What's A Good Company To Start Out With?

Topic 14891 | Page 1

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:
Brandon T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all. My name is Brandon. I'll be leaving the Army in the next 7 days and heading off to school through an army program to get my CDL in July. I was just curious as to what everyone here thought would be a good company to start out with. I know everyone says it's based on what you want but I want to see who people with experience would start out with and why so I can begin compiling a list of companies to look into. Any information is greatly appreciated.

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
Best Answer!
Some of those companies give raises throughout your first year, other companies that supposedly pay well don't have as many miles available, hence so many people's complaints.

This is actually a common bit of misinformation spread by the many malcontents out here struggling to make it in this rewarding yet challenging career. I don't know what it is about success in this business that eludes people so easily. The top performers come out at the top of the pay scale, the ones who think they should be making money while lounging in a comfortable chair taking in the latest re-run on the T.V, at the truck stop drivers lounge are the ones who never seem to understand why they can't make any money. Incidentally these are the same folks who are constantly jumping from one company to the next because the company they are currently working for is "bad." Never mind that said company has a nice long list of million mile drivers on the wall.

This whole notion of "this company is bad, and this company is good," is so baseless that it is difficult to understand how it so rampantly weaves it's deception into each and every newbie's research. People put such undue stress on themselves while researching which company to start with, and then even after they get started they are stressed to an even greater degree with the anxiety that they may have made the wrong decision. We struggle daily here to dispel these modern day internet "old wives tales." It is ludicrous to believe that one company is going to pay you more per mile because they don't have as man miles to give you, or that another is going to pay you less per mile because they have got so many miles they don't know how to get it all done.

Brandon, my philosophy is that you will make this job what you want it to be by your work ethic and willingness to push through what ever difficulties arise to hinder you. As far as which companies are "good" I consider them all to be trucking companies - they've all got the same issues, because they are all trying to do the same thing, move freight from point A to point B. So many people jump into this career with false assumptions based on foolish reports and notions that they have picked up from internet "review sites". Have you ever noticed how 99% of the people who post reviews are people who are dissatisfied in an extreme way? That in itself should be a big red flag to any thinking person. This business of being able to be anonymous, and being hidden behind a keyboard, has emboldened a bunch of people, who are generally failures at most things they attempt, to lay the blame for their ineptitude at the feet of "big greedy trucking magnates who are still practicing slavery in their business models".

Continued...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

What I'm trying to say is choose a company that you seem to like, and then get out there and prove yourself to them. Don't be looking for them to prove themselves to you - that is the current trend of thinking and it is so backwards that it is a huge reason for the current 100% turn over rate in trucking. They don't have anything to prove - if you take a look at the walls of the offices of almost any trucking company that is being unfairly slammed on the internet you will find photos of drivers who have been there for ten and twenty years and put in millions of miles safely and very productively. Those guys didn't do that because it was a "good company" - they accomplished that because they were "good" drivers.

I just like to point things out like this not only for the person who originally asks the question, but also for the many others who will read this later on. Your willingness to succeed and your drive to excel are the main ingredients for your success at this career. So don't worry so much about whose name is on the doors of the truck. I spent the first eighteen months of my career at a trucking company whose reputation is absolutely in the gutter by all internet review accounts, you couldn't ask for a company with more disparaging remarks against it. I excelled there, was always in the top group of drivers for productivity, and made some very good money despite the fact that their pay rate was very low. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but rather the truth that you are the driving factor of your success at this. Any company out there who has a really hard working dependable driver who knows how to "get er done" will do all they can to keep that driver moving and satisfied. I have since moved on to a different company, but it wasn't because I thought the other guys were scumbags. I received a much better offer and I took advantage of that offer. That's the way it works - you prove yourself first, then you will find the doors of opportunity opening up to you.

One of the biggest problems with getting started in this career is the sheer difficulty of getting oneself accustomed to all the many consequences of your own decisions and choices while out there on the road. It is tricky, to say the least, to get the hang of all this stuff during the first six months of doing this. People end up with negative consequences due to some of their own poor choices or decisions as to how to handle their job or manage their time. It is not easy breaking into this career. New drivers will inevitably make some bad choices while on the road. It is important to recognize when you make a mistake and learn from it. Your driver manager will come to depend on you and treat you really well if you are a dependable driver. People tend to give up and blame their company for not getting enough miles, or not making enough money to live on, as if they were being mistreated by the greedy company. But I can guarantee you that at which ever company that is getting slammed on the internet for mistreating their employees, there are a group of competent drivers who are getting more miles dispatched to them than they know how to handle because those drivers have proven themselves again and again. The reason you don't hear from them on those internet reviews is because they are in their sleeper catching some much needed rest so they can give 110% during their next on duty time period.

Driver Manager:

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.

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Jeffery wrote:

While I am in no way knocking companies like Swift, Werner, CRST, CR England, etc., I would be a bit concerned, as a new driver who is transitioning into the trucking industry, as to the on-line reviews about what is posted about the companies referred to as "bottom feeders". With that said, I do not believe that means that a driver has a "bad attitude" or what have you because of those concerns. So, I do think some companies do suck, yes. I wonder myself how far a positive attitude along with being a hard worker at a company such as Swift or C.R. will take you versus Earl Henderson, or Prime (some of the better reviewed companies).

Thanks for moving from the ranks of lurker to contributor; your first post.

