Werner Training - Looking For Opinions

Topic 723 | Page 1

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Deborah P.'s Comment
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Hello all. I am new on here but I have an issue that I would like to submit and see what you all might think. I start orientation with Werner Enterprises this week and was going to go out with my trainer starting today. I met her and she looked terrible. She looked unbathed and had a beard (yes she had a beard) and mustache of serious growth. Her truck had trash all over it and she had to clean space to accommodate for me and my stuff. I realize that out on the road you and the truck get kinda lived in but she was waiting for 6 hours on a load yesterday and got to the Werner terminal last night and then heard from her about 10 am. She could have took out the trash at least. Then I find out we were waiting for a load to Laredo, Tx so she could get new tires put on the truck. Why did we have to go to Laredo when we were already at the terminal and they had tires to put on the truck? That didn't make sense to me.

Since I was going to be driving to Laredo I started think....if the truck had bad tires just how bad are they? The truck did not pass the inspection so what else was wrong? What if I had a blowout and was stranded on the road? Since I am a newbie just out of school I don't know my trainer or my dispatcher or Werner. I don't know where the truck has traveled or how long the tires had been on the truck. She did not bother to produce for me the pre-trip or post-trip inspection for me to see what, if any, issues there are from the past and what had been fixed. I did not feel safe driving a truck that was not road ready. According to the orientation classes as well as driving school classes if you don't feel safe in the truck you shouldn't drive it until it was fixed. That is what I told my dispatcher. I refused to go until the truck passed inspection and I could see the inspection sheet. She of course, acted like I was was being unreasonable. We are talking about my life here with strangers and a big rig. What is your opinion on this? Was I just being a wimpy newbie or what? I really was so excited about getting to drive. I love driving. This was really shocking to me though. Let me know what you think.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Dispatcher:

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.
Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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I am checking Werner's "scores" right now...

All scores below 55%, which is good. They lower the percentage, the better.

Dave

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Changing the tires out does not mean they are bad. It only means its time to get them changed out. Simple as that. Changing out the tires is basic maintenance BEFORE they get bad. So yes you over reacted about the tires.

Since Werner has elogs its easy to look at past present trip and post trip inspections. Look in the computer. Its pretty simple. Since you said you was at a main terminal that means they have a shop. You could have went into the shop and asked about the history of the truck but instead flat out refused to drive without considering all you options. Drivers hate having to deal with problems with the truck and most get items fixed as soon as they can. Since the only thing that needed fixing was the tires that is all that was done.

And since you said you were going to be driving to Larado that means you would need to do a pretrip on the truck so you would know that it was safe to drive but instead you refused to drive truck that YOU personally have to check out before you drive it therefore YOU would have known the truck was safe.

Tires blowout on the road everyday. Its not a big issue. If it happens you get a hold of the company and they send someone out to change it. Now that I thought was common sense. Just because the tires failed the inspection does not mean the truck did. During inspections the entire truck is looked at. Not just the tires. If the tires are the only thing that needs to be fixed then that is all that is fixed.

You are new to trucking and I know you do not know a lot but do not take a hard line stance on everything because it will get you no where fast.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

Mousemaker's Comment
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Since you started out with a description of the trainer and the truck interior instead of beginning with the safety condition, it seems to me that it is your priority concern, and the tires are just an excuse. You only have to be with the trainer a limited amount of time, so humble yourself and make the best of the situation. As a thankyou for your training, you can clean out the trash. This may sound demeaning, but if you are the one bothered by it then you are the one to do something about it. You can't do anything about your trainers cleanliness, but set the example of making sure you have time to get your shower. While waiting around for you, the trainer might just take one too (but don't suggest it). I know it's easy for me to say, I haven't been out with a trainer yet. But hopefully by saying it I will be able to remember and follow my own advice when my time comes.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Ok, I have to say that those responses above were rather harsh considering the circumstances. We're talking about a brand new driver who is doing what she was instructed to do - be safety conscious.

On top of that, being new to the industry Deborah was surely expecting a trainer to look and act like a professional, not be trashy and nasty and driving a truck that can't pass inspection. And I would expect the same. But of course I drove for 15 years and I know that most truckers are faaaaaar from what I would consider professional. In fact, I've literally seen bums living on the street that weren't any nastier looking and acting than a lot of drivers I've come across over the years. That is the sad reality of trucking I'm afraid. The standards that drivers should be held to in my opinion do not even exist at 98% of the companies out there.

So Deborah, I totally see where you're coming from on this.

As far as the trainer goes, all you can do is hope for the best. It's luck of the draw. Different companies have different policies on it. Some companies will switch you to a new trainer no questions asked, others try very hard to keep you with the one you have. I don't know Werner's policies on it, but hopefully they'll allow you to switch anytime you like.

I'm not 100% sure about this, but it seems you didn't go out with that trainer? So are they having you wait on a new one? If so, hopefully you'll get a better draw.

As far as the safety concerns over the tires, if she is going to Laredo to have her tires changed then it's likely she found someone that will do it cheaper than Werner will. She must be a lease driver or owner operator who has to cover those costs herself. A blowout is pretty much harmless as long as it's not a steer tire. Steer tire blowouts are extremely dangerous, and fortunately very rare. But drive tires and trailer tires can blow out and you can still keep rolling just fine for a while. No big deal.

