Making A List Of Companies That Train New Truck Drivers

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Reality check...

The premise of family in trucking is so over-used. Heartland is a successful business, as is CFI, both in a cut-throat, dog-eat industry. And honestly like others have written (Rob T most recently); I want to be treated professionally, with respect, not like family. The family dynamic and all of its potential dysfunction doesn't belong in business. My brains and moxie are for business, my heart and compassion is for family.

The family paradigm in trucking is an enigma, cannot be defined... in the grand scheme of things, not a realistic criteria for selecting one company over another. Cross it off the list. IMO, it's a cheesy recruiting tactic...that in reality doesn't make you a better driver or make you more money.

And one other thing to understand... every top performing, experienced driver in this forum has earned their "chosen" place within the ranks of their respective fleets. It is not magically bestowed upon an entry level driver and is only "awarded" through consistent safe and efficient performance. CFI indeed does treat Big Scott very well...but why? Because he earned it; it was hard work, and it took him several years to accomplish this. I cannot emphasize this enough...

We are now owned by Heartland Express, they own us, Millis and Smith. One family with 3 training options. While I love CFI, I know these others are treated well. CFI for OTR , Millis is mostly regional and Heartland seems to have a mix.

Figure out what are your top 3 most important wants. Then try to find a company that satisfies at least two of your most important needs.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Consolidated Freightways went bankrupt 20 years ago. No relation to CFI. CFI is an abbreviation for Contract Freighters Inc.

Thanks, G-Town. It was an unexplained mystery to me. My mother may have contributed to that bankruptcy. I visit her in prison whenever I get routed that way.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

Reality check...

The premise of family in trucking is so over-used. Heartland is a successful business, as is CFI, both in a cut-throat, dog-eat industry. And honestly like others have written (Rob T most recently); I want to be treated professionally, with respect, not like family. The family dynamic and all of its potential dysfunction doesn't belong in business. My brains and moxie are for business, my heart and compassion is for family.

The family paradigm in trucking is an enigma, cannot be defined... in the grand scheme of things, not a realistic criteria for selecting one company over another. Cross it off the list. IMO, it's a cheesy recruiting tactic...that in reality doesn't make you a better driver or make you more money.

And one other thing to understand... every top performing, experienced driver in this forum has earned their "chosen" place within the ranks of their respective fleets. It is not magically bestowed upon an entry level driver and is only "awarded" through consistent safe and efficient performance. CFI indeed does treat Big Scott very well...but why? Because he earned it; it was hard work, and it took him several years to accomplish this. I cannot emphasize this enough...

double-quotes-start.png

We are now owned by Heartland Express, they own us, Millis and Smith. One family with 3 training options. While I love CFI, I know these others are treated well. CFI for OTR , Millis is mostly regional and Heartland seems to have a mix.

Figure out what are your top 3 most important wants. Then try to find a company that satisfies at least two of your most important needs.

double-quotes-end.png

Myself, I don't want to work for a "family" company. I want to work for a professional company. As long as my dispatcher knows me when I call and as long as my paychecks hit my account as expected, everything else takes care of itself. I agree with you, G-Town that this "we're family" aspect of how trucking companies identify themselves is rather odd. Seems like a PR gimmick that has kind of grown a life of its own. At least, that's what it appears to be, to me.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

So why can't I work for a professional company with a family feel? The family is important to me when it comes to things like "case by case". When my mother had a heart attack, the Vice President of our Sales department ordered the lower ranks to provide me with "any position that will accommodate her needs". Why? Yes because I am an awesome driver, but also because they have the same compassion GTown stated he saves for family. I worked for the government for 17 years that lacked compassion and when you made a suggestion or had a grievance they told you to go work at Walmart or McDonald's.

Now I work for a company where you can walk up to any driver or trainer on the backing pad and they will help each other. I can walk through the terminal where not even the top Directors have offices, just cubicles and they will stop their work to talk to you, answer your questions and care to get to know you---all.wothout an appointment. It may not make me more money it DOES make me a better driver with a better understanding of the function of each position and can even reduce your stress and anxiety on the road.

