FAQ's

What type of physical work is required to be a TMC flatbedder?

Like most OTR jobs, the majority of your time will be spent behind the wheel, but flatbedding does tend to be more physically involved than other types of trucking. You will be required to pull yourself up on the trailer and loads. You will be required to secure straps and chains as well as tarping. There are distinct advantages to being a flatbedder, and the most obvious is that you get a chance every day to work outside and get a little physical activity to break up the long hours of driving. We encourage you to view our load securement page to get a better feel for what's involved. You can also get an overview of the physical job functions here.

What sets TMC apart from other OTR companies?

We truly do know our drivers by name. Our fleet manager to driver ratio is very low and we want you to stay for the long haul. Hiring drivers just to simply fill a truck is not the way to become a successful carrier. Many of our drivers as well as our office staff have been with us for years. 

Where will I attend TMC orientation?

New hire orientation is conducted in Des Moines, IA.

How much will I be paid during TMC orientation?

Apprentice Driver (those who attend the two-week orientation) pay is $500 upon completion of the first week of orientation, $500 upon completion of the second week of orientation, and $500 for each week while you are on the road with a Quality Driver Trainer. Eval Driver (those who attend the 3-5 day orientation) pay is $100 per day upon completion of orientation. If you are scheduled to go on the road with a Quality Driver Trainer then you will be paid $100 per day based on Monday - Friday. Payroll runs one week behind and payday is every Friday.

Does TMC hire inexperienced drivers?

Yes. TMC has operated the premier training program for flatbed drivers since the early nineties and the program is part of a Department of Labor certified Apprenticeship program. Successful completion is tracked and you receive official recognition by the DOL. We do require that you already have a Class A CDL before you start our on-the-job training. If you are interested in becoming a driver for TMC and don't already have a Class A CDL then we encourage you to contact us for the best recommendation on getting started. A listing of CDL schools that TMC recruits from is provided here but we would still like to hear from you before you start.

What's it like to be a TMC over-the-road truck driver?

It's a great profession! There are literally hundreds of thousands of individuals who make a good living every day by driving trucks. If you are self-motivated, disciplined, reliable, and if you enjoy working by yourself then you already possess some of the basic prerequisites of an OTR truck driver. The most important thing to consider is making sure your family is supportive of your career decision. Great family support is the number one contributor to your success.

I applied to TMC. How do I find out about my application's status?

After you submit an application to TMC, either online or by fax, you will need to call the recruiting department (1-800-247-2862) after about 24 hours. You will be connected to the recruiter who was assigned your application. The recruiter will need to interview you to complete your application and will then begin the background investigation process which takes anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days depending on how many past employers we must verify, the accuracy of the information you submitted and how quickly your past employers respond to our verification request. Once your background checks are complete your recruiter will forward your application to the TMC Driver Applicant Review Committee. Once the recruiter has the committee's decision they can share that with you.

Do I need to have previous flatbed experience to hire on as an experienced TMC driver?

Absolutely not. Many of our experienced hires have little to no flatbed experience. If you are a van driver, tanker, reefer, you name it, then you already have the driving skills needed. We will provide you with load securement training in orientation along with placing you with a quality driver trainer for 2-4 weeks to help give you hands-on training with loading and securing flatbed freight. You will have the confidence needed when it's time for you to hit the road on your own.

Is there a sign-on bonus?

TMC currently pays up to a $2,500 sign-on bonus. Bonus amount varies based on experience level and location. You will also not be eligible for this bonus if you are assigned to any local or dedicated account unless there is separate promotion going on for the specific account you get assigned to. The Training Department is the final authority in determining the experience level and training needs of all new drivers.

What is the TMC home time policy during training?

We know how important home time is for everyone; however, we cannot guarantee this during training. Our training coordinators really do go to great lengths to match you up with a trainer within 150 miles of where you live, and we are successful over 80 percent of the time. It all depends upon where you live and which trainers are available at the completion of orientation. Two things that you can do ahead of time to help improve your odds is to try to have your own transportation available to and from a trainer's house and to also have alternate locations at your disposal. In other words, let's say you live in Peoria, Illinois, but we don't have a trainer available from there, but your parents or a friend lives in Youngstown, Ohio and they would be willing to put you up for the weekends during training. We can then take a look around the Youngstown area for available trainers. In the event that we are unable to find you a trainer close to you or your family then TMC will take care of your hotel arrangements during the weekends that your trainer goes home.

How long is TMC orientation?

