Profile For G-Town

G-Town's Info

  • Location:
    Pottstown, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 2 months 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, 55 minutes ago

View Topic:

Had my first incident, got a ticket.

Rob...I've been following this discussion, and although I don't have anything to add, I do want to extend wishes of good luck ans you deal with this, and a sincere hope that you will not be forced to curtail your driving. As you know, many of my routes take me through rural and suburban areas, with numerous level grade crossings...many are protecting high-speed "right-of-ways".

Needless to say I am always mindful of these encounters...perhaps even a bit fearful. I know where they are, I approach with windows down so I can "hear", and I slow down up until the point of "no return". Then I apply liberal throttle. Once the lights begin to blink and the bell sounds, the gates follow within a few seconds. If already committed, best thing is to is keep going. But...no way a 53' wagon clears if the timing is in favor of our infamous friend; "Murphy".

Do everything right, and it's possible to end up in the same exact place you are right now.

All the best.

Posted:  1 day, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Damn deers...

Amber asked...

So I have a couple of questions. So you shouldn't take your foot of the accelerator and brake lightly even?? It makes sense to not brake hard as you can just end up in a worse situation but if you can slow down safely then it should cause less damage, physics of velocity and such.

Also we were told that if you are speeding they classify it as preventable?

I have come to a controlled, complete stop to avoid deer impact multiple times...and only because it was an option. No damage. I wasn't on an interstate, it was on a secondary and there was no traffic behind me. I also blast the airhorn...

If on the interstate or other highway where you are driving 45-70mph, do not hard-brake because the tractor will "dive", and more weight is shifted from the drive axle(s) to the steer axle, risking a greater amount of damage and possibly loss of overall control if you do have impact. Drive through it...and hang-on to the wheel with both hands.

...as far as the speeding thing...don't speed and you won't need to worry about a "deer strike" possibly being a preventable.

I also strongly suggest a thorough inspection of the truck if there is a strike, especially steer tires/wheels, front suspension and the brake chambers on both the tractor and trailer if the deer was actually run-over. Look for a safe place to pull over and park. If all that deer mass/mess gets underneath the truck...it can damage things.

Posted:  1 day, 20 hours ago

View Topic:

Who's going swift

Thomas...here are a couple of photos showing the result achieved by using the same mechanics as a parallel backing move. Not so obvious until you piece the puzzle together.

This picture was taken a few years ago. What isn’t obvious are the two 40’ containers parked about 80’ from the front of where the tractor is positioned. The alley next to the dock area is about 16’ wide. Not much room...basically a parallel park job to setup for a straight “back” into the hole.

0625456001573518873.jpg

This one kinda speaks for itself...to the left of me is a trailer. You can see the area in front of my tractor where you could setup for a conventional backing maneuver ...it’s got all kinds of obstructions limiting your available space.

0406633001573519106.jpg

And finally this one. This is how we park when we are waiting for a door to free up or on a break behind a store. To the left of the image is the curb. About 8’ behind my trailer, another curb and a light standard. The area to the right must remain clear.

0300463001573519281.jpg

Posted:  1 day, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Trucking Truth Driver Productivity Leaderboard

WMPF Turtle wrote...

I am my own biggest competition. Measuring my success is done internally. Comparing myself to another driver is pointless, in that we each faced different obstacles in our day. Take G-Town and I for instance. Soon we'll be performing nearly the exact same job duties in nearly the exact same areas. But we'll each face our own set of challenges, and have to work within the parameters of those challenges to get stuff done. Yes, he's been doing this for a long time, and will likely run circles around me from an operational standpoint due to knowing the tips, tricks, and inner workings of the job. But on any given week, he could hit a series of snags while I have all gravy runs and get more done. Does that make me a more productive driver? Hardly. I just got lucky. When G-Town looks back at those snags and sees how he handled them in the most productive way possible, he can define that as success.

Indeed at every level, this is 100% spot-on. When I have time (tomorrow), I'll reply to this in more detail.

Posted:  1 day, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

Who's going swift

Ryan suggested...

oh well I hope you enjoy your experience in CDL School but once you get on the road your trainer may tell you to forget what you learned in school because this is a different ball game.

Ryan I can assure you; everything you learned in school is the basic foundation necessary to successfully complete training and conquer the challenges of 1st seat responsibility. You will be building upon it...not to be forgotten.

and Thomas made a similar observation...

When you are with your mentor, What you learn in the training school may not apply, like Ryan said, to the real world. Key in point, I have not used my parallel or offset parking skills yet BUT those are the knowledges you need to pass the skill test.

The skills you learn in school will absolutely apply to your road training and also to the "real-world" (please refer to my reply to Ryan). For example I used the parallel twice yesterday when spotting trailers at a Walmart store dock and parking lot. Although the need for this hasn't occurred for you yet...it will.

Posted:  4 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

Swift PHX part-time academy

Great job Blair. Congratulations!

Welcome to Swift.

Posted:  4 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

A Thank You, And A Promise To Our Community

Rob D wrote...

