Best Flatbed Companies For A New Student

Topic 11386 | Page 3

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GunnyA's Comment
member avatar

Which companies just give out the keys to new flatbed drivers?

Are you still with Melton today? If so, how do you like it over 3 years later? Thanks.

Frank

I'll have to throw in another vote for Melton. Only been here a few weeks but their great people. You'll go through orientation in Tulsa most likely where you'll learn a good deal about load securement and tarping. I've run across new drivers from other flatbed companies where they basically gave them the keys to a truck and sent them out without any training at all. Not a good idea in flatbedding. I've met several other drivers and even had breakfast with a retiring safety officer and a number of million milers. Not a complaint from any of them. The one driver that I heard complaints from shouldn't be in OTR trucking anyway. He wants to be home every weekend and can't understand why he doesn't get good miles.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello CuriousinSanDiego!

We haven't heard from you on a long time.

I'm assuming you realize you've just resurrected a three and a half year old conversation. It's doubtful the person you're asking this question is going to respond since they are no longer active in our forum.

I guess I have some questions for you. About four years ago you told us you were about to start CDL school. Did you ever get your CDL? What have you been doing the last four years? Has your interest in trucking been revived for some reason?

You had this question...

Which companies just give out the keys to new flatbed drivers?

Nobody just gives out the keys to new drivers. All of them will put you through several weeks of training. New drivers still have a lot to learn. If you're interested in entry level flatbed jobs I reccomend you check out Melton, TMC, Maverick, Prime, Swift, Jordan, and Boyd Brothers. They all are willing to work with new drivers.

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.
Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School,

Since this topic has been resurrected, I have a question about new flatbed drivers and age. I am 51 and plan to apply to Prime next spring and hopefully start about April. The idea being to get about 6 months driving experience before I have to drive in snow.

Do companies have concerns about older drivers and the strength requirements for flatbed? I think you said you started driving at 53.

I read on another thread that Prime has an agility test where they require you to lift a 65lb tarp. I could do that now, but I have been going to the gym to increase my upper body strength. At this point, I can lift 90lbs from the ground and raise it to over six feet at least once. My goal is to be able to do that five times in a row with 100lbs.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Hello CuriousinSanDiego!

We haven't heard from you on a long time.

I'm assuming you realize you've just resurrected a three and a half year old conversation. It's doubtful the person you're asking this question is going to respond since they are no longer active in our forum.

I guess I have some questions for you. About four years ago you told us you were about to start CDL school. Did you ever get your CDL? What have you been doing the last four years? Has your interest in trucking been revived for some reason?

You had this question...

double-quotes-start.png

Which companies just give out the keys to new flatbed drivers?

double-quotes-end.png

Nobody just gives out the keys to new drivers. All of them will put you through several weeks of training. New drivers still have a lot to learn. If you're interested in entry level flatbed jobs I reccomend you check out Melton, TMC, Maverick, Prime, Swift, Jordan, and Boyd Brothers. They all are willing to work with new drivers.

I would avoid Jordan Carriers. About 90% of their trucks I see on the road, they are not even close to being properly secured, and the drivers refuse to listen to any type of corrective advice, or assistance. I have even called their safety dept. The response was far from reassuring.

They do have some nice trucks, though.

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
Do companies have concerns about older drivers and the strength requirements for flatbed? I think you said you started driving at 53.

Rob, those concerns of yours are good legitimate questions to have, but really shouldn't be holding you back. I have met flatbed drivers out here In Their Eighties.

As far as the companies being concerned, I've not come across that issue. If you can pass their physical requirements they are willing to give you a chance to prove yourself. I remember when I moved over to Knight and went through orientation for my current flatbed job. The terminal manager seemed a little concerned with my age. This dedicated flatbed gig was a little new for them and they had mostly had some young bucks giving it a try. He repeatedly asked me to be really careful when climbing up on top of the loads. He told me, "We sure don't need you falling off one of these trailers." It's kind of ironic, but five years later, he's gone, and I'm still rocking this gig and making bank each week.

It's all about heart and commitment. If you want to do something bad enough, you will figure out how to make it work and how to keep It up. I've never pursued anything for the money in it. I've always been attracted by the challenges and how to conquer them. I am drawn by the adventure or the way something appeals to me. As long as you develop yourself in a way that allows you to excel at something, the money will fall into place for you.

By the way, most people have your concerns about lifting the tarps. It's really more about technique than strength. I'm on my phone now and I've got to get on the road right now, but tonight I will get out my laptop and find some information I've got saved there concerning this technique. I will share it with you later when I can take the time to find it.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

Old School,

I read on another thread that Prime has an agility test where they require you to lift a 65lb tarp. I could do that now, but I have been going to the gym to increase my upper body strength. At this point, I can lift 90lbs from the ground and raise it to over six feet at least once. My goal is to be able to do that five times in a row with 100lbs.

Hey Rob,

Not sure if that is a terminal specific requirement but I am currently in Prime's TNT process doing flatbed and have still not heard anything about an agility test being any part of this process.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Spaceman Spiff:

See below.

Prime Agility Test

Are you in Salt Lake City?

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