CFI Or Heyl Or Paper Transport As My First Job...

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ZB's Comment
member avatar

My first post here. I love reading on this forum, looking for advice now. Got my Class A CDL , X, T and P endorsements, tomorrow is my last day at school, need to make big decision who to start career with. I have narrowed my selection to these three: CFI, Heyl (Zephyrhills, FL) and Paper Transport (PTI-Dedicated, Southeast, main customer Georgia Pacific). My main goal for the first year is to operate safe equipment, get trained properly and get fair treatment. I will think about money my second year. Your input will greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much.

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.
Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

If I've gotta pick from the three you offer I would go with CFI. They'll give you great support to start your career.

Nothing wrong with the rest but I would suggest that doing a dedicated thing for Georgia Pacific could be a tough way to start. I hauled a bunch of loads for them and I'm glad I had some time under my belt before I did so.

Now for a little unsolicited advice: it's a big world out there. You can likely thrive at most any company that hires new drivers. There are many training diaries and many company profiles etc. on this site. The company that works best for you is likely the one that can offer you the type of cargo you want to pull, the sort of home time arrangement you need, and can meet any other requirements specific to your needs.

My first post here. I love reading on this forum, looking for advice now. Got my Class A CDL , X, T and P endorsements, tomorrow is my last day at school, need to make big decision who to start career with. I have narrowed my selection to these three: CFI, Heyl (Zephyrhills, FL) and Paper Transport (PTI-Dedicated, Southeast, main customer Georgia Pacific). My main goal for the first year is to operate safe equipment, get trained properly and get fair treatment. I will think about money my second year. Your input will greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much.

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.
ZB's Comment
member avatar

Thanks so much Dave for your input on Georgia Pacific dedicated. Looks like I am not ready for that. My preference is dry van OTR 48 states, I would like to see this beautiful country and not only southeast and that's why I put CFI on the top of my list. CFI is also the one that has overall best reviews from current and ex employees.

If I've gotta pick from the three you offer I would go with CFI. They'll give you great support to start your career.

Nothing wrong with the rest but I would suggest that doing a dedicated thing for Georgia Pacific could be a tough way to start. I hauled a bunch of loads for them and I'm glad I had some time under my belt before I did so.

Now for a little unsolicited advice: it's a big world out there. You can likely thrive at most any company that hires new drivers. There are many training diaries and many company profiles etc. on this site. The company that works best for you is likely the one that can offer you the type of cargo you want to pull, the sort of home time arrangement you need, and can meet any other requirements specific to your needs.

double-quotes-start.png

My first post here. I love reading on this forum, looking for advice now. Got my Class A CDL , X, T and P endorsements, tomorrow is my last day at school, need to make big decision who to start career with. I have narrowed my selection to these three: CFI, Heyl (Zephyrhills, FL) and Paper Transport (PTI-Dedicated, Southeast, main customer Georgia Pacific). My main goal for the first year is to operate safe equipment, get trained properly and get fair treatment. I will think about money my second year. Your input will greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much.

double-quotes-end.png

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Don't believe reviews that you see online from spots like "Indeed", "Glass Door", etc. The best reviews are truly by speaking with many, many actual drivers.

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

Ah - with that tidbit I can help a little more and probably others could chime in as well. Typically the 48 state companies do not run a particular driver in 48 states, especially not if you'll be solo. Most freight is regional and most of the majors will want to put you in a region that works for your hometime desires.

There are exceptions so this is something you can ask your recruiter about.

Most outfits that will run a solo driver cross-country will a) require experience, and b) will likely have largely specific routes.

The opportunities to bounce all around the lower 48 are few and far between. I don't know of any that are open to newbies but maybe someone else does.

Another thing: you're more likely to find some cross country stuff with a reefer outfit than you are with a dry van outfit.

Your most important thing now is to get yourself a year or three of safe driving under your belt. Then you'll be in a better position to find more opportunities.

I had similar desires as you do and found a way to do it by starting with a reefer company that did run me cross country through about 30 states I think and then transitioning to being an IC in a self-dispatch environment. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to truck through 48 states and DC doing that combination, but still, most of the freight was regional and in the self-dispatch environment I chose it was difficult to get from far west to far east and generally unprofitable to try, so I didn't. I had gotten plenty of opportunities to drive the west when I pulled the reefers - that was a CA to NJ type of thing with lots of other variety. In my dry van gig, I ran the eastern 37. It was all fun except the west in the winter....ugh.

Thanks so much Dave for your input on Georgia Pacific dedicated. Looks like I am not ready for that. My preference is dry van OTR 48 states, I would like to see this beautiful country and not only southeast and that's why I put CFI on the top of my list. CFI is also the one that has overall best reviews from current and ex employees.

double-quotes-start.png

If I've gotta pick from the three you offer I would go with CFI. They'll give you great support to start your career.

