New Driver Choosing Starter Company

Topic 29440 | Page 1

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Asher H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello forum,

I got my CDL A from a private company via my local community college. Initially I planned to go to work for TMC. Long story short, I decided during TMC's orientation that the company isn't for me. Load securement isn't an issue, but tarping and untarping *every day* isn't something I was prepared to deal with. It didn't help that there were no driver trainers in my area. So I'm now looking into alternatives.

Aside from TMC, only Schneider and McElroy recruiters visited my school. Since leaving TMC orientation, I have been in touch with recruiters from Schneider, Prime and CRST.

One of my instructors at CDL school worked for Schneider and highly recommended them. I got my tanker endorsement but with the shaving requirement i decided that's not for me either. That left dry van. Home time isn't an issue for me (single, no children, no mortgage, comfortable with solitude) and the Schneider recruiter indicated that the option exists to stay out longer than the 2 weeks in the job description. The recruiter also indicated they will work with drivers who wish to transfer to other 'positions' as appropriate.

Prime appeals mostly because of their pet policy. I don't currently have a pet, but it's something I had *very* seriously considered after getting settled into the OTR life. Otherwise I imagined spending any free time reading, listening to music/podcasts or pursuing other such activities.

Any suggestions/advice will be greatly appreciated.

Regards, Asher Higgs

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.

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.
Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Howdy, Asher!

Did you pay for your CDL out of pocket, or are you still on the hook with TMC for their training?

Prime ... is PRIME. One of the hardest companies to get on with.. but KUDOS if you can! Employment history has a LOT to do with their acceptance; so .. the question above, is .. paramount.

Best to you; and the more info you give, the more we can help!

~ 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.
Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

In re reading... it seems you may NOT owe TMC anything..but lodging perhaps?

Here's an app that goes to Prime, and others. Be honest, always; wish you luck~!

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Asher H.'s Comment
member avatar

Anne,

AFAIK I don't owe TMC anything. I didn't get the pay for the week and a half I attended training, but I kind of expected that. I could have stuck around for the last 2 days of orientation, but I was fair sure I didn't want to drive for them and felt that doing so would be dishonest.

Based on my conversation with the recruiter at Prime, I'm pretty sure they are prepared to hire me. But she (the recruiter) said 12 weeks with driver trainer. I'm all about a company that takes training seriously, but 3 months is a *long* time. I chose this field in no small part because I prefer my own company.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

The 12 weeks at Prime is just their estimate. You'd likely be sent out with a trainer to run team for 60,000 truck miles. I believe You'd earn $600 a week, or 17 CPM whichever is higher. Kearsey or Real Deihl would be able to give you the specifics as both are current trainers there.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If you go to Prime with your CDL , it will be 60,000 miles with a trainer as Rob T. posted.

Prime does have one of the longest training periods, while Schneider has one of the shortest.

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.
Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Werner’s pet policy is fairly liberal and their training period is around 150 driving hour minimum if I remember correctly. I think they are always hiring otr drivers with the chance to move to something dedicated like beer runs or home depot when they become available.

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.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Anne,

AFAIK I don't owe TMC anything. I didn't get the pay for the week and a half I attended training, but I kind of expected that. I could have stuck around for the last 2 days of orientation, but I was fair sure I didn't want to drive for them and felt that doing so would be dishonest.

Based on my conversation with the recruiter at Prime, I'm pretty sure they are prepared to hire me. But she (the recruiter) said 12 weeks with driver trainer. I'm all about a company that takes training seriously, but 3 months is a *long* time. I chose this field in no small part because I prefer my own company.

Gotcha;

That's probably why they 'held' your last check.. every company does it different, but at least you won't be 'sidelined' like some companies do, with contracts if that may have been the case. Sux they didn't communicate that with you, however. Sorry.

The guys above have given you super sage advice. Did you fill out the 'one and done' app on this site? Sent you the link.

