if you have other options think really hard about using them.ask alot of questions-pay is paid with per diem very high.they want you to go flatbed for thier reasons but is that what you want?not known to be a honest company and dont think thats going to change or get better
Western Express, Inc. - Nashville, Tn.?
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I do want to go to a company that has flatbed and van. I want to learn flatbed first, since I am young lol, but there no other options in that regard that I have. What makes them so dishonest? What is their reason for wanting drivers to go flatbed? I am getting a lot of heresay, but not a lot of details. Everybody just says, "Don't go here or there"
problem being if you are new to driving-swift,werner,western all take new drivers-crete and ats may want experience to name a few.what makes a company dishonest-how about telling you after the fact pay cuts or changes.cant run certain toll roads but routing for pay doesn't change(out of route miles that they complain that you are) and if you don't get permissiom for that toll won't get you money back.ask alot of questions to recruiters,go back many times if neede if they get upset not a good sign.rumor western doesn't have any open trucks to seat new drivers anyway??????
ok stempy, i wrote all those points down and i am going to ask a lot questions in orientation. however as a newbie, i am going to do exactly what they want until i get a little more experience. i appreciate the heads up. if you any other info or experiences i would gladly welcome it
I say take everything posted on here with a grain of salt. If you took everything on here as absolute truth then every single company would be out to screw over everyone else and would be out of business soon there after. True some companies are really bad and treat their drivers sorry, but there are some good ones out there that just didn't work out for a particular driver. Do your research and pick carefully. there is hope.Half a Load Thanks this.
As a former SMX then Western Express Flatbed driver Here are some things you may want to consider.
As of a few weeks ago, as told to me by a terminal manager, western is loosing flatbed drivers at a rate of 50 to 75 a week. So not having any empty trucks does not sound correct.
GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. Any thing they promise you, no matter how small it may seem.
ASK a lot of questions and keep asking until you understand the answer.
Current pay rates are 28 to 34 cents a mile with per diem.
Per diem rate is 14 cents per mile.
Thats 14 to 20 cents a mile, plus 14 cents per diem
Tarp pay $7.50 on OR off. $15.00 for on AND off.
Stop pay $20.00 No additional tarp pay on multi stop loads.
Lay over $25.00 per 24 Hrs, after 24 hrs sitting. IF you can get it at all. Up to your DM to put in for it.
Break down is also $25.00 per day. You will never get it, Also to get a room at any place doing service, a terminal or on the road, the truck MUST be in the SHOP BAY OVERNIGHT, otherwise you stay in truck.
If you are sent to a terminal for a service, expect to be there for 2 days minimum.
My truck had a EGR cooler blow, shop said 7 to 10 days to bring it in. Ended up changing trucks due to that.
Home time. In flatbed, the fleet average is 5 weeks out. Most are out 6 to 8 weeks.
On the one day off for every seven days out. Major BS, not going to happen. You will get home late Friday or Saturday and be expected to deliver Monday morning if loaded. If not loaded, you will get a call telling you about the load they just dispatched to the truck. When you say no, might as well make plans for things to do for a few days.
You will get very little information from management at the company. Policies and procedures will change and they will not notify you.
Anything that could be to the companies benefit in any possible way, they will do.
They will send you to shippers that they know will overload the truck, then expect you to run the load.
Shippers with pre-loaded trailers are the worst offenders.
If you get an International truck watch your weight with 53ft trailers. ALWAYS make sure you have full tanks when you go to load with this combination. If you don't, you will be short tanking the whole run. Max load for this combo is 47000Lbs.
Fuel: ONLY Pilots and a very select few others. A lot of the pilots are restricted to 50 gallons, a small number are up to 300 gallons. You must have a minimum of 250 miles or 4 hours between fuel stops.
You can get around the miles by just adding enough to the make the 250 when you enter the miles at the card reader. If it is a time thing, you will need to call operations to have it reset. Best to only do this after 1800, when the night dispatch is running.
You will only be able to get fuel and 1 gallon of oil on the comdata card. Anything else, you need to pay for and submit the receipt for reimbursement.
If you have no flatbed experience, I feel for you, because you will get no real training here. I have yet to meet a company flatbed trainer. I am told they have them, just never have met one.
Pay reports. You will NOT get a printed pay report, nothing will be mailed to your house. It will be sent to your e-mail address ONLY.
They do charge you $2.50 to process your pay. It is listed as "driver services" on the deduction lines.
CHECK your pay reports carefully. Keep good records of your trips. It is common to not pay tarps, over dim rates and even short miles.
If you have a laptop you will take with you, I strongly suggest you get a log book program that you can use to track your trips. DDL or drivers daily log is the one I use. It has paid for its self many times over. Get the full version for all the reporting. Also, if you have a printer, you can down load a print module that will print westerns logs.
Getting reimbursed for expenses. ALWAYS check your pay report for these. If you need to purchase any thing on the road for the truck other than fuel and oil. Call it in and get breakdown to pay for it if you can or at least call your DM and have it OK'd. If you have money put on comdata for you to purchase anything, you will be charged for that advance. If your not getting fuel, pilot will charge you $3.00, Comdata will charge up to $3.00 and the company will charge up to $1.50. you will NOT be reimbursed for these fees.
Tolls. Unless you have a Pike pass for OK and an EZ-Pass for the rest, stay off the toll roads.
If your truck does have these, watch what roads you are on. While not happened to me, I have been told that the company has charged back tolls for the "company restricted toll roads"
As to what the restricted roads are, I have no idea, never been given a list.
Replacing worn or damaged equipment. They will do it, fill out the forms and get ready for the 200 questions as to why you need the things replaced. You could be just trying to steal from the company.
Steel tarps are gold. Never give up your steel or smoke tarps.
For things like Oil, Washer fluid, Coolant, best to get jugs and fill them at a terminal to keep on the truck. I have 4 gallons of each. Same for fiver grease. I have a small coffee can for that.
When at terminals, any terminal, do not idle your truck when the office is open. You will get a call or a message asking why your truck is idling. Also make sure and shut it down by 0600 or you will be reported. To get off any terminal you will need both a log pass and a gate pass. Make this the first thing you do when stopping at a terminal. Also don't go to the pilots near the terminals. They will drive by them and see if trucks are there. You may get a knock on the door, call or message asking why your there and not on the yard. Happens all the time.
Also when at a terminal make sure and secure anything of value. Take it with you if need be.
GPS, ipod, laptop anything like that. The original Western terminals are the major problem areas, the former SMX terminals do not seem to have the same level of problem.
On a terminal. All trailers and anything on it are fair and open game. You will loose it all, guaranteed.
If you want to keep it, put it on the truck and you might have it later.
Truck wash. On the road, never. Washes are only at terminals that have wash bays.
When out on the road, make extra sure your stuff is in order. Everything. A lot of states have Western selected for inspections. They have a lot of DOT problems.
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