Swift, Prime, Or Roehl

Topic 12364 | Page 1

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Frank D.'s Comment
member avatar

So I have done my research on these three companies and now I would like to hear from drivers or students that have felt with them so I can get a personal perspective on them if anyone is intrested in sharing.

Thanks

Jacob R. (gear jammer)'s Comment
member avatar

I ran into the same thing.... its basically what you wanna do prime is a very good company research all three before deciding especially with the contract of how long you gotta be employed with each company. if you are going for cdl training prime has the top of the line training. i couldnt get much training info out of swift. i hope this helps

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.
Infidel's Comment
member avatar

Well I have done 2 orientations so far since graduating from CDL school last October. First company ended with a terrible experience. Second is Roehl. Matter of fact Im there now.

So far I have nothing bad to say. And a lot good to say. First I had my choice of transportation too orientation, or what they call phase 1. Which is more accurate cause you will do more than normal orientation at other companies. Most companies will let you rent a car and they may reimburse gas or up too the price of a Greyhound ticket. Well not only did they pay for all of it. But they rented it for me. I just had to pick it up. Their phase 1 is orientation and real world training rolled into one. I have been here since Monday and this morning we spent hours practicing 45 and 45 degree backs. The kind you might have to do in a truck stop. Which you dont learn in school. I was just me so I had a great opportunity to do one after another. Thats the thing as well. We only had 2 people here in my phase. Unfortunately the other guy didnt cut it. But that leaves me alone till Im done on Monday. Thats a lot of one on one with an instructor. But I did get kinda lucky on that. We have also had classes on route mapping, load securement and log booking. Everyone here is very respectful and professional so far. I am scheduled as of now to go with my OTR trainer Monday or Tuesday. Its kinda up in the air so far. Im not officially hired until Monday.

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.

Nate_K's Comment
member avatar

Yeah I lucked out being the only one in orientation also.

Glad your enjoying Roehl. I am on day 5 with my trainer and it is going good.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I have a thread called my Prime Psd experience. I love it here. Ask any questions you wish.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

We have several from all 3 companies on here that will chime in I'm sure. It boils down to what is important to you. They all have differences that you may find is more attractive than the others. I went to Roehl's school and worked for them awhile. We parted ways because I got to a point I needed something they were unwilling to provide at the time. We agreed to disagree and parted on great terms. Good enough that I get emails about every 2 months wanting me too come back. Prime is a great company if you don't mind being gone from home long periods of time. I don't know anything of swift other than they are very large. Look at what is important to you and that will help gujde your decision

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Frank.

I went to Swift's Richmond Academy for 3 weeks, obtained my CDL and mentored OTR for 160 hours. I still drive for Swift almost 4 years later on a Dedicated Walmart account.

I had a great experience in Richmond, they did an excellent job of preparing me to pass the CDL skills tests. The road training phase (mentoring) was also a very good experience and helped build the foundation I needed to succeed as a truck driver.

There are several other Swift drivers on here so by all means fire away with your questions. Happy to help.

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.

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.

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm a Prime Graduate from 2014 and still drive for them...Lots of options and opportunity with Prime Inc and really good equipment for the most part. Training is awesome and Pay is highest for a Newbie Driver of anywhere I know of plus all Trucks have APU's & Invertors if that matters to you, it did to me...

Ken C.

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.

APU's:

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.

Joseph D.'s Comment
member avatar

I did roehls phase training program in December. Tomorrow starts my 4th week as a solo company driver with them. They have been great to me. Training was top of the line. I learned valuable information everyday I was there and my OTR trainer could not have been better. I'm getting good miles and they get me home every weekend on this dedicated route. If you have any specific questions let me know.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

Mr. Mxyzptlk's Comment
member avatar

I have a few questions for anyone still working for Roehl or Swift.

- Is the hometime legit? I see 3-4 days home, 10-14 out.

- any benefit between Reefer and Dryvan?

- is it worth doing the programs for one of these 2 companies, or paying out of pocket for my CDL?

- do either company offer local runs for rookies or is it all OTR? What about regional?

I’m turning 29 in 9 days. My grandfather was a trucker for 54 years and I’ve been around them all my life. Currently I work at home as an Apple iOS senior adviser but I need something different and starting with my CDL seems like an excellent way to do that. I have a fiancé and a 5 year old son. She’d prefer I get local or dedicated route as soon as possible and honestly so do I, but we’re aware for at least the first year that may not be in the cards.

Any advice, help or just friendly suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

Dryvan:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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