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Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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SwiftTrans and Knight Transportation To Merge

Thanks for the help guys! I really appreciate the answers I've gotten. It does help to clarify things in for the future.

As for the Swift trainee I had mentioned, her trainer left her at a truck stop I was in, while all her stuff was in his truck. She couldn't get in touch with him because he had her cell phone and all that. It was late so I didn't stay in the truck stop to find out what happened with her, but I should probably more chalk that up to a bad trainer like what you hear horror stories about than it being a Swift thing.

At the moment, I'm going back to Celadon to get more experience under my belt. While I've been on the forum for a year, I've actually only driven for about 3 months, 4 if you count me going out with a trainer. I had to come home for an emergency and my DM terminated me because I couldn't come back. Turns out she was very much in the wrong for doing that as I'm listed as rehireable with the company but that's one of the many things that was wrong with that woman. I had planned on talking to Knight at a later date because they had a terminal in my home state within an hour from my house so I would have secure parking. However, I still have more research to do so I'm far from making any sort of decision aside from going back to Celadon. I just wanted to see what this merger was going to change, if it was going to change anything. So again, thanks for the help and the info guys!!

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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SwiftTrans and Knight Transportation To Merge

Coming into this a bit late but I want to make sure I've got my info straight. I was planning on applying to Knight later this year or early next year. However, I've heard plenty about Swift (from actual drivers and even a Swift trainee) that makes me want to stay away from them. This merger won't affect day to day company driver interactions right? I get that one company isn't buying the other but I want to make sure that nothing will change as far as operations and how they treat their drivers. And what was that lawsuit I saw about Knight relating to wages? Who's wages or is that not related to company drivers?

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Dashcams: Necessity or Luxury?

Thanks for the suggestion Reaper!

Take it easy Brett. At this point, I am joking about the whole 'getting lost' thing. Here's the reason why I said it. One, I'm not what I would call a professional driver yet because I only have 3 months of experience under my belt. I went into training with Celadon and before then, I was used to using a GPS and not having it fail me when it came to directions. When I started using the one on the Qualcomm, it was a piece of crap a quarter of the time I used it. I asked many times for them to do something about it since it was their equipment but they told me I would have to call Qualcomm itself to have it fixed; even after doing that, they told me it was a software issue and the company hadn't updated it.

The GPS got me lost twice while I was using it. The first time was within a month of me solo driving and I wasn't expecting it to get me lost; like I said, I'm not accustomed to that and my trainer's never got him lost. Granted he was using a Rand McNalley but still. At any rate, I asked my DM three times for the correct address and each time I looked it up, the Qualcomm didn't know where to go and even my phone had no clue where it was. I had to ask for the number to the customer which took forever to get and wasn't the one they gave me initially. Once I made the call, I had to beg the guy that answered to stay on the line so he could direct me to where I needed to go. The second time it got me lost was in Sealy, TX. I'm not sure where in my driving this was but I'm pretty sure it was still early. I was supposed to drop an empty at a Walmart DC so I could go get my APU fixed. The dumb thing led me a mile past where I needed to be on a dark, two lane road and said the field next to me was my destination. I figured out that the bright spot waaay behind me was where I was supposed to be and did what I had to in order to get there. Because it was the company's equipment, I got them to pay for me to stay in a hotel while my truck got fixed for a week. If I had been using my own and had that happen, they would have been like, 'Well, you wouldn't have gotten lost if you had been using our equipment.' After that, I figured out how to check the location of a customer, using my phone GPS and my atlas, to make sure I didn't get lost. Now, I did get lost on the way to a truck stop but that one was an easy fix. However, my GPS continued to give me crazy directions like turn around on the highway, go back three exits then go back the way I was going. Or, my personal favorite, get off the highway then get right back on. Honestly, I hated that GPS system. And I usually couldn't call the customer because my DM either didn't give me a number or said I wasn't supposed to call them. Don't know why, it's just how they did it which irritated the heck out of me. So, that's why I said what I did. It's more of a joke now that I know what I'm supposed to do versus in the beginning when I didn't.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Dashcams: Necessity or Luxury?

I have seen how handy dashcams can be, especially when an accident happens and there's a fatality. My trainer had a Rand McNalley GPS that also had a dashcams on it. He would turn it on whenever we parked in case someone hit him or something. So, I don't need a GPS because I use the one in the truck (that way if I get lost, I can blame it on the company equipment) but I would like to get a dashcam. What kind should I get?

Also, being a company driver, is there a way to get a wifi for while I'm on the road? I don't want to have to pay for wifi at truck stops or only have it at terminals. I have Sprint for phone coverage and AT&T for internet and I'm hoping to be able to use my laptop for more than just watching DVDs on it. Ideas?

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Open Door Policy??

Thanks Old School for assuring me. I'm looking forward to putting in an application with them soon. And Steve...thanks for the laugh man. That was perfect!

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Open Door Policy??

Wow, really? But they still have the policy listed here. Do you think they still have it going? I would be based out of the Atlanta terminal.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Open Door Policy??

