Newbie CDL Graduate Recent Info On Trainer Companies?

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Jaybird9094's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, my name is Jay! I am a new CDL A grad and new to Trucking Truth. I am currently looking for my new home on the road for my first complete year. My goal is to put my year in maybe a bit more and eventually get into fuel tanker locally. Ive read repeatedly my first year is my hardest year so i am bracing myself for that while i apply to many jobs that hire new inexperienced drivers. I do NOT expect to get rich early on either haha. Im a cautious /safe driver, l love driving, i have great work ethic, i dont complain much but i also dont take a liking to not receiving what was promised if i pulled through on my end.

Ive chosen a few places that im strongly considering and would appreciate any input from recent hires or anyone with some insight. I am looking at-

-PRIME INC -WILSON LOGISTICS -WERNER ENTERPRISES (only dollar tree position is available) -NORTHERN REFRIGERATED -SWIFT (seems like they kinda pay the least?)

If anyone has current info or feelings about these carriers id greatly appreciate your input! P.s. i also considered Schneider but I fudged that one up.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Leeva804's Comment
member avatar

Im a cautious /safe driver, l love driving, i have great work ethic, i dont complain much but i also dont take a liking to not receiving what was promised if i pulled through on my end.

What you typed above I thought I should just give me input about being promised expectations vs reality.

These so called Mega carriers will tell you everything you need to hear to get in the door. You’ll hear many things from a recruiter that just might not be exactly what you will get when you start on the road.

For me there was many promises never delivered. Rookie mistakes on my part maybe. Who knows.

1. Promised a sign on bonus and never received. Should have gotten a email saying I would receive

2. Promised I would be home daily and trained on a local account that I would work on. Was put on the road with a trainer for a month.

3. I’ve done things that were promised by my superiors and what they told me I would receive vs reality I had to swallow and chew.

4. What I’ve learned from the two mega carriers is promises are always made but specific things you expect them to uphold are never delivered. In your first year you gotta bite the bullet and keep on moving champ.

You’ll likely not have many options so get use to things likely not being promised from carriers.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Jay. I would suggest applying from the site here and see who shows interest. Not sure what you mean when you say you messed up with Schneider.

Any account with the word dollar in it you should stay away from as a brand new rookie. They are very challenging and you don’t want to have anything happen to end your driving career before it even starts good.

Ask questions here as needed and we will give you the best advice possible. The more specific the question the better we can answer it.

Recruiters are sales people. Some are better than others. Always ask anything they verbally tell you to followup with an email and you should be good. If your interested in flatbed work Roehl has a considerable amount out there. Terminal is in Fontana. Not sure if they have expanded it to reefer or dry van there. All the mega’s should have plenty of freight out that way.

Decide what interests you and go for it. IE, van, reefer or flatbed.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Jaybird, trucking is not an easy career to break into. You can tell by Leeva804's remarks that some folks still have bitter feelings from their early days of getting started.

There's a lot of misunderstandings about this career. Some people hear something like, "You can earn up to 60,000 dollars your rookie year," and they take that as a promise. It's clearly not.

Trucking is a performance based business. Everything about this commodity business requires efficiency and high levels of productivity. Rookies just aren't capable of consistently producing at the highest levels. Expect your first year to be challenging. Just don't blame the challenges on "broken promises." That's not the issue at all.

I was actually surprised to see Leeva804 claiming so many broken promises. I honestly think he misunderstood some things, much like my example I gave. I have only worked for large trucking companies. They've never made any promises to me.

Here's what they did. They gave me an opportunity. They made it clear that I could have a future and a great income, but there were no promises made. Everything they offered was contingent on my performance.

I have had a great career and earned some big money. I always understood it was up to me to work at a level that produced those kind of results. I never counted on the company. The company counted on me. That's how trucking works. You are the driving force. You control your own results. It's a whole lot like being self employed. You make your own decisions and you live with the consequences.

I've written a lot about this subject. I know it well. Here's an article you should read carefully. I hope it will help you understand how to make a big splash into this rewarding career. It explains the basic details of how you become a Top Tier Driver.

Each of the companies you mentioned are great places to work. We never recommend that Dollar Tree account to rookies. Some have survived it, but it's a tough nut to crack. I'd steer clear of that one. Otherwise any of those options are worth going after.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Leeva804's Comment
member avatar

Jaybird, trucking is not an easy career to break into. You can tell by Leeva804's remarks that some folks still have bitter feelings from their early days of getting started.

There's a lot of misunderstandings about this career. Some people hear something like, "You can earn up to 60,000 dollars your rookie year," and they take that as a promise. It's clearly not.

Trucking is a performance based business. Everything about this commodity business requires efficiency and high levels of productivity. Rookies just aren't capable of consistently producing at the highest levels. Expect your first year to be challenging. Just don't blame the challenges on "broken promises." That's not the issue at all.

I was actually surprised to see Leeva804 claiming so many broken promises. I honestly think he misunderstood some things, much like my example I gave. I have only worked for large trucking companies. They've never made any promises to me.

