Blog

a truck backed up to a loading dock t20 aaKN36 | WDS Enterprises

Everything You Need to Know About Hauling Refrigerated Goods

Hauling refrigerated freight isn’t always as simple as picking up a load and dropping it off at its destination. In fact, there are a variety of challenges and roadblocks drivers may encounter or need to consider when hauling “reefer” freight. Hauling refrigerated goods can be quite challenging and are recommended for more experienced truck drivers, and often common in regional truck driving opportunities.

The following information are tips for reefer truck drivers to use when they’re out on the road to improve their safety and efficiency and create as little challenges as possible on your route.

chantal cadorette Wty4xhfejaw unsplash | WDS Enterprises

Tips for Refrigerated Goods Truck Drivers

Delivering refrigerated freight can have its challenges, but truck drivers that have agreed to deliver this kind of freight can set themselves up for success by following these simple tips:

1. Plan your routes ahead of time.

Long-distance shipments can be difficult when hauling refrigerated freight. Reefer truck drivers should always avoid going off route and plan trips ahead of time to make sure they are on time for deliveries.

It’s also important to remember that longer trips lead to a higher chance of freight spoiling, thus why refrigerated good hauls are kept regionally for the most part, but there is a chance that you could have to deliver these refrigerated hauls OTR.

2. Monitor your trailer’s temperature.

Companies shipping perishable goods for public consumption are required to maintain specific temperature conditions for cold consumable goods. Check your trailer’s temperature throughout your trip to make sure it stays at the right temperature.

It is a good idea to look at your trailer temperature every couple of hours. Drivers should try to make it a habit to check the temperature every time they take a break or get out of their truck.

3. Monitor weather conditions in your route.

Although refrigerated trailers are designed to maintain the internal temperature of their trailer, it’s important to remember that the temperature and weather outside the trailer can still impact the internal temperature. Truck drivers may need to adjust their refrigerated trailer temperature slightly to compensate for different weather conditions.

If the weather is extremely hot, truck drivers may want to consider turning their trailer temperature down a bit lower to compensate for the impact the heat on the exterior of the refrigerated trailer. On the opposite spectrum, truck drivers may need to increase the interior temperature of their refrigerated trailer if the outside temperature is extremely cold or below zero.

4. Always make sure your trailer’s temperate is set properly.

There is nothing worse than arriving for a delivery and realizing that your reefer trailer was not turned on or was set to the wrong temperature.

Always make sure to double check that your trailer is turned on and set at the proper temperature for the freight you are hauling during your pre-trip inspection.

5. Clean your trailer after every delivery.

Some refrigerated truck deliveries may include products like meat that can leave behind hazardous bacteria if not cleaned up properly. You can avoid contaminating your next load by sweeping and disinfecting your refrigerated semi-trailer after every delivery. Be sure to clean up any spills or wet spots and watch out for anything that may have been left behind (e.g. debris, nails, screws, wood pieces).

6. Follow standard loading guidelines for proper airflow.

Always make sure that the refrigerated freight has been safely packed in a way that allows for proper air flow throughout the trailer. This usually means leaving enough space on either side of the freight to ensure that air can travel between products and evenly distribute throughout the trailer. If you don’t leave enough space between trailer walls or between products, the temperature of your freight may not stay consistent, causing spoiling.

7. Ensure your gas tank is full before picking up your load.

Refrigerated trailers need to keep running to maintain the proper temperature. It’s important to keep in mind that every extra stop you make can impact the temperature of your trailer and the freight inside of it. Running low on gas can cause your trailer to lose power, affecting the temperature of your load. So, be sure to fuel up before you pick up your load to avoid stops and ensure you have enough fuel to get to your destination.

Are you interested in hauling refrigerated goods? WDS Enterprises can help get you a truck driving job in Michigan. Consider joining our team today! Find out how, call our recruiter now at 989-828-4900 or apply here. Your future in truck driving could start now!

Read more
8V5A1353 | WDS Enterprises

WDS Enterprises Exclusive Tips for Safety

How to Be Safe for Your Entire Trip

WDS Enterprises encourages all of our truck drivers to prioritize safety, because to us that means that we’ve hired a successful truck driver that diligently plays by the rules. The following safety and defensive driving tips provided by our company, is for truck drivers of any experience level. Below are the safety categories we touch on throughout this article.

  • Pre-Trip – before you hit the road.
  • On the road – while you drive.
  • Destination – once you arrive.
  • Post-trip – before you call it a day.
WDS Enterprises Exclusive Tips for Safety Blog Post

Pre-trip: 5 safety tips before you hit the road

“How can I be a safe truck driver?” It all starts before you even get in the driver’s seat!

