Hey Everybody, Not Sure If You Remember Me

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Billy's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone. Not sure if you remember I posted asking about the chances of getting a good job with felonies. I also mentioned that I was in the process of trying to figure out how to pursue my CDL and make it a reality. Well I am happy to announce that I started a private CDL school on November 30th and passed my road test on December 16th. Whereas I am happy I have my CDL, god knows I need more training. I am happy that after having never driven any manual automobile in my life, I passed my road test with a manual tractor trailer. So I have no restrictions on my license which is pretty awesome.

So now I am reaching out to you all again with more questions. I told you guys a while back I was on federal probation and was asking the chances of getting a job. Luckily, I am about a year away from completing probation but the federal probation office in Newark, NJ decided to bump me down to level 1 supervision. That basically means that I am on probation on paper and thats it. They won't really monitor me, don't need me to come in consistently if at all, and will probably make time to see me on my home time rather than forcing me to stick to a date to see them. The only time they would be involved is if I commit another crime and after 8 years of dealing with this case, trust me, thats very far behind me.

So with that being said, I am just waiting to go get my PHYSICAL ID since COVID has all the DMVs a mess. I should have it in the next few weeks. I am officially done with Federal Drug Court on January 27th which is when I get bumped down to level 1 supervision. I am in need of employment. I am also in need of some friends in the industry that I can count on for information here and there. Being a rookie driver, for me, is going to be a bit scary (I use that word carefully), more anxiety driven just because I have never done it and I want to be as humanly safe as possible because everybody on the road is important to me, not just myself.

My best friend has been trucking for about 15 years. He started with Schneider and that is where he recommends I go since I didn't get much training at all. The school itself just basically made sure I passed my 3 part road test and then wished me well lol. I need real training and my friend says the Schneider is like the Harvard of Rookie Driver Training in the Big Companies of the Trucking industry. I see that their pay is kind of subpar compared to others starting at only .42 cents a mile but it seems like they offer a LOT of perks on top of pay. I don't know **** so I want to turn to you all and get your opinions.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I am eager to hear from you all!!!

Billy

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations, Billy! I'm sure Schneider is a great place to start. However, you don't have to limit yourself to one option. Throw a bunch of hooks in the water and see which companies bite... if any. Some companies may not hire you bc of your current legal situation. Others might be willing to overlook it. So cast a wide net... Best of luck to you!

Billy's Comment
member avatar

Yeah luckily Schneider has already said I won't have a problem being hired. A lot of the other big companies want a bit more time since my charges date. I do know that my father is friends with a regional manager at SWIFT and is able to get me hired there as well. I guess what I am asking are what places should I hire? Or just apply to them all?

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.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah luckily Schneider has already said I won't have a problem being hired. A lot of the other big companies want a bit more time since my charges date. I do know that my father is friends with a regional manager at SWIFT and is able to get me hired there as well. I guess what I am asking are what places should I hire? Or just apply to them all?

Howdy, Billy .. I remember you, as well~!!

I'd go this route, as well as the one you are on:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Kudos on getting that all behind you, good sir. Onward and upward!

Have you seen this? (Think it was sent to you previously, but here it is, again:)

Trucking companies that hire with sub par backgrounds:

Keep us in the loop, Billy. Best to you!

~ Anne ~

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.

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Billy, I started with Schneider and loved it. But you need to know their orientation period is only approximately seventeen days long, unless they’ve changed it in the last four years.

Is it possible your friend is tasting an easy referral bonus for himself?

While many people say Schneider’s brief training time is too short, they do have a pretty good safety record and they don’t seem to be the butt of so many crash jokes.

I was very concerned when I started and extremely apprehensive about going into bad weather situations. But Schneider really does believe you are the captain of the ship. Now, that doesn’t mean shut down with the first snowflake and you may have to check on weather ahead or adjust your daily schedule, but they will work with you.

I hope this helps.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

42 CPM isn't terrible. There are many starting you out at less and some starting you out higher. I wouldn't focus too much on CPM right now. Schneider is a great choice but you should Apply For Truck Driving Jobs and see if anybody else is interested. You said most want more time since the charges but it may list a couple companies you haven't inquired with. This way you can find the company that fits your wants/needs whether it's hometime, type of freight, areas they run or any other criteria thats important to you.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

With your legal situation - go WHERE YOU CAN GET A HIRE (since you say many are turning you down).

Schneider and Swift are both TWO GOOD PLACES TO START OUT (and good places TO STAY, as a number of members here did).

After a year of PROVEN SAFE & PRODUCTIVE DRIVING (and a year further out from your legal issue), MORE DOORS will open for you. At year 2, more still - year 3, you can pretty much write your own ticket.

Don't recall what you were on paper for - federal charges are usually more serious than local beefs. But if they were not serious enough to prevent you from getting your CDL in the first place (disqualifying charges) - then you are in better shape than many. It might take a minute to be able to get a HM endorsement though.

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS (or so they say). Glad you're getting things worked out. Keep us posted on your progress...

Rick

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.
Billy's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the awesome responses! Yes I am finishing up the things I need to before I start applying everywhere. I have to actually get my physical ID which I didn't get the day I passed my road test because there was a snowstorm here in NJ and they issued a state of emergency which shut down the DMVs. I was supposed to go for an appointment at the DMV in south Jersey on Saturday but an employee got COVID so they cancelled the appointment and closed the DMV. I have been searching for another appointment date but so far the only thing I am hearing is April/May for an appointment. So I spoke with my local Senators office and they are speaking with their liaison over at the DMV to see if they can get me in ASAP since they know I need it to get to work and honestly I can't stand being on unemployment anymore.

