Profile For Chris M

Chris M's Info

  • Location:
    Pinson, AL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 10 months ago

Chris M's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Happy times at TA

I absolutely hate that TA. It's one that I will actively avoid when at all possible. Always people playing the "make-a-spot" game at 15:00

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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I can never see any reason under the sun why trucks should ever be overweight.

In my career so far, I pulled reefers and dry vans for a total of 1 year and 3 months, before switching to flatbed. That was 158 loads according to our website. In that time, I had to get reworked by a shipper twice, and I can tell you exactly where those places were. On one other load, I had to keep my fuel below 1/2 tank for the duration, in order to avoid being overweight. This caused me to stop a grand total of 1 extra time for fuel.

Being loaded overweight by shippers is not a common occurrence.

I'm not trying to pile on here, but I'm trying to give you advice. You seem to latch on to the smallest inconveniences or errors, and then think that those are the norm for this industry. But that's not the case. You are constantly referencing your military background, and comparing the trucking industry to that and trucks to airplanes. I think that is one of your biggest downfalls right now. You need to focus on learning the industry rather than comparing the industry. That doesn't mean you won't be transferring your knowledge to help you in this industry, but you can't try to directly compare these things.

Focus on learning the industry before you start trying to fix the industry.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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How many times roughly do you have to stop and chain up your truck annually?

I've never had to chain up and I didn't even know that service existed. That seems like a complete waste of money to me.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Working during the holidays?

I this morning and was given a 4 hour deadhead to the house. I'll be taking the whole week off and back at it Monday morning, new years eve. My hometime usually consists of me getting home on Friday afternoon, and ready to roll out on Monday morning, so asking for a few extra days off was no problem.

Swift makes it a priority to get drivers home for Christmas, if they want it. So as long as you request it with enough notice, they'll do what has to be done to get you home, even if that means you deadhead a couple hundred miles to get there.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Where Do I Store My Atlas

I have a seat back organizer like Michael said, but mine is on the back of my driver's seat. The large pocket on the bottom holds my atlas perfectly and I can quickly reach around and grab it if I've stopped and need to reference it quickly.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Just because you work for a mega doesn't mean you're "only a number"

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I honestly never expected anyone from the company to tell me happy birthday. I'm one of 20,000+ drivers. That's an average over over 50 birthdays per day lol. But it was really nice to get this message. This was from the flatbed operations manager at my terminal. The man who is literally in charge of every single flatbed driver based out of that terminal.

Everyone thinks that just because you work for one of the mega carriers, you're not treated as a person. In my experience, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Just last week, I called Ed with a question about a load. I called his personal cell phone number, spoke to him about the load, got a detailed answer to my question, and exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes before hanging up. Not once during that call did I have to give him my truck number, or driver code. He just knew who I was.

Don't let all of the crap about being "just a number" get to you. It's just that, crap. The people in charge know who the good workers are, and who the bad workers are. Do your job to the best of your ability, and your name will stand out. Not just your employee number.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Trucks with fridge

Yes the dorm style and I never got a mattress for the top bunk because I don't have a need for it. I haven't had any ventilation issues whatsoever. It's completely open all the way around the fridge, with two straps over the top holding it down to the bunk. Works like a charm

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Trucks with fridge

Yeah I haven't heard that about the 2019 trucks coming with fridges, but I also haven't been inside any of them. I know that none of the other trucks come with them. But all trucks should have inverters installed now, and if you get on one of the remaining older trucks that doesn't have one, the shop will install one for you.

I bought the 1.7 cu foot refrigerator from Walmart and it has plenty of room for me. Don't expect the freezer to keep anything truly frozen, but the refrigerator works great and is not loud. A lot of drivers strap them into the passenger seat, but I have mine strapped on the top bunk on the passenger side.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Trucks with fridge

If you have a large inverter installed thar is connected directly to the batteries, then the fridge will not turn off. Also, in my truck, the 12v outlets are always on, unless the main power switch is shut off. They stay on even when the ignition switch is off.

My truck will last 3-4 days with the fridge running and the main power switch off.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Choosing a company based on your home location...

