Schneider is a leading provider of premium truckload and intermodal services, and we’re a company that’s built to last. The blog is primarily focused around helping drivers learn about driving jobs and careers instead of about the nature of our services.
Whether you are someone who is just starting a new job or are a seasoned professional, your etiquette in the workplace can really have an impact on your career. It’s important to look, act and work in a way demonstrates you care about your job.
Here are five office etiquette tips to think about when putting your best foot forward in a professional office environment.
What is proper office etiquette?
1. Don’t talk about controversial topics
Politics, religion and issues of personal nature, such as relationships, serious family or health issues should always be avoided in the workplace. General rule of thumb would be, if you aren’t sure, it’s probably not something that should be discussed.
2. Dress appropriately
This tip may seem self-explanatory, but I’m always amazed by the amount of people we see who fail to dress professionally, even for their initial interview with Schneider. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Whether it’s an interview, your first meeting with a new boss or an initial greet with a new client, make sure you are presenting yourself in manner that speaks to the professional you are.
It’s a way of making sure that people know right off the bat you are treating this day, meeting or interview with the utmost respect.
3. Leave your phone behind
Sometimes we tend to think of our phones as just another standard accessory that comes along with us and that other people also view it as such. That’s not always the case.
I can still remember being on a first date with my wife and looking down at my phone for what couldn’t have been more than five to ten seconds to quickly text a friend. I thought nothing of it, figuring she hadn’t even noticed. Oh, she did. Later, she even told me that moment made her think I wasn’t really interested in her.
Pulling out your phone in a meeting or at an un-opportune time in the office can certainly send off an unintended message. You’re not as inconspicuous as you think you are.
4. Avoid gossip
Somebody talking about you behind your back is one of the most common pet peeves people have regarding others’ actions in the work place.
It not only makes for a very negative work environment, but it will also typically always come back to haunt you. It’s only a matter of time before you say something you shouldn’t to the wrong person, bringing forth some very unintended consequences.
5. Remember to greet people
Greeting people appropriately really goes a long way in maintaining a professional and courteous work environment.
Something as simple as saying “good morning” to fellow team member can really set an overall positive tone for the day. A standard “Hello John” when beginning to type out an email can drastically affect how well your message is received.
Don’t underestimate the power of a friendly greeting.
Looking for more professional insight?
Check out more of our blogs about career development, from learning how to run a meeting to interview tips and more.
Schneider Dedicated Driver Stephanie Banic enjoyed the childhood days she spent on her parents’ farm in rural Indiana, but the view out her bedroom window was not her field of dreams.
Twenty-nine years and over two million miles later, Stephanie is still loving the dream job with Schneider that allows her to explore new horizons every day.
“I grew up on a dairy farm and spent my life in the same spot before I became a driver,” she said. “This job has afforded me opportunities I would not have otherwise had, like traveling. I’ve been to all 48 contiguous states and five provinces of Canada.”
How she got into truck driving
Stephanie graduated from college with a degree in physical education, but it quickly became clear to her that it was not her ultimate career path. Shortly after having this realization, a TV commercial for a truck-driving school in her area steered her toward a driving career.
With a lineage of drivers in her family, Stephanie felt driving could be a good fit for her. After all, her father drove a grain truck for some time, and her grandfather and uncle pulled livestock trailers.
Stephanie traded careers and graduated from truck driving school in July 1990. When it came time to choose what company to drive for, she chose orange. Stephanie was an Over-the-Road driver for 19 years before transitioning into a unique Dedicated driving role in 2009.
Taking advantage of unexpected opportunities
As a member of the National Dedicated Fleet, Stephanie gets placed on Dedicated accounts around the country that are temporarily in need of additional drivers.
The fleet is commonly tapped to assist with new business start-ups and seasonal spikes, as well as provide vacation coverage for other drivers. Each placement offers the desirable steady schedule; Stephanie can travel and then take time off to attend music events, follow her favorite Indiana sports teams and watch her favorite racecar drivers compete.
With more than two million safe driving miles under her seat belt, Stephanie has some sage advice for those considering a driving career.
“Schneider is a good company to drive for, with great leadership, training and benefits,” she said. “Yes, truck driving takes work and dedication from you and your family, but when you make it work, it’s a good life.”
Are you in it for the long haul?
Apply to be a driver for Schneider and see where the road could take you.
