• Report: #20113

Complaint Review: Werner Enterprises

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  • Submitted: Fri, May 03, 2002
  • Updated: Sat, February 02, 2008

  • Reported By:Brooksville FL
Werner Enterprises
I-80 & Hwy. 50-PO Box 45251 Omaha, Nebraska U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-228-6640
  • Web:
  • Category: Employers

Werner Enterprises WERNER STUDENT'S WORD TAKEN OVER DEDICATED, EXPERIENCED FAMILY MAN Omaha Nebraska

*UPDATE Employee: Not even going to ask if you read the entire thread

*Consumer Comment: DRIVER TRAINERS?

*Consumer Comment: DRIVER TRAINERS?

*Consumer Comment: DRIVER TRAINERS?

*Consumer Comment: DRIVER TRAINERS?

*Consumer Suggestion: Just to play devils advocate here

*Consumer Suggestion: Just to play devils advocate here

*Consumer Suggestion: Just to play devils advocate here

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Training for Werner is hazardous duty without compensation

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Irrelevant discussion

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Irrelevant discussion

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Irrelevant discussion

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Irrelevant discussion

*Consumer Suggestion: Edward, that is the point!

*UPDATE Employee: Not Really the Point.

*Consumer Suggestion: Clarification of owner operator vs. lease driver

*UPDATE Employee: Rules are Made for a reason

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Questions

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Another former Werner trainer burned

*Consumer Suggestion: Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

*Consumer Suggestion: Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

*Consumer Suggestion: Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

*Consumer Suggestion: Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: trainers

*Consumer Suggestion: Training takes skill

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: I'll take one of you trainers

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: trainer, why? ..ill tell you why they promise you the bucks

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: another screwed trainer

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: driver trainer betrayed

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: would like to join him with his lawsuit

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I have been a tractor-trailer driver since 1982. My last driving job, I only missed two days in 7 years. I started with Werner, went to orientation and training and received my truck in November 2001.

I went to trainer school in Nebraska and became a certified trainer for them. I picked up my first student trainee a month after Easter.

My trainee was a female, 49 years old, former prison gaurd. Driving forwards was ok, but difficulty with backing up, would not listen to me and wanted to do it her own way. Her medical condition made it necessary for frequent rest room stops which caused a delay in transportation time. She had one accident because of not listening.

She could only handle driving for the max of 5 hours. (That was pushing it!)She had to borrow money from me constantly. Her cellphone never stopped ringing with creditors calling her as she was in a financial mess, at least this is what I got from her whining and pouting. She would go for three or more days without showering as she would be pouting, saying she needed more money.

I called my night dispatcher and let informed him of what was going on with her, after 26 days of training, I couldn't see it happening for her. He told me to put it on the Qual-com, to let it be documented in the computer.

I was to contact the day manager and let him know, but because we were being diverted to Dallas, because of her driving accident, so that the report could be finished. I thought we were heading for Dallas, because of my report on her inability to become a qualified-driver, but I was dead wrong.

I got there and reports were taken, I went about my business, she was talking to the manager at Dallas. I received an assignment and was heading out of the terminal, thinking that I would get in contact with the appropriate individual with my evaluation on her at a later date. Things were being handled at the Dallas terminal and I believed my business with her was finished. As I was driving out of the gate, I received a message over the Qual-com, telling me to come back to see the manager at Dallas. I did.

This student who owed me money had a cooler when I brought her in to the terminal, she told me I could keep the cooler, as she could not take it and since she still owed me money. Unknowingly, she had beer in this cooler. I do not make a habit of going through her personal belongings.

She told the manager this was mine. He asked me if he could go through my truck and I said,"Sure, by all means!" I had no idea the beer was in there!! The truck was secured, a meeting held, and I was asked about the ownership of the beer, I told them hers. She had also told the manager that she felt threatened by me. I had wrote her a letter asking her to become more cooperative and to respect me as a trainer, as I would her as a trainee. I made a statement,"Please, I do not want to get ugly, either."

This statement apparently made this former prison guard and tough woman nervous and made her feel threatened, but only after 26 days of being with me and only after I was dropping her as a trainee.

I was not given a chance to present my side. I had not told them about her problems, but should have told them I was dropping her as a trainee within the first week of training. But wanted to give her a chance.

Since I gave her a chance, she screwed me and my family. Werner took a student's word over my word. I never delivered a damage or late load, no accidents and just like that, they gave me the ax.

Anyone want to file a class action lawsuit, let me know, I am looking into it!

Bill
Brooksville, Florida

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/03/2002 07:09 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Werner-Enterprises/Omaha-Nebraska-68145/Werner-Enterprises-WERNER-STUDENTS-WORD-TAKEN-OVER-DEDICATED-EXPERIENCED-FAMILY-MAN-Omah-20113. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 27Consumer 3Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Not even going to ask if you read the entire thread

AUTHOR: Sherwood - (U.S.A.)

First off - Kim, unfortunate series of events dude. Sorry things turned out like they did. If it's any consolation (probably little to none) you're still training. I for one learned a lot simply because you were willing to file this report on this site. Thank you, I sincerely hope this is behind you and you find it within yourself to get back on that horse (if that's what you want) or trade it for another but whatever the case... just ride man and good luck to you.

Second - Paul, Deborah, and others wise enough to give constructive critisizm, thank you. Your comments, suggestions and past experiences were very benificial to anyone reading this for more than just entertainment value or worse...

...which leads me to my final comment

Av8rdawg, Barking just to hear yourself or do you actually believe that anyone will derive any benefit from and/or even find your comment relavent? It's obvious, with the policy change Richard informed us of, that Werner is doing everything they can to keep the number of such reported incidents to a minimum in order to keep thier (potential) liability at a minimum. Dood - comments like "If I were CEO, I would have fired you on the spot" are not only counterproductive (is that what a good lawyer, or counselor, etc would say?) they totally reveal your desire to make yourself appear to be some sort or authority figure as well as your desire to kick someone when they're down presumably due to endurance of the same treatment upon yourself at your place of employment. Why is it that everyone of you that come out of nowhere typing in all caps says "If I were CEO"? Do you even know what a CEO is? Chief Executive Officer. Definetly not someone who is going to be firing a trainer/driver. Av8rdawg, are you sure you didn't accidently float over here form the Covenant thread?
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#2 Consumer Comment

DRIVER TRAINERS?