Every company has a "hiring area" that covers where the majority of their freight lanes are. As long as you are in that area, it does not matter if you are close to a terminal or the company headquarters.

Also, if you are not close to a terminal, the company will allow you to take the truck home and park at a secure location while on hometime.

So no, location does not matter, provided you are inside of the company's hiring area.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Padlocking trailer doors

At swift you'll get an "enforcer" lock set which is a padlock and kingpin lock. The set is $80 if I remember correctly, and they deduct if from your pay. If you lose it you'll have to get another and they'll deduct it again.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Padlocking trailer doors

At Swift if you pick up a loaded dry van or Reefer trailer from a terminal, you are not allowed out of the facility without a lock on it.

Also, when you send you're loaded macro, there is a check box asking if you put a lock on the trailer. If you say yes, and something happens to your load and it wasn't actually locked, you're terminated.

It is company policy that ALL loaded trailers are to be locked.

There is really no reason to ever not lock a loaded trailer.

Even with the paper rolls, sure no one can just carry them out. But let's say you're at a truck stop asleep during the night, and someone breaks the seal, opens the doors to see what's inside, and realizes they can't take anything. Do you think they'll be polite enough to the close the doors back and latch the handles? Nah. So if your doors stay open and you get a little rain shower during the night, now you've got a rejected load because you've got a wet roll of paper.

Seriously, always lock your loaded trailers. There is just no reason to skip that step.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Flatbed and driving help needed, long post

Turtle mentioned the trick of letting slack into your strap to use it as a sling to get it over a high load. I completely agree with that and if I ever run I to you I'll be glad to show you!

Also, I'll add that the width of your trailer matters. Your load is allowed to be 102" wide, (securement does not count against the width), regardless of whether it's hanging over the rub rails or not. My company has a lot of flatbeds that are only 96" wide. This means if your load is hanging over by 3" on both sides, you're still legal.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Home time Parking

Blain's farm and fleet in Woodstock looks like a good place to try, depending on if that's close enough to you. They've got a pretty big lot and may be willing to work with you

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Home time Parking

You can ask around at any of the major retail stores, any place with a large parking lot. Think of any places you've ever seen a truck parked in your area and call and ask. Remember the age old adage, it never hurts to ask lol. Also you can check with self storage places. Often times they have even and boat storage areas and they may be willing to let you pay a few bucks to park there for a few days a month.

If you wanna say what city or town is closest to you I'd be willing to look at Google maps and see what I can find that might work.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Swift Non-Smoking Trainers

I've got my dog with me. I've been asked on numerous occasions if I wanted to be a mentor and have always declined. I don't wanna leave my dog at home if I don't have to, and I would never want to put a trainee in the position of having to "deal with" my dog at a time that's already stressful enough.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Welcome to flatbed

If you picked up a pre-loaded trailer, it would be very tricky (but not impossible) to put the belly straps in. Most flatbedders have some sort of homemade tool that they can use to fish the straps through those tight spaces.

Just to expand on this really quick, I bought an extendable paint roller from Walmart and took the roller part off. I use it for running belly straps through loads and it works like a charm lol

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Motion sickness and training

I struggle with motion sickness badly. I can get sick within 10 minutes of riding in the back seat of a car. I took the Dramamine non-drowsy formula. I took it on the greyhound ride from Atlanta to Salt Lake City, and also took it once I got on my trainer's truck and it always helped me. But eventually I got used to the truck and it was actually a lot easier than riding in a car. Good luck!

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Swift or Western Express?

I don't have any experience with Western Express, so I won't speak about them.

I've been with Swift for 2 years, and have not experienced anything like the horror stories that you can read online. Every negative I've experienced, has been handled with courtesy.

The biggest thing I can say about Swift, is there is a real effort being made right now towards attracting and keeping good quality drivers, and efforts to change their overall reputation.

In my experience, if you can't be successful at Swift, the problem is you, not the company.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Blown-over trucks...gale-force-winds safety question

Office buildings very rarely blow over in heavy winds. Just food for thought.

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