Mini Rant: I'm so unbelievably sick of cry babies in trucking. I come from from one of the biggest of all the crybaby daycares, so I'm used to grown men having temper tantrums, but I'm trying to make this decision and so much of what I see on here for Werner (and every other company for that matter) is how TERRIBLE and HORRIBLE X company is and I SAT FOR 2 YEARS WITH NO LOAD OR PAY!!!!!!!111!! End Rant
Edit: Apologies if my title is a little harsh, I've been looking for a new company obsessively for weeks and the games from recruiters and the complaining on the forums is getting to me.
Pennsylvania-based. one (1) year experience, LTL. Also did local freight delivery with that company. I can and like to hustle. Also did some local dry bulk with another company. Not scared of East Coast driving.
Looking to go OTR. Local is not worth it for me in terms of keeping the overhead expense of a household working 14 hours a day. Just me and dog. Have lived in my SUV by choice for months and actually enjoyed it, I know OTR will be somewhat different but the gist of living on the road I like.
No driver-facing cameras -- Not Negotiable
Pet Policy (dog) 50 lbs - Not Negotiable
APUs or No Idle Restrictions -- btw, WTF is all the crying over opti idle from the Werner drivers specifically?
My hometime preference is once every 2-3 weeks.
Flatbed training <--- Here's where Werner comes in
Werner seems to fit the bill on all my items except the opti idle. Perhaps I can live with it. They have an account out of Fort Royal, VA for Ferguson hauling all kinds of pipe. Recruiter said it was Carolinas to Maine. They (the customer) will train me for 2 days on load securement at the customer account location. Goal would be Werner flatbed for 6 months-ish minimum, move on to greener pastures if so indicated.
So...can someone who has worked or still does work for Werner tell me if there is some hidden horrible thing about them that I am missing? I will say the recruiter was smooth, not overly optimistic like some but he know how to talk. Also, there are some level-headed reviews on here for Werner, but they are few and far between.
Or if anyone who knows of another flatbed company that has these specs could chime in?
Thank you for reading! Be safe out there.
Enough drama and whining -- can I get it straight from someone on Werner
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2. Opti-idle means the truck will turned itself on and off during your rest break. It can be bloody annoying, as the entire truck shakes everytime the motor fires. It will also add stress to your dog, so bear that in mind.
3. Werner home time is pretty much at Dispatch discretion. Meaning you get home IF dispatch can't find anything for you to do. Werner dispatch wants you to forget you have a home and live in the truck full time for about $40,000 a year max.
4. Werner pay is STILL among the lowest in the industry! Its ridiculous, and an insult to a decent driver.
My recommendation, as a NW PA native and former Werner victim...I mean, driver, is to look into Swift flatbed for your training and first year experience, keep your nose and license clean, and then start looking around to smaller carriers or carrier's that require experience prior to hiring.
In flatbed, quality of training is critical. And in your first year or too of flatbedding, you need a wide variety of freight to cement the fundamentals of load securement. Then you can settle into a specific commodity (steel, lumber, equipment, heavy haul) and find a carrier that caters to that market.
As an example, I ran for Builders Transportation out of Memphis, TN. An irregular route general freight flatbed carrier. I did close to three years with them (I liked the carrier at the time), and then settled into steel hauling because I find steel haul to be easy work and relatively steady work in comparison to other markets.
I'll throw some names at you, then you can do more research and see if any are a good fit for you.
Melton Truck Lines - flatbed (www.daseke.com for more flatbed companies)
M.C. VanKampen - refrigerated & trucks run 75 mph
Frock Bros. Trucking - refrigerated
Thank you for the suggestions, I looked at Melton. They have driver facing cameras and I cant accept that level of nanny state on principle.
MC VanKampen looks like they are outside my area, their recruiting page says "No east coast" and I'm in PA. Some real nice looking trucks on their website though!
I will definitely check out Frock brothers!
1) LOL, bullhockery. I'll have to use that in a sentence today. Yeah the recruiter was smooth. If I see a Werner driver that doesnt look shady a truck stop I'll ask them and see what their experience is.
