New Driver, Best Company To Work For

Topic 24127 | Page 1

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Thomas H. Sanders (Huff)'s Comment
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Hi, I recently received my Class A CDL license and am talking with Knight Transportation and Total Transportation of Mississippi. I am asking for information about both companies. I live in northern Alabama and planing on Solo OTR driving. Asking everyone which would be the company you would join. Thanks everyone

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.

Bird 's Comment
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Hey Huff welcome to the forum. Always here great things about Knight. And now they have merged with Swift. Makes them the largest carrier in the nation. Plenty of opportunities. Don't know much about Total.

Old School's Comment
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Thomas, welcome aboard!

Here's the thing about choosing a trucking company. What we individually think about various companies shouldn't be very important to you. What you need is a situation that fits your needs, or suits your particular desires. You want to decide what type of freight you'd like to pull. That might be dry van , reefer , or flat bed. Then you may want to think about what kind of home time you'd like to have. See which company will work best for what you want.

After those considerations you want to think about which company might have more options available to you - after all, as a newbie, you may not really know what type freight you want to pull. Maybe you'll discover early on that you're not real keen on pulling dry van, and you'd like to switch to pulling reefer loads. Does the company you've chosen offer that option?

Personally for new drivers, I think the bigger companies are more suitable. They have so many options for their drivers and they are well set up to accommodate new drivers and the issues they have. I know most everything you see on the internet lays a lot of importance on the company you choose, but the reality is that it's a decision that most people obsess over unnecessarily.

Allow me to give you my personal experience at getting started in trucking. After obtaining my CDL A license, I had some issues that kept people from being willing to hire me. I ended up settling on the only company that would hire me, and they had terribly frightening internet reviews. I took the job scared I was going to be cheated and done wrong.

I learned quickly that getting started with just the right company really wasn't as important as everyone was saying. In fact, it became obvious that almost 95% of all the information I'd seen online was bogus and extremely misleading. I learned that the one thing critical was how I measured up. My success in trucking would be determined by me, not by the name on the doors of my truck. That's where you want to put all your focus. You want to prove to the company you choose that Thomas is going to be the most productive, efficient, and safe driver they've ever seen. With that approach you will do well no matter where you get your start.

In trucking you hold the keys to success. If you look through this forum you'll discover that each of the experienced drivers love the company they work for. Those companies are as varied as can be. That shows the truth of what I'm sharing with you. Those same companies are slandered all over the internet, yet we have experienced drivers here who are loving their jobs and making top money at those companies.

Don't waste a lot of time evaluating different companies. Concentrate on what's important. Get hired on somewhere and focus on developing yourself as a driver. That will take you a full year, so commit to that and you will soon find out how important it is that your choice to out perform your fellow drivers was way more important than the company you started with.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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Well, I second everything Old School said. I came a long way to be where I am today. This is a performance based business. Your success is tied to how well you do your job. It takes time to prove yourself and get the "good" loads. Many people think they will start with a company and be making 3000 miles per week. There are plenty of weeks like like that, but new people rarely see them. They get discouraged and quit company A for company B, only to find out they aren't getting miles there either. This is because they haven't proved themselves yet. My fleet manager knows I get it done. He finds me good loads. Not every load is long, but they are all good to me. For example I'm on a short load now just 126 miles. Well, I'll get my mileage pay, because I'm in PA, I will get Northeast pay and I get short haul pay. The best part is, I got a message that my next load goes 126 miles back to the same shipper in Pennsylvania and goes 2815 miles to Washington. Do you think a new guy who can't even manage his clock yet gets big loads like that. Rarely.

Old School gave you some very important things to think about when choosing a company, keep that in mind. Best of luck to you.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

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.

Mik D.'s Comment
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Go with total :)

G-Town's Comment
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Mik D wrote:

Go with total :)

wtf.gif

Great answer...

Why would you contradict a well thought-out suggestion with the above?

Mik if you want to hi-jack a thread, add something of value, backed with tangible supporting information.

Old School's Comment
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Great answer...

Why would you contradict a well thought-out suggestion with the above?

It's quite alright.

Mik D's response illustrates my point. I never mentioned that I work for Knight. I could have easily said, "Go with Knight!" Then Thomas might eventually end up with three or four different responses for Total and probably that many for Knight. How could that possibly help him make a good decision?

Mik D loves working for Total, I love working for Knight. Lo, and behold, G-Town loves working for Swift. Each of us enjoys where we are because we've established ourselves there, and that is the point I want to get across to our new friend Thomas.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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And, I drive for CFI and love them. Are there people who hate them and quit? Absolutely. This is why Old School stressed some qualities to look for in a company.

Thomas H. Sanders (Huff)'s Comment
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Y'all men are great! Thanks for all the information, believe it or not this is exactly the information/response I was looking for. I'v been self employed my whole life and its always been about performance based. I owned/operated a retail chain of store's selling babies to teen accessories and furniture, "middle to high quality and price", for almost 20 years. I worked every day, six days a week. The public today looks on line, "Internet", and they base their purchase on looks and price, NOT quality. No mater how hard you work, "performance based", the public is only interested in your price, NOT quality and the manufacture that will stand behind their product. Too many of the walking dead, going to Walmart convinced they have the best product at the best price. I Will Treat the company I decide to work for like we are partners. I'm taking the saddle off the horse.......Thanks

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