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MotherTruckerKen's Comment
member avatar

I went with them cuz the no upfront cost... Not cuz I had to...

The school im going to won't cost me anything either, it's a truck driving school and the company you go with is who pays for the schooling.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

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I don't have either and I got hired by swift and crst...for the most part as long as you can pass the written and skills test your good...

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I hope I can get on with a better company (no offense) but if not I'll take what I can get considering I don't have the GED.

I'd like to know what you mean by a "better company" and what do you perceive is wrong with Swift and CRST? They're two of North America's largest, most successful trucking companies and many thousands of drivers get their career off to a great start with those companies every year.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

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I don't have either and I got hired by swift and crst...for the most part as long as you can pass the written and skills test your good...

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I hope I can get on with a better company (no offense) but if not I'll take what I can get considering I don't have the GED.

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I'd like to know what you mean by a "better company" and what do you perceive is wrong with Swift and CRST? They're two of North America's largest, most successful trucking companies and many thousands of drivers get their career off to a great start with those companies every year.

Sorry if I caused offense, the reason I said that is because I have heard they're decent starter companies but I've heard just that, also the local Swift here in Memphis was my first choice but after through research I decided they weren't for me due to the fact that they seem to hire just anyone off the street and the local Swift location here is terrible run down and filthy and terribly managed, I went and checked it out and realized it wasn't for me, my 2nd choice was Roehl who I really wanted to work for but never heard from them, so I decided to going to an actual trucking school which I think I could benefit more from. I just felt that Swift wasn't for me, I know they are HUGE I just felt like they weren't for me. I'm pretty dead set right now working for either Roehl or Schneider, but we will see right now I just wanna learn and soak up as much as I can until I am finally on the road with a company. Again sorry for anyone i ticked off...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

My contract ended on the 21st of this month and I'm still working for crst.. I plan on staying as long as they keep running me.. Swift has more then one terminal and if you look at Memphis you can see why it may look run down... Almost all companies will take anyone as long as they pass their hiring requirements...

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.

MotherTruckerKen's Comment
member avatar

My contract ended on the 21st of this month and I'm still working for crst.. I plan on staying as long as they keep running me.. Swift has more then one terminal and if you look at Memphis you can see why it may look run down... Almost all companies will take anyone as long as they pass their hiring requirements...

Again. very sorry if I came off as rude or judgmental, If you're happy with your company that's all that matters remember I'm a total noob in this world of Trucking, and I don't know SH#*! I'm just going by what I saw and quite a few articles I've read and few people I personally I knew that worked for Swift. I personally just didn't wanna go to the Memphis Terminal because the area and the location and would rather go to the School I've chosen as the benefits are really great and I just feel like it's best for me, we all have our preferences and have to go with our Gut.

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.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Wow see, we learn sumpin' new here all the time! I never knew or would have thought a high school diploma would matter in trucking lol. I was advanced student since 2nd grade, but as i got older, it got boring for me. Then came jr-sr high the weed, the drinking , I cut most time of the time for the party fun....Beaches mountains where ever, someone with a car was going :)

Fast forward to eh 2007-08? I decided to go take the GED cold turkey near my house. split over 2 days, finished early both days by hours, not trying to. Well I passed easily, which I figured I should, having a lifetime of living now. I did it more to open more job doors that otherwise would be closed. City, and state jobs.....Took postal and CAL-trans tests for jobs, just never got locations I'd take ....Oakland Cal? pffft NOPE!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Kenneth, you didn't upset anyone. But what I've found over the years is that people trying to evaluate the trucking industry tend to make a few common mistakes:

1) They convince themselves they know more than they do

2) They give priority to the wrong things

3) They believe things they're told even though they have no way of verifying the quality of the source

Let's have a look at these.

Convincing yourself you know more than you do:

You say Swift is poorly managed. They are the largest and arguably the most successful trucking company in North America. As a 23 year old kid with no experience in the trucking industry and without so much as a high school education do you feel qualified to make that statement after a visit to one of their terminals? Of course you're not. That's ridiculous. You don't know the first thing about managing a trucking company nor would you recognize the difference between one that was properly managed and one that was poorly managed. That is not at all an insult to you. It's simply a reality. You're not qualified to make that kind of statement and you can't possibly know if that's true or not. So don't convince yourself that you know they're poorly managed because you do not know this.

