I stopped by the Vancouver terminal today and found that the guy that runs it goes home promptly at 5 pm. I got there at 5:30. I happen to catch a driver who just dropped off his truck. He said he didn't mind answering a few questions for me so here I go with what he said.
He has been with W/S for a year and he likes the company. He did not go to their school but started with them right out of school. Started off doing OTR which he said consisted of the Western Loop. Out of Portland to Denver to LA and back. Got a few runs from time to time out east but not much. Now he is on Short Line and home every night. Short line unloads quite a bit and he says OTR not so much. He says older trucks are only a couple years old and well maintained. I was hoping that the OTR ran east more because I am from the midwest and would like to see that area again but he said the teams get those runs most often.
The parking for personal vehicles is not behind a fence but up next to the building and off the street. This guy pointed to them and said that he sees the same cars there all the time and they haven't had any trouble. It is a decent part of town.
So more good words straight from a driver. I was glad to talk to one in person.
Watkins Shepard Short Training Period
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As far as taking truck home, I was never told I couldn't. I have talked with multiple drivers at W-S that do. Some prefer to leave them at terminals but not me. At home now and the tractor is bob-tailed and parked at same truck stop 5 miles or so from house. Maybe I am breaking some rule that I don't know of but I am not going to pursue it. Just have shown miles driven home as out of route, so someone has seen it on the trip envelop when I turn them in to get paid. No comments back...
They hire women no problem. When I first started I caught a ride with a woman driver to MS to get a truck. She was great and we have been in touch a few times as I have had questions. She has been with the 3-4 years I think. She likes it and was not looking to leave. I have met/seen a few others at terminals.PurpleMama Thanks this.
1) Normal DOT test (Blood-pressure, urine sample, etc....)
2) Bend down and touch my feet/shoes.
3) Stand on one foot for about 20-30 seconds to demonstrate some coordination and balance, or to show I wasn't under the influence perhaps.
3) Crawl across floor on hands and knees about 15-20'. (This simulated crawling under the trailer)
4) Hold a 15lb weight and do 15 squats (This simulated holding a 15lb weight and doing 15 squats...??? I don't know what for)
5) Step up on platform that was about 2'6", 5 times in a row. Not allowed to use knees to stand up from a kneeling position. In other words, I had to place one foot up on the platform and then push off the ground with other leg to a standing postion, jump back down and repeat.
6) Lift a wooden crate and set on a shelf that was about eye level, then set it back down on the floor, 3 times in a row. I didnt think to ask how much weight was in it, but my best guess was around 25-40lbs.
7) Carry that same wooden crate across the room and back. About a distance of 40'.
More weight was added to the crate. Again lift it up and set on shelf, then set it back on the floor (3x). This shelf was a little lower than the first, and the weight was somewhere around 75-90lbs. I'm a fairly muscular guy (under all the fat), but I felt some burn in my arms on this one. I didnt want to slam the crate down on the shelf, afraid it would fall down, so I was being gentle and setting it down slow and easy...
9) Push a weighted, wooden sled across the floor, then pull it back. (This simulated a pallet jack with a moderate heavy load) Locked my arms and drove with my legs...
10) Walk 3mph for 5 minutes on a treadmill. I was allowed to hold onto the bars due to the fact the treadmill was so narrow there was nowhere to swing the arms. 3mph is a nice steady pace, not even a fast walk. The guy left the room and I was afraid if I hit the stop button it would reset the timer and he would think I cheated... SO I kept walking and ended up doing about 7 minutes. Not a big deal......
11) Squat down into a catcher position for 3 minutes. I planted my elbows into my knees and focused on keeping my balance.
12) Bend over and point arms/fingers towards the floor for 3 minutes. I didnt have to reach the floor or even my feet, just hung hands about mid-shin and kept knees locked.
13) Hold both arms out straight in front for 3 minutes.
14) Lean to one side and reach out with one arm for 3 minutes. (This simulated reaching over tandems and pulling the fifth-wheel release) Oddly enough, this one tore me up, but I made it. Just an awkward stance to hold for 3 minutes, using a shoulder muscle I didnt know I had I guess.
...and that is all there was to it.
I should mention that I am a recent Sage grad headed to Hickory, NC next wednesday to start 10-day orientation/training. Hope all goes well, I'm really looking forward to it. I'll drop back in later after I get some experiences and share ... good and/or bad. See ya's out there.
But ****** I hurt in places I didn't even remember having muscles in the next day.
xr7... I spoke with one of our drivers (regional) the other week, he has been taking his home (about 40 miles) every time he gets to the terminal, since he was hired a year ago. No problems...he says.
TSTONE... W&S has a very good balance of female drivers from what I've seen, in all divisions. I recently spoke with one of our husband and wife teams, from what they say, it's all gravey for our teams.
3rgunman... If you want OTR, give them a call. I don't think they have a limitation on OTR drivers like they do regional. Even the regional may have changed. I've noticed some heavy ads as of late in the trades. Something I'm not used to seeing.
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