Raider Express CDL Training In Texas, Opinions Anyone?

Topic 22342 | Page 1

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Neil S.'s Comment
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The review here sounds overall positive: All reefer with 75% drop and hook Very low turnover rate Only company to offer free training with no contract, so to say they invest in you for 1 month free training is an understatement. 2013-2017 Volvos

They are a little tougher in hiring requirements, but I have never had any felonies, last moving violation was petty, and over 10 years ago, never a collision, never a DUI anywhere. And I got clean proof of 3 years residency here, so thinking about going for this. My first post, so I sure appreciate and feedback you folks can offer. Been on the site reading just recently, but thought of being OTR many years and it is now time for a change. Thanks


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.


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.


Driving Under the Influence

Army 's Comment
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You will probably get better responses in the general discussion area. I would repost there.

G-Town's Comment
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Welcome to the forum !

Hi Neil,... as far as I know, Raider is a decent outfit, been around for years. Lots of tenured drivers 5-10 years of service. However I do not know of anyone on the forum, currently or in the past driving for them. I do have a few questions for you to consider asking them. First is; how much freight do they have in their system and where are their major corridors? Ask them about a reasonable expectation for "rookie" weekly mileage (should be at least 2000, preferably on the upside of 2500). Second; what and how do they pay; mileage based rate (CPM), hourly, per trip, etc.? Performance & safety bonuses, etc. Third; what is their Home-Time policy? The answers will help you understand what is beyond the training and possibly prompt additional questions. "Eyes wide open" always a good plan.

That said, their offer of free training is legitimate and sounds really good. However with any offer; you must be your own advocate and dig beneath the surface to better understand what they are selling you. Let's be crystal clear, they want you to work for them and will probably ask for some sort of commitment or possibly assert some sort of leverage that you have yet to discover. Regardless, we strongly recommend to stick with your first company at least 1 year for a myriad of valid reasons. As follows (click the link to listen to Brett's podcast on the subject):

Podcast - Stick With Your First Company One Year

My personal example: I attended Swift's Richmond Academy CDL school, got my CDL and road-trained for another 240 hours. 5 years later I am still with them, happy, driving for a Walmart Dedicated account (DC) delivering dry and perishable groceries to about 200 different Walmart Super Centers and Sam's Clubs throughout the Northeast region. I will be writing an article very shortly describing my first 5 years at Swift.

The other question I'd ask, does their training provide you with a certificate documenting successful completion of their program; proving 160 hours of instruction? "OMG"; you are probably thinking, what is this? This is important to understand and confirm, otherwise lack of a contract with Raider has no bearing or value. This certificate is required for all major/reputable carriers as a "ticket for hire" of anyone with less than a year or two of experience (policy dependent). Without a year or more of experience you will have a very difficult time hiring-on with most companies unless you have the 160 hour training certificate. Fact. Some companies will hold this certificate until a student driver has completed a set period of service; as little as 6 months, as much as 12 months or some mileage based threshold. Even though you are not legally bound to drive for Raider the one year, anecdotally you might be. They will try to get their training investment back. They are a business, not a charity.

Please consider this before committing to them.

You also should ask if beyond the 4 weeks (160 hours) of training needed to get the CDL; do they also offer road-training. For companies offering Paid CDL Training Programs; it's typically a 2-step process, 3-3.5 weeks of instruction (160 hours) necessary to pass the CDL and then an additional amount of road training to better prepare you for running solo or in a team truck. Road-training duration varies from company to company as short as 3 weeks up to the possibility of 3 months. But it's vitally important. I'd inquire about that as well and understand their entire schooling process, curriculum, etc.

This is probably much more than you wanted or expected, but it's all relevant because we don't know very much about Raider.

Here is some reading and training material for you to review and study, help you prepare for this career:

Good luck!


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.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Cents Per Mile

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


Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Michael W.'s Comment
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I can answer any questions you might still have.

Jakester's Comment
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i will be headed to raider in 2 weeks, can you tell me what to be expecting?

I can answer any questions you might still have.

Old School's Comment
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Welcome John!

You should post your questions in the "General Duscussions" section. A lot more people will see it there and maybe have some comments. We haven't heard from Michael in almost a year, so it's unlikely he'll be responding to this.

Jakester's Comment
member avatar

Will do, thanks

Welcome John!

You should post your questions in the "General Duscussions" section. A lot more people will see it there and maybe have some comments. We haven't heard from Michael in almost a year, so it's unlikely he'll be responding to this.

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