Profile For Zachary S.

Zachary S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Hamden, CT

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 5 months ago

Zachary S.'s Bio

New driver with Werner! Very excited to be starting October 27th. And so begins the rest of my life!

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Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Starting with Werner After School

Ok all, sorry about the delay. Here is day 3,4, and now 5!

Day 3

A long day but productive. Got all of the e-training done so didn’t have to play any catch up with that. Most of the other students had to play catch up though. So we did spend some time in the classroom letting people get caught up and also killing some time for lunch. After that we headed out to the yard to do some pre-trip and coupling/uncoupling tutorial. Pre-trip was pretty basic but more about getting us familiar with their particular trucks and trailers. The same thing was for coupling/uncoupling as well with the added bonus that all of their trucks use automatic fifth wheel release. That makes life nice on a couple of levels; first is the elimination of having to unlock by hand which can be dangerous and cause personal injury. Second is it does make the fifth wheel more secure as you can’t pull the pin by hand unless the system is deactivated. So no worry about some ass hat from pulling my lock while I’m parked.

Rest of the day was more waiting until we could go to the backing pad. Since the current facility is small and leased they do not have their own backing range which means they use a local school. So we have to wait till the school is done for the day in order to use the pad. Once we got out there we did two maneuvers, alley dock (90 degree) and lane change. Wasn’t a test, just an evaluation, to give the instructors an idea of where we are and how much practice we should get in backing. I did awful with the alley but great in the lane change, which doesn’t surprise me due to only being used to 48’ trailers and day cab 10 speed manual trucks. Not happy about that result but at least it tells me where I am in backing and what I need practice in. Really wish Werner had their new terminal cause then we would have our own backing range! We have to work with what we got so gotta handle it. After that was finished we headed back to the hotel. Started the day at 1100 and ended at 2030.

Day 4

This day was an early start day due to simulator training at 0800. Simulators are an interesting beast that seem to effect people in very different ways. If anyone doesn’t know what the simulator is, it’s basically a giant video game that gives various driving situations with an identical seat and basic controls. Same steering wheel, lights, pedals, chair, and emergency flasher panel. You have three giant screens that give you the entire seeable area of the truck for the driver with all the typical sounds. Now the sim is just that, a simulator not a duplicator. So it’s a close depiction, not exact, and the biggest thing lost is depth perception and the ‘feel’ of the truck. You definitely have a hard time knowing where you are in relation to things like curbs and shoulders. So the simulator is more for giving you risk free practice in basic maneuvers and emergency situations. Let me tell you they test you very well with some crazy situations that probably wouldn’t happen in the real world but if any driver knows, nothing is impossible! For this day we did 6 sessions, two at a time, with a five minute break in between in order to give your brain time to process and avoid information overload. This is where it effects people differently. Some people have problems such as head aches, dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting. So be aware and don’t be afraid to tell the instructor how your feeling. They also won’t penalize you if it bothers you too much and can’t continue. This process lasted for about an hour and was an eye opening experience. Overall I did pretty well but I do know I need some more practice and should keep my eyes open and mind ready. Which I feel is the overall goal of the sims, so don’t be afraid of them and learn what you can. After that the day was done, so pretty short. I spent the rest of the time at the main building getting some paperwork issues settled with my physical and got some free lunch! Beware though, it will be boring so make sure you have things to occupy your time!

Day 5

This is my current day that I’m on while writing this diary.

Today was more sim training at 0800, however, today was extreme weather conditions. That was an interesting experience and of course they threw the fun of dealing with a roundabout in there as well. Had to do the roundabout a few times to finally get the idea which just showed me how important space management and depth perception is so important in the industry. Again, great way to learn how to deal with these things without destroying property or taking lives! After that I was due to do my road test, however, I’m still waiting for my release for my physical. Just hurrying up and waiting for my doctors office to send the info, then it will be more hurry up and wait while the DOT doc looks things over. So at this point I won’t be able to road test till Monday! Which sucks but they are fine with it and are being patient, which puts me at ease.

After we get lunch I will be heading back to the hotel and hopefully hear that everything is all set so I can test on Saturday. Only time will tell and patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue, PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!!!!! Which is what is ringing through my head on loop, lol. I just keep in mind that this, along with the whole training process is just that, a process. And once the process is done I will be on the road, on my own, owning the road.

So until tomorrow everyone, be safe and keep on rolling baby!

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Starting with Werner After School

Ok all, so the drive down is done as well day one of orientation.

Drive down was easy and relaxed, weather was overcast and a little misty rain the whole way through. So traffic was light which made the experience even better. Navigating through even this tiny corner of PA was an adventure in patience, speed, and space control!