AUTHOR: Av8rdawg - (U.S.A.)

I HAVE NEVER READ SUCH COMMENTS/COMPLAINTS FROM ANYONE AS I HAVE ON THE WERNER COMPLAINTS LINE. USDOT REGS STATE THAT WHILE IN TRAINING, WITH A TRAINEE ONBOARD YOUR VEHICLE, THE TRAINER WILL REMAIN IN THE RIGHT SEAT AT ALL TIMES SO AS TO BE ABLE TO INSTRUCT THE STUDENT DRIVER. LAYMAN'S TERMS: THIS MEANS KEEP YOUR SO CALLED PROFESSIONAL DRIVER/INSTRUCTOR BODY AWAKE AND OUT OF THE SLEEPER. THIS IS HALF THE PROBLEM WITH MOST COMPANY TRAINERS. THEY SLEEP AND "USE THEIR TRAINEE" AS IF HE/SHE WERE AN EXPERIENCED DRIVER SO THEY CAN SLEEP OR OTHERWISE BE LAZY. YOU ARE BEING PAID THE EXTRA BUCKS FOR A POSITION YOU ASKED FOR. IF I WERE THE CEO I'D FIRE YOU ON THE SPOT AND PUT THAT TRAINEE ON A TRUCK OF A TRUSTED TRAINER. THIS IS THE REASON WE HAVE SO MANY NEEDLESS PREVENTABLE ACCIDENTS ON THE ROAD THESE DAYS. LAZY TRAINERS. MY KEY TO SUCCESSFULLY TRAINING A NEWBEE IS TO TEACH AND DRIVE THE POINT HOME TO DRIVE AROUND EVERY VEHICLE LIKE YOUR OWN FAMILY IS OCCUPYING IT. YOU DO THIS AND ALL GUESS WORK GOES TO THE WAYSIDE. REMIND ME TO NEVER APPLY FOR WORK AT WERNER. GOOD DAY TO THE DRIVERS AND GOD BE WITH ALL YOU POOR TRAINEES WERNER HAS.
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#3 Consumer Comment

DRIVER TRAINERS?

AUTHOR: Av8rdawg - (U.S.A.)

I HAVE NEVER READ SUCH COMMENTS/COMPLAINTS FROM ANYONE AS I HAVE ON THE WERNER COMPLAINTS LINE. USDOT REGS STATE THAT WHILE IN TRAINING, WITH A TRAINEE ONBOARD YOUR VEHICLE, THE TRAINER WILL REMAIN IN THE RIGHT SEAT AT ALL TIMES SO AS TO BE ABLE TO INSTRUCT THE STUDENT DRIVER. LAYMAN'S TERMS: THIS MEANS KEEP YOUR SO CALLED PROFESSIONAL DRIVER/INSTRUCTOR BODY AWAKE AND OUT OF THE SLEEPER. THIS IS HALF THE PROBLEM WITH MOST COMPANY TRAINERS. THEY SLEEP AND "USE THEIR TRAINEE" AS IF HE/SHE WERE AN EXPERIENCED DRIVER SO THEY CAN SLEEP OR OTHERWISE BE LAZY. YOU ARE BEING PAID THE EXTRA BUCKS FOR A POSITION YOU ASKED FOR. IF I WERE THE CEO I'D FIRE YOU ON THE SPOT AND PUT THAT TRAINEE ON A TRUCK OF A TRUSTED TRAINER. THIS IS THE REASON WE HAVE SO MANY NEEDLESS PREVENTABLE ACCIDENTS ON THE ROAD THESE DAYS. LAZY TRAINERS. MY KEY TO SUCCESSFULLY TRAINING A NEWBEE IS TO TEACH AND DRIVE THE POINT HOME TO DRIVE AROUND EVERY VEHICLE LIKE YOUR OWN FAMILY IS OCCUPYING IT. YOU DO THIS AND ALL GUESS WORK GOES TO THE WAYSIDE. REMIND ME TO NEVER APPLY FOR WORK AT WERNER. GOOD DAY TO THE DRIVERS AND GOD BE WITH ALL YOU POOR TRAINEES WERNER HAS.
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#4 Consumer Comment

DRIVER TRAINERS?

AUTHOR: Av8rdawg - (U.S.A.)

I HAVE NEVER READ SUCH COMMENTS/COMPLAINTS FROM ANYONE AS I HAVE ON THE WERNER COMPLAINTS LINE. USDOT REGS STATE THAT WHILE IN TRAINING, WITH A TRAINEE ONBOARD YOUR VEHICLE, THE TRAINER WILL REMAIN IN THE RIGHT SEAT AT ALL TIMES SO AS TO BE ABLE TO INSTRUCT THE STUDENT DRIVER. LAYMAN'S TERMS: THIS MEANS KEEP YOUR SO CALLED PROFESSIONAL DRIVER/INSTRUCTOR BODY AWAKE AND OUT OF THE SLEEPER. THIS IS HALF THE PROBLEM WITH MOST COMPANY TRAINERS. THEY SLEEP AND "USE THEIR TRAINEE" AS IF HE/SHE WERE AN EXPERIENCED DRIVER SO THEY CAN SLEEP OR OTHERWISE BE LAZY. YOU ARE BEING PAID THE EXTRA BUCKS FOR A POSITION YOU ASKED FOR. IF I WERE THE CEO I'D FIRE YOU ON THE SPOT AND PUT THAT TRAINEE ON A TRUCK OF A TRUSTED TRAINER. THIS IS THE REASON WE HAVE SO MANY NEEDLESS PREVENTABLE ACCIDENTS ON THE ROAD THESE DAYS. LAZY TRAINERS. MY KEY TO SUCCESSFULLY TRAINING A NEWBEE IS TO TEACH AND DRIVE THE POINT HOME TO DRIVE AROUND EVERY VEHICLE LIKE YOUR OWN FAMILY IS OCCUPYING IT. YOU DO THIS AND ALL GUESS WORK GOES TO THE WAYSIDE. REMIND ME TO NEVER APPLY FOR WORK AT WERNER. GOOD DAY TO THE DRIVERS AND GOD BE WITH ALL YOU POOR TRAINEES WERNER HAS.
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#5 Consumer Comment

DRIVER TRAINERS?

