Werner Job Questions?

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Scott F.'s Comment
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I just obtained my CDL and am stuck looking at so called starter companies. I’ve gotten several offers but decided to go with Werner. Problem is all of a sudden there are some really bad reviews popping up. I don’t pay much attention to people complaining about management or dispatch as those are typically a personal problem in my opinion. What does however concern me is the low pay post I’m seeing. People saying that their check would be between 300-900. I know it’s based on miles but I can only drive what is dispatched to me.

Anyone here have any real insight on this?

Thanks in advance

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, Scott, this Trucking Truth web site has what you're looking for: accurate information and honest advice.

I'll tell you most "reviews" are posted by people who want to tell the world how their trucking company has screwed them. And this is often because these whiners missed something in training or brought incorrect assumptions

Werner is a great choice. You'll do OK with any of the big companies. And don't consider them "starter" companies. (I started with Swift.) All trucking companies want to hire you on permanantly. It's just that some are willing to take a chance on a real newbie.

Here's our listing on Werner

Here's some reading material:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Truck Driver's Career Guide

So, Scott, how did you get your CDL?

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.
Scott F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I don’t put much faith in complaints. Usually someone who feels like a victim and there always 2 sides to every story. The only red flag for me was the huge difference in money.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I don’t put much faith in complaints. Usually someone who feels like a victim and there always 2 sides to every story. The only red flag for me was the huge difference in money.

If it's a cash shortage on the part of the whiny drivers, they're not doing it right. The Trucking Truth position for earning your potential maximum paycheck goes like this:

  • Drive what you are dispatched
  • Plan you trip to maximize your drive time under HOS
  • Keep your DM updated, especially using the on-truck message system
  • Don't take shortcuts in your operation or in safety
  • Work to be one of your DM's Go-To/Top Drawer drivers

If you agree with these, you'll get all the miles you can eat. And miles = money.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

P. S.: You probably won't get this deal right away. But if you learn how it's done, and your DM has faith in you, look out!

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Scott, welcome to our forum!

There's a little secret about truck driving pay. You touched on it when you said this...

I don’t pay much attention to people complaining about management or dispatch as those are typically a personal problem in my opinion. What does however concern me is the low pay post I’m seeing. People saying that their check would be between 300-900. I know it’s based on miles

You are correct we get paid by the mile. We call that "performance based pay." It's genuinely a form of incentive pay. You'll find successful drivers are motivated by this incentive.

There's more to this secret though. Dispatchers and managers in trucking also get performance based pay. There's is different from drivers. They may have a base salary plus a performance incentive, but everybody in trucking gets more money for being more productive.

So, it's easily understood how you may have some misunderstandings about this concept also. Here's another thing you added on to the tail end of the statement I quoted earlier...

I can only drive what is dispatched to me.

That's true at face value, but you also have a lot of authority over how you get dispatched. Your performance determines how you will be dispatched. We call the drivers who lay hold of this concept, "Top Tier Drivers." Every company has a core group of these folks. They love their jobs, make great money, and get along well with their managers. You'll find many of them here in this forum.

As a rookie, you'll have your hands full just learning the basics of how to operate safely and learning the company procedures for things like fueling, finding empty trailers, communicating with dispatch, using macros, managing your time productively, navigating large cities, and being on time for deliveries.

You want to focus on three major things at first.

1) Don't hit anything.

2) Always be on time.

3) Don't cop an attitude with your dispatcher.

I promise, if you can do those three things, you will be head and shoulders above the other newbies at any company. You will shine like a new penny! Trust me - I know what makes a new guy stand out.

You're gonna have some fluctuations in your weekly pay - all rookies experience this. It's not because the company stinks! To be honest it's because it takes a good while to get the hang of this job. Everyone of us looked like idiots when we started. Don't let it bother you when you feel like an idiot, just keep plugging away at it - all of us have been there.

What most new drivers start doing is lashing out at their dispatcher , as if it's their fault that the poor rookie is not making the big bucks. Remember #3 above? Don't be that guy!

Trucking is all about how well you can produce results. Once you gain your dispatcher's confidence he will have the liberty and confidence to put more on you, but that confidence building is completely based on you doing those three things above.

