Profile For G-Town

G-Town's Info

  • Location:
    Pottstown, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 1 month ago

G-Town's Bio

Retired from a 30 year career in computer technology. Finally realized that it was the journey I really enjoyed and not the destination. So in January of 2013 I fulfilled my lifelong love of trucks and driving by enrolling in Swift's Richmond Academy. Graduated, passed the CDL test, and went OTR for 240 hours with a mentor. Once that was completed, I was re-tested by Swift and offered a job. Overall a great experience. I wish I knew about this website while I was contemplating this as a career and while I was in school. Great information exchange.

Fast forward to the current, I am working for Swift as a dedicated driver assigned to the WALMART account in north central PA. Best job I ever had.

Happy to truthfully answer any questions about Swift and/or my experience in school and training.

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Posted:  22 hours, 44 minutes ago

View Topic:

Maintenance Times on different fifth wheels

Tim...Todd?

Yes, that thought had occurred to me...

Todd v7.0

Posted:  1 day, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime has better qualified applicants??

Here is the link to assist with the application process... Apply For Paid CDL Training

Keep trying , lots of options.

Posted:  1 day, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Finally chose new gig

Good luck with the new gig Jeremy.

Posted:  1 day, 4 hours ago

View Topic:

Maintenance Times on different fifth wheels

Tim, I am bumping my most recent reply, to redirect attention and focus on what we believe is important to review and study as you look to trucking as a career.

Honestly Tim, I am trying to think of a good reason why you’d need to know A-Z details of all commercially available 5th wheels.

As a season company driver, the context of your question has never entered my mind, and likely never will. Help us understand “why” this is important to you...

double-quotes-start.png

I thought maybe some people here have an independent view on this issue. Would be curious to know your thoughts.

double-quotes-end.png

If you are really serious about becoming a truck driver...and not a truck mechanic or an owner, my suggestion is to focus your attention on the following links:

Like I stated in my initial reply, your question is irrelevant.

Posted:  1 day, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Maintenance Times on different fifth wheels

I thought maybe some people here have an independent view on this issue. Would be curious to know your thoughts.

If you are really serious about becoming a truck driver...and not a truck mechanic or an owner, my suggestion is to focus your attention on the following links:

Like I stated in my initial reply, your question is irrelevant.

Posted:  2 days, 7 hours ago

View Topic:

Is a GED or HS diploma NEEDED?

Completion of a training course at an accredited truck driving school is helpful. A truck driver must obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL). ... Employer training programs may also need to be completed.

Not only is completion of a truck driving course (minimum of 160 hours) helpful, it's actually a requirement for qualification. Otherwise, no company can or will insure an entry level driver.

Dominic trucking is highly competitive; and that starts immediately during the pre-qualification process.

I suggest you invest some time reviewing this information:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Good luck.

Posted:  2 days, 7 hours ago

View Topic:

Waitress with CDL and no experience looking for truck driving job

Priscilla replied to Errol...

and NO you did not answer my question of what otr company to start with.

I think the questions Errol posed are highly relevant, and your answers could influence suggested replies. A truckers schedule is highly variable and at times difficult to plan around. Keep that in mind with the "every other weekend" visit you mentioned.

All of the companies represented in this link, Paid CDL Training Programs are excellent companies. No exceptions. Considering you will require school and training, the best route to take is company sponsored (in the link). Apply to many...because the need for entry level drivers fluctuates for a variety of reasons, without notice. Use this link to apply: Apply For Paid CDL Training

Good luck.

Posted:  2 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Maintenance Times on different fifth wheels

Are you serious?

Unless you intend on becoming an owner operator (not recommended), this question is irrelevant for a Newbie.

Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Eye Candy

Pottsville PA?

Looks like the B-Model Mack (B-61 likely. late 50's early 60's) was either "headed to" or "returning from" a truck show or some other event. Notice the cooler? Love the twin stacks. Short wheelbase, single axle bob-tailing; probably quite a handful in the rain...

Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Bump Dock Pay

Old School wrote:

As far as accessory pay goes, everyone gets it in some form or the other. Once you're established, they throw extra stuff at you all the time. Often for no reason other than your driver manager just really appreciates you making their job so easy.

This is soooo true. Emphasis on "getting established"...it can take a while, up to a year. Patience, learn the business, to perform and the money will follow no matter what company you choose.

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Proactive

If nothing else...focus on this, do the work...get it done and be prepared;

High Road CDL Training Program

Good luck.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Asking for advice for my situation, especially from experienced drivers

That'll do...assuming you can disconnect the end unit. Yup.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Asking for advice for my situation, especially from experienced drivers

I should add that we are using 28 foot pup trailers not 53s. Do you think I should look at getting a diecast with a pup trailer for best simulation?

Yes if you can find one.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Asking for advice for my situation, especially from experienced drivers

Oops, sorry sent the wrong link:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Asking for advice for my situation, especially from experienced drivers

Moses, everyone learns at a different pace, however none of us were actually born with the gifted "backing-gene". It's totally counter intuitive to back a vehicle without a pivot point.

I think your absolute best path forward is to very humbly, yet with emphasis, request help. You paid them...is there language in their contract limiting your time on the practice range? The U-haul idea although novel, is probably not as effective or price effective as purchasing a diecast tractor and trailer from Walmart or Target and learn how the 1/53rd scale version responds to over or under adjusting. Believe it or not, it will respond in a similar fashion as the larger version as you push it in reverse from the nose of the tractor. U-haul trailers have a totally different pivot point and will respond extremely quick because of the short length (12' as opposed to 53').

