Ok, my wife and I have decided to get our Class B first, and get some OTR experience for a year or two. We found a school "trainco" in Detroit that has a 1 day course for $395 incl test and physical. You do school 1 day, and take the test the following week.
Here's my question, what companies are out there that will hire a husband\wife team with a class B, but no experience, and please don't say Expedite solutions. We want to run OTR coast to Coast of course, but understand in the expedite industry you can't pick and choose.
Suggestions as to what to do next? The school didn't seem to have any employers for straight truck that they could recommend.
Thanks in advance! This website has been so helpful in our quest to become truckers over the last few months.
Getting CDL Class B, who will hire?
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Thats a very good question. I wouldn't think there are very many companies that run OTR with a class B. With fuel prices on the rise it is not cost effective for companies to send freight in a class B truck. I have heard that companies like FED-EX hire independent contractors for OTR class B. But you have to have a truck. I am going to keep an eye on this thread because now you got me curious to see if companies still do that. I wish you and your wife well in your endeavors.
I would seriously consider finding an alternate route and get your class A. I don't think you going to find success with a class B. I know money is tight right now, but maybe you and your wife can think about going through a training program with a carrier. A decent carrier such as Watkins Shepard or Schneider. That way you get better training then 1 whole day, and you would be working toward your goal. With a class B, your gonna spin your wheels!
Yes, we understand 1 day sounds ridiculous, but we have been studying our Class A permit for months now, but need the on the road training. I didn't say 1 day is enough, but clearly the state of MI feels it's ok for a Class B as it's being done up here.
Trust me, my goal was to get a Class A for 6 long months now, but here's the deal with Class A.
1. Signing a year's contract with a company is a bit scary if we pick the wrong company. There are so many contradictions on this forum it gives me a headache sometimes. This company good, the same one bad. I think most companies are probably ok if you have a good attitude and work hard. If you asked people who quit or got fired from my line of work, they'd probably say it sucks too, but in reality they either had a bad attitude, or just weren't a fit right from the beginning.
2. No real desire to be separated from my wife for 4-6 weeks while training with a carrier, and she get's stuck with "Big Trucker Dave". We actually enjoy eachothers company still lol. But I understand you can request a female trainer for her.
3. Can't afford to go to company sponsored training and not get paid for those 3-4 weeks.
4. Don't have the money to pay for even a 2 week course at $2,500 each.
Haven't checked into grants or loans, but with my recent credit history and income, I probably wouldn't qualify and I believe that's for college courses that take months, but correct me if I'm wrong.
We thought class B, would just be a way to get in the business without losing our shirts the first 3 months in. We have looked into PAM again, to drive as a team for the dedicated dept, but don't see much on this site about that company at all.
Catch 22, no exp.-no job...... no job-no exp!!!
Like Darth said, a class B is going to seriously limit your opportunities. If you can't afford the time or money to get a class A from a community college, then do the next best thing--get a job at a grocery distributor.
My brother went that route to get his CDL. He started on the dock, worked his way to shuttling trailers into the docks, then eventually to becoming a route driver pulling doubles from Grand Rapids to Detroit.
He had never actually driven a truck before when they asked him if he could put a trailer in the dock. He lied and said he was a pro... LOL. Lucky for him one of the road drivers was out there when he went out to hook the trailer to back it in. The guy saw him bouncing the tractor up and down because he was trying to slip the clutch and give it throttle at the same time--like you'd do in a car.
That one driver helped jump start my brother's career. After some instruction on how to get the truck to move without jumping like a rabbit, he showed him how to hook the trailer up and how to back it in.
With enough parking lot experience, you'd be able to pass a road test with just some studying for pretrip inspections and rules of the road.
Places up in your area would be Meijer, Farmer Jack, SAS, Gordon Foods... etc. Get to know the drivers and tell them you'd like to learn how to drive. A little BS don't hurt either... if a job posting goes up for a yard jockey, put in for it and tell 'em you're the best yard jockey there ever was. Then humble yourself and search out a driver to show you the ropes. It can be done.
We thought seriously about getting our Class B's as well, but the opportunities out there for OTR class B operators are few and far in between. Any reputable company will still put you through a training program whether or you are driving a straight truck or combination. While there are a few companies like panther... most of the Fed Ex Critical guys are experienced drivers and own their own trucks.
Class B newbe opportunities would be mostly local hauling. Fill trucks, cement trucks, lumber yard delivery trucks etc. OTR would be difficult.
Class A OTR opportunities are everywhere. I was scared of driving a semi in town and thought Class B driving would be so much easier.... well driving a big rig is not that much harder then a straight truck when you get a little experience doing it and based on my research, the pay is better as well. Good luck finding a company that will hire you and your wife after a 1 day class for Class B OTR that will train you together. Remember the training programs are to satisfy insurance company regulations more than company regulations. Don't get me wrong, I wish you the best but you eliminate about 97% of the OTR opportunities out there by only getting your Class B and if you decide to upgrade later, you will still have to go through the additional permit testing, schooling, training , etc that you could do now.
I wish you well and will follow your progress if you will keep us updated here.
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