I really appreciate all the detailed info. That clears a lot up for me. It sounds like the company makes up for in low pay with more miles. I will need to read up on the "new" rules for log books since one, I haven't used one in ages as all the companies I have worked for since 2001 all had computerized systems, and two, right after I stopped OTR and drove locally, I heard the rules changed and since mine were kept track of for me, I didn't have to use a log book at all.
Back then you could basically drive about 600 miles, maybe up to 750 a day, every day and not have to concern yourself. You normally had enough dock time loading and unloading that you caught up on miles. I certainly never got caught for any log book errors.
It's funny that I will feel like a rookie despite likely having more experience than everyone at the class. Except perhaps backing. I was always pretty good with that. And I have trained so many drivers I can't count.
I will have to get up to speed on the GPS stuff. You make it sound like I will access everything online, rather than see it on a screen on my dashboard. If I can get online I can always use GoogleMaps. But when I sit in the chair, I want something that ticks down the milimeters till my arrival, though I might settle for yards.
I am impressed you can run so much on a 1500W. My last one was 900 I think and I ran TV, VCR, DVD, Satelite TV and my Computer with it, all at once. But I never imagined a fridge and microwave. I thought those would need 5000W.
You answered all my questions. They seem like a good company that has plenty of work, and though the equipment isn't all shiney and new, they at least maintain it.
Thanks a lot and good luck out there,
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Hello W/S drivers!
I drove OTR for WS for six months back in 2006. I still have my CDL but have not driven commercially since then. I was based in Hickory (Conover). Tim the safety manager bent over backwards to help me get a nice, older truck and great practical training during my orientation.
I'm thinking about going back on the road with WS. I am going to call recruiting to see if I will need to take a CDL refresher course or just retake the 10 day orientation.
Do they still have regional dispatch? Most of the dispatchers were OK, a few were great (Shirley in SFS), and a couple that I didn't like to deal with.
What year model are their oldest Volvos now? I had two different older Volvos that ran great but looked a little tired. I carried a bucket, brush and hose with me and would wash my truck everytime I was in Sayreville or Helena (quarter coin wash near WalMart).
I guess because I was OTR, I had very few driver unloads.
Coming off hometime, I would usually get a nice load to Helena then run Western states until I asked for hometime then usually a load to Sayreville and then some short loads to get me back to Hickory.
My very first trip was to Helena. I was parked for the night at the Billings Flying J, sound asleep when I woke up to a godawful scraping sound right by my head. A CR England driver trying to leave needed some room and backed into me. No major damage but I called Macon and wrote the incident up.
All in all, WS was a good, fair company to work for. Never any issues with payroll.
Take care of yourselves out there and I would like to hear from you.
allow me to step in for just a second.
for the newbs reading here, i am a driver here, and have been with the company for over 2 years, i have seen many driver post on here with great information about everything, and some with some really bad misleading info, its been a while since i have had time to post, as i run non stop mostly night time loads that are rush overnite deliveries and spend most of my days sleeping,
nj is my home terminal but i run out of the dalton terminal, and like today, i am still here, cause my load didnt final out last night, oh well, it happens i just handed in 3,200 miles for the past week anyway, a day off wouldnt hurt....
i have been following along, and when the time comes for me to reply i am already fast asleep.
a few things i wamma clear up
one is the log book. YES the company does match up ur logs to ur truck, ur fuel reciept, if ur a driver here an they havent said anything yet, just wait and they will.... so there is no need to tell the world and potential driver that they dont match... bottom line.. what u do on ur log is your bizz and if u have an accident that u caused and u had a incorrect log, the company will NOT stand behind you..
saftey is huge in this company.. huge! have a stupid ### accident and ull be on ur way home... if ur tired pull over and sleep.. nothing in anyone of our trailers is important enough to risk ur life or the people around u.. simply call an quallcomm disp and tell them u are to trired to go any further.. if they give u a problem ( which they wont ) call saftey and explain... then go to sleep!.
equipment... well.. what can i say.. nothing is brand new in this company except for the new drivers. trucks are ok trls are good to poor.. but they are safe an legal, if u want a pretty shinny truck n trl u may wanna check out tmc or prime inc... w.s pays to have the truck washed 1time a month and thats all.
shops.. if u need a serious repair go to any shop and have them fix it, they will fix it no problems at all!
