Umm Life Story, And A Few Questions About Potential Employers

Topic 27217 | Page 1

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Jay B.'s Comment
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So I'm thinking I want to try flatbed. I've read a TON of diaries and posts on here and YouTube videos and I think I like the idea of working the body more. I grew up in construction until the market crashed on 08. I really wanted to go trucking then but I had a son in 07 and didn't want to miss him growing up. Ended up working at the University at a telescope site on a mountaintop doing everything from ccd instrument work on telescopes to plowing snow with loaders and graders and even doing the maintenance on them. Little bit of everything. They found out I had been building my own computers and working with them since 95 so they asked if I wanted to go back to Tucson and do IT work for them. Sounded like a great job doing something I loved as a hobby but it was not. It was soooo boring lol. My job got defunded with state budget cutbacks so I looked into going OTR then too and found this site, researched, applied, posted here, came close to going to Prime. Real close. But my wife and I had issues and I ended up finding another IT job at the University for a different college within it. That job was better but I still longed for the days before the cubicle. Another job I applied for but never got called back both times I needed it was working out at the copper mines in southern AZ. Well my friend had been out there 10 years and let me know they needed haul truck drivers so I applied. Got accepted and been out there a year and a half. I'm having a blast! But... It's driving in circles going 6mph uphill and I just keep finding myself day dreaming of going OTR. I've always wanted to drive big trucks. Haul trucks and big rigs. My uncle worked at TTT truckstop in Tucson for 40+ years. If you ever had a tire replaced there from the 80s until 2015 or so during the day he probably did it lol. I worked the fuel island in high school. Neighbor had a cabover he owned and used to be around a bit growing up. I remember sitting on the 5th wheel as a kid and ruining my clothes lol. So I've always longed for it in some way.

Wow, that got off on a tangent, guess its history and questions lol.

So I researched in 14 or 15 a lot, when I registered here. I was pretty set on Prime and just thinking reefer and reading Daniels diary entry following along wishing I was there lol.

These days I keep finding myself leaning towards flatbed. Some exercise, I like the sound of the deliveries, I like a challenge too. Also always enjoyed packing, stacking, securing loads, etc. In regular trucks and trailers, etc but the idea heh.

Geezus I can't shut up. On to the questions:

I'm leaning towards Roehl or Prime. Swift or Knight maybe, would be easier to get to school for sure being in Phoenix lol. I've read wine taster and several other Roehl diaries and lots of prime but not many prime flatbed. I kinda like the Roehl training, paid from day 1 and shorter but the starting pay is less when solo. One main question I have is about insurance. I got a family, prime lists $200-320 per week for family coverage? Is that what I'm reading right? Is it really good insurance? Right now we just got our premiums raised to $260/month and everyone was freaking out at the mine lol. But we also pay high copay and $2000 deductible so I think its a wash in the end. I don't think I've seen a quote from Roehl, can anyone that works there share? Especially if you are paying for a family. Since you don't get paid until TNT in Prime is that when medical insurance is available?

Any info on swift and knight benefits? Would old school suggest knight to a new guy? I know he's happy with his setup now but he's busted his ass to prove himself worthy of that :) I'm still reading Turtles diary! Anyways enough rambling, I'm gonna try to figure more out

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

PackRat's Comment
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If it was me starting, I would try to get with Prime. Great company and they do it all: dry, reefer , flatbed, and tankers.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

PackRat's Comment
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And welcome back, too!

smile.gif

Jay B.'s Comment
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Guess nobody made it past the boring story to the questions lol

DMF's Comment
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Jay,

I am not going to do the math for you and your family, should not need to. Math if done honestly, will never lie. Insurance coverage on the hand, they will lie ... it is their nature, and way too legal to get into here.

Chances are I am older than you, which means nothing given the icon next to this post will indicate I am next to nothing in trucking (have to start sometime). The thing is all through my life I trusted and still trust my instinct. I believe you already know the answer inside, just looking for verification. Could be wrong ... but given the length of your thought process ... trust your instinct and gut, be honest with your wife, prosper.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Im at Prime.. here was last years chart.. prices didnt change much. something to realize is on the one year anniversary, the premiums go down significantly.

I have yet to pay for an RX (Just antibiotics, birth control)... my surgery was $53,000 and i paid $900.

My vision care coverage impressed my doctor. really good coverage.

At Prime (as with many companies) coverage starts at 90 days of employment. Employment starts at Prime when you get your CDL and enter TNT. Many students are doing 1 week.orientation, two weeks OTR schooling then testing. So about 3 weeks. before an actual hire date. If you struggle it could be longer, excel, it could be shorter.

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.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Thanx Rob.. i meant to post the pic and forgot hahha

Jay B.'s Comment
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I was wondering if I missed something since you said this chart lol. Thanks! I find that chart in my searches, kinda looking for the same thing from other companies to compare. I found a few quotes saying the insurance was cheaper but if the copays and deductibles are through the roof you end up paying the same or more in the end. I hate comparing insurance though since they all seem to word it difference and cover different ways so it's never easy to compare lol.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jay...

My suggestion is to apply to numerous companies offering Paid CDL Training Programs and then do the research on health insurance plans of the top 3 or 4 inviting you to their orientation. Otherwise you may be spinning your wheels (pun intended). Please realize, hiring policies and strategies with the big carriers change frequently, without notice, based on many, many elements outside of our control or knowledge. It's in a constant state of flux.

Throw out the net and see what you catch by using this link: Apply For Paid CDL Training

...then reach out to a recruiter and request the "current" health plan highlights. Once you show an interest in a carrier by applying, if they are interested, then and only then will you get quality attention.

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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