Noob Starting At Werner

Topic 13121 | Page 1

Page 1 of 6 Next Page Go To Page:
Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone, my name is Daniel, and I've lurked around reading many posts on this forum as I prepared to begin my trucking career. I decided to go with Werner, and I'm starting orientation tomorrow at their Allentown PA terminal. I had no particular reasoning behind my choice, because I'm just looking to get experience.

I got my CDL in October of 2015, and I have no experience. I did manage to attain all the endorsements (doubles/triples, tankers, hazmat) before I came out here. The bus ride was terrible, and as of now I think if I can get through that everything else will be alright. I was shocked a 3 1/2 drive (in a car) turns into a 9 1/2 hour journey by greyhound bus. An uncomfortable 9 1/2 journey at that lol. I look forward to this endeavor and I'll share my experience as it unfolds. From my understanding tomorrow consists of paperwork, dot physical, drug test, and some tests on a computer. I'm glad it's nothing too serious since I got here 6 hours before I have to get my day started.

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.

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

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 1 of orientation done. Filled out some basic new hire paperwork and the majority of the day was doing computer based training. I've got a couple left to finish up, and we have a lot of other things to go over tomorrow (pay, benefits, etc.). I was surprised how quickly the class shrunk. I think about a quarter of the group (5 people or so) disappeared before the day was over.

So far it seems like a decent place to work, now that I've bumped into a few drivers and a couple of trainers. I'm looking forward to see how the rest of this goes, and tackling the 275 hours of driving with a trainer.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to finally posting on Trucking Truth, Daniel W! Keep up with your diary and don't let your enthusiasm slide.

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Errol!!

I forgot to post day 2, so here goes. Yesterday's orientation consisted of watching a few videos, and finishing up the CBTs (computer based training). Since I had finished most of the ones required before OTR training, they had me start the CBTs required to test out after training (required before getting a truck). I finished all of the CBTs yesterday, and I was told they were waiting for drug test results before we could progress.

Today (day 3) I didn't have to be at the terminal for any particular reason, because the CBTs were finished, but there was a short class about equipment that I figured I'd get done and out of the way. After that we found out the drug test results were back and I'm now officially an employee. And by me doing everything required, when training is done there won't be a hold up on my end to transition into my own truck. If the CBTs required to get a truck aren't complete by the time you get a trainer, you just have to finish them after the required hours of training.

They haven't assigned a trainer to me yet, but a few others in my group have already left to meet trainers, so hopefully my time waiting isn't too long. I've basically had most of the day off, but the hotel location is terrible. There's nothing around, so there's nothing to do, but sit and wait to see if I get a call saying I've been assigned a trainer.

Tomorrow morning there will be a meeting in the hotel to go over some information about training, and hopefully by that time I will find out some good news.

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.

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.

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

It's been a few days, time for an update.

On Wednesday night I got a surprise call from the trainer that they assigned to me and he informed me he would pick me up at the terminal on Thursday. After a 5 hour wait at the terminal I was behind the wheel 😆 We bob tailed over to where he dropped an empty trailer in a lot. Grabbed that then hit the road. It was a really nerve wracking experience for a first day. I had to drive up the Poconos mountains at night in an unfamiliar rig and it snowed. I was climbing a hill and we went around the bend and suddenly the road was covered in snow 😖 I then learned how quickly these rigs lose traction as I spun the tires. We finally got to the remote location and swapped the empty for a 35000 lb load heading to the Atlanta GA terminal. Luckily for me the roads cleared up pretty well and we made the descent. I got about 4 1/2 hours in before my midnight curfew (Werner policy for new trainees).

Friday my trainer drove the majority of VA until it was my turn to take the helm again. I drove all the way to Atlanta and got to experience some stop and go traffic along the way. In the first two days of driving I really learned a lot, and I'm really enjoying this new career choice. I've knocked out 12 hours of my 275 so far.

My trainer drove all day Saturday with another load going to Aluchua FL, and then he bob tailed home for his home time. I get to enjoy Titusville FL until Wednesday morning.

