Swift Debt Pay Off

Topic 5560 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

Vin, I like Brett, am concerned here. The reason is that we see this type of knee jerk reaction all the time. This business is so misunderstood, and think about who it is that you are getting your information and influence from... People who have yet to drive a truck professionally for their very first mile!

Is that how you want to get started at this?

You were walking a fine line in your post the other day and I thought it was a decent post, but now you have completely fallen off into the nether regions of the self proclaimed experts on trucking who have never even made their first dollar driving a truck. You've got to turn the page back and get yourself on track here or you are quickly going to become one of the many statistical failures at even launching your new career.

Be more specific here with us and we can help you resolve this. Many of our members started with Swift, and continue to drive for them years later now. Getting started is tough on everyone, but the biggest stumbling blocks are the unrealistic expectations, and the extreme amount of misinformation that can be easily accessed online.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Vin, like Old School and Brett this sort of misinformed post is extremely upsetting and concerning.

As an entry-level, unproven driver, you have nothing of significant value to offer any company. So for a student to claim there are better opportunities out there is beyond ridiculous.

I can tell you from my first hand experience (including Richmond Academy), Swift has made an initial investment in you and will make any and all reasonable efforts to ensure you are successful. The instructors? Call them what you want, their job is to help you get your CDL. Whatever it is they are throwing at you pales in comparison to what you will experience your first three months solo. They are naturally testing your patience, commitment and nerve. Most of the things I experienced during my 3 weeks in Richmond have stuck with me, never forgotten and still utilized to this day.

I have been driving for Swift over five years now, and know how they operate; the good and the not so good. That said they have always treated me fairly, professionally and respectfully. Your friends know nothing about them.

I think by listening to the uninformed "students", you are making a hasty mistake. The consistent, experience based advice we offer you here is always truthful and always considers your best interest.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm just chiming in, agreeing with the earlier posters.

#1, I've been driving for Swift nearly 3 years. From the first day at Swift's Memphis Academy to now, the staff I work with is nothing but professional. Believe me, they have my back, both in getting me miles, and on dealing with family issues (home time and scheduling).

#2, the Academy instructors know their stuff. Maybe they aren't good at teaching methods, but their commitment is to teach you and show you what you need to know to pass the tests and be a professional driver.

The thing about "Driver Lounge Rats" is true - the "bad" stuff is more fun to talk about than the (boring) good stuff.

Make a change of you want to. But don't be surprised that of you continue listening to Lounge Rats at the new place, you'll think nothing is changed.

My advice: focus on what your instructors have to say, get your license, and then get to know your Driver Manager. I bet you'll be happy you did.

Driver Manager:

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

Oh, and while we're at it, here's another podcast that I should have mentioned before:

Episode 9: Are Major Carriers Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

This whole idea of the major companies being "bad companies" or nothing more than starter companies is one of the biggest misconceptions in this industry. I've worked for companies ranging from 5 trucks to over 5,000 trucks. After I had tried everything I could think of to try out there I had over a million miles behind the wheel and almost ten years of experience. I could have gone to any trucking company in the nation. You know where I decided to spend the last 6 years of my OTR career?

U.S. Xpress

They don't have a school anymore but they still hire students out of school. When I worked there they had their own school. They were labeled a "starter company" like all of the rest. Honest to God I never could figure out where these companies got that label from. I drove around in a brand new rig, I was treated really well, I moved around in various divisions at my discretion, and made $55,000 - $62,000 in the years I worked there.

Not bad for a starter company, right?

By the way, to this day if you go into the terminal at US Xpress you'll see a gigantic wall of driver photos and above the photos it says, "Million Mile Drivers With US Xpress". That's right - there are tons of drivers who had over a million miles with the company. Now why would drivers with that level of experience stick around if it wasn't a great place to work?

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

My $0.02. Why would you not give a chance to the company you picked and then they invested time and money into you. I don't drive for Swift. However, they're a great company. They have every kind of driving and many types of routes. With Swift one could drive OTR , regional , dedicated, dry van , flatbed, and refer. They even have intermodal. They have newer equipment. Plus, I think they are the largest trucking company in the USA. That means enough freight to keep you rolling.

It is wrong to enter into a contract and then try to weasel your way out of it. Forget what anyone else is doing. It is your life to live. Man up and give them the same chance they gave you. End of rant.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Big Scott wrote in response to Vin:

It is wrong to enter into a contract and then try to weasel your way out of it.

It most certainly is. Vin can try to weasel out of his contract, the one he signed; but he'll owe Swift almost 4K if he quits now. I wonder if any of his Terminal Rats In Training have thought of that?

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.

Rob's Comment
member avatar

Vin, you really need to give Swift a chance. There are numerous drivers here who are very happy with them. The instructors may not be the best, or the trucks either....who cares. I honestly doubt the tires are as bad as you claim because there's no way the DMV would allow those trucks to be used to test as they can't even pass a pretrip. Between this post and your other one I hope I'm wrong, but i don't see you sticking it out long term as you're getting hung up on small issues. I'm not gonna say Swift is perfect (as current drivers here have mentioned problems they've had), however to not want to drive for them because of the instructor? You're not even gonna see them, or deal with them after you get your license. The company I signed a contract with is definitely not perfect and has things that bother me. But you know what, they took a chance on me and for that I'm thankful. At a minimum fulfill your contract.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

G-Town added to Big Scott's in response to Vin:

double-quotes-start.png

It is wrong to enter into a contract and then try to weasel your way out of it.

double-quotes-end.png

It most certainly is. Vin can try to weasel out of his contract, the one he signed; but he'll owe Swift almost 4K if he quits now. I wonder if any of his Terminal Rats In Training have thought of that?

Oh yes, Vin. Here the deal with Swift's tuition (numbers are approximate, I don't have them handy):

Tuition is $3400. You pay it back out of your first year's paychecks. But there a deal where they pay you. So, tap out now, owe $3,400. Do your year (you will always have that rookie year to do anyway), then you will only be out $1,080 or so!

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.

Chris M's Comment
member avatar

G-Town added to Big Scott's in response to Vin:

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

It is wrong to enter into a contract and then try to weasel your way out of it.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

It most certainly is. Vin can try to weasel out of his contract, the one he signed; but he'll owe Swift almost 4K if he quits now. I wonder if any of his Terminal Rats In Training have thought of that?

double-quotes-end.png

Oh yes, Vin. Here the deal with Swift's tuition (numbers are approximate, I don't have them handy):

Tuition is $3400. You pay it back out of your first year's paychecks. But there a deal where they pay you. So, tap out now, owe $3,400. Do your year (you will always have that rookie year to do anyway), then you will only be out $1,080 or so!

It's actually even a little better than that. The way the Swift loan is paid, is every week they take $75 out of your check. But, on the same check, the company reimburses you $37.50. So every week you are out, $37.50. At the end of your first year, your obligation is complete. You can leave without owing anything else. Or, if you stay, the $37.50 that the company was reimbursing you continues. So for your second year, every week they give you that money. So if you stay 2 years, you wind up being paid back for what you paid towards the tuition the first year. Your schooling didn't cost you anything at that point.

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

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

So Swift has a good deal to pay them back then they pay you extra to keep driving for them. As far as trucks for road test, most DMV test sites know the trainers and companies who use them quite well. Minor things wrong will usually go through, they want to see you know what to look for. These companies know what they're doing. How do you think they stay in business and grow?

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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