Companies/Divisions That Hire Recent CDL Grads For Flatbed Teams?

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Luke and Natalya's Comment
member avatar

Hello All, This is my first post on Trucking Truth. My fiancee and I are currently in CDL school, and we graduate at the beginning of June. We originally wanted to go into hauling reefer , but after learning more about flatbedding, we are thinking about going that route. She and I are both pretty physically fit, and enjoy working hard. One of the drawbacks we recognized about trucking, is that it can be sedentary, but after talking to our trainer (who has run mostly flatbed) he said that he thought we would be physically capable of it, but was unsure if any companies hired Flatbed Teams. I was hoping some of you knowledgeable folks might be able to help us out.

What companies do you know of that hire recent CDL Grads for Flatbed Teams? We have spoken to a Prime recruiter who did confirm that they have Flatbed Teams in their Flatbed division, but I was hoping someone here might have a suggestion of some additional companies that we could contact. Alternatively, do you know of any companies who require OTR experience who hire Flatbed Teams? That way even if we go with Prime right out of school, we have some options to contact in the future if we want to look at additional companies.

I think this may have been asked in the forum before, but I was hoping to have some more current information. This forum, and the High Road Training program have been a life saver for us. I come here to look for helpful answers, great tips, and a very thorough training resource. So thank you for all of that!

Thanks in advance for any of your help! Luke and Natalya

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Luke and Natalya, welcome to our forum!

I am a long time flat-bedder. I just don't see very many teams running flat-bed trucks. I don't really know which direction to point you. If I wanted to be a team driver I would look into refrigerated. That's where the really long loads are and it is also where the time sensitive freight is. There are some strictly team companies out there who specialize in time sensitive freight, but most of the time it is in a box trailer. CRST and Covenant come to mind, but there are also a great many companies like Prime who have teams running freight. To be honest with you Prime has a really great pay package for teams right now, but I don't know how much demand they have for team drivers in flat-bed. I would think they are really looking for refrigerated teams.

I'm not trying to discourage you, and I am certainly no expert on the demand for teams in flat-bed. I just know I don't see them hardly at all. I am sure there are some. The great thing about going with Prime is that you could switch to a division that might serve you better if the flat-bed gig wasn't working out. Prime has a very long training period. Which is great for some people, but I get the impression you are fired up and ready to start making your mark. That is something you will want to consider. There are a lot of flat-bed companies that will hire rookies, but don't have that lengthy training period that Prime has. You would have to contact them to see about the need for a good team. Try contacting Melton, Maverick, TMC, Jordan, and Boyd Brothers. Maybe you will find someone needing a team. I drive a dedicated flatbed account at Knight. A lot of people don't even know the account exists. You might want to talk to a recruiter at Knight and see if they have any needs for a flatbed team. I remember them once hiring a team out of the plant that i am dedicated to, but the customer's needs changed and they ended up not needing the team after just a little while.

Luke and Natalya's Comment
member avatar

Hi Old School,

Thanks for getting back to us so quickly! I see a lot of your comments when I'm scrolling through the forum, and your advice is always very helpful. We kind of figured that the options might be limited, but knew it would be worth a shot to ask on here. You listed some companies I hadn't considered so I will definitely give them a call to see if they have a demand for teams. We knew that teams were mostly refrigerated or expedited, but there is something so enticing about the unique challenges and opportunity that flatbed offers. We just called Prime today to ask some questions about their flatbed division, so it gave us some hope. The drawbacks, as you mentioned being the extended training period (40,000mi/8 weeks running as a team with our trainer), but we were also told they only run automatics in their fleet now, which likely is not our preference. But at the same time, if Prime is our only option to get our foot in the door on a flatbed team, the starting CPM is a decent payscale while we gain the OTR experience. Again, thank you for your reply, it certainly give us some more avenues to explore!

Luke and Natalya

Luke and Natalya, welcome to our forum!

I am a long time flat-bedder. I just don't see very many teams running flat-bed trucks. I don't really know which direction to point you. If I wanted to be a team driver I would look into refrigerated. That's where the really long loads are and it is also where the time sensitive freight is. There are some strictly team companies out there who specialize in time sensitive freight, but most of the time it is in a box trailer. CRST and Covenant come to mind, but there are also a great many companies like Prime who have teams running freight. To be honest with you Prime has a really great pay package for teams right now, but I don't know how much demand they have for team drivers in flat-bed. I would think they are really looking for refrigerated teams.

