Do Drivers Often Have To Ride On Buses?

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Old School's Comment
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Hey Daniel B - glad to see you in here!

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

It's just my opinion, Old School.

I don't mean to disparage the "run of the mill" companies. By very definition, most companies are run of the mill. Personally, I'm going to make a better choice, if it is available to me.

The companies that offer better-than-the dog transportation likely do more thorough background checking on their new hires than do others.

Yes, the bus is the most common practice. That doesn't make it the best practice.

Finally, whether a company hires several hundred newbies a week or just one, the expenses are going to be about the same as a percentage of their revenue....so I don't find that matter relevant.

But you are obviously entitled to your opinion, and I'm not going to say that it isn't a good one - it just isn't the same as mine in this instance.

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There are run of the mill companies, and there are the much better companies. For me, one sign is whether they want to stick me on a bus.

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Dave, you were sounding great until you got to your last statement. Many of these companies provide Transportation for several hundred new drivers each week. That's a considerable expense. It makes perfect sense for them to try and not waste money on transporting people who have no track record of success in trucking.

You and I may be treated to a free flight whenever necessary, but to describe these companies offering a free bus ride to a brand new driver with nothing to recommend themselves as "run of the mill" is unfair in my opinion.

Todd Holmes's Comment
member avatar

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There are run of the mill companies, and there are the much better companies. For me, one sign is whether they want to stick me on a bus.

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Dave, you were sounding great until you got to your last statement. Many of these companies provide Transportation for several hundred new drivers each week. That's a considerable expense. It makes perfect sense for them to try and not waste money on transporting people who have no track record of success in trucking.

You and I may be treated to a free flight whenever necessary, but to describe these companies offering a free bus ride to a brand new driver with nothing to recommend themselves as "run of the mill" is unfair in my opinion.

The longest I have ever ridden the Dirty Dog was from downtown Sacramento, CA to Hayward, CA: about 2 hours with an 1 hour layover at Oakland in 2008. I've also ridden the Dog from Monterey to San Jose in 1992. Both times the buses were super clean, roomy and comfortable and the drivers polite as English chauffeurs. I would not mind riding the Dog up to about 500 miles when I start fresh early in the morning right out of bed given their professionalism and vehicle comfort. I just can't see myself going coast to coast on the Dog (non-stop) without a stopover and a motel room every 500 miles or so.

My preferred methods of travel depending upon distance or circumstances.

under 200 miles: car, train coach, Greyhound bus 200-500 miles: car, train coach starting early in the morning fresh out of bed, train private compartment, plane coach 500-2,000 miles: plane coach, train with private compartment, car 2,000+ miles: plane coach, train private compartment over the ocean: plane first class

I believe I could handle driving a commercial truck 500 miles between each and every bedtime. I don't mind long-distance travel on the ground so much if I am in control of the vehicle. I can roll the window down for fresh air, adjust the climate controls and music to my liking and stop to do my business along the way and stretch my legs. With somebody else driving, it's boring as hell on long trips unless I have a comfortable place to lie down or sleep in the vehicle. I have spent up to ten hours (or maybe it was 12) non-stop in the army on a bus going from Oklahoma to Arkansas for funeral detail. I have driven from California to Georgia round trip in my 1/2 ton extended-cab Chevy pickup with a loaded landscape trailer in tow. I think I would average 500 miles per day between nightly lodgings. I have gone 700 miles to/from San Francisco to Boise a couple of times in my pickup truck non-stop each way but I usually stopover for the night in Winnemucca, NV for my beauty sleep at Motel 6: now that's one Dirty Red Number.

The longest non-stop trip on any conveyance I have ever made was on a Lufthansa airline from Germany to SF in the service: 11.50 hours in the air, coach.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
The companies that offer better-than-the dog transportation likely do more thorough background checking on their new hires than do others.

I do not see the correlation here. Swift uses the Dog, their background checks are very thorough and extensive.

Todd Holmes's Comment
member avatar

It's just my opinion, Old School.

I don't mean to disparage the "run of the mill" companies. By very definition, most companies are run of the mill. Personally, I'm going to make a better choice, if it is available to me.

The companies that offer better-than-the dog transportation likely do more thorough background checking on their new hires than do others.

Yes, the bus is the most common practice. That doesn't make it the best practice.

Finally, whether a company hires several hundred newbies a week or just one, the expenses are going to be about the same as a percentage of their revenue....so I don't find that matter relevant.

But you are obviously entitled to your opinion, and I'm not going to say that it isn't a good one - it just isn't the same as mine in this instance.

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There are run of the mill companies, and there are the much better companies. For me, one sign is whether they want to stick me on a bus.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Dave, you were sounding great until you got to your last statement. Many of these companies provide Transportation for several hundred new drivers each week. That's a considerable expense. It makes perfect sense for them to try and not waste money on transporting people who have no track record of success in trucking.

