Which Company To Go With As A Rookie?

Topic 23148 | Page 1

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Matt E.'s Comment
member avatar

I’ve been leaning towards prime but are their any other that are good for rookies. I know I’ll be out on the road for long periods of time not worried about that. Just want the best training. If Swift any good? Also between prime and swift are their trucks auto or manual?

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

From all that I've heard Prime is one of the best for training, but I work for Knight and I think they have some decent resources.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I’ve been leaning towards prime but are their any other that are good for rookies. I know I’ll be out on the road for long periods of time not worried about that. Just want the best training. If Swift any good? Also between prime and swift are their trucks auto or manual?

Hi. As a prime trainer i can tell you the majority of the fleet is switching to auto. Lease and owmer ops can order their trucks as manuals, so there will.be a few here and there. as far as training, it is whatever your trainer has that you will be trained and tested on. i believe swift is 100% auto other than the dedicated accounts but G Town or Errol will be around to answer.

when it comes to companies, it is a matter of personal preference. every driver on this forum will be loyal to their respective company otherwise they would be somewhere else. You will get great training at either prime or swift. Both companies have various divisions and dedicated accounts to move around if you get bored. Both have new trucks and are well maimtained. Prime has APUs and inverters, Swift doesnt have an APUs but you can install an inverter. Both are going to have cross country freight and plenty of miles. i believe Swift now has a pet policy, so they both allow pets now. I believe both allow you to take the truck home so living near a terminal is not necessary. Both programs come out to be free at the completion of the contract. Prime requires $155 upfront and no payroll deductions for the schooling (you pay back any of the $200 advance you take for food at a rate $25 per week). as long as you stay the year you pay nothing. Swift takes payroll deductions for school but then pays it back to you as you go along so in the end you pay nothing.

There are plenty of us here from.both companies who can answer any questions for you.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

The training is set up differently at both. At Prime you go to orientation and test for your permit the second day. After some.SIM classes, you get a CDL instructor and head out with a trainer for one to two weeks delivering loads OTR. All driving and backing is one on one in the truck you will test on. Once you pass the test, you go out teaming for 30k truck miles before upgrading to your own truck. this could take 6 to 8 weeks depending on hometime. The trainers work the hometime out. You may or may not have the same trainer for both phases. We are not all certified for both. For example, i only do the team training portion.

Swift I believe is in a local facility for a few weeks before going with a mentor. The others can explain that

heres an article i wrote about team training

Fear and Misunderstanding of Team Training

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.

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

Swift is prettt much going full auto. The walmart account I was on had a few manuals, but for the most part they are going full automatic. Depending on where you live swift can be a good fit due to all the dedicated accounts we have. Makes it easier to try things out without having to get a new job. Either way, good luck!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Matt! Fact is, there are numerous companies adequately equipped to train and work-with rookie drivers. And most are either completely auto-shift or in the process of transitioning to auto-shift fleets. Per Rainy's point; there are very few manual shift trucks left at the Walmart DC/terminal I am assigned to as a Swift Dedicated driver. They are high-mileage spares used infrequently to cover a break-down or a tractor shortage during peak seasonal freight traffic. I suspect at some point very shortly, they will disappear. Swift began their auto-shift transition during the 2016 model year.

I attended a Swift School (3 weeks), trained with a Swift Mentor for 240 hours (now 200) of driving, and continue to work/drive for them many years later. I have no regrets and if given an opportunity to do it all-over-again, I'd choose the same exact path.

Please review the information available in this link: Paid CDL Training Programs

There are numerous viable options for you, depends on what you want and if you live in an area a particular company is currently hiring from. Look it over and if so inclined use this link to apply to several companies at one time.