i understand that drivers may want some " cosmetic " work done.. well.. all the shopes cant handle that, so either do it urself or just more on to the next shop.. things like cb am/fm radios a new cabnit cabnits taken out etc can all be done by ur serf.. just ask
doing thiings to the trucks, do what u want, its ur new home! dont go drilling holes everywhere inside the truck for ur things, ask the missoula shop before doing any type of drilling, most of the time they wont have a problem as long as u ask...
pets are ok.. $500 pet deposit is requied, and they will take weekly/monthly payments to pay it off, u quit/get fired u get it back uppn inspection of the truck. just remember one thing folks.. its a tiny space in that truck, not of a lot of air is being circulater around and the carpets are not bein vacumed as much as ur rugs at home, over time ur truck will get that " dog smell "... so if u get a truck that had a dog, inform the shop and they will make sure it gets cleand...
passangers, are ok upon completing ur 90 days... same amount of time for the dog u have to wait 90 days
mostly all the people at this company are willng to help u with all that u need help with. open door policy through out the whole company
MOST--MOST drivers are really nice and really great people and a lot of times ur never byself at any terminol...
in fact, a driver( friend of mine ) quit recently to persue is life long dream, and is still at one of our terminals talking to the newbs and offering them help.
pay and miles...
to be dead honst here... w,s does not pay a lot no matter how many years of exp u have... however... u do have the potential to make a good living if u do a few things..
1: never say no to dispatch about a load, my shortst load was 3.. yes 3 miles in missoula last year... my longest single trip was over 3,200 miles...
unless ur broke down, and cant drive ur truck, or ur logs dont allow it, take the #### load, ur not gonna make any money sitting around, and if u think ur gonna try an collect breakdown/layover pay think again. at almost every terminal they have a spare truck and they usually almost always have work that needs to be done, and they will sure love the help!! always offer to help... in over 2 years a broke down truck has never stopped me from making any money!
with the new CSA laws i am hearing and seein way to many drivers refusing loads out of the dalton terminal..
about dalton, ALLLLL loads leave between the hours of 10:00pm EASTERN TIME ZONE--NOT URS and 3:00 AM EASTERN TIME ZONE. set ur alarm for 2am get up, go to the mail box get ur paper work and go to one of the 2 pilots on either side of the term and weigh ur load, we have cat scale account at those 2 pilots, so u dont need to pay. most loads are heavy so make sure u weight, cause either ga or tn will nail u tn more then ga.. so make sure u weight!
delivering loads to atlanta ga and the surroundign area... here is the deal folks..
you are a truck driver, which mean u pick up and deliver loads for the company is wich u work for, either w.s or whatever company u decide to go with
most deliveris in the atlanta area will usually deliver between 3am EASTERN TIME to 12p, EASTERN time, when u get unloaded you will be asked to do Local Pick Ups for dalton, do them, dont complain about it... its a few extra bucks in ur pocket.. some of the local pick ups suck i know that, but i have been to every single place we pick up and they are all easy to get to and are all truck friendly roads and places.. its the carpet capitol of the world, trucks are only restriced on just a few roads in the area... u will be givin the names address and phone numbers to all the places call an ask for directions if u need.. its always best to do it..
dont be shocked if u get up in the am an see that ur load did not make and u need to sit around the next day.. go see tracy and ask him for work.. he is the type of guy that will only work with u if u work with him.. he remembers u weather ur good worker or a bad one...
if he has nothing then big deal, u gettin 50 bucks to lay around for the day..
great places to eat and a really nice laundry mat u can bobtail to just about anyplace u want so take advantage of the down time..
gps and directions... well the best gps u can use are the 2 located on ur face, ur eyes... almost alll raods ur DONT belong on are well marked, and they are listed in ur map atlas as well... dont call safey an tell them u hit a bridge, powerlines, trees, cars, people, building, firehydronts etc cause u were following ur gps...
when at one customer picking up or delivering, and ur getting ready to leave for the next place, pick up the phone while ur parked there still call them and ask for the best directions into their location... and repeat as often as u need for each stop..
