Prime , Usa, Or Pam? Money / Training / Ethics.

Topic 2439 | Page 1

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kazza1214's Comment
member avatar

I know most of you will say trucking ethics is an oxymoron i am asking lesser evil. Been waiting 3 yrs to set up for the road and will be ready march. Been reading forums for all three years and opinions on companies seem to change every year. I want to know about 2014. Need company training not in big hurry i want to make a well informed choice. I hate automatic cars so pam is not at the top. Not a heartless ******* who only cares about money but if i wanted average pay i would work an average job. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. P.S thank you for the site brett .

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Kazza1214!

Wow, if you've been reading forums for three years you ought to be completely jaded at this point. Is this site new to you, or have you been also reading here for three years?

If you are wanting company training be sure and check out the Company-Sponsored Training section on this site. You'll find a lot of valuable info there that might help you in your decision making process. Since you obviously have endured all kinds of reading for the last three years I hope you have also stumbled across our Trucker's Career Guide and have had a chance to read Brett's Book which is a fun and informative, not to mention absolutely free, read.

Most people who come here from other trucking forums are a little gun shy about pulling the trigger on their career because they are programmed to be afraid that they are going to make the wrong decision and then be stuck working for an evil trucking empire that will treat them like their lower than trash and then discard them while putting all kinds of nasty things in their DAC report so that they will never be able to get another job in the industry.

Well, I've got great news for you! If that describes you, then let out a big exhale and realize that what you've been exposed to is a bunch of B.S. written by a bunch of losers who could never fill the shoes of an American Truck Driver if they had to. I'm not just carrying the water for Trucking Truth here, I'm going to share with you my personal experience so that you'll know that what I'm saying is true. I am a flat-bed driver for Western Express. If you've been around in other forums for as long as you say then I know that you have heard some really bad and nasty reports about Western Express. I've personally never seen anything positive about this company online unless I posted it myself. Guess what? I love this job, but it's not Western Express that I love - it's this whole lifestyle of truck driving. Western Express treats me great and keeps my wheels turning, but the reason they do this is that they know they can count on me to "get er done" no matter what gets in my way. What I'm laboring to get across to you is that if you love what you do, and are committed to being the best at it, you are going to be just fine no matter which trucking company you go to work for. You are limited to the ones that will provide you with company training so that's where you've got to start your search.

We've got some great resources that will help you know How To Choose A Company. So check that out also.

Remember this: Trucking is a performance based industry. If you aren't out there making it happen you will not make good money and you will be like so many of the people who are posting derogatory tales about the evil trucking companies that did them wrong. I recently posted something about how I felt compassion for so many of the people in this industry who really shouldn't be here. They just weren't cut out for the job and they are miserable in it. If you can step up your game to the level required to succeed in this business you will be happy and proud to be moving across this great land in a Big Rig. I hope you've got what it takes, and I hope we can give you a hand in getting your new career started.

We will answer all your questions, and we will do our best to give you a leg up in the business. So don't be bashful, and remember there are no dumb questions. Trust me, we've heard them all and we've never scorned a single inquirer. We've had to show a few know it alls the door, but even then we did our best to do it with class.

Again, welcome aboard!

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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.

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.

kazza1214's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the exhale and relief. And yes i have been reading this forum for 3 years. I have read the articles so many times i feel like i know half the people. I am only slightly jaded by other sites like layover. Indeed and glassdoor have more negative things to say too. Positive feedback and responsible moderators have made me choose leave other sites alone. Thank you old school for opening my eyes. I do wonder sometimes how people can say they have it so bad in the industry. I am sure the negative people on here that say they dont care about what other people think dont know the difference from giving a damn about themselves. I am not looking for a handout. The best place to look for a helping hand is at the end of my own arm. I did not look into the industry because i fell on hard times in fact when the economy fell my wife got a promotion that allowed me to not work. Instead of being nagged about getting a job i was told to take a few years and spend time on whatever hobbies i have. I am a technician so that work usually entails extensive travel too. But moving from room to room bed to bed sucks. Trucking would at least give me my own bed to sleep in. If i wash my sheets i know they are clean. I hope my time not working does not count against me i was not on unemployment being a drain. This is a choice and one i have full support in. I really appreciate any input you experienced drivers have to offer your words hold more weight with me than you know. I hope i choose the right company. And again thank you for the wisdom old school i may be smart but too young to be wise.