AUTHOR: Av8rdawg - (U.S.A.)

I HAVE NEVER READ SUCH COMMENTS/COMPLAINTS FROM ANYONE AS I HAVE ON THE WERNER COMPLAINTS LINE. USDOT REGS STATE THAT WHILE IN TRAINING, WITH A TRAINEE ONBOARD YOUR VEHICLE, THE TRAINER WILL REMAIN IN THE RIGHT SEAT AT ALL TIMES SO AS TO BE ABLE TO INSTRUCT THE STUDENT DRIVER. LAYMAN'S TERMS: THIS MEANS KEEP YOUR SO CALLED PROFESSIONAL DRIVER/INSTRUCTOR BODY AWAKE AND OUT OF THE SLEEPER. THIS IS HALF THE PROBLEM WITH MOST COMPANY TRAINERS. THEY SLEEP AND "USE THEIR TRAINEE" AS IF HE/SHE WERE AN EXPERIENCED DRIVER SO THEY CAN SLEEP OR OTHERWISE BE LAZY. YOU ARE BEING PAID THE EXTRA BUCKS FOR A POSITION YOU ASKED FOR. IF I WERE THE CEO I'D FIRE YOU ON THE SPOT AND PUT THAT TRAINEE ON A TRUCK OF A TRUSTED TRAINER. THIS IS THE REASON WE HAVE SO MANY NEEDLESS PREVENTABLE ACCIDENTS ON THE ROAD THESE DAYS. LAZY TRAINERS. MY KEY TO SUCCESSFULLY TRAINING A NEWBEE IS TO TEACH AND DRIVE THE POINT HOME TO DRIVE AROUND EVERY VEHICLE LIKE YOUR OWN FAMILY IS OCCUPYING IT. YOU DO THIS AND ALL GUESS WORK GOES TO THE WAYSIDE. REMIND ME TO NEVER APPLY FOR WORK AT WERNER. GOOD DAY TO THE DRIVERS AND GOD BE WITH ALL YOU POOR TRAINEES WERNER HAS.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Just to play devils advocate here

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

Is the owner operator or trainer responsible for what is on his/her truck?? Not being a trucker but a regular driver I am responsible for what is in my car be it drugs, alcohol, or weapons even if they are not mine.

Definitely agree you got a raw deal but as the primary driver or owner are you not responsible for the contents of your truck?? You should have checked the cooler before the trainee brought it on or after she left it. Maybe next time you will see what rights you have to inspect what ever a trainee brings onto your truck (that is if you ever bother to have one, in your place I sure wouldn't). If they don't like it tell them to bad and to catch another truck (You can do that right??).

Despite all the other things that happened isn't that why you got fired was the alcohol???

Thanks,


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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Just to play devils advocate here

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

Is the owner operator or trainer responsible for what is on his/her truck?? Not being a trucker but a regular driver I am responsible for what is in my car be it drugs, alcohol, or weapons even if they are not mine.

Definitely agree you got a raw deal but as the primary driver or owner are you not responsible for the contents of your truck?? You should have checked the cooler before the trainee brought it on or after she left it. Maybe next time you will see what rights you have to inspect what ever a trainee brings onto your truck (that is if you ever bother to have one, in your place I sure wouldn't). If they don't like it tell them to bad and to catch another truck (You can do that right??).

Despite all the other things that happened isn't that why you got fired was the alcohol???

Thanks,


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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Just to play devils advocate here

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

Is the owner operator or trainer responsible for what is on his/her truck?? Not being a trucker but a regular driver I am responsible for what is in my car be it drugs, alcohol, or weapons even if they are not mine.

Definitely agree you got a raw deal but as the primary driver or owner are you not responsible for the contents of your truck?? You should have checked the cooler before the trainee brought it on or after she left it. Maybe next time you will see what rights you have to inspect what ever a trainee brings onto your truck (that is if you ever bother to have one, in your place I sure wouldn't). If they don't like it tell them to bad and to catch another truck (You can do that right??).

Despite all the other things that happened isn't that why you got fired was the alcohol???

Thanks,


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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Training for Werner is hazardous duty without compensation

AUTHOR: Richard - (U.S.A.)

From 2000 to 2007, as a certified driver trainer, I instructed students in operations for OTR, Regional and Dedicated accounts. Early on, disputes initiated by the students were handled through contacting the trainer, getting his input, and resolving the conflict accordingly. In most cases, if not all of those I experienced, the complaint(s) were unfounded, based largely on misconceptions, and grossly misrepresented by the students.

About 2005, trainers were no longer being included in the investigation. Instead, after routed to a terminal, the student was taken off the truck and the trainer was suspended and only allowed to solo operate.

Policy required an investigation to be conducted immediately to gather evidence, statements, and applicable data to be reviewed by safety and HRO to determine an outcome.

Personally, I was suspended twice for allegations by the students. Unable to operate as a trainer for over a month, waiting for this review, I was finally told to re-enter Train the Trainer. After completion and sitting with HRO and Training Department, I finally learned what the complaint was. It had not been investigated, and additionaly, after calling my dispatcher, Werner learned the student had lied.

Werner failed to conduct the investigation. Did I get compensated for loss of income? No. Was this an isolated accident by Werner? No, a few months later, suspended due to another student lie, Werner characterized the suspension as a 'restriction' to cover up their failure to abide by their own policies.

Werner is not about protecting the rights of the professional drivers. They are about protecting their corporate assets and avoiding lawsuits, no matter how many trainers they have to step on to do so.
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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Irrelevant discussion

AUTHOR: Deborah - (U.S.A.)

Perhaps Edward and Steve can take their unrelated debate elsewhere? It is an unnecessary distraction from the point of the original post.

