Werner - Dollar General Dedicated & Scheduled Lane
I have been working as a delivery driver for approx. the last 8 months after "graduating" a local CDL school and getting my Class A back in November of last year. In that time I have developed, as you would expect, some problems with my knees and back.
They aren't life altering problems, but I would like to keep them from becoming that way, so I am looking into other avenues of employment in the very near future.
I have previously spoken with Werner, mainly out of curiosity in regards to their "Scheduled Lane" drivers that I often see advertised in the local paper. From what the recruiters have told me, it's a daily run from Albuquerque, New Mexico (where I live) to either Winslow, AZ or Amarillo, TX and I would be home nightly.
Something else I have also been told is that Pepsi does not verify driving experience which I assume is some sort of "retribution" since they'll take you with no driving experience in the first place.
Now, I do understand that since Pepsi can't or won't verify driving experience that I essentially become a "student driver". I have driven the 53' bulk trucks and the 48' route delivery trucks, so I can drive the trucks no problem, but on paper, as far as insurance companies are concerned, I have no business operating anything larger than a golf cart.
Anyway, I have been told that I can't "hire into" the scheduled lane position and that I would have to do either of these while I am on a "waiting list" for a scheduled lane position.
A) 48 state OTR
B) 11 Western state regional
C) Dollar General dedicated
I wouldn't touch 48 state with a 10 foot pole and I would prefer not to do regional, so that leaves me with the Dollar General dedicated option. Obviously, I am no stranger to multiple stops or unloading a trailer by myself, so those things don't really bother me.
However, I do have a few questions that I would like to have someone who has experience with Werner and these runs answer for me.
1) How large of an area, state-wise, could I possibly have to deal with doing Dollar General?
2) What's the average time out and average home time like with the dedicated routes?
3) How physical is it to unload the trailer?
I would also appreciate any general information regarding dedicated and scheduled lane routes with Werner that anyone wants to impart as well.
You can also verify experience with your paycheck stubs. But driving a Pepsi truck is different then a semi.
"Professional stake killer with ability to operate heavy equipment"
It's a single axle International tractor and a 48' trailer that I normally drive, if that makes any difference.
My usual route truck.
Are you considering the 11 western? Anyone I've talked to says that DG account sucks. Lots of unloading with multiple stops. Have you looked into any LTL carriers? There are some where you don't have to touch freight or they use floor or power jacks. LTL linehaul would be good too.
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I would prefer to be away from home as little as possible, which is why I'm avoiding 48 state and regional and focusing more on the Dollar General dedicated stuff. But then again, if that's what it takes to get some verifiable experience, so that I can get into the Scheduled Lane runs, then it suddenly becomes an option.
Originally Posted by greg3564
I have checked with Yellow, Old Dominion, FedEx, UPS, SAIA, and a couple other smaller freight companies. However, 99% of the time I run across the "we want at least a year of experience" wall.
I figured I could get a year of experience at Pepsi, but I have been told by different recruiters at different companies, both national, like Werner, and other local places that Pepsi will not verify driving experience.
As such, even if I did stay for a year, I would have nothing to prove that I had that year.
If you want to stay at home,why did you chose trucking? I drive a flatbed and get home most weekends.This fits my schedule pretty well. You might look into flatbed.You are used to harder work.
Keep in mind recruiters do not know all. There may be positions open right know that he is unaware of. Driver Assignments at Werner has more options for the driver than the recruiter will have.
I do know the Dollar General account is very physical, and it will run you very hard, the DG stores do not have docks as such and the positioning of the truck for unload can be almost impossible at some of the locations. The driver is required to be in the trailer "tailgating" or using rollers to send freight to the Receivers at the stores. Unloads may take awhile as you will be only able to unload as fast as the receivers can take the freight. (they generally are not in a big hurry)
I do not know what all is available for you area, but there is certainly more available than the recruiter is letting on.
I do know that the Office Max account in Las Vegas may take you if you are within his operating radius, expectally if you have any of the Office Max stores anywhere near your home. I think you where in the southwest somewhere(??)
