School Starts Now

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Sheffield Mick's Comment
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Hi guys, just an up date on where I'm at. I have now got my theory tests done; General Knowledge, Air brakes, Doubles and Triples. I need two more tests done on Hazardous Materials and Tankers and I'm all set. My back ground check is in place, so I will wait until I'm approved before I take Hazmat and Tankers.

Driving school starts tomorrow 8th April. So far I have been encouraged by getting three letters and follow up phone calls for pre-approval (I know it doesn't mean anything until I get accepted) from: Werner, U.S. Express and Swift. A truck driver did tell me what Swift stands for within the industry, but he didn't elaborate . Is this true?.....just asking as I was thinking of starting with Swift.

Hopefully if everything goes according to plan I hope to start my own blog....camera etc at the ready for my travels.

Mick

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Starcar's Comment
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SWIFT= Slow Wagon In Fast Traffic CRST= Crash,Roll Stunt Team SWIFT=Sure Wish I'd Finished Training

I'm sure there will be others that drivers have heard...I myself love to hear new ones.

Jason C.'s Comment
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Good luck. I start my second week tommorrow.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Sounds great! Yeah, don't sweat anything that people say about any of the major companies. That garbage has been going on since the dawn of time. Now the acronyms like Starcar mentioned - those can be pretty funny!!

But all three of the companies you mentioned are rock solid - been around for decades, good financial standing, and tons of experience getting new drivers started in the industry. All three would make a great place to get your career started.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Little Carolina's Comment
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Sounds great! Yeah, don't sweat anything that people say about any of the major companies. That garbage has been going on since the dawn of time. Now the acronyms like Starcar mentioned - those can be pretty funny!!

But all three of the companies you mentioned are rock solid - been around for decades, good financial standing, and tons of experience getting new drivers started in the industry. All three would make a great place to get your career started.

One thing that makes me nervous is the fact that how do you really know what is real and what is not? I have heard so many bad things about CR England and not found one good thing on the net and that even was going to the BBB to look them up but yet I havent found anything good about these others either such as Swift, CRST, USA Truck so how do we really know what is the right choice? Makes it very frustrating when trying to find a company that suites our needs.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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so how do we really know what is the right choice? Makes it very frustrating when trying to find a company that suites our needs.

I totally know what ya mean. In fact, I've had countless people over the years tell me they wanted to get into trucking for years but always shied away from it because everything that everyone said on the Internet was so negative that they figured trucking was a miserable place to be.

Here's the thing to remember. All trucking companies make money the same way - hauling as much freight as possible as safely and efficiently as possible, right? They all use the same highways, the same types of trucks, the same fuel, often times the same customers, and operate under the same laws. So there are very few ways for a trucking company to differentiate itself from the rest. And in fact, when you've been around the industry long enough and worked for a number of different companies, you realize that many aspects of the various companies are pretty much the same.

The main differences between companies lie in the type of freight they haul, their home time options for where you live, and their pay & benefits. What you want to do is figure out what type of freight you'd like to haul (dry van, flatbed, refrigerated, or tanker) and then how often you'd like to get home (daily, weekends, every few weeks). That will narrow it down to a select group of companies.

At that point, you speak with several current drivers face to face from each of the companies you're considering to see how they feel about the company and find out more details. You then compare the pay & benefits that each are offering and you'll come up with a list of the companies that seem to suit you the best.

So at this point you have maybe 3 or 4 companies at the top of your list, right? But as you've already found out from the anonymous knuckleheads online, every single company is lousy, they're all a scam, they're all out to abuse you, and you'll end up a slave that's broken and beaten down, right? Of course. So how do you choose?

The truth of the matter is - any of those companies at the top of your list are equally good opportunities. For starters, you've already determined that each one hauls the freight you'd like to haul, gets you home on the schedule you wanted, and pays pretty well. Now here's the part that everyone who is new to trucking fails to understand - at this point what's going to determine the amount of happiness and success you find in trucking is you...not the company you work for.

What these companies will all do is test you those first few months. Sometimes you'll sit too long, sometimes you'll run so hard you can't remember your own name. Sometimes they'll send you into really tough places, sometimes they'll try to keep you out past your scheduled home time, and sometimes they'll just do whatever comes to mind to push your buttons a little bit. Why? Because trucking is a really tough way to make a living and they want to know if you're the type that can hack it or not. This is the stage where most of the people quit if they don't belong in trucking or they aren't committed to their company. They figure they're being abused or taken advantage of or whatever. But the truth of the matter is those people wouldn't have made it in trucking anyhow. They're simply not tough enough and committed enough to make it out there, and you have to be super tough and super committed to be a successful driver.

