Looking For A Little Insight On Choosing A Trucking Company

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9Ether's Comment
member avatar

What's up guys, and ladies...

I've been researching and perusing this forum extensively over the past week, as I'm a new cdl holder and picking out my company to start with. I've read more than enough horrible comments about "starter companies" to come to the understanding that my first company is solely for the purpose of paying dues. However, I'd like a little further insight. For starters my options are limited as I have 2 speeding tickets within the past 3 years and both are 15 over tickets, though one makes it's third year in 3 weeks. Secondly, I'm prior Air Force and come from a petroleum, oils, and lubricants background; as well as lox/lin production. I'm primarily interested in pulling tankers. Out of the starter companies I've reduced it down to western express flatbed division and knight transportation dry van division (keep in mind those tickets influenced my choices). The plan is to use either company for 6 months and slide into someone's tanker division.

Where would be a better start? Western express or Knight? The offers I've gotten were from trans am, srt, USA truck, super service, and my top 2 pics. After I pay my dues, which would be a solid tanker company to roll with? I'm willing to take the crooked with the straights for the time being, long term goal is to pull tankers locally/regionally as an OO.

Any insight or advice would be 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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Parrothead66's Comment
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Can't really tell you much about either company but I can tell you I love doing flatbed. I would also recommend trying to stick with that first company for a full year.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

We usually recommend a full year with whomever you choose to start your career with. It will help immensely when you go to make a change in companies.

We have people happy with both Western Express and Knight so look at what both have for options and see if something with one or the other stand out to you.

Out of the companies you listed above I can't say I recall seeing any of them pulling tankers.. I've been wrong before. So spend a year with a company and that in itself will open many more doors for you and I would want to spend at least a year pulling something more forgiving than a tanker.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

People lie and exaggerate. Its usually the miserable people and screw ups who post negative comments. I'm with one of those starter companies and did my year but I love it. No reason to leave.many of us are with starter companies that uninformed truckers or wannabes laugh at.....yet somehow we stay cause the companies are great and provide our needs.

Don't write off a starter cause some idiot told you to.

As got tanker...all I know about is prime where I pull reefer and Schneider where my good friend runs tanker. My ex runs Superior which is hazmat and he loves it there.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I would still be with my "starter" except for two things.. It was a team only company and I wanted to be solo.

And my freakin dispatcher went and got himself promoted which he deserved.

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.
9Ether's Comment
member avatar

Can't really tell you much about either company but I can tell you I love doing flatbed. I would also recommend trying to stick with that first company for a full year.

Thanks for the response. Yea I seem to gravitate more towards the flatbed side simply because I like physical challenges, and being active. I also like to be well-rounded in anything i do, figurebif you can do flatbed or tanker you can do them all.

9Ether's Comment
member avatar

We usually recommend a full year with whomever you choose to start your career with. It will help immensely when you go to make a change in companies.

We have people happy with both Western Express and Knight so look at what both have for options and see if something with one or the other stand out to you.

Out of the companies you listed above I can't say I recall seeing any of them pulling tankers.. I've been wrong before. So spend a year with a company and that in itself will open many more doors for you and I would want to spend at least a year pulling something more forgiving than a tanker.

None of the companies I named pull tankers, tankers are something I want to pursue after getting my stripes in the industry. However, prime said they'd hire me in 3 weeks when one of those tickets fall off. Schneider bulk won't hire me until June considering they look back 5 years into an MVR.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Those wreckless driving tickets will certainly hurt. I recommend applying anywhere and everywhere, hoping youll get an offer and be willing to tske what you're offered and stay there until you have a clean driving record. I don't believe you will have the luxury of being choosy.

Best of luck!

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.

9Ether's Comment
member avatar

People lie and exaggerate. Its usually the miserable people and screw ups who post negative comments. I'm with one of those starter companies and did my year but I love it. No reason to leave.many of us are with starter companies that uninformed truckers or wannabes laugh at.....yet somehow we stay cause the companies are great and provide our needs.

Don't write off a starter cause some idiot told you to.

As got tanker...all I know about is prime where I pull reefer and Schneider where my good friend runs tanker. My ex runs Superior which is hazmat and he loves it there.

Yea I tend to take the negative comments with a grain a salt, throughout my years I've come to learn what's a deal breaker for some is petty to me and vice versa.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Oh I did forget to mention that a prehire is simply an "invite to the party". Always keep in mind that orientation is a really long interview. Glad you got lots if prehires. I can tell you my daughter only had 1 such ticket, and she ended up with only 2 choices, so decided to wait till everything drops off.

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.

Prehires:

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.

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