Profile For Tim D.

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    2 years, 11 months ago

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Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Getting Hire With Preventable Accidents

You guys'll probably laugh at me or whatever as well, but I might have a similar story (assuming no more details prove otherwise)...

I got my cdl last summer and went to work for Schneider. I drove for them 'til late February when I drove over a patch of black ice and slid off the road. It was not DOT recordable (no injuries, no one else involved, didn't need to be towed, no authorities even there).

I was going 50 on I-70E (75mph limit...truck governed at 65) just past Colby, KS due to conditions (30 to 31 degrees, misting, and a little bit of fog). I was trying to get as far as I could ahead of the blizzard that was coming behind me from W to E. There were plenty of vehicles on the road still, pretty much all going faster than me (even the big rigs), so I didn't feel it necessary quite yet to just shut it down. Luckily, the fact that I was going as slow as I was and the others going faster meant that when I ran over the patch of black ice there was no one else around and no one else involved. Also luckily, In my steering to try and regain control I managed to go off the road on the left side rather than the right (the left being much shallower) and didn't roll it. I did jack-knife, but there wasn't much damage (none to the trailer, but the wind flaps/wings torn off on the passenger rear side of the cab and the bottom corner of the cab there crunched in) so I was able to pull myself back on the road and drive the 10 to 15 miles to the TA in Oakley, KS where I stopped and waited out the storm for a day and a half. I could barely even walk on the road it was so slick, so I knew it wasn't safe to stick around at the site of the incident. I made my phone calls at the TA and after the weather cleared up I drove the 300+ miles back to Topeka. Talking with my boss and other drivers, it didn't seem like it would be a big deal...but they ruled it preventable and terminated me for it. My boss was apologetic, but cited company policy about "loss of control accidents." (I went on home-time right after and I was called with the news just before I was to report back.)

I've filled out applications since and still have lots of companies calling me, but whenever I tell them about the black ice and why I left Schneider...they can't get off the phone fast enough. I keep hearing that they could hire me but I'd need to work for someone else first...seems to be an insurance thing.

I pulled my hireright report right after but that may have been too soon as there wasn't anything showing on it. I don't know if anything actually was reported on it...but I make sure to tell the truth anyway when applying...

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

Thanks everyone for your replies....

I went ahead and started the ball rolling with Schneider...I start school on Monday.

Schneider got back to me and I (mostly) liked what I heard...They seem to have the best pay starting out and I like what I've seen/heard from the school (160 Driving Academy). The person in the office at the school who I talked with and is handling all the paperwork has also been pushing me towards Schneider (whether she actually thinks that's the best fit for me or because they get some sort of extra compensation compared to me choosing Swift remains to be seen). I may be moving too quick for my own good here, but my bills are gonna' start backing up soon while waiting for a paycheck, so I'm anxious to get the ball rolling.

I appreciate everyone who chimed in. You guys helped make it an even tougher decision. Even though I didn't end up choosing Swift I'm glad you guys spoke up. Thank you.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

Hey Tim!

It is always a good thing to have options. My suggestion is weigh the pro's and con's of each company. What appeals to you the most? Hometime? Reefer/Dry Van/Flatbed? Pay? or even what part of the country would you like to travel? Every company has their niche' per-say when it comes to recruiting drivers. I cannot speak to any driver training program other than Prime. However, If I was to pick one of those companies I would go with Swift. Out of those Swift would match my wants and needs best. Above all, I suggest picking one that suits you best and develop your own experience rather than depend on other drivers personal experiences as they will vary greatly. Also, try and remain positive throughout school and your OTR training regardless of who you choose to go with as it will be challenging mentally. It is a big adjustment especially having to share a small box the size of most bathrooms with another human being for 1 to 4 months at a time. Good luck!

To answer your questions...

I'm not really concerned with hometime much...my wife lives overseas (hence why I was living overseas and don't have much of a recent work history). I'd like to get through my first year of trucking, as is recommended here, and then after we'll see what I can work out as far as an extended period of time off (at least a month or so) to go overseas and see her. I'm willing to quit and then reapply if necessary...I'm not concerned with "paid" time off (just time off).