First day of orientation was also relatively easy. Drive in the morning was good but a little hectic trying to find a gas station nearby that’s open! Holy crap that was a chore! Went through two gas stations before finally finding the third one (speedway) 0630! Then finding the terminal was easy but the training building and parking situation not so much. Figured it out after a bit of running back and forth but got er done. They are building a new terminal and apparently are just renting the current building until it is finished. So by the end of the first quarter next year things will be easier and nicer! You lucky ducks after me! After that all was seamless, lots of paperwork, lots of tests, lots of e-training with even more left to do! I will say that the tablet system they are newly using is AWESOME! Very user friendly, fast, organized, and is using the same nav app/system I was going to use on my personal phone! So plus to having an exact backup!!!! Not too mention not needing to learn a whole new foreign language of Macros that the old Qualcomm system used.

But tomorrow should be fun as we won’t start till late (1100) and won’t be finishing till late (2200) as well. We go over pre-trip, coupling/uncoupling, and backing as well! So that will be awesome fun getting used to these sleeper trucks and automatics as well. At least we will get lunch AND dinner provided too! I know, I’m spoiled 😝

I will say I did run into one hiccup with some medical paperwork that I needed to get. Always seems anyone going through a company orientation for the first time has something to cause some anxiety. Not worried about not getting the paperwork or losing the job, just nervous about not getting as fast as they want. Cause everything seems to be have it now or it’s a problem.

Anyways, that was the last couple days. I am going to keep this diary going for all who wish to know what Werner is like. Hopefully I will get some more responses soon and maybe some feed back! Till tomorrow, keep on rolling baby!

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Starting with Werner After School

Hello all, I’m Zach and wanted to start a diary of my journey with Werner.

Little background, I am a recent private trucking school graduate with all my endorsements. A year ago nearly to the date of getting my CDL I was at my lowest in the hospital. From that point to now I have been sober for over a year, finally decided on a career that I am very happy with, completed and received my CDL, and now am starting with my best pick company.

Now for the diary:

I tested on a Sunday and that same day received a call from my recruiter checking to see if I had passed. He immediately offered me the job, began the paperwork process, and arranged for a rental to their nearest terminal. Since I’m currently employed full time I wanted to give two weeks which they understood and worked with me. After that I received a flurry of emails and online forms to fill out before heading to orientation. Between their driver portal website and app it was very easy to complete all the paperwork. Although it did take about three hours to fill everything out and answer all the questions. Werner provides tuition reimbursement and prefers the paperwork at orientation so I will have that along with all the other things required in their list. The list mainly consists of paperwork, license, birth certificate or passport, and packing list for OTR training. Pretty basic stuff that I feel any orientation will recommend.

I will be starting the 27th of October at their Allentown, PA, terminal. Orientation is 3-4 days long then I will be with an OTR trainer 3-5 weeks. I am a bit nervous about the trainer due to being with a complete stranger in the closet of a home. Add to that the worry of how food is going to work out and if cooking on the truck is even possible. I know that this is only temporary and if things aren't ideal I need just go with it and get it over. Cause after training I get my own truck and start my own career.

Will be picking up the rental very close to my house and heading out Monday where they will have me in a hotel nearby for orientation. The rental option is very nice of them and I will have a room to myself which is also very nice! They actually preferred to do the rental versus a bus which is awesome! I will have to fill up on gas before I return the rental but will be reimbursed.

I am super excited to be starting this journey and look forward to an awesome start to a long career! I will keep everyone up to date as things progress and let you know how the experience is. I also wanted to give a big shout out to all the moderators and of course Brett for this site! It has helped me immensely in my decisions and knowledge of the industry, the life, and the profession in general. So now time to finish this last day of work and begin the rest of my life!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

Hey PackRat, great diary! It has been awesome following your story this year and seeing what it’s been like out there. Your diary has been a great resource for trip planning ideas/practice. And it’s nice seeing the ups and downs of the road too.

I have been curious to know if the longer than usual delivery windows you seem to be experiencing are the norm or something new due to the changing Covid environment? Seems like you always have way more time than needed for delivery. Not that it would be a problem but if a customer won’t take you early it certainly can hurt the pocket. And is waiting for a new load assignment the normal for most companies or just your particular company/running environment?

About to test to get my CDL then getting into the life finally for the start to a hopefully long career! Keep the diary going so we can travel along and learn!

Thanks, Smackerman

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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To Salty Dog about Prime and Reefers

Hey Salty Dog:

I am going to be starting school very soon and have pretty much figured out I would like to do reefers. I'm not concerned about home time, want as many miles as I can get, am going to run hard and safe, and want to see as much as I can.

So I would like too get as much info on Prime and doing reefers as I can. Since your doing reefers with Prime your my man to pick your brain. Any and all information would be great. From what it's like generally as a reefer driver to specifically what it's like with Prime and any advice you would have for me. Especially on what I can do to increase my odds of getting in with them would be great.

I'm going to be starting school very soon, just waiting on a letter from financial aid. Will be starting with NETTTS in Bridgeport, CT and am planning on getting all of my endorsements. So let the information flow and let me know what I'm looking at. Anyone else who wants to chime in is just as welcomed. Thanks!

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Curious question?

