Are The Modern International Lonestars And Lonestar Eagles Good Trucks?

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Victor C. II's Comment
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I am finally getting out my computer and writing since I have a little time. Okay so you think I didn't "Own" my mentorship. That may be partially true and like I said refer to my last post, I ADMIT that I may have had fault at this, so don't tell me that it is all my fault. For one I tried calling my DDM and he NEVER picked up. 2nd, I asked my mentor several times to let my back up on top of me calling my DDM and guess what, I did not get a whole lot until we tried cramming it in at the end. I even questioned him at the end of the phase and you know what happened....HARDLY ANYTHING! SO, don't tell me that I didn't own it, cause I did put effort in, and ultimately I answer to God, myself and Swift and obviously Swift didn't want to let me talk to Benard Davis who was my DDM. I did come to you all for your advice and help and did take it and used it. Like I said also I need to finish up my diploma and then I will see where He leads me next. I don't expect anyone on this forum understand my explanations or reasons, because I can already see how half of you are taking it. By the way I loved working with my dispatcher Sarah Thompson and my safety director Tanner Marcentonio and on road. They seem to be very kind and capable and I have talked to Planners, CSRs, multiple dispatchers etc. I can definitely say I enjoyed Swift.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Victor wrote:

I am finally getting out my computer and writing since I have a little time. Okay so you think I didn't "Own" my mentorship. That may be partially true and like I said refer to my last post, I ADMIT that I may have had fault at this, so don't tell me that it is all my fault. For one I tried calling my DDM and he NEVER picked up. 2nd, I asked my mentor several times to let my back up on top of me calling my DDM and guess what, I did not get a whole lot until we tried cramming it in at the end. I even questioned him at the end of the phase and you know what happened....HARDLY ANYTHING! SO, don't tell me that I didn't own it, cause I did put effort in, and ultimately I answer to God, myself and Swift and obviously Swift didn't want to let me talk to Benard Davis who was my DDM. I did come to you all for your advice and help and did take it and used it. Like I said also I need to finish up my diploma and then I will see where He leads me next. I don't expect anyone on this forum understand my explanations or reasons, because I can already see how half of you are taking it. By the way I loved working with my dispatcher Sarah Thompson and my safety director Tanner Marcentonio and on road. They seem to be very kind and capable and I have talked to Planners, CSRs, multiple dispatchers etc. I can definitely say I enjoyed Swift.

Victor, I just reread your training diary documenting your metoring experience. There is no indication from what you wrote, that you were experiencing any trouble getting the required backs or that your mentor was not allowing you to perform them. In fact you praised your mentor Jamar several times for doing a great job. All positive feedback.

There is nothing in your diary about having any trouble with your mentor or not getting enough backing practice.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

G-Town I apologize that I am being so defensive because I really want to be a good and even excellent truck driver because I LOVE my career. Concerning about my diary I did not put anything in the diary about my troubles because I did not want you all thinking I was a heck of a complainer. I am trying to be positive but I guess that was not worth the effort because you all got the wrong connotation and thought something that was a little off. Yes he was a great mentor on everything BUT the backs because as it had turned out I had gotten WAY less then what I should have gotten and I didn't speak up quick enough because I thought that I would get a bad rep with everyone including my DDM. Yes I can promise you this I did call and did not get a answer and I did ask him and got a few more backs then I did have at the time but not all 40 and I suffered from my lack of speaking up and being firm with him and them about the back ups I will admit that.

Now I want to know from you, what should I do and what would you do at this point? I know I am down but I am not out and I am not a quitter I am an overachiever and will be one for the rest of my days Lord willing.

Thank you G-Town!

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

You keep blaming the lack of practice as being the problem. That isn't the problem. The problem is that you weren't getting out to look when you were close to something. It takes practice to get good at something. It doesn't take practice to be careful not to run into something.

No one ever feels they get enough backing practice during training. It wouldn't have mattered. It takes 6 to 12 months of backing once you go solo before you'll even become moderately proficient at it. So whether you had 20 or 30 or 40 backs during training makes no difference. It's going to take hundreds of backs to become decent at it and you have to get out and look while you're doing those or you're going to run into things. Simple as that.

Why are you asking what to do from here? I thought you already had another company lined up.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Brett your definitely right about getting out and looking, I did that on several occations but I made the mistake of coupling a trailer without getting out to look. I thought I was good and I was not. And backing up in the petro with those angled backing, I should have looked for someone to help me back it in correctly and I should have been looking in front of me more often than the trailer numbers then I would not have edged the very end of the on ramp to the unused live load area at the Columbus terminal , that is my fault.

I said there was a possibility that I could go with this company and if I didnt then I am sorry I made it sound otherwise cause I did not mean to.

Im down but not out. I am just humbly asking for some extra knowledge from you all because I obviously made some mistakes and it is always smarter of a young buck like me to get advice from the old giants of trucking.

smile.gif

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Taking your time, keeping your cool, and never making assumptions are always critical for all new drivers. Most of the mistakes new drivers make are because they're in a hurry or their minds are on too many things at once and they overlook something.

