Company recommendations for that all-important first year?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by TigardTrash, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. TigardTrash

    TigardTrash Bobtail Member

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    Hello folks,

    So as in title. I have a few offers in that are solid, apparently 3 tickets in three isn't enough to completely dynamite my chances and one of those will lapse off this month coming up. I have a 160 hour class-acquired CDL A license with Combination, Air, Hazmat (Extra 10 hour class for that, with certificate), Tankers and doubles and triples. No restrictions and I have a clean clearinghouse and DAC (obviously, being newb).

    I'm 57, lost my Wife in rollover crash back in '19 caused by a drugged up punk who was chugging mouthwash at the scene after he got caught and hence I can run for weeks/months at a time without fear of rupturing my home life. I have none to speak of anymore anyways. I DO have a girlfriend but she helped me GET this license what with her doing pre-trips with me on weekends for our Dates and has been told that for the first year at any rate she will more than likely NOT see me. I did my exam first time out, missed 2 on the pre-trip, nothing on backing and five points on the drive itself so I'd say I learned a thing or two while there at School. That being said I am anything but ####y, the wunderkid of the class flubbed out by stalling it on HIS test so I know that anybody who thinks they are a special gift or something is headed for pain in this line of work. I know about closed gates on weekends, missed schedules and personalities, and the never-ending tedium of being welded in place in a tractor for weeks on end, all the while thinking somebody has it out for you in particular.

    So with the preceding in mind who would you out of the following. Oh and let's knock out Prime, Roehl and Marten out of the equation before anyone suggests one of those. Marten wants at least 4 months OTR, Roehl credit checks everyone, whether or not they company drive, OO or lease and I have too many tickets for Prime.

    So so far it is May Trucking (local to me), Western Express, Magnum, Knight and Werner. Swift is still out and hasn't gotten past my DAC and clearinghouse, same for Wilson and CRST. Not denied but nothing further than that either so I think they may be waiting until they are closer to my self-imposed deadline of October 4th. I've talked to May and Western Express. I WILL talk to Magnum tomorrow and I may as well hear what Werner has to say for themselves. I also might turn one into Palmer and anyone else that you folks think might be a good place to anchor for the first year. My eventual goal is to team drive with my girlfriend here in about five years when she retires, until then I am pretty open except that I would like to be able to have her with me as well as my Boston Terrier who was ejected in the wreck and has become my best friend anymore. Prime would have been my first choice as they do AG tankers up the I-5 corridor into Canada and since I have a Tanker endorsement plus my passport it would have been a good fit. I realize the tanker division is after a year but that would have been my desired goal. May has what they call a Pilot program but it looks kind of intimidating to a newb such as myself. One trip to LA or Salt Lake then Driver's test then welded into your truck. Then again, I like a challenge and the idea of soloing out within two weeks or so and having my own truck I can have my little friend in by November IS attractive.

    I do NOT want to team drive so CRST and CR England are pretty much OUT as far as I have heard, one of them has a reputation of just NEVER soloing you out IIRC, and as attractive as living in an endlessly moving truck with another dude sounds I would RATHER do it with someone I am sleeping with so the funk would blend. Also, I have heard some disturbing things about Knight and a "sleep study" which sounds more like a guaranteed fail where you had BETTER hope you are currently being treated for it or you could be paying for a trip back home from Phoenix. I'm pretty ###### healthy for my age, 6'2", 225 and I can jog four flights of stairs no problem, plus I quit smoking and drinking YEARS ago but that Apnea bit has me worried.

    So who wouldja and why? I am leaning towards May, they are literally less than 30 miles away in Brooks (suburb of Salem) and I like the idea of fast tracking to solo. I realize it is losing the security of a second driver/trainer sooner and the chance for screw ups intensifies, but the idea of finally being about it instead of endlessly "training" is appealing. I need to do that initial year somewhere and from what I can gather I could do a LOT worse then them for a starter company. They ALL leave you somewhere without a load on occasion, they ALL have people whom you will NOT see eye to eye with, and they ALL have Super Truckers/ Lot Snitches waiting for you to do something they can report you for. Keep your nose clean, wipe your behind, obey the safety regs, maintain a paper log just in case and suck it up and LEARN seem to be the common denominators. Above all don't damage the truck or the load, and try to maintain a good attitude even when brown smelly cascades down your neck, apparently everyone has it like that their first year until it starts to really gel into a solid thing. And even after the year it is a lifestyle to commit to, not everyone can hack it.