As for the original post:

The cell phone issue is a safety issue, and not just for the obvious reasons. Your trainee was definitely distracted AND distressed by the calls. You will find this with nearly all trainees. Most spent several thousand dollars and several weeks on truck driving school, and then are being paid subsistence wages while in training. This is a huge financial strain on the trainee, and creditors calling all the time just adds to it.

I require my trainees to shut their phones off during on-duty and sleeper hours, and make them log on line 1 (off duty) when on their phones. They are allowed to give the dispatch number to family members for emergencies, who will either send a Qualcomm message to me or call my cell phone if the trainee needs to stop and deal with an emergency. Creditors do not constitute an emergency, nor do ex's calling to berate them, children calling to say hello, etc.

Another hard lesson learned last year: The first time a trainee refuses to follow directions, especially emergency directions to stop, accelerate, turn, etc., they are no longer allowed to drive and are off the truck at the next terminal, no exceptions. The first time you let them get away with it, you risk serious injury or death for you, your trainee, and the general public. This rule includes any statement by a trainee that they know everything already. If they do, they need their own truck, and there is no point in they're being in mine.
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Irrelevant discussion

AUTHOR: Deborah - (U.S.A.)

Perhaps Edward and Steve can take their unrelated debate elsewhere? It is an unnecessary distraction from the point of the original post.

As for the original post:

The cell phone issue is a safety issue, and not just for the obvious reasons. Your trainee was definitely distracted AND distressed by the calls. You will find this with nearly all trainees. Most spent several thousand dollars and several weeks on truck driving school, and then are being paid subsistence wages while in training. This is a huge financial strain on the trainee, and creditors calling all the time just adds to it.

I require my trainees to shut their phones off during on-duty and sleeper hours, and make them log on line 1 (off duty) when on their phones. They are allowed to give the dispatch number to family members for emergencies, who will either send a Qualcomm message to me or call my cell phone if the trainee needs to stop and deal with an emergency. Creditors do not constitute an emergency, nor do ex's calling to berate them, children calling to say hello, etc.

Another hard lesson learned last year: The first time a trainee refuses to follow directions, especially emergency directions to stop, accelerate, turn, etc., they are no longer allowed to drive and are off the truck at the next terminal, no exceptions. The first time you let them get away with it, you risk serious injury or death for you, your trainee, and the general public. This rule includes any statement by a trainee that they know everything already. If they do, they need their own truck, and there is no point in they're being in mine.
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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Irrelevant discussion

AUTHOR: Deborah - (U.S.A.)

Perhaps Edward and Steve can take their unrelated debate elsewhere? It is an unnecessary distraction from the point of the original post.

As for the original post:

The cell phone issue is a safety issue, and not just for the obvious reasons. Your trainee was definitely distracted AND distressed by the calls. You will find this with nearly all trainees. Most spent several thousand dollars and several weeks on truck driving school, and then are being paid subsistence wages while in training. This is a huge financial strain on the trainee, and creditors calling all the time just adds to it.

I require my trainees to shut their phones off during on-duty and sleeper hours, and make them log on line 1 (off duty) when on their phones. They are allowed to give the dispatch number to family members for emergencies, who will either send a Qualcomm message to me or call my cell phone if the trainee needs to stop and deal with an emergency. Creditors do not constitute an emergency, nor do ex's calling to berate them, children calling to say hello, etc.

Another hard lesson learned last year: The first time a trainee refuses to follow directions, especially emergency directions to stop, accelerate, turn, etc., they are no longer allowed to drive and are off the truck at the next terminal, no exceptions. The first time you let them get away with it, you risk serious injury or death for you, your trainee, and the general public. This rule includes any statement by a trainee that they know everything already. If they do, they need their own truck, and there is no point in they're being in mine.
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#13 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Irrelevant discussion

AUTHOR: Deborah - (U.S.A.)

Perhaps Edward and Steve can take their unrelated debate elsewhere? It is an unnecessary distraction from the point of the original post.

As for the original post:

The cell phone issue is a safety issue, and not just for the obvious reasons. Your trainee was definitely distracted AND distressed by the calls. You will find this with nearly all trainees. Most spent several thousand dollars and several weeks on truck driving school, and then are being paid subsistence wages while in training. This is a huge financial strain on the trainee, and creditors calling all the time just adds to it.

I require my trainees to shut their phones off during on-duty and sleeper hours, and make them log on line 1 (off duty) when on their phones. They are allowed to give the dispatch number to family members for emergencies, who will either send a Qualcomm message to me or call my cell phone if the trainee needs to stop and deal with an emergency. Creditors do not constitute an emergency, nor do ex's calling to berate them, children calling to say hello, etc.

Another hard lesson learned last year: The first time a trainee refuses to follow directions, especially emergency directions to stop, accelerate, turn, etc., they are no longer allowed to drive and are off the truck at the next terminal, no exceptions. The first time you let them get away with it, you risk serious injury or death for you, your trainee, and the general public. This rule includes any statement by a trainee that they know everything already. If they do, they need their own truck, and there is no point in they're being in mine.
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Edward, that is the point!

AUTHOR: Steve [Not A Lawyer] - (U.S.A.)

Edward,

I did not see any actual point in your post!

However, no law degree required. The FMCSA regs are very clear. You are an owner. Not an owner operator. The legal operator of the truck is the one who has the operating authority.

As an owner, leased on to Werner, they have total legal control over your truck. They could tell you to park it, and if you moved it, they could actually take action against you.

You see, YOUR equipment BELONGS to THEM when you lease it on to their authority.

As a true owner operator, you report only to yourself and the DOT.

Those are the facts, like them or not.
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#15 UPDATE Employee

Not Really the Point.

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

Well I am so Glad you gave your views on what an O/O really is. However I do think you may want to go get that Law degree you are missing. I Own the truck I am drtiving outright. I make no payments to werner for anything. I am not required to take any load that I am offered by the Load Planners. I am responsible for my own taxes. My Operating athority does fall under the company but that makes me no less an owner than any other man out here. you may call it what you will, a rose by any other name, but for all intents and purposes I own my rig and I operate it according to the same laws you do I just have more assured frieght. I noticed you never responded to my point only attacked me. Whatever you say big guy!
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

Clarification of owner operator vs. lease driver

AUTHOR: Steve [Not A Lawyer] - (U.S.A.)