2) The opti idle thing ... I dont think I can get away from this. Seems everyone has this newfangled technology crap.
3) Well as far as hometime, I literally wont have a home because everything is going in storage. I will probably be a dispatchers dream. Of course I wont tell them that and will have to manage them in this regard. Still want to see family every 3 weeks or so.
4) I guess the good thing about Werner is that they will be around and easy to get in the door if I end up somewhere else but dont like it.
Re: Quality of training -- I really can appreciate and have respect for flatbedders needing to know what they are doing securing a load. It would be my worst nightmare to be "thrown to the wolves" after some slap dash securement training. Since you mentioned Swift, do you find their flatbed training program adequate in that regard?
Thank you for the tips and the insight. I take my trucking profession seriously and just want to make the best decision so I set up a good future for myself. I'm leaning away from Werner more, even the level-headed reviews, like yours, give me pause. Appreciate your help, and be safe driver.
I've never personally driven for Swift's flatbed division, so all of my info is second hand in regards to their load securement training. You would be better off finding a Swift flatbedder at a local truck stop or on the road (or online, of course) and ask them about their training experiences.
There are other flatbed training carriers available, but I'm not sure about their pet policies. Out of all the current flatbed training carriers available, my first pick would actually be Maverick out of Little Rock, AR. Their drivers generally seem to be knowledgable, courteous, and well trained in all aspects of this field. But I don't know what their pet policy is. I think we have a Maverick driver or two floating around here on this site.
As far as the Opti-idle thing goes, it is a system put together for carriers too cheap to either let you idle as needed or purchase an APU or EPU of some nature. I haven't dealt with an Opti-Idle style truck since I left Roehl, and even then I was a part time driver so I didn't care.
Once you get out of the mega carrier bull hockery, there are plenty of small to mid-sized carriers that provide better comfort options for the driver.
Another thing. As a lifetime PA resident, a piece of advice from me to you brought about from years of hard won experience. DO NOT EVER work for a PA based carrier!! I've done it a couple of times, and been seriously screwed over every single time. PA based carriers of any size could teach the bottom of the barrel major carriers a thing or two about how to screw and abuse drivers with impunity. My best experiences as a driver have been with Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota based carriers.
A final thought. Once you get some experience under your belt, and if you decide at that point that you still want to be out for long stretches of time, consider Anderson Trucking Service out of St. Cloud, MN. They will run your nose into the dirt, bit they WILL pay you well and provide you with a comfortable, well appointed assigned company tractor. I ran with them for a bit a few years ago, and they were one of the overall nicest carriers I've worked for. The only reason I left was because I wasn't in a position to stay out for six weeks or more. On the other hand, in six weeks, I hit $13,000 plus in gross (before taxes and deductions) pay. I believe they need a minimum of a full year solo (time on your trainer's truck does not count) and a clean record. Also, you need to be TWIC qualified.
Werner is okay for teams but it's like having cancer for solo drivers.
They are disorganized to an almost unbelievable level. When I was solo I averaged 2-3 hours a day of delays due to dispatcher and customer service department mistakes.
Since leaving Werner and dealing with brokers directly I have had just 3 delays from mistakes ALL YEAR.
Being solo at Werner was the worst experience I've ever had with an employer, and I once had a manager arrested because of her behavior.
If you want to team that division is fine. But unless you want to be constantly in chaos from incompetent office workers, stay the hell away from the solo division.
There you are drifting off to sleep with your bundle of love beginning to stretch out and snore
CRANKCRANKCRANK SHAKESHAKESHAKE WTF> oh is that what Optiidle is? EFF THAT.
Im too old to rant and rave much. I just make a decision about the nearest form of transport out and execute. If Werner is truly clueless, it will be a week before they understand I had solved the problem by quitting.
Some things determine that I will never work for a employer for certain things or yes answers to certain questions I keep a list of. There is no further point in proceeding and wasting more of our time. You could offer me a million dollars and I might think about it. Hire on and endure it long enough to arrange a hostile buy out of your company. HA.
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