Nan Cunningham didn’t know she was Schneider’s longest-tenured female driver until being told just a couple of weeks before traveling to Green Bay for Associate Appreciation Week to be honored in June.
“I was pleased to be recognized,” Nan said. “I like what I’m doing. I hope I’m retired in less than 10 years, but I’m just going to stick with it for as long as I can.”
About Nan Cunningham
A -million-mile safe driver based out of the Harrisburg, Pa. operating center, Nan started at Schneider in 1989 and is currently an intermodal driver.
“When I first started, I was not the norm,” Nan said. “Less than five percent of drivers were females, and a lot were running teams with their husbands. I was the novelty. People would line up along the docks to watch me back in to see how I was doing. It was a little nerve-wracking.”
Women in trucking
Nan said she’s seen an increase of female drivers, especially at Schneider, over the years. In fact, Schneider now has nearly 1,000 women driving. She mentioned that women make great drivers because of their patience and she hopes more consider joining the field.
“It’s a good career path for anyone who’s interested in logistics or transportation,” Nan said. “We get equal pay for equal work. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun out on the road.”
She has found there’s a lot to like about trucking – having freedom, seeing the country and making new friends. Like all jobs, there are challenges Nan said she faces daily.
“None of it is easy,” Nan said. “You need to constantly be focused on the road. Other drivers are constantly moving into my safety cushion zone. Four wheelers will zoom back over in front of you and not leave but three coats of paint worth of space.”
Her number-one piece of advice to new truck drivers: be confident.
“It gets easier as you go along,” Nan said. “When I was new, it was scary being out on my own. The skills come along as you practice them. Just be confident and stay the course.”
Interested in joining the Big Orange?
You could be one of the nearly 1,000 women to join Schneider. Learn more about why women drivers choose Schneider and how you could be next.
When people think of the transportation industry or truck driving, they often imagine a man. He probably has a beard, a trucker cap and is wearing weathered boots. The transportation industry, like many industries, has been predominately led and operated by men throughout history.
Many companies, like Schneider, are working to change what was once considered ‘the norm’ by encouraging women to become empowered leaders in the workforce.
I hosted a round table with our female leaders (pictured above) from Schneider Transportation Management’s division to discuss their tips on how to be a successful woman in the workplace, especially for females who are in male-dominated industries.
STM has women leaders in many different roles - from our Senior Vice President to Business Analysts to our Sales and Operations teams and more.
11 pieces of career advice for women
1. Be your authentic self
You are you for a reason! Find your authentic leading style and your voice. This will allow you to build a strong team by growing productive relationships based on trust.
2. Look past the hysteria
When things go wrong, we initially panic. Biologically, this is how our brains are set up (if you don’t believe me, read “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”). Try to take the emotion out - before reacting or making snap decisions when an issue arises, gather all the information you can from all parties involved.
This will allow you to make sound decisions.
3. Have crucial conversations
Don’t avoid tough talks. Practice your crucial conversations – whether at work, school, or in your personal life, crucial conversations will never go away, no matter where you are in life.
Many first-time leaders struggle with this – you aren’t alone! It takes time and practice.
4. Get out of your office
Step out of your four walls, tour other buildings, network with other divisions - you may find your next passion or career home.
Job shadows, ride-alongs and providing exposure to different areas of the business are critical when learning more about your organization and where you want to go next.
5. Just go for it
Go for the promotion: prepare yourself and tell them why you are the best candidate. Don’t worry if you’re good enough or if you have every single qualification – just go for it!
If for some reason, you aren’t selected, use the interview as a learning experience and capitalize on the feedback provided to help yourself grow.
6. Accept that you will fail
For many, it can be difficult to accept failure for the first time in a workplace setting. However, a true leader is someone who doesn’t give up when things get tough or they fail.
Grow your brand! Though the saying, ‘it’s not always about what you know, but who you know’ can be cliché, it’s often true.
Talk with other leaders and people in your organization. You will learn so much from them and you never know when your paths will cross again.
8. Highlight other’s successes
Use the power of third-party endorsement. Speak highly of others publicly, to not only better leverage their talents and skills in the business, but to also grow trust among your team.
9. Stand up for what you believe in
It’s important to stay true to your core self. If something doesn’t feel right, speak up. You will feel good when you go home knowing you tried to do what was right.
