Western Express...going To Make A Decision By Morning...

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Nathan E.'s Comment
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So in October I started Knight's CDL School (Squire). Got my CDL in 2 weeks (normal program lasts 4 weeks), got trained by the most insane man I've ever met in my life (I swear Meth had a very big role in his life) while driving a dedicated route in and out of Canada every week, and then left the company when they gave me a truck that lost all of its air pressure within 2 minutes of turning it off and refused to correct the issue. I went back to my old job as a foreman for a construction crew...work is extremely slow so I'm getting back on the road. I really wanted to go flatbed to begin with but I didn't. So here we go...Western Express has offered me a gig. 5 out 2 days home. Granted, that's a recruiter talking. I don't have to have 2 days off every week, so oh well if that's not the case. This is trucking...sometimes home time just doesn't happen.

I had spoke to Maverick and TMC both. TMC said I need a refresher course. Maverick told me 6 weeks of training after a few weeks of orientation/securement training. W/E told me they;d put me in the "eval" program (whatever that is) and I have 2 days of orientation and 3 days of load securement/tarping. Then I have 2 weeks of training before I go solo. All sounds good and dandy...i just don't know much about the company. I know several people who work for Melton, TMC, and Maverick and other flatbed companies. I don't have any personal connection with Western Express. I'm looking for any info I can find.

Also, the recruiter said .40 cpm after training. I can't find that anywhere on their site. He sounded a little hesitant when he said it, so.......anybody know for sure about this?

LOVE this site and the High Road helped me pass my CDL test on the first try...easily. Also, I can always count on everyone here to hook me up with info...MUCH APPRECIATED!

Thanks in advance for all the help.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

RedBeard's Comment
member avatar

So in October I started Knight's CDL School (Squire). Got my CDL in 2 weeks (normal program lasts 4 weeks), got trained by the most insane man I've ever met in my life (I swear Meth had a very big role in his life) while driving a dedicated route in and out of Canada every week, and then left the company when they gave me a truck that lost all of its air pressure within 2 minutes of turning it off and refused to correct the issue. I went back to my old job as a foreman for a construction crew...work is extremely slow so I'm getting back on the road. I really wanted to go flatbed to begin with but I didn't. So here we go...Western Express has offered me a gig. 5 out 2 days home. Granted, that's a recruiter talking. I don't have to have 2 days off every week, so oh well if that's not the case. This is trucking...sometimes home time just doesn't happen.

I had spoke to Maverick and TMC both. TMC said I need a refresher course. Maverick told me 6 weeks of training after a few weeks of orientation/securement training. W/E told me they;d put me in the "eval" program (whatever that is) and I have 2 days of orientation and 3 days of load securement/tarping. Then I have 2 weeks of training before I go solo. All sounds good and dandy...i just don't know much about the company. I know several people who work for Melton, TMC, and Maverick and other flatbed companies. I don't have any personal connection with Western Express. I'm looking for any info I can find.

Also, the recruiter said .40 cpm after training. I can't find that anywhere on their site. He sounded a little hesitant when he said it, so.......anybody know for sure about this?

LOVE this site and the High Road helped me pass my CDL test on the first try...easily. Also, I can always count on everyone here to hook me up with info...MUCH APPRECIATED!

Thanks in advance for all the help.

i am in cdl school so take that into count. today at school we had recuriters come in and talk to us one thing they said well some said is the big company with white trucks right behind (my school and western are in nashville) us was not good. I know this website is not about bashing so i hope i did not make anybody mad by saying this but its what they and a lot of truck drivers in the area said.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

RedBeard's Comment
member avatar

About maverick you should check our dale clay on youtube he is doing a week by week about maverick from training, to diffrent loads, traping, and breakdowns. He is really good about telling students about what they offer and what expect hope that helps.

RedBeard's Comment
member avatar

About maverick you should check our dale clay on youtube he is doing a week by week about maverick from training, to diffrent loads, traping, and breakdowns. He is really good about telling students about what they offer and what expect hope that helps.

out* not our sorry

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School should be here soon. He used to drive for Western Express and liked it. Yeah they have their share of accidents but I blame that more on the driver not securing his load properly than the company. What ever you do, follow the little green book. If it says you need securement every 10 feet then put it there. I hauled 17,000 pounds of rail road track a few weeks ago and I had 5 straps over that stuff. So I had over 25,000 pounds of WLL but since you need securement every 10 feet that is what was required.

Today I hauled some prefab walls and those too got more securement because of the 10' rule. On the way back I brought them some lumber back and the bottom was 2-20' bunks, 2-16' bunks and the top was 2-7' bunks and 6-5' bunks. All of them were 2x4s. Each 5' stack got a strap and the 7' stack got 2 straps. I had 18 feet of lower level that was against the step and I could have cheated with one strap and probably got away with it but I went ahead and put 2 on there. The 7' bunks got 2 straps because the rules say if it is over 5' then you need 2 pieces of securement.

