Anything I Should Be Doing Before I Leave For Orientation With Western Express?

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Zach 's Comment
member avatar

Hey y'all it's me again lol. If anyone remembers my orientation a couple weeks a go with MTC was a complete disaster and I was sent home after failing the backing course after 2 tries I just could not do that hoarse shoe and figure 8 thing, failed my Atlas reading test which since to be honest I had never even seen an atlas before and it honestly never occurred to me to learn that kind of stuff before showing up. Long story short I was extremely unprepared and paid the price for it and I would like to avoid being in that awful scenario ever again. I took the packet of homework May gave us home for and have been doing it on my own since WE probably expects the sameknowlege and I learned my hours of service which is a pretty simple task and like the instructor said, completely unacceptable to show up to an orientation not knowing, but I feel like there is more I could be doing this week before I get on the crack hound again Saturday. Obviously I can't practice backing, driving, or qualqam usage but I'm sure there are other thing's I could do? Maybe old school or someone else that been to WE and knows what the expectations are could chime in on this? Also on a completely related note how is the hotel and how long can I expect to be stuck there waiting for a trainer? I'm going to Fontana but I heard the Hallmark inn over in Nashville is pretty sketchy lol

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Not much you can do about driving.

I would make sure you have all needed documents:

SS card

Driver's License

Passport

Original birth certificate

Bank account number, address, and routing number

Phone numbers and address of at least three references

All the info you put on your application

DOT medical card and long form

Copy of DD-214 if you are a veteran

An open mind, a can-do attitude, and a willingness to learn at all costs!

good-luck.gif

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.

Jammer a's Comment
member avatar

Your gonna stay at the days inn or red roof in it’s cool and food places in walking distance they’re gonna feed pizza at orientation and give you 8 dollar subway cards as far as a trainer I got mine straight away the lady that helps the guy at orientation will set up all your Ed’s card and such insurance TRANSFLO app and workday app it’s not so uptight there when you get your trainer make sure you tell him you want to back at the truck stops loading docks everything and you wanna do the qaulcom be vocal bro or they’re gonna make sure you can hold the wheel and go to sleep but if your vocal and ask questions you’ll get answers most the trainers from Tennessee are good hands bro you’ll be doin fed ex drop n hooks lotta miles it’s quick too then bam your gonna get your truck study ca traffic laws and listen to Kelly hell give u your road test he’ll help you good luck hit me up if you need me

Hey y'all it's me again lol. If anyone remembers my orientation a couple weeks a go with MTC was a complete disaster and I was sent home after failing the backing course after 2 tries I just could not do that hoarse shoe and figure 8 thing, failed my Atlas reading test which since to be honest I had never even seen an atlas before and it honestly never occurred to me to learn that kind of stuff before showing up. Long story short I was extremely unprepared and paid the price for it and I would like to avoid being in that awful scenario ever again. I took the packet of homework May gave us home for and have been doing it on my own since WE probably expects the sameknowlege and I learned my hours of service which is a pretty simple task and like the instructor said, completely unacceptable to show up to an orientation not knowing, but I feel like there is more I could be doing this week before I get on the crack hound again Saturday. Obviously I can't practice backing, driving, or qualqam usage but I'm sure there are other thing's I could do? Maybe old school or someone else that been to WE and knows what the expectations are could chime in on this? Also on a completely related note how is the hotel and how long can I expect to be stuck there waiting for a trainer? I'm going to Fontana but I heard the Hallmark inn over in Nashville is pretty sketchy lol

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jammer a's Comment
member avatar

Best western inn also

Your gonna stay at the days inn or red roof in it’s cool and food places in walking distance they’re gonna feed pizza at orientation and give you 8 dollar subway cards as far as a trainer I got mine straight away the lady that helps the guy at orientation will set up all your Ed’s card and such insurance TRANSFLO app and workday app it’s not so uptight there when you get your trainer make sure you tell him you want to back at the truck stops loading docks everything and you wanna do the qaulcom be vocal bro or they’re gonna make sure you can hold the wheel and go to sleep but if your vocal and ask questions you’ll get answers most the trainers from Tennessee are good hands bro you’ll be doin fed ex drop n hooks lotta miles it’s quick too then bam your gonna get your truck study ca traffic laws and listen to Kelly hell give u your road test he’ll help you good luck hit me up if you need me