You asked about enrolling in a Paid CDL Training Programs like Swift. Wouldn't hurt to try that route as a "back-up" to your backing plan (pun intended). Use this link to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Brett wrote a candid article a few years back entitled Learning To Back-Up a Tractor Trailer

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Asking for advice for my situation, especially from experienced drivers

It is insane to keep doing the same thing expecting different results.

The above is an interesting point...however the "insanity" you speak of is all about "repetitions", learning how the trailer responds to your inputs. Although I am not there to observe your attempts, it's likely over-adjusting and probably too quickly. Watch what the trailer does as you slowly back from your setup spot. The more repetitions you experience, the more likely you'll realize there is no magic to learning this.

That said, have you requested extra practice? Instead of telling them where they need to improve, ask for help. In their eyes you know nothing, so you really have no basis of credibility to offer any meaningful critique of their school or how they teach. 12 out of 18 students passing their CDL is actually a remarkable result.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Marten - Walmart Dedicated WI

Welcome Scott...

The link Turtle sent is rather comprehensive (Thanks "T" for picking me up on this).

I've been running Walmart for many years now and really enjoy the account. Although it's definitely not for everyone, your Dollar General experience will enable safe and efficient passage in and out of the stores.

A few things to keep in mind:

- Walmart, not the carrier determines the operational aspect of outbound DC loads destined for stores or Sams. The operation is basically the same no matter the carrier. Each carrier has their own specific contract with he DC, that include performance SLA's. On Walmart it's all about delivery completion at the end of each shift.

- It's a hustle. Each dispatch can have up to 5 different store stops consolidated on one trailer. Especially true for reefer if the DC you are Dedicated to is a grocery/perishables center. Most of the Walmart loads are live unload, with the possible exception of the last store stop for a non-perishable grocery load, many times a drop and hook.

- 30-35% of the time you'll be assigned a vendor back haul as your return leg back to the DC. Since you are likely paid stop pay, back hauls are usually easy money. Most back hauls are drop and hook and even better Walmart many times has priority and gets serviced quickly. The longest I've ever waited for a live load to be completed was 2 hours.

- Expect to average a 12+ hour day, many times encroaching on the 14 hour daily on-duty clock. Delays do occur on dock-out times, pushing the clock. That said, never put yourself on-duty until you've been dispatched. That said, I've usually burned 62 or more hours by the 6th day of dispatch; unless your assignment is dramatically different the 34 hour reset is invoked and will cover your day-off on the 7th day.

- Really important to realize that Walmart is the customer, and you'll need to conduct yourself with professionalism and finesse' when you are interacting with store and DC personnel. The rapport you build with them can either make or break you...please trust me when I say this; "they don't typically care how long it takes to unload their pallets from your trailer". Treating them with respect and gratitude will enable their memory of you in a positive light. Over time this will enhance your ability to "get-in" and "get-out" in a timely fashion. This is key to maximizing your compensation.

- Not trying to shed a negative light on the $1,400 weekly "guarantee", but this account is all about performance. If you find yourself frequently "tapping" that as a "fall-back", someone will likely have a chat with you about under-performing and reinforce expectations. Like I said, you gotta hustle. Not hurried, but maximizing your available time.

- This is a no-touch assignment. Although we are not expected to assist with unloading, I do in the event of a toppled pallet. I help re-stack for two reasons; it expedites departure and it's a good-will gesture the unloaders remember.

Here is a blog article I wrote describing my first 6 months running Walmart...I think it applies to any driver, experienced or otherwise to understand the demands of this account.

Freedom of Trucking

Good luck!

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Looking To Start A Career!

Jdad, we constantly promote the premise; "good drivers; safe and efficient can be successful for most any company." In the final analysis, the one that really matters is all about you and only you; your heart, tenacity and ability to apply laser focus to the task of learning.

A quick entry into the search bar yields these results from our diary section (click the links):

US Express

Maverick

CFI

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers

This article aligns with a point I have repeatedly touted;

- The overwhelming majority of non-CDL drivers have little to no formal training and as a whole are ambivalent to prudent and safe driving, the laws, the rules and basic common-sense. I see it every day...over and over again, no regard for personal safety or the safety of the others around them, as if they are driving in some indestructible, protective bubble surrounding their top-heavy, short wheelbase SUV as they focus on everything BUT driving. Driving has become a distraction from personal entertainment and social media. Unfortunately as professionals we not only need to drive for ourselves, but also anticipate every possible boneheaded move a 4-wheeler will deliberately make.

If there is any one thing that will push me out of the drivers seat and into early retirement ...it's this. All other BS aside, this is the biggest problem we all face. And unfortunately it's getting worse. Not unlike big pharma wanting the entire country "sick"... more money in that model for them. Bad drivers, ducking personal responsibility are a cash cow for billboard lawyers.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

This is Great News, but Now What do I put on my Applications?

Victor, Swift terminated you because of 5 separate issues/events. You know the answer to your question. What more is there to understand?

Like PJ, my suggestion is be totally, 100% honest. Accept responsibility for what happened and be prepared (if asked) to describe how you will prevent something like this in the future. Period.

Submit to whatever future employer requires of you to be qualified and hired. You have no control over or any surefire way of understanding what Swift will disclose to your prospective employer(s) "if they are asked for details". If you are 100% truthful, you need not worry about what Swift says or doesn't say.

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