I see people getting dinged all the time for only have one strap or chain over their dunnage that is 8 feet long. It is people being lazy or in too much of a hurry that make these mistakes.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Redbeard, I've actually heard the "don't drive for the guys with the (insert color here) trucks" for just about every company...it's usual somebody who had a bad experience or something. Granted there are times they're legit. Dale Clay's videos are great! I've watched a lot of them. Very informative! Maverick is good...just not sure if it's the best option for me. I just don't know.

Pat M., Good to know! I'm definitely not one to take shortcuts so that shouldn't be a problem. Rules are rules...and I don't like fines or other issues.

Nathan E.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh and thanks both of ya for the replies! Much appreciated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
So in October I started Knight's CDL School (Squire). Got my CDL in 2 weeks (normal program lasts 4 weeks), got trained by the most insane man I've ever met in my life (I swear Meth had a very big role in his life) while driving a dedicated route in and out of Canada every week, and then left the company when they gave me a truck that lost all of its air pressure within 2 minutes of turning it off and refused to correct the issue.

Nathan, one of the difficult things for beginning drivers to understand is how things work in these trucking companies, and how you get things done. I can assure you that I know there is more to this story than what you gave us. I work for Knight and they are so particular about keeping their equipment up that it drives me nuts how often I have to get into a terminal for them to do a quick check up on everything. What I'm trying to say is that you already quit one trucking job because things didn't go just the way you thought they should, and you are going to have to be prepared for things that seem crazy to you. There are times in this job that you just have to roll with the punches. If you can't do that you will suffer continuous disappointments in this career. There is no way they are going to refuse to fix a major air leak, that is a CSA violation, and they take care of those kind of things. Don't take offense, I'm not saying you are lying to us, but I think you just didn't really like your job and you found a good enough reason to quit. There are going to always be reasons why you can quit a trucking job, it's best to not start setting a precedent at the beginning of your career.

I had spoke to Maverick and TMC both. TMC said I need a refresher course. Maverick told me 6 weeks of training after a few weeks of orientation/securement training. W/E told me they;d put me in the "eval" program (whatever that is) and I have 2 days of orientation and 3 days of load securement/tarping. Then I have 2 weeks of training before I go solo. All sounds good and dandy...i just don't know much about the company. I know several people who work for Melton, TMC, and Maverick and other flatbed companies. I don't have any personal connection with Western Express. I'm looking for any info I can find.

It seems you are basing your employment decision on your distaste for a little extra training. You want to go through an "eval program" when you don't even seem to know what it is. Step back and think about what you are saying. Why would you turn down perfectly good employment opportunities with respectable trucking companies just because they want to give you the proper training you need?

So here we go...Western Express has offered me a gig. 5 out 2 days home. Granted, that's a recruiter talking. I don't have to have 2 days off every week, so oh well if that's not the case. This is trucking...sometimes home time just doesn't happen.
Also, the recruiter said .40 cpm after training. I can't find that anywhere on their site. He sounded a little hesitant when he said it, so.......anybody know for sure about this?

Nathan, I was in the Western Express flat-bed division for sixteen months. I was always a top producer there and was runner up driver of the month one month. I was consistently in the top ten percent of producers there out of approximately 1500 drivers. I can assure you that you'll never see five days out and 2 days home. They call me all the time trying to get me back on board, but they can't come close to the pay I'm getting in the specialized flat-bed division I'm in at Knight. I didn't know any drivers there who were making 40 cents per mile, and I doubt they will make you the first one. If you want to run, they can keep you running. I loved my time there, but I came upon a better offer and took it. I think you should reconsider why you don't want to give these other companies a chance. They can pay you better, and they can get you home more often. Your recruiter is blowing so much smoke that he looks like the blow by pipe on a worn out diesel engine.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Nathan E.'s Comment
member avatar

Old school, there's nothing more to this story. I'm not sure what terminal you're out of, but my dispatcher was the one responsible for assigning trucks and the truck had issues and he wanted me to just go. He said it would be 3 weeks before I could get a different truck. I have mouths to feed so I came home to my old job. I've been at a very hard job for 10+ years and can assure you I've had to overcome more than a handful of unfavorable circumstances.

Now...I read my post again and it did sound like I was bashing Knight and I intended to explain that they are a great company and I know SEVERAL drivers that are still there and have great relationships with their driver manager. I did leave that out. It was a bad situation that wasn't getting better and since it was still "Squire", I couldn't switch DM's.

As for me wanting to skip training? No. That was one of my questions. Maverick is a great company. I was looking for advice. Should I go with Maverick and train for 6 weeks (which I'm fine with) or can I be confident with the short training at Western.

I do apologize for the confusion.

But your post did let me know what I wanted to know regarding the recruiter.

Thanks Old School! Always love reading your insight.

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.

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.

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.

Driver 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.
Nathan E.'s Comment
member avatar

Also... As for TMC, I'd have to pay for my own refresher course and right now, I can't swing that. Works been slow.

And any info on the company itself is really what I wanted... They're not my first option. By any means. They just offered me something today and I wanted info. Which, you've definitely told me what I suspected as far as what my recruiter was saying. I was gonna make a decision tomorrow after the wife and I talk things over tonight.

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