Starting With Werner After School

Topic 29035 | Page 1

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Zachary S.'s Comment
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Hello all, I’m Zach and wanted to start a diary of my journey with Werner.

Little background, I am a recent private trucking school graduate with all my endorsements. A year ago nearly to the date of getting my CDL I was at my lowest in the hospital. From that point to now I have been sober for over a year, finally decided on a career that I am very happy with, completed and received my CDL, and now am starting with my best pick company.

Now for the diary:

I tested on a Sunday and that same day received a call from my recruiter checking to see if I had passed. He immediately offered me the job, began the paperwork process, and arranged for a rental to their nearest terminal. Since I’m currently employed full time I wanted to give two weeks which they understood and worked with me. After that I received a flurry of emails and online forms to fill out before heading to orientation. Between their driver portal website and app it was very easy to complete all the paperwork. Although it did take about three hours to fill everything out and answer all the questions. Werner provides tuition reimbursement and prefers the paperwork at orientation so I will have that along with all the other things required in their list. The list mainly consists of paperwork, license, birth certificate or passport, and packing list for OTR training. Pretty basic stuff that I feel any orientation will recommend.

I will be starting the 27th of October at their Allentown, PA, terminal. Orientation is 3-4 days long then I will be with an OTR trainer 3-5 weeks. I am a bit nervous about the trainer due to being with a complete stranger in the closet of a home. Add to that the worry of how food is going to work out and if cooking on the truck is even possible. I know that this is only temporary and if things aren't ideal I need just go with it and get it over. Cause after training I get my own truck and start my own career.

Will be picking up the rental very close to my house and heading out Monday where they will have me in a hotel nearby for orientation. The rental option is very nice of them and I will have a room to myself which is also very nice! They actually preferred to do the rental versus a bus which is awesome! I will have to fill up on gas before I return the rental but will be reimbursed.

I am super excited to be starting this journey and look forward to an awesome start to a long career! I will keep everyone up to date as things progress and let you know how the experience is. I also wanted to give a big shout out to all the moderators and of course Brett for this site! It has helped me immensely in my decisions and knowledge of the industry, the life, and the profession in general. So now time to finish this last day of work and begin the rest of my life!

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
's Comment
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Great job. Best of luck to you

Zachary S.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok all, so the drive down is done as well day one of orientation.

Drive down was easy and relaxed, weather was overcast and a little misty rain the whole way through. So traffic was light which made the experience even better. Navigating through even this tiny corner of PA was an adventure in patience, speed, and space control!

First day of orientation was also relatively easy. Drive in the morning was good but a little hectic trying to find a gas station nearby that’s open! Holy crap that was a chore! Went through two gas stations before finally finding the third one (speedway) open...at 0630! Then finding the terminal was easy but the training building and parking situation not so much. Figured it out after a bit of running back and forth but got er done. They are building a new terminal and apparently are just renting the current building until it is finished. So by the end of the first quarter next year things will be easier and nicer! You lucky ducks after me! After that all was seamless, lots of paperwork, lots of tests, lots of e-training with even more left to do! I will say that the tablet system they are newly using is AWESOME! Very user friendly, fast, organized, and is using the same nav app/system I was going to use on my personal phone! So plus to having an exact backup!!!! Not too mention not needing to learn a whole new foreign language of Macros that the old Qualcomm system used.

But tomorrow should be fun as we won’t start till late (1100) and won’t be finishing till late (2200) as well. We go over pre-trip, coupling/uncoupling, and backing as well! So that will be awesome fun getting used to these sleeper trucks and automatics as well. At least we will get lunch AND dinner provided too! I know, I’m spoiled 😝

I will say I did run into one hiccup with some medical paperwork that I needed to get. Always seems anyone going through a company orientation for the first time has something to cause some anxiety. Not worried about not getting the paperwork or losing the job, just nervous about not getting as fast as they want. Cause everything seems to be have it now or it’s a problem.

Anyways, that was the last couple days. I am going to keep this diary going for all who wish to know what Werner is like. Hopefully I will get some more responses soon and maybe some feed back! Till tomorrow, keep on rolling baby!

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.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Great to read your starting entry.

Lots are reading and following the journey, even if they don't post a reply.

good-luck.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Zachary S.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok all, sorry about the delay. Here is day 3,4, and now 5!

