Considering Joining The Trucking World

Topic 31498 | Page 1

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Mitch M.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m retiring from my career last 30 years as an LEO My wife and I relocating to Wyoming from CA. I have a resume on a couple pages and had a few recruiters reach out. Most recently was CR England and Swift. They offer CDL school/permit OTR hours and a job. The tuition is paid back at 30 a week for 52 weeks. After then, I’m assuming I’m free to look elsewhere.

My questions are; What should I ask these recruiters?

What is an ideal wage for a noob?

What companies out there offering these type training are worth it?

Whom should I avoid?

I love to drive and travel. Have a flawless driving record and no accidents.

I think it’d be interesting work. Wyoming has a plethora of CDL work.

I appreciate any input on the above questions, thanks!! Mitch

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.

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

Welcome to the forum. A company is what you make of it.

CFI offers free training and if you stay with them for one year, you owe nothing.

On the top of this page is a search box. Type in there "questions for recruiters" and you will find lists of questions.

Average starting wage is 35 to 40 thousand for the first year. More is possible.

Hope this helps.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I would try other companies than CR England. They are a second chance company and often pay lower than many other companies. Check out this link and apply everywhere. One thing to understand is that the freight division will make a difference. Reefer will pay more than dry van... Tanker more than reefer... Etc.

I drive for Prime and am a trainer at Prime. . I love it. Scott loves CFI. G Town loved Swift for 7 or 8 years... Whatever company that has what you want is the best for you.

My Prime friends in reefer seem to make around $50-60k the first year. The more productive first year drivers have been making $60 to $75k. That is a lot of hustling... Little home time and a steep learning curve to do that. The first year is all about time management. Learn to manage your time and you will make better money.

Apply For 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.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

My 1st full year, teaming I made just around $36,000 gross. gradual progression of 1 penny raises a month for first 12. by 2nd year mid year got big bump to $0.60 per mile.....Left them took a 5 month hiatus, went to a new company for $0.59 cpm So far this year if I stayed here, I'd be projected to hit $60-maybe $80k depending mileages stayed pretty much the same, 3000 a week. But, I'm leaving soon in eh 4-6 weeks as soon as I top out max I can earn while on Soc Sec. which is around $19,300? nearly there now in 2 months stacked away only $13,500 cash lol for my retirement start-up in Asia soon this year....Funny, I finally find a career to make a killing right near early retirement go figure. I tell myself I shoulda started this new career 5 plus years earlier

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I grossed 40K for a hair over 6 months of driving and 6 weeks of combined school and training. Im still in my first year. If Im running solid I tend to gross about 1500 a week plus 500 to 600 bonuses for the month and Im with a fairly average paying carrier (Knight). Its kinda tough for me to quantify, I started school March 22 and had some long gaps in between training and then going solo, but the nuts and bolts of it, my first week solo was may 25th or so. My gross included me taking more time off than I probably should have, I went to Paris for a week, Cancun for almost a week, and several other 4 to 5 day vacations. I also got some hefty bonuses for transitioning and other stuff that to be honest I have no idea was for. So I would say, how much you make is entirely dependent on how much time and effort you put into it. I can easily see a first year gross of 60 to 80 if things go right and you pursue it.

One thing Im finding though, is that especially in Wyoming, and northern/rocky mountain states, at least this winter, the pace seems to be slowing down due to weather shutdowns. Im sitting at home right now as I 80 has been shut down since Weds night and Im not too keen on taking I 70 at a low of 3 degrees tonight when it was wet all day. December till now has been really impacting my bottom line running up here to the tune of only running about a 3rd of my normal miles.

By and large though, there are a lot of good carriers that will serve you well, Id recommend looking at some of the following

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Also, check out the CDL training diaries section, I poured over it before making a decision on which company to go with.

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.

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.

Glenbob's Comment
member avatar

If you should decide on SWIFT ask your recruiter about attending their Top Gun school. As a newbie myself I had the privilege to attend 2 weeks ago. It does wonders for your confidence. Again having just gone through the search process myself. All major players are going to be fairly inline as far as new trainees go. You may see things online that give the impression of great pay, benefits, bonuses etc.. keep in mind not everything is as advertised. General based upon OTR experience and regional demands. Example I live in NW FL limited opportunities for a rookie. If lived 40 miles away in Mobile AL opportunities with 4 more companies become available. (Roehl, Schneider, Werner, PTL) all said out of there recruiting area due to lanes and home time routing. In the end followed the advice found here on the TT site. Went with a company that meet 90% of what I was looking for. Wages and benefits on par for a newbie. Had a few hiccups in the onboarding that all worked out for the best. A week on the road with my trainer and I know the right decision was made in my case. Bottom line don’t make decisions based on online company reviews. Do your own inquiry. (I visited terminals, spoke with drive managers, shop workers and viewed equipment myself, vice depending solely on recruiters spill). Make the best of which ever you choose.

Good luck with you endeavors.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

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.

Mitch M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info.

Welcome to the forum. A company is what you make of it.

CFI offers free training and if you stay with them for one year, you owe nothing.

On the top of this page is a search box. Type in there "questions for recruiters" and you will find lists of questions.

Average starting wage is 35 to 40 thousand for the first year. More is possible.

Hope this helps.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Mitch...

To be clear ALL of the companies in this link:

Paid CDL Training Programs

... have basically the same offering; no upfront/out of pocket expenses. Graduate, pass CDL exams and comply with the contracted commitment and your training is essentially free.

I was with Swift for over 8 years; trained with them and stayed with them well beyond the contract minimum. Very happy with my experience there... no regrets.

Although I’m not in the habit of pimping my company; I wholeheartedly agree with Big Scott’s point of; “a company is what you make if it”. Truth!

Good luck.

Thanks for the info.

double-quotes-start.png

Welcome to the forum. A company is what you make of it.

CFI offers free training and if you stay with them for one year, you owe nothing.

On the top of this page is a search box. Type in there "questions for recruiters" and you will find lists of questions.

Average starting wage is 35 to 40 thousand for the first year. More is possible.

Hope this helps.

double-quotes-end.png

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.
Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Mitch, welcome to the fold My Brother in Blue! You will find all the things that made you excellent in your previous career are going to stand well for you in trucking. Self reliance, reliability, understanding and being able to follow laws and policies, being able to work with pretty much anybody at any place or any time to achieve a positive outcome. These are all skills that Those of us that transitioned from the drama Laden field of policing to the " no drama unless you want to create it" world of trucking find useful.

Kudos aside, If you are able to, I would recommend going to a company that will pay you through school and give you a job. 2 reasons, one you know up front you're guaranteed a job and who you're going to be working for. Number 2, You immerse into their culture from day one and have a solid understanding of the expectations, policies and procedures, methods of operation, all those things that are, for a new person, challenging. I did the self pay CDL route while I was still working the job, and and due to an injury needing to be fixed ended up with a stale CDL. It was difficult to find work, and I ended up with a second chance company. They treated me well, but it was a second chance company.

Driving a commercial vehicle is a lot different than pushing a squad, it's odd, but in a lot of ways it's more rewarding.Demonstrate a solid work ethic, a willingness to be part of a team, ride for the brand, and in short order you will become one of the drivers that your outfit relies on, and takes care of period.

Congrats on escaping the circus!!!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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