Steelhauler, I got into it mainly for the availability of jobs locally, like dirt hauling, roll off containers at construction sites, etc. Having a Class A would open more doors, so to speak, than a B. Now I'm finding out that a lot of jobs require a certain amount of experience and OTR seems to be the favorite.
Originally Posted by Drew10
Drew, I'm in Albuquerque, New Mexico...a good distance from Vegas, but we also have 4 or 5 Office Max locations within 100 mile radius or so.
Also, I have noticed the lack of docks at Dollar General, as I am very familiar with pretty much every single Dollar General store in the Abq. metro area. I deliver soda to them quite frequently.
Pretty much my problem boils down to the fact that I want to be proactive and not cause my body undue wear and tear caused by unloading 5 tons of Pepsi for 12 hours a day, 5 hours a week in 100 degree temperatures. I have a wife and 2 kids at home, hence the reason for wanting to be home as much as possible. The scheduled lane runs that Werner offers seems like it would be able to provide a use for my Class A as well as get me home on a regular basis. That is the main reason that I am looking at them right now since I don't know of any other companies that take "new" drivers and have the same type of runs that Werner offers out of Albuquerque.
If you choose to run with Werner, after your training., you will more than likely be assigned to OTR (48state) or a regional. You will beable to apply for the dedicated account hired in your area.
Las Vegas is the location of the Distribution Center for the Office Max account. You will pull your outbound loads from there covering all the West coast states and mid/lower Western Cental. The location of the Office Max store to your home, makes it much easier for the dispatcher to get you home for the weekends. 100 miles is very close to your home. I cannot tell you whether you would get the job, but if you choose Werner, it is very easy to apply for the Office Max account, and the Account Manager/Fleet Manager for the account can chooses who gets on the account.
The Office Max stores all have typical docks (very few with tailgate unloads). All freight is palletized, and store unload. Driver does nothing. It is multi-stop trailers, typically 2-5 stores per trailer per trip.
The Dollar General run that Werner has is 100% driver unload. All the freight is floor stacked and goes from the tail of the trailer to the nose of it and to the roof. You will "Fingerprint" every single box. It is very labor intensive. Most of the stores on the DG run are very hard to get into with a small truck much less with a 18! Plus, you will get home as much as you would on the 11 western run which turns out to be about every weekend or so. The daily runs for Werner are very hard to come by! They don't usually open up very often. You will make some good money on the DG run though! BOL
Home time, first and foremost, is my main concern.
I assumed (maybe incorrectly) that a dedicated route would get me home more often than the Western regional would. If they both offer the same, or similar, then I would be more open to the possibility of doing the western states.
Physical labor is my second biggest concern. While I'm not totally opposed to doing physical labor, I would prefer that it be less than what I am currently doing. Doesn't seem like a good idea to do the same (or more) work in addition to being gone a week or two at a time.
I'm still looking for other options locally, such as propane delivery and other things like that, but I'm not having much luck. Most of the jobs that don't require experience are other delivery jobs which require 12 - 14 hour days of lifting and moving similar to what I'm doing now or pay less than $9.00 an hour. That leaves the jobs in which a major requirement is 2 years or more of experience.
Stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place...which leads me here asking you guys random nonsensical questions. :lol:
Swift also has and ad in the local paper regarding casual driving positions that I'm going to call about tomorrow morning as well.
I know from reading up around here that neither Werner or Swift are top notch companies, but at this point I'm far more concerned with how much I'd be home if I decide to enter the world of OTR trucking rather than the "niceness" of the company. Being a "student" driver, I get stuck at the bottom with bottom level companies to choose from...big whoop. :wink:
You guys have been very informative though and I do thank you for it.
dump trucks , bottom dumps & mixers will get you home a night!!
and good pay!!
It's a lot like McLane.
Originally Posted by fireman932003
You can take the driver out of the truck but you cant take the truck out of the driver.
In the end, Werner wouldn't count my local driving as "experience" and wanted me to go out with a trainer for 175 hours.
There's a Swift terminal here in Albuquerque and they'll accept my local driving, so I'm starting out on their Wal-Mart dedicated fleet next week sometime.
It's supposed to have me home every 2 - 3 days or so....guess I'll find out.