But chances are the tread was just getting to the point that it was worn out and she needed to get new tires. It probably isn't really much of a safety issue even if the tread is a little below the minimum standards. They may not pass a DOT inspection if she were to get inspected on the road, but that would simply be a "fix-it ticket" that your trainer would have to pay.

I don't blame you a bit for your reaction to that trainer and the fact she wouldn't give you a good answer on the safety issues with the truck. It's easy to know what to do when you've been a driver for 15 years, but when you're new to the industry you expect things to be done by the book and you expect driver trainers to be professional. Well, unfortunately, it's not always like that in trucking and the stuff you're dealing with is normal, everyday stuff. Let us know where you stand. Did you go out with that trainer? Are you waiting on a new one?

Also, before getting in any truck, do your own pre-trip on it and see how you feel about the safety issues. If you're not comfortable getting in it, don't get in it. But you won't find any perfect trucks out there. They always have some little flaws. You just want to make sure there isn't anything you feel is an immediate danger. A lot of times you'll find issues like a worn tire or worn air line or something of that nature where it needs attention but is still safe to drive to a repair shop to get it fixed. That's always a judgment call that the driver has to make.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you all. I really appreciate your comments. I guess I was expecting too much for my first outing. Brett no I did not go out with that trainer. I have requested another one and hopefully now I know better what to expect. I do understand that my ignorance of all this may cause me some problems but that is why I put this out on your site. I normally do overlook many things and am mostly easy going and patient. Since it was my first outing I did not want to have to deal with trying to drive and have a blow out. As for the inspection, I don't know if the tire were the only problem and the trainer or the SDM did not do anything to assure me that the truck was safe. I will add this experience to my list of learning in the trucking industry. Again, thanks. confused.gif

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.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

I concur with Brett...trust your gut. If a truck has safety issues, the one they found is most likely one of a few, or many. O/O's are up against it to make a living, and keep their truck totally up on safety issues. I commend you for sticking to what you've been taught, and requested another trainer. I was shocked that a woman trainer was soooo nasty. She insults me as a woman, and a lady trucker. We have a hard enough time out there without that kind of image to have to deal with. I'd haveta drop off a care package on her truck step, with a can of shave cream, razor,deodorant, and a book on feminine care....

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I in no way meant to come off saying just drive it no matter what.....what i meant was if the tires were the only thing wrong and it was going to be changed then it was a non issue. Werner trucks are usually in pretty good shape.

Since the truck went through inspection I am guessing nothing was found that made the truck unsafe as it was still in service and was getting ready to roll. A large carrier like Werner would not allow an unsafe truck on the road and could not afford to. Those fines are big for the company and the driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I concur with Brett...trust your gut. If a truck has safety issues, the one they found is most likely one of a few, or many. O/O's are up against it to make a living, and keep their truck totally up on safety issues. I commend you for sticking to what you've been taught, and requested another trainer. I was shocked that a woman trainer was soooo nasty. She insults me as a woman, and a lady trucker. We have a hard enough time out there without that kind of image to have to deal with. I'd haveta drop off a care package on her truck step, with a can of shave cream, razor,deodorant, and a book on feminine care....

Lol no kidding!

Techa M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for posting... I started with first trainer on November 1st 2017. We drove as team on day 2. She was in the sleeper most of the time. Logs showed 6 hours observation time after 5 days... Her english was very broken so I knew there would be communication issues. Things started at the terminal before we left...Her backing instruction was very confusing for me, she did not want to take the time to do thorough pretrip (just walk around visual, lights tires), trailer was inspected for cleanliness vs. safety, there was no trip planning other than entering destination in qualcom, due to time constraints/customer delays/back and forth to scales (CA 40' rule) she drove first day. The company didn't like that... I started driving I-10 somewhere around Joshua Tree. Lots of hills curves wind - used jake brake with little previous instruction - I was relieved driving speed limit of 55 mph - while trainer slept. After our next switch, I drove Van Horn to Gonzales mostly after dark. More hills, curves and this time 7% grades - this was challenging and I was very nervous - again trainer in SB. I could go on about drive through San Antonio, but you can imagine... did I request new trainer? Yes. Got off truck on 11/6.

Fast forward... new trainer assigned on 12/4. Similar issues continue... unsafe pretrip/no instruction, one backing with some confusing instruction so far 8 logged observation hrs in 4 days (run is dedicated weekends off), parking on shoulder to switch drivers (he doesn't want me pulling into truck stops). Parking on shoulder is against company policy. He plays music very loud so I'm unable to sleep well when he drives. I've reported this to company with response "do the best you can." He once parked on shoulder past a rest stop at 4 a.m. Walking to WC in dark cold and mud was no fun. BTW there was parking at rest stop. So after 4 hours sleep that night, I drove... average sleep per night/day has been around 3-4 hours and its not consecutive. I'm at hotel now, slept good last two nights. I will get back on the truck with this trainer this aternoon. I'll talk to him about my safety concerns, if he's unresponsive I'll contact his fleet manager and if I still feel unsafe I'll request new trainer.

What do you think?

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
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