I went out with my trainer, and asked him what the switch on the side of my seat was for: in one position the seat stayed locked to the frame, in the other position it would freely slide forwards and backwards. My trainer did not know why such a switch would exist.
Then, after the training period, I went out on my own. Because the truck I drove was a manual transmission, and I didn't want it to lurch, I chose the position for the switch which locked the seat in place, (see above paragraph).
After a few months I began to develop this pain in my back that began to get steadily worse. I eventually had to go to a terminal for something like my 6th repair in two months, and I could barely walk. I whinced when I sat down and rose, and I needed a doctor.
My dispatcher told me to make sure I called him ON THE PHONE (and not on the Qualcomm - which is satellite e-mail) to keep him aprised. This was unusual as he said it was best to exchange information over the Qualcomm, but I trusted him.
I received two chiropractic adjustments while I was at the terminal, the doctor took X-rays and informed me that I was so far out of adjustment that I was standing in a way that there was a lot more weight on one leg than the other. Then I went on my way for a week or so.
I soon learned that the switch on the seat was so that drivers would not get back problems when 80,000 lbs. of truck and cargo went slamming around over pot-holes. The seat had some give to it so that it was the seat and not your spine that would absorb the shocks.
Then one night, while I was lost yet again because I received bad directions yet again, my back suddenly became worse. I informed Wener Enterprises that night, tried to sleep and mostly couldn't, and then informed them again as the varying shifts don't seem to talk to each other.
After I pestered them seveal times, my loads were cleared and I brought the truck back to the nearest terminal. A female friend of mine drove six hours to get to me, then she unloaded all the heavy things from my truck in the slush and snow because I couldn't lift a thing. And then she drove me back home where I went straight to my local chiropractor.
I could barely walk, and one leg is longer than the other because I have a herniated disc between L4 & L5 - something which still persists months later. Whenever the pain subsides, which is very rare, I can still feel tingling, or stretching, or other strange sensations that indicate something is just not right.
Finally - Werner Enterprises, after leaving message after message because I could not get my Worker's Compensation adjuster on the phone, denied my claim.
They said they did not believe that it was a real "accident". Let's see - I did nothing but drive a truck, had no injury before that, became injured, then stopped driving - so where did the injury come from?
My adjuster also told me there was no record on the computer (Qualcomm) that I was ever injured - so THAT'S why the dispatcher wanted me to talk to him on the phone - he NEVER wants to talk on the phone, only on the computer. But I do have phone records.
So, after I was given a truck that I had to have repaired for three days before it was driveable and since repaired about six times, after I was given bad directions to locations as a matter of routine, after I specifically asked what that switch was for and received no answer I am left with this: No job, medical insurance that I have to pay for - but I have no money, I do not have the ability to work, and no compensation.
All I can wonder is: How will I survive now?
Although I rarely get the chance, my reason for living is to go kayaking, bicycling, camping, hiking, and twice I even went skydiving and hang-gliding, I don't think I will ever get to do those things again.
But I thought, "At least Werner will compensate me for my loss," but they won't even do that much.
I gave up my apartment, I gave up my friends, I gave up seeing my girlfriend, I gave up EVERYTHING to drive for Werner - and now I've moved back into my parent's house because I have nowhere else to go.
I am going to ask Werner Enterprises what the appeals process might be, contact the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court, and see if I can get this corrected.
Summit, New York
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Werner Enterprises