Question On Central Refrigerated

Topic 8526 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
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As far as prime, is it doable?

Definitely doable. You will have a longer training period, but the training pay is really good over there at Prime. A lot of people in this forum have done their training at Prime. We had a member a while back who detailed a lengthy thread about his training experience at Prime. It may be a little out of date now, but it will give you a good idea of what you can expect. The pay if it is mentioned is different now.

I think there are other training diaries for Prime over in that section of the forum, but there is just so much that goes on around here that I can't stay on top of it all. Feel free to search around in that section and see if you can find some more information from others who have gone to Prime.

Hudsonhawk's Comment
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Thank you Old School! I'm looking for a job that pays for the work that you put in and this looks like it's it.

I saw they had a policy you could have a pet and it pushed me over the edge. I'm a veteran, and I want a pet, a dog who I can bond with. It might take me some time but I dream of being on the road with a friend.

The idea of a longer training scenario to me is a good idea. After Iraq I'm pretty devoted to safety, and this program sounds a little better than the mills. I want to grind this all out and I want to be a driver.

so what do you do old school? How long have you been driving? I kind of want to get as much information from you or anyone else I can to be ahead of the game. I'm looking at doing this for a minute, keep the wheels moving. Keep the unknown discovered.

Old School's Comment
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so what do you do old school? How long have you been driving? I kind of want to get as much information from you or anyone else I can to be ahead of the game.

Jeremy, I'm a flat-bed driver in a small dedicated division of Knight Transportation that hauls loads for SAPA aluminum. I started driving tuck as a second career after thirty years in the custom electrical sign business. I had six big trucks in my business and was familiar with securing loads onto trucks. I took some time off after getting out of the business and finally decided I wanted to try giving truck driving a try. I started out with Western Express as a flat-bed driver and have enjoyed it ever since. After about sixteen months with them I was offered a position in this dedicated account at Knight and I decided to give it a shot. I love flat-bedding, and it has been good to me.

You can get a ton of information about this lifestyle by reading through this forum - there is a lot of great stuff in here, and you can go back through some of the older pages and get all kinds of information. You can also read through our Truck Driver's Career Guide and gain a lot of valuable insight into the job - follow all the links in there and you will be a well educated new comer.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

James925's Comment
member avatar

I was with Central in 2011; I didn't have any problems. They're a good company to start with, as is any other company. Just stay out of that Fontana and Denver yards backing up if you're a rookie, it's a bit tight! ( <-------this guy had more than a few problems backing up there) Had a little problem the first month and a half on my own getting loads that were less than desirable, but I sucked it up and proved to my dm I could and would do anything he asked, and never had any problems with bad loads after that. If I decide to become a steering wheel holder again, I'm going to bring my pitbull with me. The problem is finding companies that accept pets. So far Henderson and Shaffer are the only ones I know of.

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.
Hudsonhawk's Comment
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So any ideas on Living on the road? I hear about this home time thing and I'm really not interested but if I get home time in a tourism area, like moab or Yosemite or Yellowstone will they worK with you?

I have no choldren, no tie downs I'm just looking at adventuring and trucking I can go take a break and get another job pretty quickly. from what I hear it's a high demand job.

James925's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you're the perfect fit for the lifestyle if you have no children or anything else. Just remember, we can tell you all about living on the road, and you can mentally prepare yourself for it, but it won't actually sink in until you're actually out there on your own. But as long as you have a positive attitude about the situation, which it seems you do, you should be fine. And remember, trucking is a lifestyle, not a job. A job you can go home and sit on the couch after a stressful day. A stressful day of trucking normally happens when you're two time zones away from your home and have been up since 3 am that morning.

I don't think you'll have a problem getting routed to another city for hometime. You'll have to work out the logistics of parking your truck at a truck stop or store if you want to explore the city cause I doubt the company will let you bring the rig all over the place on non company driving. Plus as high profile as these vehicles are, driving on surface streets gets old real quick, especially if you happen to have a trailer.

Living on the road is an exhausting, stressful and FUN time all at once. You'll have days where you'll wish you had never taken this job, and you'll have others where you stop at a truck stop and hang out all night with the people you parked next to eating bbq and playing dominos! Trust me the good days FAR OUTWEIGH the bad. Couple of recommendations, bring your own food with you and stay out of the truck stop eating greasy food if possible, and when you get out on your own, make it your first priority to get some quality bedding in your rig! I slept with two thick sleeping bags and memory foam under my mattress (hint hint) and I slept like a rock from the moment I got my first truck. Get a quality (truck) gps, load up an ipod or mp3 with your favorite tunes and hit the road! And remember to keep a good attitude out there, you're getting in during a good time when it's not winter or really cold. Better to make a mistake downshifting on a clear day than on a winter day with slippery roads. Good luck out there!

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar
Just stay out of that Fontana and Denver yards backing up if you're a rookie, it's a bit tight!

Good news there, after Swift took over they closed both the Henderson and Fontucky yards. Except the bad part is now you have to try and squeeze into the Swift yards in Denver or Jurupa Valley, respectively.

I started with Central in 2011 as well, and drive for them for 2 1/2 years. The Central I left after the takeover by Swift bore little to no resemblance to the Central I started with. I will say the training from TDA was fast-paced but thorough, and my instructors (in Federal Way, WA) did everything in their power to help the students succeed, in some cases even when it was all but apparent the student was a lost cause. They gave me a foot in the door and the chance to get the experience that got me into the company I'm with now, and a point of reference for comparison that allows me to truly appreciate where I'm at. But as has been said at least eleventy billion and three times on this forum, no one company is a perfect fit for everyone. What may be like heaven to one driver may be like hell to another. That's all up to you to determine for yourself over time.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

Yep, I've been going through it. I like how thorough it is. So are most states similar when it comes to these regs?

As far as prime, is it doable? I really want to drive for them now that I've found a few things out. E.g. higher pay, built in apu & inverters.

all the log stuff is spot on except the 2 periods between 1-5 and the 168 hours have been suspended. so the 34 hour reset can be as soon as needed...

if your going to prime in missouri get the missouri handbook for the questions that may be state specific

there may be 1 question on the actual test that is different... there going to give you study guides. they dont ant you to fail.

the purpose of the high road in my opinion is to help us be the best instead of the rest. no matter where you go, youll be in the top 1% on book smarts if you study the highroad.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Maverick (Tom H).'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Yep, I've been going through it. I like how thorough it is. So are most states similar when it comes to these regs?

As far as prime, is it doable? I really want to drive for them now that I've found a few things out. E.g. higher pay, built in apu & inverters.

double-quotes-end.png

all the log stuff is spot on except the 2 periods between 1-5 and the 168 hours have been suspended. so the 34 hour reset can be as soon as needed...

if your going to prime in missouri get the missouri handbook for the questions that may be state specific

there may be 1 question on the actual test that is different... there going to give you study guides. they dont ant you to fail.

the purpose of the high road in my opinion is to help us be the best instead of the rest. no matter where you go, youll be in the top 1% on book smarts if you study the highroad.

Good stuff to know. I have 2 apps on my phone for CDL practice questions one of which is from TT and they ask different questions that way I'm better prepared for when I take my permit test.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Hudsonhawk's Comment
member avatar

Awesome, yeah I've been studying the high road program for about a week now I'm almost through it. I"m going to go through it another time and probably take a million practice tests. It is a pretty thorough program, I'm very happy I found it and that someone took the time to put it together.

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