With that being said, once I have my physical license in hand and wrap things up with federal drug court on January 27th, I can start applying everywhere.

Direct Responses Below

Anne A. - Thank you very much. Yes onward and upward is what I like to hear for myself haha. I am really proud of how far I have come and glad that I have such a huge interest in the Trucking Industry. I shall make sure to keep everyone updated on my journey!

Steve L. - Thanks for the information. No I know he isn't searching for a referral bonus. He only worked with them for about 5 years and he made a mistake which they ended up letting him go for but he still speaks highly about them because he says when he is driving on the road he notices they are the least out of big companies that show concern in their driving. So when he told me about them, it was exactly what you brought up, which is safety. That is my biggest goal as a driver. I want to be as safe as I can possibly be. He and I talked about TONS of stuff and one thing I refuse to do is team driving. A couple of the big companies I spoke with want you to do team driving for the first 6-12 months and that is not something I am willing to do. I will do as much training as humanly possible to make a company happy but if I am going to be out on the road for weeks at a time, I prefer to have my own space and not have to share it with anyone. As far as shutting down, my first goal is safety and my second goal is efficiency. I want to make my company know that I will get their cargo to wherever its supposed to go on time without risking my safety or others. I also am not scared of bad weather but I will make it a point to learn my limitations. And you are right. It seems Schneiders training is about 3 weeks (1 week classroom, 1 week local driving and simulation training, and 3rd week is out on the road with a Schneider Trainer) That being said, I don't think Schneider will put my on the road if they don't feel I could handle it, but thats just a logical assumption I am making.

Rob T. - Yeah I mean I am not TOO worried about CPM but I am concerned about overall income. I have to make at LEAST 55k a year to stay afloat. My old job I was making about 68k a year and was doing pretty well. I added up my debt and my monthly expenses and 55k a year will cover that all and allow me some breathing room financially. So whereas I don't care too much about making THE MOST money, I just need to make sure I am meeting what I HAVE to make to stay comfortable. Anything over 55k is just bonus money for me at this point. I will definitely check out multiple companies.

Rick S. - As for what my Federal charges are, they are two counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine. I also have a state felony from when I was 19 ( I am 33 now so its very old) was for PWID (Possession with the intent to deliver) Marijuana. For the federal charges, the official charge date has been a little over 5 years so I do have some time away from the charge date. A lot of companies want 10 years since the charge date before I can be hired, some want 7, some want 5, others are on a case by case basis. I am open to just about any company as long as they meet what I need financially to stay afloat and also provide decent training as I don't feel I could just jump in a truck and be on my way yet. I do feel CONFIDENT in what I have already learned but I still struggle with some things such as doing really well with parallel parking and alley dock. I can do it, it just takes me a few times of pulling up and adjusting myself. The whole opposite turn for backing up still screws me up in my head during the process. I think with time I will become better at it, but I still need some more work before I just get thrown out to the wild. I am also a bit worried about routes that Include NYC unless I get some better training. I live right outside of NYC and I go there often, I don't know if I would be able to maneuver through the city quite yet. This is just anxiety talking I guess, I will do what is asked of me, I just want to do it right.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Rick S. - As for what my Federal charges are, they are two counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine. I also have a state felony from when I was 19 ( I am 33 now so its very old) was for PWID (Possession with the intent to deliver) Marijuana. For the federal charges, the official charge date has been a little over 5 years so I do have some time away from the charge date. A lot of companies want 10 years since the charge date before I can be hired, some want 7, some want 5, others are on a case by case basis. I am open to just about any company as long as they meet what I need financially to stay afloat and also provide decent training as I don't feel I could just jump in a truck and be on my way yet. I do feel CONFIDENT in what I have already learned but I still struggle with some things such as doing really well with parallel parking and alley dock. I can do it, it just takes me a few times of pulling up and adjusting myself. The whole opposite turn for backing up still screws me up in my head during the process. I think with time I will become better at it, but I still need some more work before I just get thrown out to the wild. I am also a bit worried about routes that Include NYC unless I get some better training. I live right outside of NYC and I go there often, I don't know if I would be able to maneuver through the city quite yet. This is just anxiety talking I guess, I will do what is asked of me, I just want to do it right.

Some (most) look at the DATE OF CONVICTION - not the arrest date. Many won't take you until you are off supervision (even non-reporting) - so if you have an offer from Swift/Schneider, with them knowing your background - JUMP ON IT - like NOW.

There are only a few crimes (surprisingly) that with DQ you from getting a CDL at all:

Bribery

Smuggling

Arson

Kidnapping

Assault with intent to commit murder

Extortion

Treason

Using a commercial vehicle to commit a felony

Causing a fatality due to negligent vehicle operation.

So it's a pretty wide-open field for most felonies. Getting a HIRE is entirely another story.

Rick

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

Billy's Comment
member avatar

Yeah if you look at my date of arrest its been a little over 6 years. I was convicted in 2015 and arrested in 2014. And federal charges work a bit different then state charges. State charges show the conviction date as whenever you were sentenced. Federal charges show the conviction date for when you officially enter your plea since Federal Charges can take YEARS to be processed. And as for Schneider, they seem pretty open to the idea that I have a letter of recommendation from two federal judges explaining that they believe I am a productive member of the community now and don't believe I will reoffend. So they seem pretty okay with my criminal background mainly because of that. So we will see. I do have to wait for everything to be official with Drug Court and I have to obtain my actual License which I am not sure when I will get an official answer as to when I can go do that since all DMVs in NJ right now are by appointment only and I can't seem to get one lol.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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