Paying Up-Front For Company Sponsored CDL School

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Nicholas H.'s Comment
member avatar

Do any of the companies have an issue with you paying for their CDL school up-front, then going home after you get your CDL? I've read all the reviews here for the company sponsored schools, and it looks like Celadon has the lowest cost CDL school with $2,600. That's much cheaper than a local school. So I'd like to just go do their training and get my CDL, then come home and find a local job that requires no driving experience. I just got engaged, and want to be home every night, or as close thereto as possible. I'm an attorney seeking a career-change. Thoughts? Think I'd be better off just going over the road for 6-months to a year? 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.

Over The Road:

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Nicholas wrote:

I see that Swift does not have APU's , and although you say they are more trouble than they are worth, most of what I've seen says your life will be absolute hell on the road if you don't have an APU. They also have a 2 year contract, which I wouldn't sign.

Swift DOES NOT require a 2 year contractual commitment, it's a one year contract when you go through their training. For one year they will deduct $37.50 from each paycheck. During the second year they will deposit the same amount back into each paycheck until there is a zero balance. If you chose to leave after completion of one year, you owe them nothing. If you choose like I did and many others I personally know, once you hit 24 months the training is free.

Why do you think you need an APU? All of the newer trucks have bunk heaters for the winter. In the heat of the summer a driver is permitted to idle or what is known as optimized idle for running the AC. My life has been far from an "absolute hell" as you put it. Very few companies have APUs. The majority do not. Again. to reiterate, be careful believing everything you hear, many times it's pure unadulterated bull.

Nicholas also wrote:

That's the only thing holding me back right now, as I see other companies with only 2 weeks of training after obtaining the CDL , which would be great. On the other hand, I don't know if I'd be ready to go out on my own after only 2 weeks of training, so there's a fine line to walk there. I think a month would be ideal.

Two weeks is no where near enough for a student driver. Although a month is better, but still IMO (based on experience) is not enough. 6-8 weeks is about average. And you may believe that 6-8 weeks is plenty, the first three months is very difficult and will challenge your every skill, patience, nerve, and mental toughness. Just ask any of the folks on this forum less than 6 months into their first year,...ask them what it's like. They'll tell yah...

If Prime is your "primary" candidate, search on Rainy's Training Diary. Rainy is a Prime driver with close to a year of experience. Her training diary is informative, entertaining and dead-nuts truthful. I think it will give you a really good understanding of what to expect.

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.

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.

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.

APUs:

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Hey Nicholas, we're glad you're here - Welcome aboard!

You are embarking on one of the most frustrating research projects you'll ever do when you start trying to figure out what trucking company or training program to go with. Here is the problem: Making a start in this career is very tough. The problems with getting started as a professional driver are usually based in the fact that about 99.9% of the folks who try to do this have totally unrealistic expectations as to what is involved and what it takes to do this everyday at the highest level or even at any level for that matter.

Are you aware that out of all the folks who try to make a go at this there are only around 5 - 8% of the new entrants that even make it to the one year mark? Many of those who failed came into this whole thing making comments much like yours...

I love driving and listening to podcasts, so it seems like Trucking is in my blood.

Now, I know you are a smart guy, but the difficulties have nothing to do with how intelligent one is. I went to college and owned a manufacturing business for thirty years. After doing those things I decided to do this gig for a second career, and I enjoy it very much. Even more than my enjoyment of this career is the enjoyment I get from helping folks understand how to make a start at this. One thing I can assure you that will not give you an accurate assessment of where you want to start is a spread sheet! I know you are thinking I'm crazy right now, but I'm hoping I can prove my point to you before you waste a lot of precious time at this. You simply cannot put together accurate information or parameters that will give you anything helpful in the end. All those crazy internet reviews you are going to find simply cannot be counted as even being close to accurate. Those reviews are almost all written by the approximately 95% of the folks who failed at this career. That information cannot help you, unless you just want to know how to fail at this.

