Distilling down who to drive for

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by otterinthewater, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. otterinthewater

    otterinthewater Road Train Member

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    Ever get the feeling that the majors are just one company (from a layman’s POV)? I’ve been pre-planning my future first company to quit/be fired from while doing my CDL and talking to all of them. It’s like a game of 3-card Monty.

    I think they just wear you down. Like that friend zoned girl who is just always there cleaning up, cooking and one day you drink a few too many and get all buzzed. The next day you’re in a mega co. truck pulling bumpers off of trucks at Petro asking “what have I done?”( talking heads). I thought I had it figured out, but after the fact the recruiter tells me there was only 6 positions open and they took the drivers with more experience. Well duh you ####wad, I don’t have any experience. Why in the #### would you waste my time when I didn’t have a chance?

    Personal things:
    -Spotless 10 year MVR (pulled it yesterday)
    -Passed the 50 ng/cm3 for cannabis yesterday. Never used any other drug
    -2-year DOT card. No health issues
    -52 years old and an excellent driver.
    -Calm and amenable. Very hard worker.
    -Lived in the same place for last +3 years
    -Never fired from anything in my life.
    -And always picks 1st or 2nd in dodgeball in grade school.
    -About a month from graduation/ CDL test.


    Need some advice:
    1.Paying for my own school.
    2. Want to drive 6 months somewhere OTR/Western 11
    3. Then find the real carrier. To do a year Western 11.
    4. @Chinatown has been very helpful, but as a newb I’m overwelmed.
    5. I believe I understood the pay programs. CPM/accessoral Pay et.al. But then it appears recruiters lie.
    6. Should I just walk into local smaller trucking companies and chat them up?

    And you seasoned vets. I understand with your experience etc...looking at this situation /some of these carriers might be insane, but without that experience I can’t get too expensive freight in the future.
     
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  3. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    -Passed the 50 ng/cm3 for cannabis yesterday. Never used any other drug

    Seriously?

    I wonder if you use Pot on a regular basis. MOST drivers who take drug tests do not bother to learn about them at that level of detail.

    That statement you wrote tells me aha YAY I smoked just a little bit under this much needed to fail a test. HAHA I GOT AWAY WITH IT.

    Red Flag to me big time.
     
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  4. skellr

    skellr Road Train Member

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    I'd switch the plan around. Find your real carrier first, and then do what you need to do to get there.
     
  5. otterinthewater

    otterinthewater Road Train Member

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    @x1Heavy When cannabis became legal in California after January 1st my wife and I had a couple of edibles. It was legal. Wasn’t considering a career change then. That’s the only time and that's it. Never ever have I used any other drug. I don’t even take ibuprofen. I do take aspirin for heart health as proscribed by my doctor.

    There’s a thread or two including my first thread where I asked this forum for information and advice.
     
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  6. otterinthewater

    otterinthewater Road Train Member

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    Man I’ve been trying to do that. It doesn’t matter what carrier I look at everyone talks #### about everyone.

    The problem is I don’t even know what I don’t know. Part of me is just saying sign on with a major, you know it’s going to suck. Deal with it. It’s like the adage “what’s the best part about beating your head against the wall?? Stopping.”
     
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  7. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    Im not your opponet.

    What you do at home does not bother me ok? I don't care really it's a free country.

    What I do think ok was a knee jerk reaction that some form of pot was consumed sometime in the past and that you say you don't do it anymore probably because you intend to be a professional Truck Driver and comply with the necessary regulations etc etc etc.

    If you stay clean and off that stuff you will be a very good driver. I support your efforts with that 110% But keep in mind, it's a schedule one drug and as such it's automatically and mandatory illegal around 18 wheelers etc. It's the way it is at the federal level. This entire industry is federally regulated. States rights and legalities mean nothing here.

    The Mods have a special part of these forums set aside so that people can have a chance to talk about drugs without being buried in unnecessary or unhelpful comments etc.

    I live in a world of Pain Management. I have spent 10 years learning about this whole thing up and down and frankly am sick of it myself. But most drivers just want to know that they passed the test and move on Especially if they know in their hearts of hearts that there is nothing like that going on ever in their lives. And certainly they wont understand the really important details such as drug amount cutoff on a given test at the lab.

    I say this.

