Just Finished Training At Werner

Topic 22645 | Page 1

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Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm now a qualified driver for Werner! Spent 4 weeks with my trainer hauling doors from Vermont up and down the northeast US, including NYC. Had a really good trainer too. He made it a point to go over trip planning and doing lots of backing. Got my truck today, but it's already in the shop. After it's done, I get to take it home for the weekend before I start my new route on Tuesday.

And I've already run into a number of terminal rats as they're called here - complainers and whiners, mostly young people. I'm going to do a regional dedicated account for Dollar Tree and I'm not listening to the complainers.

We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.

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.

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.

JD's Comment
member avatar

I'm now a qualified driver for Werner! Spent 4 weeks with my trainer hauling doors from Vermont up and down the northeast US, including NYC. Had a really good trainer too. He made it a point to go over trip planning and doing lots of backing. Got my truck today, but it's already in the shop. After it's done, I get to take it home for the weekend before I start my new route on Tuesday.

And I've already run into a number of terminal rats as they're called here - complainers and whiners, mostly young people. I'm going to do a regional dedicated account for Dollar Tree and I'm not listening to the complainers.

We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.

take your time and be very careful backing in and around the cars an buildings in these dollar stores, alot of the backing will be from the blind side, go slow and of course get out and look as many times as needed

JD

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.

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations. Werner is a good outfit. My dad drove for them for many years, and never had a bad thing to say about them.

Like JD said, be very very careful on that Dollar account. Rural roads, tight quarters, impatient customers, all followed by hand-unloading 40k lbs of product. Many driving careers start and end on a Dollar account. GOAL

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Glad to hear you passed the training phase, that's awesome! Besides what the other guys said, also be very careful with falling product, as well as ensuring you're lifting properly. The other big danger you're facing is the risk of falling out of the trailer. I'm also in a position that requires physical unload and I have heard from 2 guys that used to work for us about nagging back injuries from years of abuse. I've also talked to other drivers that have torn their ACL, ruptured their spleen and even broke their leg due to falling out the back of the trailer. I know that job is going to wear you out but if you have time to do it id love to read a diary of your adventures. It will help others who are considering that account, plus maybe we could get some screenshots of locations you deliver to as well as how you get in there. Maybe even some pictures of how it's loaded as I hear it seems the cases are all the way to the ceiling requiring the person loading it to be a master "Tetris" player.

Either way good luck, and I hope to hear more about this.

Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

I've heard stories from other drivers on dollar accounts. One fell from the trailer and had the rack system fall on him, breaking his pelvis. Can't say it won't happen to me, but I also know enough to be careful. Fortunately for me, I'm in my 50s and have a lot of life experience, and I don't have unreasonable expectations. Sure, it will be a lot of work, but I'd rather do that than sit on my butt all day.

My trainer had me practice backing into a dollar store in his hometown while it was closed. A 90 degree back around the building to the back door. Not easy at all. I've got some ideas that could help like investing in some cones and placing them on the ground to help line me up properly. I'll get used to it, it'll just take some time.

I'll be sure to post pictures. Thanks!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Jim, I wish you the best of luck with that account. We always recommend that rookie drivers stay away from those accounts because the strain of that tight schedule, the super difficult backing situations, and the hard work unloading all of that freight is really too much to take on this early in your career. It's not that it can't be done, but it's not advisable.

I did the Dollar Tree account for a full year with US Xpress. It was by far the most grueling job I've ever had in trucking, and I already had 10 years experience and I've always been an athlete. So it's not like I wasn't well prepared for it, but it's really a tough grind.

So give it a shot and see how it goes. If it becomes too much then just switch to a different account. Don't burn yourself out, get injured, or make a mess of your safety record because you want to stick with it as a point of pride. Better to play it safe, always. They're not going to be concerned in the least if you tell them you'd rather switch to something else. There are a ton of great options out there and you have a whole lot of years ahead of you to make all the money you'd like to make as long as you protect your safety record and your physical health.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Jim, Do just like Brett has told you. Do not for any reason over extend yourself because at 50 you are not 20 and it is a lot easier to hurt yourself. Always be safe and do not hesitate to admit if it is too much. A lot of us have been there and it could be very damaging to your health and career. I remember unloading at CVS stores in NJ years ago, like 3 or 4 stops a day off the floor onto rollers into the store. It gets old real quick. Good luck.

jim.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Google Maps is your friend. Use it faithfully to scope the overhead view of each store you are dispatched to. If nothing else you'll quickly see where the traps are and where safest passage is. Try your best to familiarize yourself and create a basic plan before you arrive.

One other thing...never allow someone else's impatience cause you to rush.

Good luck!

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

How did the first day go? Not expecting a response today, I know you're probably exhausted!

Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

Exhausted doesn't begin to describe it. My 56 year old body can't take the hard work of unloading trailers. I put in a call to driver placement today and requested something that is no touch freight. They have something for me. This run is exhausting me so bad that I won't be a safe driver if I continue.

If you bet the under, you won. ☺

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