I was speaking to someone yesterday who feels very strongly that unless you have driven a significant amount and dealt with the reality of trucking you don't really "know" trucking. I admitted that I am really a "non-driving f***k."

We all started at the bottom; knowing nothing. Your acquaintance had the perfect opportunity to encourage you and help guide you. Instead, like so many drivers employed or otherwise, they choose to discourage. It’s exactly the opposite of what we try to do...

The majority of people starting out on their path to a Trucking career don’t need to be reminded of their “lack of knowledge”.

Years from now Rob, when you are a successful driver and have an opportunity to positively influence someone, I’m quite sure you’ll do the right thing. We need good people out here...desperately.

And Banks...Thank you. Gratitude is attitude! All you Brother. You got it done. I’m glad you gave me the opportunity to share a day with you.

Posted:  5 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

Orientation !

Awesome Cecelia, congratulations! Best of luck & safe travels... Watch That Wagon!

Posted:  5 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

A Thank You, And A Promise To Our Community

Rob D replied:

If we were to meet, I would prefer to have genuine conversation rather than argue with you.

My preference as well. Thank you Rob.

Posted:  5 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

A Thank You, And A Promise To Our Community

Old School wrote:

Sometimes somebody will bait us into a conversation. I'm refusing to respond to New Beginning's question, "I don’t see why a driver can’t be a lease driver (self employed dream) to be in more control of their schedule." See how big a Man I'm trying to be?

I agree with this. And know exactly where Old School is coming from...

My overall concern here? Some forum members will attempt to take advantage of the "kinder-gentler" approach we are adopting. Considering it open-season; like "anything goes". Ummm, I don't think so...

I am not going to get "into-it" beyond a very simple statement on trucking topics:

We do not teach, advocate, or support your approach or claim (providing fact as to "why"). Although it may have worked for you and/or you may strongly believe it will work, please refrain from advising others to take the same path. We wish you the best of luck.

Simple. So...my reply to New Beginning will go like this:

NB I respect why you may see it that way. It's easy to get caught up in the perceived, superficial benefits of Leasing a Truck. But, unfortunately we have countless examples of Lease Operation failures that we'd be happy to point you to in the archives of Trucking Truth. If you still don't see "why", then all we can do is extend best wishes, and make it clear to everyone we cannot advocate Leasing as the best path to attain trucking success and happiness, especially (with emphasis) for rookies.

SImple.

And to Rob D's observation and idea?... No thanks. Hopeful you were actually kidding. If you weren't? I'm really sorry to read "that" is your perception of me and your primary "take-away" from the message I was trying to convey.

Posted:  5 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

A Thank You, And A Promise To Our Community

I have waited to reply to this thread for a purpose. I needed to be in "read-only" mode for a while, up until now...

As one of the Toughest - "Tough Love" givers on here, my focus has always been to "tell it like it is" to the best of my ability and "ratchet-it-up" if an individual or individuals dare to spar with me. If my tone or delivery is harsh, many times it's deliberate. But "harsh" an adjective, is a perception, each of us having varying opinions of what-is and what-isn't harsh. SO...to say I haven't given this serious thought is false. To say I haven't gone back in time to reread some of my skirmishes with non-believers is also false. I have, and honestly there are several recent examples I'd do-over if given the chance. Although I do not completely agree (being honest) with every aspect of every response to Brett's initial post, conceptually I think it's the right thing to-do, temper the (my) delivery so as not to unintentionally offend or scare someone away. If my delivery approach impacts someone's ability to understand the message, or distracts from the message entirely, then in reality, I am basically ineffective. Do any of you believe that's what I want?

No. Hell no.

I am on here because I like to teach, and share what I know. And I am very passionate about many aspects of this profession, especially safety, focus (or lack of) and lack of accountability. The problem is, when someone lacking any experience challenges me or us repeatedly, I get abrasive and aggressive. Trust me when I say this...it is very difficult for me to bite my tongue and shy away from heated, contrarian exchanges. But no-longer will I escalate the situation, not sure about the "how" in every situation but the intent will be there. The "good of the whole" in this case, is far more important than stating something with ultra high-impact to the extent it scares someone off or leaves their eyeballs bleeding. I have stated in several emails with Brett that it's a fine line we walk...the division between accepting only truth and squelching the untruth. It's not easy for me...perhaps my generation or my blue-collar, working class upbringing, to sprinkle pixie-dust on something or someone I vehemently disagree with or am opposed to. Like all of you, posting here is not my job, but I take it seriously and want every single person who passes through here to be successful. You have my word on that.

Like many things we experience in life, this forum is a constant work in-progress. And why not? That is what separates us from all the rest. Self-assessment, awareness, ability to adjust and strive to improve is at the heart of what we do as truck drivers. Adopting the same approach in how I conduct my forum business is what I will try to do.

Peace.

Posted:  6 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Starting 11-11 with swift

Welcome to the forum, and welcome to Swift. I went to school at their Richmond Academy. Where are you attending school?

If you haven't already, it's not too late to take a look at these two links...

