Having Trouble Making Up My Mind...

Topic 18512 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Bill W.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm starting my third career, US Navy, Minister, and now trucking. Trucking is something I have wanted to do since I was 12 and now at 60 I am heading for training. My problem is I have been accepted by 3 companies, but only 2 really interest me, Wil-Trans and Prime. The position at Prime is Northeast regional based out of the Wal-Mart distribution center in Lewiston, ME (I live about 60 miles away in Waterville, ME). Wil-Trans is of course over the road. I really don't like the idea of a light weight as I'm tight end size... OTR doesn't bother me because we are empty nesters and my wife wants to get her license in October so we can team together. My dilemma is which company? There are pros and cons to each and I need to make up my mind by Monday. What fun! Thoughts anyone?

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.

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.

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.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

What puts you off from Prime? You may or may not have the condo vs lightweight option.. Rainey or another Primate will probably answer that more indepth.

's Comment
member avatar

I'm currently finishing up my TnT with Prime. I've been told by many that you have the option to go with a light weight or a condo. As my wife will be joining me on the road, I'll be asking for the condo. You shouldn't have any problem asking for a condo. I'm sure Rainy will come in with her wisdom in this momentarily....

And congrats! I'm 61 and having the time of my life! God bless and God Speed!!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14ยข per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Jonathan T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Bill, I'm sorta like you because it can be hard for me to make big decisions like this. I don't know anything about Wiltrans but I can say that if Walmart is on your options list then I would choose Prime. I like it over here a lot. The Walmart account would require a lightweight. Sounds like OTR is what you want so your wife can travel with you and so that you can get a full size. Going OTR with Prime is a good gig and if somewhere down the road you decide that Walmart is what you wanna do then you can switch to the Walmart dedicated. It's not that big of a deal. Now if you got OTR with Willtrans and then decide down the road that you would like to try that Walmart then you would be switching companies. I'd rather join one company and have the options to move around within as I want. Also, OTR reefer guys do Walmart runs when they get to Maine. So you could be running OTR with Prime and have the opportunity to do a few of those Walmart runs. I hear it gets busy up there so OTR guys help out. When that day come you may love it or hate it. It would really help you make up your mind I believe. So just to recap, I would choose Prime OTR just so that you still have the option to switch over to Walmart down the road if you want. It's pretty easy switching around within our company like that.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Jonathan T.'s Comment
member avatar

Forgot to mention, you can get a full size condo while running OTR with Prime. If you do Walmart then they require a lightweight truck.

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.

Bill W.'s Comment
member avatar

I have nothing against Prime. I do know for OTR Wil-Trans pays better to start. I guess me next question is, does anyone know how much is no-touch freight for either? I'm not a spring chicken you know! :)

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.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I have nothing against Prime. I do know for OTR Wil-Trans pays better to start. I guess me next question is, does anyone know how much is no-touch freight for either? I'm not a spring chicken you know! :)

You do not have to accept the walmart regional. The recruiter tried to push the Northeast on me being from NJ. I assumed he got a bigger commission for getting a NE driver. You can definitely go OTR from the start.

I have a condo..and know quite a few newbies with condos. The catch is that when you upgrade if they don't have a condo available you have to pay your own hotel bill. It took one night to get mine in...big deal. Starting pay for condo is 41.5 CPM.

As for freight it is almost 100% no touch. Teams sometimes do floral loads which does require drivers to load. So you might get one in training. I didn't. I have never in 18 mos touched freight.

Think long and hard about a walmart account to start off with. They are hard for rookies. Tight space s to drive and back...tight schedules to make. Its real easy to rookies to have accidents, even easier on a walmart account.

Its one thing to go OTR in the condo for a while then go LW for the Walmart...but starting off that way? I wouldn't recommend it.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rainy wrote in response to Bill W:

Think long and hard about a Walmart account to start off with. They are hard for rookies. Tight spaces to drive and back...tight schedules to make. Its real easy to rookies to have accidents, even easier on a Walmart account.

