Just Getting Started After 5 Plus Years Of Doing Other Jobs

Topic 24076 | Page 1

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OldGrizzlyBear's Comment
member avatar

Hello Big Truck Drivers !!!!

Well first off , a little history is needed from me , like the subject line states and you all can figure , I use to be a OTR Driver ( 2003 - 2005 ) Started out with Werner making 23 cents per mile then moved to JB Hunt making 28 cents per mile , a delivery driver for a window company (2005-2006) and a Delivery Driver for Lowes (2006 - 2013). After that I didnot reup my CDL when it was set to expire (stupid mistake) , so , by the state laws (West Virginia) , I have to retake the entire CDL test and of course get a physical. From 2013 till current , I became a licenced Electrician and I'm currently working as a cook. My biggest reason why I left the OTR world was the lack of hometime , my boys was 5 , 3 and 1 at the time , so , you can only imagine all that I missed and such. Now , my boys are 19 , 17 and 15 , so , things will be alot less "painful" because they will be more understanding.

I have been in contact with Swift and their recruiter Veronica, tbh , she is very straight forward and honest with me. It helps that I told her not to beat around the bush with me cause I ain't no "newbie" to this industry. She has me set up to do the Swift Academy in Columbus, Ohio sometime in January 2019 and out with a mentor there after. I'm looking to go back to OTR to start then maybe regional or dedicated.

Currently, I am at my home studying to take the written test , taking practice test after practice test in high hopes that I pass on the first try. From my understanding the industry has changed a bit over the years , some good and some bad , but , there still a driver shortage across the board.

I appreciate any feedback , thoughts , suggestions that you all might have.

Thanks and keep it between the lines driver !!!!

V/R, Mike

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.

Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck, I'm in a similar situation, just getting apps out there now

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum OldGrizzlyBear!

I trained with Swift at their Richmond Academy. I’ve been with them for almost 6 years now, running on a Dedicated Walmart grocery account with a North East Regional territory. No regrets about my decision. Happy to answer any questions about Swift.

The below link will help with the studying:

High Road CDL Training Program

Good luck and enjoy the holiday season!

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.

OldGrizzlyBear's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum OldGrizzlyBear!

I trained with Swift at their Richmond Academy. I’ve been with them for almost 6 years now, running on a Dedicated Walmart grocery account with a North East Regional territory. No regrets about my decision. Happy to answer any questions about Swift.

The below link will help with the studying:

High Road CDL Training Program

Good luck and enjoy the holiday season!

Thanks and I will contact you either here or some other means because I want to make sure everything is spot on. Oh, btw, do you know anything about the mentor program and such ? I am hoping for a "spot on" mentor and not someone who just wants the extra money.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Posting questions on the forum is the best way at Trucking Truth. This way everyone can benefit for the information.

Mentors, there are good ones, very good ones, and of course not so good. It’s random, luck of the drawl.

The best insurance for everything is spot-on is communication, proactive communication. You have experience, leverage that to maximize the training. Of everything you’ll need to learn, e-logs and Swift specific Qualcomm communication is something you’ll focus on with your trainer.

Keep an open mind; understand their expectations and make sure they understand yours.

Good luck!

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
OldGrizzlyBear's Comment
member avatar

Well, Ladies and Gents !!!

A quick update, I'm still sitting at my house in WV , I am waiting for Prime to contact me back because I have been approved to join their "family". I know at first Swift was where I wanted to go however , I considered it might be a bit wiser to go with a smaller company with high hopes of not just being a a number but rather a name. By the looks of things I will be heading to Springfield, MO because their other place in PA is fully loaded till March timeframe...The only thing that bothers me is the bus ride , I am hoping for good weather and no delays for the trip BUT.....mid -Feb weather, the chances are not in my favor too much but we will see soon enough. I have read a few post on Prime and the hustle during orientation, it would seem to me that they need to slow down instead of "cattle herding" people , idk...maybe they have a heck of a system in place that allows them to process people in this fashion. I just hope I don't get lost in the shuffle and I am able to keep up with the pace that will be in place.

I also was hearing something about a contract that Prime has the students sign that are in their CDL schooling ? is there anyone that would like to chime in on this ? I also heard that part of this contract is that if you dont fulfill your end then your not allowed to work in the same dedicated line (ie...Flatbed , tanker , or refrigerated lines) with any other company for "XX" amount of time. It that a BS statement or is that factual ?

Thanks for your time Drivers !!!

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

Old Grizzly although I do not drive for Prime, most every Paid CDL Training Program has some sort of employment agreement.

I suggest investing some time listening to this Podcast: Why You Should Stay With Your First Company at Lesst 1 Year

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.
Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar
I have read a few post on Prime and the hustle during orientation, it would seem to me that they need to slow down instead of "cattle herding" people , idk...maybe they have a heck of a system in place that allows them to process people in this fashion. I just hope I don't get lost in the shuffle and I am able to keep up with the pace that will be in place.

I'm there now, beyond orientation and working with my psd trainer. While the first two days may seem a bit like "cattle herding" while waiting in lines for drug test, physical, and file review, I am very impressed with the whole process at Prime, thorough, efficient, and everybody really is interested in you succeeding. They do this same cycle weekly and they are good at what they do. I came here in a similar situation of having previous experience but not held a cdl for the last ten years. I'll just say that I came here with the attitude that I'm a new driver, a student just like the rest of them. Your previous experience will come into play after orientation once you get a psd trainer and may even shorten your training time, I say may, because it's not a guaranteed, depends on how you do. I think you made a good choice choosing Prime and wish you 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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

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.

JJlearner's Comment
member avatar

By the looks of things I will be heading to Springfield, MO because their other place in PA is fully loaded till March timeframe...

In PA the instructor told us that the reason for the waiting period is because they usually bring only 6 to 8 students and they want to make sure that everyone gets a trainer by end of the week. Also they mentioned that in PA they would like students to spend more time with their family than wasting 1 or 2 weeks in hotel waiting for a trainer.

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