Giving priority to the wrong things:

You said "the local Swift location here is terrible run down and filthy". Admittedly that is not an appealing quality. I'll give you that. However, it's a trucking terminal. It's full of filthy, greasy trucks and inhabited by drivers who far too often fit the same description as their truck. The cleanliness of a company's terminal is not an indication of the quality of a company. I've worked for some awesome companies over the years and even the best of the best always have some nasty places you'd rather not go to along with some big, beautiful terminals in other locations.

You said "my 2nd choice was Roehl who I really wanted to work for but never heard from them". It's quite common to find it nearly impossible to get recruiters on the line, especially if you haven't filled out an application with them yet. Fill out the app and then start calling them like crazy if you haven't heard from them within 36-48 hours. Don't stop calling until you get a person on the line and they review your application with you. Otherwise it might be sitting in a pile collecting dust somewhere.

Unverified Sources:

You said, " I have heard they're decent starter companies but I've heard just that"

The largest and most successful trucking companies in North America are the ones that hire students and in my opinion they make a great place to work regardless of your experience level. In fact, I completely dismiss the notion that starter companies are somehow lesser companies. That's ridiculous.

The largest companies tend to have:

  • Fleets of relatively new and well-maintained trucks
  • A large amount and variety of freight available
  • A number of various opportunities in dedicated or regional divisions
  • Nationwide accounts that make it incredibly easy to get tires changed, get repairs done, find a hotel, or pay lumper services
  • Tons of great perks, often including things like free health hotlines to speak with doctors and nurses, hotel and travel discounts, free marriage and family counseling sessions, and huge recreational centers at the terminals for the drivers during downtime
  • Some of the best pay and benefits of any companies in the country for experienced drivers

So being "just a starter company" isn't a bad thing at all in my opinion. In fact, the best company I ever worked for was a "starter company" that I didn't start with until I had almost 10 years of experience and they were simply stellar - US Xpress. At the time they even had their own school. They no longer operate their own school but they still hire students straight out of school.

Like I said, you haven't upset anyone. No need for any apologies of any sort. I'm just pointing out that you have a lot of preconceived notions or strongly formed opinions that aren't going to help you make the right decisions for yourself.

Go through those links I posted earlier and you'll find great information about how to choose the right company for yourself.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone, my name is Kenneth I've been on this site reading tons of articles for about 2 weeks. I left my job about 2 weeks, and I've found myself just obsessing over the career of being a trucker and having a new life. I'm only 23 years old never made more than $9.00 and hour for a job. Reason being. never got my GED or HS Diploma. Honestly never really wanted to get one as I felt college was a waste and as immature as it may sound I want money NOW I don't wanna go to school for 5-10 years to be making the money that'd id like to have now. I feel like trucking may be my calling, I just wanted to say i've spent countless nights reading many helpful articles hours on end just educating myself and trying to learn everything and anything. to everyone here that's helped me and made me feel more confident in this career from your articles thank you, and to the owner of this site thank you especially, I've only been on here for 2 weeks(unregistered) but I feel like it's been way longer than that. I will be attending a school in Tupelo, Mississippi in a few weeks from now, 3 weeks away from home and learning, and the instructor who spoke with me told me I'd probably already have a guaranteed position with Schneider which made me feel even greater. Sorry for this Novel I've written here I just wanted to let everyone know I'm ready to be a part of this world of trucking and I'm ready to go all in! Hope you guys are okay with another Rookie joining in!

Be careful of what you wish for. Trucking is way harder then it looks. Very demanding job and a lot of responsibility. Be sure you're ready. Also, in order for a trucking company to pay for your school, you'll probably have to sign a contract. Most likely for a year or longer. Be sure you're ready for that commitment. Also, after school whatever company you go with, will require you to go with a trainer for a minimum of 4-6 weeks or longer. Some trainer's are good some are bad. I had 1 that almost caused me to quit 3 times. I learned a lot from him, but he was a negative, racist jerk. Who also was looking up other companies to go with after training

MotherTruckerKen's Comment
member avatar

Kenneth, you didn't upset anyone. But what I've found over the years is that people trying to evaluate the trucking industry tend to make a few common mistakes:

1) They convince themselves they know more than they do

2) They give priority to the wrong things

3) They believe things they're told even though they have no way of verifying the quality of the source

Let's have a look at these.

