Company Sponsored + Local/semi-local?

Topic 22549 | Page 1

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Jason W.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings,

A quick intro about me... I'm a Marine Corps Veteran, used my GI Bill to get a degree and been working in sales and marketing for the last few years. Aaaand kind of wish I went another direction out the gate and used the benefits to start driving a few years ago. No red flags in my background or driving record. Just looking to start strong while also being home regularly due to family situation.

Just got my permit (yesterday) thanks to the High Road Online Training and DMV Genie app!

Does anyone know of company sponsored local/semi local options around So. Cal. that might take on a newly permitted trainee?

Been researching here a lot and elsewhere online. Recently applied for FedEx Freight Apprenticeship (actually met the recruiter today at a job fair out here!), and J.B. Hunt. I've seen McLane mentioned too and planning to apply with them this week. Also spoke with a Knight recruiter but it sounded like it could be a good while before having an opportunity to drive locally otherwise I could be starting with them on Monday ;).

Also, I drove over to the Port of LA and made a list of about 30 companies I can call and ask around just from noting the trucks I saw driving in and out.

Thanks for any help or tips, I'm eager to get started and will report back with updates!

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Starting out local is not usually recommended here due to the close quarter maneuvering and typically the physical unloading of your trailer. The situations you'll find yourself in are often above the skill set of a rookie and if you have multiple accidents you may very well find yourself unhireable in this industry. I seen that you mentioned Mclane. Not sure if you're aware of what they do but they unload their trailer all by hand and atleast in my market (Des Moines Iowa) their routes are 16-24 hours long. Mclane here runs sleeper cabs with 2 drivers. I started my career last year with Performance Food Group (PFG) and have to physically unload my trailer using a 2 wheeler dolly. The only differences I'm aware of between PFG and Mclane is that they deliver to convenience stores and chain restaurants (pizza hut for example). Even though there's 2 drivers you'll likely not be unloading together due to HOS. Really need to hope you have a good team mate so you're not doing all the work. I attribute my success to this forum as I've seen many people talk about the troubles they've had, but also that I was put through a mandatory 12 week training program before being sent out on my own. I've had several close calls and found myself in some predicaments. My typical day has me unloading 650 cases, been as high as 800 with weight ranging from 16,000 to the highest I've had just under 20,000. You can make good money doing that kind of work but your body takes a beating. Also, I'm putting in 60-65 hours in a 5 day work week and even though I'm home daily I still don't get quality time with my family because by the time i get home, shower, eat dinner my kids are getting ready for bed. My wife has told me numerous times she feels me being home but being too exhausted to do anything is actually harder on her and the kids than if I went OTR or regional where I was home couple days a week. We've had a few members here who started out local and had multiple accidents within the first few months and were let go. They found themselves having a heck of a time finding another job. Ultimately it's you're decision on what you want to do but I just wanted to give you some things to think about. Please stick around and let us know how things turn out.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You could say almost "everybody" wants to stay local. However, local/daily work is not really the best for new drivers.

For example, McLane is an excellent company, and as Rob points out the shifts are long and involve both tight parking and physical labor at your stops. My information is very dated, but years ago, a convenience store I managed in Garden Grove was serviced by the McLane DC in (I think) San Bernardino. The delivery to my store was about 6am weekly.

More recently, I drove a shuttle run for Swift. From Memphis to St. Louis daily 9 hours driving time there and back, was out of the house for roughly 12 hours to do this. True, no special parking skills, but 12 hours a day, 5 days a week (no holidays off).

Search for "local jobs" on the forum. There was a topic set up to discuss local work a while ago.

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Jason W., First, thank you for your service. My son also came off active duty and had no idea what he was going to do but he used his benefits to attend driving school. After his graduation he was hired by then Conway Truckload and immediately put on the road where ever they had freight to go even into Maine in the winter after 2 months experience. He stayed for a year to get the experience and time to show any other companies that he had experience. He then landed a regional job with CT, a division of Comcar and was home every other day and no weekends. A little better but not the best company in my opinion to work for. And success. He applied and was hired by Southeastern Express for local work. Home daily, no weekends and being as he is still in active reserves, they honor Vets and he goes away often with no problems from the company, still gets raises and advances in seniority while away on active duty. Good things can happen to those that are patient and your time will come I'm sure. You might have to sacrifice the home time for awhile but tough it out. Things seem to be a lot different these days as when I started driving back in the 60's you drove local to get your feet wet than after a period of time you were sent OTR. Anyway, good luck and take your time as it will work out for you. After all it can't be any harder then the 'Corps. Thanks again and sorry for the story but I just wanted to show what can happen for you.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Jason.

In reference to Rob's reply, here is his diary:

Local Food Service as a Rookie

I think it will help you better understand local work and the reasons why it's best to gain experience OTR or regional first.

In response to your overall question about Paid CDL Training Programs

This blog article will provide additional information as you consider your decision:

Why I Prefer Company Sponsored Training

Good luck!

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.

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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