10. Be brave
There will be opportunities to put yourself out there. You only grow and learn when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
11. Remember your priorities
We hear the word “balance” a lot: work-life balance, balanced diet, etc. To excel at life, it is crucial to remember your priorities.
And priorities are different for everyone, so decide what yours are now.
Want to work for a company with strong female leaders?
Schneider has its very own group – called the Schneider Women’s Network – to give women the resources and support they need to be great leaders. Learn more about the group and consider applying for a job at Schneider.
More than 70 percent of Schneider drivers get home weekly or more, but many simply love as much of the open road as they can get — and the big money that comes with it. If that’s you, there’s nothing better than becoming a Schneider Over-the-Road (OTR) truck driver.
What is trucking OTR?
Over-the-Road truck drivers specialize in hauling freight longer distances than regional or local drivers. Many call them long-haul truckers, who travel the country for a few weeks at a time, with longer stretches of home time after.
Here are the top three benefits according to many drivers:
Paid travel – See the country and get paid to do it. Satisfy your travel bug.
Longer hauls – Let other drivers mess with short hauls and lots of stops. OTR loads are typically in the 500-900-mile range.
Bigger money – Earn more since you drive more. You’ll max out your mileage pay potential driving OTR.
What is it like to be an OTR driver?
Schneider offers some of the industry’s best OTR truck driving jobs — Team and Solo, Van Truckload, Dedicated, Tanker and LTL — but we also recognize that the OTR trucker lifestyle is much more than a job — it is a way of life that many drivers love.
Here are some of the ways our drivers describe the OTR trucker lifestyle:
“I have friends and family all over the country, so sometimes I’ll stop and see them; other times I’ll rent a car to check out the area. I just like being wherever I am.” – Colleen, Schneider OTR driver
“I don’t think I ever run the same route twice. New is always better when I’m out on the road.” – Joe, Schneider OTR driver
“I go out for a month, come home for five days, and I can’t wait to get back out on the road when home time is up. You’re away from friends and family so you might have to miss events, but you can be present for more when you proactively book home time months in advance.” – Lynn, Schneider OTR driver
A common theme among OTR truckers is an independent spirit, enjoying the freedom of the open road. It’s not for everyone, but those suited for it excel at it.
How does Schneider enhance the OTR trucker lifestyle?
Schneider Over-The-Road Opportunities - YouTube
If you’re going to become a long-haul trucker, you want to make sure the company you’re with can at least consistently get you long hauls, get you home when you need and has the support you want while you are on the road.
Here’s what Schneider offers OTR truckers:
Steady, year-round freight covering all 48 contiguous states — there are always miles to put on the truck
Starting your career in sales will create a strong launching pad for a successful future in business. The relationship building, negotiation and creativity you learn provide a solid foundation for future leadership roles that are needed in our everchanging business environment.
I recently had the opportunity to network with some of Schneider’s sales associates to learn about the benefits of a career in sales and why they love the work environment.
Here’s why they think sales makes a good career.
Benefits of working in a sales role:
1. You can’t beat the compensation model
Sales is a great field for people who are motivated by money and willing to work hard. A sales role will drive you to develop new and nurture existing business to increase revenue for yourself and your company.
2. The role you start with is not where you will end your career
Sales positions are pivotal for the success of every business and provide a clear path to leadership. Sellers drive the revenue pipeline and business productivity for their companies.
Sales also teaches you some great skills, like communication and organization, that will help you became a great leader later in your career.
3. It’s a job that’s flexible
Sales associates enjoy a lot of freedom in structuring their own day around their personal passions, work style and the needs of their individual customers. Working in sales allows you to make your job what you want it to be.
4. It’s fun and never boring
Sales environments have a high-performance culture and put significant value on having fun in the office with inner office contests and incentives to sustain the high energy. If you love working with people, sales is the perfect job for you.
5. There’s a focus on innovation and technology
The current business environment is ever-changing. Technology assists sellers in pricing, supply/demand and future forecasting to assist in data-driven decision making.
Find a Schneider sales position.
Schneider’s STM team is looking to grow in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Chicago and Dallas. Learn even more about the fast-paced environment in the STM offices and apply for an opportunity that’s right for you.
The Edwardsville, Ill. facility, located 20 miles northeast of St. Louis, is one of the smaller locations in Schneider’s nationwide facility network, but it has plenty of resources and helpful people to assist drivers with anything they need while out on the road.
