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First week out with my Swift Mentor

Topic 5158 | Page 2

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Trucktographer's Comment
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Okay, out from behind the wheel. Let's see if I can type a post on my phone from the sleeper of a speeding truck.

Right now we are 3 hours away from our delivery in NC (we are awesome enough that we are nearly a day ahead of schedule). Our next load isn't due to be picked up till Thurs afternoon, but we are going to try and continue this streak we have in being early for everything. The delivery is due in Tucson on Saturday. By then I'll have met my hourly requirement so my Mentor (Randy) went ahead and requested a Terminal visit in Phoenix following that delivery. So I'll get to test out Monday, and depending on timing, may pick up my first solo load later that day. I'm looking forward to a few things. Firstly, making a decent paycheck...trainee pay can get you by, but that's about it. Secondly, the freedom of running your own truck, not just helping your Mentor run his. I'll enjoy the solo running for a while, but I know having a co-driver like my dad will be a good experience.

Randy has already said he would recommend me as a trainer when your time comes dad. Should be fun.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Trucktographer's Comment
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Slight change of plan. Before my Mentor could send the terminal-visit request they gave us another pre-plan. Tucson up to NJ. So now I'll test out in Richmond, and then I get my own truck. I'm looking forward to the challenges of solo driving, and then even more so to having my dad join me on the road.

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.

David L.'s Comment
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Safe travels this weekend. This'll be your first trip into the NE! Looking forward to seeing where your first solo trip will lead.

I'm checking on getting my medical card in the next couple of weeks and then going ahead with testing for the permit. So far Swift is telling me I qualify for the vet scholarship and would do school at Millington, TN, and test out at Ocala.

I've got about 80 days left at my current job and am ready to get on with a new phase of life. I'm blessed with a wife that's encouraging me though a bit anxious about this particular choice. I almost retired back in July and was looking at being a CNA at a nearby residence and then maybe LPN school, but that fell through and now an opportunity to work with my son has presented itself.

Challenge is a part of life. I know this won't be all rainbows and unicorns, but neither was joking the military in 1973. Or "retiring" at 41 and needing a new career with a houseful of boys! This boomer isn't ready to quit yet!

Good luck on Monday at Richmond and thanks and prayers for a successful start to your new career. Semper Fi, son.

David L.'s Comment
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Well, I'd say the honeymoon is over with training. Sean and Randy have been sitting at TTT truck stop outside Tucson since Saturday. The shipper cancelled their load and the weekend/regional load managers seem to be playing games. Hope their DM is back in charge of them this morning and get them a load coming back east. Randy is getting due for home time and Sean needs to test out and get his 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.

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.

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.
Trucktographer's Comment
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When Randy's DM Belinda is there, things run smoothly. On the weekends it's as if they enjoy riling up the drivers.

We dropped our delivery Sat morning a little early, and then head over for our next pick-up. We arrive and learn that the entire days shipments (all carriers) had been canceled three hours before. So we send a message on the Qualcomm and get back, "yeah, we knew about that". Then 5 hours later we get a pre-plan headed in the wrong direction. My mentor has his home time scheduled to start Thursday. Now here is the best part. This new load had been sitting for 3 days, and they couldn't have set us up with it as soon as they learned our shipment had been canceled? My mentor reminds them he needs a load heading to FL and waits for a new plan. They send one...heading to El Paso...with a delivery date of the 16th. Now the planners are truly messing with us. After that, they ignored us completely, and only this morning once Belinda got in did stuff start rolling again. We've dropped off our trailer to get loaded, and will hopefully get moving by this afternoon.

Here's to hoping I never get stuck somewhere during the weekend at the mercy of those planners.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
MLA44'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.

Swift sounds like their equipment is old...,.No e-logs.. Trucktogropher saying 62 mph...??????Am I missing something????

David L.'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.

double-quotes-end.png

Swift sounds like their equipment is old...,.No e-logs.. Trucktogropher saying 62 mph...??????Am I missing something????

Umm...no. They use Qualcomm. It's not unusual for student/trainees to keep paper logs. The equipment is not especially old. The trucks, as are many fleet trucks, in governed and his peaks at 62 mph. This is not the least unusual.

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.
Trucktographer's Comment
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Most trucks I've seen, so far, are no older than 2013 (company trucks, owner/ops are sometimes a little older). All have Qualcomms and company rigs are limited to 62mph as a fuel saving measure.

*Update: just finished the road/backing portions of testing out. Now I just need to find out how I'm going to get a truck. I think Ocala is out right now.

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.
Matt S.'s Comment
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Most trucks I've seen, so far, are no older than 2013 (company trucks, owner/ops are sometimes a little older). All have Qualcomms and company rigs are limited to 62mph as a fuel saving measure.

*Update: just finished the road/backing portions of testing out. Now I just need to find out how I'm going to get a truck. I think Ocala is out right now.

Trucktographer, What equipment did your mentor, Randy, have? Thanks!

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.
Trucktographer's Comment
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He was using a 2015 Freightliner Cascadia. With Qualcomm.

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.
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