First Day of Truck Driving School

Discussion in 'General Food Service Discussion' started by MikeJ, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Hi everyone,

    Today I had my first day of truck driving school and I got to listen to three recruiters talk one from Schneider, one from Werner and one from Maverick.

    I must say after listening to all 3 recruiters talk, I decided that throwing groceries is the only way to go. I would take Mains, GFS, Sysco, MBM, McLane, Northern Hasserot, C.A.Curtze, Lipare and Sherwood any day over any mcmega truck load carrier. I guess you can sum it up like this, if a company has to recruit so hard for people to work there all the time and they need masses and masses of people to come in get chewed up and then leave, is that really the place you want to work? I mean I know food service has over turn to, but I mean these big OTR outfits they really really have employee over turn. Also ever heard of the term sliding pay scale? I learned it today and boy does that sound like a good way for a company to rob you blind. When the OTR companies have to come in and say "We do not do a sliding pay scale so don't worry." Then you know something is wrong.

    Now I know food service trucking is not for everyone and food service trucking is much much much more then trucking, but that's why I like it and that's what it's appeal is. I really do not want to be an over the road driver, I would much rather do food, I mean obviously if I had to I would go where I have to go, but I am holding out for what I want.

    To be fair though Werner did sound like the best if I had to choose, but I work right now and am not hard hard up to work so I am going to hold out for what I want, and just keep applying at GFS and Sysco and Sherwood. Yesterday I applied to Northern Hasserot Brandt for a class A or B driver. Really I don't care straight truck or tractor trailer, hell I would be happy to drive a cargo van for GFS , Sysco, NHB or who ever I am not picky, I mean I'll start at cargo van and work my way up to truck.

    Any how as far as school goes, I am in the class room right now and it is going to be a while, before I get out into the yard and get in a truck and go on the road, but that's okay I'll take it all in stride. However as far as school goes the instructor that I had in class was a nice guy and he was an old school flat bed driver, he was pretty cool and I like him, we talked about preventative maintenance a little bit and putting equipment out of service if it is broken and the best ways to protect your CDL and your self. We talked about driver fatigue and controlled substances. Really the bottom line is say no to drugs and alcohol. We talked about cargo tie downs and protecting cargo and flat bed type stuff, actually that is one thing I would consider trying is flat bed like the covered wagons that Valley Transport of Ashland, Ohio has for what ever reason I am mildly interested in that.

    Any how in school we also talked about truck stops and how they are dangerous. Really that's another good thing about food service work minimum time in truck stops. I mean obviously if you work for an OTR outfit you have to go to the truck stop, but I mean I don't see to many Sysco's or GFS's at truck stops unless they are delivering there.

    I will say this if for what ever reason if I have to go OTR I would probably sign on with Werner. They do seem like the most fair, benefits start day 1 at Werner and they pay you for orientation. Also they seem to have some okay perks, I guess according to them they are the only company that uses electronic logs and there drivers do not have to carry a paper back up log book. Werner says they have a federal waiver and you do not have to do any paper logs at all and I guess with Werner and there electronic logs it is impossible to run illegal. I did know someone who I trust that worked at Werner and he said that information is correct.

    Although for most food service guys, working a city route, how much log booking do you really do? I mean some of you guys are within 100 air miles of the terminal and when I applied for my operating authority (I have passenger carrier authority, was going to start a limousine business, but plans change, limousines are DOT regulated and must display a DOT and MC number on the door.) the FMSCA told me within 100 air miles of the terminal log books were not required.

    Also I have a sneaking suspicion and I'll never know, but I have a sneaking suspicion that these truck driving schools get a kick back from these OTR companies, I could be wrong, but these trucking schools seem to want to push everyone to work at Schneider, Swift, Werner, Maverick, Star (now Swift) & Roehl. I have to believe and I could be wrong, but for some reason I have to believe that these schools get a kick back.

    Any how you know another thing is and they should really say this upfront, but these OTR companies they are in business to move freight, getting you home is not in the best interest of their pocket book so really why would they have any motivation to send you home and have your truck parked at the yard not making them any money?

    That's another thing I understand very well restaurants are in business to sell food, broad line food distributors are in business to supply restaurants the more food the restaurant sells the more food the distributor sells to the restaurant, the more Mike J has to unload the more I get paid. I'm out here to make money, not sit on my duff and I have no problem pushing a 2 wheeler would rather do that then sit behind the steering wheel for 9 1/2 hours worrying about every stupid thing under the sun. Which was another topic we talked about today in school. All the windshield time can turn into worrying time. Really though this is a business decision and I feel for me food service is exactly where I want to be and I understand the food company is in business to sell food and lots of it. Which translates to more work and money for me, plus I like running the two wheeler I have my own Magliner Gemini II with all the accessories that I use for my liquor deliveries I paid over $600+ for it, I also plan on keeping it the rest of my life and never buying another 2 wheeler again, which means if I go to an LTL outfit like R&L carriers I will already have a professional 2 wheeler and not have to buy one.