I'm not trying to discourage you, and I am certainly no expert on the demand for teams in flat-bed. I just know I don't see them hardly at all. I am sure there are some. The great thing about going with Prime is that you could switch to a division that might serve you better if the flat-bed gig wasn't working out. Prime has a very long training period. Which is great for some people, but I get the impression you are fired up and ready to start making your mark. That is something you will want to consider. There are a lot of flat-bed companies that will hire rookies, but don't have that lengthy training period that Prime has. You would have to contact them to see about the need for a good team. Try contacting Melton, Maverick, TMC, Jordan, and Boyd Brothers. Maybe you will find someone needing a team. I drive a dedicated flatbed account at Knight. A lot of people don't even know the account exists. You might want to talk to a recruiter at Knight and see if they have any needs for a flatbed team. I remember them once hiring a team out of the plant that i am dedicated to, but the customer's needs changed and they ended up not needing the team after just a little while.

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.

Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome and congrats you two!

New flatbed driver here myself and I am going teams with my brother for flatbed later this year. What we have discovered with companies and team driving is the PAY. For example TMC (who my brother drivers with and loves working with TMC) pays % of what the truck makes per load and TMC pays on a sliding scales with incentives built in. I think new drivers start off at 28 or 29% and it maxes out at 34%. My brother has been driving two months and has already hit the 33% mark.

So basically if the truck makes $1,000 you get paid what every % you are at. Let’s say 30% your pay would be $300 to the truck not to each driver. In this scenario each driver would split $300. Using TMC model as example, other companies pay by miles but it’s all split the same. So when we see advertised “team drivers $.87 per mile. That’s not each driver it’s split. The thought is the truck doesn’t stop moving so you can roll more miles.

I think you have to determine how much money you need to make each week and how much do you want to be out running loads.

My brother for TMC parks up on Sundays and is home on Fridays. Just had a $6k week to the truck. Not always like.. he averages around $4300 I think he said to the truck weekly.

I work for Schndeider flatbed on a dedicated hourly account. I’m out Sunday afternoon home Tuesday out Wednesday home Friday for the weekend. I basically drive to eastern Washington and northern Idaho from Seattle and make 12-16 stops per run and come home. It’s a good mixture for me and I enjoy it.

Hope this rambling from someone who is just a few weeks ahead of you helps.

Congrats again and welcome!

Luke and Natalya's Comment
member avatar

Hi Jered, Thanks for your response! We really like TMC's percentage payscale. It looks like there is a lot of room for growth because of the performance based scale. Plus they really seem to take care of their drivers between the Employee Stock Ownership and their awesome benefits package! Are you and your brother going to be teaming with TMC or Schneider flatbedding? Or do you have a different company lined up for you guys?

We just called and left a message with TMC, hopefully they get back to us soon. We asked if they either run teams or have accounts where drivers are driving separate trucks but run as a convoy. Your response definitely helped. Any advice or options is very helpful to us right now. I hope you and your brother get to start teaming soon. I'm sure you guys will be awesome at it, and turning lots of miles. Thanks again for replying!

Luke and Natalya

Welcome and congrats you two!

New flatbed driver here myself and I am going teams with my brother for flatbed later this year. What we have discovered with companies and team driving is the PAY. For example TMC (who my brother drivers with and loves working with TMC) pays % of what the truck makes per load and TMC pays on a sliding scales with incentives built in. I think new drivers start off at 28 or 29% and it maxes out at 34%. My brother has been driving two months and has already hit the 33% mark.

So basically if the truck makes $1,000 you get paid what every % you are at. Let’s say 30% your pay would be $300 to the truck not to each driver. In this scenario each driver would split $300. Using TMC model as example, other companies pay by miles but it’s all split the same. So when we see advertised “team drivers $.87 per mile. That’s not each driver it’s split. The thought is the truck doesn’t stop moving so you can roll more miles.

I think you have to determine how much money you need to make each week and how much do you want to be out running loads.

My brother for TMC parks up on Sundays and is home on Fridays. Just had a $6k week to the truck. Not always like.. he averages around $4300 I think he said to the truck weekly.

I work for Schndeider flatbed on a dedicated hourly account. I’m out Sunday afternoon home Tuesday out Wednesday home Friday for the weekend. I basically drive to eastern Washington and northern Idaho from Seattle and make 12-16 stops per run and come home. It’s a good mixture for me and I enjoy it.

Hope this rambling from someone who is just a few weeks ahead of you helps.

Congrats again and welcome!

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Howdy, Luke & Natalya, and another WELCOME, to TT !!

FWIW, I pulled asphalt tanks with my husband about 6 years ago; for an O/O with a small fleet. It was a blast, but MAN, there sure is a LOT more to it than one would initially think..... and in the off season, we pulled flatbed (concrete slabs; jersey barriers, lennels, etc...) and it sure was NOT my forte, haha! I'm just a lil'schtik myself.

I commend you two, and wish y'all the best!

Keep us in the loop and let us know how things play out, and who you end up going with, if you would.

AND.... at TMC . . . KEEP OFF THE GRASS !!!! (And yes, they truly MEAN it, Semper Fi and all..!)

