Jim Palmer Wilson Logistics Training Montana

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Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for keeping up on posting periodically about your experiences with Wilson. Been seriously thinking about driving for them as they’re one of the only companies to hire 21 year olds and one of the only “mega carriers” (if you can even call it that) that has a terminal where I’m planning to move to (Yakima, Washington). From Maui, Hawaii. Did it seem like their hiring process was more selective? Saw an interview on their Facebook page where the head of recruiting said they were one of the harder companies to get into.

They are a bit more selective in recruiting, for instance if you have a wife and kids they will caution and perhaps even try and talk you out of trucking. The recruiters aren't looking to put anyone they can in a truck here, they try and match you with them before bringing you down. That said if you're young and single and have a clean record you should be just fine getting in the door. Just remember getting in the door is 1/10 the battle, like every other cdl offering company youre expected to do your die diligence. This is gast paced training so come ready to do battle every day and put in the effort to show a can do attitude. The training period is as with all these companies you're very extended interview process. If you don't get up on time for the shuttle etc you're shooting yourself in the foot right from the start.

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.

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.

Noworrez's Comment
member avatar

Life is always interesting. My trainer had home time scheduled for 6/6 so I got an unexpected but wonderful trip home where he dropped me off on the 4th. It's been a much needed time with my family to recharge my batteries.

I'm about 3k miles short of completing my B2 seat to move onto the B1 which is my 2500 mile solo week. Jim and I would have gotten there but...lets just say some ball dropping, miscommunication, not having all the information left us sitting here and there which slowed us down. Oh well, can't stress over the things in life we have no control over.

I have a new trainer coming down today from the Seattle area that has graciously, (I am assuming) smile.gif agreed to take me out for my last week so I'll be meeting him and moving into his home on wheels later this afternoon or early evening, not sure yet.

More later when something interesting pops up.

Cheers, Kelly

Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome, glad to see you're still around and still enjoying the job. Also very glad to see you're taking the right attitude. Stuff happens in this industry, you just have to roll with it and keep doing the best you can.

Sweet Potato's Comment
member avatar

Trying trying to get some information or a female perspective from Jim Palmer. I have wanted to go to the school since they opened. What I'm trying to find out is the requirements. I have a really squeaky clean record both criminal and driving. I have all my paperwork ready. I am really ready to take my permit test again. (Did this once before at another company). Going back three years I only had one small employment gap. And that was because we were moving out of state. I am 46 married with no kids. And I am so ready to do this! Any direction I should go should I just call them.

Day 3 04/03/2019

Van picked us up at 7am. This morning. So funny to arrive at 7:10 and still be sitting here an hour later... but it'll only be 20 minutes more. Haha. Ok, more time to review pretrip.

We signed our CDL school contract. Simply put, the cost is $3500 and at no time will $ be deducted from your pay. At 6 months $1750 is forgiven. At 12 months the remaining $1750 is forgiven. So stick around for a year and no cost to you. Even if you were to leave after 6 months, you'll only pay 1/2. Really very fair and one of the best agreements out there in my opinion, and a more than fair price for training when compared to others.

Overall so far, I am impressed. I like the small feel making it more personalized, you are you and not a number. Everyone is very friendly and encouraging.

The Wilson's (Father and son) we are told are very approachable and we are encouraged to stop in and say hi if they are here as they like to know there drivers.

More later as the day progresses.

About 1pm Darwin took us out for a pre-trip run through then into the truck to pull forward and straight back, then out to a 45 degree angle to back. Also had a student pull out to show the angle you'll want to take a picture of in your mind for the 90 degree back. I did all right as he helped me and wow, what a thrill! Oh yeah, the 2 students that had to still pass their permit test did it. We are still a group of 5.

And that concluded our day. Tomorrow out on the roads driving Cheers!

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.
Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

Trying trying to get some information or a female perspective from Jim Palmer. I have wanted to go to the school since they opened. What I'm trying to find out is the requirements. I have a really squeaky clean record both criminal and driving. I have all my paperwork ready. I am really ready to take my permit test again. (Did this once before at another company). Going back three years I only had one small employment gap. And that was because we were moving out of state. I am 46 married with no kids. And I am so ready to do this! Any direction I should go should I just call them.

double-quotes-start.png

Day 3 04/03/2019

Van picked us up at 7am. This morning. So funny to arrive at 7:10 and still be sitting here an hour later... but it'll only be 20 minutes more. Haha. Ok, more time to review pretrip.