    Now the one thing I am interested in and this is going to be a separate issue is the passenger bus training I am going to go through after my CDL A is done. There are only a handful of people enrolled in passenger bus training not nearly as many people go for that as tractor trailer, so the class is going to be smaller. I know that Greyhound from what I read actually has a very very intensive training program, they do not play around at Greyhound they are very serious about how they train. I just wanted to have bus driving as a back up like working at Lakefront Lines or Cleveland Southeastern Trails or even any of the limousine companies here in Cleveland with a Passenger Bus Endorsement on my CDL I can walk into any limo company and probably find work totally worth the extra money it's a nice back up to have.

    Any how I determined at the end of the day today the companies that I want to work at are the companies that do not recruit at truck driving school, those are also the companies that use day cabs and not sleeper cabs in most cases. Now to be fair is OTR trucking fun for some people? Yes I am sure there are some people that enjoy it Schneider and Werner have people who have worked for them 20+ years absolutely.



    Look I am serious about this as a career and that is why I would like to work at a career company off the bat instead of a starter company not that you cannot have a career at a starter company because you can, it's all about attitude. I know that is kind of like skipping a step, but I am not the first person to do it and GFS and Sysco to me are professional career companies really all the food service companies are professional career companies not that the OTR companies are not, but all the food service guys I have met in my life and all you food service guys on here, you guys are all pro's and definitely very high caliber drivers and people.

    Any how thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my insight.

    Mike
     
  2. grocerythrower

    grocerythrower Super Mod

    Messages:
    16,094
    Likes Received:
    305
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Mike.....I love you man, I really do! You are passionate, I have no doubt that you will achieve exactly what you want!

    As for OTR, if thats the way you have to go for short term...Roehl, Crete. My two top picks for OTR, thats where I would go.
     
  3. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    If you have to go to Roehl. That's where my buddy started out at. Good luck. I guess I got lucky and I didn't have to spend a lot of money to have someone teach me how to drive semi. I found a company to do it and payed me to learn. But I've done food service and I'm not convinced it's a career choice. Short term yes but not so much long term. If it's what you want just take care of your body and don't rush. I try telling my buddy that but he doesn't listen and he's gonna get hurt eventually.
     
  4. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    18,401
    Likes Received:
    10,540
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Mike,
    You might want to look at a large dairy to work for too. The work's not too far off from food work, it's hard work, money's good, hours suck and there's usually a demand for workers there due to all of the above outside of the good money part. I would recommend a union job if you can find it. Pay and benefits are usually (not always) better and you don't have to be a :butt kiss: to keep your job and many of them have good pensions.
     
  5. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Yeah I looked into a dairy company here. Union top pay of 24 a hr with a pension. But your right to start the hrs really suck
     
  6. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    If you do go to food service try and get a layover route. The best way to go
     
  7. double r

    double r Dock delivery expert

    Messages:
    931
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Out of his list, three are union. Northern, Curtze and Sysco. There are several dairies in Cleveland and I think Dairyman is union.
     
  8. double r

    double r Dock delivery expert

    Messages:
    931
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Scratch Northern and Curtze then, lol
     
  9. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Mr.Grocerythrower I respect the hell out of you for the position you hold and working at Sysco and navigating all those tight spaces and pushing a two wheeler up and down stairs and going out on night runs and to have been doing food since 1992, you sir are an absolute pro.
     
  10. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Mr Double R thank you for your service in the food industry as well, on be half of all the restaurant workers who you deal with who probably do not say thank you enough. Dairyman's is about 5 minutes from my house and I thought about applying there, they have grown a lot over the years and are pretty much state wide now, however the main plant is in Cleveland.
     
  11. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    To moneyman:

    I agree I am not totally sure truck driving school is the answer 100% I think it's a start, but I am with you 100% in agreement with you and generally I think the school I picked is okay however they have there short falls and I will get to that in a different post, the problem is the way insurance works if I have to work at Werner, Crete, Rohle being that I went to a truck driving school, they might like that better, but I could be wrong, I don't know not everything they teach is bad and this school does take time to teach log books and tell you about things that you need to know, and I do believe the instructors seem to mean well and care the guy I have certainly seems to care he flat out said at the end of class "If you guys think I could do a better job of teaching please by all means let me know, I want to make sure that I am communicating everything the right way to you".

    Unfortunately I'm kind of a pay cash for everything do not be indebted to any one kind of person and I didn't want to go through any big OTR company training and be on the hook to them and my employment situation isn't one where I had any of those options so I was caught taking the suckers route I guess, I mean it's not going to break me, but I understand that truck driving school can defiantly be a rip off it is certainly a buyer beware situation.

