CFI, Roehl, Wilson Log., & Stevens Transport

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Solo's Comment
member avatar

The above have sent out pre-hire notices to me, but only Stevens has gone as far as to run my MVR , and criminal background (the others won't until I'm at least 30-days out from day 1 training) and has given me a training date of January 7th in Denver.

I have some follow-up questions for the recruiter because yesterday she stated that the company pays for the CDL training provided I sign a 1-year contract/commitment, and I made sure to ask if I was paying for it or back to which she said no. Also, it looks like you pay for everything such as food and lodging. I can afford all of this just fine, but it would seem that I may want to market myself (Current employer for 12 years, Clean MVR, No criminal history, 2 year DOT card, TSA Precheck (the assumption I can obtain a HM endorsement) to other megas offering comparable training, but also pay for food, lodging, etc.

Do we have any Stevens drivers on this board that could give me some information they wish they had prior to signing on? Just want to ultimately make the best rookie move I can to best set me up for immediate as well as future success.

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.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
it would seem that I may want to market myself

What kind of results are you expecting from "marketing" yourself? What do you think sets you apart from a thousand other greenhorns with zero experience in this career? There are plenty of people with solid employment histories, clean backgrounds and impeccable MVR reports.

When hiring new drivers with no license or experience it's a complete guessing game. They have nothing to go by other than the things you've already provided and your willingness to get started. There's nothing beyond that which will put you in any better light to a prospective employer.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Solo's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

it would seem that I may want to market myself

double-quotes-end.png

What kind of results are you expecting from "marketing" yourself? What do you think sets you apart from a thousand other greenhorns with zero experience in this career? There are plenty of people with solid employment histories, clean backgrounds and impeccable MVR reports.

When hiring new drivers with no license or experience it's a complete guessing game. They have nothing to go by other than the things you've already provided and your willingness to get started. There's nothing beyond that which will put you in any better light to a prospective employer.

Lots of value in your reply. Thanks for your time.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Current employer for 12 years, Clean MVR , No criminal history, 2 year DOT card, TSA Precheck (the assumption I can obtain a HM endorsement)

I have had the same employer for 12 years, before that 10 years, I'm a veteran, perfectly clean MVR, No criminal history for over 30 years, and only a misdemeanor then, DOT card, No TSA, but considering I held a Top Secret clearance and nothing has changed to endanger that, should have no problem with a TSA check, Have also passed the tanker and HM tests already.

Yet, I don't feel like I offer anything special. I am sure there are thousands just like me out there. I feel lucky to have gotten a prehire letter from the company I wanted to work for.

Not trying to demean you, but don't overestimate your worth. Pride goeth before a fall, and all that.

Pick a company that has the freight and hometime you want, or whatever is most important to you, and get to work. :)

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Prehire:

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Solo, my first response was done quickly because I didn't have much time to spare. I hope I didn't sound critical. I was merely wanting to get the point across that is really misunderstood when trying to start a new trucking career. This whole business is performance based. That's why we get paid by the mile. We get paid by how much we can accomplish, not by how much time we spend accomplishing something.

As newbies we have absolutely no track record that can give evidence of how good or bad we will be at this. Here's a personal example. Out of my truck driving school class, no one but me lasted more than three months in their new truck driving career. I've gone on to be very successful at it, and have been able to help many others find their own path to success out here. But... I had a terrible time getting hired at first. It seemed bizarre to me. I graduated at the top in my class with a 97 average. I remember the other students who barely had passing scores getting pre-hire letters from the same major carriers who kept denying me with that disturbing comment saying, "We have better qualified candidates than you."

They really are taking a wild guess when they bring on inexperienced drivers. They look for little clues that might help them figure out if you'll be the type who can adjust to this crazy lifestyle, but in the end they guess wrong more times than they ever guess correctly. It's not the business of driving the truck and making the deliveries that kills people's attempts at this career. That's all pretty straightforward. It's making the adjustment to being responsible for making things happen in your favor out here, and being able to mix the traveling lifestyle in with your ability to outperform your peers, all while enjoying conquering the never ending challenges that arise each day. Those are the things that make for success out here, and there's just no way for us to market that to anyone until we've lived that lifestyle and proven we're capable of being Top Tier Performers out here.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

CFI will pay for your transportation, room and food during training. They will reimburse you for your permit and medical. They will also reimburse for your HM and tanker endorsement as well as your CDL. When you apply to CFI for their training they will run your background check. You have to agree to a one year contract. You pay nothing for training after that year. You will not have to pay anything for this. They have classes starting every Monday. We have plenty of freight in NC. I hope this helps.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Just want to ultimately make the best rookie move I can to best set me up for immediate as well as future success.

You made this statement in the context of hoping to find some credible information concerning which companies would be the best place to start your career. Forgive me if I sound like I'm repeating myself but this is everybody's approach to this and it couldn't be more flawed. That's why I keep harping on the "performance factor." It's terribly difficult for us as new entry level drivers to comprehend how important it is for us to prove ourselves. We all want to focus on finding just the right company that has proven itself, and that approach is completely counterproductive to our success.