Here's what they did. They gave me an opportunity. They made it clear that I could have a future and a great income, but there were no promises made. Everything they offered was contingent on my performance.

I have had a great career and earned some big money. I always understood it was up to me to work at a level that produced those kind of results. I never counted on the company. The company counted on me. That's how trucking works. You are the driving force. You control your own results. It's a whole lot like being self employed. You make your own decisions and you live with the consequences.

I've written a lot about this subject. I know it well. Here's an article you should read carefully. I hope it will help you understand how to make a big splash into this rewarding career. It explains the basic details of how you become a Top Tier Driver.

Each of the companies you mentioned are great places to work. We never recommend that Dollar Tree account to rookies. Some have survived it, but it's a tough nut to crack. I'd steer clear of that one. Otherwise any of those options are worth going after.

This is very true.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Take a look at Papa pigs' diary and you'll see exactly why we suggest rookies DO NOT get started on the dollar accounts. Papa Pig is doing great and seems to enjoy it but many others aren't as fortunate. I'm not sure what type of money he's making but I've seen other posts that show its similar to what an OTR driver makes without needing to hand unload.

Ignore the trash about the megas being starter companies. Many of our members work for the megas and have made extremely good money while also getting the benefits large corporations offer. These mega companies didn't become as succesful as they are by mistreating drivers and breaking promises.

Leeva many of your posts seem to be about the negatives of the industry or companies. I'm not sure if that's the type of person you are but I used to be that way too. What's done is done, make changes to put yourself in the position you want to be. Life's too short to be miserable always focusing on the negatives. Some recruiters are better than others. The same can be said for drivers.

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.

Jaybird9094's Comment
member avatar

Jaybird, trucking is not an easy career to break into. You can tell by Leeva804's remarks that some folks still have bitter feelings from their early days of getting started.

There's a lot of misunderstandings about this career. Some people hear something like, "You can earn up to 60,000 dollars your rookie year," and they take that as a promise. It's clearly not.

Trucking is a performance based business. Everything about this commodity business requires efficiency and high levels of productivity. Rookies just aren't capable of consistently producing at the highest levels. Expect your first year to be challenging. Just don't blame the challenges on "broken promises." That's not the issue at all.

I was actually surprised to see Leeva804 claiming so many broken promises. I honestly think he misunderstood some things, much like my example I gave. I have only worked for large trucking companies. They've never made any promises to me.

Here's what they did. They gave me an opportunity. They made it clear that I could have a future and a great income, but there were no promises made. Everything they offered was contingent on my performance.

I have had a great career and earned some big money. I always understood it was up to me to work at a level that produced those kind of results. I never counted on the company. The company counted on me. That's how trucking works. You are the driving force. You control your own results. It's a whole lot like being self employed. You make your own decisions and you live with the consequences.

I've written a lot about this subject. I know it well. Here's an article you should read carefully. I hope it will help you understand how to make a big splash into this rewarding career. It explains the basic details of how you become a Top Tier Driver.

Each of the companies you mentioned are great places to work. We never recommend that Dollar Tree account to rookies. Some have survived it, but it's a tough nut to crack. I'd steer clear of that one. Otherwise any of those options are worth going after.

I absolutely agree with this man! I strongly believe that you get what you put in! I dont expect things to be handed to me because they haven't and it feels good to earn it on my own. I just hate being taken advantage of when im doing my best to be a "TOP" anything. So many horror stories of logs being reset, miles being shorted, being "punished" for standing up for yourself to dispatchers etc.

I appreciate everyone's feedback! Great community here!

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I totally understand your reservation. I was actually scared to death when I started my trucking career. I started at a company that had nothing but bad reviews. I found out that there's a lot of lies on the internet. It's scary because you read all this trash talk, and you think some of this has to be true. What I learned was a lot of folks don't make it in trucking, and the ones who don't sure like to lay the blame on everybody else.

You seem to have a good head on your shoulders and a strong work ethic. Jump in here and stay in touch with the right people who can give you solid trucking advice. You're gonna do just fine.

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Why limit yourself to those companies? What type of freight do you want to haul? Dry can, refrigerated, flatbed, or tanker? I do dollar general with Werner but never did a dollar tree unload, that does t appeal to me. If tanker is the ultimate goal I would go for it off the bat. I know lots of folks here won’t agree with that but that’s my personal feeling on it

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I started with Schneider and EVERYTHING they promised was true. BUT, I made sure I asked all the questions I needed to.

There was a promised sign-on bonus. But, it gets paid out over the first year. So I didn’t feel cheated when the full bonus didn’t show up right away.

Average annual pay for dry van was quoted around $60k. But, I asked if that was realistic first year pay...nope.

Starting pay seemed low at $.28/mile. But, because I asked, they explained the increases at 3, 6 & 12 months. So I didn’t feel I was being abused after two months of low pay.

My point is; ASK all the questions you need to. Make sure you clarify your expectations.

On the tanker issue, I recommend you get some experience BECAUSE, you may find yourself driving some country roads, mountain switchbacks or steep descents that it would be good to have experience handling before attempting while hauling a tanker.

I hope this helps.

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.
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