Overview

Watkins and Shepard is a 40 plus year old carrier running in 48 states and 3 Provinces.

We run over 850 trucks that are a mix of company trucks and Owner Operators.

We run over 2,500 van trailers .

Our main focus is the new boxed furniture and flooring less than truckload and in truckloads of

general commodities. More about the company

 

History

When was the company founded? 1974

Is the company privately or publicly held? Privately. We are a wholey owned subsidiary of Schneider National

How many total employees does the company have? Approximately 1300

Open door policy? Drivers are allowed anywhere at every location with some exceptions for safety, and in the shops. Drivers are encouraged to work with their supervisor or any other member of management,

including our CEO and COO, at any time. They are also provided direct lines and cell phone numbers for members of management.

Is management open to receiving information about shippers or consignees provided by drivers? Information about customers is encouraged.

 

 

Company Financial Status and Stability

What is the company's financial status? Watkins and Shepard is very stable.

Watkins and Shepard was Purchased By Schneider in June of 2016.

 

Driver Qualifications

How many years of truck driving experience do drivers need to have before hiring on with your company? Drivers just need to be recent graduates of an approved driving school.

Which endorsements must new hires have to have? We only require a CDL-A with an air brakes endorsement.

Is a passport required to be hired? No

Do drivers handle freight? Drivers are expected to handle freight on our furniture and carpet loads.

Required endorsements? Just a class A with an air brakes endorsement. 

Does Watkins and Shepard have an age requirement? Yes, you must be 21 years of age. 

You will be sent for a DOT pre employment drug screening and a hair follicle drug test.

You will be given a HPE (Human Performance Evaluation) test. To see a video of the HPE clik the link below. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJZsU1sJ7lc

Watkins and Shepard Trucking is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer in accordance with all applicable state and federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations. We will not refuse employment to a person, bar a person from employment, or discriminate against a person in compensation or in a term, condition, or privilege of employment because of race, creed, religion, color, or national origin, or because of age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, or gender.

Veterans

We a proud to hire our military veterans. As long as you have a CDL-A we can get you working without private sector driving experience. We pay our drivers on a sliding scale depending on their years of driving experience and your recent verifiable driving experience with the Military counts towards that time with us. More Information

Equipment, Freight and Freight Lanes. 

All Watkins and Shepard road truck fleet averages 2 years old.

Most trucks are 2013 to 2017 Volvo and Freightliners most are "automatics",  many have factory refrigerators. Pictures of our trucks

If I hire on with Watkins and Shepard as a professional driver and successfully complete orientation, will I be put in a truck immediately? Yes you will.

What is the companies Policy on pets? We no longer allow new drives as of March 1st 2017 to have a pet in the truck.

Drug Testing? Watkins and Shepard does urine and hair folicle testing for pre-employment.

What is the average age of the company's tractors? Our road fleets trucks are all 3 years old or less.

How many terminals does the company have?  21

Is preventive maintenance done at the company's terminals? We have company shops at some terminals and contracted shops at the rest for service. We use a national network for problems that arise on the road.

At what mileage is a tractor retired? Road tractors are retired at 4 years old.

What does the company do with its old equipment? Older equipment is wholesaled.

How does the company acquire new equipment? Tractors are purchased or leased new from the manufacture.

Do the tractors have CB connections and antennas? Yes

Do the trucks have APU’s? We do not have APU’s, we do have bunk heaters.

Do your trucks have inverters? Most trucks do not have inverters but our shops are happy to install one if you ask for it.

What kinds of freight does the company haul? Carpet, new furniture, wine, beer, and general commodities.

Does the company have any dedicated routes? Yes. Depending on location you can work your way into these positions

What is the average length of time between delivery of one load and dispatch/assignment of the next? Same day.

Are drivers forced to take loads into Canada and New York City? We have terminals with assigned drivers that service these areas.

Does the company have regular meetings with all of its drivers? We have voluntary conference calls that drivers are encouraged to ask questions and attend.

Does the company slip seat its drivers or assign drivers to trucks? We do not slip seat our road drivers.

After how much time off does a driver "lose" his/her assigned truck? Depends on the circumstance that the driver is off and if a return date is known in the beginning. Our standard rule is two weeks.

Does the company use satellite communications to stay in touch with its truck drivers? We run on the People Net system with electronic logs, communication, and GPS.

Does the company dispatch drivers to pick-up or deliver to ports? Our road drivers do not go to the ports.

How long must a driver be employed by the company before benefits start? 90 days

  

Benefits

We offer Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance after 90 days.

Our Health insurance can also include a dental and vision plan with an additional charge.