1. Take care of yourself.

The most important asset in the truck is you, so do all you can to become a healthy truck driver by eating, exercising, and sleeping well.

2. Plan your route with care.

Make sure you stay up to date on weather, road conditions, traffic patterns, construction, low bridges, and regulations that vary by state. These are just a few of the many important trip planning tips truck drivers should consider before they hit the road.

3. Adjust for bad weather.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), inclement weather is responsible for roughly 21 percent of all vehicle crashes. WDS Enterprises the most accurate weather resources for our truck drivers possible, to avoid these happenings.

4. Get comfortable.

Adjust the steering wheel, seat height and back rest to stay comfortable during long driving periods and get your in-truck device’s turn-by-turn navigation ready before you turn the key. Then plan to take breaks every few hours, parking in parking lots (not on the shoulder) and getting out to walk around.

5. Hang up.

Put down the phone. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and WDS Enterprises restrict mobile phone use while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

On the road: 12 safety tips for while you drive

How many trucking accidents happen a year? According to the most recent year’s FMCSA data, large trucks were involved in almost 500,000 crashes. However, you can avoid trouble on the road by practicing safe and alert driving.

6. Use three points of contact.

When getting in or out of your truck, always maintain three points of contact. Slips, trips, and falls are a common cause of injury, so don’t risk it by rushing. Set food, beverages, paperwork or other items on your seat or floor so both hands are free to maintain a firm grip.

7. Wear your seatbelt.

It’s the law, and more importantly, it’s the right thing to do. Buckle up every time for your safety. According to the CDC, you are 30 times more likely to be ejected in a crash without your seatbelt.

8. Watch your blind spots.

Know the “no-zone” blind spots, and exercise caution before turning or changing lanes to maintain a safe distance. First decide if a lane change is necessary or if adjusting speed is safer. Be sure mirrors are set, and use “Take 10” for lane changes (turn on signal for three seconds while checking mirrors, take seven seconds to make lane change).

9. Stay alert in work zones and school zones.

Roughly one-third of all fatal work-zone accidents involve large trucks. Take your time and follow these 10 tips for driving safely in construction zones.

10. Reduce speed on curves.

For large trucks, the posted speed limit may still be too fast, particularly on exit/entrance ramps. Slow down at least 5-10 mph below the posted speed to avoid the risk of tipping given your vehicle’s center of gravity.

11. Stay in your lane.

Keep both hands on the wheel so you can prevent wind from pulling your tractor-trailer to one side or the other. Also, if an animal runs into your lane, slow down safely, but maintain your lane. Don’t swerve to miss animals.

12. Scan ahead 15 seconds.

Always watch drivers around you to leave plenty of room for their unpredictable actions. Remember, you are the professional truck driver. Focus on what you can control.

  • In the city, scan at least a block ahead.
  • On the highway, scan at least a quarter mile ahead (about four football fields).

13. Maintain distance.

Keep a safe distance of seven to eight seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you, since large trucks require more stopping and following distance. In bad weather, increase that to as much as 14 seconds.

14. Check mirrors often.

How often should truck drivers check their mirrors? Every 8-10 seconds is a good rule of thumb to be aware of vehicles entering your blind spots. Be always aware. Maintain a good scan pattern looking at your west coast mirrors, hood mirrors, the road ahead and gauges.

15. Tell others your plan by using your lights to make sure you’re visible.

Turn your headlights on half an hour before dusk and leave them on until half an hour after sunrise. Use turn signals well in advance of a turn and leave them on until the turn is completed.

16. Stay focused on driving.

It only takes a second for an accident to occur, but it takes much longer for a fully loaded semi-truck to stop. So, truck drivers should stay alert when driving long distances and always give the road their full attention.

Maximize your reaction time and stay focused on the road by following these tips:

  • Never use the phone while driving.
  • Turn off the radio in heavy traffic, bad weather or poor conditions.
  • Limit distractions while driving by setting your GPS and eating before you start your engine.
  • Practice good sleeping habits and try to get seven or more hours of rest each night.

17. Be aware of your trailer 24/7.

Be aware of more than just your truck. Your overall tractor-trailer is about 70 feet long, so you must be aware of the trailer track when making turns and making lane changes. Use the “Take 10” technique from tip No. 8 above, and make sure there aren’t any objects on your passenger seat obstructing your view.

