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Schneider, Walmart or Roehl?

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whosfate's Comment
member avatar

First post on this forum, but I have been lurking for a few weeks and I have to say this is one of the best sites I have come across for the trucking industry. But first, a little background about me:

I am 35 years old and have worked in construction (4 years) and the past 11 years as a project manager and field engineer. I was let go from my previous employer at the end of December and have been on unemployment since. I have submitted approximately 80 resumes for various project manager positions which has equated to one phone interview…LOL. I am married with 4 children ages 12 and younger, so home time is important to me.

I had contemplated driving truck several times and even got my CDL permit when I was 21, but decided against it as some other things had come up.

So on with the questions. I applied to both Roehl (have read many positive things about them) and Schneider. The specific position at Schneider is a Walmart dedicated account out of Bedford, PA. Schneider will pay for my CDL classes and then have me go through their orientation.

I have a phone interview with Schneider today about the position to see about all the details. Does anyone have any recent experience about this particular account? I have used Google a good bit and this site, but most of the info is somewhat dated. Pay, hours, days off, etc.

I hear that they do slip seating for this position, any chance to get an assigned truck? I live ~60 miles from the terminal , so I would not be too keen using what little home time I have to drive to the terminal. Schneider’s requirements were to live within 100 miles. Also, not too keen sharing sleeping quarters with strangers.

Any advice is much appreciated. At this point the family and I are still trying to decide if this career change is the right one. Sorry for the long post!

God Bless, Bill

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

whosfate's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Those slip seat jobs are slip seat because the driver is home so much. They aren't going to assign you a specific truck and then allow it to sit at your house for four or five days, without it producing revenues, unless you are an Over the Road driver who has been out on the road for four or five weeks. Trucking is an asset based business and those extensive assets are invested in for the returns they produce. An idle truck is not doing them any good.

Thanks Old School. I understand everything that you stated there and that companies cannot afford to have expensive equipment sitting not generating revenue. From the little information i have to go from Schneider right now is that I would work a 5/2 or 6/2 schedule, so the truck wouldn't be sitting any longer than what a OTR/Regional would do. I will be sure to ask about this though.

Patrick, thanks for the info about your regional experience. When I spoke with Roehl yesterday, they have a regional position in my area and I think that is the route I would take if I sign on with them. I think it would be 11-14 out / 3 days home, though they said the days vary.

Question, in your experience, when you request home time, can you request that those days be on the weekend each time? I would rather spend my home time with the family when the kids are not in school. Better to come home Friday night/Saturday morning and leave again on Monday.

Steve, thank you for sharing your experience with this account. I will double check with the recruiter when I speak to her later today. I have so much to weigh between opportunities, needs, future paths, et cetera!

Thank you all for your insight, I really appreciate it.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

In slip seating you rarely share sleeping area with someone else. Most slip seating are Day cabs. Basically when your shift is done you pack your stuff up and hop outta the truck. Someone else hops in and starts their shift.

There are a few guys here that do WalMart Dedicated. They are on with Swift, but in general WalMart Dedicated is WalMart Dedicated. WalMart likes to rule the roost per se.

Roehl and Schneider are both good companies. Roehl has a lot of different home time options.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

whosfate's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Patrick!

Yeah I wasn't sure about the slip seating or whether the equipment used is day cabs or sleepers. If it's sleepers, then that is kind of a big deal for me. I'm not a prima donna, but some people are not well kept..lol The other thing i am thinking is that if my truck is not assigned and I can't take it home, then I would be burning up hours traveling to and from the terminal during home time. I'd rather have a load ready to deliver when I get off of home time. I'm not trying to be too picky as a rookie, but it has to work for me and my family's circumstances.

I'll have to see what the recruiter says later today when I speak with them.

If I make this career change, then I will most likely start with either Roehl or Schneider as from what I have both are good companies to start with.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Those slip seat jobs are slip seat because the driver is home so much. They aren't going to assign you a specific truck and then allow it to sit at your house for four or five days, without it producing revenues, unless you are an Over the Road driver who has been out on the road for four or five weeks. Trucking is an asset based business and those extensive assets are invested in for the returns they produce. An idle truck is not doing them any good.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

If you do a Regional route you usually leave out Sunday night / Monday oh gosh early. You get home Friday late or Saturday morning. I started out running Regional for my company. Now I stay out 12-16 days at a time. Now that I stay out longer my company usually gets me near my home about 2 days before home time. If they run out of short hauls in my area, they just send me home early. It is my choice after that whether I want to leave out early or stay at home until the end of my scheduled home time. Btw, I have never heard a peep about if I am going to end up home longer than 4 days that I have to turn in my truck.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I was loaned out to that account as I was OTR for Schneider at the time. Schneider sometimes does that on weekends when dedicated drivers are off.

Slip seat for that probably (double Check with recruiter) means you'll have a sleeper, but not drive the same truck all the time. You may drive loads for the week, park Friday, go home, come back Sunday night/Monday morning and drive a different truck for the week.

As an OTR I didn't care for the Maryland locations I had to deliver to, but that's personal preference.