I would probably prefer dry van or reefer I'd imagine, but I don't know enough to know yet. Mainly whatever will get me OTR and lots of miles. Pay of course is a concern, but I don't need a whole lot...I'd be happy if I could make at least $30k over those first 12 months. I'd prefer not going to the NorthEast, but whatever comes my way I'll try and deal with.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

Hey Tim!

It is always a good thing to have options. My suggestion is weigh the pro's and con's of each company. What appeals to you the most? Hometime? Reefer/Dry Van/Flatbed? Pay? or even what part of the country would you like to travel? Every company has their niche' per-say when it comes to recruiting drivers. I cannot speak to any driver training program other than Prime. However, If I was to pick one of those companies I would go with Swift. Out of those Swift would match my wants and needs best. Above all, I suggest picking one that suits you best and develop your own experience rather than depend on other drivers personal experiences as they will vary greatly. Also, try and remain positive throughout school and your OTR training regardless of who you choose to go with as it will be challenging mentally. It is a big adjustment especially having to share a small box the size of most bathrooms with another human being for 1 to 4 months at a time. Good luck!

Thanks for the reply and the info.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

I started with Schneider right out of school (dry van) and stayed with them two years. Everything they promised me was true. I only left because I found a Southeast regional driving job that pays the same, but gets me home every week.

When comparing companies, Schneider will likely be offering a low starting cents per mile, but it goes up quickly. AND ask if they’re still paying performance bonus. Mine was two cents per mile, paid quarterly. It was easy to obtain and I qualified every quarter from day one. For me it was usually $600/quarter.

If circumstances required, I’d go back to Schneider and I recommend them to anyone who is looking for a solid company with many options.

I hope this helps.

Every little bit of info helps. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

Here is a link to the CFI website. Check them out. They will train you and they have a tuition reimbursement program. CFI has a one year contract for solo drivers and 6 months if you team. I am very happy with them. If I can answer any questions I will. I'll try to remember to check in here more often.

Thanks.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

I attended 160 driving academy at their Moline Illinois location and was very happy with my experience. If you do the 160 route of having a company sponsor your training there, pay attention to the cost if you don't make it the timeframe the contract is requiring of you. My training was paid for by my employer but other students in my class told me that when they enrolled they had the option to pay $4000 out of pocket or have a company sponsor them. All the conpanies they worked with had it so if you didnt work a year or so with them you'd have to pay the carrier a substantial amount more. USA Truck in particular was requiring a $12,000 buyout.

With the companies you listed you can't go wrong. If you look into Pam more its worth noting that they require you to team drive for your first 6 months.

Thanks for the info/reply.

If I go with Swift or Schneider the schooling will be with 160....with PAM the school will be C1.

I was aware that Pam requires team (a little apprehensive, but I'd deal with it).

I'm mainly looking to see how they compare with pay and how much out of pocket costs I'll have upfront and/or how much withholding I'll have later from my pay. Of course how many miles I'll potentially be able to get and the training and how I'll fit in with the company is important too.

Right now I've got Schneider at the top of my list, but they haven't really discussed the pay scale and where I'd fit in with them (it's based on whether you drive OTR, regional, etc). I have a phone interview set up for tomorrow where I hope to get more info fleshed out. The rep at 160 has kinda sold me on them as the best option, but I'd still like to make sure.

I'm looking for OTR and home time isn't really a concern.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

Tim, you have some good options available to you. Although I understand Prime was at the top of your list, Swift is also an excellent choice.

I trained with Swift at their Richmond Academy over 5 years ago and continue driving for them assigned to a Dedicated Walmart account in the Northeast region. The opportunities with Swift are numerous and varied. No regrets, if I had it to do over, I'd retrace the exact same path.

There are several Swift drivers on the forum. Don't hesitate to ask questions about their training, mentoring program and career opportunities.

