Walmart Fleet Questions For Turtle (or Brandon)

Topic 32220 | Page 1

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Wild-Bill's Comment
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Quick update first as I've lurked here a bit, but don't often see a post I feel like I can add value to. Anyway, I've been driving local for Dart for the last 6 months or so. The money is good and they treat me well, but the equipment and communication is less than spectacular. I'm also not a huge fan of the PTO or Holiday pay program. So, I decided to look at some job boards just for fun and found that one of the "local" Walmart DC's is hiring. I've re-read Turtle (and Brandon's) posts about orientation and a week in the life. I have a few questions just because I overthink everything.

Are they back to training in Bentonville now that COVID is mostly an after thought or still at the local DC's?

Can you give an update on how your pay has changed with the new rates? They're saying average is now $110. But I'm wondering what above average looks like? Adding up your "week in the life" post from a while back looks like an average week was around $2065 then. Also, Just curious, but, is the pay rate different in the NE than it is in the Midwest?

Do they push drivers to take extra shifts during peak freight times? It was hinted at in one of the posts early on, but I'm guessing with slip seat drivers, there might not be enough equipment to support everyone taking an extra shift.

How does all that PTO work? They say 21 days in the first year. Do you have to request way in advance? do you have to fight for time off? Are there black out periods? Could you take 2 weeks in a row or is there a limit?

Thanks in advance

Turtle's Comment
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I'm just leaving for work now, but I will get back to you later with a detailed answer.

Turtle's Comment
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Are they back to training in Bentonville now that COVID is mostly an after thought or still at the local DC's?

I don't closely follow these things, but the way I understand it is they are now shipping new drivers to select DC's across the country for training before finishing them up at their local DC. So it's very similar to how I did it at Bentonville, only slightly more localized.

Can you give an update on how your pay has changed with the new rates?

It's a little early to tell, but if I had to guess, I'd say the $110k would be more in line for the top 50% of new drivers. The rest would fall short of that. For someone who really hustles, taking advantage of every pay opportunity, they could potentially go north of that. The mileage/activity pay is as follows:

0211568001661083547.jpg

Mileage rates will vary based on your DC location. So yeah the northeast will pay slightly more than the Midwest. Activity pay will stay the same across the board. I'm sure it all equals out in the end.

I did $107k last year, before the pay increase. This year I'm on pace to be in the ballpark of $120k. My current ADP (average daily pay) is $429. More on the importance of that later.

I still leave money on the table, though. Money that could boost my pay by an additional few thousand per year. Which brings me to your next question:

Do they push drivers to take extra shifts during peak freight times?

I've "heard" of mandatory week extensions (working a 6th day) during peak crunch times, but it's never happened to me or any drivers I know of. Rather, it's done on a voluntary basis. In fact, many drivers love extending their week for several reasons:

1- You get an extension bonus of $175 for the day, in addition to whatever mileage and activity you produce that day.

2- You get the additional $42 for sleeping in your truck the extra night.

3- Typically, you may only have a few hours remaining on your 70 by the end of your 5th day. So you could make $400+ for essentially a half day's work on the 6th day.

Me, I value my time off more than the additional money I could make by extending. If they needed me real bad, I would do it. But they haven't needed me that bad yet.

Speaking of time off:

How does all that PTO work? They say 21 days in the first year. Do you have to request way in advance? Are there black out periods?

PTO is earned based on the amount of on-duty hours you put in. The longer you are with walmart, the quicker you earn PTO. It breaks down like this:

0167638001661083814.jpg

You also can earn up to 4 additional paid days off, or "safety days" per year. With no accidents or incidents in a calendar quarter, you earn one safety day. Additionally, you will earn a safety bonus for that incident-free quarter as well. My bonus usually falls in the $800 range per quarter.

PTO and safety days are paid at your ADP. That's why it's very important to keep that ADP up. If you're a so-so driver whose ADP is down around $300 or so, that's all you'll get for any paid days off. Work hard to maximize your days, and it'll pay off when you take time off.

First, I have to explain that a DC can only allow x number of drivers off on any given day. A certain percentage of drivers needs to be available on any given day to get the freight out. So the only real "blackout" periods will be those in which the max allotment of days off has already been reached.

Once a year, usually in February or March, every driver will turn in an annual time off request form. You put in for any vacation, partial weeks, or single days off you want off in the coming year. Choices are awarded based on seniority. However, full week requests will be given preference over partial week requests. For example: if I put in for say the first week of March, and a senior driver put in for 3 days that week, I'll be given preference due to the fact that I'm requesting a full week off. Follow?

do you have to fight for time off?

Not in the slightest. If a slot is available, it's yours. Once you've been awarded your time off, it can't be taken away. Like if a senior driver changed his or her mind and wanted time off on a day that you've already been awarded. Tough for them. That's where the importance of the annual request comes in.

But you can also request time off at any time throughout the year. If something comes up and you want to take next Saturday off, no problem, as long as the day's allotment isn't already full. Same thing if you decide to change your annual request to a different week. No problem if the time is available on the board.

Could you take 2 weeks in a row or is there a limit?

I can't find my paperwork on this, but I think you are limited to only 1 week during your first year of employment, then you're allowed 2 weeks in a row. Later on you are allowed more. I just can't remember the breakdown.

That said, they aren't too strict about this. If the time is available and you want it, it shouldn't be a problem. In my first year I took a combination of a full week and I think two or three additional days off in a row. That plus my regular days off equaled something like 15 days in a row I took off.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Wild-Bill's Comment
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Thanks for the very detailed answers. I appreciate your help. I sent in my application, Hopefully I'll be able to get a shot at what looks to be one of the best trucking jobs out there.

I thought of two more questions if you see this-

Do you get paid for the orientation/training?

Do you get paid weekly or bi-weekly?

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Yes you get paid for training, and we are paid bi-weekly. Good luck, Bill. I hope it works out for you.

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