New CDL No Experience Where to Apply and Avoid ? In Alberta

Discussion in 'Canadian Truckers Forum' started by MythicTruckin', Jun 9, 2022.

  1. MythicTruckin'

    MythicTruckin' Bobtail Member

    Hey yall, currently in my second week of CDL school and don't know which path I should take that would give me the best training/experience driving truck. I don't have family and I'm 25 years old, I'm fine with living away for weeks at a time but hopefully finding a company near southern Alberta.

    So far I found some companies that are hiring new drivers, I found that Iron Horse is looking coil operators but I heard I wouldn't get much driving experience out there. I'm kind of an introvert so I don't want to live on a camp with a bunch of guys 15 days at a time but if I need the experience I will.
    Another company I heard is hiring is Bison transport with there two year contract training program but I don't know how they are to work for. I don't really like the idea of the contract and I cant really find what pay to expect and how they are as a company.

    Does anyone have any suggestions where I should apply? What type of work should I look for? What companies to avoid ?

    Thanks !
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  3. shredder152

    shredder152 Bobtail Member

    Sep 30, 2021
    Without experience (and no, your driving school doesn't count) you're pretty much stuck with the mega carriers such as Bison, TransX, Day & Ross, etc, that have programs where they'll hire the newly licensed drivers. You'll need a couple years of experience before the better-paying jobs will come your way.

    It's not so much the smaller companies don't want to hire newbies from a reputable school, it's their INSURANCE company that's saying if you hire newbie drivers your rates will go to insanely high levels. Yes, we'll insure you, but expect a MASSIVE increase in your premiums.
  4. Florescent-android92

    Florescent-android92 Light Load Member

    Nov 21, 2021
    Avoid bison like it's an actual bison. Just don't even make eye contact. Imo oil and gas is the best experience, you get paid well and can get some valuable tanker experience without being a long haul van driver for 3 years first. Cattle haul is an option as well.
  5. MythicTruckin'

    MythicTruckin' Bobtail Member

    Whats wrong with Bison ?
  6. Florescent-android92

    Florescent-android92 Light Load Member

    Nov 21, 2021
    Nothing, just be ready for minimum wage while training, being monitored by a camera all day long, getting calls from a safety manager whenever you follow too closely or exceed the limit by a bit, and being managed by someone who never drove a truck in their life. I guess it's a start, you'll learn a lot there for sure, and certainly appreciate whatever comes after it.
  7. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    Personally I'd stay miles away from anything involving a box or long haul in Canada. Lots of oilfield stuff going on lately. I'd hit up the rig moving outfits. Lots of construction going on too. May even try some vac/hydrovac outfits. Not a lot of driving involved in that but experience is experience.
  8. B77

    B77 Light Load Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    Where in the south are you? Stay away from bison!
  9. Phantom Trucker

    Phantom Trucker Light Load Member

    Jan 11, 2016
    Calgary, AB
    Big mega trucking companies like TransForce, Bison, Trans X, Kindersley, etc. typically become undesirable for a lot of drivers after a while. It’s generally the big corporate ways and mentality at these companies that drives guys out.

    It’s best to choose an employer wisely (or stick it out) when you’re starting off. Getting your first 1-2 years experience at one company is a big deal in the eyes of good (future) employers.

    There’s three criteria you’ll want to try and get right in trucking to make it enjoyable.

    1. The scope of travel. If you don’t like being away for extended periods of time (all the time), then long haul / over the road trucking isn’t for you. If you want to be away, then local isn’t for you.

    2. The segment of trucking. If you aren’t into physical labour, then doing flatbed trucking wouldn’t be a good segment for you.
    Secondly, if you don’t like long waits, the stress of strict appointments and odd hours, then hauling reefers wouldn’t be a good match for you. Each segment has their own pros and cons.

    3. Find an employer that aligns as close as possible to your values. For example: If you care about good maintenance, safety, being treated like family, good pay, having experienced & capable coworkers, dedicated destinations (or irregular destinations), whatever you care most about, it’s good to find an employer that shares those values.

    Like anything else in life, you get what you put into it. I’ve had good success in trucking, as has other members on here. It comes down to taking the right advice and making the right decisions. Best of luck.
  10. MythicTruckin'

    MythicTruckin' Bobtail Member

    Im live in Medicine Hat currently.
    Thanks ! I will definitely consider these points when choosing a company. I will most likely stay away from long haul for the time being and mega carriers if possible. I don't mind physical labour so maybe flatbed will be for me, ill take a look around and see what I can find.
  11. Another Canadian driver

    Another Canadian driver Road Train Member

    Nov 14, 2021
    Just about everything.
    I live in Calgary, retired and I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.
    I would do tanker if I'll be you. For Alberta is a good option.
    BigHossVolvo and MythicTruckin' Thank this.
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