Profile For Jarod(Red)

Jarod(Red)'s Info

  • Location:
    Mount Vernon, IN

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 9 months ago

Jarod(Red)'s Bio

35 years old from Mount Vernon, Indiana. I have 3 daughters and I'm a single father. I'm a Army Veteran of 7 years and recently got my CDL and currently a Swift Trans. Rookie Solo Driver.

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Posted:  3 years ago

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Getting my CDL before choosing a company. What can I expect?

Thank you G-Town, I should've clarified that. Its 200 hours btw.

Jarod wrote:

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And use up as much as your clock as you can each day you drive to finish training faster as most companies want you to do so many hours with a trainer, like Swift wants you to be with a trainer 200 hours. Just be safe and and learn all you can.

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Just to be clear, that's 200 hours of driving while with a Swift mentor. Drive as long as you can and preserve your clock to maximize driving time; limiting "on-duty not driving" to what is mandatory.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Getting my CDL before choosing a company. What can I expect?

Congrats on getting you're CDL! I wish I would've went the way you did instead of Company CDL training. Doing it the way you did it leaves you're options open to choose who you go through and you aren't stuck in a contract. Company OTR training is your next step, usually averages about 30 days. You're experience will be based on your trainer that you get. There are good ones and bad ones. My first trainer was horrible! Had road rage issues, moving cars out of the way, ended up getting fired for getting into fight with shipper, plus he didn't bother teaching me anything. My second trainer was awesome, cared about me and my training, veteran driver that cared about the business, he even would take his 34 hour resets at my home so I could see my kids. So get to know you're trainer before you go out with the. Training pay will be based on your division, usually averages $375 a week I think, try not to take out any advances. And use up as much as your clock as you can each day you drive to finish training faster as most companies want you to do so many hours with a trainer, like Swift wants you to be with a trainer 200 hours. Just be safe and and learn all you can.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Any Prime drivers here?

That's understandable, but that's not a reportable offense on DAC. They reported that I broke a company policy violation which is false.

They spent $100 on your non-refundable bus ticket and then you flake. That's what that basically means.

For the future, I recommend committing to a company fully before telling them to get you a bus ticket.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Any Prime drivers here?

I was set up to attend Prime Orientation, well I went with ALTL instead so I didn't get on the bus to Prime for orientation. Well they reported on my DAC "Company Policy Violation 192" and I don't know what the hell that is and I didn't know it was a violation for not attending their orientation. Any help from any current or former Prime drivers would be helpful. Thank You

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Any drivers around?

Any drivers going to be around Evansville, Indiana(Southern Indiana) in next 48 or so hours, heading up to Gary, Indiana or Chicago? Looking to get up to my terminal in Gary without having to take 14 Greyhound bus ride.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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My student driver landed himself in hot water. Almost fired!

Interesting read guys.

Now when I say he almost got fired, I don't mean I almost fired him - my DM did. I almost fired him from my truck, my DM almost fired him from the company.

As far as me ratting him out to the company. He's just another student, not my friend or buddy and as such he doesn't get away with things like this. You give the students 1 inch and they'll take a mile. It's important to remind them where they are and looking the other way when it comes to being late like this won't help them in any way. Thats hand-holding.

I also didn't necessarily rat him out to my DM. I told him that my PTA is changing due to my student and told him why. That's covering my ass because I don't want to be dispatched on a load then be late. I won't sacrifice my reputation for the sake of holding my student hand through his irresponsiblities.

As far as the outcome, he is behaving much better. Now I don't and didn't foresee any future issues with him, but at the same time you need to make them realize that this is an industry that does not accept being late very well.

As far as being his boss, I have to disagree with you guys. I would argue that he has multiple bosses, and I'm one of them.

If he gets into an accident, who answers for it? If he falls asleep while driving, I will be questioned. If he violates his logbook, I will be questioned. I am responsible for his actions and I take the liability for his mistakes. I am the one signing off and approving of him going solo once he meets the qualifications. Remember, you can have your 40k miles in, but until your trainer says you're ready you're not going anywhere. I just think that's being more than a trainer, especially since I'm paying him out of my own paycheck.

I understand that but that still doesn't make you his boss. Your doing what trainers in all different types of jobs do, you train.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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My student driver landed himself in hot water. Almost fired!

Did good, don't agree with the "Im your boss" stuff, your not really his boss, your his trainer, and the "Boss" stuff doesn't really apply. You can't fire him or suspend him, you might be able to recommend it. He has to live by your truck rules and do as you ask, but your job isn't to be his boss, that's the companies job, your job is to train him to be a professional driver and prepare him for the road. He's just an employee like yourself. But I would have handled everything else the same way.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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DirecTV, cable and etc for truck

I would think you would have to have a dish of some sort... it's direct tv... that's sat service. It's also not like you can hook up a cable line anywhere... I can see it now... walking into pilot... "yeah ugh do you have a cable outlet I can hook this up to?" while holding a 200' coax cable running out to your truck haha.

