Werner?

Topic 13255 | Page 1

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Kash's Comment
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I just left Swift a few weeks ago, I'm going over to Werner with 6 months experience. Any idea on what to expect as far as orientation, equipment? Yadda yadda.

Quinton's Comment
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G

I just left Swift a few weeks ago, I'm going over to Werner with 6 months experience. Any idea on what to expect as far as orientation, equipment? Yadda yadda.

Just out of curiosity why are you leaving Swift?

>>--HuntinDoug-->'s Comment
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We had a Werner rep come into CDL school yesterday. Everything sounded really good til she talked about the training schedule. 3 days in Springfield OH, then 6-7 weeks on the road with a trainer making $550/week. 3 weeks with the trainer in the passenger seat, and 4 weeks "team training". Honestly, it's a deal breaker for me. They want to pay new drivers $550/week to team for 4 weeks of "training".

They pay new team drivers $1250/ week after orientation. It looks like they are just using trainees to get a month of team driving at a $750/week discount.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
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Ok, how about they pay you $625 (half of that $1250), them continue training tuition, charging you $75 per week?

Somebody's got to pay the trainer. How about you?

After training's over and you get your truck, and they don't need to have someone with you, you can keep all the money.

miracleofmagick's Comment
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Orientation is just a couple of days of getting paperwork done, dot physicals, and a little classroom training. I'm not sure if they will count you as a qualified driver with only 6 months out not. If they do, you will only have to do an abbreviated time with a trainer. If not you will have to do the full training.

As for equipment, for the most part it's all 2 years old or newer. Generally speaking, the like to sell their trucks once they have between 400k and 500k miles on them. Most of their newer trucks are automatics.

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.

>>--HuntinDoug-->'s Comment
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Somebody's got to pay the trainer. How about you?

No thanks.... That's why it's a deal breaker for me. It's not up to me to cover the cost of their training. I'd rather sign a contract (like Roehl). Every other recruiter has said that their company trainer sits in the passenger seat and actually trains you. A trainer can't help you when they are asleep.

Errol V.'s Comment
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A trainer can't help you when they are asleep.

That's SOP for many training companies. You get to captain the boat, make deliveries, the whole nine yards. On your own. Then your trainer keeps the goods moving while you get your Z's.

3 weeks with the trainer in the passenger seat, ...

There's your hands on. You drive, trainer trains.

... and 4 weeks "team training"

You da MAN for ten hours. Then you swap. This is exactly the setup at Swift's road training.

HuntinDoug, after your 7 weeks training this way you'll think you know it all. But when you go on your first pickup: you, your tractor, and that trailer, you'll feel a bit of "all alone-ness".

Deonte M.'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

A trainer can't help you when they are asleep.

double-quotes-end.png

That's SOP for many training companies. You get to captain the boat, make deliveries, the whole nine yards. On your own. Then your trainer keeps the goods moving while you get your Z's.

double-quotes-start.png

3 weeks with the trainer in the passenger seat, ...

double-quotes-end.png

There's your hands on. You drive, trainer trains.

double-quotes-start.png

... and 4 weeks "team training"

double-quotes-end.png

You da MAN for ten hours. Then you swap. This is exactly the setup at Swift's road training.

HuntinDoug, after your 7 weeks training this way you'll think you know it all. But when you go on your first pickup: you, your tractor, and that trailer, you'll feel a bit of "all alone-ness".

guys he's said he has 6 months experience with swift already . he already knows what it's like to be alone.

but I can second that feeling of feeling like you learned everything during training then when you hit solo it seems like you get amnesia and can't remember the most basic things.

but I am also curious, why did you leave swift?

Old School's Comment
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Every other recruiter has said that their company trainer sits in the passenger seat and actually trains you. A trainer can't help you when they are asleep.

