I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

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JM's Comment
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Hey Errol! Long time no see. I have an excellent relationship with my DM. He is a cool dude. He has also informed me about the lack of loads in the areas I listed. Although he is super chill, he does get a little frustrated about these areas. Yeah, I do use the planner qualcomm macro. Are you a company driver or an owner-op?

They did throw me on a Walmart route when I got into Washington, which doesn't really benefit my terminal. My DM had me pulled off of it as soon as they found a load back. I also get loads into Oregon up towards the North. I have to wait until they get me a load that usually is a 200 mile run to something in South of Washington. Then they finally get me a load back to California. I do enjoy driving the routes. There is a duration issue between loads.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
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Jim is curious:

Are you a company driver or an owner-op?

I'm not going to take that route. Some people enjoy the challenge of making their own money that way. Maybe I'm lazy. Being a company driver I like the feeling of getting something on the truck fixed and just driving away, and getting fuel with no worries.

JM's Comment
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Jim is curious:

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Are you a company driver or an owner-op?

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I'm not going to take that route. Some people enjoy the challenge of making their own money that way. Maybe I'm lazy. Being a company driver I like the feeling of getting something on the truck fixed and just driving away, and getting fuel with no worries.

Well if it makes your day brighter, then I can see why. Trucking is a cog in the wheel for my overall business plans. I am not really pursuing the trucking business. I have other sources of income, so this whole trucking thing is not my main source of income.

G-Town's Comment
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Jim wrote:

Swift has a hierarchical system. Solo company drivers are at the lowest rung of company priority. I have been told that by the guy who assigns us trucks, two planners, and the dispatch window lady.

Solo drivers, bottom rung? That's a ridiculous notion, considering it's the solo drivers who make-up the ranks of Diamond Drivers and the 2 million mile safe drivers. High performing, safe drivers are on the top rung,...period.

And the hierarchy? Not entirely true. The only preferential load planning that occurs is for time sensitive loads requiring a team truck running 23 hours per day necessary to make the delivery appointment. Your DM is paid on your miles and your utilization rate. He influences the planners to keep you moving.

Unless you have multiple delivery failures, chronically refused loads and the like, there is no tangible reason for being passed-over. That said, 9 months is not very long, give it more time.

I defer to what Errol suggested and focus on your DM. You need to ask some hard questions and understand what you must do to be at or above 2500 miles. This isn't a once and done discussion...it's a proactive process.

Good luck.

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.
Old School's Comment
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This isn't a once and done discussion...it's a proactive process.

JM, what G-town said is important. You've already made up your mind that this is just the way it is and there's nothing you can do about it. You've still got a lot to learn about how to set yourself up for success in this career. There's no way that buying your own truck is going to remedy your issues. There are ways that you can improve your communication and your performance. These are the things that keep a lot of company drivers at the top of the food chain.

JM's Comment
member avatar

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This isn't a once and done discussion...it's a proactive process.

double-quotes-end.png

JM, what G-town said is important. You've already made up your mind that this is just the way it is and there's nothing you can do about it. You've still got a lot to learn about how to set yourself up for success in this career. There's no way that buying your own truck is going to remedy your issues. There are ways that you can improve your communication and your performance. These are the things that keep a lot of company drivers at the top of the food chain.

I just spoke with my previous mentor. Literally, 2 minutes ago just got off the phone with him. Now, he has never heard of this forum. I did explain to him how I am getting a lot of negative responses for sharing my lack of miles. I don't know why y'all are focusing on this one thing in my post. This thread is becoming more and more negative. My mentor was just sharing with me about his lack of miles. He also said to get stacks in the areas to where I have problems getting loads. I have people on here who are telling me that my DM , my mentor, the dispatch lady, and other solo company drivers out of MY terminal in MY state in MY county are wrong and that I am not doing my due diligence. I am drawing a line here. No more talk about my miles. As for me getting a truck, I am planning on doing this anyways in about a year. I was just pondering if it was lucrative to do so sooner. Again, I am am engineer. My spouse is an Engineer. My future truck will be used for our engineering firm. I don't need to go into more detail than that. I have bigger plans than just driving a truck. Does anyone have anything positive to say that isn't counter with a negative comment? I also don't appreciate the condescending tones in this thread. We have never met in person. None of you know me outside of this forum. There are a whole lot of assumptions and not on my part. There is a general lack of respect and I am bringing this up because I have seen this group run off other new posters. I am not the first person to bring up the flash mob comments. It just one big wave of negativity. It's off putting.

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.

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

Wow man, try not to cry! You sure are a Sensitive Sally. Give me a break.

Everyone here has been incredibly helpful, respectful, and dead on with the help they've given you and I stand behind every word that every one of them said. If you can't recognize the fact that honest, helpful, talented, experienced drivers have gone out of their way to give you a ton of great information that will make your career better then that's your shortcoming, not ours.

We have a policy around here - we'll tell you what we know, you can do with it what you like. Obviously you didn't come here to find out how to get better as a driver. You're already a hero in your own mind. Why don't you tell us one more time that you're an engineer? Big whoop. No one cares. I was taking engineering level calculus courses at the University of Buffalo when I was 15 so you're not the only smart dude in the world.

