I had been an employee for england for about a year up until january, and most of what i've seen or heard about them has been true...at least from my experiences.
from my first phone call with the recruiter until my last day working, one thing was perfectly clear....RUSH, RUSH, RUSH! you're on our time. I received a call from a recruiter named travis, was given many promises and then said that i'm signed up for class on monday. So I went to class on monday, where we scanned through papers and signed them, took physicals and drug tests, signed papers to pay off their school (eagle atlantic). This was the day to hop out, but I really wanted to get my foot in the door. day 3 of school was when we went to the dmv and took the permit tests. I passed mine on the first shot and was told that I was in the "Flex Program" which is when they take the "best students" and put them in an "advanced class". the flex program lasts a week and a half. the first 3 days is when they take you to the practice yard and have you practice backing maneuvers then have you drive on the road with the public. I had never driven a tractor-trailer, but after 3 days of permit test practice here I am driving. the whole second week they had every flex program student go out with a "trainer" and deliver actual loads. and finally the third week was graduation.
phase 1, phase 1 upgrade, phase 2, phase 2 upgrade. people called me "the lucky one".....I only had (1)phase 1 trainer and (1) phase 2 trainer.
after completion of all of the training, i must admit that i did learn something. I was taught how to do a straight line back from one trainer andwas taught how to take grades from another trainer. in the end i didn't feel like that was worth $3,000 but who am i to put a price on anything. so ya, now i know that i have to give them a year and a half to pay off school....unless i wanna pay more then what they usually take out of my paycheck ($75).
IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO RUN A TRUCKING BUSINESS THEN GO COMPANY!!!!
with this company, no matter what they say about going company, DON'T LISTEN. they told me that it would take 3 weeks to get a company truck, I COULD HAVE GOTTEN ONE THE NEXT DAY.
YOU FINISH PHASE 2 UPGRADE DON'T TAKE TIME OFF!!!
get out there and make a little money, save it up so when you come home you have something in your pocket. there's no reason to be in the hole from the start.
IF YOU DO LEASE!!!
if you end up leasing, make sure you jump on a dedicated route with lots of miles. i know that it's hard to get into a position like that but that's where you need to be in order to succeed with this company. i've talked to and heard of many truckers with england that have leased and either trained or got a second seat, but it doesn't matter unless you're getting the miles.
make sure that you're single with no kids. at $00.25/mile it's hard to support a family. (you can see the payscale on England's website) penny-a-mile raise every 6 months. but at that wage a single man can live well. get your years experience if you can and jump on with another company.
i admit that i made some money when i first got out there, the first couple months were profitable. but then came a drastic decline with the miles which meant a decline with the money. to be OTR and bringing home $200 a week isn't worth it, especially when you put into account saving money to get weighed, to pass tolls that they route you on but they don't reimburse you for, getting the trailer washed out at a mom-n-pop truck wash when a blue beacon is too far out of the way. now take the remainder and buy food for the week.
being up for hours when you're supposed to be sleeping, pissing in bottles so you don't waste time stopping, slowly creeping out of shippers so the quallcomm doesn't put you as on-duty driving, taking a shower every 3-4 days, sitting in a truck stop for 2-4 days waiting on a load to come. and the last month of my employment i considered 1500 miles as a fantastic week! DO THE MATH! 1500 miles x $00.26.....minus taxes, school payment, health and dental, food, money to do the job and whatever bills you have to pay.
all in all, this was my experience with england. some have experienced a lot worse, and some have experienced a lot better. its all about how you go at it and the luck that comes while you're doing the job. I suggest to go through your local government to get some financial aid to pay for trucking school, so you don't have to pay the company back, and when you do become a driver save up as much as possible because you never know when you will catch a bad day, week or month! as everybody says, talk to truckers!!! i've been around many of them, and one thing i can guarantee is that a trucker loves to talk about trucking. they know about the great companys, tricks of the trade, what to look for in a truck, what and where to watch out for on the road....honestly you can ask a trucker anything and you just started up a couple hours worth of conversation.
so good luck to everyone! i myself will be behind the wheel