CDL Student Looking For Advice

Topic 8221 | Page 1

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Jose G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all, I've recently retired from the Navy after 20 years (December 2014) and I'm currently attending National Training Inc in Jacksonville, Florida. I'll be honest and say that I never considered driving commercially before, but with the lack of jobs in the area especially within the specialized field that I was apart of in the military, I've decided becoming a truck driver would be interesting. It would allow me to travel as I'm used to yet see my family more than the long deployments. I'm starting my second week and I'm thinking of going into the flatbed area of trucking. I've narrowed by decision to either Cypress or TMC. I'm really leaning heavily towards TMC Dor several factors but I'd like to know if:

1. TMC is a reputable company to start my career? I've read many of the post here on TT about staying in your first company for at least a year.

2. They pay their drivers by percentage of the load. Starting at 26% and increasing 1% with each positive monthly review. Can some explain to me if that's a good pay plan? If I'm thinking of it correctly it allows a newbie like myself to dictate my own pay increases based on performance. What's an average weekly pay check though?

Thank you all in advanced and thank you for such a positive forum for us newbies to learn and understand from. Ican't tell you how many posts I've read in the short time I've been a member, but I can say I can't seem to stop reading.

Regards Jose

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

Hard Water's Comment
member avatar

Hey Jose, I use to work for tmc years ago. They treated me pretty well, I got home at noon most Fridays and left out Sunday nights/ Monday mornings most weeks.

My fleet manager was pretty good to me. I live in New Jersey and it was almost like clockwork every Wednesday night to be heading to Massachusetts area to deliver Thursday. That was usually followed by a drop and hook pre loaded trailer at a Lowes distribution in Westfield, Massachusetts to be delivered Friday morning in a Northeastern new Jersey Lowes store. Lowes unloaded us between 6 and 7 am and always got a load of shingles out of Owens Corning in Kearny, nj and was home by noon because i only live an hour away from kearny. That was followed by a Monday delivery anytime before 330, 4pm usually only 4 to seven hours away, so i left Sunday nights, Monday mornings depending on how far it was. This was a number of years ago, so I don't know if they still have those accounts.

I was all over the place east of Mississippi river every week. The only times I was west of the Mississippi river was when I told my fleet manager to keep me out longer because I didn't want to go home.

I made about 700 to 1200 weekly. I think they paid ten dollars to tarp back then. I made about 27,28 percent most of the time ( I liked to idle while not driving when it was hot outside) .

Truck went 65mph Peterbilt 379 13 speed Eaton.

This is all older information, maybe some one that's worked there more recently can help you better.

Any other questions feel free to ask

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hey Jose, I use to work for tmc years ago. They treated me pretty well, I got home at noon most Fridays and left out Sunday nights/ Monday mornings most weeks.

My fleet manager was pretty good to me. I live in New Jersey and it was almost like clockwork every Wednesday night to be heading to Massachusetts area to deliver Thursday. That was usually followed by a drop and hook pre loaded trailer at a Lowes distribution in Westfield, Massachusetts to be delivered Friday morning in a Northeastern new Jersey Lowes store. Lowes unloaded us between 6 and 7 am and always got a load of shingles out of Owens Corning in Kearny, nj and was home by noon because i only live an hour away from kearny. That was followed by a Monday delivery anytime before 330, 4pm usually only 4 to seven hours away, so i left Sunday nights, Monday mornings depending on how far it was. This was a number of years ago, so I don't know if they still have those accounts.

I was all over the place east of Mississippi river every week. The only times I was west of the Mississippi river was when I told my fleet manager to keep me out longer because I didn't want to go home.

I made about 700 to 1200 weekly. I think they paid ten dollars to tarp back then. I made about 27,28 percent most of the time ( I liked to idle while not driving when it was hot outside) .

Truck went 65mph Peterbilt 379 13 speed Eaton.

This is all older information, maybe some one that's worked there more recently can help you better.

Any other questions feel free to ask

Thanks for the quick response Hard W. They meet most of my major needs and from everything I've read about trucking companies, it's best to find one that suits you the best.

Reading through your experience, it sounds like TMC and I would make a good fit for each other. As a newbie I wasn't familiar with the percentage pay since all the recruiters that visit my school talk about CPM. thanks for putting such personal info in your response. That's goes to show the true character of the personnel on this forum. It helps in explaining all of this to my wife. Stay safe and prosper.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Jose, first off, from one vet to another, thank you.

You'll find an answer to any question you can possibly think of on here. The people are outstanding and very straightforward in responses. Sometimes it isn't the answer you want to hear but at least it's honest and most of those are coming from true veterans of trucking who want to see people succeed in this lifestyle. Rather than people posting their ***** gripes and complaints like other sites, the name of this one hold true as the trucking truth.

Welcome, good luck and hopefully will see you out in the road sometime.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Jose, first off, from one vet to another, thank you.

You'll find an answer to any question you can possibly think of on here. The people are outstanding and very straightforward in responses. Sometimes it isn't the answer you want to hear but at least it's honest and most of those are coming from true veterans of trucking who want to see people succeed in this lifestyle. Rather than people posting their ***** gripes and complaints like other sites, the name of this one hold true as the trucking truth.

Welcome, good luck and hopefully will see you out in the road sometime.

Robert,

Thank you for your service and for the advice on the quality of the forum. Since it was brought to my attention about a month ago, I can't keep from finding more and more information. The members are truly top notch professionals who want to see future truckers like myself succeed. I vow to keep the integrity of this forum intact by keeping a positive attitude and at least with tact when I need you all to vent to or get a different perspective.

My school hosted a Job Fair this past weekend and to be frank, I never gave flatbeds a thought until I heard the recruiter talking to it. He really had me thinking about it and I think it's for me. Besides the money, they pay me to work out like the military did. What an added benefit. TMC wasn't the company representing flatbeds but as I read through the how to chose a trucking company, I was able to reduce the companies that fit my situation at the time. I read a lot of Old Timers posts also. I value his opinions so I try my best to learn as much as possible. Hope to meet you out there. Thanks again for the quick response.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I meant Old School not Old Timer. My apologies.

Hard Water's Comment
member avatar

Some more stuff I remember after looking at my pay papers. Breakdown pay was 100 dollars and nyc borough pay was 20 dollars when you went into Manhattan, Brooklyn, bronx, queens, Staten Island (I squeezed 20 out of them for long island a few times Iol). They also have stop pay which was I believe 20 dollars per stop if more than one. I have nothing bad to say about that company, they always treated me right and Im probably gonna go back to them one day.

We ran paper logs back then and I always tried to sleep at my consignee , so I had maximum hours the next day to go again. Be prepared to tarp almost everyday, and deliver & pick up everyday on the line haul division.

When you're done with your trainer, contact me and I'll tell you how to set up the fancy 3 door cabinets on the back of the tractor the best way ever (With your flatbedding equipment [chains, coil racks, coil mats, steel/lumber/padding/smoke tarps, straps, edge protectors, bungees, etc] I even carried a small generator in there).

I'll also tell you the best way to raise and haul around a bad tire (you'll have to carry them around with you for awhile until you can get rid of it at an authorized place).

If I remember more stuff I'll let you know.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
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