Witte Bros. Exchange/Witte Driving School

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Mathiasinthe573's Comment
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Figured I should give an update after my first month solo.

It's been an adventure. Full of highs and lows, as to be expected. I've made my share of rookie mistakes, but as long as I've been open, honest, and asked for helped - my fleet manager and everyone at Witte has been more than understanding and helpful.

I grossed $950 my first week and over $1000 every week since, this week coming in over $1100. The pay is as advertised, if not a little better. With Witte it's all about how hard you're willing to work and how smart. Manage your clock and your trip planning well, plus be willing to unload and break down your own freight - you'll make plenty of money.

I've only had one minor mechanical issue so far, my poor truck had a radiator leak and got backed into twice in the same night at a Nashville area Pilot. So - last week I had to have a loaner, but the shop made quick work of her and got me my 'Donna' back. (I named her after Donna Summers, because she will survive).

It's a pretty brief update - but I wanted the world to know it's going well and Witte is a great company to drive for.

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.

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.

Jay P.'s Comment
member avatar

Im glad I was able to see this. Im seriously considering Witte Bros, since Im out of the Saint Louis area. How is it there? How is the pay? Im hoping at least 1000 a week or it would be pointless. How is the hometime? Im hoping Im home every weekend. What areas mostly do you drive? How long was training? I already have a Class A CDL , but I have been out of a truck for 10 years, and would have to refresh. Witte said they can help me with all of that. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Figured I should give an update after my first month solo.

It's been an adventure. Full of highs and lows, as to be expected. I've made my share of rookie mistakes, but as long as I've been open, honest, and asked for helped - my fleet manager and everyone at Witte has been more than understanding and helpful.

I grossed $950 my first week and over $1000 every week since, this week coming in over $1100. The pay is as advertised, if not a little better. With Witte it's all about how hard you're willing to work and how smart. Manage your clock and your trip planning well, plus be willing to unload and break down your own freight - you'll make plenty of money.

I've only had one minor mechanical issue so far, my poor truck had a radiator leak and got backed into twice in the same night at a Nashville area Pilot. So - last week I had to have a loaner, but the shop made quick work of her and got me my 'Donna' back. (I named her after Donna Summers, because she will survive).

It's a pretty brief update - but I wanted the world to know it's going well and Witte is a great company to drive for.

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.

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.

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.

Joe Mo's Comment
member avatar

Day 0:

Arrived in Troy Sunday evening - checked in and received access card and room key from Shop located behind the main building. Driver's lounge has living area with couches, satellite tv, computer area, lending library, kitchen (with full size fridge, microwave, and sink), sleeping rooms (3 bed/room), laundry facilities ($1 wash/$1 dry), and bathrooms with showers. Nothing fancy, but well maintained. Walmart, Aldi, and Kroger all within 4 minute drive for groceries. A very welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

This is a very informative thread, thanks for making it. I want to get into the trucking industry and I've been looking at schools I can go to. I actually stumbled upon Witte Bros. while I was reading another thread. Had never heard of them before but I only live about a 15 minute drive from their headquarters. So I looked into the school info and it looks good to me and now after reading this thread it looks even better. I have a couple questions if you wouldn't mind answering. Thanks for your help.

What is starting pay per mile once you start solo? What is the actual upfront cost of the school? I've seen a couple different numbers thrown around the internet, so I'm a little confused on that one. I think it says $660 on their website but I've seen other posts on the internet saying it's $500 or that it's completely free. Do they let you drive your own vehicle to the school and are there any restrictions on when you can leave after school hours? I'm only curious about that since I live so close. Where are their terminals located and what regions do they run? Everything I've read about them from people working there so far mentions the Midwest and the East. Do they run anything out West or in the Southern states? Are there any dress/appearance restrictions? Some of these starter companies specifically state things you can't wear while on duty or how long your hair and beard can be etc. One company, I think it was Knight but can't remember, won't let guys have beards, hair touching the collar or earrings. I'm trying to avoid companies like that. Does Witte Bros. have the VA certification so us Veterans can use our GI Bill benefits for OJT training benefits? Last but not least what type of trucks do they run? I noticed in reading through your thread that you never mentioned anything about learning how to shift or people in your class having any problems with that. That's honestly my biggest concern going into all this is getting the shifting down cause I've not only never driven any type of manual transmission vehicle, I've never even rode in one period before. Nobody I've ever known had a manual. I guess that tells everyone what generation I'm from, lol. Thanks again.