    I do think the instructs at the school I have are qualified and certainly interesting people and they really seem like good people they really do and the guys who teach the classes and go out on the road they seem to care about how you do and they do not sugar coat things either, but they are at the mercy of the school and the schools administration and what ever the boss tells them they have to do, they have to do. They might have some leeway here and there, but it's like working any where else every place has things they do good and every place has things they do bad.
     
  12. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Mr.Grocerythrower,

    Crete and Rohel were on my list, I kind of always thought Crete was an okay outfit to work, I know Shaffer which is Crete's refer division has trailers parked at the Nestle Minors plant down the street from my house, so I guess that's kind of good that they have a customers in this area. I know Rohel has a small yard in Akron, Ohio not right on top of my house, but not a terrible drive either so I would have a place to park my truck if I worked at Rohel.

    Just curious what do you like about Crete and Rohel?
     
  13. grocerythrower

    grocerythrower Super Mod

    Messages:
    16,094
    Likes Received:
    305
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I have always heard good things about them, plus they each have good hometime programs, they don't require you to be gone for months at a time, plus their pay is better than the industry average.
     
  14. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    GT roehls pay isn't above industry standard. My buddy started there at .28 cents a mile. No matter where he goes to start if it'd otr it's going to be really crappy pay.
     
  15. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83

    Yesterday I was talking to a guy at the school who was a CDL A refresher student said he used to haul steel in the 80's and early 90's for LTV Steel and then went to work at CF. He said when CF closed in 2002 he kept his CDL, but stopped driving and did other things like run a pilot car and leased a cargo van to an expedited company. He said the best way to describe cargo van expediting is "poverty on wheels." He goes crackers and peanut-butter every night.

    He told me one time he got an expedited load from Detroit to Laredo, Texas the load was a 1 lbs box with an O ring in it going to a nuke plant. Said he put it on the passenger seat and called it "Wilson" the expedited company paid him a buck a mile. He said the only good thing about cargo van expedited is no log books and no weigh station scales. He said the problem with expediting in general is they send you somewhere that the company has literally 0 customers and you sit and sit and then they tell you dead head from Laredo back to Cleveland and will find you another load. Any how we were out in the hallway looking at all the OTR trucking company pamphlets and he said to me "So many choices so little money."
     
  16. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    A guy on another forum posted his pay at Crete he had spread sheets and everything and he wrote exactly how much he made on each load and at the end of the year he ended up making $61,000.

    A guy in my class at school said his friend works at USA Truck said they pay his friend $0.25 a mile. That guy told me for that kind of pay I'll go back to working at Bob Evans. He said Bob Evans was paying him $9.50 an hour USA Truck after you ad there $0.25 a mile up in hours wise it works out to like $10.00 an hour.
     
  17. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Yep gotta be careful where you go. My next move will be to car hauling I think. I want a physical job but I don't want to kill my body like what food service does to you. You can make very good money in car hauling
     
  18. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The only company I talked to that had what I thought was okay pay for a brand new guy and it was better then average, was Melton Truck Lines of Tulsa, Oklahoma they are a flat bed OTR outfit. The thing that drew me to Melton, in the beginning was because I originally wanted to start off as a flat bed guy, but I also wanted a company that had a very good safety rating and Melton has a very good CSA score. They were awarded as the safest truck fleet in Oklahoma at one point in time. Their pay I thought for students and new guys was pretty good it was over $0.36 cpm, plus they had other pay as well and they paid you extra to haul over size or HAZMAT. However their over size stuff was not big time over size stuff it wasn't like loads that needed flag cars or any thing like that it may have been an oversize pipe you all know what I am talking about.

    Any how my other OTR choice was a company by the name of Decker out of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Decker is mostly refrigerated, but they do some flatbed, but they are only medium size, I think like 500-600 trucks well heck 500-600 trucks compared to Schneider which has thousands and thousands of trucks would be considered fairly small. There was a guy on You Tube by the name of 1776filmz and he was an OTR driver for Decker and I watched a lot of his video's and he liked Decker he got hired on good terms and left on good terms and he said he thought Decker treated him very well. I mean you know OTR outfits the pay is on the lower scale with all of them $0.28-$0.45 cpm. So I kind of look at it more like this, which outfit can I go to where you know maybe they treat me okay and I can be decent to them and they can be decent to me and maybe we both can learn to get along and make out okay.
     
  19. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I know decker very well. Very nice fleet. I use to deliver down the road from there terminal in Fort dodge. They got quite a few flatbeds. See them all the time but yet I live in MN so I'm just north of them. Melton doesn't sound bad. They do pay decent for starting out.
     
  20. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Cleveland, Ohio around here, we don't get Decker to much. Rarely do I get to see them. I see Martin all the time, but Decker only once in a blue moon besides a couple OTR drivers who work at Decker and live in the area. Decker does however have 1st rate equipment bar none some of the best I have ever seen. There tractors and their trailers are top of the line that is for sure. Their trailer fleet actually impressed me the most they have very nice refrigerated trailers.
     

Share This Page