Consider this: We have in this very forum several successful drivers who have been with Swift for years now! We have successful drivers in here from CR England! Hey, while I'm at this take a look at this link and tell me if you have ever heard anything like this about CR England? I started my career at Western Express, spent sixteen months there, and would be there still, had I not gotten an outstanding offer from Knight to work on a dedicated flat-bed account for them. Haha, try finding a good review of Western Express! I was very successful there because I understood how this whole thing works. Check out my comments in This Thread to have a better understanding of the kinds of things I'm trying to stress to you.

Are you aware of how competitive this business is? I'm not talking about competition between the companies. I'm referring to competition among the drivers to keep themselves at the top of the food chain. You simply can't take some losers account of how his trucking company starved him out by not giving him any miles, when there are other drivers at the same company who are giving it all they can just to get their work load completed. This whole business is performance based, and those who produce results continue to have great support and guidance from the folks who count on them to "git er done." There is no arbitrary fairness among dispatchers when it comes to keeping their drivers busy. When they know a driver who can be counted on no matter what, that driver will be called upon continually as long as he can keep the results pouring in. This is the kind of stuff that few understand when they decide they want to become a truck driver, but it is the stuff that makes for success at this.

I actually get tickled when I see the new folks coming in here talking about making spread sheets. That's not an insult. If anything, I realize that you are doing what you know best, as a way to make the proper decision. I know I probably have not dissuaded you from the whole spread sheet analysis, but I just want you to realize that what you put into this career as "effort to succeed" will far outweigh all your analysis at the beginning of your quest. When it comes to success at this career it has nothing to do with whose name is on the doors of the truck, and everything to do with what type of person is in the driver's seat.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Nicholas...you are not approaching this correctly.

First of all there are a half dozen reasons contributing to a newbie's failure that can occur long before the reality of the lifestyle takes hold. I know this for a fact and not because I read it, saw it or heard it somewhere. I witness the struggles of new drivers everyday who have unrealistic expectations and pi**poor attitudes. They fail before ever passing "go".

So this is not rocket science, but then neither is lawyering. Right? It's all in how it's said, admittedly I know very little about the legal profession yet I know it's not rocket science. So as a layperson telling that to a lawyer it's easily perceived as insulting. Get my drift Counselor?

You are NOT a driver!!!

You are an outsider looking in with zero firsthand experience.

Here's the deal,...I will try to be respectful cause you basically diminished the Profession that most of us love and respect. It puts food on your table, clothes on your back and a car under your a**. Without trucks you have none of those things.

You are far too confident and are greatly, greatly underestimating the difficulty and danger of truck driving. Especially in the beginning. If approached as such, this job will figuratively and literally eat you alive. Your lack of humility will not serve you well and likely contribute to your failure.

If an 80,000 pound death machine descending a 9% mountain grade doesn't humble a man or woman, nothing will. But then, I've never been a lawyer.

"Rinse and repeat...right?" It's that easy.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

NIcholas in true lawyer fashion continues to argue...by writing this:

I'm a great attorney, and quit by choice. I was also top 3 in the country as a wrestler. I'm great at anything I put my mind to. I'd be a phenomenal truck driver. You guys are missing the point. Once you're well prepared, things become easy. Don't sweat it.

Great attorneys don't quit at age 30 after maybe, 4-5 total years of experience. You were in the job long enough to know that you disliked it. How does that make you great? Potential? Possibly, I don't know, but "great"? Only in your own mind.

I know a great lawyer, been one of my best friends for 25 years. He practiced financial and contractual law for 30+ years and is a multi-millionaire. Although you'd never know it and he certainly wouldn't tell the whole world he was a "great" attorney. Even if it were true, he is far too wise to make a claim like that. A year ago he asked to accompany me on one of my Walmart delivery runs. During the 350 mile round trip he repeatedly kept saying, "I had no idea what you guys deal with". At the end of the trip he looked at me and thanked me for completely changing his paradigm on truck driving and all that it entails. He stated that his respect for truck drivers doubled. He said that I made it "look easy" but he understood by my furrowed brow, laser focus and constant vigilance that even to his untrained eye, it obviously wasn't.