    You passed. Then don't worry about it anymore. Don't do that stuff anymore (You already said you are not..) just go forward into trucking with a clear head, strong heart and a good situation all around to be a very good trucker.

    Just be very careful with your words please. Literally any trucking company you are inside have ears. And people will listen and pick up on that little statement teaching others about a drug cutoff to pass. That will be enough to pull you in for a random.

    I want the best for you. But interestingly enough regardless of my thoughts or lack of, Society evolves over my dead body. Arkansas has reported that some employers here in this state are hiring people while disregarding drug tests and felon history. They need workers period. In fact some do not test anymore or do BG checks anymore. You show up for work, yer hired.

    That's scary to me. Also it shows that we are in a world where you have to be very careful. That's all.

    I think Ive said enough here. If something comes up that I can help answer I'll be happy to do it for you.
     
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  8. skellr

    skellr Road Train Member

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    They all suck. :) it's a lot of work/time for what it pays, in the beginning.

    I don't think the Megas are that bad. Well, they are, but they do a better job at keeping you in the loop about current "issues" . They hire alot of stupid people and set themselves up for lawsuits. So they will push a bit more to teach you the regulations than say a small company. HOS, vehicle inspection, fatigued driving, etc.... Smaller companys, not so much, they haven't gotten the shaft yet. They have "secutity through obscurity" witch boils down to luck. I think you can have fast crappy equipment without micromanagement , or slow good equipment with micromanagement, whatever floats your boat. I'm sure there are some exceptions.

    I would worry too much about it. Just go and get it done, either way. :) 6 months or a year will go by fast when you are on the road.

    Just protect your license and shoot for keeping a clean record.
     
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  9. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    My first job right out of cdl school was with the worst company in America. I had a feeling it was, but took the job anyway, just to get started. Three months later I had enough experience and knowledge to move on to something better.
    I didn't overthink it, I just jumped to get started and it worked out OK in the end.
    If I'd listened to all the naysayers, I'd still be standing there scratching my head, unable to make a decision.
     
  10. Poonok

    Poonok Light Load Member

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    Don't be afraid of megas, find the right mega for you. Western 11 is important for you so do some job searching through the various job search sites see if they offer a regional spot. Think about van reefer and flatbed. Flatbed requires you to be a working man doing tarps strapping loads and chaining. Tanker is the lesser of the workload but most likely would need hazmat endorsement which isn't that hard to get. Reefer has a lot of sitting but also will keep you moving, some companies for refrigerated might have you do multiple stops per load. Van is the easiest of the lives.

    Look for a mega, put some time in minimum 3 months if you dread it, 6 months if you want to try something else. The sweet spot is 1 year and it will open you up to more opportunities.

    Some places do hair tests for drugs. most hair tests will take your hair up to 1.5 inches from the scalp and will detect up to 90 days, they are supposed to cut off the extra length of hair if your hair is longer. If you are bald headed, they will shave armpits, arm hair, beard, leg hair or wherever else there's hair if you are hairless. If you shave everything off they will most likely flag you as auto-failed even though you didn't take it.

    Find what's best for you. Learn what recruiters say and how they say it. They might not directly lie but they will say things like average and top drivers. Take most things that they say with a grain of salt. Ask them if they are a recruiter for the company or if they are a 3rd party for the company. Do not believe 3rd party recruiters as they will probably outright lie.
     
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  11. MsJamie

    MsJamie Road Train Member

    Wherever you go, the first year is going to suck. Low pay and adjustment to life on the road will wear at you. We've all had to go through this.

    Most likely, you'll be running your first 6-12 months on national OTR, A good planner can concentrate on keeping you where you want to run, but the honest truth is that most freight is in the northeast. Western Regional often has a lot of down time.

    Since it seems you are already in CDL school, my recommendation is to go with either Swift or Prime. Both have good mentor/training programs, though I will say that each company has a few Bozos in their program. If you don't like your trainer, request a different one.

    I went to Swift Academy, and signed on with Swift five years ago. I can tell you to disregard the naysayers regarding Swift; they did deserve that reputation a decade ago, but they've really improved since then. Yes, they're a mega carrier, with the good and bad things that come with it. In your case, the real advantage is as the nation's largest truckload carrier, they have the freight that can keep you in the area you want to run.
     
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