Advice On Where To Begin

Topic 31366 | Page 1

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Fred M's Comment
member avatar

Hello! I just earned my Class A CDL , and am currently job hunting. Everything local wants experience and I am down to three options: reefer with Prime or flatbed if a trainer is available, flatbed with Western Express or working for a friends dad. First two options are pretty straight forward, the third one is unique. Friends dad has two trucks, does intermodal and just got his authority. I would be working under his authority out in South Carolina. I am not sure what training will be luck under him, and still have more questions to ask him. I probably should have done that before coming to you guys, but alas I'm here. Starting to feel somewhat lost and not sure of what to do. I know this fairly vague, and I apologize for that. I would like to hear advice from anyone who is willing to chime. Thank you for your time.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

If you're looking to do local, FedEx freight is hiring driver apprentices in Santa Clara, CA. Old Dominion also hires new drivers and I believe they do training in CA, but I don't have much info on that.

You'll be in good hands going to prime or Western Express. We have a lot of representatives from Prime here that can offer more information on that. We also have drivers they have had experience we Western Express, if you have questions.

As for option 3, stay away from that. First, intermodal work sucks. Second, working for a small company and/or for a friend is not how you want to start this career. There is no support and they can't afford any hits if something goes wrong. You want a company that has experience in training new drivers and understands that there will be some bumps along the way.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Jonathan T.'s Comment
member avatar

I did both reefer and flatbed at Prime. It’s just what you prefer. If you can handle a nonexistent sleep schedule, and are able to stay up all night, you could find success pulling that freight. I wasnt cut out for it, and found myself fitting in better with the open deck trailers. For the most part, it is a day time operation. I do not spend much time driving at night. With Prime, I felt like I got more of an OTR experience pulling flatbed than I did pulling their reefers. Whichever one appeals to you more, I’m sure you’d be satisfied with. I’m glad to have done both.

With your friends new authority...has he verified that his insurance will cover you? That is generally an issue with new operating authority and insuring new drivers. Otherwise, that would be a completely different experience than you would get from Prime. Do some soul searching man. There are so many different opportunities in trucking, something is right for you.

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.

Jonathan T.'s Comment
member avatar

Giving it some more thought, your friend would be putting a lot on the line by hiring you. If you make a mistake and get into even the smallest of accidents, his insurance could go up. That can be detrimental to a new company. I would not want to put myself or my friend in that situation. I think it would be best to stick with the age old advice of not mixing friendship with business.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Working for a friend's new business, there is no way it will compare with benefits, insurance, support, tax withholdings, retirement plans, time off, etc. Not to mention that will not count as OTR experience (which is what the vast majority of companies want to see) for any future jobs. I could never recommend mixing business with friendship as it seldom succeeds IMO.

How have you arrived at the point of either Prime, Inc. or Western Express?

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Highly unlikely his friends dad could even hire him ya'll hit it right, the Insurance company !!

Fred M's Comment
member avatar

If you're looking to do local, FedEx freight is hiring driver apprentices in Santa Clara, CA. Old Dominion also hires new drivers and I believe they do training in CA, but I don't have much info on that.

You'll be in good hands going to prime or Western Express. We have a lot of representatives from Prime here that can offer more information on that. We also have drivers they have had experience we Western Express, if you have questions.

As for option 3, stay away from that. First, intermodal work sucks. Second, working for a small company and/or for a friend is not how you want to start this career. There is no support and they can't afford any hits if something goes wrong. You want a company that has experience in training new drivers and understands that there will be some bumps along the way.

Thank you for the info on FedEx, I'll look into it. And that's pretty much how I feel about running for my friend's dad. I need proper training from people who know how to do it. Thank you again, Banks

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Fred M's Comment
member avatar

I did both reefer and flatbed at Prime. It’s just what you prefer. If you can handle a nonexistent sleep schedule, and are able to stay up all night, you could find success pulling that freight. I wasnt cut out for it, and found myself fitting in better with the open deck trailers. For the most part, it is a day time operation. I do not spend much time driving at night. With Prime, I felt like I got more of an OTR experience pulling flatbed than I did pulling their reefers. Whichever one appeals to you more, I’m sure you’d be satisfied with. I’m glad to have done both.

With your friends new authority...has he verified that his insurance will cover you? That is generally an issue with new operating authority and insuring new drivers. Otherwise, that would be a completely different experience than you would get from Prime. Do some soul searching man. There are so many different opportunities in trucking, something is right for you.

Thank you for the info, I greatly appreciate it. I am hoping to go flatbed, fingers crossed that if I go with Prime they will have a flatbed trainer available, but either way I'll do what I have to do. Was the biggest issue with reefer the inconsistent schedule? I don't think I will go with my friend's dad, maybe down the line if he is still running and I can work alongside him with my own truck!

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.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

My guess is you’d make more money at Prime than Western express but that’s just speculation based on the fact Prime has always been one of the higher paying companies that train new drivers. I agree with everyone else who said don’t go with your friend. I’d love to work for a guy with two trucks but I wouldn’t do it in your situation if for no other reason the fact that he JUST got his authority. He’s gotta figure out his business first and you’re a brand new driver who needs to figure out driving first and get trained up and get some experience. You’d probably end up costing each other a lot of money—the timing is terrible for both of you.

Fred M's Comment
member avatar

My guess is you’d make more money at Prime than Western express but that’s just speculation based on the fact Prime has always been one of the higher paying companies that train new drivers. I agree with everyone else who said don’t go with your friend. I’d love to work for a guy with two trucks but I wouldn’t do it in your situation if for no other reason the fact that he JUST got his authority. He’s gotta figure out his business first and you’re a brand new driver who needs to figure out driving first and get trained up and get some experience. You’d probably end up costing each other a lot of money—the timing is terrible for both of you.

Thank you for sharing your opinion. Everything I have been reading about Prime has been good. I am also considering CRST, but have not applied yet. Unfortunate that the timing wasn't better for the both of us, but maybe after getting miles and experience under my belt I can go run for him.

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