You on the other hand believe this is going to be easy, no sweat. Read the books, ask some questions, pseudo-prepare and presto, out pops a super-trucker. You clearly have no respect for what we do. The great majority of us never have and hopefully never will make the evening news. The significance of that is beyond your current level of comprehension. To this day I never wake up thinking "Man this is so easy, like taking candy from a baby". No, God no. Every day I wake up and spend 10 minutes reflecting on the previous day; the mistakes, the breaks, and the near misses. I never stop learning or trying to improve my game. I never stop evaluating how I can improve...never. I want to be a great truck driver, but know that I fall short. The day I become complacent is the day I become dangerous to myself and others. It's time to retire. You on the other hand seem to be starting out like that...complacent as if you are entitled to be great at this just because you have always been great and you believe you will be amply prepared. My friend, I have good days and I have bad, but never, never are they easy. All it takes is a split second lapse of concentration and your whole life can be changed in an instant. With that harsh reality constantly in the forefront, comes respect, humility and prudence.

You have a whole lot to learn, but the number one thing to your detriment is your attitude; you are arrogant and c**kie. Maybe you think you need to be that way, not sure. Regardless, you have already alienated the vast majority of professionals on this forum who devote their free time to helping others (like you). At some point, inevitably you will need help,...no one is going to be there for you. You think you have this all figured out,...you don't. Far from it and you are far too ego-centric to realize it. Humility to some degree is an absolute requirement, especially in the beginning. You think you are going to "stand the trucking industry on it's ear". I promise you if you approach it with your current attitude; you might get through training, you might make it to solo status; but the first time you cop that sh** with a DOT officer, a dispatcher , a safety manager, or a shipping/receiving clerk you will be expediting your own demise.

You have received valuable advice here in a very short period of time. Initially it seemed like you were genuinely interested in a positive exchange, it unraveled quickly in part because you chose to diminish and unsuspectingly mock our profession. I sincerely hope you somehow "get-over" yourself and heed the experience of others willing to help you and show you the right way to approach this. Otherwise,...please do yourself a favor and choose some other career path because I doubt you have the required temperament for this.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow - a LAWYER wanting to be a truck driver?

That bad, eh?

You typically won't find any "company training" that you can just use to TRAIN and pay them off to leave. They are looking to have you IN THE DRIVERS SEAT for (usually) at least a year - this allows them to re-coup their investment in training and offset the increased cost of insuring an inexperienced driver.

You are NOT LIKELY TO FIND A LOCAL JOB THAT REQUIRES ZERO EXPERIENCE. Most of these type jobs hire from within (as in, off the loading docks - think UPS/Fedex and other LTL carriers).

How old are you (if you don't mind my asking) and what is steering you away from a profession you have already spent a ton of time & $$ to get into?

You know the earning potential for a truck driver is still a bunch less than a lawyer (or even an experienced paralegal), and most local jobs tend to be P&D (pickup & delivery) which also means MANUAL LABOR.

Rick

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Nicholas.

Not sure if any of the Paid CDL Training Programs would allow you to pre-pay for the school with the intent of leaving to go home, finding a local job. Even if they did, I would not recommend taking that route. These programs are designed to prepare new drivers for hire into their respective companies. The other aspect of this to keep in mind, just because you have your CDL does not make you a truck driver. You know enough and only have the very basic of basic skills necessary to pass the CDL exams. All of the companies offering sponsored schooling will road train a new driver for a period of 1-3 months before considering the possibility of solo promotion. The "real" learning occurs with the road training. Not to be skipped.

I don't want to discourage you but local work is many times far too difficult for a new driver to handle. Although there are exceptions to this, we usually recommend at least 3-6 months OTR before attempting a local gig as a new driver.