This is one of my favorite controversial hot topics.

I love it when lease drivers call themselves owner operators. You are NOT.

To actually be an owner operator, you need to have your own equipment AND your own operating authority. You must be totally independent to be an owner operator.

If you lease your equipment on to someone elses authority, you are, by definition under federal law, a LEASE DRIVER. When you operate under someone elses authority they have absolute control over and responsibility for YOUR equipment, by law. THEY are the owner operator.

If you want to call tourself an owner operator, go get your own authority. Book and bill your own loads, do your own DOT compliance and bookkeeping, operate off of your own capital, work when you want, how you want, if you want.

Now, you are an owner operator.
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Rules are Made for a reason

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

I am currently an O/O with Werner and am also a Trainer. I have been wiuth this company for many years now and have only recently purchased a truck and leased on with them. As I read the orginal post and the ones that followed it, I was struck by the fact that all of these horror stories had some violation of the rules that Werner sets for their Trainers. In the Training Program we are told not to lend money to students. That the operation of Cell phones is prohibites while the truck is in motion. We are told that we are responsible for our trucks and what is going on in them. I have Trained for this Company for the past six years and I have had good students and bad. I have had students acuse me of some pretty terrible things, and have had the company call me in for questioning on most of them. The bottom line has always been that because of some rule or standard that I had fvollowed my back was covered. We were told in our Train-the-Trainer class to keep a daily journal. Dot requires us to do a full Pre-trip every day, Dot regulations along with most state laws not to mention Werner policy prohibit having alchol while responsible for a comercial motor vehicle or while under a load. I find it hard to believe that anyone could be on your truck for 27 days and have alchol with them and you didnt know it, but even if you didnt you were i am sorry to say still the Man in the Seat and were responsible. I am sorry that things went the way they did for you but truly you can only blame the one who had the power and that would be you.
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#18 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Questions

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

, Bill, this what I am writing will not be pleasant, but needs to be said; if you were having all these problems with this trainee, I would have checked the cooler BEFORE leaving the yard there. You wrote that you were having these problems with her including her being upset with you over the report. I hate to say it, but I would have been a little leary of her giving up a cooler at that point. Company policy was to assign the trainee with another trainer to see if if was a personality conflict, so there would have been no reason for her to get rid of that cooler.

Enough on that. This is one of the rare times I have heard that werner backed a trainee over a trainer, especially if the trainer was documenting the problems as you say you were. It surprisesme a little that werner didn't take you word over hers especially after reading your reports.

That is a major reason why I refusd to take women trainees. I had nothing against women drivers and i still don't, but I foresaw the possibilty of what happened to you happening to me, and I chose not even to open that door.

I'm sorry that happened to you. Over the last five to ten years werner has had it's head up it's a-- and in a way you're lucky to be gone even under the circumstances.
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#19 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Another former Werner trainer burned

AUTHOR: Deborah - (U.S.A.)

I definitely know where you are comming from about how Werner/DMI deals with trainer/trainee disputes. Having "been there, done that, got the t-shirt," as it were, I agree Werner's training policies are squirrelly. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to handling trainer-trainee disputes.

However, I don't think a class action suit will fly in Nebraska, a right to work state. Werner can fire you for any or even no reason, so long as they do not break federal nondiscrimination laws, and don't fire you in California without good cause. In this case, Werner was justified in firing you, whether or not the beer belonged to you or you knew it was there. You were the trainer, you were driving the rig at the time, and there were alcoholic beverages in your rig in violation of state and federal laws. You were the driver in control of the vehicle, and that's all that matters legally. Even if the trainee admitted fault (and the Rapture occurred shortly after,lol), legally you're at fault.

First, you DO have the right AND obligation to inspect and search the trainee's property with or without probable cause. The rig is your workplace, and you are the trainee's supervisor. You become responsible for everything that trainee does, including illegal conduct (beer in the cooler violates federal and state laws). Any trainee who does not allow you to inspect everything the bring into the tractor should not be permitted in your tractor to begin with.

Second, you are (again) the trainee's supervisor. You are not an ATM, buddy, lover, whatever. They are subordinate to you. NEVER lend a trainee money, and never accept gifts or property as repayment of any loans. To do so could violate labor laws in several states. I often made my trainees work for the money or simply gave it to them without any expectation of repayment. Don't do them ANY favors your company won't do for them, unless you are looking to get set up and/or fired. I fed a trainee who hadn't eaten all day, and was accused of sexual harrassment the next day (and nearly fired). Thank God my training coordinator knew the little tweak (yeah, she's a druggie) wasn't my type, as well as my strict rules about not dating married people or people I work with.

Third, report any and all conversations and/or actions relevant to the job to your training coordinator, even if they seem trivial. Keep a date and time stamped journal of everything, every word, look, action, gut instinct, etc. Believe me, it will save your tushy.

Fourth, when the trainee gets out of your truck, lock it. DO NOT give them a key. Only you get a key, and only you unlock doors.

A good idea is a digital recording device in the cab (not the sleeper), preferably one that can be hidden and worked remotely. I started doing that when I left Werner, and it saved my can a few times. This backs up your written version of events.

Finally, when putting the trainee out of the rig for ANY reason, remove all of their belongings as well, even if they don't want them anymore. Anyone willing to give up a a relatively new $79.00 cooler on trainee pay is definitely up to something. Once they are out, inspect every inch of your rig. I got popped once going into Canada for carrying mace. The nonoperative thumb-sized container they found cost me $870 US. I have subsequently found pot, speed, beer, liquor, syringes (and works), etc. during routine inspections, saving myself a great deal of problems, like prison for instance.

