Are Trucking Companies This Bad ???

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Whip-Stock's Comment
member avatar

I'm a definite newbie. Being a product of the declining oil industry I decided to go myself and obtain a CDL which I acquired last month. Having completed this part I started browsing through the forums to research available companies but found mostly negative comments about nearly every one.... I'm adventurous and have never had a normal job working 9 to 5 so one my reasons for entering the trucking industry but after reading I've come to see so many negative comments.. Are these companies that bad or is it the industry in general or a lot of bad apples??

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Are these companies that bad or is it the industry in general or a lot of bad apples??

Hey Whip-Stock, welcome to the forum!

You kind of answered your own question right there with that comment about "a lot of bad apples."

Being in this industry is not easy, and most people who try to make a start in it don't really know what it is that they are getting into. Don't get me wrong, for those of us who do this job day in and day out - well, let me just speak for myself - I love this job and the whole "lifestyle" of it. That is where most folks stumble at, and then start pointing the finger of blame at the terrible company they were working for. Being a truck driver is more of a "lifestyle" than it is just choosing a career path to follow. It requires long hours, being estranged from your family for lengthy periods of time, self motivation, and self discipline. Most folks who get into trucking have usually had jobs where they punch a clock and get a lunch break, then go home at night and sleep in their own beds... very few truck drivers operate like that - as an example, I worked all night last night, and I'm starting again for another all nighter when I finish responding to you. Nobody asked me to do that, but it was required by the load I'm hauling from Louisiana to Connecticut, if I was going to get there on time.

Trucking attracts a lot of the "Alpha Male" types because you are truly independent with little or no supervision, but those same personality types often like to boast and brag and tear other down for some reason. I actually worked the first sixteen months of my career at one of the worst and most maligned companies in the online forums. I never experienced any of the problems I often read about in the forums, in fact I was very successful and very satisfied there. In trucking you are responsible for your success or failure, nobody's going to hold your hand. The guys and gals who can perform and "git er done" will rise to the top like cream. The failures, and there are a lot of them, go to the internet forums and try to lay all the blame for their own shortcomings on the evil trucking companies who treated them so badly. It's all a bunch of hogwash as far as I'm concerned.

You'll give yourself a leg up if you will take the time to go through and read our Truck Driver's Career Guide, it will help you get a better understanding about this career and how to get started in it.

Hey I noticed it looks like you got your CDL on your own - Congratulations! Let me warn you though that it will be a lot harder to find employment without going through a school or a Company-Sponsored Training program. It's the insurance companies wanting to make sure the new drivers they are trying to cover have at least got some minimum training under their belts before they get out there on the open road.

Again, welcome to the forum, hang around a bit and you will learn a lot from the fine folks in here.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I just want to clarify Old School's comment about "Bad Apples".

Your "Bad Apples" are the people making the posts.

If so many large companies were "bad" and treated all their drivers - the people who are most important for them to make money - like so much chopped liver, why are they so big?

Check out Trucking Truth's reviews of Trucking Companies. You can also apply to many companies all at once here: Apply For Truck Driving Jobs.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I'm a definite newbie. Being a product of the declining oil industry I decided to go myself and obtain a CDL which I acquired last month. Having completed this part I started browsing through the forums to research available companies but found mostly negative comments about nearly every one.... I'm adventurous and have never had a normal job working 9 to 5 so one my reasons for entering the trucking industry but after reading I've come to see so many negative comments.. Are these companies that bad or is it the industry in general or a lot of bad apples??