Apply For Paid CDL Training

One last thought... Many of your questions can likely be answered reviewing and studying these links:

We are here to help you. 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.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Nolaman's Comment
member avatar

Apparently, according to Rainy, there are only 2 companies worth working for!! Rainy, there are others!! You are SO arrogant!! I can say, by talking to many drivers of all experience levels, it truly comes down to the company where you fit best and are most comfortable with. I work for CFI and I am very happy here because I get fair pay, I can shut down the truck when safety is my concern at anytime without question! (I've done this once) Once I put in to go home, I am home that day, or earlier, and this has been without fail whatsoever!! I have not missed one single important (to me) engagement, family function, etc... because of CFI. I get lots of miles. I have made good friends here, except for Big Scott (he's a jerk!) I like the money I take home weekly, and I like how quickly they reimburse me for showers, parts, supplies, etc... They get approval on repairs quickly and pay fast for hotels and the like. I have NO complaints about CFI except for the whining drivers I hear on the Friday call in shows!! I can take my truck home, have a pet (I don't), highlight myself to other places for vacation, visits, etc..., and CFI always works with me. They give me the support I need always. Like all companies, the night and weekend crews are a pain the the butt, but as you get to know which ones are helpful over time. I do think it depends on what is most important to you, what kind of driving you want to do, what kind of loads you want, etc...

PS) Big Scott is actually a very good friend with a great sense of humor, and with whom I talk daily!

PSS) It was fun taking a jab at Rainy because she is all over the Trucking Truth site, doesn't know me, and is a very good writer. I enjoy her articles and insight. She's very interesting, and I see her sense of humor in her writings. I just wanted to get her goat. Bwahahahaha.

I make myself laugh all the time with my great wit!! (haha) NOLAMAN :)

double-quotes-start.png

I’ve been leaning towards prime but are their any other that are good for rookies. I know I’ll be out on the road for long periods of time not worried about that. Just want the best training. If Swift any good? Also between prime and swift are their trucks auto or manual?

double-quotes-end.png

Hi. As a prime trainer i can tell you the majority of the fleet is switching to auto. Lease and owmer ops can order their trucks as manuals, so there will.be a few here and there. as far as training, it is whatever your trainer has that you will be trained and tested on. i believe swift is 100% auto other than the dedicated accounts but G Town or Errol will be around to answer.

when it comes to companies, it is a matter of personal preference. every driver on this forum will be loyal to their respective company otherwise they would be somewhere else. You will get great training at either prime or swift. Both companies have various divisions and dedicated accounts to move around if you get bored. Both have new trucks and are well maimtained. Prime has APUs and inverters, Swift doesnt have an APUs but you can install an inverter. Both are going to have cross country freight and plenty of miles. i believe Swift now has a pet policy, so they both allow pets now. I believe both allow you to take the truck home so living near a terminal is not necessary. Both programs come out to be free at the completion of the contract. Prime requires $155 upfront and no payroll deductions for the schooling (you pay back any of the $200 advance you take for food at a rate $25 per week). as long as you stay the year you pay nothing. Swift takes payroll deductions for school but then pays it back to you as you go along so in the end you pay nothing.

There are plenty of us here from.both companies who can answer any questions for you.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Nice try Nolaman. Takes morethan that to get me especially from a legend....in his owm mind! Especially on a thread where the OP asked about the 2 companies in question. Bahahhah... just playing.

But.. any friend of Big Scott is a friend of mine. Just dont come to Jersey. You might disappear.

rofl-3.gif

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Nolaman's Comment
member avatar

Nice try Nolaman. Takes morethan that to get me especially from a legend....in his owm mind! Especially on a thread where the OP asked about the 2 companies in question. Bahahhah... just playing.

But.. any friend of Big Scott is a friend of mine. Just dont come to Jersey. You might disappear.

I could say the same to you about down on the bayous of Louisiana!! 🤣🤣🤣 Nice meeting you. I do find your articles interesting and informative. Thanks for taking the time to write them. Scott who??!!! Bwahahahaha!

rofl-3.gif

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Don's Comment
member avatar

I have heard that the only time Noloman will disappear is if there is a Cracker Barrel restaurant around. It must be his personal 'Bermuda Triangle'.

Nice try Nolaman. Takes morethan that to get me especially from a legend....in his owm mind! Especially on a thread where the OP asked about the 2 companies in question. Bahahhah... just playing.

But.. any friend of Big Scott is a friend of mine. Just dont come to Jersey. You might disappear.

rofl-3.gif

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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