Good luck to you.

Thanks for the input. I'm definitely considering them.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

Have you tried CFI? They will train you for free. I was trained by them and drive for them.

CFI?

Haven't heard of them yet...

All three of the options I applied for will pay for my school upfront...

Schneider will pay for it upfront and no reimbursement necessary as long as I fulfill the contract. (pass the schooling with 160 Driving Academy, get through their orientation, and drive for them for 1 year)

Swift will pay for it upfront and then take it out of my check over the course of the year contract. They will then pay that reimbursement back to me over the course of a 2nd year driving for them. (schooling will be with 160 Driving Academy)

PAM will pay for it upfront and then take about half of it out of my check over the course of the year contract. (schooling would be through C1 Trucking school)

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider, Swift or PAM?

Hey guys,

I've applied for these three cdl programs/truck companies and I'd like your input to help me decide.

I originally wanted Prime, but they won't give me an opportunity at this time because of my lack of much recent employment history. (I've been living overseas much of the last decade +.)

Since, Prime was not an option, I stopped by a school near my home (160 Driving Academy) and inquired about opportunities with them. I knew that they have affiliations with Swift and Schneider (and possibly other companies). They had me fill out applications with both of those companies online while I was in their office. I also filled out the application for PAM/Driver Solutions later that night at home. All three have contacted me and seemingly want to hire me (pending the background checks, etc...none of which should be a problem, I'm "squeaky clean"...only issue is not much recent employment).

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Question for Prime drivers...

...and it was the same response from Maverick (although they only needed at least a year and a half of employment in the last three)...

Does anyone have an idea which (trucking) companies might hire someone in my situation?

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Question for Prime drivers...

Well, I called the recruitment office and struck out...the guy said they couldn't consider my application without at least 2 years of employment history in the last 3 years.

Maverick was another company that seemed a good fit (not quite as good as Prime seemed), so I'll call them up...but I fear it'll be a similar response...

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Question for Prime drivers...

I want to thank you guys again for taking time to reply.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Question for Prime drivers...

"...Just like Rainy said you have to basically start over, you turn in your truck everything. Unless you lease."

I'd be fine with that as long as they'd be willing to rehire me/it wouldn't cause a problem on my record/history.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Question for Prime drivers...

The benefits seem good, but I'm not really concerned as much with them and don't really care at all about the paid vacation time...I'd be willing to quit (with proper notice given) and just get rehired if they were ok with that.

I wouldn't want that to be a black mark on my record though...

I also wouldn't want to go lease-op or O/O...all the advice I've seen is that it's not a good idea for newbies.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Question for Prime drivers...

Alright, I guess I'll go ahead and call them up... thanks to you guys for the reply.

Another question I'll be asking them about is home time...I won't need any most of the time (my wife is overseas), but if and when I do take some I would want an extended amount (at least a month) to go overseas to see her. How do you guys think they'll react to that?

I've heard/read that some drivers (not necessarily Prime drivers) take a couple months off during the "slow" months early in the year...that would be perfect for me.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Question for Prime drivers...

How important is "verifiable employment history" (and specifically the 3 years Prime mentions)?

I'm seriously thinking about getting into truck driving. I've been lurking here reading the forum for a while and I'm part-way through the CDL training program you guys have created (thanks). I've pretty much narrowed down my choice to Prime as I'm local to the Springfield area and I'll want to go though company sponsored training to get my CDL.

Here's my issue and background info (hence why I'm asking the above question):

I only have 7 months of currently verifiable employment history. I moved overseas in 2005 to get married and live in my wife's country. I haven't worked since then except for about 7 months between June and February (last year to early this year). I worked those months because I was spending an extended time in the US rather than the month or two I normally spend every year or so. (I gave plenty of notice and left on good terms, so I'll get a good report from them.)

I easily pass all the other requirements/minimums they list. I'm 43, I have no history of drug use, no tickets of any kind, no convictions of any kind...

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