My Career Is About To Start!

Topic 27804 | Page 1

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RWD's Comment
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I posted awhile back regarding my starting a trucking career and got some very useful information from you guys. Many of you thought I should forego private school and join a company school. I did a lot of research, talked to a lot of people I know in the industry and I have decided to attend our private school here.

I start Monday bright and early at 7am (good thing I'm a morning person) at Truck Driver's Institute. Three weeks of school and then "hopefully" onto a company and beyond. Funny thing is I'm not nervous about the school at all, I'm more nervous about when I have to share a truck with a driver mentor for so long. That is the most unappealing part of the process for me, although I know it is for the best to get my on the job training. I've heard the horror stories of terrible trainers, first hand actually from someone I used to work with driving Class B.

I can only hope that I get a good driver mentor I can learn from and get comfortable doing the job. So excited but nervous at the same time. I know you guys have gone through the same but damn, it's a nerve wracking experience taking this plunge.

Cheers!

IDMtnGal 's Comment
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I'm curious, why did you decide to go to a private school and then try to get on with a company? Who are you going to get on with....or hope to?

Laura

PJ's Comment
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RWD congrats on getting started. I will tell you your going to have to be on too of your game. The school will take your money and get you through the license part, as long as you perform to their expected level. They have no vested interest in you one way or the other. We have some great folks here that started that way, it can be done.

Also when you get on with a company they will not have a vested interest either. They will put you through their program and as long as you do well and meet expectations your good. If you struggle, or get hurt you may find yourself unemployed.

We also have several members here that have struggled with that situation.

We all wish you the best for succuss. As always jump in here with questions.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

Take it one day at a time. I wouldn’t worry about things a month down the road right now. It might seem simple and it actually kind of is but it’s not so simple you won’t fail. I’d stay focused on the here and now.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on getting started! I just finished an 8-week PTDI certified course last week. We ran from 7 am to 4 pm, and sometimes beyond. I really enjoyed my time in school and the camaraderie with my fellow students. I have seven job offers to think about. Schneider's, Werner's, and five regional haulers.

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.

RWD's Comment
member avatar

I'm curious, why did you decide to go to a private school and then try to get on with a company? Who are you going to get on with....or hope to?

Laura

It was mostly personal reasons why I decided for private. One of the major things for me is I feel it would be an easier process for me. I live 20 minutes from the school so I can go home every night in my own bed and I can also take a week to decompress after school before deciding on a company to join and start my mentor training. I just felt it would ease the discomfort a little more than say joining a company, going through all the schooling, sharing hotel rooms, then immediately hopping on a truck with a driver mentor for however long etc. I just really liked the idea and comfort of going home every night after school plus being able to take a short break after school before hopping in the truck with the mentor.

RWD congrats on getting started. I will tell you your going to have to be on too of your game. The school will take your money and get you through the license part, as long as you perform to their expected level. They have no vested interest in you one way or the other. We have some great folks here that started that way, it can be done.

Also when you get on with a company they will not have a vested interest either. They will put you through their program and as long as you do well and meet expectations your good. If you struggle, or get hurt you may find yourself unemployed.

We also have several members here that have struggled with that situation.

We all wish you the best for succuss. As always jump in here with questions.

Appreciate the info! Yeah, I know I'm not going to have as much leeway doing the private school rather than joining a company that has more vested interest in me. I know there's a little more risk with the route that I'm taking, many of you guys let me know that and I had to take a step back and give it some thought. I'm going to take it very seriously and give it my best to succeed.

On a side note, let's say I were to fail this route and lose my first job for whatever reason. Is there second chances in the industry for new guys? Will anyone else hire you and put you through a second drive mentor training after you've already done it? With only weeks or months experience? Or are you pretty much done if you really screw up on your first job after a short time?

Thanks guys!

PJ's Comment
member avatar

If you start and end up sent home it will not necessarily be terminal , however your choices will be much more limited and probably at a lesser pay scale for awhile.