Convincing yourself you know more than you do:

You say Swift is poorly managed. They are the largest and arguably the most successful trucking company in North America. As a 23 year old kid with no experience in the trucking industry and without so much as a high school education do you feel qualified to make that statement after a visit to one of their terminals? Of course you're not. That's ridiculous. You don't know the first thing about managing a trucking company nor would you recognize the difference between one that was properly managed and one that was poorly managed. That is not at all an insult to you. It's simply a reality. You're not qualified to make that kind of statement and you can't possibly know if that's true or not. So don't convince yourself that you know they're poorly managed because you do not know this.

Giving priority to the wrong things:

You said "the local Swift location here is terrible run down and filthy". Admittedly that is not an appealing quality. I'll give you that. However, it's a trucking terminal. It's full of filthy, greasy trucks and inhabited by drivers who far too often fit the same description as their truck. The cleanliness of a company's terminal is not an indication of the quality of a company. I've worked for some awesome companies over the years and even the best of the best always have some nasty places you'd rather not go to along with some big, beautiful terminals in other locations.

You said "my 2nd choice was Roehl who I really wanted to work for but never heard from them". It's quite common to find it nearly impossible to get recruiters on the line, especially if you haven't filled out an application with them yet. Fill out the app and then start calling them like crazy if you haven't heard from them within 36-48 hours. Don't stop calling until you get a person on the line and they review your application with you. Otherwise it might be sitting in a pile collecting dust somewhere.

Unverified Sources:

You said, " I have heard they're decent starter companies but I've heard just that"

The largest and most successful trucking companies in North America are the ones that hire students and in my opinion they make a great place to work regardless of your experience level. In fact, I completely dismiss the notion that starter companies are somehow lesser companies. That's ridiculous.

The largest companies tend to have:

  • Fleets of relatively new and well-maintained trucks
  • A large amount and variety of freight available
  • A number of various opportunities in dedicated or regional divisions
  • Nationwide accounts that make it incredibly easy to get tires changed, get repairs done, find a hotel, or pay lumper services
  • Tons of great perks, often including things like free health hotlines to speak with doctors and nurses, hotel and travel discounts, free marriage and family counseling sessions, and huge recreational centers at the terminals for the drivers during downtime
  • Some of the best pay and benefits of any companies in the country for experienced drivers

So being "just a starter company" isn't a bad thing at all in my opinion. In fact, the best company I ever worked for was a "starter company" that I didn't start with until I had almost 10 years of experience and they were simply stellar - US Xpress. At the time they even had their own school. They no longer operate their own school but they still hire students straight out of school.

Like I said, you haven't upset anyone. No need for any apologies of any sort. I'm just pointing out that you have a lot of preconceived notions or strongly formed opinions that aren't going to help you make the right decisions for yourself.

Go through those links I posted earlier and you'll find great information about how to choose the right company for yourself.

That high school education remark did feel like an insult but If you say so then so be it. I only stated that the local terminal was bad because of the area.Sorry for coming off like I know so much I guess I was being very Naive I really don't know anything. Maybe I should come back after completing school.

As for Roehl I applied twice and first time received an email that they were not accepting phone calls and that they'd email me back when ready to move forward, will probably never hear back from them, but it's okay which is why I'm going to The Truck Driver Institute in Tupelo, Ms. Thanks for the advice again.

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.

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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.

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

I tell people all the time not to judge Swift based on the Memphis terminal. I think a lot of students go in there and think "What have I gotten myself into?" I no longer work for them but they are not a bad company, most of their terminals are actually very nice (my favorite was the Edwardsville terminal , LotR pinball!), which is surprising given what slobs some drivers can be. They also have very good pay.

A word of advice...get your GED. Not having it is going to hold you back, maybe not in trucking but at some point you are going to wish you had it. Most states/counties will give you free tutoring if you need it in order to pass the test.

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.

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.

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