Seriously, bulletproof glass?! That's insane! I was looking at Knight and they say that they have an 'open door policy'. I've heard some good things about that company and they can hire me with only 3 months experience. I don't remember where else I've seen the 'open door policy' thing but I knew I wanted to find out exactly what that meant. Still though, that's pretty cool that I can go in and actually talk to my DM. Makes it a bit more personal that just talking to them over the phone or sending a message.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Open Door Policy??

What exactly does it mean when a trucking company says they have an 'Open Door Policy'? I've seen it on a few pages and got curious. Does it mean they accept a wider variety of drivers or something?

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Training Question

When I went into training, they asked me a few questions as to what I would....sort of prefer in a trainer. Mostly, it was things like if the trainer had a pet or if they smoked or what gender they were. I didn't care about gender or pets but since I have asthma, I can't handle being with a smoker. A few days later they gave me the number and name for my trainer and I got to talk to him over the phone before I met him. He came and picked me up from the company headquarters and I started driving the next day. We did have a few issues with communication but that happens when you put two people in a smaller than usual space for long periods of time. Be that as it may, I loved my trainer and I still keep in touch with him. Just don't get frustrated right out if they do something you don't like. Remember to talk with them first and then, if it's not fixed or you feel unsafe, then talk to whomever you need. For example, I had to tell my trainer several times I hated driving at night because I can't make myself stay awake for that long. He eventually got it but that was in the first week and a half. So, just make sure to talk with your trainer as you go along.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Been a while but looking for advice

Yeah, I looked into flatbed when I was first doing my search. Then I realized all they had to do was like, 'Nope, can't do that!' lol. I'll take a look at Prime and see what they offer and all that jazz. As for my DAC report, I used to have the link to look at it online but I've lost it. So I'm not sure what's on it to be honest. I don't have any tickets with the company. It's just that one minor accident but no police or tow service was called for it. It's actually perfectly explainable. That was submitted to their safety department and they made me watch some videos before putting me back on the road again.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Been a while but looking for advice

Hmm, interesting. Alright, what do you like about Prime? Why would you suggest it as a place for me to go? I'm assuming I can get in with only 3 months of experience otherwise you wouldn't have suggested it. Would I have to go through training? Would you recommend dry van or reefer? Please, give me more information about Prime from your point of view.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Been a while but looking for advice

I did look at Prime when I was first looking at training companies, but they said on the website that it's 50% no touch freight. I'll look into it again and see if it's changed though. When I spoke with JB Hunt, they said 34-48 hours home time depending on freight which was fine with me because it was weekly. I could deal with that and make it work for me. And their regional was more like dedicated where you were on an account and delivered to DCs for one company in different states. Only reason it wasn't regional to me was because while most of it was down south, two locations were in New York but not NYC.

Like I said before, I would have stayed with Celadon for at least that year to get the experience but they didn't give me a choice. Honestly, I wouldn't go back to them anyway because I didn't like how they ran things. I liked just about every other DM aside from my main one but they wouldn't allow me to switch unless the manager saw something that he didn't agree with which I completely understand. The reason why I said not to ask about Swift and Schneider was because I had heard things from my teachers and trainer and none of them were good in regards to those companies.

I have seen a few companies that prefer OTR experience before hiring. I don't remember which ones though but I have seen that.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Been a while but looking for advice

Oh that post, sorry I was looking then but that person decided to go solo as well as me. So that didn't turn into anything. As far as regional goes, I do understand that the home time is different. For me, I'm looking for more frequency and getting home a few times a month. Before, I was staying out for two months to come home for a week. In hindsight of course, I was doing that completely wrong and really shouldn't do that again.

I did look at Roehl however I am physically unable to unload freight and have no clue how to operate a forklift. They told me that was going to be an issue with them. Both of my knees are damaged and I have exercise induced asthma which acts up in very hot or extremely cold temperatures. I can keep it under control in normal conditions but I need to watch how far I push it. So, I need a company that is first and foremost, no touch freight. Averitt did offer that to me so I am going to check into them. They told me to apply when I was ready and they would see what they could do with only 3 months of experience.

I was originally going with JB Hunt on one of their regional runs but because I had a minor accident (wasn't recordable or anything like that) they needed me to have more experience first and couldn't look at it again until June of this coming year. I live in Georgia so I was looking for Southeast Regional or a dedicated as the JB Hunt account I would have gotten was more dedicated that regional. So I do know that it's only a couple of days max but that's better than what I was doing before. Even PTL said their drivers are out 6-10 days at a time, but I don't know what their home time is exactly so I'm going to have to call them. Now, if PTL works out then I plan on staying with them. I just wanted to know what others thought of the company first.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Been a while but looking for advice

I understand what you're saying Rainy. And, to be fair, I didn't understand how to run OTR so that was partly my fault. I burned myself out by staying out too long. However, I did my best when I was with Celadon. I can count on one hand how many deliveries were late because of me and I made sure to tell them ahead of time. I ran my time the way I was trained to do so. About the whole governed speed thing, I can honestly say I got used to the speed and just shut up about it. Getting a faster truck is more wishful thinking.

