Need Help Making A BIG Decision !

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Sam's Comment
member avatar

I obtained my CDL class A licences last week, I am 48 yr old with no kids at home, I want to be OTR for 3 to 5 yrs for the adventure,I have no problem being OTR for 4 or more weeks.I have applied with several Trucking company's and I have a few that is waiting for my answer.

The company's are : Swift Transport, de Boer, Arnold Transportation, USA Truck, H.O. Wolding.

Iv done my research on all the company's and I know what the pay rate and all is. What I'm asking from everyone is to help me make a decision with which company would be great for me starting out in, To me , Not asking no one to bash them just give me some pros and cons.

Also who would be the best at training me on safety and how to do all the aspects it takes to run a truck on a day to day bases.

Looking forward on seeing reply's from a few of the guys and gals that I have great respect for as Truck Drivers and the person you are .You guys may not know me to well, but I have been on this forum allot and feel as if I know you. That's why your opinion will mean alot to me

Thank you everyone.

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.

Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Nobody can answer that question for you. We each make the decision of where to start our trucking careers for very different reasons. You need to make a pro and con list for each company. Look at each company's CSA rating. Decide what is most important to you. Things like pay, what part of the country you will be driving, hometime, etc. There are a lot of other companies you did not list. The opportunity is limitless. It really is.... what is important to you.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Sam's Comment
member avatar

Nobody can answer that question for you. We each make the decision of where to start our trucking careersarrow-10x10.png for very different reasons. You need to make a pro and con list for each company. Look at each company's CSA rating. Decide what is most important to you. Things like pay, what part of the country you will be driving, hometime, etc. There are a lot of other companies you did not list. The opportunity is limitless. It really is.... what is important to you.

Yeah , I have my list of pros and cons but wanting people that knows the company's to respond about their dealings with the company , I know there are allot more company's out there but the list I provided are the ones that pre hired me

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Pre Hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

I don't think there are people here from all of those companies...But my best advice at this stage of your adventure is......GO WITH YOUR GUT...you know what company you want to go with....just do it....in a year, if its not what you want, then you go with another one... Now get out there ant start that adventure !!!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Look at each company's CSA rating

I wouldn't bother looking at their CSA rating. That's not going to tell you anything about the company that is helpful from a driver's perspective. All trucking companies that hire inexperienced drivers have lower CSA scores than companies who don't because inexperienced drivers are going to miss things on pre-trip inspections, get in more fender benders, and things of that nature. The CSA score isn't going to tell you if a company is a good quality company. It's going to tell you whether or not they're hiring good quality drivers relative to other companies and that's not really helpful to us in any way.

We would love to be able to give you a list of pro's and con's for each company or tell you which one you'll like the best. But it really does depend on what you're looking for. But you don't have to worry about finding a company that will treat you well or avoid companies that will treat you poorly. That's the biggest fallacy there is when it comes to getting your trucking career underway. There's a ton of negativity and slander all over the Web directed at trucking companies by drivers who either failed to take trucking seriously or didn't belong there in the first place and it gives people the impression that they have to find a "good company" that will treat them well. I can assure you that's not the case.

What you have to find is a company that suits you well. If you go in there and give them a great effort, do it with a great attitude, and prove yourself to be a safe, reliable professional then you will indeed get great miles and fair treatment. If you're lazy, you have a bad attitude, or you fail to be a safe, reliable driver you're not going to be happy no matter where you go.

This is why you don't hear top-notch drivers complain about their companies. I mean, look at Guyjax to use one example. In the time he's been here at TruckingTruth he's been a company solo driver, a company team driver, and a lease operator at different companies and he gets tons of miles, gets home on a schedule he's happy with, and gets treated fairly everywhere he goes. It's because he works hard, he's safe, and he's reliable. Those are the drivers that companies take the best care of. And that's not to say you'll never come across a lousy dispatcher or have to deal with miserable people from time to time. But when you have a great reputation it's easy to get that stuff worked out in your favor because it's very difficult for companies to find top-notch drivers.

