Finally Found The Right Company

Topic 22901 | Page 1

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Phishtech's Comment
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Been studying the web site here, checking out different carriers, research and more research, and I finally got the perfect one.......I hope.

At 72 years old I didn't really want to go out of state to one of the schools, the wife can't handle everything by herself for that long of a period of time. I got an invite from Schneider Trucking to sit down with their recruiter on Monday morning. Their place was about 5 miles from the house. Had about a 3 hour talk and found out they did their training locally (within 2 miles of my house !!) He sold me on regional tankers because they haul non-hazard material and I'd be home every weekend. Offered me 40 cpm to start and they're even going to pay for my school training which will be about a 30 minute drive from the house. Unload the truck, drive back empty cause they clean their own tanks, no one else allowed, same pay while driving empty. I still have to pass the pre-hire physical test but I should be OK on that. So far I'm really pleased except I think their medical insurance is a little high. Gonna give it a shot, seems like a win - win for me. Their region is the bottom eastern quarter of the U.S., no NE or central.

Please feel free to give me your opinions before I sign on the dotted line......and thanks.

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.

DOT:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Kyle M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm thinking about going to Schneider also they have regional tanker where I'm located also. I was approved for everything about 2 months ago but had some stuff come up that prevented me from going back over the road at that time. Best of luck to you and hope all goes well

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Non-hazmat tankers.

Smooth-bore is typically the type of tank you’ll be driving; meaning one contiguous container. Approximately 6000 gallons of liquid sloshing around causing an effect called “surge”.

This is one of the more dangerous configurations on the road requiring skill, finesse’ and great care cornering, slowing down, and maintaining control of the truck. If you lose focus for just a moment, the tank surge will literally push you through an intersection and into opposing traffic. It’s no joke. We usually recommend getting experience with reefer or dry van before committing to this type of job.

That said; I’ll share a little story. For over five years I’ve been driving for Swift Dedicated on a North East Regional Walmart Account. I deliver to over 200 different stores and Sam’s Clubs; with frequent back hauls from Walmart’s Grocery vendors and suppliers. Ask anyone on this forum who knows me, I love this job. Wouldn’t “willingly” trade it for anything...

But potential change is in the wind, Swift might “walk” from the contract, so I must be prepared for an adjustment. That said; I took a driving test with a local, mid sized bulk carrier. 80 year old company, with a great track record. They are both a wet and dry bulk carrier. If I were to start I’d be on the dry bulk side, likely cement and other industrial materials. In order for me to move into food grade or industrial chemicals, they require 6 months accident free on the dry side and even then if I switched to liquid tanks, I’d be required to run with a trainer for up to two weeks before I’d be on my own. Think about that...

I have over 5 years of Class A experience in one of the most difficult regions in the country and they still will not turn me loose on day 1 in a smooth-bore liquid tanker. What does that tell you?

My advice...keep looking or see if Schneider will let you pilot one of their orange boxes for 3-6 months before committing to tanker. The first 6 months of your rookie experience will be very difficult; include the “smooth-bore tanker” into the equation and you arguably double the difficulty factor and the risk.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating 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.

Phishtech's Comment
member avatar

Hmmm, that's good advice and I'll have to ask about it next week when I have another sit-down with my recruiter. Since you said what you did about tankers I looked into maybe a dedicated route. One of the big ones for Schneider is a Costco dedicated that runs from Houston to Louisiana, parts of TEXAS, Oklahoma, and Kansas. One of the things I like about Schneider is an inexperienced driver can get a $7500 sign-on bonus. Not bad for a rookie.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Kyle M.'s Comment
member avatar

I hadn't even thought about none baffled tankers. Definitely gonna consider that before I make a decision. They have box regional also where I'm at.

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.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hmmm, that's good advice and I'll have to ask about it next week when I have another sit-down with my recruiter. Since you said what you did about tankers I looked into maybe a dedicated route. One of the big ones for Schneider is a Costco dedicated that runs from Houston to Louisiana, parts of TEXAS, Oklahoma, and Kansas. One of the things I like about Schneider is an inexperienced driver can get a $7500 sign-on bonus. Not bad for a rookie.

I drove for Schneider straight out of school. Great experience. Just remember; you want a good fit AFTER the sign on bonus. They usually pay those out over a period (e.g. one year).

Good luck!👍

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hmmm, that's good advice and I'll have to ask about it next week when I have another sit-down with my recruiter. Since you said what you did about tankers I looked into maybe a dedicated route. One of the big ones for Schneider is a Costco dedicated that runs from Houston to Louisiana, parts of TEXAS, Oklahoma, and Kansas. One of the things I like about Schneider is an inexperienced driver can get a $7500 sign-on bonus. Not bad for a rookie.

Costco Dedicated sounds like a really good plan. Similar to Walmart; DC to store. You’ll run heavy and run long hours, but you’ll have better than even odds of safely learning how-to manage the beast. Yes definitely challenged, but not unreasonably so.

Good luck!

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I pulled a food grade tanker for a while and I feel very strongly that no rookie should be pulling a liquid tanker under any circumstances, food grade or chemical. I'm fine with a rookie pulling a dry bulk tank, even though the center of gravity is sometimes pretty high. But liquid tankers in my mind should be completely off the table for a rookie. I don't care if someone will offer you a job doing it, I don't think you should take it.

The problem is that you don't know how to handle a rig yet. It's not about how careful you plan on being. If you don't have the skills to handle a rig gently and you don't have the ability to perceive distance and speed and timing the way a veteran does then you simply may not know you're about to make a huge mistake.

You may not mean to hit the brakes too hard, or turn the wheel too hard, but you did. Maybe you're going to try to make an exit ramp with a tight turn on it and you think you're going to be able to get slowed down in time but because you don't have the experience to make that judgment call you don't realize you're not going to make that turn until it's too late.

Another example.........after you've gained some solid experience you're so much better at watching the highway in front of you and seeing potential problems develop. With experience you know how to keep yourself out of those situations and steer clear of trouble in the first place. With a tanker you simply can't react the way you could in other types of trucks and without experience you may not see a problem developing that a more experienced driver would see. So you're being as careful as you know how to be, but that may not be careful enough.

There are just certain jobs I don't believe a rookie should have. I don't believe rookies should be pulling doubles , pulling a liquid tanker, or doing local city work. Those are three jobs that are just too demanding for someone with undeveloped skills. If trucking wasn't a life and death proposition, no big deal. If you want to fly paper airplanes and your first airplane is going to be a 747 - well go for it! Crashing a paper 747 isn't going to kill anyone.

Not only are big rigs super dangerous for the driver, it is ranked as one of the deadliest jobs in America, but you have the lives on innocent children and families you're sharing the highway with every day. If you decide you're going to take on one of the riskiest jobs in one of the most dangerous professions in America straight out of school and something goes terribly wrong......well........

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Yes, I agree with all of you, and for everyone's safety I'll prolly go with the Costco dedicated. I can still be home enough and still get enough miles to gain experience if I choose to change to another venue. I'm saying all of this and I'm not even hired on yet (lol).

Thanks for all the wise advice, I'm old enough to take it and learn.

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.

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