Navigation For Newbies (emphasis On Parking Lots)

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Plus I think they drop behind the store, eliminating the need to navigate through the customer lot like DG. Good advice Steve!

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****'s Sporting Goods

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Double check me on this, but if that’s a drop/hook scenario, it might be a good fit.

When I drove for Schneider, they loaned me to a Target dedicated account and it was pretty easy, all drop/hook. Granted you’re maneuvering (oftentimes) into shopping centers, but usually to the back.

It’s much better than the Dollar accounts.

I hope this helps.

Klutch's Comment
member avatar

At Schneider you are eligible to transfer to another division after 90 days so you could always get some experience under your belt on the D.sports account or OVR and swap to the DG position after you’ve got some experience under your belt (the DG positions always seem to be available). I transferred as soon as the window opened off of my first account for the same reasons everyone is pointing out, it was not meant for beginners.

I will say transferring when the time comes, at least for me was a super quick and simple process.

Good luck

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

There isn't necessarily a right or wrong way to get into a place as long as you safely do it. If it's your first time going to a store (or any stop for that matter) have a plan to get turned back around in case of a missed turn or obstacles preventing you from executing plan A. I'll share how I'd approach each delivery but it's possible to change based on obstacles or anything else that isn't visible in the Google satellite view.

1. 5155 E Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89156 -This is a Dollar General location. This store two entrances and this one seems one of the easiest to navigate in my area. I think the best way to get into unloading area (south of the store) would be to take a right from Meikle Ln going Westbound and alley dock. The unloading area is long enough so you wouldn't be blocking traffic. Exiting the unloading area looks very easy too.

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Personally I'd come from Mead hug the building as much as possible and pull out into traffic on Meikle. Avoid blind backing if necessary. Doing it this way the back end of your trailer will be angled in the general vicinity of where you want it and you'll have control of most of the drive lane. There's much lower likelihood of someone being stupid and getting in your way as well because miekle looks like a less busy road.

3325 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89115 -This is a Dollar General location. This store only has one entrance. When I looked at Google Street View, I saw two tractor-trailers in the parking lot near the unloading area pointing towards the street entrance. I'm guessing the drivers took a right from Las Vegas Blvd, turned left going along the South side of the store and alley docked along the West side. My question is how you avoid backing into traffic during that alley dock? Do you get the store manager to come out and help you?

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If the store is empty/closed no doubt I'd do as you suggested. If they're open I may not have any other choice but to still do it depending on the unknowns. If I had to pull up in front of store I would angle so my nose and trailer are at roughly 45 degrees to increase my view. Another option would be sit in the road with your hazards on, wait for a break in traffic and take control of the intersection and blindside off the street. If I did that I would get my trailer to the right side of the screen as quickly as possible to minimize someone from getting in my way that's trying to leave. I wouldn't count on a manager helping. DG have been in the news alot lately for how short staffed they are and it's likely a manager would be able to step away even if they want to.

6371 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130 -This is a Target in a very busy parking lot. I saw a tractor-trailer going southbound on Decatur Blvd today trying to get into the entrance directly South of El Pollo Loco. They blocked the right lane and waited to turn. It looks like you can pull forward through the parking lot and get turned around behind the store (North side

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This one to me comes down to personal preference. If you zoom in behind target you can see a concrete pad that based on the tire tracks most drivers do u-turns behind the store. One unknown is do they have containers, construction material or any other obstacles that are new? If it wasn't a stop I regularly go to I'd probably go down one more entrance and come in behind one stop nutrition. More traffic to contend with but you don't need to worry about getting into the back and not enough room to do a U-turn. For this one i don't think it would really matter.

6455 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89131 -This is a Best Buy in another very busy parking lot. I think the easiest way to get to the dock would be to go down Thom Blvd and take a left, but that way is blocked with a locked metal gate... Can the store manager open up something like that or would you have to go through the parking out? You would apparently have to pull into the dock area from the West side, because I don't see how you could turn around.