You and I may be treated to a free flight whenever necessary, but to describe these companies offering a free bus ride to a brand new driver with nothing to recommend themselves as "run of the mill" is unfair in my opinion.

double-quotes-end.png

Dave, in the army we got put on the bus, as_es and elbows, a lot to toughen us American soldiers! I have been on an army cattle truck more than once and not inside the tractor either.

I once drove an military 5-ton in a convoy 1,100 mile round trip. 650 each way, no sleepover. 50 mph tops: these 6x6 trucks are geared for off road. They have a manual 5-speed w/ transfer. Summer 1990. El Paso, TX from southern Oklahoma (Ft. Sill) near White Sands, NM. No A/C. No suspension seat. Roll down windows. The desert! My field artillery unit was firing the Lance short-range SSM ballistic missiles at the White Sands range for training purposes.

Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Like said by most here the majority of companies will choose the cheapest form of transportation to get prospective drivers to their terminal. I agree that a plane flight would be more personal and comforting to anyone but because of the vast number of prospective new drivers these companies are not willing to "foot" the higher costs. Maybe they could offer a plane on the same basis as their in-house schooling costs, stay for a year and the plane ride is free or otherwise you pay for the plane. Another argument is that no matter what the cost of transporting new drivers for training it is most likely written off as business expenses.

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.

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.

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

Many large companies issue pre hires based on the app and a CSA check and can issue pre hire offers within 24 hours, then they do the extensive background checks after they see who shows up for orientation.

Some companies check out the applicant more thorougly before they buy the plane ticket or pay for a rental car.

At least that is what I think the correlation could be in many instances...maybe I'm wrong...but it doesn't really make any difference...only salient point is that most companies put students and drivers on buses, some don't. The intent of my post was just to advise the OP that there might be choices that don't require bus rides. Folks who took bus rides to their companies don't need to find ways to tear up my post in order to justify their decision.

Here is my new response for you: yes, most companies put their candidates on the bus, which is a all we deserve so suck it up and enjoy it.

rofl-3.gif

double-quotes-start.png

The companies that offer better-than-the dog transportation likely do more thorough background checking on their new hires than do others.

double-quotes-end.png

I do not see the correlation here. Swift uses the Dog, their background checks are very thorough and extensive.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

Pre Hires:

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Folks who took bus rides to their companies don't need to find ways to tear up my post in order to justify their decision.

No one tore up your post Dave.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

OMG, this discussion has gone silly at this point. We've got a guy who wants to know if he's going to have to ride a bus. He's a newbie with no experience. Let's face it - he's got about a 98% chance at some point of having to get on a bus!

This talk about "run of the mill" companies is silly. These large carriers are some of the best performing Transportation companies out here. They are publicly traded because they have shown themselves to be some of the most responsible operators in this particularly precarious business. They make smart decisions, one of which is to approach the hiring of new drivers without wasting money unnecessarily. There's no reason to be flying in a bunch of people who may prove to be of little value.

Folks who took bus rides to their companies don't need to find ways to tear up my post in order to justify their decision.

C'mon Dave! Nobody is attempting to "justify their decision." We are teaching newbies how this stuff works, and the fact remains that most all of them are going to be put on a bus. Once a driver is experienced and proven he may get flights and rent cars paid for regularly - that's been my experience.

Any newbie who somehow takes away from this conversation that a company that flies him in to orientation is a "better choice," is being completely misled. The transportation means to orientation has never been one of the criteria we suggest as something critical in your decision making process.

Todd Holmes's Comment
member avatar

Many large companies issue pre hires based on the app and a CSA check and can issue pre hire offers within 24 hours, then they do the extensive background checks after they see who shows up for orientation.

Some companies check out the applicant more thorougly before they buy the plane ticket or pay for a rental car.

At least that is what I think the correlation could be in many instances...maybe I'm wrong...but it doesn't really make any difference...only salient point is that most companies put students and drivers on buses, some don't. The intent of my post was just to advise the OP that there might be choices that don't require bus rides. Folks who took bus rides to their companies don't need to find ways to tear up my post in order to justify their decision.

Here is my new response for you: yes, most companies put their candidates on the bus, which is a all we deserve so suck it up and enjoy it.

rofl-3.gif

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

The companies that offer better-than-the dog transportation likely do more thorough background checking on their new hires than do others.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

I do not see the correlation here. Swift uses the Dog, their background checks are very thorough and extensive.

double-quotes-end.png

Dave, I don't suppose the bus ride from the driver's home of record in Indiana should entail more than a 500-mile trip in any direction to just about any private or company school. If the company were to give me cash in lieu of a Dog ticket I might just drive my own car.

Who pays for lodging if your CDL school is say, 350 miles from home?

If I were to become a new OTR driver, I would not give up my car and small apartment in a hurry anyway.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

Pre Hires:

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.

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