Sorry for not being specific enough, I was talking about after training when I am on my own. I was curious if anyone had tried and what their success was, but as I can see no one has. And it dawn on me that it would be very loud at the few places that I could sleep at. On to the next idea.

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Curious question?

I have been trolling the forum this long night and have been reading up on what people bring with them and such for training. I haven't made it through the whole thing but I was wondering if anyone ever brought or brings a hammock? Not the crappy rope and spreader bar type, but the light weight, strong, and amazingly comfortable camping type? I have a hammock of my own I use for sleeping and I was wondering if its something someone has used? How well did it go? Did you have trouble finding a nice spot(not that your very limited)? Any trouble with the authorities or anyone for that matter?

And also I want to ask what kind and range of replacement parts for your truck do you bring? I've already heard the windshield wiper stuff but what about other things? All the little joints, connectors, fittings and such that are so critical and if they do break are easy(relatively) to fix but bring the whole operation to screeching halt?

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Update and starting soon, hopefully!

That's a very good point, didn't really think of home time. Honestly, at this point I don't have a preference at home time, and maximum travel is definitely what I want. So maybe referigerated is the way to go. With that being said I got a few questions about that.

Is it true that refer is usually drop and hook?

How often are you carrying referigerated material versus dry goods when running a refer trailer?

Is there a pay increase or decrease for the two or are they the same?

Is it true that you are responsible for the cleaniness of the trailer? And if so how hard is it too clean?

A general question for both: Is it true if a receiver refuses material from a load are you responsible for disposal? And if it is something you want too keep do you have that option?

How are the time constraints on refer versus dry van?

What is the average style of receiver for refer vs. dry van? Aka warehouse, store, open market?

What is the live load situation like for a refer vs. dry van and how often for both would that happen?

That's pretty much all I can think of for now. Hope you don't mind me picking your and everyone else's brain with all this stuff.


Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Update and starting soon, hopefully!

Hey all, wanted to give an update from the last time I was on here and got a lot of great advice.

I am going to be going to NETTTS in Bridgeport, CT once I get the OK from financial aid. I am really excited to be starting this soon and am looking forward to getting on the road.

I guess the biggest surprise is the amount of support I have gotten from my significant other and my blood family. They all seem to understand what I am doing and agree with it and support me. That has made this whole process a lot easier and a whole lot more exciting for me because now I don't have to worry about bad vibes from the people I love. Its going to be an interesting journey but am excited to get on the road and make this dream a reality.

One thing I wanted to ask was what was everyone's opinion on the type of trucks to be hauling, such as dry-van, reefer, tanker, hazmat? I have read a few articles on here about them but they all seem to say the same thing as you should choose whatever your preference is. Well, frankly, I don't have a preference! I am of the mindset that you should take whatever you can get, and while individual types and loads always require variations in your driving, if you drive right and safe you should never have a problem no matter what the load or type of trailer you have. I also believe that no matter the load, I am the master of that load from the time it gets assigned to me to the time I deliver it. So for me I will always take extra precautions to make sure that load is secured and it gets there safe and on time. So I guess you can say that I am a realistic pragmatic! What a mouth full that one is.

Anyways, I want to throw this out there because I am curious to know if it really is going to effect my decision of what company I should go for and/or if it should effect that decision. I know that I want to be with a big company and that I am willing and able to work as hard as I safely can. I want the miles, more for the travel and experience than the money. Although the money is a big bonus!

So all feel free to let me know what is what and what you personal experiences can tell me! I thank everyone for the advice and I really thank Brett for this great site! Till next time, **** happens, get over it, enjoy the scenery!


Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Making a good choice?

Hey Zachary, it kind of sounds like you've already made up your mind :)

Just curious, what was your degree/career field?

I actually have two degrees, an Associates in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors in Criminal Investigation. With this type of education I always get, so you want to become a cop? In my head I always scream a resounding NO! I know the cop lifestyle and career field quite well and its just not for me, on many levels. On top of that I also did extremely well in college, top A's, so it makes it more frustrating.

However, the more I have read through this site, the forum, the articles, and just reading the article "Why I'm Finally Becoming A Truck Driver" by TruckerMike I realize this is the life, not job, for me. Would I like to get into my career field I went to college for someday? Absolutely! Am I willing to wait for it? Not any more! After reading TruckerMikes' article and reading the responses I have received on here I know this is the life for me. The article described how I fell about driving and life in general to a tee.

I am determined to get myself out of this self imposed rut due to my career choice and financial situation once and for all. I know I wont make it rich in trucking but that's not what I want. I have always said to myself that I am not going to be like my parents and family and settle on doing something to just make ends meat. I am going to do something that I love, something that gives me an energy rush, goosebumps every time I set myself to it and trucking definitely does that for me.

I thank everyone on here for your help. I got what I needed to make my mind up and take the next step. For now, its keep reading through this site to get all the info I can get and make the best decision for my next step which will be how I will get my CDL A. For now the journey continues, and one of my favorite sayings to some of my closet friends, till next time.


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