Orientation At Western Express

Topic 17183 | Page 1

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Big PN's Comment
member avatar

So I just passed my cdl test and graduate on December 9th I talked to Western Express and they want me to leave on Sunday does any one have any recent experience with them I kind of want to know what to expect also do they do hair follicle testing? I am a bit worried about it but should pass if they do it just curious to see what I can expect with them I have seen not one positive review with them which makes me very nervous about committing with them . Any feedback would be greatly appreciated Thanks in advance

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.
Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

So I just passed my cdl test and graduate on December 9th I talked to western express and they want me to leave on Sunday does any one have any recent experience with them I kind of want to know what to expect also do they do hair follicle testing? Iam a bit worried about it but should pass if they do it just curious to see what I can expect with them I have seen not one positive review with them which makes me very nervous about committing with them . Any feedback would be greatly appreciated Thanks in advance

You will rarely see good reviews for bigger truck companies, because the drivers that might give good reviews are too busy making money.

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.
Mark H.'s Comment
member avatar

I leave Sunday as well for orientation at their Nashville terminal on the 5th. I've heard horror stories, but I'm gonna give them a chance

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

One of our moderators, Old School, started his career with Western Express and he loved it there. They treated him well, he turned great miles, and he made right around $50,000 his rookie year. He moved on from there to a specialized division within Knight because the money and the job itself were way too good to pass up but he liked his time with Western Express.

One issue he did face was that he had a rather awful trainer to go out on the road with. But he persevered and it was worth it.

We have a listing of companies and the type of drug testing they do:

Hair Follicle vs. Urinalysis Drug Testing: Breakdown By Company

Last we had heard from anyone about it was April of this year and as of that time they were doing urinalysis only.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Mark and Eric, there's not a reason in the world why you can't do well over at Western Express.

I sometimes think people get tired of my little sermonettes, but you guys have just given me a great opportunity to show the path to success out here, so here it goes...

First off I don't think that Western is doing hair follicle testing, but I can't be sure, it's been a minute since I was over there. Last I heard they were still just doing the standard pee in the cup testing, which is still what is required by the D.O.T.

Mark, you made this understandable statement,,,

I've heard horror stories, but I'm gonna give them a chance

Most trucking company reviews that you see online are pretty much a tempest in a teacup. They are for the most part, written by folks who didn't survive their introduction into this industry, and there are a lot of people in that category. When I was working at Western they were hiring around 150 new drivers each week - that is a lot of people. But I never heard or saw any indication that our fleet was growing. I one time asked about what was happening to all these new drivers, and the response I got was very simple and straightforward, as if it were common knowledge. Less than 90% of them were even surviving to the first 90 days, and a little less than half of the ten percent that made it that far would make it to their one year anniversary. It is not easy getting oneself established at this career, and if you do not really stand out in the crowd you will usually go by the wayside with all the other disgruntled newbies who were not anywhere near prepared for what they were about to face. For folks who are unfamiliar with how this business works, they look at those horrific sounding numbers and mistakenly lay the blame at the management of the trucking companies.

To think that these companies would willingly spend as much money as they do on recruiting so that they can get a less than five percent return on employees who will stay for one year is ludicrous. They want to have good people come and stay on with them, because it takes a little while for a new driver to become integrated into the whole way of doing things at any company so that they can be a profitable employee. This crazy turn-over rate is extremely frustrating for the management of any large carrier who hires newly licensed drivers, and each of them tries all kinds of ways to help the new drivers adjust to the career, but they pretty much all get the same results.

Trucking is a performance based enterprise. Every driver has only to answer to himself as to whether his performance is worthy or not. There is precious little that any trucking company can do for you to improve your performance. No one holds your hand out here. The driver's success, or lack thereof, is usually directly attributable to his willingness, and ability, to make things happen out here on the road. It's really quite simple, the drivers who show the characteristics and the ability of being able to consistently "git er done" become the "go to guys" who get the miles. I once stopped in Milford Connecticut at the Pilot when I was with Western. Another Western driver approached me wanting to know if they had found me a load going out from there. We had both delivered a load of copper from the mines in Arizona. I replied that "yes, they had me a load of municipal waste from Long Island that was going to a trash dump Ohio." His response to me was the same as his response to his dispatcher , "I didn't come here to be a garbage man. I'm a flat-bed driver, and there is a Nu-Cor steel mill just a few miles from here, I know they can get me a load of steel from over there." So, he sat waiting while I was driving six hundred miles over to the trash dump. Then, lo and behold, from Ohio I get a load of sheetrock taking me right back to Connecticut. There is only a few places to park over there, and when I got finished with the load I go over to the Pilot in Milford again. There is the same driver, still sitting there. Now, keep in mind that I just ran a little more than 1200 miles while my friend over here hasn't done anything but get mad at Western Express while he is sitting still at the truck stop. He spots me and starts singing the blues to me about how bad this company is and he can't wait to quit and get a real trucking job. My Qualcomm starts beeping at me at the same time telling me that I have a really nice load to pick up at the Nu-Cor steel mill!

