FFE Or CELEDON

Topic 3220 | Page 1

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Angel V.'s Comment
member avatar

I have been doing research about what company to get my CDL at, I have narrowed it down to 2, Celadon or FFE, anybody have any comments on these?? or anybody have any other suggestions? I live in the TX area.. thanks

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.
The Unknown Trucker's Comment
member avatar

I'll start by saying this, I keep my name anonymous only because I want to ALWAYS share the truth here. Sometimes sharing the truth carries a penalty...So, I keep in anonymous...

I went thru FFE's academy just under a year ago. This was after completing a CDL school in my hometown. I wasn't really excited about going thru alot of what I just learned, but I figured "Hey, if I do their training for 2 weeks, at least I stand a TALL chance of getting hired on.

The two weeks there seemed kinda long, but I did have some fun at night hangin' out with other students. I also did learn quite a bit while there. Alot of instructors and each has their own style and experiences. I got hired on and returned to my hometown to begin training with a driver from the terminal I would be working out of. BTW, I went with LTL instead of Over the Road. Otherwise, OTR trainees go to Lancaster to meet their road trainer for the next 6 weeks.

When I got home, I had a few days off, then went in and met some people. I was assigned a trainer, and for the next 4 weeks we were out usually Sunday nights through Thursdays. Weekends off. 450.00 per week.

Then, after the 4 weeks, I had a different trainer for 2 weeks for Local driver training. Took a easy road test after the 6 weeks and was assigned a tractor the same day. Was then dispatched for my first solo run within 24hrs.

All in all, the people are cool. Many are new (1 to 2 yr employees) but good people. I learned within the 1st hour of driving solo that the time I spent with all the training combined was great, but I had a LOT to learn. Looking back (I hate to say this) but it seems like being handed the keys to a vehicle that big should follow more like 6 months of road training. But, I admit it did feel great rolling my own truck to set up as I wish.

To this point, I can honestly say that with just under a year, they have never missed a pay day. My checks are always correct (you'll learn about how miles are calculated,) the managers are cool but will throw miles to you. More if you want them! Maintenance issues were handled quickly, the benefits are good, trucks are all newer models, the FFE side of the whole KLLM Corporation is still small enough to feel like your a name not a number. I can truly say that as I give it some thought, I can't think of anything bad that stands out in my mind. Everything I was told at the beginning has held true thus far.

I have heard some horror stories about other companies. I have none from FFE at this point. Miles are there if you want them. My paychecks are always pretty damn good. Depends on how much you like to drive.

My opinion is based only on my experience. I haven't worked for any other trucking companies. But, when I do hear the stories, I'm glad I chose FFE. If I didn't like it, I'd leave. Simple as that!!! If anyone else has had bad experiences, you'd have to ask them about it. If you listen closely, it may not be FFE's fault something didn't pan out. I can recommend them without feeling any guilt!!!

Just remember, once your solo, that's when the learning really starts. You're on your own and have to put the tools to work that have been shared with you.

Good luck in the future. Sorry for rambling but I wanted this to help others also.

UNKTRKR

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.

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.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Dm:

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.
The Unknown Trucker's Comment
member avatar

P.S...with just under a year of time with FFE, I can count with one hand the number of times a had to unload freight. If I did, it may have been one pallet. Not sure about OTR drivers, but LTL ,,,very uncommon. Most of the time, the stops are at docks that have a lumper service to get you unloaded. In this case unloading, then sorting freight and counting it would crush your scheduled appointments for that day! It hardly EVER happens for LTL with FFE.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Unknown Trucker - that was incredibly helpful and you weren't rambling at all. Thanks for that! I'd like to find out more about the current state of FFE.

How often are you doing driver unloads? (I don't mean lumpers, I mean you actually unloading freight)

What would you say are the average miles per run?

I ask those two questions because not too long ago I was under the impression that FFE did quite a few LTL refrigerated loads with multiple stops and driver unloads, kind of like Sysco does except Sysco trucks normally just stay in their local area.

