Been thinking about getting my Class A for awhile now. Need info. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by chrismcallister34, Aug 18, 2022.

  1. chrismcallister34

    chrismcallister34 Bobtail Member

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    As the title says, I'm about to be going after my Class A within the next month to month and a half. My first option was Prime when I first started doing all of my research about 7 months ago, but now with the trainer shortage, and the truck shortage, I'm thinking about passing on Prime as I don't want to wait very long to start driving. I'm now looking at Schneider and Swift, and if I can't get hired by them then I'm looking to go with Knight. I've also been looking at PAM and XPO. Also, my girlfriend and I are probably gonna be going at the same time and teaming up after we finish up with all of the training, and we've upgraded to our own truck. We both want to do OTR. We don't really have any commitments or priorities at home or anything, she just wants to come back home every 3 weeks or so to see family.

    My biggest concerns about which companies will hire me is my driving, and both of our employment records. I was fired from my previous job back in 2019 because of an honest mistake that I had made. I had just graduated school with my Associates Degree in Automotive Technology, and started working at a dealership. If you know anything about dealerships, you're basically paid commission at an hourly rate known as flag rate. Management was wanting me turn the same hours everybody else was turning, people that had been there for months and years, a lot longer than I had been. Which wasn't giving me time to adjust. I was only there for 3 weeks when I was fired. I made a simple honest mistake when I had accidentally forgot an oil filter cartridge on a van after doing an oil change, and came back after overheating after being pressured and rushed. My two jobs prior to that, both companies went out of business.

    As for my driving history, I had one at fault accident back in 2009 for a failure to yield, and didn't have any insurance at the time because it had ran out 3 days prior to the accident. I was on my way to a job interview when I was involved in the accident. Go figure, ha. So I got a ticket for that as well. Long story short, I wasn't able to make the interview as the accident had totaled my truck. And I didn't have the money to pay the tickets so it went into failure to appear and warrant status. I was young at the time, and didn't know that I had any other options that I could use such as talking to the judge about community service or anything else. So without any money to pay the tickets or anything, I had been driving with an invalid license and getting multiple driving while license invalid tickets. My very last ticket that I've ever gotten to this date was back in May of 2013. I was finally able to pay off the surcharges so that I could get my license back. I got it back in 2015 until 2019 when it had expired. And since I still had the open tickets, DPS denied the renewal of my license. Then covid hit. And with the covid stimulus payments, I was able to pay off all of the tickets, and remove all warrants and everything. Then after paying off my last ticket, because I had paid off my last ticket, TX DPS decided that they would do a Departmental Suspension starting in July 2020 and ending July 2021 on my license for the DWLI ticket that I paid off, and was finally able to get an appointment to take my test to get my license back in October of 2021. Thanks to covid, I wasn't able to get an appointment any sooner.

    As for my girlfriend, her driving record is clean minus one ticket back in 2015 for going 10 over that she took a defensive driving course for, no license suspensions, or anything, but she was fired from her previous job before her current one back in 2018 for taking care of a patient that was going into diabetic shock while another one slipped out the door without paying or signing an agreement to pay. Other than that, she's clean as a whistle.

    So now the whole internet knows my life history, hahaha. So with all of this said, will Schneider, Swift, Knight, or PAM hire me based off of everything I've told you? And if there's any other good OTR companies that will hire us and train us, I will surely appreciate the info. I'm kinda wanting to stay away from CRST and Western Express unless those are my very last resort options and no one else will hire us. Also, I've looked into CDL schools such as local community colleges, and the ones near us are all booked until around next year. I kinda don't want to wait that long.

    I need straight-forward answers as I'm really wanting to take this big step into this industry, and really wanting to get into it. I've looked into it in the past, but never really dived into it this far nor took it serious like I am now. I can take blunt, honest, straight-forward answers. I've put a lot of research into this. I just can't find the answers to the questions I'm asking.
     
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  3. JoeTruck

    JoeTruck Heavy Load Member

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    I doubt Prime would take you with that driving record.
    Covenant loves teams.
    Try to fill in your unemployment gaps with anything. Like taking care of grandma or cutting grass.
    Let @Chinatown know the area you live in so he can narrow down your opportunities.
     
  4. chrismcallister34

    chrismcallister34 Bobtail Member

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    I've been working for someone as their personal mechanic since I was fired that takes in repo'd cars, and resells them. Do companies check if they're a legitimate business or not? Because who I'm working for doesn't have an LLC or anything. I just know the people. And my girlfriend has been working at the local independent school district since she got fired as a school bus monitor for disabled children. So we're both covered for the gaps. I was kinda wanting to stay away from Covenant becasue I've heard that the motel that they have that they put you in is pretty crappy, and ridden with bedbugs, ####roaches, and everything else. I'm getting rid of a ####roach infestation at my house right now so I don't want to add to it if I can help it. And I don't want to have to deal with bed bugs again. The things that I've read about them was from a few years ago, so I don't know if things have changed or not though. I'm not necessarily worried about pay either. I just don't wanna be paid so low that it's hard to live on either. I still have bills to pay as well. As long as I can make around $45-50k/year, I'm fine with as I know the first year is all about experience anyway. After the first, 15 months, 18 months or whatever, I'm gonna be looking at the better paying paying companies anyway.
     