In regards to staying with Celadon, I would have stayed the entire year but they gave me an ultimatum. After going through 3 different DMs to find a load back home (with my main DM saying 'you don't even know if there's something wrong' by the way), they let me use my the home time I didn't realize I had to go home and help care for my mother. When that time was up, they said I could either come back to the truck that day or they would have to term me. It's only the two of us here so leaving wasn't an option for me. I paid off the contract because that was the only choice I had left after that. Since then, I've known personally 5 drivers, including my trainer and teacher, that have left Celadon because of their crappy service. One driver, whom I know is a great driver and was even trained by her father, was stuck in an intersection for 4 hours waiting for maintenance to answer the phone and send help her way. The main reason I wanted to leave is because I didn't like the way my DM was treating me, acting like I was a malfunctioning robot that was only supposed to run a certain number of hours, shut down then start over.

I didn't have to ask the same questions as most people because one of the teachers went out of their way to teach us about it. He had driven with Celadon for several years then got tired of them and left. Now, he's driving for a friend of his out of South GA. My trainer is now driving for Barnes. That friend who got stuck in an intersection is driving for another company but I don't know who. I never asked for a company with teams. The main thing I wanted was better home time which I realized I can get with regional or dedicated which Celadon doesn't have unless you live in Indy. As for the truck, all they have for company solo drivers are Prostars which I didn't realize until later. Teams get KWs and lease purchase or owner operators could choose between anything on their lot from Prostars, Lonestars, KWs and Peterbilts. Again, didn't realize any of that until later on as I had issues with the truck that required it being in the shop quite a bit; it was taking an insane amount of fuel and hardly any of the DEF which I knew it wasn't supposed to do. As for the miles, that was actually a bad week and I shouldn't have said anything in regards to that.

Now, with all this being said, I did some research and found that regional or dedicated would get me the home time I was looking for. Like I said, Celadon does not have this option and, as far as I know, neither does PTL when I was looking which is why I said I was going to get in, get the experience I needed and probably switch to another company that did. If they did, I would stay with them but I'm concerned that I'm going to have the same reaction to OTR. I want to make myself a better driver but I need to know where to go. Belittling my problems doesn't help me Rainy. All I asked for was for help. I personally do not like Swift or Schneider (please don't ask why) and that's why I choose not to go with them. So please, I just need suggestions. Now, if I need to go through training, then I will which is what I said earlier.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Been a while but looking for advice

What are good places I can go with only 3 months of experience? I'm trying to avoid having to go through training again since I went through it so soon. If I have to then I will as I heard that Heartland Express just started a training program.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Picking trucking company?

When I graduated from training and got my truck, they asked if I wanted an auto, 10 speed or 13 speed. Once I had selected which speed I wanted, which was a 10 by the way because that's what I trained on, then they looked through their inventory to see what trucks were available. Then they handed me the keys to a 2014 Prostar 10 speed. Mind you, this was with Celadon and I hated driving for them; those people gave me a headache. But, I think that's a common thread for companies that have more than one kind of truck to drive.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Been a while but looking for advice

Hello all, I know I said I was giving this life up, but here's the thing......I really like driving! Every time I see an 18 wheeler on the road, all I can think of is getting back in the driver's seat. So, I've decided to give this another shot. After talking to one of my teachers that I've kept in touch with and my old trainer, they have said that Pascall Truck Lines is a good place for me to start since I only have 3 months of experience. I was termed from Celadon, my old company, because I needed to stay home and care for my sick mother. Anyway, I've heard that PTL was only an OTR company so I'm hoping to get at least three months with them before switching to Martin and getting a Regional or Dedicated route with them. Any advice on PTL and Martin please?

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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Need a change to a get home

I wasn't scared off. I was ignoring the thread because I didn't think I was getting what i needed. Turns out, I was getting what I needed. I have discovered that I can learn just about anything, including the things that take a certain kind of person in order to do it. I also discovered I don't have what it takes to follow through with this kind of commitment. This is too different and too separate from everything I know for me to continue. I never thought this life was grand or even that adventurous. I just didn't think it would be this hard. This life isn't for me and I'm getting out while I can. Thanks for helping me. Guess this site is good for just what you need it to be, getting the truth.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Need a change to a get home

I work for Celadon. I went through their training and as such I'm under their contract which only pays .27 per mile. Once I get out, it starts at .33 per mile with an increase only every 120k miles. I'm buying out my contract in a few days. They didn't say I had to stay out that long but hometime isn't guaranteed with them. Every 7 days out gives you 1 day off and they have no holiday time off, paid or otherwise which doesn't seem fair to me. I was told by my DM that if I wanted any time off, I had to request it even for holidays. I had to ask 3 different DMs to get home when my Mom got sick because my day one said 'You don't even know if something is wrong.' That's none of her business and should not have been an issue. That's part of the reason why I want to change.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Need a change to a get home

Been working with one truck company and I've been running ragged with their hometime program. In essence, I have to stay out for 2 months in order to come home for a week. Every other driver I spoken with has told me how crazy that sounds to them and it is! So, I've been looking to switch companies to something that could get me home more often, not to mention with a better pay rate. However, I only have 3 months of solo OTR experience under my belt. Does anyone know of any good companies that will hire someone with that amount of experience? Please help!

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