Doug, you are falling prey to "recruiter speak." These guys are just as much a salesman as the guy on the street corner used car lot. They have figured out that by telling you one simple phrase it will sell you, and you may very well find it to be a little different than what they told you once you are off 500 miles away in that truck with your trainer. Please don't make your choice of employer based on what a recruiter told you about the training. It is far better to get a bigger picture of the things the company has to offer you as a driver, not primarily as a trainee.

Now, let me just make a few simple observations about training in this career. I've been there and done that - I had a terrible trainer, and I think I have some insight based on my experiences, and the many conversations I've seen over the years here in this forum concerning people's experiences at this junction of their careers. The trainer is really kind of limited in what he can or can't teach you. I mean you are already supposed to know the basics of how to drive a truck from trucking school. You know how to shift gears, you know how to do a pre-trip inspection , you know how to couple the tractor to a trailer, you know how to slide the tandems , you know you have got to pay attention to the off tracking of that trailer, you know about the proper following distances, etc, etc. Had you not already learned those things you would not have your CDL yet. The things that the trainer needs to be teaching you are how to use the Quallcom, how to communicate effectively with your dispatcher , how to interact with the shippers and receivers, how to make a plan for your trip, how to manage your clock effectively, how to navigate in and out of the various places that you are going to be picking up and delivering at etc, etc. Most of those things he can't teach you while you are driving, unless you are really good at listening and comprehending without getting distracted from your driving.

One of the main reasons you are going to spend time with a trainer is just to get you some exposure to the job while having someone there with you to keep you from really screwing up badly. It's like having training wheels on a bicycle - they are there to keep you from really experiencing all the consequences of not knowing yet fully what you are doing and not being really skilled at the things you already know to do with the bicycle. Granted, all the things I listed that you already know how to do are things that you still need to polish and develop, but that won't be done by the trainer, that will be accomplished by you spending time doing those things repetitively and learning from your experiences and exposure to the very acts themselves. When I was with my trainer we started team driving from day one - that was not the company policy, but it was my trainers way of making extra money, and that was the whole reason he was training. Could I have gotten another trainer? Yes, but I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible and move on - it was all together possible that my next trainer might even be worse. I could get along with this guy, and I knew he was going to help keep me from screwing up too badly.

One of the things I want you to realize is that when you are teaming with a trainer all you have to do is yell at him, and if he is anything like the guy I had, that will scare the crap out of him so that he will come barreling out of the bunk like a bull from the gate in a rodeo. They expect that if they are training - they know you are a total newbie, and they know that you are going to need some advice or help every now and then. It's not like you are supposed to remains silent and let them rest while you are enduring what ever comes your way while it is your drive shift. I actually like the concept of teaming while training because it gives you a realistic exposure to not only the rigorous schedule of the job, but also gives you time alone to see how you handle it. There is also a great opportunity for you to build some confidence in your new found abilities and skills while teaming with someone like that.

One more thing, you cannot compare the pay a trainee is getting to what you think an experienced driver is making - there is simply no comparison in productivity or confidence that a dispatcher has in an experienced driver. There is something like a 95% chance that a trainee will never even last for the first ninety days of employment! If you think the company is getting something over on their trainees by paying them peanuts, you are greatly mistaken. This is a very heavy expense the company absorbs in lack of productivity by having a new guy in there with a seasoned veteran. I hope you will reconsider some of your attitudes about training and how it should go. Werner has been at this for a long time Doug, they know what works, and for you as a the brand new guy to think their program is a "deal breaker" shows that you've still a lot to learn about how to get started in this, and how to stay in the game once you're in.

You made reference to Roehl, and they have a great program also, they just do it differently from Werner. If that is your preference then that is all fine and good.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar
They pay new team drivers $1250/ week after orientation. It looks like they are just using trainees to get a month of team driving at a $750/week discount.

I don't know much about Werner, but I know that at the two companies I've worked for the trainers get paid for all miles on the truck. And the company pays the trainee. So if Werner does things the same way, they're really taking a $550/week loss to train you. Actually more than that, since that truck isn't nearly as productive as a regular team and you're about ten times as likely to have some kind of accident (what with being wet behind the ears and all).

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