Extremely New To Trucking And Need Some Advice

Topic 20258 | Page 1

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Christopher H.'s Comment
member avatar

So I've decided that I can no longer stand my normal swing shift tech support job in a call center and I need more adventure in my life. I'm no stranger to hard physical work and I've decided to venture into the world of trucking. I've been doing a lot of research into start companies (I.E. Swift, knight, C.R. England, etc.) and I'm honestly a little lost on which one too choose. I understand that I don't want to work like a slave which is why I'm paying for my own cdl but I still need to get experience. If anyone has some recommendations or can even point me in the direction of a better company that would be very much appreciated. Thank you for reading! By the way I'm based out of Northern Nevada in the Reno/Sparks area.

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.

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.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Christopher, Welcome to TT. Sadly if you have been doing your research on such sites as Glassdoor and Trucker's Report you are probably thinking that this is the worst industry in existence. Let me start you our "Welcome Package"

Also here is some info on company sponsored sponsored training.

Paid CDL Training Programs

Lastly here is a link to Trucking company reviews:

Trucking Company Reviews

Drive Safe and God Speed

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

Welcome Christopher!

It's obvious you've come to the right place, and just in time. Your mind has been poisoned by the "bad company" and "contracts make you a slave" crowd which is prevalent on the Web. In fact, they're the reason I built this site 10 1/2 years ago, to tell people the truth about how this industry works and what it takes to be successful at this career.

Keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of people who enter this career never make it to the one year mark. The failure and dropout rate is staggering. It's far more difficult and complex than most people expect.

Now if you've already signed up for private schooling, no problem. As long as the school you're attending is at a high enough level that the major companies will hire from there. You can ask the school for a list of companies that hire their students and then call several of those companies yourself from home to verify. If major companies will hire from there you should be ok. Not all of them likely will, but several should at least.

What I would recommend you do is forget about all of the negativity and baloney and cry babying you've been reading on other sites and start fresh with a clear mind. Take a few days read through our "starter package" materials and you'll learn a whole new perspective on this industry, the right perspective in fact. Take a look:

The Truck Driver's Career Guide really covers it all. It will teach you how this industry works, how to choose a school, how to choose a company, and how to prepare for the testing and then life on the road.

My book is a relatively short, easy read that I compiled from my 15 years on the road. It contains a ton of insights into how this industry really operates, will help you understand the various types of jobs available, and includes several of the more amazing stories from my time on the road. Many people say they've read it straight through in one reading. It's well worth your time.

The High Road Training Program is the best online training system you'll find anywhere. We took the CDL manual, broke it down into small sections, and created a bunch of multiple choice questions for each section. Not only that, but the highlight is an intelligent review system which will choose specific review questions to show you from previous pages as you work through the program. This puts emphasis on any areas you're struggling with and reinforces the knowledge again and again. It also goes way beyond the manual to include sections we've built ourselves on the Logbook Rules and Truck Weight & Balance, both of which are knowledge you'll need every day on the road. It's a highly effective and easy to use system.

Go through those reading materials and come back here with any questions you have at that point and we'll be thrilled to answer them. I expect there will be plenty.

smile.gif

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

Jesse G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Mr. Christopher H., I'm Jesse, and I'm quite new myself, but on that note...about advice on '''which one to choose''...here's what ""I"" myself- did....I (my little '''quirk'' if you will, is my wife (:-) ) I ADORE my wife...and want her with me ALL the time...on THAT note...here we go...) I found--- 1--- a school that would take me ''from anywhere''---there are some schools that you have to live in '''their hiring area/town/city...etc""well...if i don't live...in say...WICHITA....or GEORGIA...or NY...(just for examply...) I'm not gonna get up and move out there if i'm looking for a job....cuz i'm obviously not making money....SOOOO>>.....i picked one that will take you '''from wherever'' you are.... 2----i also picked one that ---after your training, will allow you to take your''spouse'' or ''guest'' with you (in my case...as aforementioned-SPOUS :-) ) 3---and....a school that has little or no ''up front'' expenses....