Swift and some other companies don't allow drivers into their mechanical shops. Prime (and CFI) not only allow it, but that family feel allows me to learn from those mechanics and I don't feel stupid by asking them questions, and they love a driver taking interest in them and their passion of mechanics. The family feel allows everyone to feel appreciated, wanted and a part of something greater. It can motivate others to excel and become better drivers to make more money. It allows drivers to openly share their success strategies with others without the sense of bragging... Allowing the others to learn.

All of this establishes the respect GTown desires. But also allows us to laugh and enjoy our jobs.

Most of these companies were started by families. Knight? Isn't Kevin Knight still in charge? Prime? Robert Low started the company with a dump truck and plays basketball with the employees everyday from noon until 2pm. Greg Orr at CFI is famous for being openly available to all in the terminal. All of this access allows drivers the open communication to settle differences, meet their personal needs, and retain drivers.

If a driver feels they cannot approach management with an issue. They may just quit. When you work at a "family feel" company... You know you can have your needs met. My fleet manager knows which ovary I had removed. I know of his wife's medical complications, his sons' athletic accomplishments, college pursuits, and other struggles. Because of this we are seen as people. Not just truck numbers. I sat with my fleet manager for 4 hours last week learning driver's dilemmas as well as in house complications. It makes me a better trainer to produce him better drivers.

Making those family feel type of connections may not be important to some, but it is definitely important to some of us.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Kearsey I appreciate you taking the time to explain this from your perspective.

There are several things you mentioned that actually are/were important to me that Swift delivered on. They definitely helped me see my newborn Grand Daughter and got me home for a family dinner on Easter Sunday. I never considered it being treated like family though… but your points are definitely valid and valuable.

At least now we have established a clearer picture of what it means to be treated like family at Prime. What Kearsey did was offer useful information providing clarity to what I still believe is an overused and often misunderstood term.

Thanks again Kearsey.

So why can't I work for a professional company with a family feel? The family is important to me when it comes to things like "case by case". When my mother had a heart attack, the Vice President of our Sales department ordered the lower ranks to provide me with "any position that will accommodate her needs". Why? Yes because I am an awesome driver, but also because they have the same compassion GTown stated he saves for family. I worked for the government for 17 years that lacked compassion and when you made a suggestion or had a grievance they told you to go work at Walmart or McDonald's.

Now I work for a company where you can walk up to any driver or trainer on the backing pad and they will help each other. I can walk through the terminal where not even the top Directors have offices, just cubicles and they will stop their work to talk to you, answer your questions and care to get to know you---all.wothout an appointment. It may not make me more money it DOES make me a better driver with a better understanding of the function of each position and can even reduce your stress and anxiety on the road.

Swift and some other companies don't allow drivers into their mechanical shops. Prime (and CFI) not only allow it, but that family feel allows me to learn from those mechanics and I don't feel stupid by asking them questions, and they love a driver taking interest in them and their passion of mechanics. The family feel allows everyone to feel appreciated, wanted and a part of something greater. It can motivate others to excel and become better drivers to make more money. It allows drivers to openly share their success strategies with others without the sense of bragging... Allowing the others to learn.

All of this establishes the respect GTown desires. But also allows us to laugh and enjoy our jobs.

Most of these companies were started by families. Knight? Isn't Kevin Knight still in charge? Prime? Robert Low started the company with a dump truck and plays basketball with the employees everyday from noon until 2pm. Greg Orr at CFI is famous for being openly available to all in the terminal. All of this access allows drivers the open communication to settle differences, meet their personal needs, and retain drivers.

If a driver feels they cannot approach management with an issue. They may just quit. When you work at a "family feel" company... You know you can have your needs met. My fleet manager knows which ovary I had removed. I know of his wife's medical complications, his sons' athletic accomplishments, college pursuits, and other struggles. Because of this we are seen as people. Not just truck numbers. I sat with my fleet manager for 4 hours last week learning driver's dilemmas as well as in house complications. It makes me a better trainer to produce him better drivers.

