Just Introducing Myself, (pre Cdl Newbie) And Asking For Very Specific Advice...

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Mik D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone,

I'm Aces, 40, currently living in Missouri, just started studying for my CDP, and have listened to about 50 hours of youtube videos on beginning a trucking career. I am 100% set on becoming a trucker, so there's no hesitation about that decision. I currently live in Missouri. This forum has been an amazing resource, which is why I joined it. Thanks to everyone who contributes and shares.

I'm hoping to get some feedback on my next decisions... I spent 2011 - 2017 in Hawaii, which can drain ones savings. (Totally worth it) I'm back to the paycheck to paycheck life. I can qualify through job center to attend a CDL school free of charge, but cant go 6 weeks without a paycheck. This leaves me with TMC or Roehl, as far as I know, because they pay $500 per week while in training. TMC only does flatbed, and I dont want to start there, so I'm looking at Roehl. Their contract for the $7k training sucks. It's all due, even if you're fired for nonsense, even if youve completed 99% of the commitment. They require 120,000 miles as solo before the commitment is up. If you get shafted into 1500 or 2000 miles per week, that will take 15 months to fulfill at best. This is option 1.

Option 2 is to get the CDL without a school... pay about $500 for the physical and some rig time. This will get me done asap, but will not going to a formal trucking school hurt me with employers? Will they consider that legit? I REALLY like the option of NOT having to sign a contract to work for X company for a year or more. Will the training loss be soaked up by the orientation team time with the first employer?

Lastly, If anyone knows a job I can apply to in the trucking industry around St Louis, I'm all ears. Everything about my driving and criminal record is 100% clean.

Thanks again everyone. Great forum.

Aces

I went with a truck driving school, and then the company did 175 hrs behind the wheel training and then did basic tests after training to let u drive solo. You had to drive 6 months(no mileage requirements) and ur tuition was paid. I like em, others hate em, they will work you, if u work hard, I find u get the miles. This was back in February 2017... They don't pay during truck school, and u get paid for orientation and training behind the wheel..

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.

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.

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

Darn it Turtle, you ruined my fun. I love hearing about my company from people who have no experience. Lol.

Good post though, and you are right. Maverick paints a very rosy picture. What people don’t see is the blood, sweat, and tears that go into being successful, even at a great outfit that will supply you every tool you need. I’m surprised in just the past year how many guys come on this forum, all bright eyed and excited about Maverick, yet don’t make it when reality sets in. Am afraid the OP is headed down the same road. I love my outfit, but how do you tell these guys it’s not all gumdrops and rainbows?

Plus, his avatar annoys me a tiny bit. 😁

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

It's too bad many have gone to Youtube before finding TT, and I include myself in that category. But once I found it I have a different approach to this rewarding and demanding career. When I drove before the internet was just starting. After I got my CDL , I just applied at companies from the yellow pages. Anyway that was a while back.

Brazen

THINK about what you have said on this thread, go back and read what you have said. You have put the cart before the horse.

Brett

Thanks for always having the newbie in mind and trying to get there head out of their a**, and get them on the right track.

andhe78

I can see how that would annoy me with someone that has just talked to a recruiter and now feels that they can put the Maverick Truck Avatar on their pic.

Turtle

I am glad that you have shown what the potential is when you put forth the effort as a top tier driver. Good show!

Brazen

Now that I'm coming back to trucking, and I've been talking to a recruiter, should I change my avatar to that company's truck pic? I think that G-Town would wonder if I had finally lost my mind. confused.gif, rofl-2.gif Until you actually get hired (this is after training and orientation), that's when I can say that I work for that company.

Raptor

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

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Personally, TMC's recruiter turned me off

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You should definitely read this:

The Biggest Mistake New Drivers Make When Speaking With Recruiters

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As long as you are willing to work and aren't a screw up, being fired shouldn't be an issue, considering the shortage of drivers.

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I honestly believe the number one thing that causes more careers to fail right off the bat is that people believe that new drivers are somehow in demand. New drivers are not in demand. Safe, productive, high performing drivers, what we refer to as Top Tier Drivers, are in demand. In order to find those Top Tier drivers, companies will bring in new students off the street and give them a shot to prove they have what it takes to thrive in this industry. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of those who take a shot at this career either do not have what it takes or aren't willing to do what it takes to be a top performer. Most careers are very short lived. Many people never even manage to get their CDL , and many more never drive a truck solo a day in their lives.

So to everyone out there that's getting ready to start in this industry - please understand something - you are not in demand. You have no skills, no knowledge, no experience, and are incapable of helping a company service its customers or turn a profit. Why would you be in demand? You see what I'm saying?

You'll be given an opportunity to learn this trade and prove you have what it takes to be part of the team. If you go into this industry with no experience thinking you're somehow in demand and you're a free agent that can play the field looking for a company who is ready to treat you like a king, you're going to wind up on a bus home in no time. Trust me, it literally happens every single day at every major company out there.