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.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

It depends on what you screw up. I went through a private school like you. I got on with one of them so called starter companies that take on new drivers. So far I’ve torn off a bumper. Smashed the side of my truck off another vehicle, backed into another vehicle, damaged private property, destroyed 2 tires and rims. That’s about it I think. Luckily for me my company seen something in me that kept them giving me another chance. I’ve been well over a year now without an incident and I’ve learned from each of my screw ups. Even though my company didn’t pay for my school they had a vested Interest in me. They sent me through orientation for 1 week and I had 5 weeks with a trainer. During my first retraining they told me they had a vested interest in me and that they already spent like 9 grand to get me to the point I was at. I don’t know if all these companies are so forgiving but who you start with is extremely important.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

There are companies that will give you a 2nd chance but they won't be as forgiving. Allow me to tell you about our friend Marc Lee. I don't share this to beat him up by any means. I'm pretty sure he was already enrolled in classes when he joined the forum but had not started yet. He insisted private schooling was better than company sponsored schooling. 15 months ago he started as a recent grad for JB Hunt, a company that doesnt typically hire anyone without atleast 3-6 months experience. He thought he had the perfect gig doing dedicated for Amazon. That lasted all of about 3 days(?) Until he got in or out of the truck without using 3 points of contact and fell. He was injured and JB Hunt let him go. It took him a few months for Schneider to give him a chance. He was dealing with some medical stuff during that time so that was part of why there was a gap. I don't think he was there 2 weeks before schneider cut their losses due to his backing not being what they wanted. It took him another month or so to find Veriha. They sent him with a trainer for a couple weeks and again was let go for issues backing. He just started with his 4th company in 15 months and has yet to turn his first solo mile. They're different companies but compare that to the experience Kearsey had at Prime by going through their training program. She was struggling with backing and they worked with her and even stayed late to get her to the point she could do it rather than just sending her home. One of the problems with private school is in my opinion you're not learning how to back up a truck. All you're doing is following the instructions. I attended a private school that had the bill paid by my employer. The school gave us a print out of how to perform each maneuver. It would say something like turn wheel left until you see landmark (instructor had us pick one on trailer when we were at correct angle), stop, turn wheel right and backup until you see other landmark, pull up straight and back in. The problem is 2 of my classmates were off just a tad with parallel parking and didnt know how to fix it which resulted in them failing. Prime Inc has one of the longest training programs. You go out with a trainer for 10,000 miles with your permit running real loads and bumping real docks. That portion is unpaid. After you get your CDL you're sent out for 40 or 50,000 miles that are ran as a team before you upgrade to a solo truck. It's a stressful time for the trainer and trainee both but you're a much better prepared driver than taking a 3 or 4 week class by having real experience before testing. We also have a member here named Moe that went to private school. He spent the money for school and didnt obtain his CDL. He needs to wait a year before retesting due to his states laws. He had to transfer his residence to another state. Most companies are refusing to give him a chance to do their schooling now because he failed with his first go at it. He may have better luck finding a company after he obtains his CDL though. When he does they will expect him to perform better than somebody that has gone through the companies schooling. He will be brought in as a CDL holder and you're expected to perform in a way that shows that. An invite to orientation is NOT a guarantee of having a job. If you show up for orientation and your backing is terrible they may decide to send you home because they'd rather take a loss of $100 they spent on your bus ticket than a couple thousand paying trainers to teach you the basics if they have any doubt you wont be successful. Most companies that will hire you with no experience are the same ones that have their own school. That's another reason we promote paid training. That tuition reimbursement? Thats only good for your first company so if you get sent home from your first company chances are the 2nd company won't pay you a dime for schooling.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

RWD's Comment
member avatar

A lot of great information thank you all! Interesting to hear your stories and others. If I may ask Rubber Duck, what starter company did you get on with out of your school?

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