Trucking Companies...with Training ...in California?

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Deb K.'s Comment
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Hello, Anyone know of any trucking companies in California, preferably that also train? Thanks for any info. Deb

Old School's Comment
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Deb, I don't know of any that are based in California, there are plenty of them that have terminals there, and drivers that live there. Your company does not need to be in your home state. The way you get home is not because your company is based near your home, but rather that they have regular freight running to the area that you live in. That is how they determine their hiring areas. I live in Texas, but I have worked for a company based in Nashville, TN, and now I am working for one that is based in Phoenix, AZ. Those places are a long way from my home, but I have never had a problem getting home when I need to.

If you are concerned about transportation to a training facility, it's not an issue. They will provide you with paid bus fare, and then they will usually pay for your lodging and most of your meals while there. Once you get on a trainers truck your meals will be your responsibility, but at that point you'll either be earning some training pay or they will advance you some funds so that you can slowly pay it back out of your paychecks.

I'm not sure why you were asking the question, so I did the best I could to answer it. If you have other reasons why you are wanting someone based in California, then please share it with us and we will try and assist if we can.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Deb, there are plenty of companies that are either based in CA or run through it. You don't need a company that does training in CA though because all the major carriers will actually provide you with a bus ticket to their facility and a hotel all free of charge! For example, I work for a company based 2,000 miles away from me. They bused me to their terminal in Salt Lake City, UT for my training and orientation and provided me with a very nice hotel for a week.

In fact, it would be better to get away from the house during training because it'll be your first introduction into the lifestyle of trucking. If you won't be able to handle being away from family during the short training phase then you won't handle it as a solo driver.

Check out the Company-Sponsored Training Programs. If you need help on How To Choose A Company then look at all the Trucking Companies. Be sure to check out our CDL Training Diaries Forum to get a sneak peak on what its really like. Before you attend a school you should get through our High Road Training Program, it will prepare you and you'll be a million miles ahead of everyone in the class!

So just remember, you don't need to restrict yourself to a training program in CA only. 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.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

This is terrible. The old man beat me by 3 minutes! embarrassed.gif

I'm going to cry myself to sleep tonight for sure!

Deb K.'s Comment
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Hey, thanks for your responses. My reason for asking about California companies that train: I once, back in 2006, took a greyhound bus by myself from Pensacola, Fl to Bozeman, Mt. The ride took about two days. Stops at every bus stop along the way, sitting in bus stops for several hours late into the night. I'm not a wimpy female, but many of these stops were in questionable areas with homeless persons roaming around the station. Saw some young gang-types hassling a few of the bus riders. There was no security personnel in the stops. On the bus ride there were some shady characters, moms with crying children, some persons that seemed drunk and smelled as such. At one late night station before leaving, the bus driver spoke over the intercom, "Ok, all you men, if any of you cause any trouble or hassle any of the women, I will stop in the middle of nowhere and kick you off the bus, so behave yourselves."

I realized riding on buses nowadays isn't like back in the 1950's, with men wearing suits and fedoras, and women wearing dresses. So, no more bus riding for me, thank you.

I do have my own 1/2 ton truck to travel across the states to a CDL school, but my just started unemployment is only $96 per week, so gas money will be pretty tight.

Anyhow, that is my reason for the Cal company training question.

After re-reading the above, it does sound like I'm a wus and a princess. And do know I will likely run into some tough, shady persons along the highways, at truck stops, and even at the drop area once I became a trucker, but that was truly a bus ride from hell. Would rather not do it again. But, thanks again for your responses. I did just read that Central Refrigerator has training in Fontana, Ca. Just did a search at this site for any posts about Central. Anyone have comments about Central for me.? Thanks to you all. Deb

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Deb, I've had three very long bus rides while getting my trucking career underway. None of them even came close to what you described. One of them even had a bunch of just released prisoners on board going home. I never felt threatened in any way. I'm not going to say the long drive wasn't miserable, it was, but as far as personal safety, many of the bus stops we went to were guarded and locked up behind fences so that no one could get in other than the passengers on the bus. It is what it is, but most trucking careers start off with that bus ride.

Chris D.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift owns central refrigerated now and yes they have a school in Fontana. CR England has a school somewhere around there to. Roadmastersxis in Fontana but is not company sponsored

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Deb, I think you're making one of the worst mistakes of your life. I mean, you are severely limiting your potential opportunities just so you won't have to put up with a day or two of a bus ride. I mean, come on! Choose the company that fits your needs, not the company that is the most convenient. You're really crippling yourself and making a terrible decision. Bus rides aren't all that bad, and I've been on 4 of them! That includes 2 trips to Los Angeles and we all know what kind of fine, quality individuals were on that bus (sarcasm). You had one bad experience and you're ready to throw in the towel.