We offer a company funded HRA and employee funded FSA.

Company provided life insurance.

401(k) retirement savings plan, eligible your 1st day.

Employee wellness plans

Paid vacation

Vacation/time off  policy:

How far in advance must a driver request vacation? The earlier the better. We will do all we can to accommodate last minute requests.

On what basis is vacation pay paid out. Vacation pay is $600 per week.

How many days off does a driver receive for every day on the road? 1 day off for every 6 days out.

How far in advance must a driver request to get home? The earlier the better. We will do all we can to accommodate last minute requests.

Owner Operators choose how much and when they want time off.

 

TERMINAL LOCATIONS 

For locations  click on the link above.

 

Fuel Bonuses For Company Drivers:

Fuel bonuses are paid monthly and are paid depending on your individual mileage vs. the fuel mileage of similarly specked trucks.

  • Paid out on Fridays of the third full week of the next month
  • Paid at $.0075 per mile
  • Attaining higher level tiers will occur every .2 MPG increase 
  • For each increase an additional $.0075 per mile
  • Miles are calculated using the peoplenet system

  

Referral Bonuses:

Watkins and Shepard Referral Bonus

$1,000 for Experienced Company Drivers

$500 for Recent School Graduates

 

$1,000 Bonuses will be paid as:

$200 after completion on the first dispatch

$400 after 3 months

$400 after 6 months

$500 Bonuses will be paid as:

$100 after completion of the first dispatch

$200 after 3 months

$200 after 6 months

For referrals to be eligible the person who was referred can not be a rehire that has been gone less than 6 months.                                                                                                                                                                 

The person referring the driver must be an active driver when the payments are scheduled to be paid.

The person applying needs to identify the person they were referred by  on the application.

 

Company Driver Team bonus pay

Teams are eligible for the fuel mileage bonus

Over 20,000 miles a month is 1 cent per mile

Over 22,000 miles a month is 2 cents per mile

Over 24,000 miles a month is 3 cents per mile

$100 for every week out on the road over 2. $200 after the second week and $100 for every following week.

Teams are also eligible for the safety bonus.

$20,000 Sign in bonus for teams, $10,000 per driver paid over the first 12 months.

 

Orientation:

What do I need to bring to Orientation?  

  1. CDL
  2. PROOF OF ID
  3. Social Security Card
  4. Medical Card
  5. Resident Alien Card or permanent Resident Card (if applicable).
  6. If planning on DIRECT DEPOSIT for your check, bring a voided check with bank routing number & account number or a direct deposit form from your bank with this information.
  7. Bedding (pillow & sheets) for your truck.
  8. A good attitude and willingness to learn and participate.

Is Transportation and housing covered by the company during orientation? Yes, transport to and during orientation are covered as well as housing. The only things we do not cover are meals although a break room for meal preparation is available. 

Where are the locations for Orientation? Orientation can be completed at either our Missoula MT terminal or Conover NC terminal. We will occasionally have orientations at other terminals.

Drug Testing? Watkins and Shepard does urine and hair folicle testing for pre-employment .

Will I have to ride with a trainer after orientation? No. Watkins Shepard provides thorough training during orientation so new drivers will be safe and confident driving solo. We will never send a driver out solo who does not feel confident in their skills. We do offer the option of riding with a trainer if a driver does not feel confident after orientation and wants extra support out on the road. We understand many people do not want to drive with a stranger so we have developed this unique training program to allow people to drive solo with confidence. 

Is two weeks really enough time for a new driver to be trained to drive solo? Yes, it is with our training program. We cover all driving conditions including, but not limited to, mountain driving, driving in poor weather conditions, city driving and all types of backing and reversing techniques for various types of docks and parking. We don't believe in making drivers ride at reduced pay with a stranger, instead we offer a training program that will be the solid foundation to a long truck driving career. We also support our drivers via phone and email once out on the road so although you are out driving solo you have a close knit support network at the end of the phone. 

Most companies orientation is only 3 days, why is Watkins and Shepard's orientation two weeks? Our orientation is two weeks to enable us to thoroughly cover driving skills and prepare drivers for driving solo.  The benefit to this two week orientation is drivers are then able to start their driving career well prepared and safely whilst also earning pay per mile from first dispatch and not having to ride with a stranger. We don't believe in making drivers ride at reduced pay with a stranger, instead we offer a training program that will be the solid foundation to a long truck driving career. 

