Jim Palmer Regional Company Driver - Thoughts?

Topic 24696 | Page 1

Page 1 of 4 Next Page Go To Page:
Rocky Mountain Princess's Comment
member avatar

Hi guys and ladies!

I'm officially a third of the way through truck driving school and I've been talking to all kinds of companies. I spoke with a recruiter at Jim Palmer yesterday and want to know what you folks think of what they're offering. If anyone is currently working for Jim Palmer, I would LOVE to hear what you have to say. So here's the info I got:

"The Western 10 run focuses on the 10 western states. This is a dry haul, 53’ trailer, drop and hook , no touch freight lane. Tractors come fully loaded with EPU , inverter, satellite TV and Radio, flat screen TV, fridge, and auto tranny. This lane is guaranteed hometime 3 times a month, with starting pay at 45cpm. This lane averages 2500-3000 miles a week."

The pet and rider policy is pretty great - no pet deposit, no breed or weight restrictions, people must be at least ten years old and not preggo, 4 heartbeats in the truck max. She actually said "so you can bring your boyfriend, your miniature horse and your goldfish as long as there are only 4 heartbeats in the truck." :D

A typical schedule is 1 to 2 weeks out and 2-3 days home. Average 800 - 900 miles per trip. The governed speed is 65mph, 68mph on cruise control. Aetna healthcare available after 60 days. I don't have any info yet on how good/expensive their plans are. The recruiter didn't know what their pay increase structure is; I'll have to talk to one of the fleet managers about that. I'm paying for my own school, but I'm going to ask them about tuition reimbursement.

Training is 30k miles, 12cpm for the first 10k and 14cpm for the last 20k OR $600/week, whichever is greater. Miles for mile training, so as long as the truck is rolling, it's counting down miles towards your 30k. She said to plan for about 2 months of this. This is a bit of a sticking point for me since it will be a lot less than what I've been making BUT I'm fully aware that this is standard for any company I start with. I'm prepared to do my time in the beginning so I can hit the ground running when I'm ready for it.

I take all negative reviews with a big fat grain of salt, but here's one I took from Indeed. I've seen a few like it, so wanted to check in on this one: "make sure you read the fine print. there is none. they make you pay for things that are not legal to charge for. always ask for "down time pay". always ask for the next load status." I've also read a few about not getting even close to the promised home time. Thoughts?

I've always heard good things about Jim Palmer (and good things about sister Prime) and their trucks are so prettty, but I want to do my due diligence. What other questions should I be asking?

Anyone know if they push the lease-purchase on new drivers? I'm only interested in being a company driver right now. Also, what is a western 10 route??? I've only heard of western 11s. Which state do they kick off the island for a 10?

Whew this is a long post. Thanks for reading through!

PS: I live in Colorado, so I'm closest to their Denver terminal.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

Current Jim Palmer driver. I'm not going to sugar coat any of this because that's not the Trucking Truth way.

Region: western 11 (10?) Cali, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. "I've heard" that sometimes the region drivers will hit the Dakotas and Minnesota. I was regional during my first 10k miles. States involved where, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and California. Highways traveled were I-90, I-25, I-15, US 93, US 95 and MT 200 plus many short stretches between long routes. I-5, I-84, I-82, US 395, US 287 and many other US routes can be expected. LOTS of mountain driving!

Training: Since you are coming in with a CDL you'll do 40k miles. 10k with a trainer in the right seat and 30k (truck miles) as a team. First 20k @ $0.12 CPM and second 20k @ $0.14 CPM. During the team training anything over 5k miles during the pay period is paid above the base of $600/$700. There were was maybe one or two weeks where I only made base during training.

Pay: those numbers are "average". Could be weeks during the winter you only hit 1000 miles a week because of weather and timing. High side you could hit a 3500+ week.

Trucks: 65 MPH is L/O O/O speeds. Company drivers are governed at 62.5 MPH. That 68 MPH number is the smart cruise preparing for an accent up a grade. Company drivers get 65 MPH max with smart cruise. Haven't driven one of the new Freightliners or Peterbilts with a autoshift and smart cruise yet but from what I've been told it's the cat's meow! By the way, if you're lucky, you might get a new truck. Most new drivers get an older lease turn in. The truck I was given is a 2016 Peterbilt 579 w/10 speed manual. Had 427k miles when I picked her up. Has an APU but no refrigerator or microwave...

I've always heard good things about Jim Palmer (and good things about sister Prime) and their trucks are so pretty, but I want to do my due diligence. What other questions should I be asking?

Jim Palmer is based in Missoula, Montana and is owned by Wilson Logistics out of Springfield, MO. Wil-Trans is also owned by Wilson Logistics and is based in Springfield, Missouri. The "Advanced Fleet" (Palmer and Wil-Trans) are leased to Prime and is OTR. I run in the A-Fleet doing Ohio west (no eastern seaboard crap!!) In route speak, I-75 west and no I-85 or I-95 corridor runs.

Anyone know if they push the lease-purchase on new drivers? I'm only interested in being a company driver right now. Also, what is a western 10 route??? I've only heard of western 11s. Which state do they kick off the island for a 10?

The friendly folks in Missoula will not push lease OP at any point. Not sure about the folks in Springfield. I ask one of the Missoula trainers about it and he pushed me away from it. As far as which state got kicked off the island, New Mexico. Ain't much freight comes out of or goes in to New Mexico. Well, it's kind of like Florida. Both suck crap in and nothing comes out except crap. LOL

shocked.pngrofl-3.gifrofl-2.gifgood-luck.gif

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Coffee's Comment
member avatar

I spoke with a recruiter from Jim Palmer earlier this week. He told me as a new driver I would be required to commit to a 1-year contract with them in exchange for the training they provide. If this is fact and not the recruiter being mistaken, Jim Palmer is probably a no-go for me.

Did the recruiter mention anything about a contract to you?

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I spoke with a recruiter from Jim Palmer earlier this week. He told me as a new driver I would be required to commit to a 1-year contract with them in exchange for the training they provide. If this is fact and not the recruiter being mistaken, Jim Palmer is probably a no-go for me.

Did the recruiter mention anything about a contract to you?

Most companies will require at least a 1 year contract if you go through their training program. They are spending big money to train you and want to make sure they get a return on that investment.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to TT Coffee. All Companies that offer training are going to require a minimum of 1 year in exchange for training you. You should plan on spending at least 1 year with your first Company regardless of a contract or not. There are tons of resources on this site. Btw.....where are you going to school?

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Sorry Bobcat, we must have been replying at the same time.

My reply should have been,"What Bobcat said!"!

smile.gif

Coffee's Comment
member avatar

Then maybe the Jim Palmer recruiter is the only one being upfront with me, haha. I’ll need to get back with the other companies and verify if they require a contract too.

I’m going to ATI in Virginia Beach.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Are you already in school? Or looking for company paid training?

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Coffee, In no way should a contract be a deal breaker for you. Just do your research and find the best fit for you. Stick around this site and feel free to read the archives and all of the other goodies. The purpose if TT is to help the rookie driver succeed and thrive in this business.

smile.gif

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Bobcat, He is in school at ATI in Virginia Beach.

Page 1 of 4 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More