double-quotes-start.png

Hey y'all it's me again lol. If anyone remembers my orientation a couple weeks a go with MTC was a complete disaster and I was sent home after failing the backing course after 2 tries I just could not do that hoarse shoe and figure 8 thing, failed my Atlas reading test which since to be honest I had never even seen an atlas before and it honestly never occurred to me to learn that kind of stuff before showing up. Long story short I was extremely unprepared and paid the price for it and I would like to avoid being in that awful scenario ever again. I took the packet of homework May gave us home for and have been doing it on my own since WE probably expects the sameknowlege and I learned my hours of service which is a pretty simple task and like the instructor said, completely unacceptable to show up to an orientation not knowing, but I feel like there is more I could be doing this week before I get on the crack hound again Saturday. Obviously I can't practice backing, driving, or qualqam usage but I'm sure there are other thing's I could do? Maybe old school or someone else that been to WE and knows what the expectations are could chime in on this? Also on a completely related note how is the hotel and how long can I expect to be stuck there waiting for a trainer? I'm going to Fontana but I heard the Hallmark inn over in Nashville is pretty sketchy lol

double-quotes-end.png

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Maybe old school or someone else that been to WE and knows what the expectations are could chime in on this?

Congratulations Zach!

It's been so long since I was there that my information is probably out of date, but PackRat's list is an excellent one. You can tell he's been in your shoes a few times. I would just reiterate his last comment - it's an important one.

An open mind, a can-do attitude, and a willingness to learn at all costs!

I did orientation in Nashville, TN. I have no idea what they do in Fontana, CA. I've been to that terminal multiple times. Back in my day it was always crowded there, but that's really all I remember about it. Zach, you've learned a hard lesson, and probably have a much better understanding why we encourage folks to attend Paid CDL Training Programs. You can still succeed at this, but you will have to learn much of it on the fly. There's nothing wrong with that, in fact it is the way I did it. Just hang tough. There's going to be days that you just want to pull your hair out. There will also be days that you won't believe that someone is paying you to have such a great time!

My biggest advice is be very careful about believing what you hear from other people in your orientation class. There are going to be rumors flying like crazy. Just ignore all that sruff. There will be current drivers at the terminal telling you guys to run away while you still can. It's all garbage. Just ignore it. I did really well at Western Express, but I honestly don't remember ever meeting another driver there who felt that way. That's pretty bad, but it wasn't because it was a bad company. Drivers are their worst poison sometimes. Remember, it's not your job to concern yourself with how they manage the company. It is your job to make things happen out there in your sphere. That's where it all makes a difference for you. The challenges are great in this business. You have to handle then with determination and victory.

  • Always be safe.
  • Never hit anything.
  • Always be on time.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Good luck Zach.

No need for me to add anything... PackRat and Old School gave you the best possible advice.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Zach you’ve already got the important advice. Wish you well. Please keep us updated how it goes. Best wishes!!

Georgia Mike's Comment
member avatar

Make the trainer teach you everything. Alot of WE trainers just have there students drive wont teach em how to back, how to do transflo, how to work the Qualcomm or even weight distribution. Not all of the trainers are like this but there are trainers like that. My suggestion would be if you get on like this ask for a new trainer and explain why.

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.
J.D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, it sounds like Western Express is just about the most controversial company out there...which maybe I should NOT be seriously considering?! Anne, thanx for the tip, will next check out Freymiller for sure...yup, 'tis the weekend for me to be posting, fa-la-la-la... (But will be making my "final decision" by around New Year's Day, for sure!) Old School's experience there is admittedly old, and others' seem more cautionary tales than positive reviews... Have they really gone downhill or what? (wait, downhill sounds like it's a good thing, right?, unless that hill's too steep...;-) ............

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

J.D. you're better off just applying EVERYWHERE and then make a decision off who actually extends an offer. We've seen this quite a bit where someone focuses on finding the right company just to be turned down for whatever reason. Every company is going to have negative reviews yet they all have a long list of successful drivers that have stayed decades and driven millions of safe miles for them. We all place different levels of importance on certain things, or there's a misunderstanding when talking to recruiters. Heck, we seen that a couple weeks ago a member was still sour about an experience he had over 8 months ago because he took the recruiter saying you can earn UP TO $XX as gospel and was upset when he wasn't making anywhere near that.

Seriously, Apply For Truck Driving Jobs and see who responds with an invite to orientation. Ask the recruiter questions and read Company reviews here on TT and come up with a pro/con list for each company.

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