Does this mean orientation is very intense and I may be thrown out of the program if, say, my backing is poor or I grind gears? Orientation is thorough but not intense. We keep class size small to ensure we can work closely with each individual to improve their weaknesses. Orientation is during normal business hours (8-5) but all students have the opportunity to practice outside of these hours on our training trucks to improve their skills.

For what reason would I be asked to leave the program? Automatic dismissal for a failed drug test. You may also be dismissed from the program if you fail the Pre-Work Screen. Very few drivers are asked to leave based on poor performance as we will continue to work with you throughout the two weeks to improve your performance. You also have plenty of time to practice outside of classroom hours. 

I already have driving experience; do I need to do Orientation? For drivers with previous OTR experience you only need to complete a four day Orientation then you will be assigned a truck.  

Orientation

At Watkins Shepard safety is our top priority, and the skills and training provided in our unique 2 week orientation for new graduates is the solid foundation for your long, safe and successful career in trucking. We have also invested in state of the art equipment which makes our trucks some of the safest on the road. We are one of the only companies in the country that does not force new graduates to ride weeks with a trainer, and this is because our excellent training program coupled with our modern trucks gives new graduates all the skills, knowledge and confidence to start safely earning from their first dispatch.

For experienced drivers we also offer a four day orientation (see below for more details).

Orientation is offered at our Missoula, MT and Conover, NC terminals. Transportation and housing costs to and at the training terminal are covered by Watkins Shepard.

Drug Testing? Watkins and Shepard does urine and hair folicle testing for pre-employment.

2 Week Orientation for Recent Graduates

Orientation is divided into classroom and on the road training, although from day one you will be out on the roads developing and refining skills learnt at CDL school. Classroom training will cover everything from close quarter maneuvering, People net training, DOT compliance, safety and route planning.

On the road training is enhanced by our new fleet of automatic trucks that allows students to focus more on safety, mountain driving, city driving, winter driving, maneuvering and reversing instead of grinding gears!

At Watkins Shepard we are proud to know our drivers by name and not by truck number so we also introduce you to the staff that will be working with you and that are on hand to help you when you are out on the road.

During the 2 week orientation everyone will be put through a Pre-Work Screen, and complete for a DOT pre-employment drug screening.

Once orientations is complete you will be assigned a  truck and dispatched for your first load as a solo driver on full mileage pay, but you are not alone as a team of safety and fleet managers are only a call away to help all new Watkins Shepard drivers. 

4 Day Orientation: What you’ll learn.

Our 4-day orientation course is for drivers with over 6 months of previous driving experience within the past  year. We'll start you on Monday morning and have you set to roll Friday. Orientation is divided into classroom and on the road training. Classroom training will cover everything from People net training, Company Policies, DOT compliance and safety. 

On the road training is enhanced by our new fleet of automatic trucks that allows you to focus more on refreshing your skills in mountain driving, city driving, winter driving, maneuvering and reversing.

During this 4 day orientation everyone will be put through a Pre-Work Screen, and sent for a DOT pre-employment drug screening. 

You will complete a Pre-Work Screen on the first day. A Pre-Work Screen is a physical skills assessment that demonstrates you can safely perform the essential functions of the driving position.

Recommended guidelines to follow to achieve the best results during your pre-work screen:

- Wear loose-fitting clothing

- Do not eat a heavy meal within 2 hours prior

- Avoid rigorous activity for several hours prior

- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco for 1 hour prior

- Avoid cold or allergy medication within 24 hours prior

- Avoid caffeinated products at least 2 hours prior: coffee, tea, colas/sodas, natural herbal supplements and non-prescription diet aids.

 

 

NEW!  2-day Professional Driver Refresher Course:

Watkins-Shepard now offers a 2-day professional driver refresher course.  The course is being offered via an agreement with Sage Truck Driving School located in Missoula, MT.  The training focuses on revisiting skills and practices that are critical for success to include the following:  driving range, classroom, pre-trip / air brake inspection, and extensive behind the wheel time. 

Travel and lodging will be included as part of the overall program package however all personal expenses are the responsibility of the participant.  Approved participants will be required to sign a tuition repayment agreement in the amount of $1,200.00.  The terms of repayment will be contractually exercised if the participant fails to complete 90-days of employment with Watkins-Shepard. 

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. US Company driver candidates that possess a Class A CDL though do not meet Watkins-Shepard hiring parameters established for Experienced and/or Inexperienced training type.

 

 

Watkins and Shepard Trucking is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer in accordance with all applicable state and federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations. We will not refuse employment to a person, bar a person from employment, or discriminate against a person in compensation or in a term, condition, or privilege of employment because of race, creed, religion, color, or national origin, or because of age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, or gender.

 

 

 

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