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Kazza1214 welcome to the forums.

Let's get started heading in the right direction. I have an exercise for you. I want to to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle from top to bottom. Now on the left side I want you to write down everything you want out of trucking and trucking companies. These things will come from your private life and your personality.

If you have truly read this sight for the last three years then you should know what is realistic and what is not.

Now on the right side of the paper ,as you are researching companies, write down the companies that match close to what you are looking for. You should have anywhere from 5 to 7 companies listed by the end. Now granted not all the companies will be a real close match but they have at least some of the things you are looking for from a company.

Then you start applying to those companies when the time is right. I mean apply to EVERY company on your list. Trust me when i say that a list of 10 to 15 companies will not be to big.

Just remember that for the most part almost all big companies follow the same business plan. What sets companies a part is what a driver wants from a company. Want better home time then choose company A. Or want to run certain parts of the country then choose company B. Want to haul a certain type of freight then choose company C. Like I said most companies are basically the same but with only a few details that are different.

Like with my company from Dec 10th to Jan 10 my TEAM truck ran 24,608 in miles for a 30 time period. The fleet I am in runs time sensitive freight that 99.9% of the time is extreemly high value that must be there and we run hard. I like running hard. Not everyone does.

So make your list and compare. As questions come up feel free to come here and ask. The only dumb question is the one that you did not ask.

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.

Ray F. (aka. Mongo)'s Comment
member avatar

Kazza,

You are just down the road from me. So let me tell you where I am at in the process. I looked at all of the same company's you mentioned. I decided on Prime. My school date is set to start Feb. 11. I based it on CPM , Company paid training and the upfront out of pocket expenses. I did that through this site.

Best of luck to you with whatever you decide to do. May run into you sometime at Cabelas.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

James W.'s Comment
member avatar

I know most of you will say trucking ethics is an oxymoron i am asking lesser evil. Been waiting 3 yrs to set up for the road and will be ready march. Been reading forums for all three years and opinions on companies seem to change every year. I want to know about 2014. Need company training not in big hurry i want to make a well informed choice. I hate automatic cars so pam is not at the top. Not a heartless ******* who only cares about money but if i wanted average pay i would work an average job. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. P.S thank you for the site brett .

Not sure who told you Pam uses autos. Pam tried that route just like a lot of other companies but reverted back to 10 speeds.As far as pay goes, what do you think you are entitled to right out of school?

Pam is one of only two companies I know that offers you a true opportunity after a short waiting period to lease a truck , put on a dedicated run and make 75,000 to 80,000 a year. I know because I am doing it. My advice to you is do not believe all the super truckers out there who like to talk about things they really know nothing about. Call and ask questions, talk to several drivers and look at the big picture. It's not always about cents per mile. Most people are short sighted and only see the cents per mile. Good Luck to you....

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Sandman's Comment
member avatar

Kazza,

You are just down the road from me. So let me tell you where I am at in the process. I looked at all of the same company's you mentioned. I decided on Prime. My school date is set to start Feb. 11. I based it on CPM , Company paid training and the upfront out of pocket expenses. I did that through this site.

Best of luck to you with whatever you decide to do. May run into you sometime at Cabelas.

Hey I guess I may be seeing you at prime. My start date is Feb 9th. Best of luck.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Kazza,

You are just down the road from me. So let me tell you where I am at in the process. I looked at all of the same company's you mentioned. I decided on Prime. My school date is set to start Feb. 11. I based it on CPM , Company paid training and the upfront out of pocket expenses. I did that through this site.

Best of luck to you with whatever you decide to do. May run into you sometime at Cabelas.

double-quotes-end.png

Hey I guess I may be seeing you at prime. My start date is Feb 9th. Best of luck.

Sandman, Ray wrote this almost a year ago. He's already a solo driver.

smile.gif

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Sandman's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Kazza,

You are just down the road from me. So let me tell you where I am at in the process. I looked at all of the same company's you mentioned. I decided on Prime. My school date is set to start Feb. 11. I based it on CPM , Company paid training and the upfront out of pocket expenses. I did that through this site.

Best of luck to you with whatever you decide to do. May run into you sometime at Cabelas.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Hey I guess I may be seeing you at prime. My start date is Feb 9th. Best of luck.

double-quotes-end.png

Sandman, Ray wrote this almost a year ago. He's already a solo driver.

smile.gif

Yah, realized that right after I posted it. Lol

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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