Please Help Me Choose The Right First Employer/trainer And City

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Rookie_the_Great's Comment
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Hello everyone 43 yo, single male, got my cdl with manual (just to have no restriction, not really into driving it), tanker, double/triple a couple of months ago in Vegas and immediately had to make an overseas travel. Planning to return back to the US in a month (or even earlier) and don't have an accommodation in Vegas anymore, so I have choose the right city to settle and right employer with good training simultaneously.

# My city preference is renting a room somewhere in central/south Florida or south California, preferably with decent public transportation, because I had to sell the car before travel and it may not be a quick decision to buy another one in this bad market. As a single guy renting a room, probably the difference between a cheap or somewhat expensive city should not be more than a few hundred dollars, and I may manage it, if being smart. (I've never been to the Texas, but if it is going to be absolutely good for my career, I may consider it too, but Texas is big, so it matters where in Texas!?)

# My job preference is an organized reliable company, with good trainers who are helpful and not rushing into stuff. I really want to learn to become a professional driver, proceed to much specific types of trucking in the future, and not to burn out and quit like a couple of acquaintances whom left the business due to very bad start. At least for now pay is not a critical factor for me.

The only company I applied so far was Prime which rejected me in less than 24 hours! When I asked them kindly why, they said because I don't have a work history!! This is while I applied as an inexperienced driver needing training, and in the past 3 years that they were asking for my employment history, not much was going on in my life due to pandemic, other than some driving for Uber/Amazon and then being on unemployment and then going to trucking school. I really didn't understand what they were really expecting and somewhat assumed that they rather put their training resources on someone who gets cdl thru them, so they can push them for a year of commitment (Am I right?)

The problem is, now I'm a bit scared that I move back to the US, to the wrong city, commit to the room rent and keep applying to the wrong companies, which either will reject, or I'll end up hating/quitting.

Sorry for long post but your I really need some good advice to stick 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.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar
My city preference is renting a room somewhere in central/south Florida or south California

Do you have money saved up? You're looking at the most expensive parts of the country.

As a single guy renting a room, probably the difference between a cheap or somewhat expensive city should not be more than a few hundred dollars

Yes it can. I have an apartment in Brooklyn that I'm currently renting out. My tenants are paying 3400/month for a 2 bedroom apartment.

good trainers who are helpful and not rushing into stuff

There's a time frame with training. You have a set amount of time to learn what you need to learn so there's a sense of urgency. There are expenses and people waiting to be trained associated with this.

When I asked them kindly why, they said because I don't have a work history!! 

Yeah. You have to have an acceptable work history for a company to hire you. Having your CDL means nothing if you don't meet all the other requirements. A stable job history in the past 3 years (10 if driving jobs), is something every company asks for. They don't have to be CDL jobs, you just have to prove that you're responsible enough to hold a job and that you haven't been involved in criminal activities like terrorism and transporting drugs.

assumed that they rather put their training resources on someone who gets cdl thru them

Of course they do. It means they have a driver for at least a year and they're confident that new driver isn't picking up bad habits from outside influences.

not much was going on in my life due to pandemic, other than some driving for Uber/Amazon 

So you had a job. Why did you lose that job? Amazon was extremely busy during the pandemic, I know they didn't lay you off. And the whole COVID thing has been over for a little over a year. You couldn't find anybody to hire you? Did you apply for unemployment and leave the country and continue to have unemployment put money in your account while you're abroad? I think that's illegal.

My advice would be to find a cheaper city to live in and get a regular job for at least 6 months and then start applying for trucking jobs. The problem you'll have here is that you'll have a stale CDL (if it's not already) and that'll be problem too. Keep a job, keep your license clean and I'm sure somebody will give you a shot.

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.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

With regards to prime... As a CDL instructor i see a lot of students come from CDL schools and cannot pass our evaluation to head into team training. One of my students went to a local CDL school for 5 months and could not pass the backing test and barely drove before I took her out.

Prime has always been tough about job history as it shows commitment and determination. As far as trapping someone into a year.... Whether a person goes to prime or not, prime wants safe drivers. Even if the person went through Primes schooling portion, they will be fired if they are not safe.

Apply everywhere and see who takes you but being 9ut of the country could be an issue also as they will want to verify recent employment.

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar
As far as trapping someone into a year.... Whether a person goes to prime or not, prime wants safe drivers. Even if the person went through Primes schooling portion, they will be fired if they are not safe

I didn't mean to imply trapping a driver for a year, I meant more of a reasonable expectation to fulfill their contract by not quitting and not being fired.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Your biggest hurdle is employment span, being outside the US ain't helping in your search either lol.......Best bet, is IF you can get hired and drive solo or whatever, you CAN live in the truck. Thus saving the added expense of a dwelling you won't be at very much, same with a car. Uber if needed to go someplace?

Affidavits by people who know you, but aren't related, vouching for your time not employed CAN help. I had 2 references do that for me, since I spent much of the 2000's either working under the table, or for myself doing a mobile mechanic gig. With 2 real jobs in between, for 3+ of those 15 years doing my own thing.

