Getting Started In Trucking With Felonies

Topic 26134 | Page 2

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Wilde, you sound like you have the right attitude and you've been doing your research around here. If you're totally committed to making this happen I'm sure it will happen, but it's not going to be easy. It never is. Just keep being honest with the recruiters, ask a lot of questions, and when you get an opportunity you have to commit yourself 100% to being the best possible driver and the best possible person you can be.

I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the truth and purpose of this forum so if I'm able, I plan to post constant, truthful updates on the ups and downs of my journey as it plays out. I'm sure I will face many obstacles and likely make plenty of mistakes along the way but I will not be giving up. I would like to think maybe someone in a similar situation as mine could benefit from reading about it.

I love the sound of all that. Yes, a lot of people would definitely benefit in a huge way from you sharing your experiences along the way. We'll also be happy to answer all of your questions and give you our very best advice throughout the process.

Susan D. 's Comment
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I'd second Old School's suggestion to start with Western Express. My fiance who also trains for the same company I do, had a trainee. The guy was doing very well but apparently had a recent felony that was revealed after he was on a training truck. Our company sent him home, but my other half made sure he had a job offer at Western Express and a ride to Nashville to get to his orientation. The guy is still there almost a year later and loves it. Says they treat him very well. My fiance has run into him more than a few times out on the road. The motel they use isn't the Taj Mahal for sure and because they do give chances to people other companies wouldn't give the time of day to, life around that motel can get "dramatic " from what I've been told lol. You just go, and do your best while staying away from the drama. Keep a positive can do attitude and you'll do well, and, when you do, they'll treat you very very well. It really is a great company to start with.

Please let us know how you're doing because it will absolutely help others who might find themselves in your situation.

Old School's Comment
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The motel they use isn't the Taj Mahal for sure and because they do give chances to people other companies wouldn't give the time of day to, life around that motel can get "dramatic " from what I've been told lol.

Excellent point, and that's what I was talking about when I said be careful who you associate with during orientation.

Wilde's Comment
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Thanks All for the replies.

Old School, I was hoping you would have time to throw some advice my way as I've read about your history with W.E. I also feel like you don't sugar coat things so if you read where I had 11 felonies total and still think I have a shot with them, it will carry some weight with my decision. I'm going to see what else comes up this week before I commit to anything and I'll post anything I think is noteworthy. I'd appreciate your rough estimate on (min, max) weekly pay I could expect the first six months at W.E. if you don't mind. Don't get me wrong, I know the experience alone that I would gain if I could make it through a year with them could be priceless... but im just curious what I might expect.

Thanks again everyone

Old School's Comment
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Wilde, you are just going to have to take whatever you can get. You already know that 11 felonies is crippling. There's no way for me to know if Western will put you on their payroll. But, if they invite you to orientation then you've got a really good shot at it. You will need to conduct yourself in an exemplary way during orientation, and I mean everywhere you go, be the best person you can be. They will be paying attention to what you do, what you say, and who you associate with. It's the longest interview you'll ever endure. Be sharp!

I'd appreciate your rough estimate on (min, max) weekly pay I could expect the first six months at W.E. if you don't mind.

That's really tough to answer because in this job you determine what your pay comes to, but new drivers struggle with all the variables involved. I think you're best off thinking of it like this... You should make something like $40,000, maybe $45,000 that first year. You may have some really poor weeks and only get a $300 check every now and then. You'll also have some really strong weeks where you take home $1,000. That's the nature of a rookie drivers experience. Overall keep focused on that $40,000 number. I made right at $50,000 my first year there. You can too, but you've got to learn the game and develop some street smarts to help you get more accomplished than the average rookie out here.

Cornelius A.'s Comment
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Like all big trucking companies, Western Express is on a high deductible self insurance program meaning : The Insurance Company has no say over who they hire. The only reason why they need an insurance company, is for the company to administer their Federal DOT filings for those can ONLY be done by an insurance company. As an example Prime with 15k+ trucks only pay $750k a year to their insurance company which basically serves as a premium for the company to administer their filings. Their deductible $1 million which means that their insurance company will never pay out a claim on their behalf unless that claaim is outrageous.

I've been serious about job searching and turning in applications for about 3 weeks now and I've had several offers from people who say they're okay with my criminal history, even parole, so long as my application & mvr get approved. (from what I've gathered reading on this forum that pretty much means if their insurance will accept me)

So far only one company, small and here in Texas has actually reviewed my app and ran my mvr and said "yes we will hire you when can you start?" The big company in Nashville seemed more like the recruiter was just saying my app checked out okay just to get me to come to orientation.

I will be available to start Aug 1st. I have some family business we are dealing with this month. Also, my boss had a really hard time finding a cdl driver to actually show up to replace me so I'm staying well past my 2 week (2 month really) notice to help him out.

I know I have to take whatever chance I'm given at this point but is there any way to make sure I'm approved for a company's insurance before actually going to orientation? I realize nothing is for sure in this world but I would greatly appreciate any advice on the best way to minimize driving all the way to orientation and being turned down.

Thanks in advance as I would appreciate anyone's opinion on my situation.

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.

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.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Cornelius, how are you privy to that information?

B_Dawg's Comment
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Hey Wilde, two guys I went to CDL school with had felonies and ended up going with RoadTex. they're a Russian owned LTL company and at the time they only offered team driving, but they were growing like crazy and I believe they have a couple terminals in TX so they may be a company you want to check out.

Best of luck!

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Cornelius A.'s Comment
member avatar

I am an insurance agent that specializes mainly in trucking insurance. Used to be in the forum but my login expired but still kept on reading the comments, saw some statements concerning insurance that were not very factual and decided I could help bring once in a while some clarity about the insurance aspect of things

Cornelius, how are you privy to that information?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I am an insurance agent that specializes mainly in trucking insurance. Used to be in the forum but my login expired

I thought so. I thought I recognized your name. Your login still works. You might've forgotten your password or changed your email address, but it's still active.

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