So there's no such thing as "Work for Company A and you'll be treated great but avoid Company B because they'll treat you like garbage. Work for Company C and you'll get good miles but you'll go broke working for Company D." That's not how the trucking industry works. You want to go with a company that has the pay, benefits, equipment, home time, and freight that you feel suits you best and ignore people's opinions about them. If a company suits you well and you do a great job you'll make good money, be treated fairly, and you'll be happy there overall. Pick a company that doesn't suit you well or do a lousy job and you're going to be unhappy with the experience.

Believe me, if there was a list of good companies versus bad companies we would have that list on every page of this website. Because the last thing in the world we want to do is steer someone down the wrong path.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Dispatcher:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I just wanted to jump in here and add something to the discussion about the CSA score of a company. I work for a company that has a terrible CSA score - they are a company that gives a lot of new drivers a chance to get into the industry. They do every thing they can to provide decent training and support their drivers with good instructions and tips on how to maintain a good safety record, but they are still struggling to better their CSA score. That score is continually down-graded because the rookie drivers just do stupid stuff! I mean, we got a message on the qualcomm just the other day that said "We've had four days without a roll-over - great job guys!" I'm laughing to myself, and thinking what a joke - they are congratulating us on making it for four days without a roll-over - that's crazy! But the reality is that when you've got several thousand trucks out there on the road, and most of them are being commandeered by nimrods to the industry, you are going to have a lot of issues going on. The only way that score is reflective of the company is that it reflects that they are willing to help new drivers get into the drivers seat.

I have a great job with great miles and am treated like a king - I completely agree with Brett on this one, don't use the CSA score as any type of a barometer on whether a company would be good to work at or not.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Sam, that's some sage advice from drivers you can trust.

Brett, it can't be that simple. You must be in cahoots with those large, greedy trucking companies! smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Sam, that's some sage advice from drivers you can trust.

Brett, it can't be that simple. You must be in cahoots with those large, greedy trucking companies! smile.gif

Bill I know your just being funny and teasing Brett but serious it really is simple as that. There is no secret agenda or secret formula to having a very successful driving career except to just do your honest best for what you are being paid to do.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you guys for your commits,it was very helpful, I have chose deBoer Transportation,I leave on 3-22-14 for orientation ( the only down side to this is my 30th wedding anniversary is on the 24 lol Here is some incite on the orientation for deBoer

Congratulations: SAMUEL CROWE your application has been approved and you have been scheduled for orientation. Please review the information below for travel and orientation arrangement

Orientation location: Cedar Hill, TX – Holiday Inn Express 1007 N. Hwy 67., Cedar Hill, TX 75104 Orientation date: Monday March 24, 2014 Travel Method: Greyhound bus (give greyhound both the confirmation and PTO number in order to receive your ticket. Greyhound allows one bag under 50lbs. We do not pay for extra bags if you choose to bring those. You are leaving Saturday March 22, 2014 Traveling by bus to Dallas, TX: Call COWBOY CAB 214-428-0202 Give the cab driver deBoer’s acct# for pick up from Greyhound. Taxi will travel to the Holiday Inn Express – Cedar Hill 1007 N. Hwy 67 Cedar Hill, TX At 7:30am the following morning, arrive downstairs in the designated conference room to meet up with the Orientation instructor for further direction. Orientation last 3 days, once complete you will be assigned your trainer and you will depart.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

Sam, Ooooo, getting close! Any butterflies? Hell I got 'em for you . . . I'm supposed to head to Springfield, MO on the 28th heading for Prime and it still doesn't seem real. There really is an opportunity here in truck driving that exists no where else in the whole job market. KInda like the military: do I wanna be an Airman, Sailor, Soldier, Marine or a Coastie . . . does one pick Swift, Central, Stevens, Prime or any of dozens of companies . . . and they pick up the tab, too! What a world. Well, good luck Sam and since you are approaching your 30th wedding anaversary (and unless you got married REAL young) you, like me (62) are no spring chicken . . . another fact that goes against the grain . . . I mean, who would have thought? I think you would agree that the fact and spirit of this website has been and is a real positive influence in many lives . . . what a rare treasure as much of the internet is nothing but intrusive garbage . . . so congratulations to you and God speed . . .

Stephen E. Birch

smile.gif

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Choosing A Trucking Company
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