Those resources have earned the facility multiple awards for safety, performance and productivity. Additionally, the people who work at the facility help make it what it is.
“Our Edwardsville team members have very diverse backgrounds: CDL driving, military, shop, customer service in the transportation industry, etc. Our Operation Support Representatives have almost 60 years’ combined experience working for Schneider. We know what it takes to keep the trucks moving and are committed to supporting our drivers and their families.”
Doug Harry Field Recruiter
Edwardsville facility amenities
The Edwardsville facility is a great place to take a restart or to stop by for a visit! Amenities include:
Safe, free parking
Three fuel lanes
Food delivery services
Atlas Therapy office
Plenty of parking, including:
188 box spots
Hazmat and bulk spots
And a few extra perks, like:
24-hour trailer bays
A tractor wash
Hear it from a driver
“The Edwardsville facility has a friendly staff; every time I go into the office everyone greets me and says positive things. The facility’s bathroom and showers stay clean and ready for use, there is never a wait. The shop staff is always friendly and willing to help.”
Tassa Gentry Schneider Driver
Looking for a driving job out of Edwardsville?
Schneider is now hiring drivers out of our Edwardsville location. Check out what driving jobs we have to offer and get started today.
Since stepping into the role of technical college maintenance recruiter, I’ve had many discussions with students about calling themselves diesel mechanics versus diesel technicians. There’s a lot of confusion about what the proper term is and if they mean the same thing.
Are we diesel mechanics or are we diesel technicians?
To answer this age-old question, I’ve spoken with many people who currently work in the shop to get a feel of what their stance is.
I have discovered that we are both.
Defining mechanic and technician
According to dictionary.com, a mechanic is someone who repairs and maintains machinery, while technician is a person who looks after technical equipment or does practical work in a laboratory.
While working in the shop today, we do repairs on machinery and work with technical equipment, meaning we both are diesel mechanics and diesel technicians.
Why we started saying ‘technician’ vs. ‘mechanic’?
When diagnosing a truck or engine in the shop before 2008, we would follow a checklist that highlighted certain areas, like mechanical valves, clamps, actuators, voltages and resistance within a wire.
We would use observation and very basic computer tests to help diagnose problem areas within the cab or engine. Once we had the problem figured out, we would replace the problem part or correct the wiring issue.
Today, we instead rely heavily on computer diagnostics. It would be next to impossible to have a truck come in with an active code, shifting problem or low power issue and not be able to use a computer.
Focusing on why a problem occurred
There were also times when we deemed an entire module as ‘defective.’ The mechanic would replace the part, and this fixed the issue. However, with the additional technology and warranty claims, replacing components without knowing exactly why it failed is a thing of the past. Technicians today are there to understand why a component failed and to convey this through their warranty notes.
Working with more complex trucks
Trucks have also become much more advanced over the years. For example, engines have evolved from once having one to two operating computers and 12 to 20 sensors, to now having 25 operating computers and up to 250 sensors located throughout the truck.
Technical skills you’ll need to be successful
First and foremost, you will need to know how to use a computer to be successful in the shop.
Be prepared to spend at least 60 percent of your day working with a computer. You’ll use it to complete diagnostic work on trucks that come in with active codes, but also to fill out warranty notes and send part files to engineers to help diagnose problems.
More examples of when you will use a computer include:
To make graphs to look at different sensors within a truck to see if they are operating to spec.
To work with digital fluke meters to read voltages, resistance and amp sign waves.
To reset, import and export parameters.
Mechanical skills you’ll need to be successful
There will be many instances when you need to put your experienced mechanical repair skills to use, instead of using a computer.
You’ll need to use observation to diagnose problems regarding brakes, drivelines, tire stances and wheel seals. This is where our mechanical skills are being used.
More examples of when you will need mechanical skills include:
To remove and install engine components like alternators, starters, water pumps, belts, pullies, radiators, EGR coolers and charge air coolers.
To remove, install and reseal differentials.
To inspect, remove and install clutches and manual transmissions
To inspect and replace wheel bearings and races.
When working with body components and 5th wheels.
Applying for jobs in a shop
Many companies still primarily use ‘diesel mechanic’ over ‘diesel technician,’ so don’t be surprised if you see ‘diesel mechanic’ being used more frequently.
