TMC Cheap Freight? OTR Flatbeds That Run Western Half Of The Country?

Topic 32213 | Page 1

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Sneaky Pete's Comment
member avatar

Ten year landscaper, here. Currently in CDL School in NJ and I'm anxious to get to the yard for 1 on 1 instruction. I've decided to try OTR flatbed, as I like being active but certainly not at the pace I was going. I'm searching Indeed for smaller flatbed companies but they all want 6 months to 2 years experience. I've kind of narrowed it down to Melton or TMC. Complete opposites, it seems. I've spoken with drivers at both companies who weren't trying to sell me on the company or get a referral bonus, just their own experiences. I think my personality, work ethic, and loyalty would fit better at TMC for the performance/percentage based pay. My main hesitation lies within my desire to run west from NJ. TMC will have SOME loads for me but I'm told not to bank on it. I want to get back to the 4 corners. Also want to see the pacific nw, MT, WY, etc... Don't get me wrong, they cover lots of states I'd love to run (KY, WV, VA ,NC, SC, OK, gulf states). Melton SEEMS to consistently run the 48.

First question... What other flatbed companies are out there that take no experience drivers and also run west?

Second question... Does TMC run cheap freight? I know Lowe's is a customer, so maybe that already answered my question. Percentage pay is very appealing to me but if it's a percentage of consistently cheap freight, that might make me reconsider. Thanks for any feedback, Peter

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

What makes the percentage based pay structure appealing to you with freight rates not expected to rise anytime soon?

Since the carrier is not going to show you the contract numbers between them and the customer, how do you know you are factually recieving "X" percentage?

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

TMC runs primarily contract freight like so many other larger companies do. They fulfill costumers needs by providing a volume of drivers and equipment required by those customers. You’ll start out just like every other new driver and from there, through your effort and and learning ability, open opportunities to move into one of their other specialized contracts. When dealing with percentage pay, you’ll always be exposed to market fluctuation but as a company, their goal is retention of quality drivers, just like everyone else.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Prime hires new drivers as part of their PSD and TNT training program. PSD you'll learn how to pass the test and in TNT you'll run 30,000 miles as a team. Then after that you will upgrade to get your own truck.

Prime runs all lower 48. One of Prime's bigger customers is in Cedar City, Utah. They also haul loads out of Los Angeles Northern and Southern California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico. But they will also run in the Northeast and out of the South as well. As a general rule you'll often stay in a certain part of the country for a while you may be out west for a month you then after that you may get stuck in the Northeast for a while.

Below is a picture that I took on Interstate 15 in Arizona. The Virgin River Gorge.

0562934001660829833.jpg

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Sneaky Pete!

Newcomers are always fascinated by percentage pay. It's really a marketing gimmick which means nothing in the end. Almost all truck driving jobs are performance based. If you're getting paid by the mile you are getting performance based pay. Your performance is reflected by how many miles you can run. Two different drivers earning 55 cents per mile can have very different results at the end of the year.

Melton is a fine company, but Prime would certainly meet your needs also. Have you looked into Jordan or Maverick? Many of the flatbed companies are regionalizing their runs because their drivers want to be home for weekends. Prime may be your best option.

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.

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

Melton is a fine company, but Prime would certainly meet your needs also. Have you looked into Jordan or Maverick? Many of the flatbed companies are regionalizing their runs because their drivers want to be home for weekends. Prime may be your best option.

Yeah, I’d definitely look at Maverick, doubt their regular flatbed hires that far east, but their glass division might, and those guys run all 48 and Canada.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hello Sneaky Pete!

Newcomers are always fascinated by percentage pay. It's really a marketing gimmick which means nothing in the end. Almost all truck driving jobs are performance based. If you're getting paid by the mile you are getting performance based pay. Your performance is reflected by how many miles you can run. Two different drivers earning 55 cents per mile can have very different results at the end of the year.

Melton is a fine company, but Prime would certainly meet your needs also. Have you looked into Jordan or Maverick? Many of the flatbed companies are regionalizing their runs because their drivers want to be home for weekends. Prime may be your best option.

What about Knight flatbed division? They run all 48 and have terminals coast-to-coast.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Ryan, Knight's flatbed division is a dedicated account. I am a long time flatbed driver for them. Their flatbed drivers are dedicated to a particular Hydro extrusion plant. I am dedicated to the one in Delhi, LA. I very seldom go out West. Generally, I don't get West of the Rockies.

I do occasionally get out to the West coast, but most of the time I'm all over the place in various parts East of the Western borders of Norrh and South Dakota.

There are about 25 Hydro extrusion plants across the country. There are some out West, and Knight has drivers serving their needs. Those drivers generally stay out West. Sneaky Pete would be dedicated to a plant in the East due to his home address. It's unlikely he would ever get out for the occasional run to California or Oregon like I do.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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