18. Pay attention to signs and directions.

When you take the exit to the truck stop, look at the signs and make sure you know how to get back to the highway. Your pre-trip should have included a review of turns to make. If you do miss a turn:

  • Try not to panic. Don’t make a U-turn to recover and don’t back across a roadway.
  • Find a safe place off the roadway (not on the shoulder) to get your bearings. You may need to go around the block or to the next exit.
  • If you’re stuck at a dead-end, call the police for help in backing out. They’d rather help you than deal with an accident.

Destination: 4 safety tips once you arrive

Don’t let your guard down just because you’re pulling into a truck stop or customer yard. Being a safe driver means always staying alert.

19. Follow the path.

The truck that just pulled out may have left a perfect path to back into. Aim your tire for that path as you back into a spot. Of course, if you’re not sure, G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Look).

20. Inspect the destination.

Park somewhere safe, then get out and inspect the area in which you’ll be parking, unloading, or coupling up to a new trailer. Stay in well-lit areas if you’re at a truck stop.

21. Look back at your truck after parking.

Avoid being “that truck” with headlights, flashing lights and blinkers left on in the parking lot.

22. Unload freight wisely.

If you are involved in unloading, you may be tired after a long drive, but don’t cut corners. Before opening trailer doors, consider that freight may be resting against the door. Then:

  • Slowly loose the lock bars on the right-hand door, keeping your body adjacent to the left door.
  • As the door starts to open, peek in the crack to see if there’s freight against the door.
  • Once cleared, use both hands to swing the door to avoid wind catching it.
  • Secure the door firmly with the tie-back cable or chain.
  • If lifting freight, bend your hips and knees to squat down, then straighten your legs.
  • Before pulling away from a dock, make sure no workers or forklifts are still in the trailer.

Post-trip: 3 safety tips before you call it a day

A safe, satisfying day is almost in the books, but don’t stop just yet. End the day on a high note, and sleep sound knowing you were a safe truck driver by following these final safety tips.

23. Inspect your truck.

Always perform a thorough post-trip inspection. You don’t want to discover a flat tire with a nail in it, a fluid leak or a burnt-out trailer light later when you get ready to roll again. Make sure you record and report any defects.

24. Ask for help.

It’s never too early or late in your career to ask for help if you’re unsure of a process. Seasoned drivers have a wealth of knowledge they can and typically will share.

25. Lock your doors.

Before you move to your sleeper berth for some off-duty time or sleep, make sure you close your windows and lock your doors for your safety.

We all have a responsibility to operate safely, and nothing we do is worth harming ourselves or others. Put these defensive driving and safety tips for truck drivers into practice on your next load at WDS Enterprises.

Read more
8V5A1474 | WDS Enterprises

Our Advice on Weigh Station Inspections

WEIGH STATION RULES & ADVICE

All truck drivers will have to stop at a weigh station along the interstate at one time or another. It will feel like an inconvenience, as it takes time away from the driver’s actual drive time; however, weigh stations provide an essential service.

Weigh stations are designed to keep everyone on the road, including the truck driver, safe. If you understand the why and what of the weigh station, it will make your stop at one as swift and painless as possible. Doing what you can to be prepared for the weigh station you’ll inevitably encounter on your route will help you avoid turning a minor inconvenience into a major headache. With that in mind, here are some things to be aware of about weigh stations.

Our Advice on Weigh Station Inspections | WDS Enterprises

Why Weigh Stations?

Most states require that any commercial vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds stop at a weigh station along the interstate. According to federal law, a loaded truck cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Exceptions are sometimes made, but these are only made if the cargo cannot be broken down or separated. It’s important to remember that these exceptions expire upon the delivery of the load and cannot be rolled over onto another load.

The weight limits have been adopted for a good reason, and they have not been put into place just to make life miserable for truck drivers.

Trucks that are overloaded pose severe risks on our highways, both to the driver and other motorists. Even under perfect conditions, a truck weighing over 80,000 pounds can be challenging to control. If conditions become unfavorable, heavy rain, snow, dense traffic, vehicle control becomes even more difficult.

Overloading a truck puts undue pressure on the tires, which may increase the probability of a blowout. A blowout on a highway while traveling even at the posted speed limits can cause significant traffic, bodily injury to the driver and other motorists, and even death. 

Overloaded trucks are also more prone to rollovers, causing traffic hassles for those sharing the highway, severe delays for the truck driver, maybe even loss of load and loss of life.

Stopping distance also increases when a truck is overloaded. This adds to the higher likelihood of collisions with other drivers.

So, making sure your load is meeting but not exceeding the legal weight is imperative for drivers. Stopping at a weigh station is one way of ensuring that you’re not overloaded and that you’re not posing unnecessary dangers to yourself or those you are sharing the road with. But, there is more to a weigh station than its name lets on.