My mentor, team drives, and they stay out 2-3 months at a time. When they take home time, he stays with the truck, and likes it, while his co driver takes off to his spot @ Huntington Beach, Cal. It works for them fine, and they stack, ALL their cash !

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

@Banks (sorry, quote to quoted reply did not work well, so I post as a plain text)

I have contacts in multiple cities in south/central Florida and south California who can help me find somewhat affordable accommodation (in comparison to the prices in Craigslist etc), for example I am talking with one who is willing to rent a room for $600 including utilities in Orlando. So I would rather to live where I like, if possible. As a single guy, I get depressed and bored very quickly if I live where I don't really belong to.

It was very complicated situation which I don't want to get into its bitter details but back then I was working with someone else's car and mostly for Amazon. I got covid multiple times and did not work voluntarily or sent back home due to having symptoms and finally lost the car due to non-payment. I was on unemployment for a few months because of being gigworker (not a regular employee). It was tough time since end of unemployment benefit till when I managed to pay for a beater and trucking school, thru stock day trading with loaned money (the riskiest most stupid thing someone can do but I was lucky this time in my life!)

Rookie_the_Great's Comment
member avatar

Your biggest hurdle is employment span, being outside the US ain't helping in your search either lol.......Best bet....

Thanx, I am starting to understand how stuff works in trucking HR world!

Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Your biggest hurdle is employment span, being outside the US ain't helping in your search either lol.......Best bet....

double-quotes-end.png

Thanx, I am starting to understand how stuff works in trucking HR world!

You could always read Brett's book: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Are you familiar with our logbook rules? :

Learn The Logbook Rules (HOS) . . Old School and Brett re'vamped this recently.

Couldn't hurt to do this, too! : Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Wish you well; you keep changing your name...confuses us old(er) folks!

~ Anne & Tom ~

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Banks's Comment
member avatar
I have contacts in multiple cities in south/central Florida and south California who can help me find somewhat affordable accommodation

How are you applying for jobs without a stable address? Are you using the address in Nevada? That can be problematic because a company that hires in Nevada, may not hire in Florida or California. Florida is a state that many companies do not hire out of.

I get depressed and bored very quickly

How are you going to handle living in a truck by yourself not going where you want to go, but where they tell you to go?

Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
member avatar

@Banks (sorry, quote to quoted reply did not work well, so I post as a plain text)

I have contacts in multiple cities in south/central Florida and south California who can help me find somewhat affordable accommodation (in comparison to the prices in Craigslist etc), for example I am talking with one who is willing to rent a room for $600 including utilities in Orlando. So I would rather to live where I like, if possible. As a single guy, I get depressed and bored very quickly if I live where I don't really belong to.

It was very complicated situation which I don't want to get into its bitter details but back then I was working with someone else's car and mostly for Amazon. I got covid multiple times and did not work voluntarily or sent back home due to having symptoms and finally lost the car due to non-payment. I was on unemployment for a few months because of being gigworker (not a regular employee). It was tough time since end of unemployment benefit till when I managed to pay for a beater and trucking school, thru stock day trading with loaned money (the riskiest most stupid thing someone can do but I was lucky this time in my life!)

Again, RTG ... LoL. Stop w/ the name changes!! (How old are ya, haha!)

Do you know HOW MANY of our members LIVE IN THEIR RIGS?!?! ex: Mountain Matt

LTL companies, as how Banks started, have hella dock to driver training programs. My guy did 2 years with FXF/LH as well...but came in seasoned. Look at Delco Dave, with ABF! Bobcat Bob with OD, and Daniel B. ! So many folks to follow, man.

I'm not sure why this 'home link' is not accommodating you; have you tried? Apply For Paid CDL Training ... Prime (afaik) has opened up their Florida lanes, as have the others!

I'm from NY and raised in FL myself, jsyk....and ended up HAPPILY in Ohio. Florida doesn't have 'many' training (aka: starter) companies, but here's a few, that yes.. I know... for sure. (Lester Coggins has sadly dissolved. My 'beginnings,' per se.) {any of you old timers reading this, remember them?}

Dutch Maid Logistics (soon to partner here) just recently opened a training facility, at the family FARM in Sarasota, Florida.. that I've been to; I know the Weirs family. Dutch Maid Logistics.

CFI has MANY floral accounts, they've recently acquired. Another new guy just got in there... Florida is AWFUL for outbound freight, obviously!

CFI on TT

Maybe you can drop a 'howdy' in Michael P's thread, too: CFI dedicate foliage, in Florida!

Last one (for now, until YOU do YOUR LEG WORK and homage!) is:

Cypress Truck Lines......Cypress Truck Lines

It's ALL i've got...which is a lot, with too much time on my hands, haha!

Best to ya....

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps: As I believe I'd mentioned before, Truckin' Along w/Kearsey! She gave up her 'digs' in NJ ... It's doable!

pps: Nope, I'm NOT Brett...but yes, It sure did take awhile to put this thread together. This HRTP helped my guy get OTR , and.. ME NEXT, as soon as my 'body' complies, haha! (Torn rotator cuff...still...8 months.) I help, to learn.. and I learn, to help!

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

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.

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