Is It A Bad Time To Break Into Trucking?

Topic 15041 | Page 1

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Justin D.'s Comment
member avatar

Maybe I'm just having some bad luck, or maybe the problem is more widespread (I'm beginning to think so).

I just received my CDL at the beginning of the month. Hired on with a company that has a terminal within 25 miles of where I live. Went through orientation with two others, and was told trainers are hard to come by at the moment due to the time of year (vacations, trainers taking riders along, etc.) I sat for over a week waiting with still not even ballpark guess on when a trainer would be available. As I waited, I watched another 5 complete orientation the following week. Now there were 8 of us sitting around waiting to be placed with a trainer. I went to the terminal manager and we agreed it'd be best if I looked into other companies (as the others even in my orientation group were from out of town the company already had more invested in them due to transportation, lodging, etc. and would be looking to place them first). This was Friday.

Tuesday this comes out in Bloomberg: Trucking Stocks Plunge After Werner Warns of Sluggish Demand and the Wall Street Journal: Trucking Stocks Plunge on Earnings Warning, respectively.

Yesterday, of the two companies I contacted: One won't hire me because of where I happen to live. It seems irrelevant to me as I have no intention of coming back here, and is why I want to go OTR in the first place. The second, is only hiring teams out of my area and would expect me to drive team after training. A no go for me (however, apparently they have enough drivers to be so selective). Still, I don't see the relevance of the location where I am currently sleeping at night as I have no intention or desire to return to here at any point in the future. I digress (apologies).

Today I received the following from in an email from another company I contacted, " Unfortunately, we are halting our scheduling / recruitment of the Training Program for an indefinite period of time"

Am I just having a poor run of things, or is this less than an ideal time to come into the industry?

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

You don't mention what state you live in.. in order for a company to hire you, you must live in their hiring area.. where there terminal is makes no difference whatsoever.

So you already have your CDL-A? Your profile says still in school. What company was this that hired you as a company driver, but willing to let you go due to a lack of trainers?

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.

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

There is plenty of freight out here. Don't let those things scare you. Also how bad do you want it? It is hard to break into, but once you get in, you are in. Have you given all the mega carriers a chance? They are your best bet at getting the training you need.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

First have you looked at these?

The Complete Guide To A Career In Trucking

Apply For Truck Driving JobsTrucking Company Reviews

Second, I don't know what companies you are applying to, however, have you tried some of the larger ones. I would suggest calling them and explaining your desire to uproot yourself and stay on the road. Until they perfect auto driving trucks, there will always be a need for truckers. Good luck and don't give up.

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.

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.

Justin D.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, I have my CDL , out of Arizona.

The company I went through orientation with, but couldn't get a trainer with was May Trucking. Due to the minimum pay structure I agreed to during orientation, they were also paying me $90 every day after orientation that I was available to work, but they couldn't provide work (or in my case a trainer).

Since then: The Trans Am recruiter ended the conversations with my AZ address. The US Xpress recruiter informed me of the necessity to drive team after training. I forgot about Interstate Distributors, that said no because they only train new drivers from schools that their Saftey has vetted. And the email about the freeze in hiring/training new drivers was from Pride Transport.

So there isn't an industry wide hiring slow down at the moment due to declining freight levels, or something? The announcements in the news Tuesday kind of worried me.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
So there isn't an industry wide hiring slow down at the moment due to declining freight levels, or something? The announcements in the news Tuesday kind of worried me.

If there is it's nothing at all to be concerned with. I totally understand the frustration at the moment but try not to let it get to you. You've only spoken with a handful of companies. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of companies that will hire new drivers.

I went to the terminal manager and we agreed it'd be best if I looked into other companies

See, this is where the "chasing the tail" thing might come in. You might wind up quitting that company and running in circles getting nowhere for weeks when you might have been on the road far more quickly if you had just waited it out. Again, I totally understand the frustration. But that stuff happens sometimes. If you're already near the front of the line coming out of orientation then it shouldn't be much longer.

But seriously, this will work itself out. You'll be on the road before you know it. Don't do anything drastic or let yourself get down about it. There are always hurdles for everyone early on in their career. This is yours. You'll get past it.

If you do decide to leave that company then just put in applications anywhere and everywhere. Look at our job listings for ideas about who is hiring in your area. I know Swift is big out West. Have you spoken with them?

The US Xpress recruiter informed me of the necessity to drive team after training.

That's no big deal. I mean, are you desperate to get to work or are you being picky? That's something you're going to have to decide. Cuz if someone is ready to put you to work and you turn it down well then that's on you.

Personally I would wait it out where you're at. It can't be much longer. There's eight of you, not eight hundred. They'll get you rolling soon I'm sure.

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.

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

Justin D,

As artificially rigged as the stock market currently is I would not use it as an indicator of anything but the current stock price.

From the article "Trucking stocks fell after Werner Enterprises Inc. provided a second-quarter earnings forecast well below analysts’ estimates and blamed sluggish freight demand and higher driver pay for the shortfall."

Werner analysts put out an estimate lower than other analysts guessed or hoped it would be and stock prices declined. Then they blamed it on lower demand for freight. Are there any less people in the US than before this estimate came out? Actually there are more. And they all need whatever freight was being hauled last month or last quarter. Is there any better way to move that freight that does not include big trucks? Also, just because they blamed sluggish freight and those darned overpriced drivers (which I hope to be soon) does not mean that is the real reason they are forecasting lower earnings estimates. Maybe they just made some crappy executive level decisions and don't want to admit it.

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.
Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

You are in Arizona. You should really look at knight and swift.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Just wanted to put this out there. TranAm will not hire because they don't run into AZ. Only rarely do they send loads to CA but they would never be able to get you home.

I have run into the same problem. I live in rural MO on a US highway and quite a few companies turned me down due to not being able to get me home.

I had a prehire from May in school and they told me 4 month wait for a trainer but I am a female which was the issue. I'm surprised they don't have enough trainers but are still bringing people in for orientation.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I know Schneider is opening an Op Center in Phoenix soon, so that may be another option.

If somebody had been willing to pay me $90/day while waiting (indefinitely) on a trainer I might have taken it and found day work while I was waiting. But that's just me.

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