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    Experienced Driver

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    6 years, 6 months ago

Driver's Bio

You are looking at my profile! Must be slow. Don't worry, things will get better for you.

I am usually causing trouble or pissing someone off on this forum. But always truthful and respectful.

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Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Hair Drug Testing

I was at Swift orientation today and part of the hiring procedure, was the urine drug test. The person performing the test explained in a few weeks, Swift will hair test instead. I am not sure how the test will be performed, if from the head, arm and at what length. I am assuming it is a more accurate test since some drugs show positive in urine only for a few days.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

SwiftTrans and Knight Transportation To Merge

This merger is creating a holding company structure called Knight -Swift. The two subsidiaries; Swift and Knight will continue to operate as independent entities, same brand, with no asset sharing.

For the driver; business as usual.

Here is the announcement on the Driver portal. I am not sure how the new company works separately, but questions will be answered at the conference call.

Dear Swift Driver:

This morning, we announced that Swift Transportation and Knight Transportation have reached an agreement to operate under common ownership. Both companies will continue to run independently and will maintain separate brands. Bringing together these two long-standing, industry-leading trucking companies means a combined strength of resources, allowing us to improve safety and better our customer and driver experiences. The joint press release we issued this morning provides further details about the transaction. It is now available, along with FAQs, on our driver portal and on our website.

This transaction creates a joint ownership of two companies that will continue to operate separately. Therefore, Swift Drivers will only access Swift terminals and support departments and Knight drivers will only access Knight service centers. There will be no combining or mingling of freight.

Also, I want you to know that I have chosen to pursue other opportunities following the close of the transaction. Likewise, our CFO, Ginnie Henkels, has chosen to step down at that time. I want to assure you that Knight’s leadership team is committed to the same principles and level of integrity that we live by every day, and I have confidence that they will continue working toward our vision.

Once the transaction is completed, Kevin Knight, Knight’s Executive Chairman, will assume the role of Swift President. Ginnie and I will continue at Swift until the close of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition. I’m proud of all we have accomplished together, and promise that I will continue to root all of you on in the future.

We are offering a “Loyalty Bonus” to all eligible Swift drivers in recognition of your commitment to the success of this business. Those eligible will include all Swift drivers who are employed as of May 1, 2017, and who are still employed and working at the close of the common ownership transaction, anticipated to be in the third quarter of 2017. Please see Company Driver Loyalty Bonus letter on the Driver Portal for more details.

For the sake of open communication and transparency, I invite all of you to join Ginnie and me on a Company-wide conference call, this afternoon, at 4:30 PM (ET)/1:30 PM (PT). .

If you receive any questions from other drivers or outside of Swift, please refer them to the press release on our website or have them email

I thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to Swift.


Richard Stocking President & CEO

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

SwiftTrans and Knight Transportation To Merge

I wonder when a trucking company gets so large it becomes counter productive. My last few deliveries, there were no empty trailers and I needed to speak with dispatch and each time, it was a different person. It's like the company gets so large it becomes to much for the support staff.

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Swift to remove driver facing cameras

I just got the Qualcomm message and see there already 19 posts! What a hot topic. We can now cover our inside facing camera lens. This is a big policy change from the largest carrier, so will have a ripple effect in the trucking industry. I have to admit, when the camera was installed in my truck I driver, I was not happy.

I can't help but think Swift was either loosing drivers or could not hire experienced drivers because of the Camera? Possibly, there were lawsuits against the company based on the camera recordings?

I have mixed feelings about the in-cab camera now. The positive for me was it remove 100% my usage of a cell phone while driving for using the the app 'trucker path'. I was written up, so switched to a tablet on dash. Much safer. Cells phones are a big problem and are a vice.

The failure with Swift was that the implementation of the camera was horrible. Firstly, it was recording when when the truck was off, but this was changed, improvement. The events, we had no way to review unless driving to a Swift terminal. Could Lynx not design an app to watch the camera events? The events that recorded my driving, such as hard breaking, etc. and talking with my DM, did not help me much. In fact, my braking suffered because I was nervous about recording an event. There is a point were you can't be much better of a driver..

I tried once as a mentor and with a student my 10 hour day, I was strapped into the sleeper bunk. Per policy, I could not sit up. It was partly what kept me from continuing mentoring. The student received 3 events in the month and two separate occasions, we had to detour into a terminal to watch the videos.

I feel the inside camera has a place and should be used in these situations: 1. All new drivers for a determined time, 6-8 months, should be required to have the camera. It is a great training device for new drivers.