You came here looking for a pity party. You wanted everyone to take your side and criticize your company and then tell you all of your problems will be solved by buying yourself a truck. Well go elsewhere if you're looking for that. We don't tell people what they want to hear, we tell them what they need to hear. Most of the time they appreciate that, but sometimes it makes em cry. You're a sensitive engineer. We're sorry we didn't handle you with kid gloves.

You've gotten a ton of great advice and you're obviously going to ignore it so there isn't much else we can do for ya. Best of luck to you with your career.

PJ's Comment
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JM I think you're overreacting a bit here. Your welcome and I will share my experiences with anyone that is interested. Nobody is jumping on anybody just pointing out their experiences as well. G town and several others work for swift and they have had different experiences than yourself.

First off I worked at some large carriers. They have different centers/terminals and each can be run totaly different even though they are under the same umbrella.

I can understand you wanting your own truck. Hell I did it. The most valuable thing I learned is IF you are leased to a company your miles will be about the same. Because you are required to pull their freight on their time table. You have hinted that once you buy a truck it will be for your business. Leasing from a carrier would be the worst way to go for a few reasons. 1st it will be spec'd to their work not yours. This can cost you a lot of money over the long haul(pardon the pun). 2nd the lease will require you to pull their freight not yours. and they truck will be totally out of any warranty before you pay it off.

Another point and I'm not knocking any particular model but some are designed to last 3-5 yrs and then become money pits. I have known more than one owner op that bought a cheap truck and within a yr was bankrupt because of repairs.

I have a few options to go owner op again and pull dedicated freight. Direct from the shippers. I have run the numbers and it doesn't make sense for me to do it, at least not now. I always keep an open mind though so I can always revisit it later.

Like you I have other income that pays my bills. I drive truck for extra play money and give me something to do. I have been very blessed in my life.

I get the impression you're from cali. Nothing wrong with that either. I lived there 40 yrs before moving to Ga. I even still own property there. Freight going out of there is dicey at times as well unless your refer then you have issues at times as well. The areas you spoke of are not the best freight areas overall to my understanding. So some waiting is very understandable.

Enough of my rambling for now. God bless you in whatever you do sir

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.

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.

JM's Comment
member avatar

JM I think your over reacting a bit here. Your welcome and I will share my experiences with anyone that is interested. Nobody is jumping on anybody just pointing out their experiences as well. G town and several others work for swift and they have had different experiences than yourself.

First off I worked at some large carriers. They have different centers/terminals and each can be run totaly different even though they are under the same umbrella.

I can understand you wanting your own truck. Hell I did it. The most valuable thing I learned is IF you are leased to a company your miles will be about the same. Because you are required to pull their freight on their time table. You have hinted that once you buy a truck it will be for your business. Leasing from a carrier would be the worst way to go for a few reasons. 1st it will be spec'd to their work not yours. This can cost you alot of money over the long haul(pardon the pun). 2nd the lease will require you to pull their freight not yours. and they truck will be totally out of any warranty before you pay it off.

Another point and I'm not knocking any particular model but some are designed to last 3-5 yrs and then become money pits. I have known more than one owner op that bought a cheap truck and within a yr was bankrupt because of repairs.

I have a few options to go owner op again and pull dedicated freight. Direct from the shippers. I have run the numbers and it doesn't make sense for me too do it at least not know. I always keep an open mind though so I can always revisit it later.

Like you I have other income that pays my bills. I drive truck for extra play money and give me something to do. I have been very blessed in my life.

I get the impression your from cali. Nothing wrong with that either. I lived there 40 yrs before moving to Ga. I even still own property there. Freight going out of there is dicey at times as well unless your refer then you have issues at times as well. The areas you spoke of are not the best freight areas overall to my understanding. So some waiting is very understandable.

Enough of my rambling for now. God bless you in whatever you do sir

I thank you for your reply. I would definitely not use the lease truck for my business. The lease would have been short term and then I was going to outright purchase a truck.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jm wrote in his original post:

well, more like my 9 months because I started in April 2017. However, I did it! I haven't been on the Forum in a while, but this website and the forums have played a significant part in helping me get work through the trials and tribulations of the trucking learning curving

Wow...zero to bi*** in 60 seconds.

HTF can you write the above and then run your mouth the way you did in your last reply? Throwing the very people you graciously spoke of above, under the Greydog? In the unlikely event Brett hasn't banned you, I'd love to hear a highly intelligent, logical and engineer-like answer to that question. Messed up...

Just to be clear; I was not negative or disrespect with you and neither was anyone else. I offered facts to refute the claim of a formal hierarchy at Swift and that solo drivers are not on the bottom rung of a real or imaginary ladder. If that makes me negative, so be it. I offered you a positive solution designed to help you now and into the future.

That said...if this is how you handle yourself when anyone doesn't blow happy smoke up your ass, it's no wonder you sit for days at a time waiting for a load.

Yeah congratulations for making it to 9 months (12 in the subject line) and either looking to lease or change companies because LACK OF MILES! Congratulations for cutting-yourself-off from a forum that up until a few minutes ago, actually gave a crap.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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