Western Express Flatbed Orientation Question

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Christian F.'s Comment
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HI everyone... quick question regarding conversation with a recruiter for Western Express. I have read a bunch of posts after searching and want to see if what I was told sounds about right....especially from anyone who might be driving for them currently. Was told that orientation would be 3 days, then securement training for 3 more days with transportation, hotel, and meal provided for the 6 days, then go out with trainer for 2.5 weeks. Just want to see if this sounds right or not?

Old School's Comment
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That sounds right, but I think you'll be with the trainer a little longer if you're an inexperienced driver.

Half Pint's Comment
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Yes, that's right, and like Old School said it will probably be a longer period of time that you're out with your trainer so mentally prepare for it and you'll do fine.

Half Pint's Comment
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If you decide to go with Western let us know. I can give you pointers on getting through orientation.

Christian F.'s Comment
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Thanks for all the answers.... Half pint right now really leaning towards going to Western Express for the NE region flatbed

Half Pint's Comment
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If you can get that it sounds awesome. The guys in securement training are very helpful.

Here are a few tips.

Make sure you are up early. Breakfast is at 0500 and be on the first shuttle at 0530.

Yes, you'll be very early. But it will speak volumes to your dedication to learn and your commitment to the job. Do it every day. Stay away from the complainers and the know-it-alls. Start your career by standing out in the beginning.

The hotel is not the greatest but it's a bed, a shower, and you aren't paying for it. Be thankful, don't be like some who whine and complain.

During securement training pay attention, take notes, and make sure you aren't hanging back and neglecting hands on training. DON'T BE LATE. If you're late they will send you back to the hotel and you'll be an extra day in training. It will not look good. You'll immediately start building the reputation that you can't manage your time and that you aren't serious.

You'll get phone numbers to contact securement when you're on your own, put them in your phone asap so you don't lose them.

When you get back to the hotel, immediately go to the front desk and have your key card reset. They turn off at 0900 daily.

The Walmart runs are not usually scheduled so if you need to go, ask the afternoon shuttle driver if there is one of them going.

There is a waffle House across the street, Subway next door, and a dollar store just up the road within walking distance.

Good luck and congratulations on your new career!

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Christian F.'s Comment
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Thank you for the info Half Pint... can't wait to get out and start doing this

LDRSHIP's Comment
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My. Issues is a Trainer at Western. You will be out with a trainer 2-4 weeks depending on how well you learn and progress.

Christian F.'s Comment
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Another quick question for Western Express home time on the flat bed account..... the recruiter told me home time would be weekly does that sound about right again... getting ready to narrow down my choices as I am testing for my CDL and graduate hopefully on Tuesday.... I am trying to narrow down to home each weekend or everyother weekend...

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.
Old School's Comment
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Christian, when I was running a flat bed truck at Western I was an OTR driver. I stayed on the road for weeks at a time. If you're on that N.E. account they should be able to get you home on the weekends or perhaps every other weekend, but that will depend on a couple of things.

1) You will need to prove to be a very productive driver. That means after getting a lot done during the week you'll need to get loaded Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Then you will take that loaded trailer home, and deliver it first thing Monday morning.

2) Your home location is going to affect this also. You're not going to be allowed to run way out of the way just to be home.

Remember, when you and your dispatcher first get started working together, it is your responsibility to get things done in a way that is profitable to both of you. It is also your responsibility to communicate well with them so that you can become a productive team together. Remember, great drivers get the best treatment. As a newbie you are really on trial. It will take some time for you to become proficient at this. At the beginning I would focus on proficiency over home time. As the two of you get a feel for how you can be a productive team, your dispatcher will become more helpful on routing you home for the weekend.

Here's some articles that should help you understand those principles.

Why Some Drivers Are Treated Better Than Others

Do I Have What It Takes?

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.

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.
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