Take it slow. Very slow. Everything you do. Especially when you're in tight spaces, you're dealing with cargo, or you're swapping trailers. Take your time and double and triple check everything.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Victor, you were an absolute inspiration from day one of being in here. You were eager to learn, honest with us concerning your baggage (felony), and you always seemed eager and willing to humble yourself and soak up the advice given you by those who were able to provide you with direction and help. We understand that nobody wants to admit to getting fired for bumping into things, or perhaps not taking the steps needed to develop themselves into a top performing professional.

I want to try and lay it out real clear for you, what it is that concerns us here. I think you already know what we are trying to say, but then again I wonder at the way you have been so defensive. (you did apologize, and I was glad to see that) Our point is simply that it was not Swift's, or their trainer's fault that you have been guilty of playing bumper cars in some tight spots. The problem isn't a lack of skills, but a lack of discipline. There is no magic that comes from doing 40 backs during training - you are still going to be terrible at backing. That is a skill that comes from doing your own practice and trying to learn from it each time you do it. The problem as we see it is that you just didn't take the steps to make sure you didn't make contact. Getting out and looking - GOAL, or stopping to assess the situation and maybe even asking for some help, or pulling out and trying it again with a better set up. All of those things are self-imposed disciplines that have nothing to do with our skills or ability to back a truck up properly.

Here's a true story about my time with a trainer. At Western Express we were also required to do 40 backs during training. I think I may have done perhaps ten at the most. My trainer was required to document each backing exercise. So, on the final day of my training he sat down with his trainer's documents that he had to turn in with his newly advanced solo driver and started making bogus documentation in that section until he had fully told thirty lies so that he had at least 40 documented backing exercises. That and a whole lot of other examples of him completely lacking a professional approach to his responsibilities have never had any negative effects on my ability to get out here and develop myself into a better driver. I used to find a truck stop during the middle of the day that wasn't crowded and stop in there for thirty minutes to practice backing my truck. Anybody can take thirty minutes a day and do that. You always have the time difference from your 14 hour clock and your 11 hour clock to do something like that, but you have got to choose to do it, and choose to improve yourself.

You can say it was God's way of moving you away from Swift and into something more fitting for you, but surely it is God's purpose for you to be gainfully employed! Man, you have broken one of our cardinal rules in here and that is that you didn't stay with your first company for that much needed first year of safe driving. That in a nutshell is my biggest concern. You have all the more reasons to stay connected with that first company - you have a felony in your background, and here someone gave you a chance to prove yourself worthy of their commitment to helping you get into a career that usually is not very friendly to felons. Swift wanted you to succeed, and they took a chance on you. They didn't fail you. They gave you a shot, and you blew it Victor. You blew it not because you weren't good at backing a big rig, you blew it because you didn't take the necessary disciplinary steps to improve yourself. Brett's advice is spot on...

Taking your time, keeping your cool, and never making assumptions are always critical for all new drivers. Most of the mistakes new drivers make are because they're in a hurry or their minds are on too many things at once and they overlook something.

Take it slow. Very slow. Everything you do. Especially when you're in tight spaces, you're dealing with cargo, or you're swapping trailers. Take your time and double and triple check everything.

Victor, after years of being out here and having all kinds of exposure to different experiences in this business, I still do just what Brett just said. I still find myself double and triple checking things. If being safe and not wanting to have a record follow you around that says you tend to not pay very good attention to the details when operating your rig, is important to you, then that is the approach that you have got to take. There is just too many things that can, and do, go wrong out here.

I hope you can find some more employment in this business, but I honestly think you would have been much better off by taking it slower and more carefully while at Swift. Now you not only have got the felony hurdle to get over again, but you also have a failed rookie attempt at trucking, from which you got fired. That is not a good gate to be starting out at, but it is what it is, and I'm sure you can make it work. Victor, my advice is identical to Brett's. Take your time and be disciplined about your approach to driving a truck, especially in tight places like parking lots and shipper and receiver locations. Taking your time, and being disciplined are not skills. They are choices that a professional driver has to make for himself.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

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.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Old School, for that advice it is very much appreciated, but I do have a humble question to ask you because I am not sure what you mean lol. When you say I have a felony what do you mean? I have never had a felony charged against me. Practically 3 years ago now I had 4 tickets and now almost 3 years falling off. I had a Failure to yield right of way (T-bone), Failure to Obey highway sign, 1 speeding ticket, and a following to closely. May would be a warning but never given a ticket. So thats why I am asking you, sincerely and not from pride, why you are saying I am a felon? By the way I have a family member that is out of unfortunate circumstances a felon and I was wondering if they couldn't find a job elsewhere who in the trucking business would give them a chance? Thanks you all!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I'm sorry Victor, I think I got you confused with someone else. sorry.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Everything else I said was accurate. I just got confused about your background.

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