Comments By The Breeze

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  • The Breeze
  • Joined:
  • 3 years, 11 months ago
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  • 38

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Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Should I stay or leave?

Thanks for the input! It's been a good ride so far with Swift and I don't take them for granted. I've talked to some other friends and coworkers about this as well, and they all have the same general consensus, so I agree leaving really isn't the best choice.

Also, on a side note I hope my post didn't come across as arrogant, I see trucks and drivers all day and often think about how they hardly get to go home and you guys are right a lot of people would kill for the gig I have. The next step for me is talking with my dm and see if he can work something out for me, I don't think I can afford to go back OTR though, I tend to make impulsive financial decisions that I partially regret later lol. Nonetheless thanks for the great advice!

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Should I stay or leave?

Hello all,

It's been a while since I've posted here but I've got a personal dilemma that perhaps you guys could help me with. So I started with Swift about 8 months ago, they've been very good to me and have treated me right, after about 2 months OTR they offered me a a job on a dedicated account they had just opened near my home town. The pay was a 30% increase over the base OTR pay, and I still qualified for the performance bonus, so with that theven job proposal was a no brainer and I took it.

The account itself is refrigerated and we run NC to the Northeast and we take about three loads a week, then go home every Saturday for the weekend. After about 6 months of this I've kind of gotten tired of the same old same old, and I've thought about going back OTR, but I'm stuck. If I do that I'll lose the great pay on this account. I've put in applications with Heartland Express, and Helwig, both companies have called me but I wasn't really feeling ready to talk to them.

Any advice on what I should do is greatly appreciated.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Ghetto shut down locations

I don't like the TA near downtown Nashville. People get real nasty on the CB and it gives the place a sketchy vibe.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Is this 14 hour rule dangerous?

Howdy all,

I know I'm sensationalizing the topic, but I've been thinking about this lately. I do not have a solution to the issue, I've only been solo for a month and a half. But I find that the 14 hour clock ticking away in the background makes me feel rushed, it also affects my end of the day parking time and decisions and sometime I end up cutting it close pulling into a truck stop to park at the end of my day. For me it makes planning my day difficult because if I get delayed I have to plan accordingly where Im gonna stop and still make my delivery window. This is hard to do flying down an interstate already feeling like you can't stop or you're going to be late. I feel like this could be a safety issue asking drivers to push hard to get 11 hours of driving done in such a short window, I find that I don't make the best decisions in a hurry, and I feel like other drivers may feel this way too. So I'm curious as to what other drivers think of this rule and how they deal with it and plan accordingly.

Thanks, Dan

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Terrible day...near impossible dock and then snowbank accident...

Erik,

I imagine that you're working for Swift, I am too. I'm starting my fifth week solo, I too felt the same way my first couple of weeks. It was pure chaos to me, I couldn't believe how incredibly difficult it is just to navigate safely from point A to point B, you and I both have much to learn and will probably make more mistakes too. But every day you'll build more confidence behind the wheel and you'll have a better idea of what's safe and what may not be, also your judgement will improve too.

What I find helpful, is remembering that all I have to do is be safe and not hit anything or tear anything up, I find that constantly reminding myself of that makes it easier when I show up at a shipper or reciever and it's a tricky back. By saying that to myself it helps nullify that feeling of overwhelming embarrassment because it's taking me a whIle to back in. I feel that if you try and have that attitude it allows you to "think" and not worry which isn't gonna help you maneuver that truck safely.

On the hard braking, I had that happen to me as well, I was bobtail and couldn't see a traffic light around a curve, and it caught me off guard, I was able to stop but it scared me and I learned from it. I got a message on my QC asking if everything was okay, I told them what happened, and all I got was an "ok" as a response. I felt bad and was a little worried too, but they didn't fire me right then and there, so I had to continue on with my day safely. Sometimes in order to do that you have to quickly learn from your boo boo, and put the feelings of guilt and anxiety behind you so that you can continue on safely. All I can say is, make sure you're learning from your mistakes, and keep at it. This job is difficult and stressful, but don't let it break you. This industry needs safe drivers who care, and it seems like you've got that part taken care.