Welcome aboard Angel!

We don't get a ton of feedback on FFE but the stuff we've heard has been positive. Unknown Trucker's response to my questions will help us understand them a bit better.

Celadon's training program is fairly new (maybe 12-18 months old or so) and we've gotten a good bit of feedback that they're experiencing quite a few growing pains with that program. It seems the people running it have good intentions, but the organization has been lacking. Just normal stuff you would expect from a relatively young program like theirs.

Now we have a CDL Training Diaries section here in the forum where people document their time in training with various companies. You'll find some great information over there.

Angel, what attracted you to those two companies? I ask because finding a company that suits you well is what you're looking for, not a company that gets good reviews. We'll give you all of the information we can about the various companies but it's most important that you find one with the options you like for pay, benefits, home time, equipment, and types of freight. So the more we know about your situation and what you're looking for the better we can point you in the right direction.

smile.gif

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

P.S...with just under a year of time with FFE, I can count with one hand the number of times a had to unload freight. If I did, it may have been one pallet. Not sure about OTR drivers, but LTL ,,,very uncommon. Most of the time, the stops are at docks that have a lumper service to get you unloaded. In this case unloading, then sorting freight and counting it would crush your scheduled appointments for that day! It hardly EVER happens for LTL with FFE.

Ha! I was typing out that exact question to you while you were in the process of answering it.

Ok, let's try that again....what number am I think of? rofl-3.gif

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.

Jerry's Comment
member avatar

I have been with Celadon OTR since November and went thru their school and stuff, and have been both solo and team driver with them. I can answer questions you may have.

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.

The Unknown Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Lol, yea, here I am reading minds again! lol. Honestly, in the time I've been there I may have unloaded a pallet or two maybe twice. Example would be,,,maybe the lumpers were a bit behind and I knew I was gonna be sitting a while. I would go on the dock, use a pallet jack and simply pull off their order, count it out, seperate it on to a couple different pallets and go. Remember, this is LTL. I may have 5 or 6 stops in a day and if I were to have to unload, count and sort each stop, I would in no way be able to make my other appointments on time. FFE is real good about understanding that. A common stop would be...Check in with Receiving, get assigned a dock, back in, go inside and see the lumpers. They look over my bills, give me a price and I go call in a Comcheck request! I try to remain dock side at each stop to insure things are unloaded properly and that my load locks are put up, then I'm gone. It all up to the driver. I assist at times just to get it done quicker. Very seldom do I touch freight. As a little bonus note...we are paid for each stop also. Even if just sitting in the truck. That's nice!

As far as miles, I would say I get anywhere between 1400-2000 per week. Average is probably 1800 miles per week. So, we get miles, plus per diem each night were away from home and stop pay. Additional miles seem to always be available if you tell your Dispatcher you like to run hard, or sometimes there are relay opportunities if you feel up to it.

Again, I feel it's a great company. I've always been treated well. My tractor is well maintained, pay is always in my account. If there is a problem, being a professional and bringing it up to management in a professional manner is always suggested. Nobody has ever talked down to me, never had an issue requiring raising voices and things have always played out as described prior to signing on. That's MY experience with them.

There are alot of fine companies out there. There are gonna be times that we are tired, feel over worked etc. That goes with any career. Fact is, there are alot of people out there working alot harder than us drivers, for less pay. I see a lot of nice tractors on the road, new young drivers eager to make a buck, proud of what their doing and representing their companies. It's a good industry and there is gonna be work for many of us to retire on for years to come! Drive safe, be honest (even if your in the wrong) and don't let small issue's build up to big problems. If we do this, we can wake up each day and enjoy our jobs. If the company is truly unethical, there are plenty of good ones out there,,,move on!

Be safe!

UNKTRKR

P.S. Been seeing alot of those smaller Cascadia's with the single sleeper on the road. Prime seems to be using them alot. Looking good! I think those tractors are sharp!

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

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.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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