What I did like was, I arrived, supervised the unload (which only took about an hour), went to next location and after final unload (usually 2-3 stores per trailer) went back to distribution center with empty.

Everything Schneider promised was what I experienced. The local Schneider people at that distribution center were great to work with.

Good luck.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Whosfate.

I work for Swift, as a Walmart Dedicated driver. In my fourth year based out of the Gordon PA Grocery DC, we are the closest Eastern DC to Bedford and share stores located in the outermost regions of the territory border. I know several of the drivers based out of Bedford PA, they speak very highly of the operation, so have I would have no reservations in joining the Bedford team. With exception of territory, my job is identical to what you will experience. You will be delivering JIT grocery loads, perishable and dry, to stores and SAMs Clubs within a 150 mile radius of your DC's location (give or take). This is probably about 75-100 stores and 2 dozen SAMs. You will also backhaul from Walmart Grocery vendors. For the most part, you will not venture outside of the territory. I cannot answer the slip-seating question, but I do know Bedford runs a Schneider sleeper fleet, thus requiring you to shutdown for your 10 hour break at either the DC or in one of the store lots. If they run their operation like us, there are local drivers slip seating in day cabs, and assigned sleepers to drivers living over an hour away form the DC. I would find out the nature of the slip seating operation. If I happen to cross paths with a Walmart Pumpkin, I will ask on your behalf.

As far as this job for a rookie driver, this will prove to be a serious challenge for you, so I suggest inquiring if your Schneider orientation period is within the territory, teamed with an experienced driver on the account, and not OTR. I did not accept the Walmart assignment until I had 3+ months of safe OTR solo experience. Although no regrets, if I had the chance to do it over, I'd probably opt for 6 months total experience before taking it on, but that's hindsight. So why is that the case? The delivery schedule is intense; many times I will have 5 "live unload" Freezer/Dairy/Deli deliveries on one trailer, that is designed to be completed same day. The trick is returning empty to the DC within the 14 hours of available on-duty time and starting the next day with a fresh clock. Clock management on this account is a combination of knowing the territory, knowing all of the procedures, communication, and limiting any wasted time. Granted, they will not throw you into a 5 stop load day one, but clock management is a critical skill and takes some time to learn. Many of the stores require close quarter maneuvering, so learning how-to handle your truck in order to limit your time safely entering, docking and exiting each store is challenging. On average you will back more times in one week than normally occurs in a month of OTR; on average 1200+ times per year. If you learn the account, the territory and how to finesse the interaction with store personnel, it can be a very rewarding job, financially and conquering the variety of challenges. For me, it very satisfying.

A lot has been written on Walmart, I suggest using the search bar found in the upper left hand corner, top of page to further your research. For started you can take a look at this link: A Day in the Life of a Walmart Dedicated Driver

In addition the reviewing and studying the contents of these links is highly recommended:

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

whosfate's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Those slip seat jobs are slip seat because the driver is home so much. They aren't going to assign you a specific truck and then allow it to sit at your house for four or five days, without it producing revenues, unless you are an Over the Road driver who has been out on the road for four or five weeks. Trucking is an asset based business and those extensive assets are invested in for the returns they produce. An idle truck is not doing them any good.

Thanks Old School. I understand everything that you stated there and that companies cannot afford to have expensive equipment sitting not generating revenue. From the little information i have to go from Schneider right now is that I would work a 5/2 or 6/2 schedule, so the truck wouldn't be sitting any longer than what a OTR/Regional would do. I will be sure to ask about this though.

Patrick, thanks for the info about your regional experience. When I spoke with Roehl yesterday, they have a regional position in my area and I think that is the route I would take if I sign on with them. I think it would be 11-14 out / 3 days home, though they said the days vary.

Question, in your experience, when you request home time, can you request that those days be on the weekend each time? I would rather spend my home time with the family when the kids are not in school. Better to come home Friday night/Saturday morning and leave again on Monday.

Steve, thank you for sharing your experience with this account. I will double check with the recruiter when I speak to her later today. I have so much to weigh between opportunities, needs, future paths, et cetera!

Thank you all for your insight, I really appreciate it.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Schneider has this funny little rule about leaving the truck at the terminal if you live within a certain proximity to it. You can always ask.

I completely agree with G-Town - that's a nice gig, but really tough on beginners.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

whosfate's Comment
member avatar

G-Town,

Thank you so much for your insight. This forum and you guys are amazing. I have done quite a bit of searching here and have read quite a few of your posts. Your intimate knowledge is a great help and has given me some insight as to the questions to ask. Coming from a project manager background, I have always found that asking the right questions from those in the know goes a long way in planning.

I think for me and my family the hardest thing will be the time away from home and the huge reduction in pay. I am not expecting to make the big money on day one as with my current line of work, but we need to eat and keep the lights on. I did spend time away from the family when I was field engineer (sometimes as much as 3 weeks) but I was home for weeks or months at a time as well. So financially and time away from home will be a big adjustment. On the other hand I have always liked driving and being on the go. Hard work and 14+ hour days are not strange to me.

For anyone who thinks all office positions are 9-5, think again. The high paying positions are easily 60+ hours a week...oh and you are salaried, so no overtime either ;)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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