Reply To: Company Paid CDL training in Southern California

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I have strong bias against certain companies, mostly the big mega carriers, For about 20 years I have been active in the online trucking community trying to help less experienced drivers and newbies coming into trucking. About 80% of the newbies spend little effort choosing a trucking company and they think they are safe going with the big companies, no mater how many experienced drivers try to warn them away from some of them. The most frequent comment from a newbie is “I’m thinking of going to work with ABC Trucking. I know people say some bad things about them, but I figure you have to start somewhere.” In my mind you might as well say “I’m thinking of smoking crack. I know some people say it’s dangerous, but you gotta do something on the weekend.”

This job is hard. You will be alone and held responsible for a hundred things the “office people” working for your company or the shipper/receiver should have worked out days ago, but you are the one trying to figure out what they would have wanted, even though they told you nothing. Certain companies, and I put CR England in this group, hire hundreds of drivers yearly and lose hundreds or more yearly. In CR England’s case they also entice newbies to “Lease-Purchase” a truck with VERY expensive costs and knowing MOST of their Lease-Ops will fail. IMO, they are a truck leasing company that masquerades as a trucking company.

The single most important advice I can give anyone is never, ever work for a trucking company until you have talked with current working drivers at that company. No amount of Google advertising or web pages can make up for what current drivers are experiencing. You will be treated like current drivers are treated, for better or worse. The trucking company recruiter you are speaking with before you hire will cease to exist the moment you are hired. Unless you can document what this trucking company recruiter tells you, nobody will know anything about those “promises.” Recruiters get paid when you hire on, even if you leave within 30 days.

Any driver picking a company needs as much info about that company as possible. The internet is a supplement to what working drivers can tell you. My bias is to always start your company search close to home, which will increase chances of getting home. Most newbies, me included, severely underestimate how getting home can keep you sane. I was single with no obligations and I quickly learned that if I couldn’t get home I would lose my mind. There are trade-offs to time at home. Usually if you don’t get home often, you expect o stay home longer. Typically the ratio is one day home for each week away from home. I’ve been able to work and be home weekly and for a long time home daily. This means a frantic stress-filled Friday trying to make it home ASAP because I’m due to leave again on Sunday or Monday. If you can stay out a few weeks you’ll see weekend driving is much less stressful and your frantic rushes home are less frequent, but maybe more stressed.

Your happiness in trucking depends mostly on how much info you have and how successful you’ve been finding a company that is good for you. A roll of the dice is a recipe for problems, up to and including getting put on the industry black-list. There is a company similar to credit bureaus which track drivers in trucking. Not all trucking companies subscribe to DAC or HireRight, but most do. If you get frustrated and quit with no notice, fail or refuse a drug test, or worse abandon your truck to go home, you are effectively black-listed. Bad companies use this as a hammer and low miles as an anvil to pound some newbies.