Oh, btw, males really shouldn't train females. Way to many problems there. You can be accused of just about anything, and the companies will always take her side (particularly Werner). As a female trainer, I won't train females, so that should be a giant red flag, with dozens of superloud screamer alarms going off. I have been burned by all but one female trainee, and accused of everything under the sun, just like the guys are. I don't know very many female trainers willing to train a female, based upon their personal war stories. Let their husbands or relatives train them, until the training companies do a better job of screening potential trainees BEFORE putting them in a rig. If you must train women, get a digital voice recorder to cover your butt.

Good luck to you!
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#20 Consumer Suggestion

Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

I have no cell phone to turn off or on.

At least in a truck, they make sense. But for most people, it would be better to use a land line. How many people really need to be in contact 24 hours a day? Maybe a surgeon.

Regardless, I'd never use a phone while I'm driving. People don't realize how serious driving is until they get involved in a bad accident. In a high speed situation, you need to stay focused on the task of driving. It's deadly serious. Even more so when you're at the wheel of a semi.

I see people on the phone all the time. These are the same people who have only minimal control of their vehicle. They coast instead of accelerate. They don't use signals, because they're holding the phone. Or, they simply fail to be able to manage the task of driving while engaging in conversation.

Bad move.

As far as training, I'd avoid that too. For many trainers, the motivation is extra money. But, how much extra can you make? The trainer is up in the front with the student. It's stressful for the trainer as well as the student. At the end of the student's driving, is the trainer really able to drive a full shift? I can't see how.

Many companies put students with trainers for 6 weeks. Is that enough? Personally, I wouldn't feel safe going to sleep with a 5 week student behind the wheel. I know they don't have a feel for handling any kind of emergency maneuver. You risk your life while training.

In addition, the company doesn't offer you any slack. You start out with a team load on day one. You're expected to do team miles. That means 750 or more. Where is the available time to spend with the student? How can you show them backing skills? You can't get out and describe how to check or adjust anything. You're forced to keep the vehicle moving. At the end of the training session, the company gets a driver ready to run solo. Meanwhile, the trainer finds that he or she did all the work, took all the risk, and has little profit to show for it.

Training under these circumstances cheats both the student as well as the trainer. At the end of 6 weeks, the student has run a lot of miles. But, have they seen every situation? Are they adequately prepared for a solo truck? In my case, I had to learn a lot on my own. I read a lot. I practiced maneuvers whenever I had the chance.

As far as 6 months of OTR miles being enough to train, it's the bare minimum. Drivers are just getting a feel for the job after 6 months. They've seen most of it, and gotten good at most of it. But, let's face it, it's the 20 year veteran who really understands the job and the truck. These people are the ones who really have the skills. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them to train all the rookies that are in the industry.
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#21 Consumer Suggestion

Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

I have no cell phone to turn off or on.

At least in a truck, they make sense. But for most people, it would be better to use a land line. How many people really need to be in contact 24 hours a day? Maybe a surgeon.

Regardless, I'd never use a phone while I'm driving. People don't realize how serious driving is until they get involved in a bad accident. In a high speed situation, you need to stay focused on the task of driving. It's deadly serious. Even more so when you're at the wheel of a semi.

I see people on the phone all the time. These are the same people who have only minimal control of their vehicle. They coast instead of accelerate. They don't use signals, because they're holding the phone. Or, they simply fail to be able to manage the task of driving while engaging in conversation.

Bad move.

As far as training, I'd avoid that too. For many trainers, the motivation is extra money. But, how much extra can you make? The trainer is up in the front with the student. It's stressful for the trainer as well as the student. At the end of the student's driving, is the trainer really able to drive a full shift? I can't see how.

Many companies put students with trainers for 6 weeks. Is that enough? Personally, I wouldn't feel safe going to sleep with a 5 week student behind the wheel. I know they don't have a feel for handling any kind of emergency maneuver. You risk your life while training.

In addition, the company doesn't offer you any slack. You start out with a team load on day one. You're expected to do team miles. That means 750 or more. Where is the available time to spend with the student? How can you show them backing skills? You can't get out and describe how to check or adjust anything. You're forced to keep the vehicle moving. At the end of the training session, the company gets a driver ready to run solo. Meanwhile, the trainer finds that he or she did all the work, took all the risk, and has little profit to show for it.

Training under these circumstances cheats both the student as well as the trainer. At the end of 6 weeks, the student has run a lot of miles. But, have they seen every situation? Are they adequately prepared for a solo truck? In my case, I had to learn a lot on my own. I read a lot. I practiced maneuvers whenever I had the chance.

As far as 6 months of OTR miles being enough to train, it's the bare minimum. Drivers are just getting a feel for the job after 6 months. They've seen most of it, and gotten good at most of it. But, let's face it, it's the 20 year veteran who really understands the job and the truck. These people are the ones who really have the skills. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them to train all the rookies that are in the industry.
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

I have no cell phone to turn off or on.

At least in a truck, they make sense. But for most people, it would be better to use a land line. How many people really need to be in contact 24 hours a day? Maybe a surgeon.

Regardless, I'd never use a phone while I'm driving. People don't realize how serious driving is until they get involved in a bad accident. In a high speed situation, you need to stay focused on the task of driving. It's deadly serious. Even more so when you're at the wheel of a semi.

I see people on the phone all the time. These are the same people who have only minimal control of their vehicle. They coast instead of accelerate. They don't use signals, because they're holding the phone. Or, they simply fail to be able to manage the task of driving while engaging in conversation.

Bad move.

As far as training, I'd avoid that too. For many trainers, the motivation is extra money. But, how much extra can you make? The trainer is up in the front with the student. It's stressful for the trainer as well as the student. At the end of the student's driving, is the trainer really able to drive a full shift? I can't see how.

Many companies put students with trainers for 6 weeks. Is that enough? Personally, I wouldn't feel safe going to sleep with a 5 week student behind the wheel. I know they don't have a feel for handling any kind of emergency maneuver. You risk your life while training.

In addition, the company doesn't offer you any slack. You start out with a team load on day one. You're expected to do team miles. That means 750 or more. Where is the available time to spend with the student? How can you show them backing skills? You can't get out and describe how to check or adjust anything. You're forced to keep the vehicle moving. At the end of the training session, the company gets a driver ready to run solo. Meanwhile, the trainer finds that he or she did all the work, took all the risk, and has little profit to show for it.

