An Important Question About Swift.

Topic 20943 | Page 1

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Oingo's Comment
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I just finished reading a forum article here on the TT Forum (2012) where the author who started with SWIFT as an inexperienced driver, but came back later after he had driven a few years, said Swift pays very bad during the first year and most drivers quit during the first year due to the bad pay. Is this true say compared to Roehl? Or has the economy since 2012 picked up enough that its gotten better. Also, he ripped the SWIFT Terminals and their repair and maintenance shops. I am kind of worried as I do have a $1700 monthly mortgage to pay....and wondering if I am better off with Roehl?

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.

Oingo's Comment
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CORRECTION: it was an article by "highflight1985"- "What The Recruiter Didn't Explain".

Patrick C.'s Comment
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$1,700 mortgage. To be perfectly honest, you may want to stick with white collar work. Trucking is a great paying blue collar job, but.... your not going to be making 6 figures. There are gonna be times of slow freight, there is going to be a learning curve. Unless you have a sizeable savings to lean on. That first 6 months might put you behind. Honestly, you can figure your net income will be in the 30-40k for the year. If you are decently quick study. Your mortgage alone is over 20k for a year. What happens if you hit a lean period of freight or things don't click right away and you only bring home $2000 in a month. You mortgage alone will nearly eat that. Not too mention utilities. I imagine if you house is that large or you are living inside a major metropolitan area, utilities alone are probably an additional $350-$500 a month. Than throw in cellphone. Another $60-$200 a month. If you want cable/ sat tv at home and internet that's another $150 or so. I wouldn't be surprised if your monthly bills hit close to the $3k a month mark. Not too mention you are gonna have to feed yourself on the truck.

MC1371's Comment
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As to the pay Swift vs Roehl, very similar once you figure in the Swift bonus structure.

If you plan on starting soon, you'll be going solo at just about the worst time of year. (Unless you go reefer) Dry van freight can get soft in Jan/Feb, you can push, but don't expect to see the house your making payments on for a couple of months.

I don't know about Roehl, but a general rule of thumb is avoid terminals in general.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Vin there is an infinite amount of negative information about every company. Look for it and you'll find it. I honestly turn a deaf ear on most of it. We turn blue in the face constantly reinforcing the concept; good drivers can be successful with most any company.

That said...as a rookie driver you will make an average of 40k your first year regardless of the company you work for. How you intend to cover a $1700 mortgage is beyond me. All of my current expenses combined don't come near that number.

Oingo's Comment
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Thank you all for the replies! First some background: I worked in the I.T. Field for 23 years with 75% of my employment being "Contract Work" for the government. The remaining 25% was working for Corporations. Things started out well, $45K back in 1996 for 4 years at Compaq Computer as a Technical Assessment Analyst (dead end job) until they purchased Digital (big mistake), killed the stock price, and caused the CEO to be fired and over 1000 people laid off in one day including me. Had to teach myself programming because that was all the rage in 2000, and my old job was no longer in demand at all. $74K a year for almost 4 years with Shell Oil as a Programmer. Then "Outsourcing" arrived! Why pay Americans this kind of money, when you can outsource to India for peanuts and not have to pay benefits to them , and also make them work 12 hour days etc. My entire department of 200 people got laid off in 2003 as a result with the added humility of training our Indian replacements. Figuring "Information Security" was more secure, I transitioned into that and had a 10 year run in this career as a Government Contractor, until the Obama era Government Budget Cuts known as sequestration hit in 2012. Not only was I laid off, but trying to find a government job was very difficult because of the lack of government contracting in my area 90% of jobs here. Thus, I NEEDED work and took a Corporate Job, which was good for about 4 years until they decided to lay people off due to OUTSOURCING to India yet again. Since then, I have been out of work for 9 out of the past 12 months, and cannot even apply for Government Contracting jobs because due to the previously mentioned Government Budget Cuts/Sequestration and so many people including myself losing their Government Contracting jobs had their "Clearances" , i.e. Secret, Top Secret etc lapse or go inactive due to there being a 700,000 person backlog for background checks that are required to be done every few years to keep clearances going. Thus, I would get job interviews only to be told by the Hiring Managers that the days of getting a clearance reinstated in just a few weeks are over. NOW, it takes at least 3 months but a year on average! I and others were informed of this over and over.....and the contracting firms have complained to the Obama Administration in the past, but the Government stance was "Once you get the contract" staffing is not our problem its yours". I have been told that these Contracting firms such as Northrop Grumman, SAIC, and others big and small are pleading to the Trump Administration to address this issue....but so far nothing...after all its only been several months...maybe next year. The remaining corporate jobs in this area consider me "over qualified" for all positions below Manager and "under qualified" for all positions from manager on up....I have applied for hundreds of jobs since last October and the "Over Qualified/Under Qualified" situation is frustrating. Plus, when you have the experience I have, and NAIL the interviews only to be rejected yet again with a standard form letter, just BEATS ME DOWN. In the meantime, I have wiped out my savings in the past year except for two 401K's which could be used as a last resort with a big tax penalty if need be. NO UNEMPLOYMENT, due to a technicality.... Fortunately, my wife works part time and hopes to be full time soon, so at least utilities are covered and also the House payment is covered for this month and next. I considered getting my CDL because I am just fed up with Information Technology and the Outsourcing of Jobs to India, but also because I have always liked 18 wheeler's and trucking, and when I was 16 declared to my parents that was my career choice...my mother wanted me to become a mail man, because back then it was a great job. Anyway, with a choice of "no income" or at least "low income" in a trucking career, it is a no brainer. I guess I could get a job at McDonalds or something, but I want to hold on to the last self respect and dignity I have left. IMHO "Blue Collar" work is something to be RESPECTED. My father was blue collar all his life, and for a guy who dropped out of high school with no diploma did better than anyone would have expected with hard work and dedication. Low Salary aside, I RESPECT and ADMIRE Truckers, IMHO they are America, regardless of whether they are a company driver or an owner operator. If hard work and dedication is the recipe for even moderate success, then so be it. At least, my success or failure will be mostly determined by my performance, which is something I have more control over. I know trucking is far from perfect, but if I have to start over, at least these Trucking companies are giving me a "CHANCE". No one else is giving me a chance....these trucking companies even respect the fact I am a Veteran, and at least with Swift are waiving my tuition as part of the Veterans's scholarship program. As a result, at least trucking gives me a chance...in fact, when it comes to most corporations outside of trucking the whole we prefer Veteran's stuff is a myth IMHO as despite being qualified for positions I apply to, and being a "Protected Veteran", I cannot even get an interview. The worst part was when I could not even get a tech support or customer service job...yet even when I call my bank etc. I representatives who can barely speak English. Is that not a qualification? I would think so....yet I cannot even get those jobs.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.
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