2. The camera should record and be used if there is ANY accident. That is valuable data and is important to know what happened inside during an accident. If there is a fatal accident, what was happening inside?

I learned to live with inside camera, but the experience was not enjoyable.

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Mentoring Now - Boring

I have a question as I will probably be with a trainer in the future also. And this question isnt directed towards the money but does the student only get paid the miles he drives? Would you be able to explain to him hey your doing a great job but im getting board over here I would like to drive a bit more.? Also what kind of miles would you expect from a team is six hundred each in a 24hr period low?

Good questions. So, with my company the student does not get paid per mile, rather approximately 9.00 per hour driving and I believe 8.00 on duty. He needs to drive a minimum of at least 40hrs per week for the 200hr program. He is averaging 45hrs per week, so is on schedule. After, the program, I receive a few cents for every mile he drives for six months once upgraded to his own truck.

I have him start driving between 12-6pm, which gives him both day and night driving. Since we are being assigned a high number of scheduled live unloads, I can adjust our times, so that he gets the most driving. I have been told that the owner operators receive better trips than company drivers, but not sure if that is true.

When he completes a 34hr reset, I'll go back into the logs and pad him with as much on duty hours to increase his earnings.

The 600 miles each in 24hr was great, that was our one good trip. The rest of the miles that I have driven have been a few hours a day or not all.

I keep a close eye on things when he arrives at shipper/consignee, fueling, etc. But on the open road, he does not need any supervision now. So, I spend most the time just using my computer, watching youtube, etc. It is pretty relaxing for me, actually.

You will like training, because you will meet people and have contacts. You can get some bad apple students, but I think that is rare.

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Mentoring Now - Boring

You have good points. I wanted to mentor to see what it was like and I felt that someone spent the time training me, so wanted to pass it along. Besides the English hurdle, I've enjoy my time with the student and sorry to see him leave. It'has been nice talking with him and learning about his country. Solo driving can get lonely.

The lack of driving and spending so much time in the sleeper birth is a lot. I get motion sickness when not driving, which does not help. I am getting headaches and have to keep the side windows open for fresh air.

I am glad I tried it out and will keep in contact with the student, but plan on hanging up my hat as a mentor after he leaves.

Thanks for your input.

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Mentoring Now - Boring

I am finding mentoring boring.

I decided to mentor and completed the 1.5 day course. I wanted to see how it was driving teams, etc., as an OTR company driver. After the training, I was assigned my first student. He is a foreigner and has a low English level. He explained to me that he took the DMV general knowledge test 9 times and pre-trip test 3 times before passing them at a cost of around 450 dollars.

He is a natural at driving, but I do have an automatic so it is easier than manual. He is careful with turns and he video tapes with his cell phone different lessons. He does everything I tell him and wants to learn and we get along well. It is hard, because basic words like, "hill", "hammer", are not in his vocabulary. Also, concepts like time zones, weigh stations are new to him. My day consists of talking slowly and repeating everything 2-3 times. However, he is figuring it out.

I just calculated his hours behind the wheel and he has completed 100hrs of the 200hr program.

The problem, is that I am finding mentoring extremely boring.

The first week, I sat on the passenger side, until the student completed 50hrs. I figured things would be slow. When, he past the 50hrs, we got our first team trip for 1200 miles, which was great and both drove 600 miles for the 24hr period.

Since then, the trips have been around 800 miles with high percentage live unloads. I find myself filling the gap and setting him up for the drives. I may spend a couple hrs picking up the load and driving 100 miles, then handing the truck to him to complete the remainder 600 miles. I checked my 8 day log and have driven 23hrs. I feel like I spend most the days/nights in the sleeper being bounced around.

I never thought I would miss driving. I am assigned longer trips, but not that fantastic. I am going to start declining live unloads, because that seems to be the bottleneck.

Maybe if I was not OTR and had a dedicated route, there would be enough miles for us both. There are a lot of lease operators at my company that have students to help with payments.

I feel like I sit around a lot watching him drive. I have sooo much free time now. The financial advantage has increased only slightly. Even if I had an experienced co-driver, I would still be making more money as a solo driver with these loads.

I was thinking we would be driving much more. It's nice to have someone to talk with, but when he leaves would probably get a jerk as a next student. I think this will be my last student.

Is this the life of a mentor?