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.

Ean D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys, I’m signed up to start trucking school with Witte Bros. May 28th. Finding mixed reviews online, plus I’m a total rookie brand new to the game. How is Witte Bros. As a company? I’ve been hearing you can get screwed pretty good by some companies. Any information you have helps. Thanks so much!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ean...believing what he is hearing...

Hey guys, I’m signed up to start trucking school with Witte Bros. May 28th. Finding mixed reviews online, plus I’m a total rookie brand new to the game. How is Witte Bros. As a company? I’ve been hearing you can get screwed pretty good by some companies. Any information you have helps. Thanks so much!

A warm welcome to the forum Ean.

I want to take a moment to address your point about; getting (ahem) "screwed":

Rule #1 - please do not believe everything you hear. Especially true if you read it on the The Web of Lies and Misinformation. Please read the article by clicking the link. Hopefully this will help you to understand the lack of credible information on the internet. That said, truckers are chronic complainers and typically will sprinkle the truth with liberal accents of negativity. Secretly they do not want you joining their club. So temper anything you hear directly or indirectly with a healthy dose of salt.
Rule #2 - the trucking truth paradigm is that a safe and efficient professional truck driver can be wildly successful for most any carrier. Specifically the ones found in this list: Trucking Company Reviews. Case in point; I trained with Swift and continue to drive for them on a Dedicated North East regional Walmart Account. This is will be my 6th year and I have no immediate plans or intentions of seeking greener pastures. I love my job, the people I work with and will enthusiastically encourage any Newbie to drive for them. Where else on the internet have you read a positive testimonial about Swift?
Rule #3 - this forum includes numerous active members who started their careers with Swift, Prime, Schneider, US Express, Werner, CR England, Knight Transportation, CRST,...etc., etc. The drivers I am thinking of, still work for the same companies they got their career started with.
I can offer you more...but I think you get the point. I do however suggest investing quality time reading, reviewing and studying the contents of Trucking Truth's Starter Links: Truck Driver's Career Guide Brett's Book: The Raw Truth About Trucking (free online version) High Road CDL Training Program CDL Practice Tests Please let us know how we can further assist you. Good luck!

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Mathiasinthe573's Comment
member avatar

Ean,

Sorry for the delayed response. Don’t log in since leaving the industry, just happened to see the email that you commented.

I personally had a good experience with Witte until I left for some major health issues I had pop up. They were always fair and supportive with me; I enjoyed working there. I worked hard and didn’t complain much, which probably helped. The guys who were opposite of me, tended to have much less happy experiences, but I’m sure that’s everywhere.

Pay was pretty solid, but not as good as some other guys I ran into out on the road (TMC and Maverick especially). Hometime was second to none for a new driver though. Every weekend. This made up for slightly less pay to me.

I really liked the school instructors. If it is still Andrew and Troy, they’re two of the most patient and knowledgeable guys I met anywhere.

My one complaint is the old Cascadias they started us in, mine broke down every week. The trailers ****ed me off too. The tires would regularly need replaced because the guys before me were not doing thorough pretrips and I’d notice giant bulges, broken belts, and bald tread. They were always quick to get me back in the game, but it got very old.

Anyway - like mentioned, it’s always a mixed bag and everyone’s experience will vary; even based on factors not under your control. If I had to do it again, It’d still be a 50/50 between Witte and Maverick.

Hope this helps and best of luck no matter what.

Hey guys, I’m signed up to start trucking school with Witte Bros. May 28th. Finding mixed reviews online, plus I’m a total rookie brand new to the game. How is Witte Bros. As a company? I’ve been hearing you can get screwed pretty good by some companies. Any information you have helps. Thanks so much!

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