We signed our CDL school contract. Simply put, the cost is $3500 and at no time will $ be deducted from your pay. At 6 months $1750 is forgiven. At 12 months the remaining $1750 is forgiven. So stick around for a year and no cost to you. Even if you were to leave after 6 months, you'll only pay 1/2. Really very fair and one of the best agreements out there in my opinion, and a more than fair price for training when compared to others.

Overall so far, I am impressed. I like the small feel making it more personalized, you are you and not a number. Everyone is very friendly and encouraging.

The Wilson's (Father and son) we are told are very approachable and we are encouraged to stop in and say hi if they are here as they like to know there drivers.

More later as the day progresses.

About 1pm Darwin took us out for a pre-trip run through then into the truck to pull forward and straight back, then out to a 45 degree angle to back. Also had a student pull out to show the angle you'll want to take a picture of in your mind for the 90 degree back. I did all right as he helped me and wow, what a thrill! Oh yeah, the 2 students that had to still pass their permit test did it. We are still a group of 5.

And that concluded our day. Tomorrow out on the roads driving Cheers!

double-quotes-end.png

Give them a call, or ask some questions here. I am not sure exactly what you are looking for with "From a female perspective." I can tell you however that I see women go through our training here at Wil-Trans all the time with no issues. That doesn't necessarily make the company right for you, you need to do the research to make sure that the company you go to meets your own personal criteria. However I will say this, these guys do try and sort out bad picks, given that you are married they will want to talk with your husband as well to make sure he will be able to handle being separated from you for long periods of time. Remember you will be gone for a minimum of 30 days before you can return home and see your husband so they will want to make sure that BOTH of you are ok with this and ready to deal with it. OTR trucking is hard on relationships, I hope you keep that in mind in your journey. I am not trying to scare you away, I just want to make sure you're aware of everything here. Anyhow, feel free to ask away on questions you may have, I'll be happy to do my best to answer. However I haven't been to Jim Palmers terminal , nor did I go through their training, I went to Wil-Trans' terminal and training course so there may be some questions specific to Jim Palmer I can't answer.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

I'll second Matthew's point on the vetting process. It's pretty thorough. They will contact you partner to make sure the separation won't become an issue. Being out from 4 to 9 weeks is common for an OTR driver. For a regional driver, depending on routes and your home location, you could be home every few weeks.

With the small employment gap in mind. It won't be a big deal as long as it is documented (dates and reasons for all gaps). Be 100% truthful!

In regards to being female. Doesn't matter. You'll be shown the same professionalism and respect as your counterparts. In my honest opinion, Wilson Logistics ( Jim Palmer / Wil-Trans) is an excellent choice for anyone. I'll spare you all the anecdotal stories and just say, you'll be fine.

double-quotes-start.png

Trying trying to get some information or a female perspective from Jim Palmer. I have wanted to go to the school since they opened. What I'm trying to find out is the requirements. I have a really squeaky clean record both criminal and driving. I have all my paperwork ready. I am really ready to take my permit test again. (Did this once before at another company). Going back three years I only had one small employment gap. And that was because we were moving out of state. I am 46 married with no kids. And I am so ready to do this! Any direction I should go should I just call them.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Day 3 04/03/2019

Van picked us up at 7am. This morning. So funny to arrive at 7:10 and still be sitting here an hour later... but it'll only be 20 minutes more. Haha. Ok, more time to review pretrip.

We signed our CDL school contract. Simply put, the cost is $3500 and at no time will $ be deducted from your pay. At 6 months $1750 is forgiven. At 12 months the remaining $1750 is forgiven. So stick around for a year and no cost to you. Even if you were to leave after 6 months, you'll only pay 1/2. Really very fair and one of the best agreements out there in my opinion, and a more than fair price for training when compared to others.

Overall so far, I am impressed. I like the small feel making it more personalized, you are you and not a number. Everyone is very friendly and encouraging.

