Western Express Orientation. Recap of my week!

Discussion in 'Western Express' started by Braydinsdad, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. datnewnew

    datnewnew Bobtail Member

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    Mar 21, 2017
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    Yes, would love an update.
     
  2. g.mend

    g.mend Bobtail Member

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    Jul 30, 2017
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    Family member has just received transportation to go to Nashville to train. I'v been reading up on this company. Many say the pay isn't what they advertise and have lots of issues getting paid. Any word on that?
     
  3. datnewnew

    datnewnew Bobtail Member

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    Mar 21, 2017
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    I called a recruiter, twice. Pay for flatbed is .32-.40 CPM (according to each recruiter lol, and training status).
    No clue on pay issues.
     
  4. newbietrucker91

    newbietrucker91 Light Load Member

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    I worked for Western Express for 6 months before family issue caused me to come home. They are alright but what they say and what they do are two different things.

    First pay, if you have no driving experience or little you will start at dry van rates which is .32/mile. At 3 months I was bumped up to .38/mile and was told at 1 year I would be hitting the advertised .40/mile. Plus they said flatbed trainees get $500/week on trainer truck but I was only paid dry-van rate which is $400/mile. Again they say you will be paid $50 for every passed inspections which I did not see when I passed a random inspection and turned it in. Even got a call from the head safety guy congratulating me on passing my inspection and reminding me to scan it in for $50. Plus when I was leaving the pay for trainers was also cut in half. Trainers use to get $100/week on top of your miles while you were on their truck but now it is $50/week plus miles.

    Western likes to make fun of their dry-van drivers and favor the flat-bed side but don't stop at the Nashville yard with a load. Every flatbed load must be inspected before leaving the yard in-order to get a gate pass which usually requires you taking your tarp off and in most cases redoing your securement if they find it lacking before putting your tarp back on. If new flatbed students are present then you are in luck since day 3 training is just they helping fix other drivers loads while the instructor makes fun of you in front of them for not doing it right the first time.

    The equipment in the trucks is alright but nothing to right home a bought. Heck the truck I was assigned and giving a load to pick up with it already did not even have oil in the tank! It was completely empty and simple put back into the ready truck section. If I did not do a pre-trip I wonder how far I would of gotten before the engine started to smoke. A lot of the trailers on the other hand need work done on them. The ones at the Nashville yard get a pass simple since they are inspected before being released. Other yards don't bother to inspect them so you have to make sure to look them over. Picked up one at a 3rd-party yard in Laredo that was jury-rigged by another driver to work. A bunch of electrical tape was in place all around the wiring and on the air hoses for the brakes. Sure enough right when I release the brakes you can hear air leaking from the hoses and all the lights on the right side of the trailer were not working.

    Also breakdown can be a bit hard to deal with depending on who you get on the phone. One guy simple asked what you broke since 99% its the drivers fault. Heck I met another driver at a customer and the trailer he was picking up had a broken mudflap bracket. Calls breakdown and they simple say it would quicker and cheaper on their end for him to fix it himself . Mind you its not just a missing mudflap but rather the support bracket for it has been torn off the trailer. Guys reply was that he gets payed to drive the truck not fix it when it breaks down. I can't cant even count the number of times I had to buy trailer lights and replace them for each trailer I pick up since they are always burned out. Breakdown so far has not paid me back for any of those parts even with receipts and that also includes buying bungee cords for the tarps since all the tarps I had were so badly damaged they would break every bungee on them as I went down the road. At one point the only thing holding my tarp down was a strap I threw over it when it popped over 50 bungees on that trip.

    There's more that can be said but I will stop here since I could write a 2 page essay on my Western Express experience. Again they are ok to start with if you no one else will give you a shot. Even with that low pay as a solo driver I cleared over $1,000 a week but I busted my butt off doing it and never turned down a load to the point my DM had another lined up before I even sent in my empty call. At times even sending it in for me which he would always get the fuel wrong which required me to call the fuel department for a new fuel stop.
     
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  5. Smokediver699

    Smokediver699 Bobtail Member

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    Aug 15, 2017
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    What all did the road test consist of? I have experience with both autos and 10 speeds backing isn't too bad but not exactly my stuff my suit. So any info you can provide would be great.
     
  6. newbietrucker91

    newbietrucker91 Light Load Member

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    You probable already have your answer but this is how western does its road test.

    First is the backing test: Simply a 45 degree ally dock between 2 trailers. They want you to GOAL before you start backing up, and every time you have to do a pull up.

    Next is just a drive around Nashville. Very short drive in an auto that takes you over some railroad tracks. Make sure you go slow, roll down your windows. and put your 4-ways on when crossing. They take points off if you don't.

    Even if you fail, they will still work with you. As long as you get the truck back in one piece you are pretty much hired. Regardless if you pass or fail they will decided if you have to go out with a trainer. Had a guy in my group with just over 2 years otr be told he had to go out with a trainer while a few under a year, got the green light to go out on their own.

    Just a heads up. They consider all driving experience for both the van and flatbed fleets. Simply put if you have experience and pass the road test but never handled a flatbed before, they will still send you out on your own in a flat without training.

    Had a guy with 8 months reefer exp, but no flatbed experience given the keys to a truck and a load out the gate.

    If you do have to go with a trainer, your upgrade test is based on where you take it. Each terminal does it differently.
     
  7. Blackbob

    Blackbob Light Load Member

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    I had a recruiter call and pretty much promise me I had a spot. I have two tickets fairly close together (1.5 years or so) so I can't be really picky as of right now. Any who, I was told for flatbed (as of this morning) is .32cpm and a .04cpm increase after 90 days. Training for 4 days pays $70.00 a day, and training pays $400 a week and is at least two weeks long. There is also a "safety bonus" after 90 days of $1,250.00. I was also told that drivers average $900-$1200 a week. Now the recruiter spoke super fast and I had to have him slow down and clarify some things while I talked to him. Take home truck and no VA OJT benefit for those who would qualify. It's definitely low pay like everyone said, but it's a start. I'm curious to see how OP's experience has been so far.
     
  8. Torch139

    Torch139 Bobtail Member

    You with Western Express or Swift?..
     
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  9. Annonymous

    Annonymous Light Load Member

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    Feb 2, 2017
    Connecticut
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    Hey bud, Great run down Thank u!
     
  10. driverdriver

    driverdriver Road Train Member

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    Hey we're the f have you been?
    I remember you have a faring issue and I don't recall you ever saying what happened? Lol.
     
    Annonymous Thanks this.
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