I completely agree with the first two replies. By choice I (still) work for one of those "big companies" you likely read about. I've heard all the "jokes", listened to all the "bull", and seen all the "dirty-looks". Bottom line; they keep me moving and treat me fairly, with respect...I do not feel like a number. For me that's important and why I continue to enjoy driving for them. If anyone asks me, that's what I tell them. , There is always two sides to every story...you are only hearing one side in the forums and very likely a skewed, self-serving version of the truth. If you are willing to work, operate in a safe manner, effectively manage your time, and project a good attitude, you will find out for yourself what the "real truth" is. Good drivers are far too difficult to find, train, and retain. Every day freight sits because there are not enough of us to move it. All of the big companies know this and (my personal experience) they will go out of their way to help you succeed. Are the big trucking companies perfect? NO. Will you experience any problems? YES. But like most things in life (including your job), usually you get out of it what you put into it.

I sincerely suggest that you do your research, ask questions, and chose a company that is in-line with what you want and need to get started in the industry. Once you have a year or two of experience with a good driving record, then you can perhaps make a more long-term career decision. Lot's of opportunities! Good luck.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Paul C., Rubber Duckey's Comment
member avatar

I am new with my company

I was on here wanting to now exactly what u r asking about

Brett, Old School, Errol - these guys know there stuff. I followed their advice and let it ride. Did my part with zero whining and plenty of pleases and thank you's and 'whatever u need'. Six weeks in I'm running 3200 miles a week and gettin lay over pay and bonus checks and messages from my FM about how guys like me are the backbone of this industry...

Brother just be here to work, get the job done safe, don't complain and this career will be the most exciting thing u have ever done...

And generally speaking that is with ANY company out there...

Guys talk crap because they screwed up and got caught and it can't be their fault. Someone else is wrong...not them...

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Lawrence H.'s Comment
member avatar

And wait, let's not forget weight. What 80k minus your tractor trailer weight is whar you should be able to get over the scales. So short hood pete with little cummins and super singles with a brand new great dane 48 with super singles. Total weight with one half tank of fuel 26,200. Great I can get 53.800 lbs of freight over the scales and on to fresno. On a daycab no less. From San Barnadino. All legal of coarse at 54.6 mph the whole way.

Super Singles:

A single, wide wheel substituted for a tandem (two wheel) assembly. The main benefit of a super single is a reduction in weight and lower rolling resistance which provide better fuel economy. The disadvantage is the lack of tire redundancy (or a 'backup tire' in case of a blowout) from which tandem wheels benefit. A tire blowout is more dangerous with a super single and can not be driven on.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Larry points out (and does not capitalize Fresberg):

And wait, let's not forget weight. What 80k minus your tractor trailer weight is whar you should be able to get over the scales. So short hood pete with little cummins and super singles with a brand new great dane 48 with super singles. Total weight with one half tank of fuel 26,200. Great I can get 53.800 lbs of freight over the scales and on to fresno. On a daycab no less. From San Barnadino. All legal of coarse at 54.6 mph the whole way.

It's good to know your empty weight, including an empty trailer, so you can look at a freight bill and know how heavy you'll be. Usually you can carry about 44,000 lbs of freight. Daycabs (& LWs) weigh less than a sleeper, so they can carry that much more over the scales.

Super Singles:

A single, wide wheel substituted for a tandem (two wheel) assembly. The main benefit of a super single is a reduction in weight and lower rolling resistance which provide better fuel economy. The disadvantage is the lack of tire redundancy (or a 'backup tire' in case of a blowout) from which tandem wheels benefit. A tire blowout is more dangerous with a super single and can not be driven on.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

I weighed a reefer and truck empty, but with the tanks full of fuel. It was just over 35,000 pounds.

Dave

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Lawrence H.'s Comment
member avatar

Errol I forgot to capitol Fresno, sorry. But big strappers go to Hanford after Fresno and pickup chili sauce for delivery in Anaheim at 6 am. And its only 2 pm I just have to go back to irwindale drop chili sauce take a load to San Bernardino yard drop it, pick up empty have it in irwindale at 430 am to pick up dropped chili sauce and get it to Anaheim. Sorry bout the mispelling I'm running on 2 hours sleep. But heah I'm legal check my log book.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Larry swears on a stack of Bibles:

But heah I'm legal check my log book.

Sure you are!

rofl-3.gif

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