They are wireless cable boxes bud, not wired

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Humbled. But Ready!

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Oh, and when your on the yard practicing your backing maneuvers you'll see a lot of guys scared to jump in truck and go, jump up and jump in that seat if they are stalling, get all seat time you can because I've seen 40 student classes, when I left SLC school they had 2 classes on the training pad, one class was 50 students and one class was 65 students, there is only like 10 trucks out there to train in. I got lucky when I started, I only had 15 students in my class on day 1, by the time we got out on training pad we had 9 students in my class so seat time wasn't a issue, but it's very rare classes are that small.

And you'll run into a big guy, with beard, his name is Grizz, he's a really good trainer. Also Nate and JR are good trainers too. Pack plenty of sunscreen because it gets hot out there and drink plenty of water. If you can get to WYNCO which is a Wal-mart type store, you can get Gatorade and food really cheap there, WYNCO is right across street from Wal-mart. They have a van that runs to Wal-mart at end of each day after class. In building 1, which is where you'll spend your first 3-4 days and orientation is a cafeteria, they serve really good food there, they have coffee, bottle drinks, monster energy drinks, they have everything down there. Also while in orientation you get free breakfast and lunch at cafeteria.

Building 2 is out by training pad, they have Swift Store and drivers lounge in there, you can also go in there and buy drinks and food, shirts and hats, whatever you need. Enjoy it, keep us updated on your progress, if you want to know anything else just send me a message and I'll shoot you an email. I just finished my OTR training with my mentor a couple weeks ago.

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Great , great ,great info man! You knocked this post out of the park. All the information was what i was looking for and VERY helpful and you shed some light on alot of things. Thanks alot! But yes feel free to email i do have just a few more questions!

Email me at Jrodallred27@gmail.com if you want to know anything else or need anything. I have 2 really good mentors that you can go with after you graduate too so you dont have to worry about getting assigned a bad one.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Favorite trucking companies

The DM communication has some magic that I lack, too. It depends on them. I send messages, some are answered, some aren't. They do prefer messages over phone calls, because of the nature of their work. ... and you get a written document about your message.

I messaged my DM 4 times today with no reply, so I call and she tells me that she rarely checks her email and that its best to call her lol, and I was always told that email is best form of communication with any office at Swift, whether its DM, Driver Services and etc lol.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Favorite trucking companies

My favorite company is Swift..... lol not. No really, Swift has its upside and downsides. Positives are I'm always running, always have a load, decent equipment, good benefits, and I like that I can access all my documents and materials online, it's US largest carrier. Negatives are the bad reputations that Swift has, some of the drivers they let btw, home time is scarce, a lot of messed up trailers, and communication with DM is like pulling teeth.

A company I really wanted to work for was TMC, and in 9 months I'd love to move over there. I like their training program, their equipment and they have great benefits.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Applied for a Dedicated route with a Company CDL Training

The Grain of Salt: All the rules and trucker career "promotion" paths detailed on Trucking Truth can be skipped/passed over. It all depends on your company and what they need "now".

Usually you need to drive OTR for several months before you get the better things like dedicated. I asked for a particular dedicated run when I got my Solo level, Swift said to wait. After 4 months, I got a call, offering me a shuttle route (500+ miles daily, 4 or 5 days a week, home every day).

It never hurts to let them know your desires, but just be patient. Generally start asking after 6 months on the road.

Errol nailed it, Swift recruiter told me that I'd be able to do a dedicated Walmart or Costco route after training, well after orientation they told me it could take 6 to 9 months before I can get into that route.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Decision - Pam, Werner or Shift?

From my research, PAM pays the lowest of any company and Prime pays the highest.

Also PAM makes you drive team for 6 months with another CDL graduate.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Advice from a recent Swift Lewiston grad

Last week I graduated from Swift Academy in Lewiston. Tomorrow I head to the Oregon DMV to complete the process of getting my CDL. I found some great advice from this site while preparing to head to Lewiston so I would like to repay that debt by adding a few tips of my own.

1. Use this site. This diary, https://www.truckingtruth.com/truckers-forum/Topic-2452/Page-1/my-swift-driving-academy-experience , was extremely helpful for me. I would have contributed my own but I don't think I could do better than Daniel did. The training materials here are also superior to those provided by the Swift when it comes to passing the Oregon DMV permit tests. You still need to do the Swift online stuff but I highly recommend doing the High Road too. It takes several more hours but it dramatically increases your preparedness.

