Advice Needed For New Rookie Getting First Job

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Dave's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone,

First, Merry Christmas to you all!

I've been lurking for a couple months trying to absorb all of the content on this website. I need some help because I'm in a bit of a rut trying to figure out my next move.

First let me state that what I thought I was getting into with trucking and what happened in reality are two very different things. I know some of you are smiling and nodding.

I will be completing 160 in Houston soon. But what I've come to find is that there aren't any jobs for rookies living in Houston, Texas metro. I find that odd because DAT shows a ton of cargo. That's great for O/O but not so much for new rookies. So, I need some more training and yes, I can understand and appreciate that. I need to pay my dues just like everyone else.

It seems that the only company appears genuinely interested in me and has extended a conditional offer is Schneider. And the only reason they are interested is because I paid for my own training. Yes, they told me that they wouldn't pay for my training any time soon (3-6 months). And the only positions I can fit into as a rookie are tanker (are they out of their minds?!) and PODS flatbed or National Dedicated Fleet. Now the PODS job looks like a cakewalk gig. Strap and go skateboard lower 48. $5k sign on maybe $900/week gross. The NDF looks like a PITA (van, reefer , flatbed/conestoga & moffit loader). It is also $5k sign on and they are paying $400/week bonus each 4th and continuous week I stay out which would pay about $1440 until TAH then it resets back to $1040 for 3 weeks. They said they would pay me back for my training at a rate of $200/month. That's very nice of them. But I've been told that when a company offers a large sign on bonus to a rookie it's a red flag that it's a bad position. Also, I was reading the diaries here of a young man that did NDF but didn't make it more than 5 months then quit trucking altogether.

Then there is Swift. They are interested but they won't discuss pay with me until I've signed on with them because of proprietary pay secrets. They really did say this to me. Ok whatever. They have some really nice trucks but saying that is a big red flag. Werner is a possibility, but they and JB Hunt were basically hinting at 90 days minimum drive time required with 6 months preferred.

I did reach out to Maverick and TMC but both said I live too far out of their service area? I think it has to do with my parking zip code. And it is probably an insurance thing since I live near Galveston Bay.

A lot of the companies that were suggested on this website said they weren't interested because I paid for my own training. CRST and the others. They are very firm that they want to sponsor the driver CDL and not interested in new driver with CDL.

I didn't know that paying for my own CDL training would hinder my chances of getting a job. I'm pretty sure my backing is superior to any of the company trained drivers. That's all we do at school 8 hours every day nothing but backing. Kidding aside, I just want to make some decent money when I get out of school so I can get my own truck (when the prices re-enter the atmosphere) and be O/O. And it would be nice to be able to see the missus sooner rather than later so I can get my honey-do list completed every month.

I have civilian DOD military/government contractor background. My MVR is spotless, no criminal history, clean drug/alcohol clearinghouse, pretty good credit, TWIC (used to work in maritime industry) & passport. Good to go all the way around. No medical issues except for the elevated pre-hypertension BP which limited me to a 1 year medical. And it's not that because I've not gotten to that point in any interview process with anyone yet.

So, at this point I've spent several thousand dollars thinking I would be able to come into this career without much difficulty. I was dead wrong. That was everything I had saved up. It's not like I can do anything else at this point. I need and want to work but it seems like no one wants to hire me. Why is this?!

Can any of you offer a rookie some advice or give me some starter company suggestions?

Much appreciated, David

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.

Hypertension:

Abnormally high blood pressure.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome David and Merry Christmas.

There is a lot here.

First off every company pays entry level drivers about the same. I was an 8+ year driver and can assure you Swift pays a very competitive CPM. Once you apply through their website and put some skin in the game, they will confirm a rate.

Honestly though...? The best way for a rookie to make money is to learn how to be a top performing driver. Name on the truck door; matters not. Heart and soul of the person in the first seat is what truly matters.