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Highly unlikely a manager has a key to the locked gate as they're likely just renting their space. I would enter at the entrance below Wells Fargo and follow that around behind Ashley furniture. When I leave I would try to hook a right at the same aisle I came down. If that isn't possible come out on the west side of Costco Gas but only if I'm headed south as they have a median preventing you from heading north from that street onto Decatur.

Larry T.'s Comment
member avatar

6 weeks until my 1st year anniversary with Schneider on the DG account. I came out of the Schneider Academy in August of last year. It is my first Class A job. I was at Roehl's GYCDL program spring of 2021 but parted ways because I made no improvement with backing. Which makes me chuckle considering what I'm doing currently.

Take your time. GOAL. Take your time. GOAL! The morons who back into the building, light posts, dumpsters, cars, etc are drivers who are careless, don't take the time to GOAL or get effected by cars coming, beeping, drivers getting mad and they rush the back. You're the one with the HUGE tractor trailer, Most are terrified and will stop or get out of your way. The others you control by getting out to GOAL and taking your time slowly backing watching your surroundings like a hawk. First few weeks were rough, A lot of thoughts of who needs this crap, can't wait until 3 month's is up so I can transfer. Then by the end of month two I loved it.

I would venture it's the actual job of unloading is why people quit. You have to be a hard worker busting your butt to earn the wages I feel is deserved doing DG.

I had about a 6 week learning curve before I was making decent money. My first 12 month's I'm on pace for 90k. Year to date is 57k, so I'm looking at breaking 100k this calendar year. Not bad for a rookie Trucker? lol.

I just finished my 3rd week at CDL school. I currently have a conditional job offer from Schneider for a Dollar General dedicated account. I decided to do some more research on this job position and found that it's not exactly friendly to new drivers. I have 10 years in warehousing, so I can handle moving freight. I guess it's because of the parking lots you have to navigate? The only navigation training I've been given is reading an atlas to go from one major city to another. I want to get down to brass tacks here and learn how to navigate these parking lots, which apparently can be the most perilous part of a truck driver's journey.

I will give examples of stores in my area and it would be great if experienced drivers could give feedback on how they would navigate them and avoid getting into an accident.

1. 5155 E Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89156 -This is a Dollar General location. This store two entrances and this one seems one of the easiest to navigate in my area. I think the best way to get into unloading area (south of the store) would be to take a right from Meikle Ln going Westbound and alley dock. The unloading area is long enough so you wouldn't be blocking traffic. Exiting the unloading area looks very easy too.

2. 3325 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89115 -This is a Dollar General location. This store only has one entrance. When I looked at Google Street View, I saw two tractor-trailers in the parking lot near the unloading area pointing towards the street entrance. I'm guessing the drivers took a right from Las Vegas Blvd, turned left going along the South side of the store and alley docked along the West side. My question is how you avoid backing into traffic during that alley dock? Do you get the store manager to come out and help you?

3. 6371 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130 -This is a Target in a very busy parking lot. I saw a tractor-trailer going southbound on Decatur Blvd today trying to get into the entrance directly South of El Pollo Loco. They blocked the right lane and waited to turn. It looks like you can pull forward through the parking lot and get turned around behind the store (North side).

4. 6455 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89131 -This is a Best Buy in another very busy parking lot. I think the easiest way to get to the dock would be to go down Thom Blvd and take a left, but that way is blocked with a locked metal gate... Can the store manager open up something like that or would you have to go through the parking out? You would apparently have to pull into the dock area from the West side, because I don't see how you could turn around.

More examples of pain-in-the-*ss parking lots and how to safely navigate them would be much appreciated.

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.
Jim J.'s Comment
member avatar

I did Dollar Tree for two weeks right after mentoring. Made 2k a week but worked 12 to 15 hours a day 7 days a week. You have to be off duty or in the sleeper while unloading, even then having enough time to get a shower at the end of the day is a struggle.

