Looking for Advice and Seeking Knowledge

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by TGwaltney89, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. TGwaltney89

    TGwaltney89 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 25, 2019
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    Long time reader, first time poster!

    Have been looking at where to go for CDL training to include company paid. I came across a local family owned company here in middle Tennessee named RE West. Went to their yard and met with a recruiter this week. They offer free training with no contract and only ask that I stay for 6 months. They do both van and flatbed and flatbed is 99% heavy-haul specialized and is where they have the greatest need for drivers. Training is 2 weeks in their yard, 3 weeks on road with a trainer and 1 week back in yard to learn securement. Pay is $.45cpm to start with quarterly reviews and they offer a $5k Veteran bonus paid out when I hit mileage goals.

    I haven't been looking at heavy-haul as an option to begin as I thought I'd need experience to get into the field. I'm very excited about doing flatbed with this company and am reaching out to hear what folk's with experience and knowledge have to say. Community college in my area will take 7 1/2 weeks of schooling and cost about $2k. I can pay that, but prefer to keep it in the bank. I know there are several companies that will provide training with a 12-24 month obligation. Schneider has a couple of ways of them paying for your CDL with a 9 month obligation and currently has about 20 jobs in Middle TN for new solo drivers.

    Look forward to all comments and advice sure to come, specifically about doing heavy-haul/specialized trucking with 6 weeks of training.

    Thanks again for this website and looking forward to the advice that is sure to come and look forward to sharing my trucking journey.
     
    bryan21384 Thanks this.
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  3. Lonesome

    Lonesome Mr. Sarcasm

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    If you go van, RE West hauls a lot of water heaters, that you will be tailgating.
     
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  4. HiramKingWilliams

    HiramKingWilliams Medium Load Member

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    If you go to school instead of company training, you can get almost any truce of trucking job you want. With good pay too.

    *edit* that is - from the start. You can get almost any job you want after a certain amount of experience with company training too.
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

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    I see a lot of RE West flatbeds running From TN to Midwest.
    Don’t remember anything bad about then, maybe @Chinatown knows something about them
     
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  6. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    I'm from that area around Nashville. RE West is a good place to start a trucking career. Used to be a bull hauler outfit; now van & flatbed.
    Starting out in heavy haul is an excellent opportunity, so best wishes.
     
  7. HiramKingWilliams

    HiramKingWilliams Medium Load Member

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    If a driver nowadays was looking to relocate to either TX or TN, which would you recommend?
     
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  8. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Both good states, except Tennessee has very high sales taxes on everything. Many Tennesseans that live near the Kentucky border, do grocery shopping in Kentucky.
     
  9. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    I've heard nothing but great things about RE West. I went to school in Murfreesboro and the guy that tested me spent much of his OTR career there and he had nothing bad to say, but he think he was on the van side. I think it's good you're going flatbed first. You'll learn to back a spread axle. It's a little more challenging but once you learn that, you'll be able to back any trailer.
     
  10. TGwaltney89

    TGwaltney89 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 25, 2019
    Nashville, TN
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    Yes sir, understand what you're saying @HiramKingWilliams . I was leaning towards paying for the school myself, but when RE West said I could do flatbed/specialized right out of training with no real obligation to them, I've been pretty much sold. I felt comfortable after I visited their yard and met the recruiter and am thinking worse case scenario is if I'm not happy I can leave after 6 months and if all is good I'll stay as long as I'm happy.

    Thank you for the positive feedback @bryan21384. I'm about 80% sure I'll begin training in January and am looking forward to it. No negative feedback about starting with RE West or with doing the flatbed/specialized driving right out of training.

    Thanks @Chinatown for the positive words. Glad to hear you think RE West and heavy haul is an great opportunity for a newbie.
     
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  11. feldsforever

    feldsforever Road Train Member

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    Its low pay, but you can't look at that. When its only a 6month promissory note. And you get all that experiance.
    My self, I would have jumped on it. I would have stayed a year even at 45. Cent a mile. If you ever decided to leave you choices are now doubled. Because you can run flat or van.
    Just bear in mind to keep a calm cool head, heavy haul, over sized require a unique set of skills that can be learnt and last a life time. But one or two mistakes can cost quite a bit.
    The perspective I'm trying to explain. Permits alone. Ive never needed them. I don't even know where to look to try and get one. Then routing. No idea have to plane a rt for 13,9 sized load or taller. Or a 120 foot wind mill wing. I couldn't guess how to strap down a car, a bundle of shingles or iron rebar. You got the opportunity I wish I had. I hope you take it. Or one just as good.

    The one question i would ask the company is, what if I fail my first cdl test at the dmv.?
    Good luck on whatever you decide.
     
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