Fist post so bare with me.
I’m currently a Union Sheet Metal Worker and I’m tired of breaking my body and dealing with the politics. I’m currently on Workers Comp due to a torn bicep and I’ve been off since July 2020. I’ve been doing some homework and have decided to get into the trucking industry. I’ve weighed the options of company sponsored CDL training and paying out of pocket, I came across a video on YouTube about FREE CDL TRAINING and figured it was BS. Turns out it’s not, I found a program through Unemployment and they approved me for a grant to send me to an Accredited CDL school. So I’m waiting to get started, should be in the next 2 weeks.
Also my user name is just stating where I want to end up.
My questions are...
1. Considering I’m not going through a company school and won’t necessarily be stuck in a contract with a company for a year, which companies have a good training program as far as the in’s and out’s of the industry and driving experience?
2. How long should I expect to be with a trainer? I’m not thrilled about having to live in someone else’s “Space” so the less time the better.
3. Are there questions I should ask prospective companies about the training and trainer? I don’t really want to end up with someone who doesn’t have a lot of time behind the wheel.
4. I want to be a truck driver and as far as I’m concerned automatic transmissions are gay. What companies run standard transmissions?
Thanks for any input and I look forward to being a member of the community.
Brand New Baby Boy LOL
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Currently I live in California (don’t hold it against me) but I’m looking to relocate and figured while I’m out driving I can get a better idea of where I want to call home.
As far as the bicep goes I just had surgery and will be doing physical therapy and I’m told after I’m done I should regain all or most of my strength in that arm so I don’t see any load securement being an issue.
CALIFORNIA,,,,this is all your fault,,,kidding, I have family in L.A., yeah, that title is misleading, but I do like your "automatics are gay", without offending the Gay community, of course. Okay, you are off to a good start, remember, and many seem to overlook this, and I don't mean to discredit you, but without a company behind you, you are starting at an even lower level. Companies that put you through their school, have more of an interest in you. Starting at the bottom, you will be limited to the companies that take drivers from there, the odds of succeeding are slim. Heavy haul, which is a great job, more than likely, will be a ways off, as it takes special training for that, and most older drivers from the company end up doing that. Trainers? That's a tough one. I think, for the most part, trainers are pretty good, like always, you only hear the bad stories, and good luck with manual transmissions. There's a huge switch to automatics, because it opens up the available driver pool, and I think soon, all trucks will be automatics, trucking is all you make it, unlike most jobs you may be used to. For some, it's a nightmare, and some love it.GoneButNotForgotten Thanks this.
Youre tired of breaking your body but thinking of doing flatbed and specifically heavy haul? That does not make sense
A torn bicep is not going to make throwing a 100 lb tarp any easier
And of course, as standard advice to anyone looking to enter trucking, my first advice is always "don't" simply because most people arent really cut out for trucking, many truckers arent even very good at their own job after a few years. Seriously, its a nightmare out here.
That out of the way:
Make sure the school you're going to is accredited. Ask about which flatbed companies they have applications for. The reason being, if they dont help you apply to and get on with a decent company, then half the reason for going there is a waste.
As someone else said, mostly you hear horror stories about the crap trainers, very occasionally about the exceprional ones, most will be fine. Most will not gave 20 years experience, learn what ypu can from them, the company trusts them at least enough to drive a 100k peice of equipment and train you, so that SHOULD be worth something at least even if theyre green.
Recomendation for the flatbed training, id say try tmc, but not sure they do cali, when i went through, their flatbed training was second to none as far as larger carriers. Pay was fair and they didnt lie as much as most other companies. They did try to weed people out pretty aggressively though and a torn bicep might not be great. (Ill admit, im biased since i made it there and didnt hate it, i did however move on)
Best resource is probably @Chinatown for more ideas on companies with good flat training
Heavy haul can be demanding on your time. I talked with a driver who walked away from that. Went to work for Crete’s division of flatbed. Forget the name.
He said he finally had it when. He had put in for both thanksgiving and Christmas off. Told them he’d be happy with just one. He didn’t get either. Had been three years since he was at home for either. Same with kids birthdays.
I do have to admit. I’m infatuated with Blade Running. Hauling that long thing. I just sit and stare when I have to wait on one. I’ll probably never do that. I’m too close to retirement now.
If a flatbed company knows you've had bicep surgery, might not hire you. Use discretion about medical procedures.
Melton Truck Lines is a good choice right out of cdl school.
I don't know of any heavy-haul outfits in CA that hire new grads.
Leavitt's Freight Service used to, but not sure if they still do. Call and ask. There's a terminal in CA.
System Transport also used to hire new cdl school grads, but think they stopped. Also has terminal in CA.
Since you plan to move out of CA in the future, then Melton or Jones. Bros. are good choices because they run 48 states which gives you a chance to look around for a new domicile.
For sure though, Melton Freight Lines and Jones Bros. Trucking do hire new cdl school grads.
Melton Truck Lines Flatbed Driving Jobs and Flatbed ...
Melton Truck Lines Flatbed Driving Jobs and Flatbed Freight Quotes
Home - Jones Brothers Trucking
Home - Jones Brothers Trucking
`Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
Heavyhaul1982 Thanks this.
Something else to consider is possibly getting a dry van job right out of school. You won’t have any issues regarding your surgery. There are many more companies to choose from . Give it a year with the van then try getting on with flatbed. You can say you’ve had surgery a couple years ago and everything is fine.
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