why you'd choose one over the other, if you were in my position?

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