The Wilson's (Father and son) we are told are very approachable and we are encouraged to stop in and say hi if they are here as they like to know there drivers.

More later as the day progresses.

About 1pm Darwin took us out for a pre-trip run through then into the truck to pull forward and straight back, then out to a 45 degree angle to back. Also had a student pull out to show the angle you'll want to take a picture of in your mind for the 90 degree back. I did all right as he helped me and wow, what a thrill! Oh yeah, the 2 students that had to still pass their permit test did it. We are still a group of 5.

And that concluded our day. Tomorrow out on the roads driving Cheers!

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Give them a call, or ask some questions here. I am not sure exactly what you are looking for with "From a female perspective." I can tell you however that I see women go through our training here at Wil-Trans all the time with no issues. That doesn't necessarily make the company right for you, you need to do the research to make sure that the company you go to meets your own personal criteria. However I will say this, these guys do try and sort out bad picks, given that you are married they will want to talk with your husband as well to make sure he will be able to handle being separated from you for long periods of time. Remember you will be gone for a minimum of 30 days before you can return home and see your husband so they will want to make sure that BOTH of you are ok with this and ready to deal with it. OTR trucking is hard on relationships, I hope you keep that in mind in your journey. I am not trying to scare you away, I just want to make sure you're aware of everything here. Anyhow, feel free to ask away on questions you may have, I'll be happy to do my best to answer. However I haven't been to Jim Palmers terminal , nor did I go through their training, I went to Wil-Trans' terminal and training course so there may be some questions specific to Jim Palmer I can't answer.

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.

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.

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.

DOT:

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.

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.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

That is one thing unknown for sure about wiltrans. Recruiter I spoke to was to the point, and was not trying to sugar coat anything. Felt refreshingly honest, I think his name was Chris, there were only a few I spoke to that I didn't feel like they were trying to sell me something and he was one.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

That is one thing unknown for sure about wiltrans. Recruiter I spoke to was to the point, and was not trying to sugar coat anything. Felt refreshingly honest, I think his name was Chris, there were only a few I spoke to that I didn't feel like they were trying to sell me something and he was one.

Should say I know for sure, not unknown.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

I wasn't fed a line of crap when I talked to my recruiter Elyi. He said training would take 3 months. Guess what, it was 3 months before I went solo. Every thing he told me has been spot on. From what I understand, Lisa Wilson runs recruitment in Springfield and Missoula. So both are ran the same regardless of location. Only difference is the area you'll run in.

Springfield handles rockies to east coast OTR , eastern regional and local. While Missoula takes care of western 11 regional, PNW heavy haul and Ohio to west coast OTR.

In retrospect, I'm 100% convinced I made the right choice for me going western OTR. You and others that read this will have to weigh your own options.

double-quotes-start.png

That is one thing unknown for sure about wiltrans. Recruiter I spoke to was to the point, and was not trying to sugar coat anything. Felt refreshingly honest, I think his name was Chris, there were only a few I spoke to that I didn't feel like they were trying to sell me something and he was one.

double-quotes-end.png

Should say I know for sure, not unknown.

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.

Noworrez's Comment
member avatar

Made it back to Missoula Thursday morning about 1am, checked into the motel, showered and fell into bed about 2am and back in at 5:30. Damn I'm tired just typing this! 😄

I'm officially done with everything but my solo week which will begin today, (Friday 6/14) around 10:30am when I'll get my 34 hour reset. I wanted a clean clock for my week out as I had some funky low hours coming back. Why? Well, my last week we we're dispatched solo on everything.

Now for the fun part! I was assigned my truck yesterday. 2018 Freightliner Cascadia with almost 92k miles on her. Wow!! I just assumed I'd be in an older truck but apparently I'm doing something right to deserve her or maybe it's just the luck of good timing! Either way, I'll take it. To comment on the above, go for it. You won't know until you start talking to some recuiters. Personally I did alot of research and settled on Jim Palmer/Wilson Logistics before talking-to them and it was my only choice, no plan b. They just checked off all the boxes on what I was looking for AND they have the best looking trucks out there IMHO haha.

Training with solo week will come in right at 12 weeks, just like they said.

All for now, cheers....Kelly

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