Take the time to read this article. I wrote it after overhearing a phone conversation where a dispatcher was presenting his argument to managers above him as to why his fairly new driver deserved a pay increase. I think it will help you understand this secret of getting the most miles dispatched to you.

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Scott, I just want to touch on one more of your concerns. When you said...

I just obtained my CDL and am stuck looking at so called starter companies.

The fact that you used the phrase "starter companies" makes it obvious to us that you've been doing plenty of research online. You are already picking up some of the nonsense stuff that truckers throw around. Don't believe all that junk. That's the only way it can be described - it's junk!

One of our longtime members who had been in the industry for years (some of them as an Owner/Operator) went and took a company driver job at Werner late in his career. He loved it there and made great money. Don't let the know it all crowd on the internet fool you. These companies that they label as "starter companies" are some of the finest places to work in the industry. They all have long lists of "million miler" drivers working for them. Those are the kind of drivers who can literally make a phone call and get a job anywhere. Why do you think they would be working at a "starter company?"

Check out this podcast. It breaks this down for you. I highly recommend it!

Are Major Carriers Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Scott F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Errol and Old School for all the info.

Let me say, I don’t think of any company as a starter company. I just used the term to describe a company that hires new drivers. I personally am thankful that Werner is giving me a chance. I’ll stay put unless life dictates otherwise. May be 2 years may be 20. I don’t want to bounce around companies so I’ve tried to do as much research as I can and pick the best one first. I’m hoping Werner is that one.

I expected to have a learning curve to maximize earnings. I don’t mind at all. I was just concerned that perhaps new drivers were not getting miles dispatched as a habit due to what I’ve been seeing on reviews. I don’t pay any attention to the overall complaining about management and dispatch etc. I see that as a personal problem, their problem not mine.

I can see your point about being a successful rookie driver. Don’t hit anything, be on time, don’t complain. Luckily that was kinda my plan heading into this. My CDL school literally only taught the test so the only thing I can do is attack this with a positive attitude and pay attention.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Scott!

Most of the time, and obviously there are exceptions, you will be given what they think you can handle as you work your way through the learning curve and conquer the rookie slip-ups we have all experienced. Your job for the first year of your professional existence is not unlike that of a paid apprenticeship. If you learn What it Takes to be a Top-Tier Professional, the 2nd and 3rd year you can begin to reap the benefits of your experience.

Further to Old School's replies, here is an article I wrote about 2 years ago, busting the starter company myth...Committing to Your Starter Company Beyond the First Year.

Good luck at Werner!

ChrisEMT's Comment
member avatar

Hello, I was with Werner for 4 years, and left due to my girlfriends having MS, and a teenage son, so I needed to be home every night, not just weekends. I can tell you that you will see good, bad, ugly, and nasty posts about any company. But as with any job, it is what you make of it... I can tell you that while the OTR pay isn't that great, once you prove yourself to your DM , the sky is the limit for the miles you get.

I can tell you that with Werner, the money is on dedicated accounts, and there are plenty of them throughout the country, ranging from Home Depot and Lowes national accounts, to their DC accounts. There are also other regional accounts throughout the country. They usually pay mileage, safety, fuel bonuses, stop pay, border crossing pay (some accounts), detention pay (some accounts), unload/assist unload pay, etc. The last account I was on out of Vermont, I was averaging .62 cpm and 2500 miles a week, and I was grossing $1100+ every week, even on slow weeks, and I was home every weekend.... Some of the "dollar" accounts (the dollar stores) are big, and the drivers on those accounts regularly make $80k/year.

My point is, the money is there, just do your thing, prove yourself to your DM and fleet assignment people, and make that money. Look to see what they have near your home for dedicated accounts, and see if they are a fit for you... And the best part is, if you decide to check out a place to moce to in the future, you can ask for loads to that area and check out their accounts....

Hope this helps, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask, and if you want, I can recommend an account in the NOLO area, PM me, and I will let you know, and I know the FM takes care of his drivers, and he is a former driver, so he can tell pretty quick if you'll work out well or not, and he will give you as many miles as you can handle, and he is also a straight shooter as well....

Chris

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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