Go in there and prove to them you're hard working and serious about becoming a top tier driver and give it everything you have. If you'll do that, everything will work out great. Just don't get confused about who is in demand and who is hoping for an opportunity to show that they are worthy of being part of the team.

They don't hand out participation trophies for poor performers in trucking, and they won't believe you have what it takes until you prove it. If you're cool with that and you're ready for that level of challenge then go for it. Get out there and make it happen. We'll do all we can to help you get there.

As I said, TMC's recruiter turned me off personally, but they are probably a fine company. I didn't say I wouldn't consider working for them, just that I didn't like the guy they sent to the school to recruit us. I still took notes, asked questions, etc.

I didn't say new drivers are in demand, I said drivers are in demand. But where are the productive drivers going to come from? As far as I know, there is no productive driver factory out there turning them out, so the trucking companies are looking for drivers to train, and who they hope will become good, safe, productive drivers. Which is why I said "As long as you are willing to work and aren't a screw up, being fired shouldn't be an issue, considering the shortage of drivers."

That is my shortened version of "

You'll be given an opportunity to learn this trade and prove you have what it takes to be part of the team. If you go into this industry with no experience thinking you're somehow in demand and you're a free agent that can play the field looking for a company who is ready to treat you like a king, you're going to wind up on a bus home in no time. Trust me, it literally happens every single day at every major company out there.

Go in there and prove to them you're hard working and serious about becoming a top tier driver and give it everything you have. If you'll do that, everything will work out great. Just don't get confused about who is in demand and who is hoping for an opportunity to show that they are worthy of being part of the team.

"

I agree completely with that statement. If he goes to any trucking company and works hard, does what he is told, and strives to be the best and make money for the company (and as a result, himself), he should not fear being fired. Too many today are not willing to work at all, let alone hard, have no ambition, and expect everything to be handed to them. If you are one of those type, yes, you will have problems, not just in trucking, but life in general.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
As I said, TMC's recruiter turned me off personally, but they are probably a fine company. I didn't say I wouldn't consider working for them, just that I didn't like the guy they sent to the school to recruit us

I'm not sure why you would share that, then. How is it relevant that you didn't like the guy personally? It implies that your impression of the recruiter should somehow matter and possibly play into your choice of companies, and it shouldn't. That's why I had to respond to it and mention that article. You'd be amazed at how many people choose one company over the others because they liked the recruiter and the recruiter made them feel important. It's a huge mistake that I want people to avoid.

The fact that you've mentioned it tells me it did have some importance to you. You didn't mention anything about their pay, their training program, their beautiful equipment, they're run by mostly former military folks with very high standards, they're employee owned, or that they get most of their drivers home every weekend. The only specific comment you made about the company is that you didn't like their recruiter. If it meant nothing you wouldn't have given it another thought and you wouldn't feel the need to share it. It obviously left an impression.

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.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

As I said, TMC's recruiter turned me off personally, but they are probably a fine company. I didn't say I wouldn't consider working for them, just that I didn't like the guy they sent to the school to recruit us

double-quotes-end.png

I'm not sure why you would share that, then. How is it relevant that you didn't like the guy personally? It implies that your impression of the recruiter should somehow matter and possibly play into your choice of companies, and it shouldn't. That's why I had to respond to it and mention that article. You'd be amazed at how many people choose one company over the others because they liked the recruiter and the recruiter made them feel important. It's a huge mistake that I want people to avoid.

The fact that you've mentioned it tells me it did have some importance to you. You didn't mention anything about their pay, their training program, their beautiful equipment, they're run by mostly former military folks with very high standards, they're employee owned, or that they get most of their drivers home every weekend. The only specific comment you made about the company is that you didn't like their recruiter. If it meant nothing you wouldn't have given it another thought and you wouldn't feel the need to share it. It obviously left an impression.

You are correct, it did have an impact on me. And I didn't explain, because what I got from it is probably all wrong, and should probably not be considered by the majority. I had researched them on my own, and considered them a good company. But he is the public face of the company.

He didn't say much at all about the training program. Listening to him, the best reason to work for them is that they have nice shiny Peterbilts that get washed often. He spent an inordinate amount of time on that, rather than what the company has to offer. Frankly, the equipment the company offers is down the list of my requirements. It would be nice to have a nice new shiny truck, but it isn't my top priority.

He also pushed the percent of load pay, and never mentioned that you can choose to be paid by the mile, until I brought it up. He quickly mentioned the employee stock program after we asked about it. He seemed perturbed we asked questions, which made me wonder. He just seemed to be a showman, rather than just presenting facts.

Then he started putting down the other companies, which is very unprofessional.