I also suggest investing some time reading and reviewing these links:

The first two links offer a truthful, accurate depiction of life as a truck driver. It will help you establish a realistic set of expectations and goals as you move into and progress through your first year. High Road is TT's comprehensive training program designed to prepare you for the CDL Permit Exams and other trucking subjects relevant to your learning curve.

Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions. We are here to help.

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.

Nicholas H.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow - a LAWYER wanting to be a truck driver?

That bad, eh?

You typically won't find any "company training" that you can just use to TRAIN and pay them off to leave. They are looking to have you IN THE DRIVERS SEAT for (usually) at least a year - this allows them to re-coup their investment in training and offset the increased cost of insuring an inexperienced driver.

You are NOT LIKELY TO FIND A LOCAL JOB THAT REQUIRES ZERO EXPERIENCE. Most of these type jobs hire from within (as in, off the loading docks - think UPS/Fedex and other LTL carriers).

How old are you (if you don't mind my asking) and what is steering you away from a profession you have already spent a ton of time & $$ to get into?

You know the earning potential for a truck driver is still a bunch less than a lawyer (or even an experienced paralegal), and most local jobs tend to be P&D (pickup & delivery) which also means MANUAL LABOR.

Rick

Thanks for the response. Yeah, pretty much all the local jobs on Craigslist require at least 6 months-1 year experience, some 3 years. I did see a couple saying no experience necessary, but those were from Western Express and USExpress, and likely just OTR positions.

I'm 31, graduated from law school in 2010, and never made more than $40K a year as an attorney. On top of that, I live in a remote area in upstate NY with no job opportunities. Everything is in NYC. If I wanted to move out of state, I'd have to retake the Bar Exam or go through a laborious reciprocity application. To boot, I HATE going to court and writing, lol. I love driving and listening to podcasts, so it seems like Trucking is in my blood.

Although first year as a trucker is usually $40K tops, you can get over $100K with years of experience, which is something I'd never make as an attorney, unless I worked in a big firm working more hours than a trucker, which I definitely would not do. I can't stand wearing a suit and tie.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

If home time is important look at carriers that offer good home time options. Roehl can get you home every other weekend in a normal otr schedule and they have some different home time fleet options. A buddy of mine works at Schneider and gets home every weekend for a reset. There are some flatbed companies that get you home every weekend. There are a lot more options than going away for months at a time.

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.

Nicholas H.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Nicholas.

Not sure if any of the Paid CDL Training Programs would allow you to pre-pay for the school with the intent of leaving to go home, finding a local job. Even if they did, I would not recommend taking that route. These programs are designed to prepare new drivers for hire into their respective companies. The other aspect of this to keep in mind, just because you have your CDL does not make you a truck driver. You know enough and only have the very basic of basic skills necessary to pass the CDL exams. All of the companies offering sponsored schooling will road train a new driver for a period of 1-3 months before considering the possibility of solo promotion. The "real" learning occurs with the road training. Not to be skipped.

I don't want to discourage you but local work is many times far too difficult for a new driver to handle. Although there are exceptions to this, we usually recommend at least 3-6 months OTR before attempting a local gig as a new driver.

I also suggest investing some time reading and reviewing these links:

The first two links offer a truthful, accurate depiction of life as a truck driver. It will help you establish a realistic set of expectations and goals as you move into and progress through your first year. High Road is TT's comprehensive training program designed to prepare you for the CDL Permit Exams and other trucking subjects relevant to your learning curve.

Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions. We are here to help.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I see what you mean. The training after obtaining the CDL is the most important part, and isn't something I'd like to miss out on. The only reason I wouldn't opt for Celadon if I chose to stick with the company, is because they force you to team up even after training for at least 6 months. I definitely want to be on my own after training, as I love being alone, which is one of the reasons I want to be a trucker. That's why I'm leaning towards Prime. They let you go solo after 2 months of training. I couldn't handle any longer than that with someone else, smelling their farts and bad breath. Plus, if you leave after 6 months, they only make you pay half of school costs, ~$1700. Personally, I wouldn't mind staying OTR, but the fiance is giving me a hard time lol. Thanks for the links too, will definitely be helpful!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Nicholas, yes Prime is a good choice and one that many of our forum members have taken. However it's not the only "good" option, as we also have a good number of members from Schneider, Knight, CR England, Swift, XPO, Old Dominion, Jim Palmer, Roehl, and PAM (actually a longer list than this).

Lots of options, spelled out here: Trucking Company Reviews

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Nicholas wrote:

Although first year as a trucker is usually $40K tops, you can get over $100K with years of experience, which is something I'd never make as an attorney, unless I worked in a big firm working more hours than a trucker, which I definitely would not do. I can't stand wearing a suit and tie.

100K? Perhaps a stretch, 75-80 yes. 100, haven't seen or heard too many substantiated examples of that number. Not sure what you have heard or read, but typically truckers have very, very long hours.

Nicholas H.'s Comment
member avatar

Nicholas, yes Prime is a good choice and one that many of our forum members have taken. However it's not the only "good" option, as we also have a good number of members from Schneider, Knight, CR England, Swift, XPO, Old Dominion, Jim Palmer, Roehl, and PAM (actually a longer list than this).

Lots of options, spelled out here: Trucking Company Reviews

Thanks. Of those listed, Knight, England, Palmer, Roehl and Pam are listed on this site as having Sponsored CDL Training. CR England is an immediate no go, based on the reviews I've read. Palmer and Pam look pretty good, and Knight and Roehl look better to me. I think Roehl is the best of that bunch as they pay $500 a week during CDL training, compared to Knight's $300 a week. I'd have to actually sit down and make a spreadsheet comparing all the company's pay when training is over, length of training, if you're solo immediately after training, home time, APU trucks, drop and hook %, etc... I would do that based on the info found here, I wish Brett had one made already ;-)

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Nicholas wrote:

Thanks. Of those listed, Knight, England, Palmer, Roehl and Pam are listed on this site as having Sponsored CDL Training. CR England is an immediate no go, based on the reviews I've read. Palmer and Pam look pretty good, and Knight and Roehl look better to me. I think Roehl is the best of that bunch as they pay $500 a week during CDL training, compared to Knight's $300 a week. I'd have to actually sit down and make a spreadsheet comparing all the company's pay when training is over, length of training, if you're solo immediately after training, home time, APU trucks, drop and hook %, etc... I would do that based on the info found here, I wish Brett had one made already ;-)

Nicholas with all due respect, be careful about the internet reviews that you read (or what you have heard), suggest to take all of it with at least a "grain of salt" or the entire "shaker". Those reviews are typically written by former, disgruntled employees who'd rather run their prior company into the ground, embellish the truth, than accept any accountability or responsibility for their failures and incompetence. For every example of bad press that's out there, we'll give you multiple examples of true success stories in here.

Your point about sponsored training? You missed Swift. They are probably the largest in that category. I attended one of their schools well over four years ago,...thought it was a great experience. By choice I continue to drive for Swift...no intention of looking elsewhere. Compare "that" to what is written about them on the internet...

The reason Brett hasn't made that spread sheet? Much of the information you defined isn't relevant or track-able or it changes like the weather. For instance "drop and hook %"; as an OTR driver that can vary day-to-day and is in no way an indication of what to expect for a given company. That can also vary for a given customer. APU's aren't required and in many cases are more trouble than they are worth because they break.

I sent you this a while ago: Trucking Company Reviews. Much of what you are seeking that's important is in there. I suggest giving it a thorough review. Same for the other stuff we sent you...your expectations will be better grounded after you review all of that.

Good luck...you seem engaged in this, that's a good thing.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

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