Here Are My Ten Choices For Company-sponsored CDL Training

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Professor_Eye_M's Comment
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Hello trucking truth users,

I have ten choices for company-sponsered CDL training and would like some insight/feedback with these choices. If anyone of you had ever or is working for one of these companies, what are your views/opinions.

Thank you for your responses and knowledge in advance.

Here are my choices:

1. C.R. England 2. Knight Transportation 3. MCT Transportation, LLC 4. Millis Transfer, INC. 5. Roehl 6. Stevens Truck 7. Swift Transportation 8. XPO Logistics 9. YRC Freight 10. U.S. Express

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.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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XPO and YRC are usually dock to driver and they have pick up and delivery or line haul positions. Other than that try looking at these.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

PJ's Comment
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I attended Roehl several years ago. It was a top notch school with low student to trainer ratio. After I was hired I had 2 awesome road trainers. I have a friend who just finished at Stevens Transport. They contract with a private school. She said it was top notch. She had 1 road trainer, she didn’t speak very highly of. She was at the headquarters and met several other students that just finished. Seems all the road trainers these students had all received extremly little backing time while in training. After comparing notes all these trainers were lease operators and didn’t want the students burning their fuel. I find this unacceptable. It is their job to train the students completly and they are being paid to do it. I don’t know anything about the others on your list. I’m sure others will chime in shortly. Best wishes.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Professor_Eye_M, here's the first problem you're going to face - those 10 companies aren't all going to offer you a job. People hear that truckers are in demand so they assume they can work anywhere they like. I get emails seven days a week from people saying, "These three companies rejected me but won't say why. I have a perfect driving and background record. What gives???"

I have no idea what gives. Companies will scour your background and talk to you on the phone and then decide if they want to offer you a position or not. There is no shortage of candidates, I can assure you. Some of the large carriers only hire 1 or 2 applicants for every 50 applications they receive.

What I recommend is to decide what type of freight you'd like to haul and how often you'd like to be home. Then apply to every company that meets that criteria to see who will actually offer you a position. Then decide between those companies, if indeed there is more than one. Don't waste your time pondering all these companies when you have no idea who will hire you or not. Apply first, then decide from those who offer you a position.

You can apply to multiple company-sponsored programs here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Instead of spending your time pondering companies, spend your time preparing yourself for the beginning of training. Even if you get a position with a company, 50% of those who show up don't last the 3 weeks it takes to get their CDL. Even more don't make it through training on the road to go solo.

Go through these materials thoroughly:

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.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome

Steven's Transport doesn't hire out of California. They used to, but not now. Old School works for Knight Transportation he will chime in soon. Swift is good company also, hell they all are. I'm in mentor state now and have some 70 hours left until I upgrade. But in the end you have to make that decision it's the type of hauling you wa TV to do, amount of home time you need, weither you want to do 48 state or regional or dedicated. You have so many options to choose from. But again the deists yours to make. Then do you want dry van , refrigerated, flat bed, intermodal , even some local companies but you probably have to load or u load your merchandise. Read through all the links that Big Scott gave you. It will give you a much better understanding than I can give you. Did you look over the company reviews that are on here? Click on the 3 bars that are in the top left corner of the page and you come to the company reviews and you can see what is what. Talk to the recruiters of these companies, ask questions of them. Etc., etc, etc

Raptor

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

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.

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.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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I hate autocorrect! If doesn't make sense then that is not what I intended to say.

Raptor

Tractor Man's Comment
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I hate autocorrect! If doesn't make sense then that is not what I intended to say.

Raptor

Turn off auto correct on your phone. If you use android it is in keyboard settings. Use the preview button before you hit send

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck to you Professor and welcome. Like youI I'm new to the trucking scene. I've applied with Prime but I am going to apply with all the companies through this website that Brett has provided, and see who might be interested in me. Being a newbie I don't have a lot to offer experience wise that is. But I know about hard work, committment and loyality. I am planning on going to school in May. Anyway, I hope you get what you're looking for, and find a place that's a good fit for you and the company you go with.

Old School's Comment
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I tell people all the time that it's just not that critical what company you start with. I usually get some kick back from the people who are investing all sorts of energy into this effort as if I were from a foreign planet. They'll say something like, "Of course it matters! Where have you been? Haven't you seen how all these trucking companies are taking advantage of new drivers, using their cheap labor to make excessive profits, and then discarding them and replacing them with another group of newbies who didn't do their due diligence?"

There can be nothing more false than those assumptions. It's the bane of social media that people can keep such foolishness alive and thriving in our modern world. Rumors and lies have barbs in them that keep them hindering well meaning people in this industry in a way that is almost sickening.

All you need is to have an idea of what kind of trailer you want to pull at the beginning. Dry-van probably provides the least resistance as far as the difficult learning curve goes, and it certainly has the most drop and hook type work. There are plenty of companies hauling dry-van loads. If you get on with a large company that offers other types of freight in addition to dry-van, you could easily transfer over to another type of freight when you're ready for a change or a little different challenge.