Companies will weed out the weak, and at the same time will determine who are the hardest working, most reliable, most resourceful drivers - the ones who are committed to getting the job done safely no matter what it takes. Those drivers become the ones who get a ton of freight, fair treatment, and enjoy their company & career. The rest wind up at TheTruckersReport trying to scare people like yourself away from trucking.

That's one of the big reasons I say to speak with several current drivers from whatever company you're considering. You want your opinions coming from someone who is out there getting the job done successfully day in and day out and is looking you in the eye when they speak to you. You do not want your opinions coming from some anonymous knuckleheads hiding behind some made up persona in a forum somewhere. You have no clue who they are or whether or not their opinion is of any value at all.

Now in this context, think about the key piece of advice I always give - stick with your first company for a full year no matter what. Why do I say this? Because it will take a couple of months to get through the training and then another 6 months or so of running solo to establish your reputation with dispatch. A company isn't going to bank their future on some unproven rookie. Would you? Heck no! They are going to push your buttons and give you every opportunity to show what you're made of. If you can get the job done safely day in and day out, you work hard, and you have a great attitude they're going to reward you with great miles and fair treatment. You're a proven asset now and they rely on those drivers to keep the company afloat. They'll take care of you if you'll take care of them.

That's why the forums are full of people bashing companies. Almost anyone can get a shot in the trucking industry, but many have no business being there and get their *sses handed to em. They're embarrassed, so they place blame elsewhere.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

James925's Comment
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SWIFT= Slow Wagon In Fast Traffic CRST= Crash,Roll Stunt Team SWIFT=Sure Wish I'd Finished Training

I'm sure there will be others that drivers have heard...I myself love to hear new ones.

Swing Wide It's a F**ken Trailer I've heard others, but I'm too tired to remember. And like Brett said, get all that negativity you hear about companies on "other" forums out you're head. 99% of the time, it's cause someone didn't cross their T's completely, and wound up getting more than they bargained for. It's no one's fault but theirs.

And since you mentioned Swift, my uncle used to work for them in Southern California doing the local Walmart accounts, and he loved it. They treated him good, and he got paid very well. So of the fifty bad stories you hear about Swift, there's another fifty that you don't hear. Whichever company you choose, make sure it's one you are happy with, you'll be the one behind the wheel.

Good luck!

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.

Little Carolina's Comment
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Well I made my choice with Celadon and will be headed to their school soon Yes they have one and I would have never known that without being on this forum. I have done a lot of research including talking to a few drivers I met at our local truck stop and I was so excited to see a Celadon truck pulling in. Had a good conversation with that guy and he told me like it is. And he pretty much verified everything Brett has put on here!

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Want to know the reason why you don't hear a lot of good stuff about companies on the net? It because we are happy where we are at and don't have a lot of time and energy to argue with the negative people on the forums bashing companies. We are out here turning the miles and making money. My company ,Jb hunt, has roughly 12,000 drivers and Scheinder has roughly 15,0000 drivers. Now that is only two companies but do you think they would be as big or have lasted as long as they have if even half the stuff you read is true on the net?

Its the drivers that are not working that have the time to talk trash on the net. The rest of us are happy and working and making a good living.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Want to know the reason why you don't hear a lot of good stuff about companies on the net? It because we are happy where we are at and don't have a lot of time and energy to argue with the negative people on the forums bashing companies. We are out here turning the miles and making money.

smile.gif While I was reading through this thread I was thinking I was going to say the exact same thing!

I have done a lot of research including talking to a few drivers I met at our local truck stop and I was so excited to see a Celadon truck pulling in. Had a good conversation with that guy and he told me like it is. And he pretty much verified everything Brett has put on here!

I'm really glad to hear you went to talk to the drivers in person. That's the kind of motivation it takes to make your way in this industry!

There's an amazing difference between people bashing and complaining over at TheTruckersReport versus speaking with a successful driver out on the road face to face, isn't there? You listen to the negativity and you'd swear that trucking is nothing more than slave labor run by fascist dictators. You speak to drivers that are out there doing it successfully and it's a much nicer story.

What's odd about that is you'd think it would be the opposite. You'd think that people outside of trucking would talk romantically and wistfully about it while people in the industry would tell you "hey, it's not all peaches and cream the way people think it is from the outside". But indeed it's exactly the opposite. People on the outside talk like it's a death trap, but drivers on the inside paint a much nicer and more balanced picture of life on the road.

Speaking with a school's current students is critically important in the process of choosing a school, and speaking with the current drivers from any company you're considering is a critically important part of choosing a company.

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.

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