Couple quick questions about Western Express

Discussion in 'Western Express' started by Jeremy102077, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Jeremy102077

    Jeremy102077 Bobtail Member

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    Well I'll be honest with you. You're looking at driving team, and that's a whole different ballgame, since I've been solo my whole career (apart from my training, which was the only time I've had another person in the truck). You've got some pretty good questions to start with. CPM is always important, as I'm not willing to settle for less than X amount per mile. You may also want to ask about how long you have to stay out for, before you can go home, and how many days off will you earn for every 5/6/7 days out on the road. Maybe ask about passenger or pet policy, if either of those would be something you might want to have on the truck with you, at some point, but again, if you're driving team, that would seem less likely. Ask about detention pay (occurs on live loads and unloads, in most cases when you arrive on time, and the customer takes more than 2 hours - usually, some companies might pay it after 1, some after 3 or 4). Find out what benefit insurance plans are available, and how much they will cost you per week...as most companies pay you every week, thus your benefit payments will be broken up into weekly payments, in case this may be new to you. Also, ask how soon your benefits will go into effect, if you sign up during orientation. You may want to ask if the company operates under a forced dispatch model, or a non-forced dispatch model, cooperative dispatch model, etc. Difference there is when its forced dispatch...as soon as the load preplan comes across the qualcomm (onboard computer), that's your load, do the best you can with it. If it's cooperative or unforced, that may mean you can look at the load preplan, and send them feedback, such as "I don't have the necessary hours to pick up or deliver on time", then that gives operations the option of figuring out whether or not to leave it on you and maybe try to come up with a solution, or remove the load, and find something more suitable to you needs. You should also ask plenty of equipment related questions, pertaining to the truck...what makes and models of trucks do they use, manual or automatic transmissions, what speed are the trucks governed at, do they allow you to use power inverters on the trucks to operate personal electronics, do the trucks come equipped with APU's (auxiliary power units...to alternatively power personal electronics, as well as provide heating and a/c, without keeping the truck idling and consuming fuel), can you idle the trucks while parked, if so what is the maximum amount of idling allowed?
    And since you said you just got your cdl, you'll probably be going out with a trainer. So you're gonna want to ask how long will you be training for. Most companies are either X amount of weeks with trainer, or X amount of miles. Will the training be just one phase or two? Very few companies actually put you with two trainers, the second one often being called a finisher, or something of that nature. Will you be able to go home at all during training, or can you expect to be kept out on the road for the duration of the training. Also, find out if your benefits might be delayed until you obtain solo status. What will be your pay rate, once you do solo out and get assigned your own truck, versus what you'll be getting paid while you train. If you're a non-smoker, you'll probably want to see to it that they stick you with a non-smoking trainer, or if you're a smoker than vise-verse.
    There's plenty more I probably could lump in here as well, but that's probably about MOST of the important stuff I can think of for now.
    Good luck out there, and just remember even if your trainer is a total unbearabe ### (as the case very very often is), just do your best to keep on smiling, nodding, saying "yes sir...no sir", listen well, do whatever they tell you, safely within reason...don't let them pressure you into doing anything unsafe (if this happens, make sure you have your company's safety department/training coordinator on speed dial), ask questions or ask them to repeat the instructions clearly until you understand them whenever you need them to do so.
     
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  2. _dsgb

    _dsgb Bobtail Member

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    Nov 17, 2015
    Georgia
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    Thanks for the great insight, I appreciate your feedback and hope everything works out for you! Safe travels!
     
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  3. Lightside

    Lightside Medium Load Member

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    In that case, glad I didn't go with WE in the end. I knew something was off when the recruiters were rude (had some male recruiter) and they never call you back after leaving a few messages. Decided I'm just going to roll the dice with Werner for now since I read somewhere the creator of that company has stepped back in to shape the place up again.
     
  4. lulzfunny

    lulzfunny Bobtail Member

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    Western Express is not the worst company in the world, I ran flatbed there for a few months until I found a local job, If your willing to work, they will get you the miles. I was running 2500+ miles a week at 0.40cpm so the pay wasn't the worst either. My biggest issue was with bad trailers, I was plagued with bad trailer after bad trailer, I mean not even roadworthy sometimes. Most of that was because previous drivers failed to do their pre trip inspections and report the issues to breakdown, Hell for every successful DOT inspection you get $25, not sure why drivers would want to fail them and risk their license! In my experience with Western, you ARE targeted by DOT, especially the flatbeds when going through weight stations as they want to check your load is properly secured (Western DOES NOT have PrePass as they lost it due to bad safety ratings).

    Longest I sat with a bad trailer in a shop was 4 days, at that point they had me dead head 3 hours away and pickup another one and keep moving. My truck was very reliable, I was issued a 2015 International Prostar with less then 100k on the odometer, the last driver obviously did not take care of the interior but I cleaned it up and all was good. All in all my experience with Western was a decent one, I made decent pay ($850-$1200 weekly) and enjoyed getting to travel the Midwest, East coast and southeast US, Home time was iffy, all depends on where you live though, if you live on the East coast or near Nashville odds of seeing your house 1-2x a month are a good bet, if you live elsewhere, its a gamble!
     
  5. Happyfeet

    Happyfeet Light Load Member

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    Sioux Falls SD
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    Everything this guy says is completely true and correct.
     
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  6. Lightside

    Lightside Medium Load Member

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    Jul 4, 2015
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    I am so nervous about starting. I guess I am just worried about training and driving safely.
     
  7. VA CDL Holder

    VA CDL Holder Light Load Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
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    Do they have driver facing cameras yet?
    What is their idle policy with those Direct TV's sucking up power?

    Just curious, as I might hire on with them.
     
  8. lulzfunny

    lulzfunny Bobtail Member

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    As long as you did fine in School, you will do fine here, just don't let your nerves get the best of you, that is when you make mistakes the most!
     
    Lightside Thanks this.
  9. lulzfunny

    lulzfunny Bobtail Member

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    Jun 27, 2015
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    When I left (Oct 2015) they did not have any driver facing cameras, as per the Idle policy, I just yanked the idle shutoff switch out from where it was hidden on the international and ran that ##### nearly 24/7 unless it was nice outside, Reason being as running flat bed my ### didn't want to go out and work in 100 degree heat and be sweaty as #### only to have to go climb into a hot ### truck, When im done working I expect that truck to feel nice and cool so I can get on the road and go about my business.

    As far as the DirectTV systems go, you can run them for about 6-7 hours with the truck off before you MUST turn it on to charge it, otherwise you might find yourself stranded with dead batteries.
     
    Lightside and VA CDL Holder Thank this.
  10. Rocknroller4

    Rocknroller4 Heavy Load Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
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    I was holding out for Abilene but looks like I will just be going with Western Express in Fontana. Thanks for all the info. Will go van.
     
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