Beyond Basic Training

Training. It’s a buzz word that gets tossed around like a discarded toy, but whether for athletics or business, it’s generally regarded as an investment for future performance. And at Crete Carrier, Shaffer Trucking, and Hunt Transportation training is much more than just lip service.

The Crete family understands that driver development through training and education are major factors in determining the long-term profitability of their business. As such, the company has changed their training program recently, including the addition of a Military Program.

Crete and Shaffer can make the transition back to civilian life as easy as possible by providing soldiers with driving experience a chance to work for a debt free and stable company. The program requires the driver to have a Class A CDL license, be honorably discharged, have 2 years of Active Duty Military experience in the last 5 years, and have 1 year of military semi tractor trailer combination experience in the last 5 years. Drivers will be compensated $500 a week during the 8-week training, and will earn between $.37 and $.40 cents per practical mile after being released from the road training program.

“We’ve been working hard to get the military program up and running, and I can’t wait to see the positive results. Crete and Shaffer’s 8-week program is designed to take the semi tractor trailer skills learned in the military and translate them to civilian commercial driving. Our program is different from other programs because we have great benefits, excellent pay, and the driver will be paired with an experienced trainer,” says Jeff Dady, Driver Development Manager.

The 8-week finishing program for recent driver training school graduates is seeing big benefits. Two first-year drivers were recently selected as finalists in the inaugural Trucking’s Top Rookie contest that was designed to highlight career opportunities in the trucking industry.

One of those finalists was Damon Frazee, and he credits Crete’s training for “putting it all together”. Frazee, who went to driver training school at Tennessee Tech in Nashville, said Crete’s finishing program allowed him to see all aspects of trucking. “The training I received in school was great, but there’s no way to really see what goes on over the road while in the classroom or on the range,” Frazee said. “I had a great instructor at Crete and he showed me how to avoid certain mistakes and let me experience exactly what it was like out here before I got my own truck. Being new to the industry, I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but I’m loving it at Crete.”

Charles Cornelius, a Crete and Shaffer driver trainer, who has been with the company since 2002, likes to use a golf analogy when describing the program. “Some golfers are good at driving, but stink at putting,” Cornelius quipped. “A new truck driver is the same way; some may be good at backing and docking, but may need help with trip planning, paperwork, logs or another aspect of trucking. By the time they complete our program, they may be a little nervous, but they are ready for the road.”

Cornelius says the first week is for evaluation purposes. New drivers usually log 300-350 miles a day behind the wheel while developing a good, solid foundation to drive legally and safely. Cornelius, who retired from the navy in 1996, also emphasizes how much respect the Crete Carrier family of companies has for the nation’s military and applauds the company for their new Military Program.

“We want those guys and gals because of their discipline, and we can offer them a great trucking career,” he added.

To learn more about the training programs, please visit or You can also call the Recruiting team at 800-998-2221 or 800-669-0322.