CFI would also be a company to look into, IMHO. Big Scott's diary is in here:

Big Scott's CFI journey

West Side Transport, another one that comes to mind. Susan D. had a bit of experience (well, quite a bit..lol!) but still had to go through a 'training' phase with WST. Here's that:

Susan D, at WST (rhymes!)

Prime is PRIMO don't get me wrong.. at all. The training is lengthy. The math isn't, haha! I've just done it.. and it'd take 3.33 months at 600 miles a day. Just saying, not dissuading you, at all! Jim Palmer and Wil Trans, come to mind as well.. they are on this site, for application purposes as well.

Sure wish you luck.. thanks for the reply!

(PS: As long as you didn't 'step on the grass...' @TMC!! LoL!)

~ Anne ~

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I can’t speak to the miles you’ll run as a Schneider dry van driver, but I can say that Schneider’s a great company to start and/or finish with. The drivers are treated very well; there’s an abundance of o.c.’s all over the country, so there’s frequent access to free laundry, parking, and showers. The equipment is well-maintained; training is thorough and there’s no shortage of people willing to help when needed. Re: home time, you can stay out as long as you’d like. When I started out, I drove for seven months before asking for three days off. Tuition reimbursement is available; drive for at least a year, and you will be reimbursed for your CDL school tuition. Of course, I believe the things I’m writing are also true of other large carriers such as Prime, CFI, Swift, etc. We are large companies with massive amounts of resources. You won’t be able to have a pet with Schneider, however. Best of luck with your next step forward.

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.

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.
Asher H.'s Comment
member avatar

The 12 weeks at Prime is just their estimate. You'd likely be sent out with a trainer to run team for 60,000 truck miles. I believe You'd earn $600 a week, or 17 CPM whichever is higher. Kearsey or Real Deihl would be able to give you the specifics as both are current trainers there.

Rob T,

Running team doesn't really seem very conducive to training, what with the trainer and trainee having opposite schedules, though it would definitely rack up those truck miles. I'm scheduled to talk to the Prime recruiter again today, will have to get more details.

Werner’s pet policy is fairly liberal and their training period is around 150 driving hour minimum if I remember correctly. I think they are always hiring otr drivers with the chance to move to something dedicated like beer runs or home depot when they become available.

Papa Pig,

Thanks, I filled out the Werner pre-application and am looking more into them. Though I'm planning to stick to OTR for the conceivable future, so dedicated opportunities aren't really that compelling to me.

Gotcha;

That's probably why they 'held' your last check.. every company does it different, but at least you won't be 'sidelined' like some companies do, with contracts if that may have been the case. Sux they didn't communicate that with you, however. Sorry.

The guys above have given you super sage advice. Did you fill out the 'one and done' app on this site? Sent you the link.

CFI would also be a company to look into, IMHO. Big Scott's diary is in here:

Big Scott's CFI journey

West Side Transport, another one that comes to mind. Susan D. had a bit of experience (well, quite a bit..lol!) but still had to go through a 'training' phase with WST. Here's that:

Susan D, at WST (rhymes!)

Prime is PRIMO don't get me wrong.. at all. The training is lengthy. The math isn't, haha! I've just done it.. and it'd take 3.33 months at 600 miles a day. Just saying, not dissuading you, at all! Jim Palmer and Wil Trans, come to mind as well.. they are on this site, for application purposes as well.

Sure wish you luck.. thanks for the reply!

(PS: As long as you didn't 'step on the grass...' @TMC!! LoL!)

~ Anne ~

Anne,

I did complete the 'one and done' app. Probably confused the folks at TMC a bit...

Will look into these training diaries, thanks.

I guess running team during training for Prime would whittle those miles down pretty quick, but it's still a big commitment. At TMC, they would potentially switch trainer/trainees to team after two weeks if the trainee was on top of things. But I know for a fact that some trainers used that as an opportunity to run their trainees ragged in order to pretty much double their paychecks...

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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