Advice for New Trucker

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  scott_hanson 11 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    Hi everyone. I am considering getting into the business. For a new driver what would be the best route for finding over the road dry van trucking companies near me in Springfield, IL?



    Sorry for not being prompt, I’ve had a heck of a week. Look on Google or and search for trucking companies in or near your town. Call them and ask about hiring new CDL holders, if they have Tution Reimbursement for CDL school, and how often to their drivers get home, pay, etc. If you don’t find many in that area expand your search to the next biggest city. Look on a map and see where interstate highways intersect. Those places usually have numerous trucking company facilities.

    Red & I disagree slightly about how to enter the industry. Red says get your CDL and shop companies. I suggest you shop companies and then get your CDL however it makes sense if you work at that company. Some trucking companies have their own school or hire graduates from certain schools. Your first company is a very important decision. It may determine if you stay in the industary or complete 1 year of experience.



    I start CDL school April 1, 2017. I have wondered the same thing about do I contact companies now or wait until after I get my CDL. I have talked to several drivers about this subject and there are mixed opinions. I took the chance and started contacting companies a month prior to starting my CDL school. But not until I got my DOT physical, contacted and paid for a private accredited CDL school, passed all my CDL exams (I obtained all six endorsements for my state that I live in) and then I started to apply online to a bunch of companies. I use a Android app on my phone called “Driver Pulse” to track my applications which is hooked up to IntelliApp which is the application process that a lot of the trucking companies use for applicants. One piece of information that is invaluable is the video that RVT has about his questions to ask recruiters spreadsheet. I am not great with spreadsheets so I created a word document with similar questions and I have even added some of my own. But you need to go into this as you would any job interview and be prepared. The recruiters really liked that I had questions for them it proves to them that you are serious and made an effort to understand the industry. One item I learned real quick is all of these trucking companies are very interested in folks especially if they have clean driving records, no criminal background and a solid job history. Most of the companies that will hire new drivers right out of CDL school are super interested in you even if you don’t have your current CDL. Even the companies that require some length of time driving are still interested in you but they just can’t hire you until you have that time in seat.

    Now I have a solid amount of companies that I have applied to and I have talked to. I have a rating system on my document in which I can quickly rate the trucking company based on the information they provided me. This way I can weed out the companies that are not a fit for me. Trucking companies need drivers! It doesn’t hurt to get your name out there now if you are serious about driving!



    It sounds like you are doing a good job. I’m impressed. Some companies won’t really talk to students until they are very close to finishing CDL school. Some even wait until you get your CDL. I keep recommending, contrary to Red’s formula, to research your companies first and then go about getting your license. The demand for drivers in this industry is unquenchable. The CDL schools are often very short and busy. It’s sometimes not practical to start shopping around for companies while you go to school. You will be busy learning & practicing. If you borrowed money to pay for school that loan starts coming due soon after your school ends. You may feel a lot of pressure to hurry up and pick a company because you have bills or the student loan payments will soon kick in.

    If a student has things in his past like tickets or accidents or even criminal issues get those resolved or reviewed by companies you think you want to work for before you start CDL school. There is little more worthless than a new CDL and something in your past that prevents you from being hired. The student loan is still on you. Reputable CDL schools will ask questions to prevent students that are unlikely to be hired from starting school. Disreputable schools will accept anyone even if they are unhirable. I find many students have more time to research companies before they start CDL school. The difference between being a success in trucking and leaving within your first year COULD come down to working for a company that matches your needs & expectations. Almost every new drivers learns a whole lot of things that first years that they never though about before getting their license. It’s probably more common than not that drivers leave their first company at the end of the first year. They have the experience and insight to know that they need more money, drive different areas, more/less hometime, etc. Try to pick a good match company first, your second company should be a long-term expectation of employment. Every time you hear anyone say “all trucking companies are alike” I promise you they are not. There is a world of difference between some of them.

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