If you are a truck driver, you have probably noticed that every company that is trying to attract you says the same thing, “We are the best trucking company for drivers!” So, how do you filter through all the claims and find the companies that truly focus on their drivers? Simple, look at where they put their money and their strategic plans.
As you research transportation companies, it is important to look beyond the cents per mile when choosing an employer. It’s important that the company is financially stable, you want to be able to be paid well and certainly on time. And you don’t want to be caught off guard if the company you drive for goes under, leaving you suddenly unemployed. Financially stable companies generally can easily identify their competitive advantages and where they focus resources. If their goals are clear and you see that they are investing back into their company, it’s a good sign that they are going to be around for the long haul. Even better, find a company that also displays social and environmental responsibility. For example, Werner Enterprises can easily and definitively give you five solid reasons why they are the best company for truck drivers, in fact, they’ve named them. Werner’s 5Ts + S initiative is a strategy they implemented in 2016, and it isn’t just a plan, it’s an investment.
The top five areas having the most significant impact on a driver’s wage, quality of life and efficiency were identified and named the 5Ts. In the Fall of 2020, Werner added “Sustainability” to reinforce its commitment to remaining at the forefront of the industry in reducing its environmental impact. After identifying the 5Ts, Werner then allocated tens of millions of dollars to be invested in these areas. We will explore each in more detail.
Werner’s 5Ts + S
+ S Sustainability. Werner’s goal is to achieve a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035.
Over the past few years, Werner has produced structural and sustainable improvements to its already modern and efficient fleet. All Werner trucks are equipped with advanced collision mitigation safety systems and automatic transmissions. Telematic units installed on all trucks provide a smart workflow, best-in-class navigation, improved safety features and reduced manual data entry. Werner maintains an industry-low average truck age of two years and provides a range of truck makes, including Freightliner Cascadia, Kenworth T680, Peterbilt 579 and Navistar LT. In May of 2021, Werner took possession of the first Kenworth T680 Next Generation production truck.
Of Werner’s more than 24,000 trailers, 100% are equipped with trailer tracking. This optimized automated trailer assignment reduces empty miles and time waiting for a trailer. Automated tire inflation systems improve fuel efficiency with less manual effort from drivers. Werner maintains an industry-low trailer age of 4 years or less to ensure safety and reliability for drivers.
While investments are being made in all areas of the 5Ts + S, the overall focus is to improve the experience, safety and overall quality of life of Werner’s professional drivers, the “Talent.” As part of the 2021 investment in Talent, Werner is distributing $20 million in driver pay increases across its driver population. Various packages and incentives equate to an increase of up to 8 percent. Take a look at Werner’s current pay packages here.
While Werner has long understood the value of state-of-the-art terminal facilities in keeping drivers safe on the road while providing a comfortable place to stop, the importance of terminal locations was amplified as the challenges of COVID-19 resonated throughout the country. Terminals became not only a place for truck and trailer maintenance but also became a distribution hub to get personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer and other essentials to drivers. Werner developed a pandemic plan in 2009 when the H1N1 outbreak occurred designed to ensure all terminal locations across the country stayed online to support drivers.
As part of the 5Ts + S, upgrades include Werner’s expansive network of terminals, dedicated fleet locations and Werner’s driver school network, Roadmaster Drivers School. In addition to the May 2019 grand opening of the 17,500 square-foot cross-dock with refrigerated and dry docks at its Laredo terminal, Werner continues its investment in terminal upgrades across its network. In Q2 2020, Werner expanded its West Memphis, AR terminal. In Q3 2020, an expansion and remodel of the Springfield, OH terminal was completed. To accommodate drivers and customers on the west coast, a remodel of the Werner Fleet Sales Building in Fontana, CA, was completed early in 2021. Phase two of this project will consist of a newly constructed trailer shop with additional office space and classrooms on the 2nd floor. Werner’s 91,000 square-foot flagship terminal in Lake City, FL, opened in Q1 2021. Lehigh Valley, PA, is the newest terminal and opened to drivers early July 2021. Additionally, the Albuquerque drop yard opened to driver traffic in May of 2021 and can house 67 trailers, 19 tractors and ten personal vehicles on its 4.5-acre yard.
Werner Enterprises values safety, service and technology. With those ideas in mind, in 2020, Werner launched their innovation arm which focuses on technology and called it Werner EDGE. Werner EDGE was created to advance the performance and safety of its drivers, shippers, carriers and associates by delivering the latest technology-rich solutions in the transportation industry.
Werner drivers enjoy many of these tech products that were designed specifically to improve their workflow and daily lives. For example, the EDGE Connect tablet is an untethered, tablet-based telematics device that delivers a safer and more efficient driver experience. Werner drivers also enjoy Drive Werner Pro, a proprietary driver app developed to provide support, serve as an information hub and enhance the driver’s communication experience. You can read more about how Werner’s technology improves the driver’s experiences here.
In conclusion, look for a company with a vivid understanding of life on the road and proven strategies for accommodating a truck driver’s lifestyle while promoting a solid career path. Werner is a company founded by a driver. In May 2021, founder CL Werner became Chairman Emeritus and the Board appointed Derek Leathers to serve as Chairman of the Board along with his current roles as President and CEO. CL Werner stated that Leathers is well positioned with a deep understanding, respect and commitment to continually improving the driver’s experience. Leathers said during the transition, “Our drivers and associates will always be our top priority. Making sure they are safe, earning a competitive wage, have modern conveniences and best-in-class technology are just a few of the ways we are ensuring that.”
Find out more about what it’s like driving for Werner Enterprises, search available truck driving jobs, programs for Veterans, team truck driving jobs and even owner operator opportunities and how to get your CDL by visiting www.drivewerner.com.