Looking For A Place To Start.

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David K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for putting together the Trucker's Forum. It has been a great resource for me. I am trying to find a place to start in a company-paid CDL program, and after doing some research, here, in the Trucker's Forum and on other websites, and after submitting several applications, I have settled on Schneider National and Roehl. So far, both have set me up with drug tests. I have a Class B license, a Class A CLP , and a DOT medical card, but Roehl wanted me to take another medical exam. I will do that on 5/18/21. It is possible that both Schneider and Roehl will make me an offer of employment, but I am inclined to go with Roehl if I get the opportunity.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the Trucking Truth site David K. We're glad to answer any questions you may have.

Does Schneider offer paid CDL training currently? I know Roehl does their own in-house training program.

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.
David K.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, Schneider has a company-paid training program. Here's a link to that: https://schneiderjobs.com/truck-driving-jobs/inexperienced/paid-cdl-training

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.
David K.'s Comment
member avatar

Because I have never applied for a trucking job before (except for driving for my brother during the last six months, which does not really count), I have been unsure about how to proceed through the application process. I never expected to have five or six trucking companies actually call me back the next day after I had submitted my application. My experience with job-hunting in other careers has been that maybe after submitting a hundred applications, I might get one callback. Further, I am suspicious about how serious those companies are about actually hiring me. Prime Inc., for example, told me last week that I was "approved". After that, I never heard from them again. And now, Roehl writes, "Congratulations on your conditional job off with Roehl's Get Your CDL employment opportunity." Schneider has made a similar written conditional job offer. CR England calls me, sends me emails and text messages almost every day, asking me to pick a day for training, and they promise that I will have a CDL in ten days, which I find incredulous.

I do not know how seriously to take those job offers, so I am simply going through the process with all of them. On the other hand, I have learned that when those companies sense any bit of hesitation on my part, they can back off just as quickly as they started. KLLM sent me a written offer right away when I started applying, but I waited about a week to sign it, still within the time limit that KLLM gave me. Now, I do not hear from them anymore. So a conditional offer like that one makes me doubt the whole industry.

Anyway, one of the moderators in the Trucker's Forum has explained in another thread that where a person starts their trucking career should not be much of a concern for the beginner driver. Instead, a new driver should be concerned about learning to drive a truck safely and dependably. That makes a lot of sense, so whether I end up at Schneider or Roehl or some place else, I believe that the challenge for me will be adapting to the trucking lifestyle and, more likely, adjusting to an employment environment with a 90% turnover rate. That kind of turnover makes truckers look like cannon fodder for the trucking companies. All in all, I am now quite hesitant to jump into the trucking profession after only a couple of weeks of dealing with recruiters. It is scary, to be honest.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

All training companies will give a conditional job offer. They will run the full background check once there. It is highly advised that you complete one full year with your first company.

Training is slightly different from company to company. However, most of your learning comes when you're on your own.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Because I have never applied for a trucking job before (except for driving for my brother during the last six months, which does not really count), I have been unsure about how to proceed through the application process. I never expected to have five or six trucking companies actually call me back the next day after I had submitted my application. My experience with job-hunting in other careers has been that maybe after submitting a hundred applications, I might get one callback. Further, I am suspicious about how serious those companies are about actually hiring me. Prime Inc., for example, told me last week that I was "approved". After that, I never heard from them again. And now, Roehl writes, "Congratulations on your conditional job off with Roehl's Get Your CDL employment opportunity." Schneider has made a similar written conditional job offer. CR England calls me, sends me emails and text messages almost every day, asking me to pick a day for training, and they promise that I will have a CDL in ten days, which I find incredulous.

I do not know how seriously to take those job offers, so I am simply going through the process with all of them. On the other hand, I have learned that when those companies sense any bit of hesitation on my part, they can back off just as quickly as they started. KLLM sent me a written offer right away when I started applying, but I waited about a week to sign it, still within the time limit that KLLM gave me. Now, I do not hear from them anymore. So a conditional offer like that one makes me doubt the whole industry.

Anyway, one of the moderators in the Trucker's Forum has explained in another thread that where a person starts their trucking career should not be much of a concern for the beginner driver. Instead, a new driver should be concerned about learning to drive a truck safely and dependably. That makes a lot of sense, so whether I end up at Schneider or Roehl or some place else, I believe that the challenge for me will be adapting to the trucking lifestyle and, more likely, adjusting to an employment environment with a 90% turnover rate. That kind of turnover makes truckers look like cannon fodder for the trucking companies. All in all, I am now quite hesitant to jump into the trucking profession after only a couple of weeks of dealing with recruiters. It is scary, to be honest.

David K. ,

Have you seen our 'starter pak?'

Brett's book (2nd link above) is an AMAZING READ, that explains what lies ahead, honestly.

The High Road Training Program (also above) is pretty much ALL you need to learn this lifestyle/profession.

When you are ready for the pretrip:

Also, application wise, you should start here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

We wish you the best, good sir; don't hesitate to ask anything on here!

~ Anne ~

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks Big Scott and Anne A. Yes, I have read through some of those resources, and I expect to continue using them. They are great help to me.