Good luck, Dan

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Several dead in 50-vehicle Pennsylvania pile-up

Scary to think about. I was just up there before this happened when it first started snowing. The roads I remember seeing were slick and wet and the temperature was well below freezing. That was the first winter weather I've driven through. I was going very slow, I didn't want to find out if my truck would actually slide. I did notice some drivers taking it as easy as me, while some others just blew past.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Driver confidence

Well thanks for building me up everyone. I've made it to Knoxville tonight, and I'm headed to PA. I'm gonna get some much needed sleep and a shower. I agree about there never being a routine day for sure.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Driver cams

I work for Swift. I have one in my truck. It watches the road and me, it records on a ten second loop. It only sends footage off to Swift during a critical event (swerve, hard braking, excessively not maintaining your lane, or bumping a dock or coupling too hard, or if you have an accident, you can also manually get it to record). My company allows me to cover up the inside camera when I'm not driving, so I don't really care. But I think drivers should prepare themselves because it's coming, but as long as you're doing what your supposed to be doing and you're okay with cameras already I wouldn't let it sway you on who you want to work for. At the end of the day just call the companies you're interested in and ask about it, plenty of drivers have just as many questions as you do, a recruiter should be happy to answer them.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Driver confidence

Hello all,

I'm checking back in, I've been solo for about two weeks now and things are going well. However I've noticed that there are times where I feel like I didn't get enough training or the right kind of training, and that messes with my confidence as a driver. I've had two occasions where I found myself and my rig in a place where I probably shouldn't have been. These were parking lots, I was in them because I got lost, and I didn't trip plan properly, and my judgement for space relations wasn't the best (it's improving). I found that I had to stop and get out and look around me and figure out a way out, I also used google maps to scope out where I had space to maneuver.

Since, I've done my best to correct my boo boos, I've done so by scoping out a place before I get there, and seeing where I can maneuver or at least stop to call for directions. But my concern about this is, is whether or not this stuff is normal for a new driver, or is this lack of training?

Another thing I'd like to bring to light is my backing, it's so so at this point. I feel like I'm starting to see how exactly I need to set up but sometimes it takes a couple trys and I'm just plain slow about it. But I've concluded that I need to back at every opportunity that presents its self for practice. I made this decision after trying to get into a pull through spot and nearly getting stuck, I was able to get out of it by wiggling the tractor around, and eventually I bought myself some space but it was embarrassing and entirely too close to other trucks for comfort.

Again, I love this job, for me it's a lot of fun but I just feel like a total rookie. I feel like I've gotten into more tight places though than I should have. I go slow though and I haven't hit anything, and I'm not afraid to get out of my trucks 10 times to look, that's been my saving grace. Does all of this sound right for a rookie driver? Or am I doing something wrong here, I wanna know if I have a lack training issue, or if this is just normal inexperience that I need to learn my way out of one step at a time.

Thanks, Dan

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Power in Swift's tractors

I was told at orientation that you're not allowed to have any sort of inverter unless it's installed by Swift for a CPAP machine. I have heard of guys running the ones that plug into the 12 volt outlet's, and they just take them out when they're in for maintenance. But again I don't condone breaking company rules. I have a 12 volt cooler, and alcohol stove as of now. I don't keep a laptop with me, I just use my phone. But you'd be surprised they amount of things you can find that plug into a 12 volt socket.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Trip planning

There is no way in h$ll I would eat at that TA. Last time there, two weeks ago, the food looked to be four day old re-heats. A first generation MRE would have been preferable - Cheese oil and hockey pucks (dried pork patties).

Hahaha, I got sick of truck stop food after being on my mentor's truck for nearly a month and a half. My step mom was kind enough to be my meal planner, so I've got all sorts of snacks and other food. Fast food just makes me feel sick and tired after a while (literally). All I care about is being able to park lol, the northeast I hear is bad for that and that's what had me super paranoid.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Trip planning

Hey everyone thanks for the help, I like the 6am on sunday. However I may just leave around midnight or one am tonight. I've done everything at home I need to do, so might as well get going again, and give myself all the time in the world.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Trip planning

Hello everyone,

So I posted back here a few weeks ago about starting on with Swift. Well, yesterday I started my first solo trip. My dispatcher was nice enough to put me on a load that would allow for me to have some home time, since I've been away from home since December 15th. So I'm excited and nervous all at that same time, I've never had a job with this level of responsibility before, being 22 most of my friends still work retail, and here I am responsible for my safety as well as others out on the road.

