A few weeks ago I decided to move on from Schneider after two years of employment. Initially, I thought against writing a review, but now feel it's necessary to give my perspective to help my fellow drivers or soon to be drivers make a more informed decision with their career.
*Disclaimer* This is based on my own personal experiences, and my experiences alone. DO NOT take everything I say as fact, because everybody's situation is different.
- Understand why you are here, and know your worth.
Schneider, like every other Mega-Carrier, should be treated as a starting point and nothing more. You are using them for experience, and they are using you for cheap labor. You are insignificant, a seven digit driver number and nothing more than that. My recommendation is to spend at least a year-to-three here at the most. Learn as much as possible, make mistakes (not too many), figure out what you want/like to do and leave for a better compensated position. Every year you stay the pay between comparable companies will widen more and more, don't leave money on the table… Don't make lateral moves.
Schneider offers a wide range of dedicated accounts and schedules to fit your needs, you're not strictly stuck with being OTR or Regional if you don't want to be (depending on your area). From my experience working dedicated is better since it's more consistent work and a lot less sitting at truck stops waiting for the load planner to dispatch you.
They are annoyingly uptight about safety, mostly critical events. Some trucks are more susceptible to them than others, but they are going to happen… Just explain and move on with your day, don't beat yourself up over it. I know this is a big issue around here, but don't be so ready to tell on yourself if you get into a situation you can get yourself out of. We all make mistakes, but if you can pay the wrecker bill or pay for a body part to be replaced do it. If not, you will get a preventable accident that will be on your DAC report for seven years or possibly risk termination.
Your DBL will be on your back about these main things:
If you don't meet their goals they will hound you till they are fixed or take you off the road for training. My advice, you're the captain of your own ship but your job performance better be high enough for them to tolerate you not listening… Like me.
- Idle Time
- Cruise Control %
- Overspeed %
- Fuel Solutions
Fleet life is obviously short, new trucks come in all the time. If you want a new one, just keep complaining everyday and they'll find one somewhere. Used trucks are beatdown and damaged, they service the trucks every 80,000 miles so it's expected. Trailers take a beating as well, people will leave flat tires and burnt out signal lights for you so be prepared. The shop does the bare minimum, which isn't their fault, it's what Schneider demands to maintain the warranty. If you are not that far from an OC and need a tire change, go over there and get it done, do not call Emergency Maintenance… You will wait two hours for someone to replace your tire.
- Talking on the phone
If you do not know it's prohibited, but it didn't stop me or a lot of people I know from doing it… Just be smart, don't be on your phone two miles from the OC. Don't be a snitch either, they don't pay you enough to be a boy scout.
- Overnight Services/Hazmat Hotline
Prepare yourself to be on hold for significant amounts of time if you need to call support after 5:00pm up until 7:00am. If you have a Hazmat Endorsement, be prepared to talk to very rude and impatient people that are hard to understand every time you're dispatched on such a load . You have been warned.
- OC's/Operating Centers/Drop Lots
I've only been to Atlanta, Charlotte, and Carlisle, PA OC's but use them to your advantage. It's easier to get a shower, fuel, etc. + you don't have to worry about the usual shady stuff that goes on at truck stops. They are nothing special to look at but you have most of what you need there. Use drop lots as places to park when you can as well, most of them will have a portajohn out there for you to use if need be.
- Call ahead/ETA/NAT
From my experience being regional for a short time, you will be given loads with a wide ranging pick-up/delivery time. Call ahead to the facility you're picking up from or delivering to and see if you can come early, this way you can maximize your time and money. ETA's can be updated as you go along but NAT at least over the road is very important to keep updated, but still doesn't mean you will get a load anytime soon. On dedicated accounts it's not as important to keep your ETA/NAT updated, just send them a message or call saying you're ready for your next load.
- Additional information
You cannot make U-Turns on the roadway, I have, be sensible about it. They will make you pay for overweight tickets. Trucks now go 65 at the moment. Free boots every year + company store points for safe driving. Monotonous safety training videos every month. Tan shirt trainers will tell on you. Other driver's are friendly for the most part.
Overall, my experience with Schneider was good and would recommend them to anybody starting out in the business. Use Schneider as a platform for bigger and better things in your career, if you desire to do so. They have some real ### backwards ways of doing things but I still appreciate the opportunity they gave me and might give you. This turned out to be more tips than a review but I hope this helps you make a better decision.
Year 1: $36,000 (Gross)
Year 2: $55,000 (Gross)
Schneider Company Driver Review-ish?
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Frank is correct. Most of the mirror foggers that read this stuff won’t understand unless you ramble on. Well written post though. An honest review of what most mega’s are all about. Like any mega if you can survive a year or two without tearing up equipment you can open a door to a decent job. And not just move on to another mega mistake like some cats on this site seems to do.
That said, it feels like the more things change over there, the more they stay the same. A lot of what I would have to say about Schneider still applies.
I originally made the "hurt" face at the pay, then remembered what it was like making .30 at Werner myself. It's a #### shame trucking doesn't pay livable wages given the responsibility a driver has. I know you have to start somewhere, but man... Pay hasn't really changed in over 20 years I heard.
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