I shared that true story with you because it is very illustrative of how things work out here. There are winners and losers at this, and the losers don't ever seem to realize how they have dealt themselves their own miserable hand. Those are the guys who are writing these ridiculous reviews of the trucking companies - the guys who can barely find their way out of a wet paper sack. There is no practice in this business of trying to be fair with all the drivers and making sure that each one gets his fair share of the miles. It is far from that. The doers, are the receivers. The ones who are cooperative and can make themselves stand out as being consistently able to get things done are leaned upon heavily by the dispatchers. You hold the keys to your own success or failure out here. Your performance will speak for itself, and will endear you to those who control the flow of work.

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.

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

Mary H.'s Comment
member avatar

So I just passed my cdl test and graduate on December 9th I talked to Western Express and they want me to leave on Sunday does any one have any recent experience with them I kind of want to know what to expect also do they do hair follicle testing? I am a bit worried about it but should pass if they do it just curious to see what I can expect with them I have seen not one positive review with them which makes me very nervous about committing with them . Any feedback would be greatly appreciated Thanks in advance

Hi Eric,

Just curious. Why aren't you talking to other companies? I'm not knocking them, but Western Express is one of those companies considered to be a "second chance" company - a place that hires folks with background issues that prevent them from getting hired by many of the other companies. That second chance usually comes at the cost of lower pay. I think Old School can tell you that Western wasn't his first choice. Have you applied to other companies?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big PN's Comment
member avatar

I have a few speeding tickets and a misdemeanor so some companies turn me down I talked to mays trucking today and iam not sure which company to go with they both look decent to me

pto driver's Comment
member avatar

Im going to western express because i failed a random breathalyzer (passed the urinalysis) back in feb of 2015 working for a local rock hauling company,it was the monday after the super bowl , and local im off weekends and home every night, just stayed up too late and had too many beers. Before all this I drove for Schneider over the road for 6 months and done the family dollar acct for 3 months with them, drove a end dump for around 6 years until i failed that breathalyzer, since then i have completed the sap program and have been working a non dot job for around a year and a half now. After i completed the sap program i tried and tried to get a local and a otr job everywhere else but was declined over and over, i have a clean dmv (no accidents or tickets ,zero) not a felon. With my current employer i have only 5 previous employers in the last 10 years, western express called me back and i explained the failed test and that i completed a sap program and im invited to orientation anyways, sure i read all the stories and watched the youtube videos but in my case even if any of its true i still have to stick it out, last time i was over the road i took every load they gave me and i always planned my drives so i can shut down at the most an hour but many times I've pulled in truckstops or rest stops with that red light flashing lol, needless to say when i was over the road i ran hard slung loads and still had time to relax once and a while. So i guess i will see on the 3rd day if im hired or not at western express because it's really the only choice i have left

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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.

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Joshua J.'s Comment
member avatar

If im not mistaken Carolina Cargo is another second chance employer for those who want it! I hope you all find what you're looking for.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Carolina Cargo isn't so much a second chance as a last chance company. They have been known to take people on that others wouldn't consider touching with a 10' pole.

We have a guy in the forums that started there and absolutely loved working for them. CC is teams. Their base pay is abysmal. How often they pay is a little different than most. However, the guy that worked their explained there are all kinds of bonuses. Most of the bonuses are the simple things. Be on time, freight not jacked up, etc... from what I gathered if you are busting your butt and doing the "right" thing you can make decent money. He did rave about how well you are treated and how well the equipment was maintained. Then again, just like any team situation, getting home can be an utter PITA.

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