Profile For Tom W.

Tom W.'s Info

  • Location:
    Charlotte, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 years ago

Tom W.'s Bio

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Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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It's final: Schneider tankers it is!

I'm interviewing with the Schneider tanker division tomorrow. I live in Pittsburgh and will go through the company sponsored training school if I decide on Schneider. Is there any advice you can give me?

Hey Chad, sorry for the late response. Have you decided one way or the other about Schneider tanker division? Basically, be serious about learning what they are teaching you and don't do anything that will cause them to question your integrity. All the instructors I had were good and very much wanted to see each of us learn and succeed with them. I did see one person get sent home quickly due to a matter questioning his integrity but I have no idea if there was more to the matter than I was aware of. In any case, be professional in how you approach your career and all else should fall into place. I just completed the training and initial testing in Coraopolis PA and will probably start my time with my training engineer (doing actual work) on Tuesday. Please let me know if you have specific questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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Keystone Diesel CDL training program and starting at Roehl

Thanks everyone just to update i finally have my hard copy of my cdl and ill be leaving this weekend for roehl. I will be starting on 7/13/15 for my new career that i have honestly been waiting 10 years to start. I will update my journey periodically here to cover their training and such until i finally go solo.

That's great. Roehl came through our school and it sounded very good. I wish you the best.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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Werner vs. Swift

I chose Werner, and have been with them for 8 months now. They do have multiple opportunities. I started on a walmart dedicated, hated it and switched to a 3M dedicated that I really enjoy.

Wal-Mart was a multi stop store delivery with a multi zone reefer. 10° below, 32° & 35°, having to shift pallets in and out of the trailer. It paid .32 cpm, plus $15 per stop not counting your 1st or last store, and you had to get the delivery done by a certain time.

3M is a drop and hook, 24/7 with no appointment, 95% of the time. It is 100% no touch freight, but 1 in 10 loads may be a live load. It pays .35 cpm

As of July 1st, 6 months into the year, I have grossed $24,729 for the year, and have taken 2 weeks off You can be home every weekend, or stay out and run. I would average 2400 miles per week if I went home weekends, if I stay out for 2 weeks, I average 3400, my best week was 3800 paid miles.

All mega carriers have dedicated, regional, 48 states, etc. Which ever you choose, you will be the one that makes your employment good or bad. The companies will give you the tools, what you do with them will be in your hands

Brian, Thanks. It sounds like you have found a good place in Werner. It goes to show all of us that one particular situation may not suit us very well but that shouldn't be a reflection on the whole company; just that particular account for that particular person. I'm glad the 3M account is working out well for you.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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It's final: Schneider tankers it is!

I mentioned it on another thread here but wanted to let anyone interested know that I have finally chosen to drive tankers for Schneider National! I graduated Tuesday, chose Schneider today (Thursday), and will drive to Pittsburgh Sunday to start orientation Monday morning. Yes, I'm jumping right in.

Although I wish I'd documented my journey to this point much more thoroughly on TruckingTruth, let me say now that this site and the people on it have a lot to do with me getting to this point. You have given me and others a positive, yet honest, view of the truckers world and have provided valuable advice along the way. I've read so many of your stories and the responses you've received and have benefited greatly.

The CDL Training Materials here are second to none! Thanks Brett! I made it through all my permit exams as well as both Tanker and HazMat endorsements in large part because of the resources here at TruckingTruth. (I must admit, I didn't realize how much material there is in the CDL Training Materials section on Logbooks, Weight & Balance, and Cargo Securement. I will start reviewing these sections as I trust that if they help me only half as much as the other sections have, I will still benefit greatly as I start my career.)

Let me encourage everyone who is either in school now or is seriously considering getting into this trucking world to take full advantage of this site; both the wisdom available and the study tools. The blessings will pile up. However, if you want to hear people ripping each other apart, ripping companies to shreds, and generally hating their jobs, then this is not the site for you (consider yourself warned!).

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Werner vs. Swift

Hey Old School, My purpose of posing the question was to see if there are any final facts and thoughts I needed to consider in making a wise decision. As Brett encouraged me to do when I got serious about my job search, I have tried to reach out for any wisdom available here before making a decision completely on my own. Thankfully, I have received excellent advice including at a few responses from you along the way (this one included). Brett didn't want to see me go off and make a half-****ed decision, report it here to everyone, and only then find out true facts that could have helped me come to a better decision. For the record, I never go to other sites and read the negative and I don't think I've paid attention to any that might make it through here.

