Werner Orientation

Topic 12164 | Page 1

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Landion's Comment
member avatar

Today was the first day of orientation at Werner, and there are some striking differences between my last company's orientation and Werner's.

1) First Impression - Last company walked around aimlessly trying to figure out where to go and what to do. Half the people attending were not even on the roster.

- Werner Large signs, walked into a room with a couple dozen computers. Each of our names was on one of the PCs. They were expecting each of us, even after my partner and I changed days and locations at the last minute. Each station had some forms, our fuel cards, and copies of the DOT regulations, Hazmat regulations, and Driver handbooks waiting for us.

2) Organization - Former Comoany - Spent 18-20 hours in orientation over 2 days. During that time we spent 8 hours doing paperwork, learning about the company, testing, etc. The rest of the time was spent waiting for the office staff to print out TONS of forms for us to sign and go through everything to make sure it was done correctly.

- Werner - I've spent 9.5 hours in orientation today. Filled out 5 forms on a physical sheet of paper (including a lunch order form), the rest were done online. Instead of waiting for someone to look through each sheet of paper, the Web application identified missing parts or incorrect answers.

3) Program

- Former Company - we sat in a classroom for 4 hours watching video after video. No testing or verification that you learned anything. The driver handbook was only available online.

- Werner - We have a dozen +/- individual training modules to go through. The day was spent self paced going through each module, with a test and required minimum score for each. If you didn't learn what you needed to, then you had to do it again. There was someone thereally to help you if you couldn't understand something as the module explained it.

We were also given homework tonight. 5 pages of mostly fill in the blank questions from all over the drivers handbook. Kind of a pain in the rear... but I appreciate a company who has standards on what should be known prior to getting into a truck.

4) Morale

- Because of all the time just sitting around waiting everyone at orientation with me at the last company was upset and voiced their unhappiness. It felt like we were all wasting our time.

- Because there wasn't much down time, and we were far from bored, we all laughed, joked and it was ALMOST fun.

All-in-all the orientation process at Werner seems to be very well thought out and planned. If the same level of planning has gone into the rest of the organization I believe jumping ship and switching companies will prove to be a good decision.

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

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

David O.'s Comment
member avatar

Every orientation location is different then. i went to werner orientation last year. soo unorganized. the pay was horrible too, thats why i left. the only way to make money there is to train. even the guys i met running teams were only making 500 a week each.

Landion's Comment
member avatar

Every orientation location is different then. i went to werner orientation last year. soo unorganized. the pay was horrible too, thats why i left. the only way to make money there is to train. even the guys i met running teams were only making 500 a week each.

I'm in Indianapolis for orientation.

I'm not saying (tho it does seem like it) that Werner is the best company for orientation and i have no experience with them out on the road. But from where I was to what I'm seeing now, and comparing just orientations, I have a better feeling about the company. It could be that the last company was so dysfunctional through this process that I'm more easily impressed. But I can't complain right now, and I couldn't say that at this point last time.

Travis H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the information on orientation with Werner. I intend on working as a Werner driver after finishing school. I begin school on the 18th of January. If it wouldn't offend you to do so, would you please tell me what they are starting you out with in pay by the mile? The recruiter I spoke with said I would average somewhere between $40,000 - $45,000 my first year as an OTR driver, but I have a feeling I was being lied to.

I am hoping to start at around .25 cents a mile and maybe $25,000 my first year. I have read horror stories on the Internet about a new driver for Werner making .09 cents a mile (not a typo - nine cents). I did the math and if I drove 500 miles at .09 cent a mile, I'd make $45 a day and just over $14,500 a year, which is less than what I currently make as a cashier with Wal-Mart. Not that I am trying to get into trucking as a means of "getting rich", but I would at least like to find myself in a better position than what I am now. (Currently in the $18,000 a year range.)

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.