Again, allow me to share a personal experience. I started my career at Western Express. Go ahead and do some research if you will, and see if you can find any decent reviews on them. The reviews are terrible because they hire a lot of people who don't understand how one succeeds in this challenging environment. When they find that rare gem of a driver who "gets it" they treat them like a king and keep him/her making great money. I established the foundation for a very successful trucking career at Western Express by applying the same principles I use to this day to keep me moving and profitable.

The name on the doors of your truck has little to no effect on your results out here. The only thing that will matter is your approach to this career. That approach has got to comprehend The Competitive Nature of this career. Without that drive to excel and be the best of the best, you'll fall prey to all the same reasons that people post all the negative reviews concerning this career. By focusing on finding just the right company we miss out on the truth and reality of establishing ourselves and our results. We end up looking to be established by our chosen employer, and that formula never works in this business. That very employer is looking for folks who will get out here and prove themselves as productive. They certainly aren't looking for below average drivers who are counting on the company to give them years of coaching just to get them to the point of being almost profitable.

We spend a lot of time and effort trying to convey these truths. Unfortunately it goes right by a lot of people as nonsense because they are so enamored with the superficial nonsense they've read online concerning trucking companies and the trucking career. Every once in a while we help some of you find your way through the fog and that's pretty rewarding. Solo, I'm hoping you'll become one of those folks we can look back on as having learned how to make a great start to their trucking career. After all, that's what you said you wanted.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I just wanted to say how critically important it is to understand what Old School is saying. We know for a fact that people often fail to get anywhere in this industry because their expectations are all wrong. People expect their happiness and success to be based upon the quality of the company they choose because that's what they hear around the Web.

Nothing could be further from the truth for a new driver because all of the companies that hire new drivers are the elite companies in this industry. They're all in the upper 1%. They're all well managed and have been highly successful for decades. They're all fantastic places to work.

They're all going to do the same thing for you. They're going to teach you the basics of driving a truck, then they're going to give you an opportunity to show them you have what it takes to make it in this industry. Unfortunately, it turns out that most folks either don't have what it takes or they aren't willing to do what it takes to thrive in this industry.

You can take any Top Tier Driver and put them with any major company in the nation and they'll be at the top of the pay scale and performance charts quickly. They'll be treated like gold, they'll be getting top miles, and they'll soon have their choice of any division or any specialized account the company has.

You can take any low level driver and put them in the same circumstances with any major carrier in the country and in no time they'll be on Youtube crying and complaining about working for a bad company. They're not going to get the miles or the big paychecks or the special favors the top performing drivers get.

Your happiness and success will be based on your performance, not the company you work for. If you get accepted by more than one company then naturally you'll choose the one that suits your preferences the best for types of freight, home time, and other opportunities they may have. Then you'll be thrown into the deep end to see if you can swim, just like everyone else.

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.

Brent R.'s Comment
member avatar

Good Stuff sir, as always makes a lot of sense, by the way I went to SFA, love the Piney Woods.

double-quotes-start.png

Just want to ultimately make the best rookie move I can to best set me up for immediate as well as future success.

double-quotes-end.png

You made this statement in the context of hoping to find some credible information concerning which companies would be the best place to start your career. Forgive me if I sound like I'm repeating myself but this is everybody's approach to this and it couldn't be more flawed. That's why I keep harping on the "performance factor." It's terribly difficult for us as new entry level drivers to comprehend how important it is for us to prove ourselves. We all want to focus on finding just the right company that has proven itself, and that approach is completely counterproductive to our success.

Again, allow me to share a personal experience. I started my career at Western Express. Go ahead and do some research if you will, and see if you can find any decent reviews on them. The reviews are terrible because they hire a lot of people who don't understand how one succeeds in this challenging environment. When they find that rare gem of a driver who "gets it" they treat them like a king and keep him/her making great money. I established the foundation for a very successful trucking career at Western Express by applying the same principles I use to this day to keep me moving and profitable.

The name on the doors of your truck has little to no effect on your results out here. The only thing that will matter is your approach to this career. That approach has got to comprehend The Competitive Nature of this career. Without that drive to excel and be the best of the best, you'll fall prey to all the same reasons that people post all the negative reviews concerning this career. By focusing on finding just the right company we miss out on the truth and reality of establishing ourselves and our results. We end up looking to be established by our chosen employer, and that formula never works in this business. That very employer is looking for folks who will get out here and prove themselves as productive. They certainly aren't looking for below average drivers who are counting on the company to give them years of coaching just to get them to the point of being almost profitable.

We spend a lot of time and effort trying to convey these truths. Unfortunately it goes right by a lot of people as nonsense because they are so enamored with the superficial nonsense they've read online concerning trucking companies and the trucking career. Every once in a while we help some of you find your way through the fog and that's pretty rewarding. Solo, I'm hoping you'll become one of those folks we can look back on as having learned how to make a great start to their trucking career. After all, that's what you said you wanted.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
by the way I went to SFA, love the Piney Woods.

Haha, it's not often I come across a fellow Lumberjack who has lived behind "the Pine curtain." I'm glad to hear it. Brent, I've been married for 36 years to the beautiful girl I met right there under those Pine trees on the SFA campus.

Axe'm Jacks! smile.gif

I came to Nacogdoches in 1978 to go to college. Somehow I got hooked on the place and never left.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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