Ultimately, when applying for a job at a shop, focus more on the necessary requirements and the job description rather than if the job title says diesel mechanic or diesel technician.
I encourage you reach out to the company you’re applying at to see if your role will be more mechanic or technician-related. Ask about the technology they’re using to keep their fleet running and what kind of trucks make up their fleet.
In my opinion, as technology continues to advance, we are becoming diesel technicians first with a mechanical background second.
Find out what it’s like at Schneider
Learn more about what types of diesel mechanic opportunities Schneider has and what a career path in a shop could look like for you.
It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of a Schneider legend – company driver Bob Wyatt died early Sunday, June 23 after a brief illness.
Bob was the longest tenured driver in Schneider history, having just celebrated his 45th anniversary in September. Bob’s epic tenure was made more remarkable by the fact that he never had a preventable accident while driving more than five million miles.
In fact, he is the most decorated driver in Schneider history when it comes to safety awards; his 5 Million Miles Safe and 45 Consecutive Safe Years Driving plaque on the Haul of Fame is easy to spot in shining gold.
For those lucky enough to know Bob, they can confirm that he had uncompromising integrity, he was tough as nails and his work ethic was unsurpassed.
Like a modern cowboy, he was a mix of seeming opposites: strong yet kind, hardworking yet fun loving, solitary yet social. He loved to tease and be teased; he loved to both hear and tell a good story – and he had as many of them as he had miles driven. He was filled with faith in God and love for his family.
His time at Schneider
Bob truly loved working at Schneider and his fellow associates; as he explained in an interview.
“I found a home when I found Schneider,” Bob said. “I work with some good people here who have drivers’ interests at heart. Their motto of ‘Safety First and Always’ has resonated with me each and every day since I started.”
Bob’s lengthy career was marked by other notable achievements as well – in 2016 he received the prestigious International Driver Excellence Award from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance for his exceptional career and commitment to public safety.
Due to his tenure and safety record, Bob was also asked to represent all drivers by ringing the bell on the New York Stock Exchange when Schneider went public in 2017.
“When I first started driving, I was nervous and didn’t want to mess up,” Bob said. “Each year that went by, though, I banked the things I learned and I kept going – and I kept learning. After this many years on the road, I just know what I have to do, and I do it! God blessed me with a natural talent and love for driving, and for that I am thankful.”
Bob is survived by his amazing wife Linda and their three children and two grandchildren.
As logistics and transportation continue to boom, it’s important to think about what other jobs are available beyond truck driving.
Warehouses are a key part of supply chain and are often a forgotten piece of the puzzle. There is a huge variety of roles within a warehouse, including forklift operators.
If you are interested in operating heavy equipment, working with people and not having to sit at a desk, it could be the job for you.
I sat down with Katherine Roberts, a Schneider Process Manager who works in implementation, to learn more about how to become a forklift operator.
Steps to becoming a forklift operator:
1. Gain an understanding of what a forklift operator does
A forklift operator moves materials that cannot be lifted manually, from point A to point B. Forklifts are typically used in warehousing, ports, construction sites and factories.
The job requires a great deal of attention to detail and is process-driven. The duration of a shift is typically eight to ten hours a day. Basic mathematics and use of warehouse technology is common in this position.
2. Learn about the different types of forklifts
There are several types of forklifts and each require additional training. Some examples include: Clamp Truck, Roll Clamp, Double-Fork, Single-Fork, Turret Truck and Stand-up Forks.
3. Obtain the basic requirements and education
There are multiple qualifications to becoming a forklift operator:
You must be at least 18 years old.
Most employers require a high school education or GED.
It’s the industry norm for a forklift operator to pass a drug screen and background check prior to employment.
4. Complete the certification and get experience
Certification can be obtained through online schooling and private training; however, most companies offer on-the-job training and require company-specific certifications.
The average cost to obtain a certification is $200.00.
5. Look for your first forklift operator job
Once you have the education and certification you need to become a forklift operator, begin looking for a company that offers comprehensive benefits, 401(k) and competitive starting pay.
The median salary of a forklift operator in the U.S. is $16.50 per hour.
Interested in learning more about warehousing at Schneider?
Warehouse associates at Schneider play a huge part in keeping our 56,000 trailers and containers loaded and moving. Learn about what each role is responsible for and where you could fit in.