Tips For Hopefuls About Choosing A Company

Topic 10477 | Page 1

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Logan M.'s Comment
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I'm a rookie solo driver who went through a company sponsored program for my cdl , I would like to give a few pointers if I may on a topic that comes up a lot. That is choosing your first company. This is not going to be perfect and others will add to it if it stays up, but in the spirit of helping others who are heading into the same journey I started I feel as though I have a few things to share. I apologize in advance for any typos I'm typing from my phone and for a smart phone it does weird things sometimes lol.

Now the first obstacle after you decide this is what you want to do is choosing where to start, who to listen to, where to research, and for the love of gI'd how do you tell if a company is good or bad!?

As daunting as that may be finding a good company is pretty easy, it's the one that fits your needs the best. You see very few companies are as terrible as they sound on the internet. You and them have a common goal to move freight and get paid. Don't let anyone bad mouth a company to you, you decide what's good.

The things to consider are:

1. Hometime- how often do you want/need to be home. Can you do otr for long periods or do you need something regional that will run you through your house every couple weeks?

2. Policies- do you have a pet? How about a passenger? Do they require uniforms? Etc.

3. Training- do you learn better when thrown into it, and learning on the fly? Or do you prefer a structured learning environment? How long do you think you will need? How long of a commitment are you willing to sign for?

4. Pay- what can you live on? Now this is the least important because you can make a living on what almost all companies are paying, what you earn is dependant on you, more than your cpm.

5. Equipment- how important are things like apus , inverters and the like? Do you consider them necessary or could you do without?

Now those are a few basic things for you to consider, no company is perfect and will meet all your wants but if you can meet 3/5 I'd say you are a decent match for that company.

Another piece of advice I picked up is your first year is a out survive in and not hitting anything. Making money comes, but you need to focus on driving, safely, and building a good reputation for yourself so keep that in mind as well.

Now a lot of people will say a lot of negative things about large companies, prime, swift, cr england, werner etc. Don't listen to it. As a newbie who may need training they can be your best friend. They have the freight to keep you moving, the freight to need you to move it, and the trucks for you to move it with. They also often have they're own training programs and they will not only get you your license but also a job as well ( pretty nifty huh?) They will also give you a chance which is the important one. In a country where everyone wants experience it sometimes can be hard to get into anything new. With trucking not so much. Right now there's more freight than drivers so that's good for you.

Now a common attitude I see is people thinking that because a company needs drivers so bad they need to impress you for you to be willing to work for them. WRONG, first they have impressed you with their size, freight lines, something to get you looking at them. But they also are staking a good amount of money and a giving you a lot of responsibility. New drivers are a dime a dozen right now you still need to be professional and present yourself accordingly to set yourself up for success.

A bit about training. When in training most of it isn't fun. You share a small space with a stranger, you're stressed and nervous and just wanting wverything to work out. Stick it out. Don't let training influence how you feel about the industry. In the end you will have a lot to show for it. Also understand even when training is done seizes you aren't going to have a clue what you're doing. You're going to guess a lot right and wrong. It's ok that's how you learn. You're going to be uncomfortable a lot, that's OK too it can keep you safe. Just don't let it hold you back eventually it will work out and you will be a stronger better person for it. This career builds character is what my trainer used to say everything I was in a tough spot.

And choosing a company is a lot like training in the sense that there's so many unknowns, and a lot of pressure. But you will make it. You may pick a company that you aren't satisfied with just make the best of it everything is tenporary. Time flies out here and before you know it you will have the experience to set yourself up for a great future.

And that I believe concludes my longest post on here, just one rookies ramblings and hopefully a helpful tip or 2 for those whours are starting out. Please feel free to add, or correct anything you guys feel like I missed.

Best of luck to everyone I'll be seeing you on the road.

Logan

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Logan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hopefully I posted this in the right spot , I admit I didn't really consider where to post this when I was typing.

Dm:

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.
Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

Really appreciate this post man, looking in to driving here is the near future. It is such a big decision and I have been spending every day online researching. It is an intimidating thing to get started, but I know I can do it!

Logan M.'s Comment
member avatar

It's a stressful time hope it helped some. Don't let nay sayers bother you and all will be well. :) everyone here is happy to help from those like me who are still fresh out of training, to the ones like brett, Daniel b, and old school who have a ton of knowledge they love to pass on. Best of luck

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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That was an awesome post Logan! I agree with everything you said. I was reading through it thinking, "He's gonna screw this up. He's gonna say something dumb and ruin the whole thing!" LoL!

smile.gif

But you didn't. Excellent job. Very helpful.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Excellent job. Very helpful.

Logan, I completely agree with Brett on this one - well done indeed!

I read it late last night (about 1:30 a.m.) when I was wrapping up my day, but I was just too tired to comment then.

Glad to see you hanging in there!

Magoo's Comment
member avatar

Really appreciate this post man, looking in to driving here is the near future. It is such a big decision and I have been spending every day online researching. It is an intimidating thing to get started, but I know I can do it!

Funny thing about that intimidation feeling. The only 2 times I felt that way before now, was when I was planning on getting married and when I was joining the USAF. I got married and enlisted and they were the 2 best decisions I have ever made. I'm certain this will be the third.

Thanks for the thoughts Logan. I'm one of those who strives to get off on the right foot, and this decisions on who to try and drive for, should I go to school or do Company, are driving me nuts, LOL.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Logan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks brett and OS, the people on here have helped me a lot from the high road program to the forum for advice, I wanted to do my part and try help some as well. I'm glad you guys like it

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