  5. DRTDEVL

    DRTDEVL Road Train Member

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    Your woman is hirable nearly everywhere that takes new drivers.

    You, OTOH, have a serious employment stability issue and may be relegated to the second-chance starter companies. The problem is that your actual employment periods seem to be short, and you still haven't owned up to the firing. "I screwed up." vs. "I was being pressured to perform on the same level as experienced employees so that caused me to make a mistake." They are the same statement but they mean totally different things from an employer's perspective. Add in the license history issues, and you're gonna be stuck.

    BTW: Put PAM right in there with the Western Express and CRSTs of the world. The only one lower is CR England.

    Apply everywhere else and see what falls in your lap. You just might be surprised.
     
  6. chrismcallister34

    chrismcallister34 Bobtail Member

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    I just said that I made an honest mistake. No one else made it but me. Did it have an effect on me when they started putting the pressure on me? Yes. But I was still the one to make the mistake. They literally told me face to face that if I didn't start working faster that I was going to be fired. So I started working faster because I didn't want to be fired which led to me making the mistake that I made, and inevitably screwing up as you say. I've already owned up to it. I've already accepted blame for it. I accepted blame for it the day that I got fired. As for my driving history, my last ticket was 9 years ago. I was only just able to pay all of them off a couple of years ago as I haven't had the money to. I haven't had a single preventable or an at-fault accident in 13 years, or a ticket in 9 and a half years. So yes, I can say that there is a change of character. I'm not trying to make up excuses or anything.
     
  7. JoeTruck

    JoeTruck Heavy Load Member

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    People who post negative comments do it for the exact reason you don't want to apply there. Covenant has my info from when I worked at SRT and the last email they sent me was 90 cpm to be a trainer and all drop and hook.
    Drtdvl is correct you will have to apply to many companies until you find one that will take you but there is a job for you.
    It will help greatly to know the area you live in..
     
  8. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

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    This is a huge red flag:


    ——-I had been driving with an invalid license and getting multiple driving while license invalid tickets———


    Not so much that you kept driving without a license . But that you kept getting caught.
    Cops don’t pull you over unless you’ve attracted their attention somehow .

    i have driven without insurance . And with expired tags etc and I was VERY careful driver to make sure I didn’t get pulled over .

    you knew you didn’t have a DL and would get additional automatic tickets and perhaps a trip to jail , ( the person that rear ended me had a FTA warrant for refusing to address her tickets from her TWO previous accidents, and she got a trip to jail)

    but somehow you were STILL not able to obey all the traffic laws and not attract attention from the cops .


    i have gone for years and years without being pulled over .

    there’s companies that will hire you , but they are gonna treat you like garbage because they KNOW you can’t get a job anywhere else .
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
  9. scott180

    scott180 Road Train Member

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    Ya f'ed up when you were younger. Now there's consequences that need to be paid. But that's the bad news, and there is good news. While yes you may have to work a less that ideal job that job will still more than meet your current financial goals of $45k-$50k. Now for the even better news. Don't do anything wrong for a year and many positions open up, especially for teams. You'll laugh when you think about $45k-$50k a year as good money. If you and her can work together and be safe and reliable in a year, maybe two, you both can be pulling in a $100k+ each.

    Deal with the crap job for now but have a goal on where you want to be in the future.

    Good luck to you.
     
  10. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Recognize if you enter trucking you will be working both with 24/7 surveillance over certain aspects of your driving and you will be given less information and direction about how to do your job than at any job you've done before. At no other job I ever worked was I given so little info about a customer, or how to do something "everyone knows how to do that" (if they were a truck driver the last 10 years, yeah).

    That puts being able to think through what to do when you don't know what to do very high. You are going to have people in the company or a customer telling you little more than hurry up when you know what to do, and those same people started their weekend early, or are talking on 5 other phone lines and not answering your text/call when you need an answer in the next 3 minutes before the customer closes, etc. There are tools like GPS, cellphones, Google Maps and the reviews of customers that were not available in the old days but every one seems to operate with almost no margin of time, also. You'll have customers located on street with signs saying "No Trucks". You'll have fuel pumps that won't accept your fuel card and no explanation and nobody is answering the phone.

    What I'm saying is it's easy to think this job is much more "paint by numbers" than any other when it is more like "go to Seattle to load, and be in Denver before closing tomorrow" and you figure out the rest. Oh yeah there are no empty trailers or your trailer that is empty has a problem with the brakes. Hurry Up!

    You have to learn to translate "hurry up" into "OK, don't screw up here. What am I forgetting?" and then operate with no mistakes even if it isn't running like a crazy man, which they want.

    Your job/driving history isn't as bad as many other newbies, but it's some obstacle to getting hired everywhere. It could mean you work at a lesser quality company with more of what I described which makes it easy to make other mistakes. And no matter where you work, when the driver makes a mistake EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY the people that were telling you to hurry up will put all the blame on you and not on them for not giving you the support/info you needed at the moment.

    Trucking is a good rescue job, it rescued me. It's a place where you need to mature quickly, hopefully quicker than people's mistakes cause problems. You have to learn from the mistake you make, quickly.
     
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