Jim Palmer Regional Company Driver - Thoughts?

Topic 24696 | Page 3

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Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Brett Aquila, you once again, hit the nail on the head!

Rocky Mountain Princess, I'm very happy with Jim Palmer and have NO plans on leaving. I started training July 30th, 2018 and signed the contract August 2nd. WOW! That's almost 7 months already. How time flies when you're having fun! On August 1st, 2019 the piece of paper I signed gets shredded. The time will fly by. Before ya know it a year will have gone by. You'll always be busy driving and learning which makes it so easy to loose track of days, weeks and months.

The only possible benefit of having a CDL coming into the program is speeding the training a few weeks. During training at Jim Palmer the time spent getting your CDL is relatively a small amount of time. Learning how to handle 80,000 pounds of machine in many different types of situations takes the bulk of the time.

In regards to the contract. There might be some kind of shorter contract for having a CDL already. I'd need to make a call or two to get that info. The amount is prorated. First 6 months is full amount and the last 6 is halved. I don't know if there is any way of breaking out of the contract. But I do know there are some allowances for leaving then coming back during training. Something like adverse life events...

Doesn't make a difference coming in with a CDL or not. Zero experience is zero experience... If you have a year or more experience that's a whole different ball of wax that I don't have the knowledge to speak about.

Here is a link to the training diary I did here on TT. Jim Palmer Trucking - Missoula MT. Haven't updated in while because repetition can be a boring read. LOL

P.S. Always take what's posted on Trucker’s Report with a truck load of salt. rofl-3.gif


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.


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.

Coffee's Comment
member avatar

Brett, appreciate you taking the time to post and it makes sense that a company would want a commitment, and I only asked the question about the 1 year contract because Jim Palmer was the first company to mention it.

I’d like to think that these companies value someone with 20 plus years military experience and I’m confident that the adversity and challenges I’ve faced throughout my career along with the training and guidance I will receive from experienced truckers will help me be successful out on the road.

Lesson learned, I should have been asking companies about contracts. Going in, I never planned on doing less than 1 year at my first company. But if there are equal opportunities minus a contract, I may not want to tie myself down like that.

G-Town's Comment
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Exactly how are you tying yourself down if you intend to work for your first employer at least one year?

Think commitment. Palmer will invest in your training and accept some of the usual rookie mistakes as part of the process. “They” will happen and any company that has a vested interest in your success, will help you learn and adjust more readily.

We’ve seen this exact scenario repeated many times over.

Coffee's Comment
member avatar

There seems to be a misunderstanding here. I’m not opposed to a company requiring a 1 year contract, and I understand the reasoning behind it. I have signed numerous contracts throughout my military career, the longest being for 6 years.

If I have 2 or 3 companies that look like a good fit and one is not exceptionally better than the other, I’m probably going to pick the one that doesn’t have a contract. There are unforeseen circumstances in life, and why obligate myself further if I don’t have to?

I’ve missed the birth of one of my kids, birthdays, anniversaries, and every holiday you can think of while on deployment. I’m no stranger to sacrifice and commitment. I’m also accustomed to getting things done while under pressure.

I appreciate all the feedback, but I don’t really understand my level of commitment or my ability to succeed being questioned just because I prefer not to sign a contract if I don’t have to.

PackRat's Comment
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Nobody has said that or is implying that.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I don’t think there is a misunderstanding here on my part.

I was referring to the company’s level of commitment to you. I suggest to reconsider that aspect and reread my previous reply.

You asked for thoughts. We freely give them. You can agree, or not. Just remember that experience in this business is gold and we happily share it.

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?

This thread was originally about Jim Palmer and my original post was just passing on what their recruiter told me, and asking Rocky Mountain Princess if the recruiter mentioned a contract to her. I never asked the experienced drivers for their thoughts.

If similar experience and pay can be had not under a contract, then it doesn’t make as much sense for me or anyone else to obligate themselves to one. I’ve been under contract for 20 plus years. If I feel their is value in committing to one, I will.

I may find out that these other companies I’ve been speaking with require a contract. When Monday rolls around, I’ll get on the phone and see if I can find out.

Who knows, in the end I might sign on the dotted line with Jim Palmer! Lol.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I never asked the experienced drivers for their thoughts.

Nobody needs your permission to speak in this forum. We're here to offer advice. You don't know enough about trucking to know the right questions to ask, but fortunately we do know what information people will need to get their career off to a great start and we're going to offer it. You're free to ignore it if you like. We've already had stellar careers. We know everything you're hoping to learn. If you don't get that then it's your loss.

MARK M.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah ask them and update us. contracts change all the time too. the contract i signed is completely different from the Prime students today, It is possible you may get a different explanation as to why they want it, but its good to know.

I see your from MN. Try Magnum LTD, no contract required, great reputation/training for new drivers. Doesn't hurt to have other multiple offers.


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

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