    I hope to be able to, I have a decent start anyways.
     
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  3. N00bLaLoosh

    N00bLaLoosh Medium Load Member

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    You should roll with Super Ego.
     
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  4. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

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    If you want to stay in the West. Palmer has a 13 state west setup. Palmer is Wilson. Just based in Missoula.
    If you go reefer. It will wear you down. Schedule is night/day/night/day.
     
  5. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

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    Why keep a paper log... just in case?
    Are you really thinking about doing a paper log along side of the electronic?
    That is a lot of extra work that interferes with both logs. And 2 logs that will never match up in real time.

    The only reason to start logging on paper is when the electronic messes up so much and for so long that it can't catch up.
    That seldom ever almost never happens.

    And if you are caught with multiple logs it could go badly for you.
     
  6. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

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    Well, a lot of people knock them, but still for home time Schneider Bulk you get 6 days off per month, so out 3, home a week, the day you come in doesn’t count, if it’s 0700 or 1700, day starts on first day home.
    I ran for them for 9 months, ended up with a better job, stayed at that company for 4.5 years before moving over to Landstar.
    They’ll train you on tankers, Houston or Pittsburgh, was their only two places that trained for tankers.
     
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  7. spindrift

    spindrift Road Train Member

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    Best of luck to you and I'm very sorry to hear about your wife.
     
  8. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

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    If you decide on May, stay away from the Western 11. You’ll go broke. May’s forte is reefer. They’re really not geared for the dry stuff, IMO.

    I ran for them 2 different times; when I was new and again a few years ago as a transition job til I got settled after moving.

    Both times I ran out of Pensacola and I have no complaints about that terminal.

    The upsides to May are consistent, long runs (I averaged 2800 miles a week). They leave you alone (no nagging). Now, when I was a brand new driver Amy (my dm) would call periodically to check on me (make sure everything was going fine), but no micromanaging b.s.

    And, home time was great. I ran 3-4 weeks and was home for a week.

    The downsides are they pay you on the com data card and then you have to transfer wherever you want, and their terminals are what I envision a homeless shelter would look like.

    I got past the latter because I spent as little time at the terminals as possible.

    Good luck! Feel free to pm me or ask here with any May questions you have.
     
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  9. TigardTrash

    TigardTrash Bobtail Member

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    Jun 22, 2021
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    Really?

    Thanks for that mate. I hadn't thought of them seeing it that way as a separate log. They would though, you're right. I just don't want to sit there and have to come up with essentially the last WEEK of runs when the Qualcomm takes a dump. THIS is why I asked you guys for your input, you just saved my butt in some weigh station, thanks for that!
     
  10. lual

    lual Bobtail Member

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    Please accept my condolences about your spouse.

    If you should decide to start out with Schneider bulk (as suggested above), that's fine--but let me throw in a warning for you: only work with Schneider bulk (tanker group) if you are sure that you have a DEDICATED ACCOUNT tanker job lined up for you when you finish their tanker training. Avoid their other tanker jobs.

    I started out with Schneider, and talked with a lot of drivers there who were in their tanker group...so, I know.
     
  11. TigardTrash

    TigardTrash Bobtail Member

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    Jun 22, 2021
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    Thanks Frank, that was mighty helpful.

    Between Moosetek and your timely posts I have saved myself some heartache already. I WAS considering 11 state regional but what with what you just said and the fact that the recruiter was sort of "steering" me towards the 11 state deal I think I will be sticking with 48 State. I'm going to hear the others out (it's nice to have choices!) but since it seems that all starter companies are much of a muchness I think I will stick with May for at least that all-important first year. Almost everyone that has worked for them did so for their rookie year, and I have yet to hear anything that makes me want to run away screaming. As for Schneider, not until they change their pet policy or I have a few more years and maybe want to lease or O/O. They won't allow pets on solo trucks (Couples or teams ONLY) and one of the things I am committed to even MORE then my new girlfriend is the little fellow who was ejected in the horrible wreck that took my Wife. He was only nine weeks old then, she had only had him for a week and I am committed to his care.

    So thanks for the heads-up folks, that was ###### useful and timely information. I'll keep checking in as this thing goes along, it's too late now to back out. Nor do I wish to, I have wanted to long haul truck since I was a small boy and one of our close family friends was an OTR independent trucker.
     
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