2. Take more money than Swift suggests. The Academy information sheet suggested $200. I took $300 and used it all. I could have saved money by shopping for groceries instead of eating out but I didn't want to mess with groceries. I ate at Subway most of the time. I used a lunch box to carry a sandwich and a few snacks with me to school. I would have a salad for dinner, then order a sandwich for the next days lunch. It worked out great for me. I also kept my water bottle from day to day, I don't drink pop. At the school I was able to refill my bottle without relying on the vending machines.

3. Be early. The shuttle from the hotel to the academy usually left at 4:30am not 4:45am as the info sheet shows. If you miss it, you'll be late, have sore feet from walking, and have nothing to show except an excuse that no one cares about.

4. Dress appropriately. Jeans, t-shirt, sneakers, a hat to block the sun, gloves if you like. Don't wear shorts, you'll be sent home to change. You don't need heavy work boots, you'll be driving a truck, not loading it. Everyone knows you're living in a hotel and laundry is expensive. Most of the students wear the same jeans several days in a row, it's OK. Change your shirt and skivvies though, as long as you're clean and maintain basic personal hygiene, you'll be fine.

5. Obey, practice, study. The staff is professional and helpful. They want us to succeed. When they say to do something, there's a reason. I can't count the number of times I saw students standing in the sun complaining to each other about how they thought things should be run instead of getting into a truck and practicing their skills. The trucks are old, most with over 500k miles, so what, get in there and practice. I had never driven a truck before training and I aced the skills portion. Not because I'm great but because I listened to the instructors and practiced. We had 6 trucks set up for the advanced backing maneuvers. I was among about a dozen students allowed on that portion of the range. I never had to wait for a truck because many (not all), other students preferred to sit, smoke and gripe instead of practice. Their loss was my gain but the school costs about $4000. Why did they spend class time smoking? My motto was, "Diesel won't burn itself."

I know none of this is Earth-shattering stuff for most folks. Maybe it will help someone out though. We started with 10 people. Four graduated on time. Of the other six, one never made it to the drug test on the first day; two quit (probably because they stressed themselves out); two were held back because of failed exams (maybe a lack of study); and one failed the state skills test even though he scored very high on the same test a week earlier (maybe a combination of stress and practice). A 40% graduation rate doesn't sound impressive but keep this in mind, the school only provides information and equipment. The student needs to bring the motivation and enough basic life skills to succeed.

I hope someone finds this helpful. If anyone has specific questions about my experience at Swift Lewiston please ask them here and I'll be happy to respond. I'm not a know-it-all but I know what I earned and I'm proud of it, Rob

I went to Swift Academy in West Valley City, Utah. Yes! My training sheet said bring $200, I brought almost $500 and was broke by the time orientation was over lol!!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Humbled. But Ready!

Oh, and when your on the yard practicing your backing maneuvers you'll see a lot of guys scared to jump in truck and go, jump up and jump in that seat if they are stalling, get all seat time you can because I've seen 40 student classes, when I left SLC school they had 2 classes on the training pad, one class was 50 students and one class was 65 students, there is only like 10 trucks out there to train in. I got lucky when I started, I only had 15 students in my class on day 1, by the time we got out on training pad we had 9 students in my class so seat time wasn't a issue, but it's very rare classes are that small.

And you'll run into a big guy, with beard, his name is Grizz, he's a really good trainer. Also Nate and JR are good trainers too. Pack plenty of sunscreen because it gets hot out there and drink plenty of water. If you can get to WYNCO which is a Wal-mart type store, you can get Gatorade and food really cheap there, WYNCO is right across street from Wal-mart. They have a van that runs to Wal-mart at end of each day after class. In building 1, which is where you'll spend your first 3-4 days and orientation is a cafeteria, they serve really good food there, they have coffee, bottle drinks, monster energy drinks, they have everything down there. Also while in orientation you get free breakfast and lunch at cafeteria.

Building 2 is out by training pad, they have Swift Store and drivers lounge in there, you can also go in there and buy drinks and food, shirts and hats, whatever you need. Enjoy it, keep us updated on your progress, if you want to know anything else just send me a message and I'll shoot you an email. I just finished my OTR training with my mentor a couple weeks ago.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Humbled. But Ready!

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Once they see you mean business they will keep you moving. About a month after I started OTR I suddenly had very little wait time between dispatches.

Generally the home time goes 1 day off for a week of driving. Drive two weeks (the absolute minimum) get two days at home. Three weeks = three days off. You're the one who asks for & sets the date. (Don't wait for anyone you ask you if you want to go home - won't happen!)

Two suggestions, and I seem to be the only one with these: get a toy semi truck to take with you. It really helps to see how backing up a 53' monster works.

