Profile For G-Town

G-Town's Info

  • Location:
    Pottstown, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years 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 April of 2012 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:  10 hours, 1 minute ago

View Topic:

Thinking about dumping my corporate job

That's excellent. Richmond Academy is where I went to school. No complaints, no regrets.

Posted:  10 hours, 3 minutes ago

View Topic:

Pre hire letters and misdemeanors

Perhaps... Except that three weeks ago he posted this...

I am wanting to take CDL classes, but have a dui (misdemeanor) from 1985. In Indiana, a dui stays on your driving record for life. I could pay an attorney to attempt to have this expunged, but it would be pricey, around 1000 dollars. I have seen in previous posts that the advice, when you contact trucking companies, is to answer honestly. Since in my state, it stays on your record for life, is it worthwhile to have it expunged? Specifically, I am wondering about getting prehire letters. Maybe it would be better for me to do this (expungement) before contacting the companies. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Yet today you wrote this:

I have two misdemeanors, one in 97, and one in 87. (Not DUI or drug related). I am working with a lawyer to have those expunged, but it's going to take a little while.

So Garet what exactly is the truth here? Kinda difficult to tell. Just a thought...please get honest with us if you want effective help from us.

For the record, you can pay money to get everything expunged...won't matter as far as the trucking companies are concerned. Lie about it (or anything like it) on your application or in any conversation with a recruiter? They'll find it, I guarantee it!

Posted:  14 hours, 44 minutes ago

View Topic:

Thinking about dumping my corporate job

Thinking about starting with Swift.

Welcome to the forum FliteRisk...very good choice, but not the only one you should consider. As follows...

As indicated by several of my good friends on the forum, I am indeed a Swift driver; have been running on one of their Dedicated Fleets delivering dry and perishable groceries to NorthEast Regional Walmart stores and Sams Clubs for well over 5 years now. For me this gig fits like a glove; I work with an awesome driver support team and planners. My relationships with them are intrinsic to overall success. Contrary to what you may have read on the Internet or heard, although Swift is a huge company with many, many moving parts, I basically interact with 2 primary Driver Leaders (DL), 2 planners, several weekend and night DL's and our Terminal Manager. At no time have I ever felt like just another "set of cheeks" in the First Seat. Nope... So...I could easily give you an extended commercial on Swift, pimping how wonderful they are. Yes they offer really good schooling, training, solid support for rookie drivers and almost infinite amount of driving options. Not my style to "sell" anyone on the merits of driving for them. Plus, honestly; one size does not fit all. Instead I will suggest that your success is based primarily on you, and NOT the company you are driving for. For the most part, the same basic principles apply and will deliver positive results no matter the name displayed on the door of your truck. If you are a safe and efficient driver, you will be successful at Swift, Prime, CFI, Schneider, West Side, Werner, CRST, CR England, Knight...etc., etc.

I always recommend to Newbies to exercise all of the available options and look beyond a single choice. Review the contents of the Truck Driver's Career Guide to get a feel for the types of OTR driving jobs available. Steer clear of local, tanker, and anything associate with a "Dollar" type of store. Dry van, reefer, and flatbed are your 3 best considerations as a rookie driver. Think about where you want to run be it regional, dedicated to a single customer (like I am) or coast to coast. And how you want to run; be it solo or team.

Spend some time looking through these links:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Trucking Company Reviews

You can use this link to apply once you have settled on your top 3-4 candidates:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Once you have thought this through further, reviewed the links we have sent, I'd be happy to expand on Swift's Company School (Academy), their road-training called Mentoring and upgrade to First Seat Driver.

Good luck!

Posted:  15 hours, 33 minutes ago

View Topic:

Mid 30's career change. Looking for some general advice.

Vincent asked:

I know that driving a tractor trailer is fundamentally different, but I should be able to handle it, right? I guess what I'm getting at it is; How common is it for someone not to be able to get a job after they start the full time paid training?

Vincent in my initial reply I offered the premise that Trucking is different from anything you have ever attempted to do. That is the honest truth, no sugar coating of any kind. No one here can predict the outcome of your schooling and road-training. The overall success rate is typically not favorable; conservatively about 25-30%. At the moment the only skill you have that might align with truck driving is reasonably good hand-eye coordination and possibly above average depth-perception. Beyond that, anyone's guess. Your focus needs to be 100%, void of all distraction before committing to a school and this career path. Your chances of success improve significantly when you apply yourself with dogged determination and total dedication to listening, learning and practicing what you are taught and instructed on, never letting the highs, get you too high, and the lows (which will happen), get you too low. Even keel is required, applies now and well into your future.