Now my trainer is a decent driver, but I do have some quirks with him. He hasn't pre tripped once or post tripped. Luckily I remember the pretrip really well from the school I went to to get my cdl. His rig (freight liner) has issues. Water leaks in and runs down the inside of the windshield that dries leaving behind a lot of water marks. When I drove from va to ga I learned the driver side windshield wiper on sprays washer fluid on the bottom portion of the windshield. Which was an issue when trying to remove salt from the windshield when the sun started hitting it. So there are issues, but I'm managing to do pretty well with what I've been given.

I did have a question if someone could enlighten me I'd greatly appreciate it. My trainer told me that if DOT stops me and if I have an open/empty energy drink (monster) he can get me with being a fatigued driver, is this true?

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.

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.

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

Well Wednesday was unproductive, we drove up to Alachua and was supposed to pick up an empty trailer. Well that turned into spending the night at the dollar gen dc, because there never was an empty. And we were told to just wait Wednesday. (Less than 2 hours of drive time)

Thursday we were given the OK to bob tail up to Douglas GA to pick up a loaded trailer and take to to the Lithia Springs terminal , but when we got there we had to deal with a pretty messed up tire. One tire was flat spotted through all the tread. We got it sorted and got to Lithia Springs at around 1900. (Around 8 hours of drive time)

We've been waiting since and supposedly the next load we are taking will arrive here at 1400. That load is heading to Shippensburg PA.

I've only just cracked 20 hours of the 275 required so far 😕 It seems like this is going to be a longer process than I expected.

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.

Cinderella/ Big Monkey's Comment
member avatar

Hey Daniel how are things going? I've been reading your posts since my husband and I planned on going to Werner (out of Lakeland Fla) they would train us together but we decided to stay with Covenant at least a year before we bounce. It sounds like you were getting discouraged so I hope things got better for you. From what I've gathered your training experience depends totally on how good your trainer is...unfortunately it doesn't sound like you know which kind you have until it's too late :-(

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

I forgot to post updates :(

It's slowly getting better, we haven't been sitting like we were, but we aren't getting long loads. After today though I will have logged about 60 hours of training. My trainer is pretty good, we get along and helps when help is needed. Apparently once I reach a certain phase in training (no explanation) we ought to get better loads. Like one load we picked up yesterday in PA went to WA, but because I'm a noob I can't go over the Rockies or anywhere near them it seems, so we had to drop it in OH. The load we have now is PA to OH again. Our next load looks a bit better, OH to TN. So it's slowly improving. Just a lot of little back and forth runs, but I'm ok with that. It gives me experience and more opportunities to practice backing (which is ok sometimes and crappy at others lol), but my trainer isn't happy about the miles, so I get to listen to that quite a bit. All in all its looking a lot better than it did in my last post. I'll try to remember to keep updating this, I'm just getting a lot thrown at me and it skips my mind.

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

I got another 10 hours of driving in today!! I'm starting to make a real dent. My trainer drove through Kentucky last night, and I pretty much drove all the way across Tennessee to Memphis to drop the load, grabbed an empty and set out to Birmingham Alabama. Of course I faced a good down pour along my journey thanks to that big storm that's flooding many areas, but it was good experience. At some points I couldn't see another rig 50' in front of me 😖 Being stuck in rain all day sure does make for a long day. I've never seen so many accidents in one day, think I counted 10 or so 😕 One involved a rig and shutdown I20 at Academy Dr, and I was running out of time. It was a crunch but I made it to a truck stop with 5 minutes to spare lol. As of now I'm not sure what's on the agenda tomorrow. My trainer is driving to Savannah GA to drop this load. I may have to finish it in the AM. Driving time is definitely getting better though and I'm really enjoying it so far.

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

The hours are steadily flowing in, which is awesome. I guess I'm now out of the total noob category as our next load will be going from VA to UT. That should be awesome, I finally get to see some states I haven't been in yet 😊 This whole experience is looking up and my 275 hours are counting down rather quick. If this keeps up I'm projecting to be done in about 3 weeks. At which point I can test out and get my own truck! Then I can finally go home again and see my wife for a few days. It's been an interesting experience so far and I've still got a lot to learn, tweak and perfect, but I've come a long way in these past 3 weeks. I look forward to seeing what the rest of my training will bring my way.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Page 1 of 6 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Werner Enterprises On The Road In Training Team Driving Truck Driver Training Truck Driving Orientation
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More