1 YR Review Of Werner DG Dedicated

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Papa Pig's Comment
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Alright guys it’s been a year since I went to orientation and started my journey with Werner on the dollar general dedicated account and thought I would give an overall review of my experience with the company, the account , pay and some experiences that I didn’t put in my rookie diary.

Pay. For the year I grossed 87,000. That was with a month of training pay and then I would say about another 1-2 months of figuring out what worked for me with unloading and how I run my clock. I went from 50 CpM when I first went solo to 60 CPM currently. I have received 30 dollars a stop and 55 dollars per trailer unload. And average 2-4 stops per day. (This will vary by distribution center. It seems they all have different CPM, stop pay, and trailer pay) I average anywhere from 1700 to 2100 miles per week. I average 5 trailers a week I get home Friday evenings and leave Sunday evenings and average 48 hrs at home weekly. I have been nominated for driver of the month twice and received 50 Dollars each time. Unloading I have posted a few videos with small clips of me unloading the trailer. In summer it was hot and sometimes the trailer is loaded horribly . Sometimes it is ok. At first I had my difficulties and was trying to muscle everything out or was stressed out about time . Every now and again it still sucks with older stores that has a steep ramp to push a 800 to 1000 lb rolltainer full of water through a door. It took me about 2-3 months to find my groove , learn different techniques and now most unloads are fairly easy. On average it takes me 4.5 hrs total to unload a 53 foot trailer. Sometimes faster sometimes slower. That’s one thing that I like is my unload time mostly is up to me.

Some managers and dg associates are easy to work with. Some are rude. I learned to not let the rude ones or lazy ones get me all worked up. Some have no room and don’t want the product. I no longer argue with them. I say ok, go and call my fm , wait. Generally within 15 minutes they will come and break the seal after that. Dg rarely if ever allows them to refuse a load.

Driving , Backing, Parking lots. Some stores are easy and some stores are hard. I have posted a few humdingers. And there have been a few times that it took me awhile to figure out how I was going to get it in. But honestly it’s not as bad as a lot of you may think. It’s definitely not to be taken lightly but is not to be feared. A lot of the bad stores that are super tight have mandatory appointment times so you can get there when there is no traffic. Some stores have short trailer restrictions. .48/45 footers. I have a buddy at a different DC that does 25 footers but that is very rare. My input is that doing this as a rookie is DOABLE but I can see why they are cautioned against it. My opinion is that if you came to this account specifically you need to train on the account . Going OTR for 2 months and then coming straight to this could be disastrous. But I have saw rookies be more successful here than veterans that come to the account .

Werner equipment is good and fairly new. My first truck wasn’t very clean and smelled like dog ****. But I cleaned it and it became home until feb when I got a 21 freight liner with 31000 miles that was clean.

Incident. I had one mishap that I didn’t write about in my diary. Back in October I was leaving a parking area on my way back to the dc and thought I was supposed to go left but at the last minute realized I was supposed to make a right. I took it too sharp and my tandems were forward. My lift gate caught the ground and was knocked out of time and had to be repaired. I immediately called and reported it after seeing the damage. They told me to bring it in. Once I got to the DC my fm took my load and said I would have to talk with our safety guy in the morning . It was totally my fault. And was do to in attention , being in a rush and I owned it. Wasn’t a DG specific accident. My safety guy went over the incident with me. Told me how to avoid doing it in the future. He said I was a good driver and to not beat myself up about it. I did yard training with him and 3 e trainers for corrective training. And was given a 60 day probation (don’t mess up during that time) I also wouldn’t accrue safe miles or safe stop awards in that quarter. I thought my career was over but they took care of me and didn’t make me feel like a POS. They never brought it up again. I didn’t want to put this in my diary because I wanted to save it for the big picture to be seen.

My site manager, safety , load planner and Fm has all been great. I have never been bullied or threatened. And have always been called by my first name. I don’t know how otr guys are treated with my company but we have a fairly tight team. Once I proved I could handle mile they were given to me.

To me the key to this job is to not turn down crappy loads. I took everything nobody else wanted without complaining and then they started giving me mostly good loads (a fact which ****ed some seniority drivers off) I maximize my time by parking up at stores, (slept overnight in truck stops 5 times in a year) I call ahead and try to get stores to unload me early. I watch my clock. They have noticed and take care of me. Hard work pays off. Thanks for reading!

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Example of weekly pay since March 0003347001622253719.jpg

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

A year already? Times does fly when we're having fun (or working hard).