I haven't heard back from anyone about this one: Get the broom. Hold the "stick" end on your hip with one hand. Now walk around the house, and do no let the broom bump into anything. You have to walk in large curves. That's how you need to drive with a trailer on the back. See if you can figure out the trick to make a U-turn around a tree, dragging the broom along.

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How was your swift school experience btw ? did you feel rushed or did you get all the time and help you needed? did you feel prepared after leaving school?

And yes I actually have a few toy semi's ! ill play with it . your second method , its unconventional for sure! I like it , ill try and get back to you on that one!

Deonte, welcome to the family bud! I also went to the Salt Lake City school about 2 months ago. Hopefully you'll get to stay in the Crystal Inn, or at least Sleep Inn, you do not want the Ramada Inn at all. Crystal Inn is a 4 star hotel, it's very nice bud, you'll like it. You can expect to be there about 3 1/2 weeks total which includes orientation.

You first 3 to 4 days(Monday to Wednesday or Thursday) will be in a classroom doing your drug screen, turning in your permits and your dot physicals and going over material you already studied when you got your permit, you'll go over training truck rules, yard rules and etc. Also keep a receipt of your DOT physical you had to pay for, take it to SLC with you and turn it in, they will reimburse you for that. Thursday or Friday you'll go out to the yard behind building 2 and you'll start doing pre-trip practice and straight-line backing. Saturday, depending on how many students are in your class, and how many other students from other classes are out on yard you'll probably go out to Rookie Road and learn and practice your shifting. For the next two weeks you'll be doing Industrial Park driving, City and Mountain Driving, and offset and parallel backing, it's pretty easy as long as you remember to hit your marks.

You'll get Sundays off and random days through the week depending on how many students are out on yard with your class and other classes. After your two weeks you'll be testing on a Thursday or Friday, you'll test your pre-trip first, then your A.L.E brake test which is automatic fail, then you'll do your straight-line, offset, and parallel backing test, after that you'll do your road test and be done. You get 3 strikes before you get sent home, so my suggestion would be study your pre-trip good and don't mess up your A.L.E brake check test that way you go into your driving test with all strikes available.

If you pass your test on Thursday or Friday you will start orientation Monday, you'll do another drug screen, and watch a lot of slideshows and videos. Tuesday you'll get a lot of your paperwork signed and receive some books on Hazmat, Tandem sliding and etc. Wednesday you'll sign more paperwork and your training coordinator will come in and talk to you about what you have to do while you're out with your mentor. At 4pm you'll receive your driver code and Comdata card, and also a piece of paper with your mentor's name on it and his cell phone number. You'll then be released and you'll go call your mentor and talk to him, he will tell you when he will be there to pick you up. 9 out 10 times he's probably already there and you'll leave right away, or you'll leave the next day.

Your first 50 hours in truck it will just be you driving and your mentor will be in passenger seat. After those 50 hours you'll start driving team for another 150 hours, you'll also have to do 42 backing maneuvers in that time frame. After that you'll go back to SLC for upgrade, you'll do a short 60 question, multiple choice test, and you'll do another road test, then you'll get assigned your truck. While with your mentor you'll get paid $9.75/hour while your BTW(Behind the Wheel), all other On-Duty time will be paid minimum wage for Utah which is like $7.75/hr I think. So try to drive as much of your 11 hours a day as possible so you can get better check. Also on your second day on truck with your mentor you can get an advance if you choose, you can withdraw $105 a week but it takes 24 hours after you receive your Comdata card for your card to be ready.

But enjoy it, drive as much as you can. You'll hear a lot of crazy stuff about "dumb" Swift drivers while your on the road, everyone will be watching you, but don't let it get to you. Remember this is your starting point, just get your experience.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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DirecTV, cable and etc for truck

Anyone know what package it is that some of these companies are getting from DirecTV for their trucks? TransAm driver showed me his set-up with DirecTV and he has 100 channels with DVR and NFL gameday ticket. I was wondering if that was a dish set-up on the truck or just a regular cable box? Are there any other options out there for drivers to have tv channels in their truck? Thanks Guys

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Trans Am?

I personally cannot recommend Trans Am to anyone. They tend to push the lease extremely hard and I'm not impressed with their pay. In my opinion, there is nothing more annoying than a company who shoves the lease program down your throat when you're clearly not interested.

I have heard that about them also Daniel. Swift does the same thing, they want you in a lease as soon as you get 60 days OTR with them.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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DOT Drug Testing: Urinalysis or Hair Follicle?

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How about SWIFT or CRST?

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Supposedly Swift is currently looking into hair follicle.

Anyone know about Southern Refrigerated Transport?

Swift starts Hair Follicle in January

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Trans Am?

Just wanted to get some drivers views on Tran Am? Was considering the move from Swift to Trans Am.

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