What Happens at a Weigh Station?

Obviously, the primary purpose of the weigh station is to ensure that a truck is not overloaded and thus a danger to the driver and other motorists. Trucks may be assessed by axle, or the entire vehicle may be measured. 

Some weigh stations have rolling scales, which allow the truck to remain in motion while being weighed, which can cut down on time spent at the weigh station and get the driver back on his route quickly. Other stations will require the truck to be completely stopped when being weighed.

If the truck is determined to be overloaded, the vehicle may be held at the weigh station until arrangements can be made for another truck to take the excess.

So, weighing the vehicle is the primary goal of the weigh station; however, there is more.

More Weigh Station Information

Some other checks and regulations might occur when you pull into a weigh station. For example, officials may take the time to check your ELD (electronic logging device) to ensure that you comply with the hours-of-service regulations.

Weigh station officials could also run a full inspection on the vehicle. They can check your truck’s equipment to make sure that everything is in safe working condition. Here are a few things that a weigh station official usually check:

  • Brakes
  • Fuel tank
  • Kingpin
  • Rims/wheels
  • Springs
  • Tires
  • Tubing/Hoses

An official may also check to make sure the truck isn’t leaking any fluids, such as antifreeze, oil, or fuel. A truck that fails inspection at a weigh station may be taken off the road until the driver has satisfactorily remedied the issue. 

To make the stop at a weigh station as easy as possible, here are a few tips on what to have ready beforehand.

Weigh Station Procedures.

When traveling along the interstate, drivers should keep their eyes peeled for signs indicating a weigh station is up ahead. The signs will tell you where the weigh station is and if it is open or closed. If a weigh station is closed, the driver is not required to stop. If the weigh station is open, the signs will indicate the speed limit you need to observe when pulling in. That speed limit is not a suggestion; that is the law.

If there are other trucks at the weigh station, fall in line with them and wait your turn. From there, it’s simple, follow all signs and obey all instructions and directions given to you by weigh station officials. For the sake of other drivers, please follow the posted speed limit as you drive over the scale. And follow all instructions that relate to stopping or slowing down as you approach the scale. If you choose not to comply, you’re making a very bad decision, and you’ll cause undue delays and seriously inconvenience all other drivers at the weigh station.

The next thing to happen is your truck will be weighed, and you may have your equipment, or your ELD checked. If you’re inspected and have problems with the truck or your ELD, a more detailed inspection can occur. This can lead to significant delays.

To ensure that you’re keeping your log accurate, personnel at the weigh station may enter your DOT number into a computer and execute a check on your safety rating.

If everything is in order and your equipment is in good shape, the entire event shouldn’t take very long at all.

Making the Process Smooth

If you know a weigh station is in your future, the best way to be prepared and make the entire process move quickly and smoothly is to perform a check before you hit the open road. Yes, while it’s true that problems can occur when you’re on the road, it’s always wise to make sure things are in order before you leave.

Make sure your load is not over the limit; all your logs are in order before you set out; this can ensure that you avoid delays down the road.

Here’s another tip; be polite. Take a breath, stay calm and always be polite to weigh station personnel. They are just doing their job, and what they do may save your life or the lives of other motorists. Be courteous and professional.

So, what happens if the load is overweight?

Fines.

If the truck is overloaded, there could be harsh fines attached to the driver. The penalties will vary depending on the state. The fines can range from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000 per offense. In most states, repeat offenders can expect to be charged double, even triple the amount of a standard fine.

Fines vary by state; in Rhode Island, they charge $125 per pound over the legal limit. This can lead to a single fine of $57,000. It’s true. This happened in Warwick, RI; a truck was stopped by the side of the highway because its load, a 560,000-pound generator, was seven times higher than the legal weight allowed by state law without a special permit.

Minnesota charges $100 for any truck that is 1,000 to 1,999 pounds overweight, plus a $75 surcharge. Louisiana charges 1 cent per pound over the legal limit within the 1,000 to 1,999 weight limit. In Utah, it breaks down like this:

Weight Fine

1-2000 lbs No fine

2,001 – 5,000 $.04 per pound over

5,001 – 8,000 $.05 per pound over

8,001 – 12,000 $.06 per pound over

12,001 – 16,000 $.07 per pound over

16,001 – 20,000 $.09 per pound over

20,001 – 25,000 $.11 per pound over

25,001 or more $.13 per pound over

Here is a list of overload fines by state.

Who Pays?

