Roehl, Tmc, Or Prime For First Job

Topic 28537 | Page 1

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tripletdad's Comment
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Hi, im looking to change careers at age 41 now, and trucking is what I’ve decided on. Of these three companies, which would be the best option for a new driver? Pay is important, of course, but so is home time. My plan is to do Otr for a year or so and then move to something local or at the very least regional. All three say they have good benefits, 401k, insurance, etc. Are there any things I should be aware of with any of the companies?

Flatbed with TMC seems like the most physical work, which I like. I know nothing about trucks, but they’re proud of their trucks, so I guess if I’m spending days at a time in one, comfort would definitely come into play.

I just want to make sure I pick a good company that has miles and doesn’t keep me on the road for months at a time. Preferably one that also would let me bring my kids or wife sometimes and/or a dog.

Thanks

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.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Hi I have been with Prime almost 5 years. I love it.... and I compared Roehls pay with Prime pay. Overall, they are very close when. You add the bonuses and such.

The biggest difference is that Riehl might have you home a lot more. They have various offerings. 2 weeks out then 4 days home... 7 days out 7 days home... it depends on if they have those routes near your home. Remember the more you are home the less you make.

Prime does have a flatbed division.... but company drivers are out 3 to 4 weeks and home 3 to 4 days. Some regional companies mean nothing more than the location of where they drive. . So driving from NJ to TX then back again would have you home every other weekend. Be sure to ask what "regional" means at the company of your choice.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

All 3 are great companies and all 3 will allow you to bring your wife. I don't know the policy with children or the age of your children so I can't speculate there. TMC will not let you bring a dog. Roehl will and I'm not sure about prime, but I'm pretty sure they do.

My recommendation is usually Prime or Roehl because they do everything. You can try flatbed and if you decide it's not for you, you can move to another division without the woes of not completing your first year.

Also, apply to all of them and then decide which one is the best fit. A lot of times people assume that they'll get hired without issue when the reality is these companies say no a lot and they won't tell you why they said no.

Apply everywhere and good luck.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You could do flatbed with all three of those companies, but you'll need to confirm that with them. Sometimes your home location may hinder that option. You seem like a family man and that adds some extra difficulty to trucking.

Rookies always want the best pay and the most home time. Truckers make money while working - it's a completely performance based career. I raised my kids before getting into trucking. I'm glad I waited. I make great money, but I only go home once a month. That's kind of tough on a family. It's doable, but causes issues.

Depending on your location, TMC can possibly have you home every weekend. I know that's not going to happen at Prime. If I were in your shoes I'd scratch Prime off my list and focus on the other two. Talk with the company's recruiters. Lay out your objectives, and see how they respond.

You may also want to look into Maverick, and McElroy. Both of them are flatbed companies that can usually offer weekends at home. None of these are traditional get home Friday afternoon and start back Monday morning weekends, but once you get the hang of their system you should be home for a minimum of 34 hours each weekend. Some breaks will be longer than others. It all depends on your loads and your time management practices.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Peter M.'s Comment
member avatar

Best of luck with whomever you choose.

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.

tripletdad's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies. I’ll look into those other companies, too. I’ve been thinking about doling this for a long time. I actually joined this site a few years ago and decided to just stay where I was instead. Now I’m just ready to make the change.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Melton also.....classmate of mine went there a retired army ranger He loves it so far even got so lucky to have gotten a brand new truck with under 100 miles on it (according to him, I didn't see it) lol

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Pay is important, of course, but so is home time.

I just want to interject something into this conversation. I think it's important or I wouldn't be bothering. Having been a part of this forum for many years now, I begin to see things that are brought up frequently. This idea of getting top pay and lots of time at home is something a lot of newbies specify as critical to their decision on a company to start with.

Trucking is an incredibly diverse industry. There are jobs available to meet a really wide set of expectations. It's also an incredibly competitive environment that requires plenty of work, yet yields relatively slim margins. Productivity is key to it's success. That goes for all the people working in this business from the upper level managers to the lowliest of them all, the driver.

As drivers we are the "boots on the ground." We make up the front line in this army. It's critical that we are making great things happen out here. We are relied on heavily, and hyper productive drivers are valued greatly. Anybody can do this job, but any cursory search of the internet concerning trucking jobs and/or companies will reveal that only a few do it well.

I think I'm just wanting to point out how you get to experience top pay and also enjoy the time you desire at home. Those two things don't spring from company policy. They are produced by a driver's ability to be really productive. Now there's a lot to being productive, and much of it is misunderstood. That's why we have such voluminous accounts of truck drivers airing out their complaints online. They don't get the results they want, and they blame their failures on the industry and/or their dispatcher/company.

Anybody wanting to maximize their earnings, and go home when needed, must establish themselves as Top Tier Drivers. That's something that isn't affected by the name of the company emblazoned on your truck.

I see reports all the time of drivers claiming to be treated as slaves because they weren't allowed to go home. Anytime you read something like that you have to read into it something more. What you're probably seeing is a driver who isn't earning a dime for the company and their dispatcher is desperately trying to develop them into someone productive. You aren't seeing a modern day version of life on the plantation.

I was blessed to learn so much in this forum, and quickly realized how to produce results out here. Sometimes I practice things that others don't even attempt, but I'm always angling to be the best I can be at this job. That has resulted in very good treatment by my employers, my dispatchers, and other managers. I can simply make a request for something and they start moving mountains to make it happen. That has nothing to do with the name on my truck. It has everything to do with the way they appreciate having a productive driver on their team.

I'm sorry - I'm making a short story long. I'm bad about that. The bottom line is that to get the things we want out of this career, we must put in the things that are necessary. Don't look to company policies for direction on how to succeed at this career. Look to your own efforts and levels of productivity. Trucking company policies bend and adjust themselves to productive drivers. If you want special treatment it's available, but you'll need to earn it.

Dispatcher:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
tripletdad's Comment
member avatar

That’s an incredibly good perspective. In my current job, I went from bottom of the totem pole sales person to finance director and used many of the same things you mention. When I’m working, I’m working. And I’ve enjoyed a very comfortable living while doing that, with plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of my labor. And the opportunity to take a substantial pay cut to get into something that I will work just as hard at being top tier, as you call it. I want to learn everything I can about the job, and not just because of the personal liability involved with driving, but because I want to be known for doing what I need to do in order to get done what needs to be done.

Thank you for your words. I value them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You've got the right attitude Tripletdad. Trucking will challenge you, but you sound like you're up to the challenge.good-luck.gif

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