First Week Out With My Swift Mentor

Topic 5158 | Page 1

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Trucktographer's Comment
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Got picked up late on Monday afternoon from the Ocala, FL terminal. My Mentor had just come off home time in Orlando and picked up a load on the way to me. Since it was late in the day he just finished up his 4 hours of drive time while we talked. The next day I was in the seat, and I learned two valuable lessons.

#1 Slow shippers/receivers can ruin your day, and even your tomorrow. #2 Truck GPS isn't any better than car GPS when it comes to the occasional mistake in directions.

I managed to average 52 miles per hour over the course of the entire day, and then bettered myself with 54 miles per hour yesterday. Considering all the hills, and that I'm driving an underpowered/62mph-limited Swift truck, I'd say those numbers aren't too bad.

I'm looking forward to the rest of my training, and then getting my own rig.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Andy C.'s Comment
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Trucktogropher, I would really be interested in hearing more about your journey, should be leaving in a few days to meet my road trainer, nice to see what's coming lol Congrats btw!

David L.'s Comment
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Hopefully Trucktographer won't mind me chiming in (he's my son). He's been on the road pretty solid since Monday, 09/08/14. I counted 14 states today and he and his trainer arrived in Phoenix this morning. They are getting some downtime at HQ and picking a load up tonight and bound for San Franscisco. He's been driving like a solo driver this week building miles and hours. I understand he and his trainer will start "team"driving shortly and will be running with the big dawgs! In 8 days: FL, GA, TN, KY, IL, IN, WI, KS, MO, TX, OK, NM, and AZ. I know for sure he's been through or around Atlanta, Chatanooga, Eau Clare, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, etc. I'm proud of my son. We're actually thinking about teaming next year after I retire from my current gig. shocked.png

David L.'s Comment
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Dad here with another update: Sean got back to Ocala last Thursday. We picked him up and he spent home time with us in Orlando (did the Wine & Food Festival at EPCOT) and then over at home in Clearwater, FL. I ran him back to Ocala Sunday afternoon (yesterday) and he should meet up with Randall, his trainer, later today for a second run.

He can add CA and OR to his states covered on the last trip. He estimated a bit over 6000 miles. Randall allowed Sean to run most of the miles and thus he was able to complete a lot of the items on the training checklist. If things go well this trip Randall should be able to sign Sean off and he'll get his own tractor to begin making some $$$.

When we got to Ocala, Sean ran into Anthony, a fellow graduate of the Roadmaster program in Tampa. Anthony was able to get his trainer just before Labor Day and is about 10 days ahead of Sean. Anthony will test out today and hopefully will get his tractor.

I'm hoping Sean (Trucktographer) will update this log soon and fill in some details, but training is going well.

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.
Matt S.'s Comment
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Dad here with another update: Sean got back to Ocala last Thursday. We picked him up and he spent home time with us in Orlando (did the Wine & Food Festival at EPCOT) and then over at home in Clearwater, FL. I ran him back to Ocala Sunday afternoon (yesterday) and he should meet up with Randall, his trainer, later today for a second run.

He can add CA and OR to his states covered on the last trip. He estimated a bit over 6000 miles. Randall allowed Sean to run most of the miles and thus he was able to complete a lot of the items on the training checklist. If things go well this trip Randall should be able to sign Sean off and he'll get his own tractor to begin making some $$$.

When we got to Ocala, Sean ran into Anthony, a fellow graduate of the Roadmaster program in Tampa. Anthony was able to get his trainer just before Labor Day and is about 10 days ahead of Sean. Anthony will test out today and hopefully will get his tractor.

I'm hoping Sean (Trucktographer) will update this log soon and fill in some details, but training is going well.

Nice! Hoping Sean gets his own tractor soon. I'll be heading to school in a few weeks at Swift's academy in Richmond. Hope to see y'all on the road one day.

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.
Ricky A.'s Comment
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I am in florida as well and would be intrested in hear more about your experience with swift as i will have to make a company choice soon. Thank you and good luck to you.

David L.'s Comment
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A quick update from Dad! I’m following Trucktographer’s progress as most proud dads do and we are, tentatively, planning on joining forces as a team after the first of the year. Sean left Ocala on Monday afternoon, 09/29/14. He’s currently in Eagan, Minnesota. I have no idea, yet, where he and his trainer, Randall, are headed next. So far Sean has shown that Roadmaster can and does provide the necessary training and information to get the first job. At this time, Swift has delivered quality training and Randall has been a very good and pro-active mentor. I met him last week when picking Sean up at Ocala. Randall said that was the first time he’d ever met a trainee’s folks or family. Randall has gone so far as to recommend Sean to his DM and this should help a lot getting loads as a new driver. Training pay is not the greatest, but Sean is paid all time out: minimum wage when non-driving and about a $2 bump when driving. Randall has made sure he’s getting plenty of miles AND plenty of backs. Sean would probably be finished by now, but the Labor Day weekend slowed down his getting assigned a mentor, but that probably worked out fine as Randall was coming off home-time when they left out last week for the first run. I think Sean said he’d logged over 6000 miles the first trip. We pretty much expect he’ll get signed off and test out next week and hopefully get a truck from a terminal other than Ocala. Nothing against Ocala, but it is small and in Florida. K-Mart has a distribution center in Ocala and thus Swift has a terminal there! We’re taking notes and I’ll start the school/company application process in November. The goal is to get Swift training (I’m a vet and should be able to get a discount or scholarship) and then go team with my son. The current plan is to go out with Sean, after I “retire” from my current position, to see how we get along in a cab/sleeper AND see how CinCHouse (SWMBO) handles me being gone! Anyway, that’s the update and current plan.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David L.'s Comment
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I'm hoping, sometime, that Trucktographer will update from the road, but until that happens, I'll fill in. Since leaving Ocala, FL, last Monday, 09/29/14, Sean and his trainer, Randall, have been up to Minnesota/Wisconsin, back down to South Carolina, over to Tennessee where they spent a couple of days hauling trailers from the plant to a distribution site (railhead? I don't know). They finished that up on Saturday night and stopped in a Walmart parking lot for the night. They picked a load up in Jackson, TN, on Sunday and are now heading to Laredo, TX. Currently they are between New Braunfels and San Antonio. Sean is hoping to get signed off and text out this week.

David L.'s Comment
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I never know what Sean and Randall are hauling (unless I specifically ask) but they are getting the grand tour of Texas. Yesterday they blew through Austin and San Antonio on the way to Laredo. Later int he day I say they were down near McCallan and this morning they are up on US 77 between Corpus Chrisi and Victoria. This used to be pretty desolate farm/ranch country but I haven't been through south Texas sent the fracking boom started.

Trucktographer's Comment
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Howdy folks. I didn't realize my dad had been keeping up my training log till today. On my 30 minute break now, but I'll post again when I'm done driving for the day.

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