As far as who pays the overload fines, a driver is always responsible for any driving violations unless there is a contract in place that clearly states the company will cover all fines.

What If You Don’t Stop?

The law clearly states that anyone driving a commercial vehicle must stop at an open weigh station they come upon. Again, if the weigh station is not open, there is no longer a need to stop.

The penalties for not stopping at a weigh station vary state by state. In some states, you may risk losing your CDL; in others, you could be facing jail time.

Weigh stations are equipped with cameras and catch pictures of trucks that pass by without stopping. Eventually, that information finds its way to law enforcement officials and, if the truck is tracked down, a driver can face a fine of up to $300 in most states.

If you do skip the weigh station, you run the risk of being pulled over by law enforcement. They could direct you to return to the missed weigh station.

Once you’ve returned to the weigh station, the officer could perform a level 1 inspection. A level 1 inspection, or the North American Standard Inspection, is the most thorough DOT inspection. It’s a detailed inspection of both the truck and the truck driver. The inspector will examine your seat belt, tail lamps, steering wheel, exhaust system, and everything required for driving safely. This is a time-consuming process that is easily avoided by not skipping the weigh station.

It’s also important to note that more fines can be added to what the driver is already being fined for with this type of inspection. The more violations found during a level 1 inspection could drag down scores in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration programs used to rate drivers’ safety and how often they are inspected.

The most straightforward answer: don’t skip the weigh station.

Virtual Weigh Stations

Yes, with everything else being virtual nowadays, there are virtual weigh stations. These types of weigh stations use a weigh-in-motion system. This system provides information on vehicle records and weight without stopping the truck and interrupting traffic flow.

A virtual weigh station will provide real-time weighing of a commercial vehicle by determining the vehicle’s gross weight based on the number of axles, their weight, and spacing.

Conclusion

Weigh Stations provide a valuable service as far as highway safety goes, even if it’s not the most enjoyable process. If you’re prepared and your vehicle is in top-notch condition, then stopping at a weigh station should be an uneventful process. If you worry that your truck is not in the best shape, maybe you need to drive with a company that prides themselves on Maintenance and New Technology Standards such as WDS Enterprises.

Read more
SLIDE1 | WDS Enterprises

Regional Trucking Jobs vs. Over The Road Truck Driving Jobs

Regional vs. Over The Road Truck Driving Jobs
WDS Enterprises Gravel Train Trucks

Learn the difference between our Regional & Over The Road truck driving opportunities and the truck driving job descriptions that are crucial to choosing the right truck driving job for you.

Regional Truck Driving Jobs

Description:

Regional truck driving jobs mean that you will never be out on the road for more than 5-6 days at a time, making for an average work week comparable to any other job that isn’t truck driving. To accomplish truck driving deliveries on time, this limits your areas of travel to the surrounding states you reside in. Regional truck driving jobs can estimate being on the road for 600-700 miles per week on average. At WDS Enterprises, since we are based in Shepherd, Michigan our regional truck driving division covers the Great Lakes area. You can expect to travel outside of Michigan weekly to states such as Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. All of the haul types in regional truck driving jobs vary but can mean you will be driving a fuel tanker or delivering dry or refrigerated goods to your surrounding states.

Time on Road:

The average time on the road for a regional truck driving job is 5-6 days per week. This can vary upon weather conditions and experience.

Typical Pay:

Regional truck driving jobs start out at a minimum of $52,282 per year, not including WDS Benefits and pay rate. This is the average estimated salary for the state of Michigan provided by Zippia.

Benefits:

Our benefits provided by WDS Enterprises are provided to each and every truck driver we have on staff. It is important to us that our truck drivers are compensated for their hard work and efforts.

  • Up to $.60 cpm PLUS benefits
  • (Benefits equaling around an additional $.07cpm)
  • Weekly Pay w/ direct deposit
  • Home Weekly, out five to six days per week.
  • Veteran Owned
  • Same pay for Empty and Loaded Practical Miles
  • Detention Pay after 2 hours
  • Quarterly Safety Bonus
  • Driver Referral Program
  • WDS also has a Pet and Rider Policy
  • Benefits include: Medical, Dental, Vision, Matching 401K, Paid time off, Aflac, Life insurance, on the job training
  • Must have a CDL-A/no endorsements needed
  • Training available, if needed along with a tuition reimbursement program!