15 hours in a 110 degree trailer isn't fun, throwing 20 tons of boxes on rollers gets old, quarter will fall off. You can bust ass but the bottle neck is minimum wage employees working in their air conditioned stock room.

Getting into the stores was challenging and fun but risky, almost rolled the trailer once. I miss it but don't regret quitting, especially with the temps we're having now.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Larry T.'s Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't even think about doing family dollar or dollar tree with the roller system. I would lose my crap so fast relying on slow workers.

That's the great thing about the DG account. You do 100% of the unload yourself. Product are in Rolltainers, and the toppers you put on u-boats. I average about 3.5- 4 hours to unload a full trailer of 3-4 stops.

Check out Hussle.Motivate on youtube. He did tons of videos of unloading/backing/ and training new DG drivers.

I did Dollar Tree for two weeks right after mentoring. Made 2k a week but worked 12 to 15 hours a day 7 days a week. You have to be off duty or in the sleeper while unloading, even then having enough time to get a shower at the end of the day is a struggle.

15 hours in a 110 degree trailer isn't fun, throwing 20 tons of boxes on rollers gets old, quarter will fall off. You can bust ass but the bottle neck is minimum wage employees working in their air conditioned stock room.

Getting into the stores was challenging and fun but risky, almost rolled the trailer once. I miss it but don't regret quitting, especially with the temps we're having now.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brian's Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't even think about doing family dollar or dollar tree with the roller system. I would lose my crap so fast relying on slow workers.

That's the great thing about the DG account. You do 100% of the unload yourself. Product are in Rolltainers, and the toppers you put on u-boats. I average about 3.5- 4 hours to unload a full trailer of 3-4 stops.

Check out Hussle.Motivate on youtube. He did tons of videos of unloading/backing/ and training new DG drivers.

double-quotes-start.png

I did Dollar Tree for two weeks right after mentoring. Made 2k a week but worked 12 to 15 hours a day 7 days a week. You have to be off duty or in the sleeper while unloading, even then having enough time to get a shower at the end of the day is a struggle.

15 hours in a 110 degree trailer isn't fun, throwing 20 tons of boxes on rollers gets old, quarter will fall off. You can bust ass but the bottle neck is minimum wage employees working in their air conditioned stock room.

Getting into the stores was challenging and fun but risky, almost rolled the trailer once. I miss it but don't regret quitting, especially with the temps we're having now.

double-quotes-end.png

I watched some of his videos and I can see how those rolltainers can be full of water bottle cases. It would be impossible for a 5', 100lb person to lug those around. Luckily I've got enough height and weight so that won't be an issue for me. I'll be going to Las Vegas, LA, Phoenix and Salt Lake City so I'm most worried about backing in heavily congested areas. Does anyone bring traffic cones with them and put them on their blind side?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brian's Comment
member avatar

6 weeks until my 1st year anniversary with Schneider on the DG account. I came out of the Schneider Academy in August of last year. It is my first Class A job. I was at Roehl's GYCDL program spring of 2021 but parted ways because I made no improvement with backing. Which makes me chuckle considering what I'm doing currently.

Take your time. GOAL. Take your time. GOAL! The morons who back into the building, light posts, dumpsters, cars, etc are drivers who are careless, don't take the time to GOAL or get effected by cars coming, beeping, drivers getting mad and they rush the back. You're the one with the HUGE tractor trailer, Most are terrified and will stop or get out of your way. The others you control by getting out to GOAL and taking your time slowly backing watching your surroundings like a hawk. First few weeks were rough, A lot of thoughts of who needs this crap, can't wait until 3 month's is up so I can transfer. Then by the end of month two I loved it.

I would venture it's the actual job of unloading is why people quit. You have to be a hard worker busting your butt to earn the wages I feel is deserved doing DG.

