Western Express

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Cavorkykid's Comment
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CT Nice to see a fellow cook looking for a career that will make us feel like were accomplishing something. Not everyone will accept that someone from a kitchen can hack it. But I gurantee you the stress matches if not exceed what some drivers deal with. None the less both W.E and Rohel look like good starting points. But if your going to drive for a living expect not to be home every night for the first year or two. Again each situation is different. Western is definitely in my top 5. Now as for 30k in the kitchen here in Washington only Chef's get that and us line cooks average 18 to 24, Thus why im looking to drive. I have 3 kids and college isn't getting any cheaper. Either way good luck.

C T.'s Comment
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Thanks for the reply Car. I fully expect to be gone for a while when starting out, just want to have a decent balance since I do a baby on the way. Most companies I've looked into offered weekends off but roehl has more I believe. I'm sure I can deal with this new level of stress as I usually adapt quickly. I actually work for a causal restaurant chain ( Applebees, Logan's, Outback type). I've been there since high school so I've reached my income potential without advancement which is a whole different story. Still trying to decide who to start with.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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CT Nice to see a fellow cook looking for a career that will make us feel like were accomplishing something. Not everyone will accept that someone from a kitchen can hack it. But I gurantee you the stress matches if not exceed what some drivers deal with. None the less both W.E and Rohel look like good starting points. But if your going to drive for a living expect not to be home every night for the first year or two. Again each situation is different. Western is definitely in my top 5. Now as for 30k in the kitchen here in Washington only Chef's get that and us line cooks average 18 to 24, Thus why im looking to drive. I have 3 kids and college isn't getting any cheaper. Either way good luck.

Woohoo, another cook!!!dancing.gif

I actually work for a causal restaurant chain ( Applebees, Logan's, Outback type). I've been there since high school so I've reached my income potential without advancement which is a whole different story. Still trying to decide who to start with.

Now that I am "back on the line" I am pulling in just under $35k as the Chef De Cuisine/Head Grill Chef/KitchenManager. This is another reason I am eager to get my career started, as well. We will all meet up at a truck stop one of these days, and have a grill out!smile.gif

Cavorkykid's Comment
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I would be up for that.

James R.'s Comment
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Tim i hope you wouldn't be so shy about sharing numbers here. This is his only chance to find out some facts before making a very important decision. I'm an open book for you c.t. but i don't have any experience with werner or even dry van myself.

Guyjax which used to hang around here a lot was a long term driving veteran and if you look you can find his posted w2's, and i want to say he was making 60-65 teaming at werner.

I drive for tmc flatbed. I go home maybe 4 weekends a year, which includes me staying out for thanksgiving, christmas, etc. although i don't drive super hard. I drive in a way that i find sustainable for a career of driving and that keeps me happy at my job. My first years earnings, which my first actual year and first calendar year(which are only about 4 months apart, both lined up at about 55k gross. The interesting thing about that is it shows that i've been making consistent income from the very first month. That's part of the reason i chose a company that doesn't use a tenure based pay system too.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
C T.'s Comment
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James. I actually got my 1st pre hire from TMC. The recruiter told me some things that I wasn't too sure of. For example I asked about weekends off and she told me or be home Friday afternoon and out Monday morning which I find hard to believe. She also told me they had a new cdl program but I didn't qualify for the school because of where I live? I've never heard of that being the case and I haven't seen any mention of a cdl program on their website. They're still on my list but just seemed a little sketchy.

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.

Pre Hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

James R.'s Comment
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Well they have been doing some new stuff with cdl's but i don't know the full details. I've only seen small mentions on the drivers website. Something about a new terminal outside indie with new training and stuff. I don't know. I came here with my cdl already before they started looking at that sort of thing. As for the weekend time, yea she was candy coating more than a little bit. The actual weekend time will vary.

Sometimes you will get home friday night and leave friday morning, but depending on where you live(which could by why she's saying that actually) it's not likely. Usually you'll get home friday with a few hundred miles left to roll. That means, you could if you wanted, leave really early monday and pull it off, but they prefer that you drive in sunday night and park there for the night to have more miles available for monday. If you do this actually benefits your pay percentage. There will also be weekends that you don't make it home of course. I want to say they promise 46 out of 52 weekends. That's some thing that varies by dispatcher though and is often the cause of people asking for a new one if they're unhappy. I've met a guy who's been home every weekend this year though, and i've given up plenty of good money running weekend loads to get someone home on time, so i can at least say they try. If you want to ask me any more questions feel free, i'm not going to sugar coat anything.

As for my opinion on the company, I will say that everything tmc promised me was maintained and i have very much appreciated my time here and they were very tolerant of my learning mistakes. If i had to say my favorite thing about the company, its that during orientation the VP of operations gives you his card and asks you to call him if you have a problem, and he's not throwing fluff. If you call him he will actually see to your problems. It takes away that feeling of chain of command helplessness that you get some places. I also like that it's employee owned. It's an interesting thought that when your company may do something you don't necessarily agree with to save money, or just something that doesn't currently benefit you, that it actually is for your financial sake. But their are plenty of employee owned trucking companies out there.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Are all drivers on percentage pay there? I read somewhere that only a handful take the mileage option. Also you mentioned you did well your 1st year. Not sure how much experience you have, but what kind of mileage do you get as a brand new driver? Do you need TWIC , passport, hazmat?

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

James R.'s Comment
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Most drivers choose percentage pay and it does pay off pretty well. The actual functions behind it can be pretty complicated, but to sum it up your pay varies based on how good of a freight lane you're in. You saw my numbers on how it averages out, but occasionally you'll get a load that pays 4$ a mile for 1000 mile drive, occasionally you'll also get some hay that pays the truck 1$ a mile. That's why i posted my yearly number instead, because it's much more reliable way to look at it. Also because of the laid back style i drive in which includes a lot of idle time, i'm only at 27% percentage earnings. If you don't idle much and used a gps to keep your out of route low and drove as much as i did you'd be approaching 31-32% and be making that equivalent amount more. I'm sure that if i tried i could be topping at 70k, i'm just too happy with what i make to put in that effort to be honest, and i don't want to wear myself out since i want to make a full career here.

What i was saying about me tenure is that i've been here about a year and a few months. Both my first year from nov to nov and from jan to now have the same average of 55k. This shows, and it felt like, there was no curve of being tested as a new driver or anything. They had me blasting from day one. The faster you can learn and keep moving safely the more you can make. It took me about a month to get my first super load, which was a 2400 dollars(to the truck) 500 mile delivery. That's right, 600$'s earned in one day. Never stops being a rush when you see that kind of good news come over the qualcomm. But none of that matters really, only the average. I'm hoping more people will chime in with averages so you can get a clearer picture of the field.

You don't really need any endorsements. I've posted elsewhere here that this company really focuses on easily repeatable raw goods freight and deliveries of building materials. We frequent specific steel mills, home depot centers, lowes centers, pipes, dry wall and shingles. I often see other companies hauling things that we'll never touch. I guess it's an efficiency or specialization thing. I wouldn't recommend getting the endorsements unless you have a specific need. For example, they have some dedicated accounts that may require one thing or the other. I'd worry about it then.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

There is some really great information about TMC, on a Western Express thread.smile.gif

I love it how, some of our topics can go in so many different directions!

TMC is looking a little better to me now, moved up a few places on my list. I just wish I didn't move from Iowa to South Carolina, if I choose to go with them.embarrassed.gif

Stay safe

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.

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