I reiterate on my initial suggestion to thoroughly read Brett's book: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving and the Truck Driver's Career Guide. The other suggestion is invest some time reviewing student diaries found in the diary section of the forum. There you will find real-time accounts of what this is like and what to expect. I think it will help you better understand what you are about to get yourself into.

Best of luck to you!

Posted:  16 hours, 4 minutes ago

View Topic:

Mid 30's career change. Looking for some general advice.

I would start on your BP meds NOW. Take them for a good 30 days before you go get your med card. You want your BP as close to normal as possible. If you can show your BP is in normal range with medication it is far better than it being elevated off of meds.

100% agree with Patrick. Don’t mess with BP.

Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Mid 30's career change. Looking for some general advice.

Chuck cautions:

.... one piece of advice from the very beginning ... recruiters will tell you just about anything ... so when you have questions ... ask the professionals

I do not agree with arbitrary distrust of recruiters. They are the initial ticket into the on-boarding system and when it comes to certain, company specific pieces of information highly credible.

Do not dismiss them entirely or you will find yourself on the outside looking in...

Posted:  1 day, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

I'm taking the plunge, I am getting ready to start school Oct 1 at CRE

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That’s great.

However you posted an identical CRE post a year and 8 months ago. What happened?

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Yes, I did post about starting with CRE, although it wasn't identical. What happened was my brother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and I chose to spend his last day being with him as much as I could. I don't regret that.

Very sorry to hear that, please accept our sincere condolences.

Good luck with your schooling and training. We are here to help you succeed.

Posted:  1 day, 12 hours ago

View Topic:

Mid 30's career change. Looking for some general advice.

Welcome to the forum Vincent.

You have come to the right place. I agree with Bobcat Bob.

My overall suggestion is to understand;

Trucking is unlike anything you have ever done before, highly misunderstood and 100% performance based.

In short, the 100k jobs you read or heard about; top dollar is earned over a long period of consistently safe and efficient operation. Please do not expect to earn big money your first year, not likely to happen.

We suggest to start by reading Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving and Truck Driver's Career Guide. These two links will help you establish a far more realistic set of expectations, grounded in truth and help build a base of understanding that will carry you through your initial research and reduce the pitfalls that the uninformed typically stumble into.

The other recommendation, perhaps of greater purpose and importance, is commit to studying for your by leveraging Trucking Truth's High Road CDL Training Program. Arguably the best on-line training of it's kind, it will enable you to pass all of the required permit tests and introduce you to more advanced topics you'll need in the future.

In support of Bobcat Bob's suggestion taking a look at Paid CDL Training Programs is arguably the best way to expedite an effective path into the trucking business. When you have reached a point of executing your decision, use this link to Apply For Paid CDL Training.

Let us know how else we can help.

Good luck.

Posted:  1 day, 12 hours ago

View Topic:

A Day In The Life of a Walmart Dedicated Driver

Cool beans!

Posted:  1 day, 12 hours ago

View Topic:

Just an update on what I am up to.

Wow, look at all that Armor All...!

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Posted:  1 day, 14 hours ago

View Topic:

Are Companies Putting Driver Facing Cameras In Their Trucks?

Even tho camera is suppose to be shut off, and you can close the current, i like to know for a fact that my home is private.. And lets face it.. When you are out on the road for weeks at time, the cab of your truck is home.

Your company owns the truck, it’s their asset and are entitled to legally protect it. Has nothing todo with invasion of privacy while chugging away on your Zzzz’s.

The cab facing aspect of these cameras does not record and upload unless there is a significant triggering event. It is NOT a continuous feed, enabling real-time viewing of you while in your bunk.

If you are parked and want to ensure total privacy (because you do not trust or understand the technology), completely draw the curtains on the track surrounding the top of the windshield and/or cover the lens with a small piece of electrical tape. It’s not an X-ray or infared camera, no way can it record if the lens is covered.

A camera in the truck is a rather weak and short-sighted reason to avoid any carrier that has them. Walmart’s Private Fleet has them. If by chance they offered you a job, based on feckless paranoia you’d decline it? Seriously?

C’mon guys...this topic is yesterday’s news, growing mold, and basically irrelevant in the current environment of hyper-security and surveillance.

Posted:  1 day, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

I'm taking the plunge, I am getting ready to start school Oct 1 at CRE

That’s great.

