Investigating Trucking Companies, Any Words Of Wisdom?

Topic 10397 | Page 1

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Miss Miyoshi's Comment
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Hello ladies,

I'm brand new here on the forums, and pretty new to the trucking world. I'm wanting to join a company that will do the CDL training as well as all the regular training, that will let me take my dog with me on occasion, and that will have cross country routes. (That's OTR , right? Still learning the lingo.) I live in northern Virginia and was wondering how proximity to training location impacts a company's decision to hire someone. I don't mind living in the area while training, but was wondering if a move to that location is necessary to actually be employed.

I've seen a lot online about Swift, Conway, Prime, and Schneider. They all look pretty good to me. One that has really gotten my attention is Roehl. Have any of you driven for any of these and can say what it's like? I understand being super new I'm not going to get all the prime routes and such the first year or so, so I'm just looking for a good company overall, as well as one that is hopefully amenable to be still living in VA when I'm not out on the road.

Also, I'm super interested in the long drives out, solo or team. I used to tour with bands in a tour bus, so being gone for a month or so at a time is totally no problem. I actually love it, and I miss the schedule, which is why I'm looking at trucking as my next career.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have!

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Hi. .I'm on my way to prime now. They do allow pets with a 1000 dollar refundable deposit. ...I looked at them all. .there was a reason I shied away from roehl...I'll post as soon as I remember but can Def let you know what I think of prime

Rainy 's Comment
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Duh..prime pays more lol. ..check out prime site. .the pay it's more.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Thanks! Prime was the first trucking company that caught my eye when I was first thinking about all this. I'll look into them again. At this point I've looked at and read up on so many different companies I get them all mixed up in my head about who does what. Hahaha! Stupid old age.....

My biggest concern about any company is where I can live in order to work with them. What are Prime's requirements? My husband and I live in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington DC. I don't mind relocating all of us eventually. I'm just trying to figure out how to make it all work in thr beginning. Paying a mortgage while also paying rent to wherever I have to be based out of will kill our finances.

Tia's Comment
member avatar

Hey Ladies! I'm starting training for PAM in a couple weeks and wanted to share some of what I have run into. http://www.thetruckersreport.com/company-warnings/ Check that out first. I applied to Prime and Roehl. The programs seemed good, transportation to training, great pay... BUT there are a lot of issues that apparently can come up. The recruiters tell you you are qualified, you turn your life upside down, get to training and get turned down. The companies are hiring out the hiring, if that makes sense. So the company itself doesn't look at your application until you are there. Try to prevent this. I asked my recruiter if this was a possibility, for a personal guarantee of my acceptance (minus the first day physical and drug screening of course). Look at company reviews by employees, talk to a recruiter bluntly, ASK questions. They should answer them all openly. It's their job to know or find out. Swift scared me, I read lots of reviews that sent me running. C.R.England too. Make sure IF you have to pay back the tuition that it's a contract on time, miles or an amount WITHOUT INTEREST. The first year is going to be hard but you should not quite be an indentured servant lol Remember, a lot of people drop in training and a lot burn out in the first year. As far as hiring areas, I saw "Texas residents only" and "all 50 states" the most. In northern VA you're in a good place. I see mostly that they put you up for training, you pay for food mostly, but then where you live is a factor more in home time than away time. If you live close to a route, you can get home more. They should tell you first thing when filling out an application where they hire from, usually in map form from what I saw. Hopefully this provides a little more to look at and think about. Good Luck!

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Tia! I'll look at that link, and thank you for the heads up on recruiters. I've heard a lot of things about recruiters themselves, so I knew I would have to have a list of good questions ready. I'll keep what you said in mind. Good luck on your training!

Tia's Comment
member avatar

Thank you! And good luck! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate, I've come across a lot of resources in my searching and I'm happy to help (means more ladies on the road. I still believe in Girl Power =D). Best of luck!

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Thank you! For personal planning reasons I'm going to submit an application in the Spring, so I'll be full of info by then. Hahahaha! And yes, more women on the road!

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Tia's Comment
member avatar

Lol the longer you have to research the better off you will be. I was pressed for time (and money lol) so I'm hoping I did enough. Hope everything works out!

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I'm working now, and it's a good job with good benefits, but even on the low end of the payscale the trucking job will be double what I make now. So I can't ignore that. I want to wait until spring because I want at least 6 months of driving under my belt before I have to worry about inclement weather driving, like showy or icy roads. I know I can do it, but I don't want my learning/experience curve to be so steep all at once! Plus, there will be some down time with income while training, so I need to make sure my budget is airtight before I go to training. So I have some time to keep reading everything on here, the high road stuff, cdl stuff, and learn how to drive a manual. I don't even know how to drive a stick shift car. I guess I'd better learn before going anywhere. Hahahaha!

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.
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