High Road CDL Training Program

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

A third of your time during your 3-weeks of Swift school will be studying and conducting the Pre-Trip Inspection...this might help you prepare for that and can be used once you begin the hands-on inspection on a truck. It's also a third of your CDL test...so knowing this "cold" is really important.

Wow, advice...so much can be said...and so much you can read. Try to relax, prepare yourself to be challenged every day of your Swift Academy life. Listen to understand, not necessarily to respond. And above all else...take advantage of every opportunity to practice, study and observe others; not letting the "highs" get you "too high", and the "lows" get you 'too low".

Perhaps this link is a good primer for what you are about to go though... CDL School; the Ego Can Be the Downfall of Many Students

Posted:  6 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Walmart Private Fleet

Great job Turtle...!

Congratulations!

Posted:  6 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Driving with a dog.

Rick wrote exactly what I was thinking...this statement stand-out for me...

Rick wrote this to DC:

and GETTING CAUGHT DOING SO - would likely be a VIOLATION OF COMPANY POLICY that could result in your TERMINATION.

Violation of Company Policy that results in Termination; ...is one of those things that will absolutely impede future employment opportunities. For reasons that should be very obvious, trucking companies want drivers who are trustworthy. Fact.

Posted:  6 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Work boots or no work boots during otr training??

This is a really good topic...

Amber, your travels will be taking you into all kinds of industrial/commercial places; factories, drop yards, shippers, rail yards (intermodal), receivers, rest stops, repair shops and truck stops. For the most part, all of these places have one thing in common. They are dirty! I mean...some of them are really dirty. Many of them are not paved either...rutted, rough, etc. Likened to minor off-road conditions and terrain. Not to be compared to the local strip mall type of parking lot that is smoothly paved and swept every night to accommodate Mom and her spiffy SUV. No, nothing like that. Ask anyone on this forum who hauls paper out of the NW mills, recycling centers of any kind, or construction areas. My strong suggestion is to opt for a comfortable pair of ankle high work boots (preferably steel tipped), with a non-skid sole when doing anything outside the truck...laced "snug" around your foot.

Here are two personal example as to "why'...

I frequently have to pick-up a back haul of dairy from Dannon Yogurt in Allentown PA. Their drop lot is not entirely paved, some areas have gravel, some just plain dirt. When it rains and for a day or so afterwards, this place is a sloppy, mud bowl and not well lit at night. Point being, you may not see what you are about to step into. This could occur almost anywhere. I had a trainee with me one night who stepped into a mud puddle with a pair of Nike's...the suction took the shoe right off his foot. Although we were able to retrieve it, it was not wearable until after hosing it off. Imagine if he had been alone, without me helping him retrieve his foot ware...

An unloader at a Walmart store nicked the front of my foot with an electric pallet jack. Although part of my job is to supervise the unloading process; so I am either in the trailer or around it, in this case I was off to the side. Had I not been wearing boots, it's quite probable I would have been injured. I believe the "Cats" saved my foot that day.

For driving and inside the truck cab, tennis shoes are fine.

Posted:  6 days, 7 hours ago

View Topic:

Student Driver

All part of it...the rite of passage. Good luck Ryan.

Posted:  6 days, 7 hours ago

View Topic:

2nd Chance

Welcome James.

We’d like to help. If you offer additional background information, any advice or suggestions we make will be more meaningful.

Posted:  6 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Got a question about what I should do after training.....

That’s a tough question Victor. Been in similar situations...more than once on the WM account. Busiest times are around all the major holidays.

Family is important, no doubt. Holidays with family are priceless.

All things considered...

However...(I know you’ll were expecting a “but”)... it’s an opportunity for you to show your employer you want to work and start things off on the right foot, putting the trials of your past,... behind you. A lot of your brothers and sisters at WE will want time off during Christmas. If you are available...and able to get things done for your driver support management, you will shine and get immediate positive attention. I think you need that Victor.

What is your priority? Only you can make that call. Talk with your driver leader to get a feel for their freight levels during Christmas week, use that information to help with the decision.

My 2c. Good luck!

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Walmart Private Fleet

Rob D made these PTI inquiries...

I had also thought when you are out on the road, that you would actually look for problems instead of concentrating on saying PMS, CBB, and ABC.

This is totally true except possibly once or no more than twice in road training.

How do you check the fluid level in hub and axle seals? And if its low, how do you fill it?

For the drive seals, you can't check the level on most trucks. And filling them...never known that to be a requirement for a company driver. The tell-tale signs of seal leakage on both trailer hubs and tractor drives is very obvious. Oil will be splattered on the inside of the wheel and probably behind it. fouling the brake pads. And usually the seal just blows...it's not subtle, very messy.

The reference to a wheel being; "Not Out of Round". You can't really check if the wheel is totally true/round. And if you could, there would be tolerances. Curbing can cause a rim to bend, many times "breaking" the tire.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Trip Planning Practice #1

Kearsey emphasized...

Look at the satellite view for parking and understanding layouts at customers and truck stops. ANY info you have before hand will calm your nerves.

...so very important, could not agree more. PREPARATION. Know what to expect and have a basic set-up plan before you arrive.

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