Over The Road Truck Driving Jobs

Description:

Over The Road Truck Driving Jobs are much like regional jobs in a way but entail that you must travel to the lower 48 states. The average time spent on the road is anywhere from 10-14 days at a time, so it’s not ideal for the homebody or the individual who needs to be close to their family or home. Over The Road truck driving jobs are the best paying jobs in the truck driving industry because of the long miles and haul types put on truck drivers. Unlike regional truck driving jobs, Over The Road truck driving jobs can be done solo or as a team with your chosen partner or another truck driver from our staff at WDS Enterprises. Typically, Over The Road truck driving is for a more experienced truck driver that has been driving regional routes for quite some time, but if a newer truck driver would like the opportunity to be out on the open road and perform these long hauls of over 1000 miles per trip, WDS Enterprises welcomes any truck driver who would like the opportunity to become a regular Over The Road truck driver.

Time on Road:

The average time on the road is 10-14 days at a time. Traveling all over the country to deliver goods can’t be done overnight, but WDS Enterprises compensates for meals and lodging if possible, for your comfort. We also provide state of the art trucks that have new technology as well as sleeper cabs for easy resting on the go.

Typical Pay:

The starting pay for Over The Road truck driving jobs is $61,729 per year in the state of Michigan. This does not reflect our pay for inexperienced and experienced drivers at WDS Enterprises, since our wage and benefits start out higher that the state average. This number has been provided by Zippia.

Benefits:

Our benefits provided by WDS Enterprises are provided to each and every truck driver we have on staff. It is important to us that our truck drivers are compensated for their hard work and efforts.

  • Up to $.52 cpm PLUS benefits
  • (Benefits equaling around an additional $.07cpm)
  • Weekly Pay w/ direct deposit
  • Veteran Owned
  • East Coast Premium Pay
  • Same pay for Empty and Loaded Practical Miles
  • Detention Pay after 2 hours
  • Quarterly Safety Bonus
  • Driver Referral Program
  • WDS also has a Pet and Rider Policy
  • Benefits include: Medical, Dental, Vision, Matching 401K, Paid time off, Aflac, Life insurance, on the job training
  • Must have a CDL-A/no endorsements needed
  • Training available, if needed along with a tuition reimbursement program!

Other Truck Driving Jobs & Truck Driving Career Opportunities

At WDS Enterprises, we have a place for every CDL carrying truck driver as well as office administrators and truck mechanics in the quaint town of Shepherd, Michigan. We provide local gravel train and farm haul truck driving jobs as well as office staff and shop/maintenance jobs. Become part of our team today and give us a call at 989-828-4900

Read more
8V5A1442 | WDS Enterprises

Why Become a Truck Driver in 2021

The Benefits of Becoming a Truck Driver in 2021

WDS Enterprises Michigan Truck Driving Jobs

WDS Enterprises shares the top reasons why you should start your truck driving career in 2021. Truck driving is in extreme demand all over the country, as customers need goods delivered to them no matter what their business is. To us, truck drivers make a huge difference in everyone’s lives, especially in the times of COVID-19 as supplies have become harder to obtain. Truck driving isn’t for everyone, but WDS Enterprises wants to educate newcomers on what kind of benefits they can have starting a truck driving career of their own. There are many different types of driving opportunities, freight types, and locations that provide flexibility and options for new truck drivers in Michigan, and experienced truck drivers alike. Our goal at WDS Enterprises is to provide a tight-knit family environment amongst our drivers and staff, so they can always feel at home and comfortable regardless of where they’re at on the road. Are you ready to start your truck driving career? Below are some of the benefits of becoming a truck driver according to experienced truck drivers around the country.

Fast Training

The first step to becoming a truck driver in Michigan is to obtain a CDL. There are some precursors and requirements for this, such as getting a CDL permit so you can enroll in truck driving school and practice driving these larger vehicles. You must have a clean driving record as well as be the right age. For Regional and OTR truck driving jobs, you will need to be over the age of 21 to get a CDL. If you are 18, you can still get a CDL but will not be able to cross state lines, but you will be able to drive with WDS Enterprises in our Local Gravel Train & Farm Haul Division. Training to get a CDL only takes 7 weeks on average with an additional 2-3 weeks for company skill exams, physical exam, and tax information shared with our company like any other job. You can be on the road in less than 10 weeks’ time!

Freedom

If you’re tired of your regular 9-5 job, tired of staying in one spot, and tired of subpar pay, truck driving is for you. You have the freedom to travel, take breaks whenever you’d like, and practically get paid to see the country. Truck drivers would describe that there’s nothing like being on the open road. Traveling must be a passion of yours, or it will become one very shortly after having decided to become a truck driver. The freedom that truck driving provides to our drivers is unmatched, plus travel is always exciting!