Its one thing to go OTR in the condo for a while then go LW for the Walmart...but starting off that way? I wouldn't recommend it

Bill I totally, 100% agree with Rainy on this. I am assigned to a Walmart Dedicated account with Swift delivering grocery loads to stores in NJ, Eastern half of PA, DE, Eastern MD and South Central NY and average 1-2 vendor backhauls per week. At times I will also run for the DC in Johnstown NY (near Albany), but usually only a couple of days consecutively before returning to PA. I have been on the account since the summer of 2012 and I absolutely love it. However, I didn't accept this position until I had 3+ months of solo OTR experience under my belt. For good reason...not only is Walmart challenging from a driving skills perspective (especially the older stores built 25+ years ago), but there is a lot more process to remember and execute. That only adds to the already high stress levels for a rookie. There is nothing leisurely about it...to make money a driver must hustle and know their territory. Always hustling, not wasting any time. Really tough gig for an entry level driver fresh out of road training. Although I have seen entry level drivers make it through their first year on the account, it's a low percentage and certainly not without struggling significantly.

The irony of your post is the comment about the lightweight (LW). I drive an LW very similar to how PRIME configures their LWs...(hit my profile pics if you want to see one). I drove full size condo sleeper the first two years on the account (that's in my photos as well). I much prefer the LW over the condo for several reasons. Obviously lighter, they can legally handle the higher weights typically associated with grocery loads, especially the backhauls. I regularly pull 46+K water loads out of Nestle' and Niagara, soft drinks out of Kott Beverage, similar weights. Secondly they are easier to handle in tight spaces due to their tighter turning radius (axle set further back by 6") and overall shorter wheelbase (frame length is roughly 18-20" shorter due to the 52" bunk). Hands-down, the LW is my preferred truck for running the Walmart account. Assuming PRIME runs their operation similar to Swift, you are not going to be living in the truck for weeks/months at a time. Worst case you will likely be home once per week if you are Dedicated full time to the account. And at least with us, most of the time you return MT to the DC (at least that's the goal). We have showers, our own lounge, full kitchen with refrigeration and access to the WM cafeteria (open 6AM-10PM/ 24x7 Vend-a-teria).

Most of the regulars on this forum know my Walmart story. However what I have never shared is; when I was considering the Walmart account I visited the dock areas of about a half dozen stores in my area before I opted for several months of OTR first. I also followed a truck from the Grocery DC in Gordon PA to their first delivery...this was an eye opening experience. You might want to do the something similar with some of the stores in your area, especially those close to or in urban centers and older towns. When you do this, think big 8.5" wide by 72' long by 13'6" high. Consider that size and "swing" requirement as you observer the entry and the amount of space available in and around the dock. Keep in mind that about 2.5 months of every year beginning 3 weeks before Thanksgiving, many of the dock areas and access routes are littered with numerous 20' and 40' containers affecting ingress, egress and backing set-up. Some stores are like a maze during this period.

Good luck.

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.
Bill W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you everyone for your input. You don't know how much it is appreciated. Well, I have decided on Wil-Trans and start orientation and training next Monday 3/6 in Springfield, MO. The reason I decided on them is because they wanted to speak with my wife to make sure she was ok with my being gone for 2-3 months while training. The gal she talked to gave my wife her direct number in case she needs anything while I'm gone. My recruiter has bent over backwards for me and at this moment I couldn't be more pleased. I know my wife is happy with them and that's 3/4 of the battle right there! :) As a going away gift the church I am the associate pastor for bought my plane ticket so I wouldn't have to spend 49 hrs on a bus. So, the new adventure begins soon. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited and a tad nervous. I can speak in front of hundreds of people and not bat an eyelash, but this, this is something else. I feel like a big kid!

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Yay!!! Congrats n good luck!

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More