The majority of the negative information on the internet is written by former, disgruntled employees ducking personal accountability and responsibility for their own failures. You have been on the TT forum long enough to have read the same thing at least once or twice. Furthermore, the larger the company, the more negative information exists based on the numbers alone. Every one of the major trucking companies have their issues, they all do. They're also all good places to work. Perfect? No, never. Nothing ever is. If you want perfect, try starting your own company. That's about where I am with some of the folks on this thread (not you Jeffrey).

The thing that no one outside the business understands, there is only one or two relationships in this business that really matter to a driver. It's only a small sphere of these huge corporations that we interact with. I don't care what is happening at the executive levels of Swift, or in their board room, not my job and way above my pay grade to worry about. I focus my attention on my DM (driver manager) and to a lessor extent the planner on-duty when I am driving. Much of your success and/or failure depends on that relationship. You and your DM are a team with the same exact goal; move the freight as safely and efficiently as possible. Work with them, document conversations, keep them informed on what is happening.

If you search on the following criteria: DM, driver manager , dispatcher , and/or planner you will see a consistent and repeatable theme. Other than operating your truck, that relationship is within your direct control to influence in a positive or negative way. Once you "get this", your income and happiness will move in an upward direction. Use the search bar in the upper let hand corner to find these threads.

I can only, directly speak about Swift. My experience with Swift has been very positive, beginning over 4 years ago while in school. I still work for them, and do so by choice. There have been problems, all of which were worked out by approaching it professionally and respectfully, void of emotionally charged anger and hostility. Juvenile and unprofessional behavior is usually never met with a positive response. The relationship with my assigned DMs and the supporting cast is very professional and effective. It takes work and understanding to get it to that point and work to keep it there. I make very good money working in the industry and with the equipment that I love. There are other examples of happy Swift drivers on here. Same for Schneider, Werner, Prime, Roehl, Knight, and many more.

Goes back to the same basic theme, contrary to what some of our recent negative "ranters" would have you believe, good drivers can be successful and happy working for any of the companies frequently discussed in this forum. I have 30+ years of corporate experience, have seen it all, the good the bad and the ugly. I am not in that fray any more and for good reason. Far happier doing this. Truck driving is the only career I know of that elevates a person above and away from all of that nonsense.

Good luck.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all. My name is Brandon. I'll be leaving the Army in the next 7 days and heading off to school through an army program to get my CDL in July. I was just curious as to what everyone here thought would be a good company to start out with. I know everyone says it's based on what you want but I want to see who people with experience would start out with and why so I can begin compiling a list of companies to look into. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your service.

I've been driving a year and a half. All with Schneider. The biggest reason I'm glad I started with Schneider is that the recruiter told the truth. I was military for 12 years (Army National Guard, then Navy for 10 years) and I know how rare it can be for recruiters to present what actually happens.

Other key factors for me are that Schneider has operating centers in many locations around the country. So, many times I don't have to worry about looking for a place to park for the night. Most of these operating centers have free laundry, showers, maintenance facilities and some have cafeterias (eat at your own expense) and they allow you to check out the company car to run errands, like picking up groceries. Also, the company is big enough to have many different driving opportunities if I want to branch out.

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.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

These should help.

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

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.

Chris K.'s Comment
member avatar

I have seen ads for military vets from Stevens, Werner, Swift, USA Truck, etc

Blue Hotel's Comment
member avatar

You're probably going to make the same money no matter where you go in your first year. Schneider and TMC have some of the best training programs for new CDL holders, or so I've heard. That can go a long way.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

You're probably going to make the same money no matter where you go in your first year. Schneider and TMC have some of the best training programs for new CDL holders, or so I've heard. That can go a long way.

That's not true. I've seen companies pay from 21 to 27 cpm ( I think CR England is 27cpm)... while other companies are paying much more. Prime pays 39 to 44 cpm to rookies.

I've said it a dozen times. I love prime. We have a ton of vets... they are family oriented with great terminals good bonuses and lots of perks. Love my dispatcher. . He's awesome

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.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Nolaman's Comment
member avatar

Brandon, Do you have any idea what you want to do? Tanker? Flatbed, Reefer? OTR? Regional? Dedicated? Take a look at the articles Big Scott recommended. My only advice is this... in almost all cases, it's you and your attitude that matters more than the company!! If you're a good, safe driver with a great attitude, you'll do great wherever you decide to work. The patient, safe, cooperative, good drivers rise to the top of the miles driven at every company... it's not coincidence!! -Done Gone

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Nolaman's Comment
member avatar

Brandon..... BTW.......Sincerely, thank you so much for your service. I did see several videos on YouTube by an ex-military man who started with Maverick, and he seemed to be getting good training.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Brandon, There are many really good companies willing to train a driver fresh out of CDL school. The list is long, here are the companies that we see repeatedly on the forum; Roehl, Prime, Schneider, Swift, Werner, Maverick, PAM, CR England, TransAm, TMC, Western Express, and CRST. I know I probably missed quite a few.

Here is a link that might help in your decision making process:

Trucking Company Reviews

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.
Brandon T.'s Comment
member avatar

Done Gone-

For now I'm fine with OTR but once my wife and I start a family I'll be looking more for either regional or dedicated. But I appreciate the advice and I'll definitely take a look at those articles

Brandon, Do you have any idea what you want to do? Tanker? Flatbed, Reefer? OTR? Regional? Dedicated? Take a look at the articles Big Scott recommended. My only advice is this... in almost all cases, it's you and your attitude that matters more than the company!! If you're a good, safe driver with a great attitude, you'll do great wherever you decide to work. The patient, safe, cooperative, good drivers rise to the top of the miles driven at every company... it's not coincidence!! -Done Gone

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Choosing A Trucking Company Truck Driver Salary Truck Driving Lifestyle
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More