All the other recruiters simply laid out what they paid, where they ran, what openings they have, etc. Very straightforward and professional, which left a much better impression on me.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Brazen. You're wrong. If you get sent home you're not obligated to pay the tuition. If you QUIT, that's completely different.

The reason we do recommend company sponsored schools is because they have a vested interest in your success as a driver, where as a private school, if you don't make it, well they have your money and you are no longer their problem.

I went through a private school, a community college program, doing weekend classes. I DO NOT recommend the path that I took. It took much longer than it was supposed to. I made it but most did not. Normally this school doesn't do weekend classes but did so by special request. Out of 3 classes of 12 people, 8 people TOTAL made it. That's out of 36 people! 4 in my class, and 2 in each of the other classes. From a school that typically has a 100% success rate.

If you're interested, look back and see my CDL school experience. It was awful. I thought I was doing the right thing for me by attending part time and continuing to work. I wished I'd just sucked it up and been done 3 months sooner but I just couldn't figure out how to get my bills paid during school without working.

I'm still at my first company almost 3 years later, doing quite well and training new drivers also. A short term commitment is NOTHING.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

As I said, TMC's recruiter turned me off personally, but they are probably a fine company. I didn't say I wouldn't consider working for them, just that I didn't like the guy they sent to the school to recruit us

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

I'm not sure why you would share that, then. How is it relevant that you didn't like the guy personally? It implies that your impression of the recruiter should somehow matter and possibly play into your choice of companies, and it shouldn't. That's why I had to respond to it and mention that article. You'd be amazed at how many people choose one company over the others because they liked the recruiter and the recruiter made them feel important. It's a huge mistake that I want people to avoid.

The fact that you've mentioned it tells me it did have some importance to you. You didn't mention anything about their pay, their training program, their beautiful equipment, they're run by mostly former military folks with very high standards, they're employee owned, or that they get most of their drivers home every weekend. The only specific comment you made about the company is that you didn't like their recruiter. If it meant nothing you wouldn't have given it another thought and you wouldn't feel the need to share it. It obviously left an impression.

double-quotes-end.png

You are correct, it did have an impact on me. And I didn't explain, because what I got from it is probably all wrong, and should probably not be considered by the majority. I had researched them on my own, and considered them a good company. But he is the public face of the company.

He didn't say much at all about the training program. Listening to him, the best reason to work for them is that they have nice shiny Peterbilts that get washed often. He spent an inordinate amount of time on that, rather than what the company has to offer. Frankly, the equipment the company offers is down the list of my requirements. It would be nice to have a nice new shiny truck, but it isn't my top priority.

He also pushed the percent of load pay, and never mentioned that you can choose to be paid by the mile, until I brought it up. He quickly mentioned the employee stock program after we asked about it. He seemed perturbed we asked questions, which made me wonder. He just seemed to be a showman, rather than just presenting facts.

Then he started putting down the other companies, which is very unprofessional.

All the other recruiters simply laid out what they paid, where they ran, what openings they have, etc. Very straightforward and professional, which left a much better impression on me.

Grumpy choosing a company based purely on a recruiter’s attitude is potentially short-sighted. No idea of how TMC (Too-Much-Chrome) recruits; might be outsourced/contracted, your recruited might have been new or just plain ineffective with one foot out the proverbial door.

Beyond providing a conduit of getting into a company, their interaction with a new driver is fleeting. Keep in mind that most trucking companies have invested in their inbound recruiting efforts, which translated their website.

If I were you, I’d visit TMC’s website and exhaust every available online discovery opportunity, including sending emails to their inbox before I’d place all of my “decision eggs” in the recruiting basket.

Peace.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Everyone has their own reasons for choosing the company theyre with and nobody is wrong. You can be succesful at any company. I frequently stop at a Kum & Go convenience store thats next to where i park my truck. If i stop in the afternoon theres atleast 3 TMC trucks from their academy there every day taking their lunches. I'll make small talk with the instructors as well as the students and everyone seems to really enjoy TMC. I'm sure they have their fair share of problems (no place is perfect) but i had been in contact with TMC regarding training before i went the path i did. One thing i like about TMC is that they're driving all over the Des Moines area allowing them plenty of seat time. I frequently see them on the interstate as well as downtown making tight turns to better prepare them for their career. It's always a dead giveaway which trucks are students due to hauling the concrete barriers.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rob imparts some wisdom to Grumpy...

It's always a dead giveaway which trucks are students due to hauling the concrete barriers.

Grumpy there is a very important aspect of Rob’s reply here that hopefully will give you some pause...

They teach their students how-to drive under an actual load.

Huge difference between deadheading with an empty vs. running with “weight” on your tail. I didn’t drive under a trailered load until after I had my Class A CDL. Speaks volumes of how TMC trains and evaluates their students.

Nuff said...

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.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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