Training under these circumstances cheats both the student as well as the trainer. At the end of 6 weeks, the student has run a lot of miles. But, have they seen every situation? Are they adequately prepared for a solo truck? In my case, I had to learn a lot on my own. I read a lot. I practiced maneuvers whenever I had the chance.

As far as 6 months of OTR miles being enough to train, it's the bare minimum. Drivers are just getting a feel for the job after 6 months. They've seen most of it, and gotten good at most of it. But, let's face it, it's the 20 year veteran who really understands the job and the truck. These people are the ones who really have the skills. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them to train all the rookies that are in the industry.
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

Cell phones are hazardous for all drivers

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

I have no cell phone to turn off or on.

At least in a truck, they make sense. But for most people, it would be better to use a land line. How many people really need to be in contact 24 hours a day? Maybe a surgeon.

Regardless, I'd never use a phone while I'm driving. People don't realize how serious driving is until they get involved in a bad accident. In a high speed situation, you need to stay focused on the task of driving. It's deadly serious. Even more so when you're at the wheel of a semi.

I see people on the phone all the time. These are the same people who have only minimal control of their vehicle. They coast instead of accelerate. They don't use signals, because they're holding the phone. Or, they simply fail to be able to manage the task of driving while engaging in conversation.

Bad move.

As far as training, I'd avoid that too. For many trainers, the motivation is extra money. But, how much extra can you make? The trainer is up in the front with the student. It's stressful for the trainer as well as the student. At the end of the student's driving, is the trainer really able to drive a full shift? I can't see how.

Many companies put students with trainers for 6 weeks. Is that enough? Personally, I wouldn't feel safe going to sleep with a 5 week student behind the wheel. I know they don't have a feel for handling any kind of emergency maneuver. You risk your life while training.

In addition, the company doesn't offer you any slack. You start out with a team load on day one. You're expected to do team miles. That means 750 or more. Where is the available time to spend with the student? How can you show them backing skills? You can't get out and describe how to check or adjust anything. You're forced to keep the vehicle moving. At the end of the training session, the company gets a driver ready to run solo. Meanwhile, the trainer finds that he or she did all the work, took all the risk, and has little profit to show for it.

Training under these circumstances cheats both the student as well as the trainer. At the end of 6 weeks, the student has run a lot of miles. But, have they seen every situation? Are they adequately prepared for a solo truck? In my case, I had to learn a lot on my own. I read a lot. I practiced maneuvers whenever I had the chance.

As far as 6 months of OTR miles being enough to train, it's the bare minimum. Drivers are just getting a feel for the job after 6 months. They've seen most of it, and gotten good at most of it. But, let's face it, it's the 20 year veteran who really understands the job and the truck. These people are the ones who really have the skills. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them to train all the rookies that are in the industry.
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#24 REBUTTAL Individual responds

trainers

AUTHOR: Leon - (U.S.A.)

I once drove for a company that all you had to do is just have 6 months experience OTR and you could be a trainer. Now i'm sorry but thats scary. A guy with 6 months experience is going to teach me why would i listen how do i know that you know better then me???. I learned to drive from a guy with 20 plus years experience. I liked what you said paul about turning cell phones off when student driving but I have a question for you paul when you drive do you turn your cell phone off???. The only reason why i say that is because my trainer did not beleive say what i do. He did not talk when he was driving. He told me if you cant do it when you are driving neither can I. Thanks for listening to me.
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#25 Consumer Suggestion

Training takes skill

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

There are rules to follow. And, you need to know how to read the signs.

First, the student isn't your friend. You don't lend them money. You don't feed them. You stop at a truck stop. They buy their food. You buy yours. You set the schedule. You tell them where you will stop, and how long you will be there. Just like the bus. It leaves on schedule. Either you're on it, or you're watching it drive away.

The lead driver is in charge. You are responsible for what's on the vehicle. You find out what is coming through the door. Beer? The only way you'd slip beer onto my truck is by putting the cans up your a*s.

Suspect drugs. Suspect alcohol problems.

Cell phone? Cell phones stay off while the student is at the wheel. Driving time is work time. Nobody is paying the student to chat on the phone. If you can't, or won't turn the phone off and leave it off, then find another trainer.

Accidents? Trainer, I blame you. On day one, you explain how this works. I, the trainer, tell you, the student, how to drive the truck. I expect you to follow my instructions without argument, every time.

And, last, you need to learn to read the signs. Driver, tell me how to spot black ice. What do you look for?

Now, driver, tell me how to spot someone who won't work out in this job. What do you look for?

A student who can't drive more than 5 hours? Medical condition and needs to stay in the bathroom? Constant complaining?

Read the signs, driver! These people aren't going to work out. Leave them at the terminal.

Next time, spend an hour with your potential student. Explain the job. I expect you to drive for 11 hours each day by the time you're finished training. In the beginning, you will start with fewer hours. You fuel on every fuel stop if you're awake. You clean the windshield. You gauge the tires. You do all pretrips when you're up. You do every trailer change. Dolly down and up. Air lines. Pre-trip the trailer. You do all load locks. You do all scales. Slide every tandem. You review every Qualcomm message and answer when you're awake. You handle all shippers and receivers. I stand back and watch you. If you need help, I explain how to do the task. Then, you do it. Understand? Good! We'll start with inspecting the slacks. There are 10 brakes, and 10 slack adjusters. It's your job to inspect each of them and tell me how much slack you find. Check the air lines for cracks or wear while you're under there.

Move the truck to a clean, level spot in the parking lot. Give them a dirty towel to lay on the ground so their clothes stay clean. They should have gloves of their own.

I can tell you just by watching them check brakes whether they have a chance of working out or not. This one essential job is enough to sort the winners from the lazy loser wanna-bes.

Training is hard. You may be a million-miler with no preventables. But, if you can't teach, you're no better off than a rookie. And, if you can't maintain control of a student, you're no better off than the driver who covers his eyes with his hands when the trailer starts to jack-knife.

