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When is it time to change jobs?

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Gladhand's Comment
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First of all liking how I am running right now doing walmart dedicated, but I still find myself wanting to do otr again too. When I was doing otr I was struggling a bit, not making much miles or money. Now I know it's on me to get those things, my dm is a good guy too, but it seemed as if there was no effort being made in the other side to improve things after I was airing my concerns.

More than likely going to stay walmart until I am let go or if after a few more months go by and I still want to go back otr.

Considering other companies a little later down the line that have more creature comforts, I don't necessarily need those things, but they would be nice to have.

With these things being said, what should be considered when jumping ship? I rather not leave swift too, so what else could I do to improve the situation otr, if and when I go back to otr?

Thanks guys and no worries I'm not in a hurry to make any changes. Was just curious to see what the more experienced people think!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I say the time to switch is when you're 100% certain where you're going offers more of what you want than where you are. It doesn't have to mean everything will be "perfect" at the new place either.

Use your experience. I.e. You chose Swift for certain reasons. Apply that same critical analysis to your next decision.

I started with Schneider, had no intention of ever leaving until (2 years later) I found a company where I'd make the same money AND get home more often. I've been with the new company since mid-January and all is not perfect. But the move was the right move and the job is exactly what was promised.

You're a very smart guy. You'll make the right decision for you.

The creature comforts are often just a lure. I heard about companies offering satellite tv. I thought; I don't wanna be parked long enough to start enjoying tv. Next thing you know you're running less just so you can watch some tv. Some offer a $3,000 seat. I say; give me $3,000, keep the special seat and my nest egg just got a little bigger.

Good luck. I enjoy reading your posts.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Sure, not a really big deal to go looking after a year. However, take a look at those companies that only hire experienced drivers - how much experience?

Since their drivers have already done their newbie mistakes, they'll probably pay better, or have better benefits. Look now, maybe it'll be worth waiting for your second anniversary, then switch.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

First, you should really think about what you like and don't like, and what's important to you. You've been driving long enough to have a good idea of what you like. It's different for everyone.

For example, some people don't care what parts of the country they drive in, and others (like me) have strong feelings about that. Some don't care what kind of freight they haul or what kind of trailer they want to pull, others do. Some want to run local, others prefer regional or OTR.

You've already said you miss OTR and would like more creature comforts. I think if you sit down and ask yourself some more questions, you'll find out that you have a bunch of preferences.

Swift might have just the thing for you in another division, and you might make better money in that division. Or another company might have the exact thing you are looking for and with better pay.

Keep in mind that changing companies is a certain kind of risk because the new company is an unknown quantity, and can be a PITA, since you start out at the bottom again. You have to learn a new system and who all the people are that make things happen, they might not really be exactly what you're looking for, if you screw up they might be more willing to cut you loose, etc., etc.

Another benefit of this kind of market is that many companies work hard to retain drivers. One thing worth considering when looking at a company to work for is what kinds of retention benefits and/or bonuses they offer. That's often overlooked, but if your company goes the extra mile to keep drivers, you can skip all the headache of changing companies. It all depends on your tolerance for that kind of risk.

I think it's worth looking at every year or two, especially since it's a seller's market for drivers. It's nice to be able to have choices and to be able to act on your preferences in the job market. Not every worker has the choices that a driver with a clean record, good work history, and a year or more of experience has, and it only gets better with more experience.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Bud wrote:

First, you should really think about what you like and don't like, and what's important to you. You've been driving long enough to have a good idea of what you like. It's different for everyone.

Gladhand, the above advice is arguably the best answer to your question. If you have aspirations of working for Walmart Private Fleet, you are in a great spot right now.

I also agree with stretching your legs on other Swift accounts...to find your niche' so to speak. At least taking that approach allows you to come back imto the Walmart Dedicated if that's what you want.

You're in a good spot right now; running every day, getting great experience, and making kick-a** money.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I'm kinda in the same boat as you.

Still..put out some feelers. It's good to know what's out there and what's available to you. There may be some great opportunities you find you're interested in, but they require x years of OTR experience. You've only got one year right now and you don't want to be a job hopper, so personally I'd explore Swift more for the time being if I were you. There are so many opportunities right here at Swift you could dig your fingers into for the time being, all while gaining valuable experience and staying with the same company--two things that look great on your resumé.

Like Bud mentioned, are you interested in hauling other types of freight? You've really only done dry van , with the exception of some reefer on Walmart dedicated (but not otr--whole different animal). Are you interested in tankers, doubles/triples, flatbed? I want to eventually try tanker, which is part of why I'm staying where I am for now until I get more experience.

Truth is, you and I are still so new to all this, we really don't know exactly what we want. The trucking industry is so vast and comprehensive (not to mention constantly evolving), it takes a whole lot more than a year to try everything and find out what suits you the best. Heck, you told me for months you weren't interested in dedicated, then tried Walmart and found out how smoothly it works. You're just starting to find out what you like and what you don't.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Forgot to mention..

Are you interested in training? If you've ever wanted to try that, you're at the perfect company for it. If you hire onto a company that only hires experienced drivers, you obviously won't have the opportunity to train new drivers over there.

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

If you want to switch dig down deep starting with your own company.

I just found out that FedEx Freight in Harrisburg, PA has "City" drivers that do NOTHING but move freight from the rail yard to the terminal. Sure way to make 40hrs and it's literally a 10 minute trip, or 45 minutes round trip.

Just an example to show the breadth of opportunity within the industry/company.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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