Good Starter Companies.

Topic 18507 | Page 1

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Todd S.'s Comment
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I have done plenty of research into trucking, and am looking forward to the challenges coming up. I am heading in Monday to set things up with a private school (Smith and Solomon). I will be asking for a list of current openings. I am hoping for something that will get me home on the weekends, and am considering a contract with Schneider for Wal-Marl (I think), that has you on the road Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (pays well apparently due to losing weekends). I was just curious if there are openings with companies that have similar home times, are there companies that are better then others for newer drivers that I should watch out for? (I live in Wilmington, DE and plan on staying here).

Tim F.'s Comment
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Hey Todd, Roehl runs a dedicated fleet for Kraft right through DE (its all east coast). They have a manufacturing plant in Dover and a logistics warehouse in Hurlock MD..they could probably fit you right in. You'd be home for your reset at a minimum. Give them a call and see what the current hiring area is. Loads are picked up out of Winchester Va. with backhauls going into that area. Good company to start with. Good luck.

Todd S.'s Comment
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Hey Todd, Roehl runs a dedicated fleet for Kraft right through DE (its all east coast). They have a manufacturing plant in Dover and a logistics warehouse in Hurlock MD..they could probably fit you right in. You'd be home for your reset at a minimum. Give them a call and see what the current hiring area is. Loads are picked up out of Winchester Va. with backhauls going into that area. Good company to start with. Good luck.

Thanks! I have looked into Roehl. They seem to have a ton of different schedules which is kind of nice. I was hoping they would be one of those listed from the driving school I am attending. I will post an updated list of options as soon as I am able to get a list from the school.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

As long as you are within a companies hiring area you should be good. Don't worry about terminals and what not.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Todd, the title for this topic says "Good Starter Companies". If you believe any company would be happy to get you "started", then say "Happy trails, be safe!" after a year or less, There are none.

Many companies do run their own Paid CDL Training Programs, but their purpose is to train you then keep you going as a professional driver. It's the people who don't do enough research that label them "starters".

True, some companies only talk to drivers with 1-5 or more experience. But the ain't no such thing as a "starter" trucking company.

Several TT members trained with a company, and still drive for them. I went to Swift's school two years ago, and I'm sitting in a Swift cab on my break right now.

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.
classA's Comment
member avatar

I am hoping for something that will get me home on the weekends, and am considering a contract with Schneider for Wal-Marl (I think), that has you on the road Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (pays well apparently due to losing weekends). I was just curious if there are openings with companies that have similar home times, are there companies that are better then others for newer drivers that I should watch out for? (I live in Wilmington, DE and plan on staying here).

Hi Todd.

I considered many things after graduating CDL school (my career plans, the carrier credentials as well as their viability for different options, and subsequently I chose Schneider because - 1) recommended by a friend 2) had Worldwide coverage (not only Nationwide) 3) there were multiple driving options

You mention the Dedicated Wal-Mart account and having driven on that account out of PA, I can tell you it is a great driving option for the new driver. You are always going to the same places (all at different times in a month, etc.) and it gives you an opportunity to remain focused on expounding on your driving skills. And it is consistent regarding TAH (Time at Home) options. But remember that any Dedicated account (Wal-Matt, Target, Anheuser-Busch, etc.) will generally mean you are required to pick up and deliver within one 14-hour day (same day).

Whatever you choose, as others have said, stick with it and commit to it (at least one year) if possible. Yet, if the path you choose is simply not working out for you, do NOT quit without talking first to your DBL, the Operations Manager, or someone in the Company before you quit. Exceptions are always possible if you are reliable.

May your career be successful.

Rod

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Todd...I read your initial post. I run Walmart dedicated, been exclusive on the account for 4+ years. Have delivered to the Wilmington DE Walmart many times...

I'll give you my perspective on this shortly...just closed out my day.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Todd, I read your original post and hopefully can provide some insight based on my experience running Walmart Dedicated. I have been assigned to a grocery Distribution Center (DC) for the last four plus years and can honestly say, I love the work and the people I interact with.

A few of things bubble-up to the surface...