However you posted an identical CRE post a year and 8 months ago. What happened?

Posted:  1 day, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Are Companies Putting Driver Facing Cameras In Their Trucks?

Keach issues a warning:

If they have sleeper facing camera in my truck it wont be for long.They will see my hairy ass and never want to look again.

shocked.png

The cameras DO NOT work that way. Event triggered (refer to what Rob wrote; highly accurate).

Besides, the bunks have curtains on an overhead track, please spare us all the horror and draw them closed.

Posted:  1 day, 18 hours ago

View Topic:

A Day In The Life of a Walmart Dedicated Driver

RealDiehl wrote:

Pitchers throw a no-hitter once in awhile...I guess that's a driver's equivalent.

78 to 61 to 81...I'm there in Pottsville about 5 times a month delivering reefer loads from Taylor Farms in south Jersey. They finish unloading me around 11:00am so I avoid 61 on the way home. I take 81 south to 78 east instead. You are right, the scenery is wonderful!

Tell me who you driving for; I’ll start looking for you. I usually drive past the wet-side receiving docks on my way to the drop lot, so if you are there, I’ll see yah.

If at all possible, I too avoid 61 between St. Clare and Hamburg. Depending on the run, they will route south on 81 to 78 and pay for the additional 20 miles.

Posted:  2 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Hello, Y'all~! 5'year lurker..finally saying HIYA w/ a conundrum.

Anne’s new conundrum

CAN YOU JUST RANDOMLY do the 100 air mile radius or does it have to be an every day thing?!?!?! Really.. I have no clue. TBH I get the HOS and the QC a bit better than he does, but we ran paper when we ran asphalt, so we are both learning.. and I'm at a loss..

You are actually asking about exceptions to the rule.

As long as his company has proper supporting documentation, can produce said documentation when requested and he was not more than 100 miles away from the terminal, then the answer is yes.

I suggest he invest time understanding the “100 mile radius rule”. Visit the FMCSA’s website for specific guidance.

Posted:  2 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

How is a driver killed in a rollover?

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Not to upset this apple cart; effective space management and vigilant situational awareness significantly reduces the potential for any critical event.

Remember guys, we are typically guilty until proven innocent. Defensive driving to an extreme; follow the rules of the Smith System. Google it.

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I don't disagree with you or Old School, for the record.

Just offering an exclamation point on the OPs question.

Posted:  2 days, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

How is a driver killed in a rollover?

Not to upset this apple cart; effective space management and vigilant situational awareness significantly reduces the potential for any critical event.

Remember guys, we are typically guilty until proven innocent. Defensive driving to an extreme; follow the rules of the Smith System. Google it.

Posted:  2 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Parallel Back--Advice needed

Phistech wrote:

Slide your tandems full forward, follow the trainer’s instructions to the T and you’ll do it every time. Its not that hard.

In a real world setting this approach is problematic. I parallel next to walks, buildings, dumpsters, parked trailers and in car-lined parking lots at Walmart’s.

The last thing I need is 14-15 feet of tail scoring the side of a wall and turning my bumper into a pretzel. Yes you can move the tandems closer to the cab, but not so much to the point of creating an opposite issue to contend with.

IMO, don’t make “this” a rule...use it for only very tight, front-to-back spaces with a lot of elbow room either side of the truck.

Posted:  2 days, 18 hours ago

View Topic:

Don't Be Fooled By Owner Operator Math - Old School's First Podcast!!

A couple of additional thoughts here...

I thoroughly enjoy truck driving and the Dedicated Account I am committed to. I am quite certain if I were to become an O/O my enjoyment factor would be diminished to the point of hanging up the keys. For all of you folks seriously considering trucking and at or approaching 50, keep that in mind. I am beyond deliberately adding stress and additional aggravation to my life. Not worth it to me.

Second, no sound business decision should ever be made on emotion and hope. The “bigs” who sell the leasing concept are preying on a driver’s emotions. Wake up people! Brian you are so damn naive it pains me to read your replies. Leasing favors the company who is leasing you the truck; Prime, Swift, Schneider etc., the contracts are heavily skewed in their favor.

And most drivers who are hooked on the concept do not take their time to understand the contract, let alone approach it with even a rudimentary business plan. Study what Rainy wrote...it’s so obvious.

Posted:  3 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

A Day In The Life of a Walmart Dedicated Driver

Thanks, G-town. Interesting reading!

You're welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read it and glad you enjoyed it. Not every day is like that one...but I'd say the majority of my days are good.

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