Choosing My First Company Is Difficult

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Andrew's Comment
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I plan on getting into trucking in August this year as I have plans to spend summer with my daughter; So I have plenty of time to research where to start but it is all a little overwhelming. I am currently studying for my cdl A permit and will have it sometime in the next month. I plan on finding a company to go to driving school in house as to have a job after school. I am trying to narrow my search down to what companies would work with me the most, as my family does not have much money. So starting off will be very difficult or me financially. I am worried that this might dampen my ability to go through a good training program. I understand everyone has a different fit for whats a good starting company but I am having a difficult time narrowing down whats the best fit for my situation. I know I am rambling my thoughts so I hope this post makes sense haha

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

Rico's Comment
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Two companies you can check into are Celadon and Prime.

Mike L.'s Comment
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I'd say do your homework on what training company has the fastest training to get you on the road while paying you enough during training. When I went through Central Refrigerated (now Swift) they did licenses in 2 weeks and 4 weeks on the road instruction at $250 a week. Not much money I know but that's a bit of the sacrifice that needs to be made. I wish I had more info on other schools but I can only give my own experience.

The more you learn about the various companies the better off you are. Don't forget to look for a company that has a terminal near you or it might be difficult getting home.

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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I'd say do your homework on what training company has the fastest training to get you on the road while paying you enough during training. When I went through Central Refrigerated (now Swift) they did licenses in 2 weeks and 4 weeks on the road instruction at $250 a week. Not much money I know but that's a bit of the sacrifice that needs to be made. I wish I had more info on other schools but I can only give my own experience.

The more you learn about the various companies the better off you are. Don't forget to look for a company that has a terminal near you or it might be difficult getting home.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Don't forget to look for a company that has a terminal near you or it might be difficult getting home.

Very wrong. Your companies terminal location has no effect on them getting you home on time.

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.

Mike L.'s Comment
member avatar
Very wrong. Your companies terminal location has no effect on them getting you home on time.

Ok then instead i'll say it will be difficult to go home unless the company lets you take the truck home. If there is no other place to park the trailer, you'll have to have room for that too. It just depends on the company.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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K.T. - go through our Truck Driver's Career Guide from beginning to end and follow every link you come across. That will teach you a ton about the trucking industry and what it takes to get your career off to a great start.

Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

I got to agree that the location of the company's terminal is important. I lived in Dallas and CR England was out of Salt Lake City. Not once in six months did I get to go home. My partner however lived about ten miles from the headquarters and he got four days off each month while I had to either drive a quick solo run or just hang out at the terminal that whole time.

It was not until I finished up my six month commitment for getting my cdl throuh them that I was able to go with a different employer that was near where I lived. Now I get every weekend off. O yes location is probably the most important thing there is.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I got to agree that the location of the company's terminal is important. I lived in Dallas and CR England was out of Salt Lake City. Not once in six months did I get to go home. My partner however lived about ten miles from the headquarters and he got four days off each month while I had to either drive a quick solo run or just hang out at the terminal that whole time.

It was not until I finished up my six month commitment for getting my cdl throuh them that I was able to go with a different employer that was near where I lived. Now I get every weekend off. O yes location is probably the most important thing there is.

CR Englands hometime policy is a day off per week you're on the road. Just like every other company.

Meaning the only reason you didn't ever go home is because you never requested it.

The companies terminal location has no effect with your ability to get home. Sure, its awesome to be able to go home while your truck is in the shop and it helps to have a yard to be able to drop your trailer at. But that's a perk, not a necessity.

A company has loads going all over the place. They have loads in NC even if they're based out of UT. It doesn't matter. Every company should be able to get you home on time and the only reason a driver would never go home is because they choose to not go home. A company cannot deny you of your hometime as long as its within company policy.

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.

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.

Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

Ha you sound like you know the conversations I had with my dispatcher better than I do. Do you really think I never wanted to go home and see my wife? Why do you think I would quit for not getting to go home if I had never requested it?

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.
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