Day 3

A long day but productive. Got all of the e-training done so didn’t have to play any catch up with that. Most of the other students had to play catch up though. So we did spend some time in the classroom letting people get caught up and also killing some time for lunch. After that we headed out to the yard to do some pre-trip and coupling/uncoupling tutorial. Pre-trip was pretty basic but more about getting us familiar with their particular trucks and trailers. The same thing was for coupling/uncoupling as well with the added bonus that all of their trucks use automatic fifth wheel release. That makes life nice on a couple of levels; first is the elimination of having to unlock by hand which can be dangerous and cause personal injury. Second is it does make the fifth wheel more secure as you can’t pull the pin by hand unless the system is deactivated. So no worry about some ass hat from pulling my lock while I’m parked.

Rest of the day was more waiting until we could go to the backing pad. Since the current facility is small and leased they do not have their own backing range which means they use a local school. So we have to wait till the school is done for the day in order to use the pad. Once we got out there we did two maneuvers, alley dock (90 degree) and lane change. Wasn’t a test, just an evaluation, to give the instructors an idea of where we are and how much practice we should get in backing. I did awful with the alley but great in the lane change, which doesn’t surprise me due to only being used to 48’ trailers and day cab 10 speed manual trucks. Not happy about that result but at least it tells me where I am in backing and what I need practice in. Really wish Werner had their new terminal cause then we would have our own backing range! We have to work with what we got so gotta handle it. After that was finished we headed back to the hotel. Started the day at 1100 and ended at 2030.

Day 4

This day was an early start day due to simulator training at 0800. Simulators are an interesting beast that seem to effect people in very different ways. If anyone doesn’t know what the simulator is, it’s basically a giant video game that gives various driving situations with an identical seat and basic controls. Same steering wheel, lights, pedals, chair, and emergency flasher panel. You have three giant screens that give you the entire seeable area of the truck for the driver with all the typical sounds. Now the sim is just that, a simulator not a duplicator. So it’s a close depiction, not exact, and the biggest thing lost is depth perception and the ‘feel’ of the truck. You definitely have a hard time knowing where you are in relation to things like curbs and shoulders. So the simulator is more for giving you risk free practice in basic maneuvers and emergency situations. Let me tell you they test you very well with some crazy situations that probably wouldn’t happen in the real world but if any driver knows, nothing is impossible! For this day we did 6 sessions, two at a time, with a five minute break in between in order to give your brain time to process and avoid information overload. This is where it effects people differently. Some people have problems such as head aches, dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting. So be aware and don’t be afraid to tell the instructor how your feeling. They also won’t penalize you if it bothers you too much and can’t continue. This process lasted for about an hour and was an eye opening experience. Overall I did pretty well but I do know I need some more practice and should keep my eyes open and mind ready. Which I feel is the overall goal of the sims, so don’t be afraid of them and learn what you can. After that the day was done, so pretty short. I spent the rest of the time at the main building getting some paperwork issues settled with my physical and got some free lunch! Beware though, it will be boring so make sure you have things to occupy your time!

Day 5

This is my current day that I’m on while writing this diary.

Today was more sim training at 0800, however, today was extreme weather conditions. That was an interesting experience and of course they threw the fun of dealing with a roundabout in there as well. Had to do the roundabout a few times to finally get the idea which just showed me how important space management and depth perception is so important in the industry. Again, great way to learn how to deal with these things without destroying property or taking lives! After that I was due to do my road test, however, I’m still waiting for my release for my physical. Just hurrying up and waiting for my doctors office to send the info, then it will be more hurry up and wait while the DOT doc looks things over. So at this point I won’t be able to road test till Monday! Which sucks but they are fine with it and are being patient, which puts me at ease.

After we get lunch I will be heading back to the hotel and hopefully hear that everything is all set so I can test on Saturday. Only time will tell and patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue, PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!!!!! Which is what is ringing through my head on loop, lol. I just keep in mind that this, along with the whole training process is just that, a process. And once the process is done I will be on the road, on my own, owning the road.

So until tomorrow everyone, be safe and keep on rolling baby!

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

WOW, they are keeping you busy, man! That's COOL about the auto'release on the 5th wheel. 'No pulling pundits,' hahaha!

KUDOS, for sure. Still following, vicariously, and wishing you well as you forge forward!!!

Best to you;

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gifgood-luck-2.gifgood-luck.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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