Congratulations to you and those impressive paychecks! You've earned every dollar.

dancing.gif dancing.gif dancing.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Congrats, and thanks for sharing all those details, about your pay and what the daily/weekly work is like!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

I've ready your updates and watched your videos and worried you were going to burn yourself out. You work very hard and know that some of the DG stores can be tough from what experiences our son shared with us.

I saw you delivered some fresh loads and those are small loads but involve a lot more backing up. Our son did one load with 17 stops, lots of miles and 3 days. Once a store was closed because employees locked the key inside or couldn't find it. I imagine you ran into plenty of crazy things and you have a good attitude in not letting it get to you. I don't understand how that account works because Werner hired CR England to do some of the DCs, our son pulled DG trailers with CR England truck but when there were problems with liftgate, etc. he had to get Werner to do something about it and it seemed like they sometimes had no idea who he was since he wasn't their employee.

Are you planning to keep doing this? Seems like you have more risk of injury with this type of work but you stay in shape.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Congratulations on making it one account.

That alone is a accomplishment let alone doing it on a dollar store account.

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on the 1 year anniversary! Those are some impressive numbers for a rookie year. Glad your doing well

dancing-banana.gif smile.gif dancing-banana.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Papa Pig, That was an amazing rookie year! Congratulations, and thanks for all you have shared with us! You have contributed a lot of information over the last year, and we appreciate all of it.

Most of you know that we don't recommend taking the path that Papa Pig did. We don't like to see rookie drivers jumping in on the Dollar accounts. There is no doubt that there is money to be made there, but we generally prefer a more risk averse job for entry level drivers. That is just our approach because there are so many ways to mess up on this account. Unless I missed it, Papa Pig didn't mention about the possibilities of personal injury on this account. I personally tried to keep a friend of mine from doing this account. He insisted on it and during his first month he tore something in his right shoulder. He has never fully recovered from that incident yet, almost six years later. It is not only physically challenging, but it has a long list of challenges that make it a difficult account to be good at.

Papa Pig conquered those challenges, and did it in an amazing way! We salute him!

My input is that doing this as a rookie is DOABLE but I can see why they are cautioned against it. My opinion is that if you came to this account specifically you need to train on the account . Going OTR for 2 months and then coming straight to this could be disastrous. But I have saw rookies be more successful here than veterans that come to the account .

I thought this was one of the most important statements in your post. Recruiters are always looking for new drivers on this account. Of course, the reason is that they can't keep good people on it. The dollars lure all kinds of folks who don't really comprehend the difficulties of it. I understand what you are saying about starting and training for this account. You had a good experience getting trained and it paid off. You also are a disciplined guy with his head on straight. You are obviously a guy that knows how to take care of himself in a difficult situation and you seem to be able to stay cool under pressure - all great qualities for a truck driver, but especially for someone dealing with the issues on this account. I loved reading all your updates. They showed how you handled different situations, and how you learned to deal with all the issues that came up. It was all great stuff, but it also confirmed everything we teach people about this account. Most rookie drivers do not have the qualities you posses. You were, and still are, an ideal candidate for this job.

I have also noticed how often experienced drivers go to this account and bomb out. Here's what I think happens. They are drivers who have never really mastered this job. They are not what we refer to as Top Tier Drivers. They are frustrated with their pay, and they hear stories of making great money on these accounts. They take the plunge, not really having the commitment and dedication it takes to succeed. They may be experienced, but they are not really successful. In trucking you have to discern between those two things. I have heard managers talking about drivers who have been with their company for years, but they are not really top performers. They are experienced and safe, but just not overly productive. They are part of the team, but they are not really commanding a lot of attention like a star player does. Those guys are always looking for a way to make some more money. They are not looking for more challenges though. They are not up for the gig. They find that out the hard way.

Congratulations Papa Pig! You are a champion in my opinion. There aren't a lot of guys out here like you. I am always proud to meet them when I can. We got to see an overachiever in you, and I hope everybody here recognizes it. Keep up the great work, and thanks again for all the information you've shared with us about your excellent rookie year - it was amazing!

I hope to see you have many more ahead of you!

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.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Nice summary.

As far as rookies taking a dedicated Dollar General account, I would say that still stands considering your exceptional performance. Not every rookie is not going to your high level of performance.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Great write-up Papa Pig! Congrats on the first anniversary. You set a shining example for future drivers.

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