Training is no different than coming down grapevine or cabbage at maximum gross on a snowy road. Driver, if you don't have what it takes, then stay the hell out and leave the training to those who do. People's lives are at stake every time your truck moves. An innocent woman and her child in the Toyota next to you don't deserve to suffer just because you and your student have a difference of opinion.

Learn the rules. Follow them. Make drivers, not friends. Remember the Smith System? Look far ahead? See the big picture? When you're training, this applies to the student as well as the road.
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#26 REBUTTAL Individual responds

I'll take one of you trainers

AUTHOR: Leon - (U.S.A.)

well i just read some of the stories from some of you trainers out there and i must say you guys sound alot better them some of the other ones i had with a different company i would have one of you guys be my trainers then some of these other jokers out there. Atleast you are willing to help the student. So if any of you are still out there try and get ahold of me i am looking at driving for werner i did drive solo for 3 months for a different company. but, have to start over i would rather be with a good trainer then be with one that treats his students like slaves well best of luck to you all. i simpathize with you guys.
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#27 REBUTTAL Individual responds

trainer, why? ..ill tell you why they promise you the bucks

AUTHOR: Bill - (U.S.A.)

its not worth it ladies and gentlemen. all it takes is one bad apple to get you in trouble.

but remember there are many bad trainers out there. you arent all innocent. the bad ones do need to go.

i am not against the trainer plight. just dont accept the position. its not worth the extra money. you are taking your life in to your hands with some of these students. trucking companies will not hire you if you have had to many mistakes on your record but will hire a driver with little or no experience fresh out of school. just when you think you can trust them so you can go to sleep theyll roll the truck over. thats what happened to me ladies and gentlemen. i still cant work because the accident was charged to me as the trainer of the truck. not by law mind you but by the company. and beleive me what i say about dac services, the so called fair credit reporting service. dont believe it. trucking companies can say anything they want on a dac report.
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#28 UPDATE EX-employee responds

another screwed trainer

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

I became a trainer for werner in march of 2002. Drove for them 6 wks. and got stupid and became a trainer. the first student was a male from tennessee and trained aprx. 4 weeks, then he took his pto. then dispatch gave me another student. i went to pick her up at the hotel in omaha and found my student to be a 50 some year old ex New York city bus drvr.

the first day went smooth but within the first week she refused to drive. she also bad mouthed the company nonstop. cell phone never stopped and when it did all she could do is complain. i was headed for hometime after the first week with her, when i got home werner didnt have that hotel card thing figured out so i took the student home so i could call dispatch. we fed her a large chicken dinner that my wife made and tried to make her feel welcome.

after hometime we left for portland, or and she said that my wife was a "b***h" well i let that go and we went on about the training. while taking a trip through south dakota we had a load that picked up in the middle of a open feild, nobody around for 50 miles and this lady refused to back the trlr to the dock of this warehouse then sat around pouting because i got upset.

when we left there she refused to drive so i drove. going over a mtn pass between S.d. and WY. she was complainin that everything i told her was a lie. on that pass i told her that the farther we go up this hill the more ice we were driving on and she didnt believe her trainer. so i found a level spot and stopped and told her to jump down out of the truck and she did and slipped onto her rump then got back in and said i guess you are right.headed back for portland drop yard we did those famous report cards, when she saw the marks i gave she threw a fit.

i tried to explain why but the fit kept going, so i called training and asked to drop her at the portland, or term. as i dropped her off the last thing she said to me was "I WILL GET EVEN WITH YOU FOR THIS" needless to say she did, she called training and cried harrassment. about 3 days after dropping the student i was detained in omaha for what was the most sexually biased panel of people to decide my fate as an emplyee.

No late loads, No accidents, No tickets and because the student alleged harrassment i was terminated. not to mention that the panel of women that quizzed me of this incedent proceeded to slander my abilities as a drvr by saying that because i couldnt remember what we had talked about over dinner on the third night the student was on the truck that my mental capacity wasnt sufficient to drive a commercial vehicle.

some of the days the student claimed that harrassment had taken place i was on my home time doing to honey do list. i didnt even have a desire to do much that wasnt within 50 feet of my house. so this goes to show all the screwed trainers out there that you arent alone and im sure there are hundereds more like us. so if somebody files a suit against weener im there for ya.
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#29 UPDATE EX-employee responds

driver trainer betrayed

AUTHOR: eric - ()

I WAS A DRIVER TRAINER I HAD A GOOD RECORD WITH
THE COMPANY, AND A GOOD RECORD AS A TRAINER.I HAD
A TRAINEE THAT ONLY WANTED TO BE TRAINED HER WAY.
IT WAS A STRUGGLE TO THEACH THESE STUDENT AND I MADE A COMPLAINT TO THE TRAINING DEPT.

AS TO THE PROBLEM THAT I WAS HAVE,THEY TOLD ME TO WORK IT OUT WITH THE TRAINEE,OR TELL THE TRAINEE TO CALL IN TO THE TRAINING DEPT.THIS DIDNT WORK.

THE TRAINEE PROMISSED TO DO BETTER,BUT DIDNT.AFTER 3 WEEKS THE TAINEE CAUSE ME TO MISS A LOAD,BECAUSE SHE WENT TO WASH HER COTHES (AFTER WASHING THEM 2 DAY BEFOR)WITHOUT TELL ME,AND KNOWING THAT WE WHERE ASSIGHNED A LOAD.

I MADE A REPORT AN ASK THAT THE TRAINEE BE TAKEN OFF THE TRUCK.1 WEEK LATER HIRED FOR ELEDGED SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

THIS WAS A LIE.BUT IT WAS EASYER TO HIRE ME THAN. GET THE TURTH.
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#30 UPDATE EX-employee responds

would like to join him with his lawsuit

AUTHOR: Joseph - ()

werner did me in a bad way with a student. i was training a guy who claimed i let him drive my truck w/o permission and claimed i kicked him off my truck when the night before i took him to see his wife he had a lot-lizard on the truck and werner believed him and suspended my trainer status. the trainee caused more problems for me than i ever imagined. There is strength in numbers so let your interest made known via rebuttal to this report. thanxs
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