SO there you go :-) Hope this helps...(I'm just trying to be ''politically correct'' and ''diplomatic'', I know very well that for the veteran drivers here (which are MOST --- at least to me...lol) they'll know ''who'' I'm talking about...but anyways...i am SO VERY HAPPY and there really are not enough words to express just HOW HAPPY I am....i mean...this place is HEAVEN SENT!!! I LOVE IT! okay..take care, be safe and God Bless you and yours... Respectfully, Jesse

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.

Christopher H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies! I've been using all the material on this site heavily as well as the cdl permit practice tests. I'm not enrolled in my cdl school yet so I still have an opportunity should I choose too and go for a company sponsored cdl. I'm just waiting till after I get my tax refund in the spring to help cover my bills while away at school for a cdl. Do you guys have an honest opinion of Knight Transportation? Overall that seems like my most likely first choice for a company with Swift being second.

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.

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.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

What do you like about Knight and Swift? By the way they are now the same company. Both are excellent choices. It's important to pick a company you feel fits you best. At any company you will have to work hard to prove yourself. I'm with CFI and 100% biased towards them. I'm very happy here. That doesn't mean everyone will be. Any company will be what you make of it. For the most part it's all up to you. Good luck.

Christopher H.'s Comment
member avatar

Well first being both have terminals in my area and secondly they seem like excellent companies to get some experience with. I'd prefer knight over swift due to the fact that they don't have cabin facing cameras and I've also heard less horror stories about the training program after you get your cdl while swift has both. I'm still super open to suggestions though about other companies that may offer better benefits in the long run and better pay as well if you stick with them. I generally like to hold on to a job longer then I even think I should. A fine example of that is working in a call center for one and a half years where most people quit after 3 months.

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.

Nomad77 T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies! I've been using all the material on this site heavily as well as the cdl permit practice tests. I'm not enrolled in my cdl school yet so I still have an opportunity should I choose too and go for a company sponsored cdl. I'm just waiting till after I get my tax refund in the spring to help cover my bills while away at school for a cdl. Do you guys have an honest opinion of Knight Transportation? Overall that seems like my most likely first choice for a company with Swift being second.

Not sure which school you're planning on attending but I will vouch for Desert Sparks Truck Driving School in Sparks NV. Patti the owner is a really cool and Jimmy and Pete both have plenty of real world driving experience with some of the larger otr companies. In addition the school is only a 1/4 mile away from the CDL DMV office on Greg street which is convenient.

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

Christopher H.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Thanks for the replies! I've been using all the material on this site heavily as well as the cdl permit practice tests. I'm not enrolled in my cdl school yet so I still have an opportunity should I choose too and go for a company sponsored cdl. I'm just waiting till after I get my tax refund in the spring to help cover my bills while away at school for a cdl. Do you guys have an honest opinion of Knight Transportation? Overall that seems like my most likely first choice for a company with Swift being second.

double-quotes-end.png

Not sure which school you're planning on attending but I will vouch for Desert Sparks Truck Driving School in Sparks NV. Patti the owner is a really cool and Jimmy and Pete both have plenty of real world driving experience with some of the larger otr companies. In addition the school is only a 1/4 mile away from the CDL DMV office on Greg street which is convenient.

That's actually the school I'm planning on attending if I decide to self fund my schooling. Do recruiters come to the school for immediate employment after you graduate?

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Christopher is hearing things:

I'd prefer knight over swift due to the fact that they don't have cabin facing cameras and I've also heard less horror stories about the training program after you get your cdl while swift has both.

You can hear horror stories about any trucking company. They are written by people who blame others for their failure. No such stories here at TT.

As for Swift, I drive for them. In 2 1/2 years, I haven't heard, seen, felt or experienced any horror stories brought on by the company. And the driver side of the cameras are shut off.

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.
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