Super Truckers Need Not Apply – The COTC Orientation Experience

I have seen your trucks, they are always clean and professional.  Chatted with your drivers on the road. They seem happy.  Said positive things about the Company, but I still wasn’t sure.

We hear this all of the time!  So we thought lets chat with Central Oregon Truck’s orientation class this week about the COTC culture, policies, and experience so far.

We understand the industry is filled with empty promises. Recruiters telling you what you want to hear, then you arrive for orientation and it is nothing like you were told.  The trucking industry ‘Gotcha!’ A tale as old as time.

Central Oregon Truck sounded too good to be true.  I decided to come based on talking with Jerry (current COTC driver) but you are not getting something for nothing.  If the money is there why not put in the effort?  I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  So far it hasn’t, said Dylan.

At Central Oregon Truck we do our best to be transparent. To not fall into the status quo of industry treatment of drivers.   At the end of the day, it is still trucking. It comes with traffic, long waits to load and unload, excessive regulation, a lack of access to on-the-road amenities — this entire article could be this list.  We can’t change that.  What we can change, is the conversation and the execution.

I have seen COTC trucks on the road all of the time and decided to apply.  I haven’t driven a 10 speed in two years but Dave (a driver coach and former COTC driver that teaches orientation) was incredibly patient with me during the test drive.  He told me to take my time and not to be nervous.  Dave really helped me out, said Michael.

We provide routing and fuel solutions, have in-ward and out-ward facing cameras, have all Kenworth trucks, utilize the newest safety technology available, working towards a fleet with APUs in all of the trucks and don’t want drivers running between midnight and 5 am.  Regardless of what you read on the internet, we do this for two very simple reasons: (1) safety and (2) production.  You may not agree with how we manage drivers and run the trucks.  We are okay with that.  There is no shortage of other trucking companies for you.

Our goal is for each driver to go home to their family with great paycheck in their pocket

No more sleeping for the first two days of home time because you have been running all hours. No more guessing at the amount on your paycheck each week or not getting paid because the office didn’t receive your POD.  No more sitting for days waiting for your next load, or even worse sitting then your dispatcher calls and says, ‘eh just head home I don’t have a load for you.’  What!? In the best freight market in 20+ years you are still sitting or being sent home because dispatch can’t find you a load!  Enough is enough.  Raise the bar and expect more from your company!

I filled out one of those online apps and received thousands of phone calls and emails.  COTC stood out to me.  So I called them back.  I had not flown since 2008, so getting on a plane was stressful, but much better than a bus from Ohio.  Everyone is a straight shooter and I like that.  Central Oregon is more open than other companies.  The people here, they act like they have known you forever.  It feels like you never really left home.  They explained the why behind the rules and policies. Used real life stuff as examples of why COTC does what it does.  I am looking forward to the home time.  Not being run ragged, only to get home with a body completely exhausted.  Nothing to change about the orientation experience, said Delmar.

Central Oregon Truck offers a Weekly Truck Driver Salary of $1,250 to $2,000 per week with a minimum of $.50 cpm per mile and annual loyalty pay of $.01 to $.03 cpm on every mile dispatched for solo OTR or regional flatbed.  We pay $1,250 for the Monday – Monday payroll period that includes orientation, paid out $250 advance with $1,000 gross on the paycheck.  COTC pays $100 if you wait longer than an hour for your next load, but don’t get too excited, because once you deliver your Peoplenet will ding with your next offer.  It is the COTC promise of a well paid, full-time job!

My son just started here and recommended I join.  I don’t have flatbed experience.  The training I have received this week has been encouraging me to use my skills and helpful when I need extra practice.  The coaches have all been drivers and that really helps.  They do want pictures in the first 30 days of each load to help with your job. It’s better to take a picture then go out with a trainer.  The test drive takes you through a lot of obstacles, tight turns, and winding country roads. It is a thorough test of your driving skills. COTC is not just gonna put you behind the wheel, said David.

There are no bars on COTC windows. Drivers have key cards to the office during office hours just like everyone else. COTC has four driver advisory boards that drive change into driver programs. Driver coaches were successful OTR flatbed drivers.  We don’t have hidden fees and charges. We don’t charge for a shower, access to WIFI, or use of the driver house when you reset at the yard, per diem, and other basic equipment you need to your job.

From the Moment You Arrive for Orientation You Will Experience the Culture that Makes Central Oregon Truck Company the 2018 Best Fleets to Drive For Overall Small Carrier

Drivers attending orientation are not isolated from the rest of the company.  Recruits experience the same access to all COTC facilities as current employees, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the deli with the tenured drivers and office staff.  Thursday morning the COTC management team joins the orientation class for coffee and breakfast and an open Q&A on the company.

It’s Not All Rainbows and Unicorn Farts

During the chat with this weeks orientation class they were pressed about what they didn’t like because no company is perfect and Central Oregon Truck is no exception.  Okay, we will admit, their experience was not even four days, but we all know you can tell a lot about a trucking company in less than that!

Delmar asked, “why the driver lounge does not stay open 24 hours.”  He said, “drivers come in late sometimes and need to get out of the truck for a shower and bathroom.”  Just like Mom always said, nothing good happens between midnight and 5 am! Which is when the lounge is closed.  Following COTC policy we want, and hope, the driving team is sleeping each night.  We do offer a shower and restroom outside at the concierge building for exactly the reason Delmar stated, however laundry will have to wait until morning.

Michael asked, “can you add a mini fridge to guestrooms.”  We hear this request from time-to-time.  There are no mini fridges in the guestrooms because we don’t want too much eating and drinking in the rooms we have a deli and driver lounge for that.  We want the rooms to stay clean and nice for the next occupant.

So there you have it!  We hope you enjoyed this article on the Central Oregon Truck orientation experience and a big thank you to Delmar, David, Michael, and Dylan for their feedback and honesty.  We hope each of you have found a long-term home with us! Please remember to call-in anytime you need us.  Communication and HOS management is key to succeeding with the relentless freight of COTC.