Flexibility

WDS Enterprises provides positions to truck drivers that give them the option to stay local so that they can come home every night, regional truck driving jobs that require you to be on the road for 5-6 days at a time so you can be home on weekends, or Over-The-Road truck driving jobs that require being on the road for almost 2 weeks at a time. Regardless of what kind of truck driving job you choose, you remain flexible as the driver and are in total control of how long you want to be out on the road for.

Company Benefits

WDS Enterprises wants our drivers to know that they are doing a good job and worthy of great benefits, so we provide competitive benefits to make your life as a truck driver easy. Below are some of the benefits we provide to all our truck drivers:

  • Weekly Pay w/ direct deposit
  • Veteran Owned
  • East Coast Premium Pay
  • Same pay for Empty and Loaded Practical Miles
  • Detention Pay after 2 hours
  • Quarterly Safety Bonus
  • Driver Referral Program
  • WDS also has a Pet and Rider Policy
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, Matching 401K, Paid time off, Aflac, and Life insurance
  • On the job training
  • Must have a CDL-A/no endorsements needed
  • Training available, if needed along with a tuition reimbursement program!

Compensation

Compensation in your first year various on the haul types and location of your driving jobs, but you can expect to make anywhere from $45,000-$99,000 in your first year truck driving. Of course, there is always room to make more pay in various ways such as our quarterly safety bonuses we provide to our truck drivers and Paid CDL training if you qualify. You are guaranteed to get paid weekly via direct deposit, and your paycheck is almost always the same because of the demand of truck drivers.

Conclusion

Truck driving for WDS Enterprises has many benefits, and we are more than happy to kickstart your truck driving career with our helpful staff and advice on this blog. Browse our jobs to learn more about our positions available and apply online or call our recruiter at 989-828-4900.

Read more
8V5A1415 | WDS Enterprises

Freight Types and Driving Opportunities

What Kind of Freight Types Are There? And What Kind of Driving Opportunities Will I Have?

WDS Enterprises Michigan Truck Driving Jobs

As a truck driver, it is important to know the kinds of freight types that are available and all of the details such as average compensation and difficulty level, in this blog WDS Enterprises highlights the types of freights and driving opportunities that come with truck driving job and where they are most commonly used. This article is specifically to learn more about how our company operates and the types of freights we offer in our positions across the country. Our goal is to specify how these freight types will come into play for each location of your truck driving job so that you can be prepared with the knowledge of what’s to come.

Common Freight Types

Van Truckload

Dry Van Truckload drivers haul a huge variety of goods in standard 53-foot dry van trailers, delivering to a wide variety of customers throughout the U.S. Van Truckloads are commonly used for Regional and OTR truck driving jobs. This is not a difficult freight type and most of the time dry van truckloads are used to train new truck drivers that have chosen to expand outside of local truck driving jobs. You will almost never have to help unload these types of freights, as the customer will take care of this for you.

Dedicated

Dedicated truck drivers haul freight for one primary customer only. Because you’ll be dedicated to delivering their freight, you’ll get to know their people, their schedules, and their routes. This will give you a sense of familiarity, and predictability of schedule. These are typically dry van truckloads, flatbeds, and home deliveries depending on who the customer is. The difficulty level depends on the type of haul this is and is recommended for intermediate to expert level truck drivers.

Intermodal

Intermodal means using two or more different modes of transportation in transporting goods. At Schneider that involves drivers bringing freight containers secured to a chassis to a rail yard, where they’re lifted on a train and shipped long distance by rail, then picked up at the destination rail yard by another driver, who then transports it to the final customer. These are commonly local and regional type hauls and are done solo. For the driver learning how to perform these types of hauls it is also common for a more experienced driver to accompany the first couple hauls like this.

Tanker

Tanker truck drivers deliver liquid bulk such as water, or dry bulk like sand loads, typically in steel tank trailers with hands-on loading and unloading processes with pumps and hoses. The trailer can be designed to haul chemicals and corrosives, or contain multiple compartments, or control product temperature. Tanker hauls compensate the greatest aside from Over-The-Road hauls because of the difficulty level and is recommended for expert level truck drivers.

Common Driving Opportunities

Solo

Solo means exactly that and is the most common type of driving opportunity. You’ll be by yourself in the driver’s seat delivering these hauls. Solo truck driving is mostly for local and regional truck driving jobs, but you will also see solo truck drivers making Over-The-Road missions by themselves as well. Driving solo is completely optional in OTR jobs, but for local and regional truck driving jobs you won’t feel the need to have a driving partner by your side.

