Werner orientation

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Truc K.'s Comment
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Hello and nice to meet you all. I've been lurking in the forums for a while now. The information I can get from this site is excellent. I'm happy that there's a place like this, for newbies and vets alike, to share experiences of being a trucker. Thank you! I'm planning on driving for Werner and I was looking at the hair follicle vs ua company breakdown list... Werner hasn't been updated since January 2015... would anyone who has recently gone through their orientation be kind enough to tell me what type of drug screening they are doing?

Thanks!

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I plan on driving werner too after school! Pet policy will be awesome!!

Pet policy will be awesome... although I have no pets. haha smile.gif

miracleofmagick's Comment
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I have been driving for Werner since March of this year and they have been good to me. I had two different trainers, both of them were very good. The only reason I left my first trainer's truck was I decided to develop an acute case of appendicitis 2 weeks into training and needed surgery. Between the two of them I learned enough to get myself of to a good start solo.

I'm on my second fleet manager as my first took another position and had to give up all of her drivers. Both fleet managers have been good to me and work hard to keep me moving.

As to the earlier comment about our safety score being bad, there is unfortunately some truth to that. For a while there, our pre-passes were shut off and we had to scale at every weigh station because of our score. The worst part of it is the fact that the majority of the infractions were for speeding or not wearing seat belts. So it was because of a bunch of people making stupid choices, which can happen in any company, especially those hiring be drivers straight out of cdl school, though certainly not limited to those.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Older Newbie's Comment
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This post has been interesting for me because I'm thinking about going with Werner after I finish school. From what I've seen of them and heard from them they seem to be making strides to get good drivers in place and "clean up" the perception of them as a company. As a complete newby I know what I'm saying may not mean much but so far they seem like a good place to start. Maybe that's the key to it all, don't get too hung up on the details for the first year because dues as a driver I suspect have to be paid. After that it's probably easier to make decisions about who to drive for after having put a few miles down and dealt with more than just a recruiter or trainer. I'm just happy that trucking truth and all of you are here. It helps bring the industry into perspective. After hiding in the background for a while I hope to be more active asking everything I can think of to make this transition I'm embarking on as smooth as possible. Thank you everyone... it's been a great help.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Maybe that's the key to it all, don't get too hung up on the details for the first year because dues as a driver I suspect have to be paid. After that it's probably easier to make decisions about who to drive for after having put a few miles down and dealt with more than just a recruiter or trainer

Wow, that's a breathe of fresh air I've gotta tell ya because that's exactly right. That's something we always try like crazy to explain to people but the message doesn't get across very well.

First of all, these large carriers are the 'best in class' companies in the nation. They all have fantastic equipment, tons of freight, tons of various opportunities within the company, and great pay and benefits if you stick around for a year or so. You can turn a lot of miles, be treated well, and learn your trade at any of them. There's no such thing as a top tier driver who can't turn great miles and be treated well at a major carrier. So just pick one that you feel suits you pretty well based on types of freight, home time, pay & benefits, and other opportunities they may have and go learn your trade. Prove to them that you're hard working, safe, and reliable and figure out how the company works on the inside so you can work the system and really lobby for getting high miles consistently.

If Werner seems like a good fit for you then go for it! Take the challenge head on and go learn your trade there. Stick it out for a year and learn how everything works. If after a year you want to try something different then look around and see what else is out there. There's nothing wrong with that at all. But so many people come into this industry thinking these companies are gonna roll out the red carpet for them, pile on the miles, and drop everything in their lap. When it doesn't happen they jump from company to company thinking they have to find the right place to work. But the reality is they're not sticking around long enough to prove themselves, get to know the right people, and develop a good relationship with a solid dispatcher. That is absolutely key to getting great miles consistently.

And turnover is the biggest problem these companies face. They expect most people to leave within three months. When you demonstrate to them that you're a top tier driver that's willing to stick around for a while they'll start pouring the great miles on you, give you special favors, and give you access to the many specialized divisions they have that most drivers will never even know about.

So don't go in there thinking the company has to prove themselves to you and then you'll give them your best. It's the other way around. Prove to them that you're the best and stick around for a little while and you'll be elevated to a higher level of pay, mileage, equipment, and quality of freight.

After hiding in the background for a while I hope to be more active asking everything I can think of to make this transition I'm embarking on as smooth as possible.

We certainly hope so. Don't be shy about it. Ask us anything you'd like to know. Also, make sure you've taken a good look around and prepared yourself well using the awesome materials we have here:

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
TxsGent's Comment
member avatar

I will start this post with the original subject in mind. Werner does test hair. "Hair folicle" is misleading because the follicle isn't taken or used.

Older Newbie, One thing that has stood out with me about Werner, is the number of people that come back after leaving. It is too early for me to say more, but as I gain insight, I expect I will be able offer more praise. The best of luck in your adventure.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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One thing that has stood out with me about Werner, is the number of people that come back after leaving

In speaking with the good folks at Wil-Trans and Jim Palmer we were told their second largest source of new drivers in re-hires, people who are returning to the company after quitting to go elsewhere. I'd like to refer to them as "grass-is-greener's" myself for thinking they could have had it better elsewhere.

Grass-is-greener syndrome is the largest source of the outrageous turnover rate this industry faces. I think many people simply don't realize that you have to put in your time at a company for 6-12 months and perform at a high level consistently before you're going to get the big miles, newer trucks, sweet runs, special favors, and access to specialized divisions or dedicated accounts that really makes any company a truly sweet place to work. A lot of people jump ship after two or three months because they hear people are getting better pay and better miles elsewhere. If they would just stick with their current company they would have been in that same position themselves soon enough.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

G-Town's Comment
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Jumping ship in pursuit of a better deal is symptomatic of a society that has become increasingly impatient with an expectation of instant-gratification. Seems like many rookies are unwilling to invest the time required to pay their dues.

I also think that many a new driver believes their issues are a result of their first, "starter company" when in reality it has everything to do with the industry as a whole and the associated learning curve.

I firmly believe if we were to take a poll of all the experienced drivers on this forum, the majority have not jumped around from job to job.

Fact is like Brett already said, every major carrier expects their new drivers to leave before 90 days after training. It's not until reaching beyond the sixth month of solo status, a new driver realizes their employer will go the extra mile to keep them happy.

miracleofmagick's Comment
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I've been with Werner for a year and a half now and have no intention of going anywhere anytime soon. They've taken pretty good care of me.

James W.'s Comment
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I just spoke with werner recruiter on Monday 7/31/2017 it is hair follicle and urine test.. I am still waiting to hear back from background check myself here ..I am tring to get a pre authorized letter to work for them and then take a cdl in fort worth tx that way I am under no contract to work for someone for a certain amount of time ..

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

James wrote:

..I am tring to get a pre authorized letter to work for them and then take a cdl in fort worth tx that way I am under no contract to work for someone for a certain amount of time ..

James, your response ^^^^ is something we see all the time...

Although I understand you have straight truck experience, there is really no comparison to operating a tractor trailer and learning to perform at a high level of safety and efficiency. Not something you learn in a few months. We highly recommend working for your first employer for at least one year...for a myriad of reasons. A one year commitment is not only reasonable, but makes a whole lot of sense because it will take the better part of that time before you have figured this out. The other thing that may not be apparent,the same opportunities gained with a new employer after a year of experience, can also be afforded with your first employer. Check out Gladhand's recent post on "Time for Change". May not be what you expect...

This will help to reinforce the importance of a one year commitment: Stick with your first comapny for one year - PODCAST

Also this...

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Werner is a good company,...give your self a chance to understand that. Good luck.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
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