Starter company? Yes there are many companies that will give a rookie driver training and a chance to succeed. The use of the term starter company implies a beginning and a definite end. Not a forgone conclusion. At least with Swift (and likely many other so called starter companies) I know of two, million mile, accident free drivers assigned to the DC where I work. There are at least 25 other driver at the DC with 3 or more years of Swift experience. Once the training wheels come off, these "starter companies" may well be a really good place for a long term career. Grass is not always greener...

The question about living in proximity to a terminal , although with OTR there is far less need to be close to the terminal, not necessarily true with a Dedicated Account supporting a DC. Many of these accounts (especially retail) require that you are dispatched with store deliveries (up to 5 on one load) and return with either a backhaul or empty the same day, frequently using 12-14 hours of on-duty time. Many also provide the ability to have one or two days-off in a 7 day work week, they want a 34 hour reset so a driver has a fresh 70 at the beginning of their work week, makes planning far easier. That said, if you live 4-5 hours drive from your assigned DC, it will make it very difficult to enjoy your day(s)-off at home if that's the case. Most of the drivers assigned to the DC where I work live within the territory, making it very easy to route their last run of the work week through their home town area. Most Walmart Stores allow Walmart Drivers, either their Private Fleet or a Transportation Partner like Swift or Schneider, to park at their stores for 1-2 days or as I have done numerous times, overnight.

Considering where you live, your choices for Walmart Dedicated (that I know of) are the Schneider Dedicated Operation, Bedford PA Grocery DC or the Swift Dedicated Operation at the Gordon PA Grocery DC. Our territory overlaps with the Bedford PA DC in a line drawn south from Williamsburg PA to York PA. I frequently see Pumpkin Wallys (Schneider) in those areas, conversed with many of their drivers. Smyrna DE has a DC, however it's General Merchandise (GM) and as far as I know do not have an outside carrier assigned as a Dedicated Transportation Partner, but use surge support from outside carriers. Most GM work is drop and hook (about 80%), therefore reserved for Walmart Private Fleet Drivers. Grocery Deliveries are 100% live-unload if perishable (reefer) and about 60% live un-load for non-perishable, dry van.

Also, for several reasons (IMO) Walmart Dedicated is not a good choice for a brand-new, fresh off the trainer's truck entry level driver. I had 3+ months of solo OTR before I started running Walmart, thought I knew what I was doing... There is a whole lot of tight maneuvering, frequent backs, inner city/town driving, additional procedures to deal with and an aggressive delivery schedule. Not saying it cannot be done, but it will be a real struggle with increased risk for a brand-new driver. This is compounded based on the territory; in my case Philadelphia Area, North Jersey, and metro-Baltimore. Most of the brand-new, entry-level drivers who started at our DC, don't make it beyond 3 months for a variety of reasons. Many chose to go OTR for more experience, many are fired for cause, and some never learn the process and have repeated delivery failures.

In addition the DC territory I am assigned to supports well over 100 stores and about 2 dozen or so "backhaul" vendors. It took me 18 months before I actually delivered to every Walmart store "one time" (Rehoboth DE was my last hold-out) and still have yet to visit over half the Sam's Clubs (okay by me). So, the notion that Walmart is easier for a rookie because of going to the same places? Although eventually true, initially there is really no benefit, it's all new for months. Although a driver may visit the same store several times per month it's likely to be routed differently every time, meaning the stores either "before it" or "after it" are different. I tend to think in terms of; after the first year, once you know the territory cold is when you can maximize your earning potential. Case in point, my first dispatched run yesterday was 305 miles, 3 stops. I was finished and under my second dispatched run in under 9 hours. No way I could do that as a newbie driver.

Considering you live in Wilmington DE, and that's in the territory I cover, if you want you could ride with me for a short run to see first hand how this operation works. Let me know.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.
Todd S.'s Comment
member avatar

Considering you live in Wilmington DE, and that's in the territory I cover, if you want you could ride with me for a short run to see first hand how this operation works. Let me know.

G-Town, I am interested on going with a short run with you. I would greatly appreciate it! Right now things are a bit hectic as I am transferring to a new sight with my current job, so you can keep me posted on your schedule between now and April 3 (when I start class for my CDL part time, while working full time), we can work something out. I am available this Sunday for sure. I don't see any way to private message anyone, but my email is dascott2485@gmail.com.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

We'll try to make that happen.

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