What type of job are you looking for? That’s perhaps a really good place to start. You noted four company’s that showed some interest. Not exactly sure where the trouble is...unless your expectations are unrealistic. I suspect that is the case. Share with us what you want and we’ll try to steer you in the right direction.

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

As far as your dream of becoming an O/O? So... why? More free time? That’s funny... you’re married to the truck as an O/O. You can honestly put more money in your pocket as an experienced, proven company driver. Especially now. 90-100k annually is realistic once you gain at least 1 year of safe experience.

I could write more... but I need more time and I’ve got plans today. I’m sure others will reply.

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've been reading here for awhile, why did you go to a private school? That place have no placement for drivers? No recruiters from various companies stopping by with their sales pitch?

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Dave, welcome to the discussion here. CFI has a drop yard in Houston, I think you could park there on home time. We have many opportunities after you upgrade. We have OTR , dedicated, regional , and refer.

With a passport you could take loads into and out of Canada.

CFI is a growing company.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Steer clear of Schneider's tanker jobs. You are the second one within a week with Schneider offering them a tanker job...and his was running the Pacific Northwest where there are a number of 5% and 6% grades for 4+ miles! 😳

Use the link that G-Town supplied and go from there. Not sure if today will be a fast day or a slow day on here, depends on what the guys are doing on this holiday. You will get some answers before long.

Laura

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Hay, O/P .. Merry Christmas!

Go ahead & fill out the app they forwarded you,

AND apply to CFI ~~!!!

AND apply to Raider and Pride transport(s.) They both 'train,' but have a 'liking' to those already holding a CDL.

I've got more, too... after the above!

Best wishes;

~ Anne ~

ps: Yeah, you should've went 'company paid.' But, here we are! Apply to above suggestions, and stop back! :)

pps: Any LTL companies near you? Look at Banks' diary, how he got into FX, Rhino .. Reddaway, and MANY into ODFL.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It is pretty standard for most companies to offer and pay you back at 200-250 a month until it is paid off or until you leave. The only thing is that it is taxed.

My only concern with Schneider is that their training program that has you going out with a trainer isn’t very long. You may not think you need It but I assure you. Ya do. But if Schneider is the only one that bites then that’s what ya gotta do.

If you are interested in flatbed I think mcelroy trains and runs in that area.

Cfi as mentioned before trains, and I think prime should also hire in that area.

What type of driving do you want to do?

Kevin B.'s Comment
member avatar

As a newbie, I may soon very well become one, just say no to Schneider and tanking. I'm one of those that called Schneider for a few reasons, they only offered me tanking as well and when I pressed they said that's all they had available in my area (Dallas) which I still find hard to believe. Now you wanna drive tankers fine, it can be financially worthwhile and such. But as others have said to me and have said here, no newbie with only a little experience should ever be driving something potentially dangerous. Get the experience first and then after a year or so, you can then decide if tanking is what you want to get into.

Jokingly I said, if as a newbie I were to have an accident with a dry van or a reefer and am perhaps on fire then that's bad enough. But as a newbie if I were to have an accident with a tank and be leaking or worse on fire, you'd have to start evacuating the area if not the neighborhood. Now I was joking but in all seriousness you shouldn't be put through that.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Ahhhhhh. Recruiter Scott swoops in!

When did ConWay become the only company around Houston with a drop yard? Other companies have opportunities? Other companies go in and out of Canada?

Why do you ambush nearly every single new perspective driver on here?

How is your new secret dedicated account going? Have any problems recently?

This is not a recruiting site for any company.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Is it that obvious?

rofl-1.gif

Exhausting,... isn’t it? I’ve dropped many a subtle hint to BS that he either ignores or deflects.

Thanks PackRat. I agree 100%.

Carry on.

Ahhhhhh. Recruiter Scott swoops in!

When did ConWay become the only company around Houston with a drop yard? Other companies have opportunities? Other companies go in and out of Canada?

Why do you ambush nearly every single new perspective driver on here?

How is your new secret dedicated account going? Have any problems recently?

This is not a recruiting site for any company.

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