conover loads... well... thats a whole nother topic but ill hit it quickly,
most loads out of conover are usually multi stop loads and often to little mom n pop shops that rarly get big trucks the size of ours... but if ur delivering there, then we have been there before.. ALWAYS take it slow, take it easy and dont ever ever let the pileing up traffic behind u make u rush for anything! when u rush u have an accident..fact!. they are in cars and dont no anything about big trucks other then they are slow and always in the way and high on drugs, thats about all.. screw them and dont worry about them.. ur job is to deliver, in a safe manor accident free... always get out and look when backing in at a customer or a truck stop, always! u hit anything other then the dock that u intend to hit it will be a mark agaist you.. when backin at truck stops, dont ever ever let the other truck driver intimidate you in anyway, ur new, so were they weather it was last week, for 55 years ago.. we start off somewhere, hitting a truck is gonna push off ur sleep for a little while longer... if u THINK ur gonna hit something STOP and goal!. u need to cover ur ###! dont pay to much attention to the cb when backin in, iv often heard other drivers passing by on the highway " come one back u got it " just to mess with drivers, and they end up hitting the truck beside them... again CYA!,
it would be best to turn ur cb off while backin in...at truck stops or customers, people are sick and twisted and get off at others mistakes, u cant blame anyone except for urself for hitting anything... same goes with ur trl tailswing.. always know where ur tandoms are when makin turns, run over a sign or someone property and it falls on u.
* please! please! please!!!!* when dropping a trailer at a terminal that has something wrong with it, lights blwn out , flat tires, broken doors, no paperwork or anything at all... write it up!, tag it! either with a red out of service tag, or use a piece of paper that ull have laying around in the truck, and notify the shop ur at or the terminal manager, or quallcomm disp and let them no the trl # and the location of the trl... just think if it was u going to get a trl at night, in the dark, and u dicover the problem, now u just lost at least 15.-30 mins of citical time...
i understand that with the new csa laws drivers are refusin loads cause of a simple light being out on the trl, well, honestly, a single marker light is not gonna stop me from making money, now, turn signals and break lights are different story, but at that point ill go to the truck stop and spend 6 bucks for a new light and get paid bak for it when i hand in the reciept in my trip envelope.
here at watkins ull find friendly employees all over the place, office people and drivers as well... its a family type company, and small enough where they learn ur name and they address u by ur name, ur not just a number, ur a human!...
understand that dispacth " own you " they will make u or break u out here, no matter what ur opinions are about any disp keep them to ur self, become a lazy driver and they will note that in the computer and ull get the crap loads, be a " runner " and willing to do what u gotta do to make money and they will all enjoy working with u... u are what u make urself out here, nobody will be able to decide they money u make except ur self.. so, do what u feel as tho u need to be doing, and u will be happy here.
w.s is a very laid back company and relaxed on a lot of things, and seldom need to answer to anyone about why u put 100 out of rout miles while u were left with out a laod for the weekend, u can use ur truck to do what u need to do, shopping, laundry or whatever the case may be, all u need to do is just explain the oor miles on ur next trip envelope.
I m sure i could keep on going, but as i said an hour ago, its been some time since i have been on here and posted and have noticed a few new names to the list here, and wanted to give a " quick " but long run down of things...
also the whole DAC section for this company sucks in my honest opinion. so if any of the new people have any questions please post them here on the orginal w.s thread and you will get more replies from others..
well... off to bed as i just got notified my load will be ready later this afternoon...
to all i wish the best of luck, and hope to see all of you out here safley on the highway...
keep it safe to all!!
I would recommend posting on either here or in the DAC section. There are several drivers who look at both, there are times when this thread is not touched for days. Either way we will attempt to get questions answered quickly. I wish everyone luck. I am happy with my choice to come to W/S. I personally think the DAC section for Watkins Shepard is great had a bunch more questions asked and answered there as well as PM's from people. We needed our own place to make several threads about several issues. This is coming from a techie at heart spend several years in computer tech support and people prefer many threads about specific things instead of 1 huge thread about many things. Isn't it great to be able to have our own opinions.Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
It was funny, I was about 3 weeks into trucking school and a guy from May trucking came in. I was not embrarassed and mentioned my felony and he said normaly they consider felonies but right now they stoped because the market is flooded with truckers.
Some ### who sat behind me laughed but then later asked about Dui's. The recruiter asked how old and the guy said 2 years. The recruiter said I would most likely get a job at may before he would LOL.
I may have almost 16 year old felonies but my drive record is spotless, no drug charges etc. ###### drugs never did like em.
2500 page long bills, hide many things my friend. Including the new "minority" status name, "Former Inmate".
While I won't go through the whole spill. Nor will I point out a specific paragraph in a pending bill, that has majority support. Consider yourself informed.
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