I had about a 6 week learning curve before I was making decent money. My first 12 month's I'm on pace for 90k. Year to date is 57k, so I'm looking at breaking 100k this calendar year. Not bad for a rookie Trucker? lol.

double-quotes-start.png

I just finished my 3rd week at CDL school. I currently have a conditional job offer from Schneider for a Dollar General dedicated account. I decided to do some more research on this job position and found that it's not exactly friendly to new drivers. I have 10 years in warehousing, so I can handle moving freight. I guess it's because of the parking lots you have to navigate? The only navigation training I've been given is reading an atlas to go from one major city to another. I want to get down to brass tacks here and learn how to navigate these parking lots, which apparently can be the most perilous part of a truck driver's journey.

I will give examples of stores in my area and it would be great if experienced drivers could give feedback on how they would navigate them and avoid getting into an accident.

1. 5155 E Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89156 -This is a Dollar General location. This store two entrances and this one seems one of the easiest to navigate in my area. I think the best way to get into unloading area (south of the store) would be to take a right from Meikle Ln going Westbound and alley dock. The unloading area is long enough so you wouldn't be blocking traffic. Exiting the unloading area looks very easy too.

2. 3325 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89115 -This is a Dollar General location. This store only has one entrance. When I looked at Google Street View, I saw two tractor-trailers in the parking lot near the unloading area pointing towards the street entrance. I'm guessing the drivers took a right from Las Vegas Blvd, turned left going along the South side of the store and alley docked along the West side. My question is how you avoid backing into traffic during that alley dock? Do you get the store manager to come out and help you?

3. 6371 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130 -This is a Target in a very busy parking lot. I saw a tractor-trailer going southbound on Decatur Blvd today trying to get into the entrance directly South of El Pollo Loco. They blocked the right lane and waited to turn. It looks like you can pull forward through the parking lot and get turned around behind the store (North side).

4. 6455 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89131 -This is a Best Buy in another very busy parking lot. I think the easiest way to get to the dock would be to go down Thom Blvd and take a left, but that way is blocked with a locked metal gate... Can the store manager open up something like that or would you have to go through the parking out? You would apparently have to pull into the dock area from the West side, because I don't see how you could turn around.

More examples of pain-in-the-*ss parking lots and how to safely navigate them would be much appreciated.

double-quotes-end.png

What's your schedule and in what areas do you deliver? I get that you GOAL to check your clearances and etc, but you could have a car right on your azz the second after you get back in the cab. Have you ever use traffic cones on your blind side?

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.
Larry T.'s Comment
member avatar

Dakota's, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Illinois.

I will admit I'm in the area that gives noobs the best chance to make it. I do a ton more rural newer stores than congested city stores.

5.5 days out. I will stay out for 2 weeks if there is weekend work. Hasn't been any for 7 weeks.

I know the day cabs that do Chicago will use cones at times.

It's also getting out to slow you down and relax. Not rush. You're going to have idiots jumping in front and back of you, but if you're crawling with your back a lot easier to stop on a dime.

What's your schedule and in what areas do you deliver? I get that you GOAL to check your clearances and etc, but you could have a car right on your azz the second after you get back in the cab. Have you ever use traffic cones on your blind side?

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.

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.
Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Cones won’t help. You won’t have time for them and 4 wheelers would just run them over anyways Just go slow and if there is not enough room to get straight in the parking lot do NOT nose in. That’s when you back in off the highway. Managers won’t help and the ones that do have no idea how to back a truck. More than likely they will give you the wrong corrections if they do help.

I did all of my training with Werner on the dollar general account and I had a very good and thorough trainer so that helped a lot.

Good luck if you decide to go that route . As others have said there are easier options out there. It was a great job for me but it is not for everyone. The unload gets easy after awhile but at first it is a bit harder than you think it will be

Larry . That’s a great unload time for your trailers. I told you when you started that you would get faster. Keep it up!

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