Western Express Flatbed Orientation Question

Topic 23893 | Page 2

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Christian F.'s Comment
member avatar

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?

Old School thanks for responding and your very sage advice. I'm hoping to be able to prove that I am a professional and productive driver for any company I go with. I am the type that likes a challenge and to try to learn everyday.

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.
Philip D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello. I got my CDL a little over a year ago and have OTR ever since. I wanted to go flatbed right out of the gate but didn't have the opportunity. Now I'm moving to Western who has extended me the invite to orientation and I'm supposed to be there a week from today. --- My question is: I live in South Georgia. I'm not that concerned about home time. I shoot for 4 days every 4-6 weeks, sometimes 6-8 weeks.i want to run all 48 states but I've read some reviews where drivers have said they got stuck in the northeast for extended periods. I DO NOT want regional. Do I need to make sure someone knows that? If so, who do I talk to?

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I DO NOT want regional. Do I need to make sure someone knows that? If so, who do I talk to?

Welcome Phillip!

Formerly I did OTR flatbed with Western Express. I never experienced being "stuck" in the Northeast. I definitely went there at times, and occasionally you run a week or so in the area, but that same thing happened when I'd go out West. I might run out there for a week or so. As an OTR driver you run where they can make money at any given time.

You could make sure your recruiter understands that you want to run OTR. After you get started and have your first conversation with your driver manager , just make sure and mention your preference to them also. Be professional and courteous. Don't be demanding or threatening. They'll be glad to run you all over the country. They kept me moving all over the place.

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.

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.

Driver 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.
Philip D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice and the welcome. I'm really looking forward to flatbed as well as getting back out west! I haven't been west of Denver since March. Thanks again!

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