You don't have to determine at the beginning who you want to work for the rest of your life. Your first job and your rookie year is where you just start learning what you're doing. Therefore the pressure to perform and do a great job is on you. It has little to do with the company. They need you to get the hang of things quickly, but they are going to depend on you to take that initiative. There is no company out there that can put that kind of determination and commitment in you.

Really successful truck drivers focus on their own efforts and results. Focusing too much on the company is how we got to this ridiculous idea that these companies are responsible for this mythical phenomenon of "driver churn." If their is such a thing, it is definitely caused by slackers and others who didn't realize they were going to have to have "skin in the game" to succeed at this career. Yeah, I said that. Driver churn is the result of poorly performing drivers - it has nothing to do with corporate greed.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you everyone who had responded to my question with your wisdom and knowledge. As I'm a newbie on here, I'm not familiar with how to do add "quotes" from responses onto my reply.

To PJ and Raptor, I will be looking into some of the links Big Scott had posted on here to get a better fill about schools.

To Brett Aquila, I had venture into most of those links last night. I had especially read "Brett's Book: The Raw Truth About Trucking (free online version)." Even though it was only 88 pages, it was very, very, very insightful. It had really curved and narrowed my focus. I loved how it had breakdown between OTR , Regional , and Local. Furthermore, how it had breakdown between dry van , reefer , tanker, and let's not forget Dump Trucks. I had started reading this book around 10pm last night and finished around 2am with a throbbing headache (in a good way due to soaking up every word into my rookie-sized brain). It's not that I'm a slow reader, I wanted to envision and have a great understanding with every word. I didn't want to skim through it like the average joe and at the end, feel like I'm now Mr. Know It All. When I had posted this forum, I wasn't aware of this book and my choices were oblivious. After reading the book, I had re-approached my choices, it's now a totally different viewpoint with different questions to ask myself. I kind of feel dumb now for posting this forum because I'm learning now it's not about what school/company you go to, it's all about the mindset and the willingness to know that this industry is a HYPER-COMPETITIVE industry and you have to keep those wheels turning to make money. Oh yeah, let's not forget about attitude. I had witness through YouTube videos, there are a lot of negative mindsets on the road and so many videos on how people quit the company because of A, B, and C. Not sure why? After reading that book, now I have an idea as to why. I can see trucking isn't for everyone. Not to throw out my life story out there, which I won't right now, but I think trucking is for me. Somehow when I had evaded that thought throughout my life because it sounded extremely intimidating, somehow I get re-approached with the idea, like BAM, a smack in the face. Rather it be through a conversation with someone out of nowhere or through a subliminal, lucid-based dream that I can't seem to explain (and this had happened countless of times). That internal feeling seems to follow me a lot lately. Maybe the time is now to follow that internal instinct that perhaps God and the universe are constantly throwing at me. I don't know, call me a spiritualist. I know trucking can't be that bad that to where I want to bash a company who had gave me a chance to get a CDL with no money down and a truck to make money and get the experience needed to solidify my career. I don't know. So much to learn, especially those logbooks lol.

To Doug C., I wish you nothing but the greatest of success in your trucking journey. My plans is to start in April 2019. From my research and understanding, it will be tough and bittersweet in the beginning as a rookie. At least for me as I have 0 experience on my end. Not sure if you have any experience with those big rigs. Hopefully we'll continue bumping into each other on here throughout our first year and give encouragement to one another. I'm sure we will need it.

To Old School, thank you for your response in my last forum and I had listen to both podcasts/recordings you had posted. After listening to them, I have to admit, I was discourage for a second. Not sure as to why? Maybe after reading Brett's book for about a few hours or so and suddenly listening to your recording, I think I was just overwhelmed. After with an adequate amount of sleep, I'd waken up this morning with a fresh perspective on things and I'm coming to understand that it doesn't matter if I go to a CDL school or go to a company-based CDL training. The reality is, it's all about your drive and motivation. True, going to a CDL school you're able to better hone into your skills, get more of training with adequate time, and get all the practice you need prior getting a CDL and going OTR versus going to a company-based CDL training and cramming about only a certain percentage of knowledge to you in such a short period of time (between 4-6 weeks, give or take) before going OTR. So there are pros and cons with both sides of the fence. It's all about knowing that this OTR lifestyle is right for you. And the only way I can find out is to take that leap of faith and JUST GO FOR IT! Hopefully, this all makes sense. I'm just a rookie with 0 experience whose only speaking for instincts, however, I am doing constant researching every chance I get. Rather it's reading this and that, watching YouTube videos of people praising companies or giving companies the middle finger, telling their opinions about the lifestyle on the road, or even watching videos of truck accidents. If it involves trucks, I'm absorbing as much as I can so once I'm accepted to a CDL school or company-based CDL training, I am more aware of what I'm getting myself into, than opposed to, not knowing a damn thing going into this head first, only to put my trustful heart and soul to those salespeople (The Recruiter), only to tell me what I want to hear. I surely don't want to get caught into the "Matrix."

Once again, thank you everyone for responding and I know I will have tons of more question along the way of my journey.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

Dm:

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.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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