Team

Team driving is when two experienced truck drivers take turns driving the same truck, the top benefit of driving as a team vs. solo is that you’ll be less lonely, and also be able to cover more miles than you would on your own. This other team driver can be someone from WDS Enterprises, or a friend, or loved one who has all of the same certifications that you will be required to have to drive these trucks. This is mostly for OTR haul types, and team driving is common for dry van truckloads that are covering a large number of miles. Team drivers can expect to drive anywhere from 1000-5000 miles on each trip. The compensation for team drivers is almost double what a solo driver would make, from cost per mileage to actual hourly pay.

Read more
8V5A1350 1 | WDS Enterprises

Pros and Cons: Becoming a Truck Driver

What are the major advantages & disadvantages of becoming a truck driver?

WDS Enterprises Michigan Truck Driving Jobs

WDS Enterprises is here to help you decide if a truck driving career is for you. A huge plus of deciding whether or not a truck driving career is what you want, is that you will have a job no matter what. Truck driving is in high demand, and there is so much flexibility within truck driving generally and working for us at WDS Enterprises. Listed below are some of the common advantages and disadvantages of becoming a truck driver, so that you can become educated and decide for yourself if truck driving is the right career for you.

CDL Training

Advantages: Obtaining your CDL takes less than 8 weeks on average, but of course this means you have to have a clean driving record and be of the right age to cross state lines if that is the type of work you’re committing to.

Disadvantages: Truck driving school and a CDL can be on the pricier side, so if you are paying out of pocket it can be a huge risk factor. This makes a lot of aspiring truck drivers skew away from pursuing their career in truck driving.

How WDS Can Help: We can provide you with the proper resources for paying out of pocket for a truck driving school and CDL, and we also have paid training options available for the individual that qualifies.

Independence

Advantages: You are pretty much your own boss being out on the open road, and you only really have yourself to answer to. You can take as many breaks as you’d like, when you’d like, and it beats being in a boring office job or the hard work of manual labor by a landslide.

Disadvantages: Aside from being independent when driving solo, it can be lonely. And just like any other type of driving, weather conditions can play a huge factor in stress. It’s not easy hauling thousands of dollars’ worth of materials and merchandise by yourself no matter the distance of your truck driving haul.

How WDS Can Help: WDS Enterprises is just a phone call away if you need any help on the road or have any concerns about your haul getting from point A to point B successfully. We also provide team driving for those who are OTR truck drivers that crave partnership on the road.

Traveling

Advantages: WDS Enterprises practically pays you to travel! You get to see new parts of the United States you never would’ve dreamt of. Every route becomes scenic, and you learn more about each state and its culture every trip.

Disadvantages: Traveling for work means less time at home, which isn’t for everyone. It can be lonely for any solo driver, and it can also mean uncomfortable feelings for the individual who considers themselves to be a homebody.

How WDS Can Help: WDS Enterprises provides many truck driving positions that can help you travel while still being able to spend time at home. Learn more about our Local and Regional jobs for more information on how you can still be a truck driver without the grueling hours involved.

Lifestyle

Advantages: Truck driving means the freedom to do and see anything you like, visit wherever you want on your route, and when there’s downtime because of weather or road work – you get to learn more about each region you visit. This could be a dream for the aspiring traveler!

Disadvantages: Work/Life balance becomes an issue being on the road consistently, and truck drivers have the disadvantage of being able to obtain fresh and healthy meals every time they stop. Eating badly can also become expensive, but it’s the most accessible for a truck driver. This can compromise your health and that’s something we certainly don’t want at WDS Enterprises.

How WDS Can Help: WDS Enterprises has updated its trucks so that you can have a mini fridge in your truck and pack healthier meals. We also encourage exercising as much as you can while out on the road even taking a small walk and stretching is beneficial to your health on the road.

Rules

Advantages: The industry regulations that are put in place are ultimately for your safety while you’re out on the road. Abiding by these rules and obtaining the proper certifications look good on you in the end.

Disadvantages: If you can’t comply with the FMCSA regulations, you are putting your own safety at risk and putting your job at risk not only with WDS Enterprises but truck driving companies in general.

How WDS Can Help: WDS Enterprises helps train you to conduct pre-trip inspections and other tasks that are required so that you don’t have to worry about putting your job and CDL in jeopardy.

Conclusion:

WDS Enterprises hopes this article can help you decide if you’d like to pursue a career in truck driving. There are so many great benefits to becoming a truck driver, and we want our future drivers to be aware of the common pros and cons before diving into this career headfirst. If you’re ready to make the jump, browse our jobs and apply online or call our recruiter at (989) 828-4900.

Read more