If you are coming right from a driving school or if you have very little experience then you are classified as what we call an Apprentice Driver and you will attend orientation for two weeks. It will begin on a Monday and finish on the Friday of the following week and you will be in class during the weekend in between the first and second weeks. It consists of classroom, load securement, and equipment familiarization (yard training) instruction. If you have OTR experience, but little to no flatbed then you are classified as what we call an Eval Driver and you will most likely attend one week, Monday through Friday. Lastly, if you have OTR flatbed experience you will probably just attend a three-day orientation of Monday through Wednesday. These are just general guidelines. You will need to speak with a recruiter so we can learn a little more about exactly what type of experience you have and with what trucking companies.

Will I have to go with a TMC Quality Driver Trainer?

If you are hired on as an Apprentice Driver then you will spend 5 weeks with a Quality Driver Trainer. If you are hired on as an Eval Driver then your recruiter will probably provide you with information as to how long you will spend in orientation and how long you will be with a Quality Driver Trainer, if at all. When it comes to Eval Drivers, we rely on your word and what we can verify from your previous employers as to how long your training program will be. However, understand that you will be evaluated in orientation to determine your flatbed knowledge and driving skills. TMC does not shortcut the training process in order to satisfy individual needs or to gain new hires.

Is it true that TMC orientation is just like boot camp?

If you have ever served in the military you will find that orientation is very different from boot camp, however TMC has a reputation of being a squared-away and well-disciplined organization and we're proud of that reputation. Many of our instructors as well as a large number of our drivers are former military. Some trucking companies will hire just about anyone who walks in the door, but we pride ourselves on the type of individual we put our reputation behind. If you like a well-organized and structured employer then TMC is the home for you. We like the person behind the wheel of our trucks to shine as brightly as the chrome that's on the outside!

What are the TMC educational requirements?

At a minimum, we require a high school diploma or G.E.D. You must also possess the English skills required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Many people think of truck drivers as uneducated people, but the truth is just the opposite. Being an OTR driver requires very good math skills for trip planning, hours of service, load placement/securement, etc. You will also need good reading and writing skills as well as good verbal communication skills.

What mode of transportation does TMC use to get me to and from orientation?

We do our best to arrange rental car transportation to orientation, but if you'd like to make your own travel arrangements, we do offer the cash equivalent of the bus ticket (one way only) to try to help cover some of your travel expenses. Bus transportation to orientation is offered as a last resort option if we’re unable to arrange rental car transportation. If for some reason you need to voluntarily leave during orientation/training then travel expenses home will be your responsibility. At the completion of orientation TMC will provide rental car transportation home, if you are not scheduled to leave directly with a Quality Driver Trainer (the majority of the class will go home to meet their trainers).

What should I bring with me to TMC orientation?

It all depends upon who you are. Your best bet is to bring whatever you don't want to purchase once you arrive, however don't get too carried away. Bring just what you need and nothing more. Your recruiter will provide you with a more detailed list once you are scheduled to attend orientation. You may also check out the Orientation Checklist located at http://www.tmctrainingcenters.com/desmoines.html.

Is lodging and food provided during TMC orientation?

Lodging and lunch is provided during your orientation stay. Breakfast and evening meals are up to the individual. Transportation is available to a WalMart during select evenings to stock up on any items you may need.

What can I expect on day one of TMC orientation?

Monday is a very busy day. There is a company drug screen and physical, paperwork to complete, road testing for experienced hires, etc. The best thing you can do for yourself is to arrive no later than Sunday evening. This gives you time to get settled in and enjoy a good night's sleep before Monday's busy activity.

What type of physical work is required to be a TMC flatbedder?

Like most OTR jobs, the majority of your time will be spent behind the wheel, but flatbedding does tend to be more physically involved than other types of trucking. You will be required to pull yourself up on the trailer and loads. You will be required to secure straps and chains as well as tarping. There are distinct advantages to being a flatbedder, and the most obvious is that you get a chance every day to work outside and get a little physical activity to break up the long hours of driving. We encourage you to view our load securement page to get a better feel for what's involved. You can also get an overview of the physical job functions here.

Will I have to take a TMC physical and drug screen?

Yes. Just about every trucking company in the business will require this whether you've just recently had one or not. In addition, sleep is your best friend. Get a good night's rest on Sunday and stay away from a large breakfast, sweets, and caffeine.

What if I've never driven a 13 speed?

Have no fear! Basically, all truck transmissions operate on the same principles. They all require double clutching, they're all some variation of an H-pattern, and they all have a range selector switch on the front of the shifter. A 13 speed is no different from a 9 or 10 speed in fundamentals. As a matter of fact, if you've ever driven a super 10 then you'll be right at home with a 13 speed. A 13 speed simply has one extra button called a splitter. This splitter allows gears 5-8 to have a high and low position. That's all there is to it. We will provide you with plenty of familiarization on a 13 speed.

What type of truck will I get?