Here's my small dilemma though, when I was in training, I was running on a dedicated account and we did very little trip planning. I get the concept of managing hours of service, and getting to your destination legally and on time, but I'm just kind of rusty when it comes to figuring it out.

With that being said, I'm on a load that delivers to Baltimore, MD on 02/01 at 0400, right now I'm in Mebane, NC. My dad is supposed to pick me up today after he gets off of work and take me to Raleigh where home is. My question to you guys is what time should I start my trip. A buddy of mine was saying leave early Sunday, find a truck stop near where I'm delivering , take 10 then make your delivery, so that way I don't get caught running at night on my next load. Any thoughts? Sorry I know I'm a total rookie here. Also I hear traffic can be bad through DC as well.

Thanks, Dan

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Student/Mentor phase with Swift

Thanks for the input guys. I'll just have to suck it up and learn to enjoy the automatic. But again so far it's been fun. Looks like it's time for me to get some rest.

Thanks again , Dan

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Student/Mentor phase with Swift

Hey folks,

So I posted a little while back, about going to Swift orientation and now I'm on my mentor's truck, and so far so good. We get a long well, and I'm learning a lot, and I'm starting to get comfortable behind the wheel. It's been interesting getting used to life on the truck but I'm adjusting well, my mentor has told me I'm one of the better students he has had so that's then been nice for my confidence, and makes me feel proud of the job I'm doing.

BUT, and there's always a but. I have two little issues. First, being that when I went on with Swift I told them that I wanted to do reefer, they said no problem, you can do reefer. I know some students had to wait longer to get on a reefer truck, I however got a dry van mentor on a dedicated account.

My second issue, and probably one that Swift won't consider a problem, is that I'm in an automatic :(. This for me was a let down. I envisioned myself, going up and down the road and getting through those gears. In school that was the most fun I had. On top of that with an industry, that seems to be headed towards automatics, I feel like after my training Swift won't put me in a truck with a manual transmission.

So, I'm almost to my first 50 hours of training, and once I reach that, driver services is going to give me a phone call and ask me how things are coming along. Again, I've got a great mentor, and things are going well, but I'm wondering if there is a way to tactfully mention these issues, in a way that could work out in my favor. Or am I better off just keeping my mouth shut? I really want to start my career off right, and make sure that I do everything in my power to be in a position I feel happy with, but at the same time I don't want to be "that guy". The biggest thing for me though, is being able to drive to a manual, reefer can wait honestly, but maybe I should use that issue to aid in my other. Since what you haul, is more of a business and financial issue than a personal one.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, this is my first career, and I really want to go about this the right way.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Sitting on a bus headed to Orientation

Update:

Day one of orientation was really exciting, except for the exciting part. There was a lot of sitting around and waiting for things to happen. I think I was the last one to take the whiz quiz, I thought I was gonna pee all over myself when I had to stop mid stream after filling the cup to the appropriate level. But other than that, about half the class got to road test today and I should be testing tomorrow. Let's see... we also went over some Swift company related stuff, hazmat, paperwork etc. Lunch was really good, and the accommodations are good as well. Tomorrow they say we will be doing a lot more.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Sitting on a bus headed to Orientation

Dan, keep hanging out here, we'll get you through school. What school & company are you going to?

I went to school at Roadmaster in Dunn, NC. Overall that was a great experience, I had great classmates and was around some pretty dedicated people. I also thought the instructors were pretty good as well. Orientation for me is in Greer, SC, I'm going OTR with Swift.

Dan

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Sitting on a bus headed to Orientation

Well folks,

I just wanted to say thanks. I've been perusing this forum for a little while now. I've been gathering information and trying to learn as much as I can. I graduated from school Thursday and got my license at the DMV on Friday. All I can say is that I'm nervous and excited, but I'm happy I put in the effort.

Thanks so much, Dan

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