I went through their training program after attending trucking school in my state. I have never set foot in a truck prior to trucking school. I was asked to do extra time in training and I did. I drove for approximately a month after training before being terminated for 3 incidents in 3 months. First incident happened during training, in which trainer instructed me to drive up on grass to get into a loading dock where there was no room. I protested and was told to do what I
was told, so I did. The trainer also got behind the wheel, attempting to get the truck unstuck.
At this point a water pipe underneath broke, releasing water into the soil, which caused the heavy truck to sink into the dirt and it needed towing. The police were called, no citation issued. Werner Safety put it on my record, because they said I am "captain of my own ship" and should have disobeyed my trainer. The second incident occurred two days after receiving my own truck as a solo driver. I pulled off the highway into a
busy intersection in Milwaukie, WI. A car whipped
around me on the right, trying to get ahead of me,
and then slammed on their brakes right in front of
me. I took evasive action during my left hand turn to avoid hitting the car, but it cut my turn short on the back of my trailer. The back end of the trailer took out a light pole in the median of the road I was turning onto. The police were called, no citation issued, just a non-chargeable accident report. The third incident occurred at a loading dock in Iowa, in which I was backing into another small space. There was no sufficient room to bring the front of the truck around. I got out and looked several times, bringing the front right corner of my truck very close to a pole. I backed
out and re-set up on that situation about four times, and was still unable to back in without getting close to that pole. Several poles surrounding the drive were knocked over already from other drivers having similar problems. I backed in close to that pole, and a piece of metal
sticking out of the pole snagged my bumper and ripped off the piece that holds the headlights in. I attempted to turn the wheel and correct it, my foot slipped off the clutch, and it pushed in the bottom of the bumper on the pole. Note that one week previous, the truck had been in for repairs to the clutch, and Werner instructed the repairman to not replace the clutch, but to just adjust it, so that the clutch was on the floor to be activated, with virtually NO clutch-brake function.
At this point, I was not legal to drive at night, and had instructions from Safety and Road Breakdown to bring the truck into the terminal to be fixed, and told the repair shop to just tape up the bumper. My dispatcher disregarded safety, DOT regs, and instructions from Werner, and kept routing me on loads for two days, both night and day, despite me telling them about the light. I finally put my foot down and refused to drive illegally any more. A state trooper wrote me a warning ticket to get the issue fixed. I finally got routed into the terminal with a load, since dispatch seemed only concerned about money, not safety. I had to go over the dispatcher's head to safety to get the issue resolved, which I also had to do a month previous when other issues needed fixed on the truck. Both times the dispatcher let
me sit up to two days doing nothing, until I
"apologized". Twice on the phone, my dispatcher told me to ignore safety issues and to go pick up a load in a damaged truck, but refused to put these orders on the Qualcom so that he would be accountable for his actions. It took two days for the dispatcher to "find me a load to the terminal", in which during normal times he was
able to find me a load within a half hour consistently.
Upon getting to the terminal, Safety terminated my
employment because of "my safety record". I explained all of the above, and was ignored. I explained about the dispatcher, and was ignored.They were going to leave me, my 11 year old daughter, and the dog, and all of our stuff at the gate to get home to Washington State from Omaha,NE. They took out $200+ dollars for health
insurance, leaving me $100 out of my paycheck to
get home on. I had to throw away 2/3 of our clothes, equipment I had bought to be a longhaul truckdriver (atlas, electric cooler, tools, etc.), in order to fit our belongings onto the Greyhound bus. Werner finally approved to release funds to put us on the bus, and we rode home two days with no shower or facilities. Despite that my pet caused no damage whatsoever in the month I had her on my truck, Werner's new policy is now to take a
$250 nonrefundable deposit for a pet, and also charge $20 a month nonrefundable for the pet.
This makes money for Werner, and punishes pet owners that are responsible, to offset damage done by pet owners that are not responsible.
Nevertheless, I have not seen any Werner trucks where pets were present or not, having been detailed, cleaned, or made presentable for the new driver. I can only assume that Werner just keeps this money, having seen no evidence of it being used to fix/clean pet occupied trucks.
Werner issued me a truck that had a smoker and a dog in it. I got the smoke smell out, but the dog had repeatedly used the carpet and stick shift as its peeing post. I took pictures and documented this. The terminal that issued my truck refused to clean the truck. The truck had insect infestation, and several safety issues. The pee smell in the carpet was so bad that even after
shampooing the carpet, the sun would heat up the
cab and make the air too oppressive to breathe in.
The repair shop finally shooed me out of there and got mad at me, after about the 6th repair issue I brought in before taking the truck. After a week of driving in this pee-smell environment, I developed a breathing problem, and a cough. My 11 year old also developed respiratory issues from this smell. I removed the carpet and put it
through a wash stall at a truckstop and removed
the smell somewhat, and documented the pee stains
on the carpet with pictures.
I am fairly certain that Werner will put the accident incidents on my DAC, and I am accountable for that. However, Werner did not treat me well at ALL, and were willing to mistreat an 11 year old child, and take my money... and then tell me I am "captain of my own ship". Werner's Safety departments say one thing and then when you get on the road, dispatch is all about money, money, money, and nothing else. Dispatch tried to bully me, intimidate me, and lie to me to get me to
drive unsafely and illegally in order to deliver a
load. Then when I refused to do so, I was told I
would be written up for refusing a load. My dispatcher told me that it was "normal for a truck to have an air leak, all trucks do that. Go pick up the load."
Upon employment, I was made to sign a statement that said I could not write or say anything bad about Werner to the press or online, or I could get sued.
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