David O.'s Comment
member avatar

I drove for werner for one year as a solo driver. your start pay is obviously low. i was making about 32k a year, and heard horror stories from guys that were only getting 1200 miles a week. i got on an average 2500. they always give you garbage loads as a solo driver. they will make you start your clock just to go pick up a load 30 miles away, and take it 40 miles to a drop yard so a trainer team can take it 1000 miles. those are called shag loads, you do not get paid for the mileage on those, they give you $20 per shag load under 100 miles....joke really, so i turned them down all the time. they send you messages saying you cant turn down loads because you are a company driver.....i turned them down anyways. i will not waste my hours on shag loads, so dont fall for it! Trainer Trucks are nice, the rest are garbage. my truck did not have an apu , it had an idle shut off.....it would be 92 degrees in my truck before the truck would stay on. and it would be 36 degrees in my truck before i could keep it running for heat....i complained about it being a safety issue, but it all falls on deaf ears there. they have soo many trucks and drivers and turn around times, 5 people leave, they hire 10 more just like that. i never once got home on time. poor planning by my dispatcher frequently...i went through 6 dispatchers while i was there in a year. my last one was the dumbest. he would leave you laid over for 2 days before getting a 400 mile load...once dropped off, no messages for 2 days. if you have issues with your truck, they dont care. they put you in roach motel, and if you have to go into a terminal to get it repaired, forget about it, 5 days down for a windshield????? yep, make sure you guys do your first pretrip inspection thoroughly before you accept one of thier trucks. make sure you get EVERYTHING REPAIRED before you hit the road. GOOD LUCK and I hope the best for you out there with WERNER

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the information on orientation with Werner. I intend on working as a Werner driver after finishing school. I begin school on the 18th of January. If it wouldn't offend you to do so, would you please tell me what they are starting you out with in pay by the mile? The recruiter I spoke with said I would average somewhere between $40,000 - $45,000 my first year as an OTR driver, but I have a feeling I was being lied to.

I am hoping to start at around .25 cents a mile and maybe $25,000 my first year. I have read horror stories on the Internet about a new driver for Werner making .09 cents a mile (not a typo - nine cents). I did the math and if I drove 500 miles at .09 cent a mile, I'd make $45 a day and just over $14,500 a year, which is less than what I currently make as a cashier with Wal-Mart. Not that I am trying to get into trucking as a means of "getting rich", but I would at least like to find myself in a better position than what I am now. (Currently in the $18,000 a year range.)

You will make a lot more than .09 cpm as a driver at Werner. That may be the training pay, when you are out with your trainer, instead of a flat rate, like a lot of companies pay. My wife's dad started at .32cpm when he drove for Werner, and that was several years ago. He was with them for 5 years. He really enjoyed working there, and has hassled my every time he gets a chance, talking Werner up, and saying "Real men drive blue trucks!" LOL, but Now that I have my heart set somewhere else, I will just say I prefer Black and chrome!

There will always be naysayers out there, saying you cannot make money there, or anywhere, but it is what you put into it. Good luck in your career with them Travis.

Landion, I am glad everything worked out for you, you went through Heck in a Handbasket to get there, and I am confident you are in a much better position. Good luck to you and your Co-driver.

Stay safe

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Landion's Comment
member avatar

I'm going in as a team, and we both have very little experience so we're starting at 21 cpm each with a 3 cpm bonus for running 21,000+ miles a month. I'm coming from a place where we were making 12 cpm each.

When I talked to the recruiter we discussed dedicated solo options and it was around the 36 cpm range. He seemed to admit that the 48 state solo drivers make the least... so I would talk to them about dedicated options if I were coming in solo.

Dm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for keeping us up to date Landion. I guess the drop-off at your old company went smooth. Lucky you didn't abandon it! :)

So 24 cpm is not bad at Werner. I'm sure with time it will get close to 30 cpm.

Wish you and your team mate all the best, and safe travels! Happy New Year.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

I currently drive for Werner. When I finished training, I started at .30 cpm. On Jan 1st, all solo drivers are getting a .05 cpm raise.

As far as the shag loads go, you do get paid for the miles and you get the $20 on top of that. They can be annoying if you get too many of them, but generally speaking, I only get them once in a while. I did get the in a row once that were so close together that there was no mileage pay, but I got all 3 done in about a half hour, I'll take $60 for 30 minutes work.

Generally speaking if you work hard and don't complain, your fleet manager will take care of you.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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