We primarily operate Peterbilts. Models 379, 388, and 579. We cannot guarantee which particular model is assigned to you, but you can rest assured that they are all loaded with the bells and whistles. TMC has always maintained a reputation of having some of the absolute best trucks on the road. Most owner-operators don't have equipment as nice as TMC company trucks.

Is the truck assigned to me or do I have to slip-seat?

The only slip-seating you may run across would be on some of our local dedicated positions, which is typical of any trucking company. As far as our OTR fleet, no slip-seating. The truck is assigned to you and goes home with you.

Does TMC have a van division?

No. We have been and always will be a flatbed company.

Does TMC use electronic logging?

Yes, currently our fleet is being upgraded to electronic logs and new qualcomm units.

I live in New York State. Is it true that I must have a metals endorsement on my CDL?

Yes. New York Vehicle and Traffic laws require that any commercial driver who is licensed in NYS and who transports metal coils must have a Metal Coil endorsement (identified as the code "M") on his/her New York Commercial Driver License (CDL). TMC does not require that you have this endorsement prior to attending orientation, but we strongly encourage you to do so because we do transport metal coils in New York. Failure to have this endorsement could interfere with your home time and the loads we can offer you. For your convenience, we have attached the Requirements and Manual. You can also visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles CDL Information page.

Are there any additional endorsements/requirements I need to obtain to drive for TMC?

Yes. Just as other professions require tools of the trade, professional truck drivers are no different. After reaching 30 days in your own truck, you will be required to begin the process of obtaining a Hazardous Materials endorsement on your Class A CDL, a Passport or Passcard, and a TWIC Card.

HAZMAT

TMC transports a very limited amount of hazardous materials, but because of this, you are required to obtain this valuable endorsement. Each State is different so you need to contact your State's Department of Transportation for specifics.

PASSPORT/PASSCARD

TMC also transports freight in to and out of Canada, so you will be required to obtain either a U.S. Passport, or a Passport Card (PassCard). You need to have a certified copy of your birth certificate and it must have the raised seal.

TWIC

Finally and most importantly is the TWIC card. In order to gain access to U.S. Ports you must have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential. You can begin the pre-registration process at the above link.

Does TMC offer per diem?

Yes. Our payroll department will conveniently calculate this for you on your paycheck. Per diem is a set dollar amount the IRS allows you to deduct as expenses while driving OTR. We calculate this rate for you and set it aside from your taxable earnings. This can considerably increase your weekly take-home pay.

Does TMC have a lease purchase program?

TMC does not offer a lease purchase program. We do sell our own trucks as we replace them with newer models. Many of our current Owner Operators started as company drivers with us and decided to purchase their truck. While we do not offer financing for this we will assist qualified drivers in finding a third party to finance such a purchase.

What is the TMC pet policy?

TMC does not allow pets of any kind to be transported in our trucks.

Where are TMC terminals located?

The TMC headquarters and main terminal is located in Des Moines, IA. TMC also has maintenance terminals located in Joplin, MO, Indianapolis, IN, and Gaston, SC (Columbia).

Can I bring the truck & trailer home on weekends?

Most of our drivers do not live near one of our terminals and when dispatched through their home do take the rig with them. All drivers are responsible for making sure the equipment and load are parked in a safe and secure location.

How much tarping will I have to do and do I get paid for it?

The frequency of tarping varies by season, but the customer always dictates whether or not a load is to be tarped. Generally, in the winter about 85% of loads require tarping. This drops to about 65% during warmer seasons. Drivers are paid an additional $20 for loads requiring steel tarps and $25 for those requiring wood tarps.

How often will I be paid and by what method?

All driver pay is delivered by direct deposit into your personal bank account. Your weekly settlement will be deposited into your account every Friday.

I stopped driving several years ago but still have a current Class A CDL. Will TMC hire me?

If you meet our hiring standards and your application is approved by our Driver Applicant Review Committee we can help you. We will require you to complete some refresher training with us. This can amount to an extra week to 4 weeks after Orientation depending on your specific needs. The Training Department will evaluate your skills after you arrive for Orientation and determine the amount of time you will train before being assigned your own truck. Recruiting will give you an estimate before you come in but that will only be an educated guess.

Does TMC hire Owner Operators?

Yes, we welcome owner operators who want to take advantage of the best flatbed customer base in the country. Your truck must be no older than 5 years, in good condition and able to pass TMC's inspection. Call Denis in recruiting at 1-800-247-2862 for more details and pay information.

Does TMC hire teams?

We have some teams but are currently not recruiting teams. The majority of our freight delivers in a day and the length of haul is not advantageous for teams. This can change based on customer needs but we have no opportunities for teams at this time.