Best to y'all on this exciting journey;

~ Anne ~

Luke and Natalya's Comment
member avatar

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your response! We're both very excited to start our careers. I've been a lurker on the site for about a year now, but I've never posted or commented until now. I've always found a lot of helpful info on here, and I'm glad to be a part of the community. We definitely will be keeping you all updated on where we end up landing.

Natalya is short, but she's strong! We're both pretty excited to start our career, and the physical nature of flatbedding is a big draw. We don't want to lose conditioning by being sedentary. Did you two haul for the same O/O during the winter, or did you contract out to another company during that time? Tanker is a bit intimidating to us, I'm not gonna lie. Good for you guys!

Lol, TMC has a lot of Veterans, so if we end up there, we'll be sure to be respectful, and tidy! (We are those things by nature anyway.) Thanks for the welcome and well wishes. Like I said, we'll be sure to keep you all posted. Thanks again!

Luke and Natalya

Howdy, Luke & Natalya, and another WELCOME, to TT !!

FWIW, I pulled asphalt tanks with my husband about 6 years ago; for an O/O with a small fleet. It was a blast, but MAN, there sure is a LOT more to it than one would initially think..... and in the off season, we pulled flatbed (concrete slabs; jersey barriers, lennels, etc...) and it sure was NOT my forte, haha! I'm just a lil'schtik myself.

I commend you two, and wish y'all the best!

Keep us in the loop and let us know how things play out, and who you end up going with, if you would.

AND.... at TMC . . . KEEP OFF THE GRASS !!!! (And yes, they truly MEAN it, Semper Fi and all..!)

Best to y'all on this exciting journey;

~ Anne ~

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your response! We're both very excited to start our careers. I've been a lurker on the site for about a year now, but I've never posted or commented until now. I've always found a lot of helpful info on here, and I'm glad to be a part of the community. We definitely will be keeping you all updated on where we end up landing.

Natalya is short, but she's strong! We're both pretty excited to start our career, and the physical nature of flatbedding is a big draw. We don't want to lose conditioning by being sedentary. Did you two haul for the same O/O during the winter, or did you contract out to another company during that time? Tanker is a bit intimidating to us, I'm not gonna lie. Good for you guys!

Lol, TMC has a lot of Veterans, so if we end up there, we'll be sure to be respectful, and tidy! (We are those things by nature anyway.) Thanks for the welcome and well wishes. Like I said, we'll be sure to keep you all posted. Thanks again!

Luke and Natalya

double-quotes-start.png

Howdy, Luke & Natalya, and another WELCOME, to TT !!

FWIW, I pulled asphalt tanks with my husband about 6 years ago; for an O/O with a small fleet. It was a blast, but MAN, there sure is a LOT more to it than one would initially think..... and in the off season, we pulled flatbed (concrete slabs; jersey barriers, lennels, etc...) and it sure was NOT my forte, haha! I'm just a lil'schtik myself.

I commend you two, and wish y'all the best!

Keep us in the loop and let us know how things play out, and who you end up going with, if you would.

AND.... at TMC . . . KEEP OFF THE GRASS !!!! (And yes, they truly MEAN it, Semper Fi and all..!)

Best to y'all on this exciting journey;

~ Anne ~

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks for the thanks, y'all~!!

Indeed, it was the same Saunders LLC that we did asphalt in the warms and concrete/flats in the winters. If you Saferweb his company right now, you'll see he has ONE truck (which he drives, and we see him on occasion...) due to a nasty divorce. He really wanted Tom & I to buy the 'fleet' of 5 when this was all coming to 'fruition' (read, loss) for him, but ... that's a beast we just didn't want to mortgage our lives (and homestead!) for. Tom's a company driver for FAB Express here in Ohio, but based out of Chicago/Lemont/Joliet . That's him in the avatar w/me!

Our dedicated tank hauls were for The Shelly Company here in Ohio (mostly 6122 and 3257, placarded but not HZ nor hot.)

Our Concrete/flatbed hauls were for United Precast, in Marengo, Ohio. (<<< we didn't like that part, as much!) Bridge abutments and such...as I'd said. Quite complicated securement; was all supposed to be pre secured.... yeah, ha! Nope. I could TELL you a story where the load hopped, and the CB was blowing up with 'Hay Tripod' blah blah blah... sheesh.. My little self, climbing concrete, with dunnage and chains, yeah!!!

I sincerely WISH Y'ALL the best!!!

As has been said above; many/most teams start more 'traditionally,' but . . . look at Papa Pig for example ....

Papa Pig

Granted, not teaming .. but .. breaking 'tradition' and recommendations, LoL~

Be safe, you two. I'm happily following your journey. (((KEEP OFF THE GRASS!!)))

~ Anne ~

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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