Walmart Private Fleet

Topic 26933 | Page 4

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G-Town's Comment
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Great job Turtle...!

Congratulations!

Turtle's Comment
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Fast-forwarding to my continued training at the DC.

Although my home DC is in Johnstown NY, certain logistical and training functions fall under the operational umbrella of the DC in Marcy NY, some 60ish miles away. This is where I will begin the next phase of my training.

Walmart booked me in a nearby hotel Sun, Mon, and Tue night to keep me from having to drive the 130 miles from home daily before orientation.

Mon11/4 - Tue11/5 0700 - 1700hrs

Breakfast at the hotel before shooting over to the DC. I'll skip most of the boring details, mon & tue were both filled with meet & greets, power meetings, signing HR stuff, q&a sessions, shop & warehouse tours, and fooood. Lots of fooood.

They know how to eat here, and aren't afraid to show it. Aside from the lunch ordered in from a nearby restaurant, there were cookies, cakes, and snacks seemingly in every room we entered. Someone jokingly said that us newbies we're now entering the "Freshman 15", where we'd gain 15 lbs in our freshman year. Determined to prove them wrong on that, I stuck with just water.

The atmosphere here is very laid back. From the transportation offices to the break room, everyone just seemed to be chillin. Obviously work was getting done, but it didn't keep anyone from smiling and chatting with you as you walked by.

The drivers. How shall I put this? Let's just say the drivers that were floating in and out left me feeling completely outclassed in their presence. Seeing badges proclaiming 10, 20, even 30 yrs longevity at Walmart, along with the Wall of Fame touting numerous 3 and 4 million milers, left me feeling really tiny with my puny 3 years.

I didn't run into any terminal rats. Naturally, anyone can find something to grumble about. But as a whole, everyone seems very happy to be here. As one driver put it:

"Welcome to Walmart. Where everyone complains, but no one ever leaves."

Wednesday got us out of the classroom and into a van with Dave, a 24-year veteran. He took us on short tours of some stores in the area before grabbing lunch at my home DC in Johnstown. There I got to finally meet my transportation manager and take a tour of that facility as well.

Closing the day back in Marcy, there were some computer training videos to watch before calling it a day. My training at Marcy is done now, so I go to my next hotel down the road from the DC in Johnstown.

Thursday I'll be meeting and going on the road for a day with my mentor, Sid. His regular days off are Fri & Sat, so I'll finish up the computer training at the terminal Friday morning before going home and returning Sunday for a week on the road with Sid.

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.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Great stuff Turtle, really becoming a legendary tale with you recording it all these last years. Bummed a bit that I won't be running into you randomly in Denver anymore but happy to see you movin' on up to the east side

icecold24k's Comment
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This diary is a really good read. Congratulations on the new job and I will definitely be following along and looking forward to future updates.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Army 's Comment
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Hopefully when we notice that Turtle's Picture has changed, then everything is complete and he is good to go. We are all anxiously waiting turtle, best of luck and safe travels.

Turtle's Comment
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The past several days have kind of run into a blur. I'm currently in the mentorship phase, where we go out with a trainer for a week or so to learn the ins and outs of how to keep the stores supplied. Coming from the flatbed world, this system of delivery is foreign to me, but I'm adapting to it. I don't have many details to give yet, as I'm still wrapping my mind around the steps involved. Not that it's all that difficult to comprehend. Just different, and I have to unlearn some things before I can learn others. I'll get more into that some other time, but rest assured that I absolutely love this job so far.

Met up with my trainer Sid the other day. The first impression I got from him was a good one. 65 years old, full of jokes and stories, and an 18-year veteran of Walmart Transportation. He's an equal-opportunity ballbuster, and we hit it off pretty quickly.

After a quick lesson on when, where, and how to get our trip information paperwork, we hooked up to our loaded trailer, and hit the road. Our first day was a live unload at a store, then on to a drop/hook at the second store. Brought that empty reefer back to the DC and took an empty dryvan to another DC. From there we took a loaded dryvan destined for yet another DC.

The next few days were very similar, bouncing between stores and DCs. Getting in and out of the locations has been very smooth so far. There is little to no wait time for live unloads. It takes longer for me to figure out the computer inputs than it does to get unloaded.

Walmart puts trainers and trainees up in hotels for the night (separate rooms). In the off chance that something happens and we can't make it to a hotel, I brought bedding with me just in case.

I'll come back with more when I have time. There are definitely some key differences between this job and what I'm accustomed to, and I'll try to explain as I go.

Peace out for now.

Dryvan:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Turtle's Comment
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Ok so mentorship week is over. I think they stuffed just about as much info into my noggin as they possibly could. It's like they stuck a funnel in my head and tried to see how much they could pour in. There was a ton of stuff to learn in a very short time frame.

Seriously though, Walmart is vastly different than what I'm accustomed to. There are way more steps involved in getting a product from A to B.

Most of my difficulty came from the computer. Walmart uses PeopleNet, I'm used to the Qualcomm , so there's that. It took a day or two to wrap my mind around this new system. Hours of service, load tracking, Multi-stop info, etc all done differently, and take some adjusting to. In the big picture, it wasn't all bad. Even an old coot like me can figure it out.

Driving the truck was the easy part. We'd go anywhere from 300 to 500+ miles each day, with several stops. And let me just tell you, some of those stops are very tight. Oh my goodness, I haven't often had to deal with such tight quarters in my flatbed world. I'm not afraid of it though, and actually enjoy the challenge. My trainer of course has been to all of these stops a gazillion times, and gave me tips on the best entry/exit for the stores we visited.

So basically the mentorship phase is designed to get us into as many diverse locations is possible, so that we can gain experience necessary to handle them efficiently. I think they did a good job of "roughing" me in from a hands-on standpoint. There were multiple stores, DC's, vendor back hauls, etc., and I had to handle them by myself as much as possible.

By the way, the mentors aren't here to teach you how to drive. You should already know how to do that, otherwise you wouldn't be here. They simply tell you where to go, and you're expected to be able to do it.

The job really isn't different from what most of you are already used to, only maybe at a slightly more hurried pace. I really don't have any basis to compare it to, with my straight line experience being in flatbed. Going from 1 trip hauling 1 load stretching out 1800+ miles over 3 days, to a 1 day trip covering 4 stores and a backhaul, all inside 300-400 miles has been quite a switch. I'm diggin it though. Breaking the day up into several segments is actually quite enjoyable, and the time passes insanely fast.

First impressions:

I absolutely love this job so far! Being solo for the past few days has led to many takeaways I've gathered from this. I'll save them for the next post.

Thanks for reading.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
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First impressions:

I absolutely love this job so far! Being solo for the past few days has led to many takeaways I've gathered from this. I'll save them for the next post.

Thanks for reading.

that's awesome Turtle, congrats again on landing such a sweet gig. Have you had the "pleasure" of telling vendors (soda, beer, etc.) You were jumping in front of them for the dock? It's rare I need to but today I did and it resulted in someone going on a profanity laced rant about how unfair it is.

Have you found it difficult to keep track of them taking the correct pallets and reloading the ones that aren't theres?

PackRat's Comment
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Awesome Turtle!

smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

Rob. D.'s Comment
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Turtle,

Thanks for the update.

Seems like you don't have as much "free time" as you did flatbedding?

Rob.

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