Starting Career Over At Western Express

Topic 17159 | Page 1

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Mark H.'s Comment
member avatar

Long story short, was employed through Celadon at the beginning of the year, and they helped me get my CDL. After going out with my trainer, I had a family crisis, and was unable to keep my employment though them. I know I signed a contract with them, but I have been paying back their tuition as I've worked other jobs. I decided it was time to go back out, and I don't have many options.

I've gotten offers from Swift and Western Express, but I'm going the WE route mostly because they allow pets in the trucks, and their terminal is closer to my home in Louisville.

Now I'm worried about not haven driven in over 6 months how everything is going to go down. Any tips or words of advice that can be given before I leave for orientation.

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.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

One of our members on this forum, Old School, started at Western Express. Use the search bar at the top of the home page. Tons of his posts in the archives. I'm sure he'll chime in on your post. Good Luck!

smile.gif

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

My guess is you got your CDL by didn't go through other training? You would have needed the additional training anyway. Just relax and take the advice from the trainer. It's like riding a bike. You can do this!!! 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.
Mark H.'s Comment
member avatar

I think what I'm worried about most is my backing. I can drive forward just fine, it's that backwards thing I never got down before I had to leave. Hopefully I can get in and actually get the training I need

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I think what I'm worried about most is my backing. I can drive forward just fine, it's that backwards thing I never got down before I had to leave. Hopefully I can get in and actually get the training I need

Everyone is worries about the backing. It takes about six months to get past that nervous feeling. Just learn the reference points to pass the test cause even after you will need a ton of training before going solo

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Have you considered contacting Celadon to see if you can go back? How long were you with them? Other than that, Old School got his start at WE too.

The big thing on backing is take your time and goal as much as necessary.

Wish you best of luck ,neighbor. I live by Ft. Knox.

Mark H.'s Comment
member avatar

I would go back to Celadon were it not for fact that you are forced to team. I'm a big guy, and I need my space, and two people in a truck for more than a couple months would be too much for me.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I would go back to Celadon were it not for fact that you are forced to team. I'm a big guy, and I need my space, and two people in a truck for more than a couple months would be too much for me.

You are going to be forced to team at most places during training I would think. Just cause you get a CDL doesn't mean you can do this without training.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I think he means at Celadon they make you to team for a while after you've completed the initial phase of your training.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Only going to respond to the training portion of your question.

While you did get your CDL - 99% of the companies are going to consider you a "student driver", and not even a "recent grad" since you haven't driven in quite awhile, and had zero solo experience.

So you are starting the bottom, as a trainee - the only difference being - you already have the CDL. Which is not necessarily a BAD THING.

I'm looking at the same thing - since I haven't driven in forever, but kept my CDL current. I would have NO PROBLEM going with Prime as a PSD student. I would WANT the experience of starting as a beginner. There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE and there's only ONE WAY TO GET IT - and that's EXPERIENCE.

As long as there are no other "black marks" from your experience at Celadon, and they are willing to let you work elsewhere while you are paying off your training obligation - there's no reason NOT to "broaden your scope" of potential employers, since you are going to be incurring another "training obligation" anyways (again - your limited experience at Celadon qualifies as ZERO EXPERIENCE, and you are going to have to start as a "trainee" ANYWAYS).

Not that there is anything wrong with WE, just that they're not your ONLY OPTION.

Rick

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

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

The following is from Prime's website:

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

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

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

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

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