Making those family feel type of connections may not be important to some, but it is definitely important to some of us.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

So why can't I work for a professional company with a family feel? The family is important to me when it comes to things like "case by case". When my mother had a heart attack, the Vice President of our Sales department ordered the lower ranks to provide me with "any position that will accommodate her needs". Why? Yes because I am an awesome driver, but also because they have the same compassion GTown stated he saves for family. I worked for the government for 17 years that lacked compassion and when you made a suggestion or had a grievance they told you to go work at Walmart or McDonald's.

Now I work for a company where you can walk up to any driver or trainer on the backing pad and they will help each other. I can walk through the terminal where not even the top Directors have offices, just cubicles and they will stop their work to talk to you, answer your questions and care to get to know you---all.wothout an appointment. It may not make me more money it DOES make me a better driver with a better understanding of the function of each position and can even reduce your stress and anxiety on the road.

Swift and some other companies don't allow drivers into their mechanical shops. Prime (and CFI) not only allow it, but that family feel allows me to learn from those mechanics and I don't feel stupid by asking them questions, and they love a driver taking interest in them and their passion of mechanics. The family feel allows everyone to feel appreciated, wanted and a part of something greater. It can motivate others to excel and become better drivers to make more money. It allows drivers to openly share their success strategies with others without the sense of bragging... Allowing the others to learn.

All of this establishes the respect GTown desires. But also allows us to laugh and enjoy our jobs.

Most of these companies were started by families. Knight? Isn't Kevin Knight still in charge? Prime? Robert Low started the company with a dump truck and plays basketball with the employees everyday from noon until 2pm. Greg Orr at CFI is famous for being openly available to all in the terminal. All of this access allows drivers the open communication to settle differences, meet their personal needs, and retain drivers.

If a driver feels they cannot approach management with an issue. They may just quit. When you work at a "family feel" company... You know you can have your needs met. My fleet manager knows which ovary I had removed. I know of his wife's medical complications, his sons' athletic accomplishments, college pursuits, and other struggles. Because of this we are seen as people. Not just truck numbers. I sat with my fleet manager for 4 hours last week learning driver's dilemmas as well as in house complications. It makes me a better trainer to produce him better drivers.

Making those family feel type of connections may not be important to some, but it is definitely important to some of us.

I agree with G-Town regarding your comment. Thank you.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Georgia Mike's Comment
member avatar

Freymiller trains 6-8 weeks no specific trainee drive miles or hours. Training is at trainers discretion.

Georgia Mike's Comment
member avatar

Reality check...

The premise of family in trucking is so over-used. Heartland is a successful business, as is CFI, both in a cut-throat, dog-eat industry. And honestly like others have written (Rob T most recently); I want to be treated professionally, with respect, not like family. The family dynamic and all of its potential dysfunction doesn't belong in business. My brains and moxie are for business, my heart and compassion is for family.

The family paradigm in trucking is an enigma, cannot be defined... in the grand scheme of things, not a realistic criteria for selecting one company over another. Cross it off the list. IMO, it's a cheesy recruiting tactic...that in reality doesn't make you a better driver or make you more money.

And one other thing to understand... every top performing, experienced driver in this forum has earned their "chosen" place within the ranks of their respective fleets. It is not magically bestowed upon an entry level driver and is only "awarded" through consistent safe and efficient performance. CFI indeed does treat Big Scott very well...but why? Because he earned it; it was hard work, and it took him several years to accomplish this. I cannot emphasize this enough...

double-quotes-start.png

We are now owned by Heartland Express, they own us, Millis and Smith. One family with 3 training options. While I love CFI, I know these others are treated well. CFI for OTR , Millis is mostly regional and Heartland seems to have a mix.

Figure out what are your top 3 most important wants. Then try to find a company that satisfies at least two of your most important needs.

I dont know i kinda like being in a company that treats you like family and not just another truck number. Many family owned trucking companies ceos have an open door policy. Heck the patriarch Don Freymiller will call you personally on your birthday. I most, not all drivers will work harder if you treat them as human beings not just a truck number or driver code and show them appreciation more than just the obligation month of September. Now im talking about free lunches and goodie bags but like a message from the ceo or coo through the eld or video can really help moral.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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