Hey guys, I've been lurking in the forums for a while but this will be my first post.
I currently live in SoCal and am progressing well in CDL school and look on track to get my CDL A. I've been doing some research on jobs that accept new CDL A graduates for OTR positions.
For my personal needs, I don't care that hugely about pay rates (obviously higher is better lol but I'm not picky and I'm not a big spender). What attracted me to this career is the chance to travel around the country to as many states as possible, to seek new challenges, and because I wanted to do this before I get too old and tired.
I read that it's possible for you to take home time anywhere at all if you discuss with dispatch. I actually don't want to be routed back "home" to the same spot most of the time.
What I'm looking for is a company that has the maximum amount of variety in terms of places that they can route you to for home time.
I'm also looking if possible for flexibility in schedule -- i.e., I don't mind being on the road for long stretches of weeks and months if that means that my "days off" can be bunched together rather than spread out. (Yes I know there are psychological challenges to being on the road for so long continuously but I've thought very hard about it and about my personal needs)
What should I be looking for to find the best fit? Are bigger carrier better for this, presumably? My top 2 on the short list is Schneider (I heard they treat the drivers relatively okay for a mega, and because of their size and also because they have terminals in lots of states, I am assuming that means they have variety of routes) and Freymiller (they advertise that they have the longest reefer runs in the industry, which I assume means that they will send you far, but I can't find any info about how many terminals they have so I don't know how varied their routes are).
Are there any other companies that fit my needs? Also I'm mainly looking to start with dry van or reefer. I may consider flatbed. Not ready for tanker yet.
Choosing an OTR starter mega-carrier for a travel lover with no family ties
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Melton Truck Lines is flatbed and runs 48 states.
Hires new cdl school grads.
Premiere OTR Flatbed Trucking Company - Melton Truck Lines
Take your home time anywhere with few exceptions! Your home domicile is not the only place you can take home time.
CDL school tuition reimbursement.
Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
Leonard's Express is a good reefer outfit that runs 48 states.
@xlsdraw drives for Leonard's.
Home - Leonards
Recent CDL A Graduates have a home at Leonard’s Express!
Leonard’s offers a cdl school tuition reimbursement program up to 10K!
Schneider veteran driver here.
Now, I'm a fuel hauler (but NOT for Schneider).
Just because Schneider has a lot of terminals and dropyards....doesn't necessarily mean they will run you all over.
Since you're out in California--my experience suggests they will (mostly) keep you out in the far west.
@Six9GS can probably give you some really good feedback on Swift.
Your odds of seeing all the "lower 48" are much better with Swift....than with Schneider.
Swift has both dry van and reefer divisions.
Plus....Swift has A LOT of terminals and dropyards--a HUGE advantage for a beginning driver, like you.
In case you didn't see it, already--Swift and Knight Transportation are now basically like Jack and Jill--so that would give you access to all of Knight's terminals, as well.
All together--that's an awful LOOOOOOOTTT of different places to log off duty, and call it a day.
Moreso....I would submit...than pretty much anywhere else, for a newbie.
Personally, I wouldn't wish reefer duty on my worst enemy.
But.....different strokes for different folks.
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