My son currently drives for Covenant. They were the only one who would take him straight out of Roadmaster training due to an out-of-state license suspension that he wasn't aware of until his MVR was run during school. Other companies said he had to wait from 6 months to 1 year after he got it taken care of.
Anyway, with only one little bump after he finished his 45 day training period (he 'selected' a co-driver that just kept wanting to be home and was threatening to quit the company), he has been happy there and has been making much more money than he ever did anywhere else. He is driving for the reefer division now (team driving) and he and his co-driver are getting as may miles as they can drive with lots of cross-country trips.
Since he is not married and owns no property and we (his family) are scattered all over the country, he has no problem staying out weeks at a time. When they decide they want 2 or 3 days off, he stays at his co-drivers place.
So far, even with all their little rules, he has been okay with them. But then he is only a little less than halfway through their mandatory 6-mo team driving period. Maybe he is one of the lucky ones.....or maybe his expectations weren't very high to begin with. He plans to stay with them for a full year before deciding to move on (if he ever becomes unhappy with them).
Note: they do seem to favor teams that like to run, run, run!
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My hubby and I are supposed to start with Covenant in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to get some info so we're prepared. Could you ask your son what his orientation was like? I'm particularly interested in what the road test was like, if they do a strength test, do they do skills test, how thorough is their physical, how are the days thru orientation....
I know this is a lot of info to ask, but I just need some answers to help me sleep at night. Thanks very much! Hope your son stays safe and happy out there!
I'll see what I can do, but he is the night driver of the team (drives 8pm until 6am) and is usually asleep during days. I'll see if I can get ahold of him tonight. They just came off 3-day home time and are out again as of today from what I understand.
I do know that the orientation in Chatanooga lasted 3 days (the 3rd day being mostly a safety class or something). The orientation didn't take all day...seems like he was done by 2 or 3 each day because he filled out the paperwork they gave him on day 1 that night vs. leaving it for the next day. I don't think they made him do a strength test at all during orientation, just a pee-in-a-cup test (and maybe a blood pressure check) since he had just gotten his DOT card two weeks before....but I'll check on that.
When you show up to check in the day before orientation they make you take a road test right away. Doesn't matter if you've been awake on a bus or driving all night. Before they allow you into their 'hotel', you have to show that you can handle a big truck. All they had him do (since he was less than 2 weeks out of school) is drive a block and do a straight back. Period. But a 20-yr experienced driver that came on the bus with him had to do an alley dock and something else. Don't know how they decided that. Anyway, Sean said it was very simple and basic. You don't take another road test until you are done with the 45-day training period. If your hubby trains you well, you should have no trouble with that.
Anything else you want to know, ask here today and I'll see if I can get ahold of him tonight.
We'll actually going to orientation in Pomona, but I would assume it's the same. Hubby's not training me, we're both going out with a trainer together (main reason we chose Covenant).
I heard that if your DOT card is relatively new, then you don't need to re-do the physical. Our's are from February, so I'm not sure if we will. Recruiter said maybe not.
I think that's all of my questions....I sure appreciate your help. With all of the bad press they get, I'm laying awake at night hoping we made the right decision. Your posts help me breathe a little easier.
The road test for orientation is as I mentioned before: merely around the block and simple backing for student trainees.
The one thing to be ready for that could kill you in any company orientation: make sure that you have the correct reference info (name, phone #, etc.) for all prior jobs listed on the application. They might not contact them, but if they do, they want responses back during orientation period. Most companies (including Covenant) will send you home if there is any questionable medical issues such as past surgeries or DOT medical 'conditions' (until you get Dr. clearance in writing) or if you cannot confirm periods of unemployment. If you were unemployed or had your own business for any period of time in the last 3 years or whatever was on the application, you need a notarized letter from three different people (not immediate family) stating that you were unemployed/why or self-employed. They did not follow up on those letters with my son for his one-yr period of self-employment.
He is aware of one couple that did go out with a single trainer for their training period. They had to wait a couple of days after orientation for the trainer to show up, but they were able to stay in the hotel (on the company) while they waited.
Hope that helps and good luck with Covenant.
Central Florida is a really hard place to get onto a local thing, that pays decent. With the ports, and alot of imigrant drivers there, the companys know that they can do it, and they do. Your probly going to be stuck OTR with some other company, US Xpress, Covenant, JB Hunt, Schneider, or something like that, to get you started. Get your time in, and then move on to better things (hopefully).
If you are near Orlando check out Eastern Seaboard Packaging . They deliver moving supplies to UHaul and movers . Not really easy work (Uhaul wants all product brought inside and stacked - trucks have liftgates) but good pay and benefits and mostly day trips in Florida . They have hired drivers right out of school .
My understanding is that they make you take the simple road test right when you first show up. If that is at 6:30am and you've been up all night, you'll still have to do the road test before they take you over to the hotel.
The urine test is done the first day of orientation. My son showed up at 7am on Sunday and took the road test, then did the pee test on Monday as part of orientation.
But that's his experience. I can't vouch for that being the standard.meat999 Thanks this.
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