Nothing wrong with the rest but I would suggest that doing a dedicated thing for Georgia Pacific could be a tough way to start. I hauled a bunch of loads for them and I'm glad I had some time under my belt before I did so.

Now for a little unsolicited advice: it's a big world out there. You can likely thrive at most any company that hires new drivers. There are many training diaries and many company profiles etc. on this site. The company that works best for you is likely the one that can offer you the type of cargo you want to pull, the sort of home time arrangement you need, and can meet any other requirements specific to your needs.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

My first post here. I love reading on this forum, looking for advice now. Got my Class A CDL , X, T and P endorsements, tomorrow is my last day at school, need to make big decision who to start career with. I have narrowed my selection to these three: CFI, Heyl (Zephyrhills, FL) and Paper Transport (PTI-Dedicated, Southeast, main customer Georgia Pacific). My main goal for the first year is to operate safe equipment, get trained properly and get fair treatment. I will think about money my second year. Your input will greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You are right PackRat. That's why I joined this forum. Those Indeed, Glass Door reviews can be very confusing and biased, full of bad energy. Experienced drivers are who I trust most.

Don't believe reviews that you see online from spots like "Indeed", "Glass Door", etc. The best reviews are truly by speaking with many, many actual drivers.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Another big thing for possible employers is your location---Florida. Lots of freight goes in, but not much product is produced down there. If you're south of the I-10 corridor, or south of Tampa/Daytona you may encounter some difficulties being hired.

ZB's Comment
member avatar

Great. Good to know Dave. Heyl is then the company that fit my needs and desire too. Another big plus with Heyl is their Zephyrhills terminal which is aprox. 1 hour drive from my home. CFI let their drivers take their trucks home but because I live in Pinellas county and there really is no place to park, maybe just one but I will have to pay for that and it often has no available spots.

Ah - with that tidbit I can help a little more and probably others could chime in as well. Typically the 48 state companies do not run a particular driver in 48 states, especially not if you'll be solo. Most freight is regional and most of the majors will want to put you in a region that works for your hometime desires.

There are exceptions so this is something you can ask your recruiter about.

Most outfits that will run a solo driver cross-country will a) require experience, and b) will likely have largely specific routes.

The opportunities to bounce all around the lower 48 are few and far between. I don't know of any that are open to newbies but maybe someone else does.

Another thing: you're more likely to find some cross country stuff with a reefer outfit than you are with a dry van outfit.

Your most important thing now is to get yourself a year or three of safe driving under your belt. Then you'll be in a better position to find more opportunities.

I had similar desires as you do and found a way to do it by starting with a reefer company that did run me cross country through about 30 states I think and then transitioning to being an IC in a self-dispatch environment. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to truck through 48 states and DC doing that combination, but still, most of the freight was regional and in the self-dispatch environment I chose it was difficult to get from far west to far east and generally unprofitable to try, so I didn't. I had gotten plenty of opportunities to drive the west when I pulled the reefers - that was a CA to NJ type of thing with lots of other variety. In my dry van gig, I ran the eastern 37. It was all fun except the west in the winter....ugh.

double-quotes-start.png

Thanks so much Dave for your input on Georgia Pacific dedicated. Looks like I am not ready for that. My preference is dry van OTR 48 states, I would like to see this beautiful country and not only southeast and that's why I put CFI on the top of my list. CFI is also the one that has overall best reviews from current and ex employees.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

If I've gotta pick from the three you offer I would go with CFI. They'll give you great support to start your career.

Nothing wrong with the rest but I would suggest that doing a dedicated thing for Georgia Pacific could be a tough way to start. I hauled a bunch of loads for them and I'm glad I had some time under my belt before I did so.

Now for a little unsolicited advice: it's a big world out there. You can likely thrive at most any company that hires new drivers. There are many training diaries and many company profiles etc. on this site. The company that works best for you is likely the one that can offer you the type of cargo you want to pull, the sort of home time arrangement you need, and can meet any other requirements specific to your needs.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Dave, I know you have many years of experience with reefers. If I decide to go with Heyl my biggest concern is noise they make. How bad is it in the night when you try to get some sleep?

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

ZB's Comment
member avatar

All 3 according to recruiters are actively hiring in my area. I am right on the I-10 corridor. Thanks.

Another big thing for possible employers is your location---Florida. Lots of freight goes in, but not much product is produced down there. If you're south of the I-10 corridor, or south of Tampa/Daytona you may encounter some difficulties being hired.

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