Update: This morning, I finished the drug test and medical exam for Roehl, one day early. The clinic is walk-in only, so they did not have a problem with me coming in a day early. While I was in the clinic, Schneider called and left a voice message, and they sent me several emails. Now, I believe that they are putting forward a genuine job offer. They want me to start Monday, May 24th, and they are ready to schedule a flight for me. The Schneider position is a dedicated route , paying $0.40 per mile after the CDL training. I have not returned the phone call, yet.

The position at Roehl would be OTR dry-goods and primarily east of the Rockies, paying $0.385 per mile after CDL training. The conditional offer from Roehl does not sound as genuine as the one from Schneider, but because Roehl paid for the drug testing and medical exam, I believe that something more solid is coming from Roehl. The problem, however, is that I cannot keep Schneider on the hook much longer.

While I was waiting for my medical exam, I had the good fortune of talking with a veteran trucker, there. He explained that anything less than $0.65 per mile would be an outrageously low wage rate. But as I told him, none of the company-paid CDL training programs that I researched was paying more than $0.51 (that was Prime, Inc.). The trucker further explained that a dedicated route, in effect, limits the number of miles that a driver can put in during the week. That's an important consideration, for me, because the starting pay at Schneider and Roehl is relatively low.

Well, I will have to make a decision, soon. I am still inclined to go with Roehl.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Start at 65 CPM as a rookie pulling van or refer? Good luck with that. Don't believe everyone you talk to.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey David,

I'm not going to pretend that I have answers for you as I'm roughly 2 weeks ahead of where you are right now..LOL But that trucker advice is pretty solid. Don't get hung up on CPM (cents per mile) because its more about the "actual miles" OTR positions tend to net more miles than dedicated routes and most mega carriers should be able to get you a decent net mileage per week. You have to put in the effort and run your clock properly to ensure when you can drive you can drive, barring any unforeseen slow down's from shippers and receivers.

Find the company that seems like the best fit for YOU and what YOU are trying to accomplish. Get you 12 months in from that company then re-evaluate after your first year is behind you. Money WILL come but you have to put in your "time" first.

At least, that's what I have found during my research here and there. Good luck and keep us posted!

Nate

Thanks Big Scott and Anne A. Yes, I have read through some of those resources, and I expect to continue using them. They are great help to me.

Update: This morning, I finished the drug test and medical exam for Roehl, one day early. The clinic is walk-in only, so they did not have a problem with me coming in a day early. While I was in the clinic, Schneider called and left a voice message, and they sent me several emails. Now, I believe that they are putting forward a genuine job offer. They want me to start Monday, May 24th, and they are ready to schedule a flight for me. The Schneider position is a dedicated route , paying $0.40 per mile after the CDL training. I have not returned the phone call, yet.

The position at Roehl would be OTR dry-goods and primarily east of the Rockies, paying $0.385 per mile after CDL training. The conditional offer from Roehl does not sound as genuine as the one from Schneider, but because Roehl paid for the drug testing and medical exam, I believe that something more solid is coming from Roehl. The problem, however, is that I cannot keep Schneider on the hook much longer.

While I was waiting for my medical exam, I had the good fortune of talking with a veteran trucker, there. He explained that anything less than $0.65 per mile would be an outrageously low wage rate. But as I told him, none of the company-paid CDL training programs that I researched was paying more than $0.51 (that was Prime, Inc.). The trucker further explained that a dedicated route, in effect, limits the number of miles that a driver can put in during the week. That's an important consideration, for me, because the starting pay at Schneider and Roehl is relatively low.

Well, I will have to make a decision, soon. I am still inclined to go with Roehl.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.
MrZ's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Big Scott and Anne A. Yes, I have read through some of those resources, and I expect to continue using them. They are great help to me.

Update: This morning, I finished the drug test and medical exam for Roehl, one day early. The clinic is walk-in only, so they did not have a problem with me coming in a day early. While I was in the clinic, Schneider called and left a voice message, and they sent me several emails. Now, I believe that they are putting forward a genuine job offer. They want me to start Monday, May 24th, and they are ready to schedule a flight for me. The Schneider position is a dedicated route , paying $0.40 per mile after the CDL training. I have not returned the phone call, yet.

The position at Roehl would be OTR dry-goods and primarily east of the Rockies, paying $0.385 per mile after CDL training. The conditional offer from Roehl does not sound as genuine as the one from Schneider, but because Roehl paid for the drug testing and medical exam, I believe that something more solid is coming from Roehl. The problem, however, is that I cannot keep Schneider on the hook much longer.

While I was waiting for my medical exam, I had the good fortune of talking with a veteran trucker, there. He explained that anything less than $0.65 per mile would be an outrageously low wage rate. But as I told him, none of the company-paid CDL training programs that I researched was paying more than $0.51 (that was Prime, Inc.). The trucker further explained that a dedicated route, in effect, limits the number of miles that a driver can put in during the week. That's an important consideration, for me, because the starting pay at Schneider and Roehl is relatively low.

Well, I will have to make a decision, soon. I am still inclined to go with Roehl.

As a rookie driver, you will be hard pressed to have any company pay for your CDL training and start you off at .65 cpm. Can it be done? Probably, which companies? Well, that is the $64K question. Your rookie year is your training year, you are learning the ins and outs of trucking, you are getting to know your truck, and most importantly, yourself. Do not focus on the money the first year, focus on safety and on getting trained properly. The rest will take care of itself.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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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