Enrolled In CDL Training Need Advice

Topic 26545 | Page 1

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Country Dumplin's Comment
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Hey Folks,

I have been searching and looking at future employers while I am school. Several recruiters have came out and I have been listening and reading every thing provided. I have caught a few folks in lies but I know that is part of the trade in getting someone to their company. My question for you experienced drivers is what starter company should I go with? I am not going to ask for much I don't want to come home but once every 4 weeks because I want to learn my craft and make money neither of these can be done at home all the time. I also would like to make half way decent pay. I know starting out I won't make much but a guy can hope he would get 750 a week bring home pay after training? I myself searched and narrowed down my options to PTL (Paschall Truck Lines) or McElroy Truck Lines. Do any of you have experience with these companys?

Thanks in advanced for reading my book. Regards, Country T

Donna M.'s Comment
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Welcome to trucking truth. Sorry I can’t answer your questions. I work for Prime and only been out a few months. However there plenty of good folks here that can. I read your post and was wondering are u saying u only want to drive 1400 to 1500 miles per week?

Errol V.'s Comment
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Hello again, C. Dumplin. Here's some more information for these questions.

"Starter companies": No company puts you in training wheels to prepare you for a "real" job. Any company willing to put you through CDL school is actually playing for keeps. I know you are in a non-company sponsored school. The idea still applies.

Once you have that CDL in hand, your training will still continue. You will most probably ride with an experienced trainer for maybe 6 weeks (getting paid) before your company will trust you on your own with their truck and a load. Not to worry, most new drivers take this route. Read that Truck Driver's Career Guide.

After that, as long as you take your trucking job seriously, and don't get lazy, you could be pulling at least $40k a year. The key is you need to work with your driver manager (DM). Become a go-to driver and your wheels will always be turning (and you'll be earning).

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.

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.

Driver 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.
Country Dumplin's Comment
member avatar

Thank you ! Im so embarrassed i accidentally submitted two topics for the same question

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Parrothead66's Comment
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Welcome. With McElroy you’ll be home every weekend unless they have some needs for volunteers to cover an area. You should make at least $48k your first year, maybe a little more depending on where you live.

Country Dumplin's Comment
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Welcome to trucking truth. Sorry I can’t answer your questions. I work for Prime and only been out a few months. However there plenty of good folks here that can. I read your post and was wondering are u saying u only want to drive 1400 to 1500 miles per week?

No i want to run as much as possible. As many miles as i can get. Sorry if that wasn't clear

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

TMC also hires new CDL drivers and they’ll give you the option of staying out over the weekend.

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.
Country Dumplin's Comment
member avatar

TMC also hires new CDL drivers and they’ll give you the option of staying out over the weekend.

Thanks for the reply! The driver that came to Lake Cumberland CDL here in Kentucky from TMC didn't really say anything productive about that company. He pulls up in his shiny new peter built and is like go look at my truck.... The rest of what he had to say was how nice the trucks are but nothing of value about the company. Monday starts my third week of class we are going to start driving the schools truck on the main road and around the test route. I am going to continue to research companies and see what they say.

I have considered after getting my CDL the following companies: Prime Inc McElroy PTL Sneider Warner Maverick

What is the most important to me is learning to be professional. Any old Joe can be a steering wheel holder but I want to learn to be a Driver professional and on time. I was once told "Never give someone a second change to get a good first impression" and "Always take pride in your work".

I want to thank you guys for answering so quickly and offering guidance. I am sorry for posting two topics over the same thing I honestly thought the first didn't go through.

Regards, Country T

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Don't worry too much about the money right now. In the end the pay balances out after CPM , Per Diem , Bonuses, Detention pay and everything else is thrown out there. People tend to get into a locked stare with CPM.

Instead, I would focus on run time. McElroy may not be a good fit for you. They don't run on weekends for religious reasons. It seems like everybody else does, though.

There are other questions to consider

1) what kind of loads are you interested in? (Flatbed, dry van , reefer)

2) would you like to have a rider at some point? What's the procedure?

3) would you like to have a pet at some point?

You'll be fine anywhere you go. These companies didn't become the huge successes they are in this saturated market by treating customers like crap and always being late. They will make sure you're a professional and help you along the way.

As for recruiters lying, that's not par for the course and while it's a poor representation of the company, it's not the whole picture. You've landed in a great spot because there's representation here from almost all of the major companies and they can paint an honest picture for you. Just ask what you want to know.

Welcome aboard.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Country.

Forget about what one guy said or didn't say about TMC, or McElroy, or any other company for that matter. They are ALL mega-successful companies with proven results. You can be equally successful at any of them.

Search for companies based on your criteria. Such as:

- Type of freight

- Hometime options

- Hiring area

- Areas of the country they run

Etc etc.

You can find reviews for a whole bunch of companies in our Trucking Company Reviews.

When you get your list narrowed down, apply to them all. It's possible that one or more of them aren't interested in you at the time. They may not currently be hiring from your area, or some other reason. So spending a lot of time researching a company might prove fruitless. Apply to them all, see who takes a bite, and fine-tune your choice from there.

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