Well get what? Trucking will give you a hundred bad experiences before you even go solo. Will you throw in the towel on that experience too because it wasn't as convenient as you had hoped?

Pick a company based on their equipment, pay, hometime, pet policy, and whatever else are specific to their company that you think will work to your advantage.

And believe me, I've been in your shoes. I won't go into the details but I made the same stupid mistake you're about to make. Don't do it, be smarter than that. Choose a company because you want to work for them, not because you'll avoid a short greyhound bus ride. Please think this through.

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.

Deb K.'s Comment
member avatar

Aaaah Daniel ;) You're so sweet to be so concerned for me. :) Yep, I knew after rereading my post that it really seemed I was wussing out on such a temporary dilemma. After venting about my experience, I felt less concerned about it. And since I've also been going over the different company schools and which I would prefer. I have pretty much decided on Swift or Central - reasons: tuition, schooling, pay, and they both seem to have good reviews from many here at this site...and I've been told, here, and also saw at their websites, that Swift now owns Central. And as it turns out, Central has its school in southern Cali, and Swift's schools include one in Az and one in Id. So, my two first choices, for all the other reasons that I like them, the bus ride to their schools wouldn't be not too bad. And I've never been up through Oregon and into Idaho, so that would be a nice lookin-out-the-window-just-relaxin bus ride.

Daniel, since I've got your attention, and anyone else reading this...I've got a question.

I don't have a home or place that I'm living right now. I won't go into all the details, but my '83 Chevy truck is basically home :) When I report to training by bus ( notice I'm stating this as a sure thing), and then when I hit the road with my trainer for weeks and weeks, and then start on my own, where will I leave my truck? Guess I'm wondering how do other truckers get to the truck yard and then home on their day(s) off. With their own vehicle I guess. And they just park there until they get back weeks later.

Another question: Are a trucker's days off always at their "home" area or just wherever they happen to be when they've got days off.

I want to keep my truck where I can use it when I can.

And eventually, I'd like to get an apartment or little home, to come home to when I have my time off. AND even more eventually, I'd like to save up and try to get me a little piece of property, my own place, to come home to on my time off... to eventually retire to. :)

Ok, enough. I shouldn't feel to bad for going on like this....I've seen lots of novels here ;) But, it's sure good to meet all these nice people, just like you Daniel. Thanks again for your concern. I'm gonna call both Swift and Central this week and grill the recruiters. I'm ready and rearin' to get on the road :) Deb

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah, I get "sweet" here and there, mostly I get a "you're cute" though. Cant get those young truck stop cashiers to stop looking at me so I have to flash the wedding ring constantly. What a pain!

And as it turns out, Central has its school in southern Cali

They also work with a trucking school called TDA. They have a facility in Modesto, Yuba City, and Sacramento. I went to the Sacramento one. Call them and talk to them too. I went over there and then after I got my training I was shipped to Fontana, CA. I would recommend TDA over going to Fontana because TDA has 10 students tops while Fontana has 60.

I don't have a home or place that I'm living right now. I won't go into all the details, but my '83 Chevy truck is basically home :) When I report to training by bus ( notice I'm stating this as a sure thing), and then when I hit the road with my trainer for weeks and weeks, and then start on my own, where will I leave my truck? Guess I'm wondering how do other truckers get to the truck yard and then home on their day(s) off. With their own vehicle I guess. And they just park there until they get back weeks later. You can drive your truck to the training facility and leave it parked over there. They have a giant terminal with a huge dirt lot across the street and when I was there they didn't mind. Might want to ask this question though to make sure it hasn't gotten changed since I was there. What you could do is leave the truck there and whenever you're back in the area you can drive it as you please.

Another question: Are a trucker's days off always at their "home" area or just wherever they happen to be when they've got days off.

You request hometime in a specific city/state. For example: Hometime Request: Spokane, Washington. November 5th. 4 weeks out, 4 days hometime. You can request hometime wherever you want. NYC, Las Vegas, its up to you! You are not limited to just your home city. Of course, to have any fun you'll probably need to rent a car.

Here is an actual diary I wrote of my training with Central Refrigerated. Read it all, you'll learn a lot!

Daniel B.'s Central Refrigerated Training Diary

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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