Best Companies For New Drivers

Topic 26074 | Page 1

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James W.'s Comment
member avatar

I don’t like waiting until the last minute so I have started to do my research on which are the best truck companies for new drivers even though I’m retiring from my current job next summer. I can go either way paid Cdl training or tuition reimbursement. I would like to be home once a week and for important dates like daughters graduations exc... I researched the internet but there’s only so much info. You get back and the truck companies are like military recruiters, they tell you what you want to hear to get you to sign up with them and I know there are good and bad where ever one may go so I figured if I want to get some of the “inside scoop” if you will, I should talk to the men and women that make it happen and that’s the drivers. I live in the Northern Panhandle of Wv. and safety and doing things right the first time is important to me. I came up with a list of trucking companies that hire new drivers: Roehl, Schneider, US. Express, Cr England, and Transport America and out of those I cut it down to two: Roehl and Schneider. Which one would or is the better? I would appreciate as much insight as possible to help in which one I may go with. Thanks in advance and thanks to all the drivers out there already .

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.
Andrew J.'s Comment
member avatar

You can’t go wrong with Schneider or Roehl. Both are great companies. I drive for Roehl so I can attest to Roehl being a great company. If you live in WV you have two options for them being flatbed or van. Your first year should be focused on becoming a top driver as others on this site would say. Just to let you know you’re probably going to start out at around 39 cpm for your first 6 months, so you won’t be making much money. And for your first 6 months or maybe 4 you won’t be coming home every week. The best Roehl offers for brand new drivers is out 11 and home 3 pretty much home every other weekend and after that they do have home weekend jobs. However if you come home every weekend your paychecks will show. I just want to make you aware of that cause I’ve seen quite a few van drivers come in and quit cause they didn’t make much right away. However I can vouch that Roehl is a great company and you can’t go wrong with choosing them but the rest is up to you.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

James, people get all hung up on this question about "which company is best to get started with?" It's understandable since the internet is rife with people complaining about how this or that trucking company treated them. The big problem with all that misleading garbage is that the people writing those horror stories usually aren't even truck drivers. They are wannabes that couldn't handle the job. They are failures who think they have knowledge worth sharing. Any professional driver sees right through their tales of woe and spite, and recognizes the shortcomings that kept them from success.

You needn't concern yourself so heavily with the name on your truck's doors. Every newbie thinks that's the key to success, but it really has little to do with a successful venture into the trucking career. We teach people to be Top Tier Drivers. This career is all performance based. That means you've got to measure up and prove yourself. The company can't do that part for you.

We have very successful professionals here in our forum driving for most of the major trucking companies. That fact alone validates our firm conviction that you will determine your success at this, not the company you choose to drive for. Every trucking company represented here by these professionals has all kind of bad reviews online. How does that make any sense?

I started my career at Western Express. I had a great run there and would encourage anyone to start there. I challenge you to try and find any positive reviews on them - you'll be hard pressed. That's the mysterious conundrum about researching into the trucking career. Most everything you read is negative and unrealistically slanted against the company.

Here's my take on it... If a company will train you for free, promise you a job after you complete the training, and help you get established in a rewarding career - well, that's a great company to get started with!

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.

Ice cream man's Comment
member avatar

I am still new to the industry but threw my research. I found most new drivers and drivers in general go home about once every 3 to 4 weeks on the road. With that said you need to really look at what you are getting into.after some time you maybe able to get on a dedicated route with more home time. This is a commitment to you and your family. With guys try to claw there way to be a top fleet go to guy. That’s how you get the great routes and runs. I would go threw a in house training program and sign the contract. So you and the the company have skin in the game and you get your experience in. I went to Prime and so far loving it. They are very good at what they do. You will get great training there but must be very open and truthful with them one lie and you will go home. Talk to your wife and kids and make sure you guys are all on board for the long haul at least one year then maybe you can find a good local job. But going to a local school and trying to find a job that is a perfect fit maybe a rough road to go down. Hope you the have the best of luck in your new adventure. Where ever and how ever you my go .

Dedicated Route:

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."

Johnnylite's Comment
member avatar

In a nutshell your first year is a lot of work and a lot of time way. The plus side is you will learn how to trip plan, deal with all kinds of people, budget your time and money and depending on first hire offerings see the country or a region. Check where you live to see if either adult education or local colleges or city colleges offer training. Company sponsored typically requires you to sign a contract and pay off the cost. This puts you in their control and generally you work some tough hours to pay it back. I’d you can start with CDL in hand research company job boards and look for Regional or Dedicated jobs. The dedicated ones generally ask For more experience but it’s worth a try. Keep an open mind and don’t settle. Check Indeed and other job boards also there’s a lot of jobs out there.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Johnylite, thanks for contributing to the conversation. You made some good comments, and maybe some that we need to talk about a little. Here's one of the good things you said...

In a nutshell your first year is a lot of work and a lot of time way. The plus side is you will learn how to trip plan, deal with all kinds of people, budget your time and money and depending on first hire offerings see the country or a region.

That is a fairly good assessment of a rookie driver's first year. It is tough, but it is also a really steep learning curve. We all need that first year's experience to get us on track and lay a good foundation for a successful career. Without that foundation under us we are pretty much going to fail.

Now, this is where you kind of start making me concerned. You make this statement, but provide no supporting evidence of how you came to your conclusion.

Company sponsored typically requires you to sign a contract and pay off the cost. This puts you in their control and generally you work some tough hours to pay it back.

That seems to contradict your prior statement. Let's start off with the idea that you are "in their control." How is that so? You make it sound like a person who signs a contract has been sold into slavery. That's certainly not true. Your original statement speaks of the difficulties of a rookie drivers first year. Then you go on to make it sound as if the company is responsible for making it so difficult because you are "in their control." You can't have it both ways. First year rookies always have it tough, and they always feel like they are working "some tough hours" simply because they aren't accustomed to this new lifestyle. Nobody works 40 hour weeks in trucking, and it's not the company who controls how much we can work. It is clearly controlled by regulations. We can work as long a day as is necessary, but we are limited to 11 hours of driving in a 14 hour window. After that we must take a 10 hour break. There's not a company out here who can force you to work any more difficult hours than that. So, how do you explain your idea that they can control you and make you work some really tough hours?

Everybody gets all hung up on this idea of a work contract. I think it is actually a great concept for new drivers. We stress this all the time about needing to commit yourself to one full year of driving before you make your decision about whether you want to stay in this career or not. It takes that long to even feel you've begun to get the basics down for success at this. That contract can only help a person resolve to hang in there and make a go of it. I've always said that you are going to make a commitment one way or the other. You can commit your money and spend it on schooling, or you can commit your time and get paid for it while learning how to succeed at this. It seems a clear choice to me. You simply make your choice of company before you get started on schooling as opposed to making your choice of company after you've done your schooling.

Look, I am clearly an advocate for Paid CDL Training Programs. I realize people look at that with skepticism. I attended a private school. I spent my hard earned cash and had my free choice of companies. It didn't give me any advantages - zero!

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training

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.
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