As you may have noticed, this particular thread was assuming I was wanting to pull dry van. That was simply to keep the water clear and to focus on my final two companies in that category alone. There is no sense in asking about specific jobs that are in totally different categories since the only determination there would be what do I ultimately want to do...no comparisons needed there. Although I was serious about Swift and Werner, ultimately I have chosen neither of them.

My final decision has come down to wanting to start out pulling tankers. Therefore, I am going with Schneider! I am very happy with this decision and hope to report the same over the next few weeks, months, and even years. I believe I would be happy in any of the categories as they all appeal to me in one way or another (even reefer). However, I would probably have some regrets if I never, at the very least, gave tankers a try. During this whole process which really started a few months ago for me, no matter where I let my mind wander, I have always come back to wanting to pull tankers. Several drivers that I've spoken with have praised Schneider's training program. I trust them to teach me what I need to know to be safe and successful and I know I'll work hard to prove myself to them.

I thank everyone here for helping me up to this point and suspect I will continue leaning on you guys some going forward. Sometimes we get the strength we need to make it through the rough times by knowing others have gone through the same stuff and have come out the other end of it still standing tall. I hope I can help others as I've been helped here.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Werner vs. Swift

Any thoughts on choosing between Swift and Werner? Assuming for the moment that I want to pull dry van to start out, it looks like a choice between these two companies.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Need advice!

Old School, Below is my response to your post without your quotes mixed in:

Guys, Thanks for the excellent feedback. This is why I love TruckingTruth and have told many people about it, even some of the recruiters I've spoken with.

Old School, You've given me great stuff to think about. Yes, you are completely correct that I have been, at least in part, looking at the pay differences. Part of the reason for my post was to get an insider's perspective on whether there will be a difference at the end of the day (or 1st year) in the pay and, if so, how much is the difference. Then that "extra" pay needs to be compared to the additional responsibilities one is accepting, the amount of work that is required, and whether I would enjoy that work. Your point about the overall compensation being a wash, "especially for an introductory level driver," lines up with a suspicion I've had but couldn't figure out on my own. Certainly the recruiters' info will not make this very clear.

If this online community's (TruckingTruth) main point to those of us starting out in trucking could be summed up in one paragraph, you may have just done it. A trucking career will be what we make of it. It is performance based and if we enjoy it and take responsibility for our own success, we can make any situation a good one. For several months now, I've allowed that sentiment here to be drilled into my head. It's generally the way I think anyway, but it's helped a bunch to have the veterans here refuse to allow drivers to blame one company after another for their lack of joy or success in this industry.

I plan to get into the "core group" of drivers wherever I land and being as "indispensable" as possible. I realize that saying this won't make it so but it is my intention to stay thankful for this opportunity to start a new career and become a true professional over time. Your point about this being easier if you enjoy what you are doing is well-taken.

Your point about flatbeds and having to do math and calculating the load securement measurements is the first time I've really thought about that. That would be one of the things about flatbed that I would very much enjoy but it might be one of those things others would struggle with or simply not enjoy. I'm glad you mentioned it.

The fact that only a couple of companies that I'm aware of will hire entry level drivers for tanker tells me something. It makes me think twice. However, one of those companies is Schneider and everyone I've spoken with who has direct knowledge of their training program have raved about it. That encourages me should I make the choice to start with tankers. I don't think a company with a great reputation for training would allow rookies to drive tankers if they weren't confident they could train them to do so safely.

Finally, one of my problems has been narrowing down the good options before me. I will take your advice and run from there. Thanks.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Need advice!

Sorry for screwing up my response to Old School. I tried to respond to several of his quotes one at a time and realized, after submitting it, that I didn't do it correctly.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Need advice!

Old School said it well but I will add this.... When you learn to drive a van or refer you will learn to drive a certain way and those become habits. Habits are hard to break and could be disastrous when switching to a tanker or a flatbed with a top heavy load. Pick what you want to do and go from there.

Pat, This has been one of my thoughts about tanker. My thoughts do come from a bit of ignorance on the matter, though, so it is good to hear you give your perspective about the habits we learn. Being that one must be even more cautious and controlled when driving tankers, if I'm taught to do it properly from the beginning, I'm confident I will do it as taught. Then, should I transfer to another division, it seems that it would be easier to adapt to the different safety needs.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Need advice!

Guys, Thanks for the excellent feedback. This is why I love TruckingTruth and have told many people about it, even some of the recruiters I've spoken with.

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