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Quick fix for refrigerator break down! ASAP

Purchase a Dometic CF-18:

Link provided: Dometic CF-18

I bought one last month and wish I had a long time ago. I use it as a freezer and surprising can store a lot of food in it. I stop at Walmart and fill it up. I buy ice cream, frozen foods and microwave at the truck stops. Fits well in the truck and portable. I have an adapter which can use on 110w. Plus, it is silent and draws hardly any battery. Don't waste your money on the truck stop fridges they sell.

Possibly cheaper than getting his truck fridge repaired anyway.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Uber Self-Driving Truck Packed With Budweiser Makes First Delivery in Colorado

That is a good article.

I am surprised they have already done self driving testing with semi trucks on the highway already.

I am sure a truck could make a trip across country with the current technology. I like the idea of sitting in the sleeper while the truck drives itself on the interstate and then assisting with fuel ups, city driving, etc. Unfortunately, will mean a wage decrease. Once the technology develops more, which will be soon, it will be safer than a driver behind the wheel. Plus, we can all start going out to bars again on the weekend, with our self driving cars!

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Attention Swifties...I have a question

If I sit for awhile, I'll call the local planners. I have a sheet with all the terminal phone numbers that Swift gave me. I believe they have them at the swift terminals. Also, the app has the ability to display local planner information. However, I've started using Mac 10 to message the planners. It's been positive and I get responses. Seems better than calling directly because sometimes they get annoyed with direct calls for loads.

For hometime that is time sensitive, I'll send the normal hometime macro, then follow-up with a freeform message to my DM letting her know. I've been told that hometime does not show up on their system until 5 days before the hometime date. Seems short notice, so possibly incorrect.

For changing DMs, not sure about that but my mentor did around 3 times, but he was leasing his truck.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Swift Jurupa Terminal

Maybe the lack of trailers at the terminal is because they moved them to Amazon or Walmart for Christmas. Just a guess. I'm having a hard time finding empty trailers at customers.

Every time I'm in California, I just want to get out of there. Nice place but too much traffic, 55mph and the list goes on..

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Taking a shower on the road

I am surprised that a company has not designed an aftermarket shower for a semi. I believe there is room for a small one and the water could be recycled/filtered. It takes some engineering, but am sure it's possible.

I've started using a gallon jug to shower inside the truck recently . I had to come up with some type of solution. Just close the curtain and pour overhead. A gallon with sponge, soap and shampoo is just about right. I am thinking of upgrading to a solar shower...hehe. I use the bunk heater to preheat the water. And yes, water gets all over the rubber floor mats, but I have a broom to sweep it out. I actually find it better than waiting, etc. for a truck stop shower. It's different, but but I feel much better than not taking one.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Spit(saliva) Drug Test

The reason I posted this, is kinda funny, but also serious. It's that I have a form of what is known as 'shy bladder'. If I go to the bathroom and urinate and then get tested a few hours later without drinking LOTS of water, I cannot produce a sample.

When I was hired during orientation we were given two glasses of water and I almost failed to produce a sample in the 2 hour alloted time. Literally, it was down to the last few minutes. If I could not, it would have been marked as a refusal on my record and probably un-hireable. I would have had to see a doctor, etc.

There is an organization that advocates for changing UA drug testing:

Obviously, I would like to see more testing options, than just UA. Even a hair sample, as an alternative and from my understanding is more accurate.

So, if anyone is new to truck driving and think they may have a problem with producing a sample, the first day of orientation is when they usually do their UA test, so drink water.


Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Spit(saliva) Drug Test

Yea sounds like an alcohol test to me as well. Not 100% sure though

Yes, I agree was probably for alcohol. One of these days DOT will allow for saliva or hair samples.


Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Get Ready for Freeways that Ban Human Drivers

. As for the big 18-wheelers becoming automated...I don't see that for a LONG time.

When semi trucks become automated(awhile), I think it will be only interstates and with a driver in the bunk. You could pick up a load on the east coast going to the west coast and once the truck is on the interstate, just watch TV and sleep until the truck needs to fuel and the driver would help for that. You don't have to worry about logging. The pay will really go down then because your job will be just babysitting the truck.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Spit(saliva) Drug Test

Driving for Swift, I was sent a message to come into a terminal on my qualcomm, which I had a feeling it was for random drug testing because I normally don't receive messages like that.

Anyway, I could not make it because of hours and had another pickup and went to another smaller terminal to drop the trailer.

I was then called on my arrival at the smaller terminal and was explained I would be randomly drug tested.

To my surprise, was told it would be a spit(saliva) test.

It was a much easier test because the results were immediate and only took a few seconds. Just swab in your mouth and check to see if it turns color. With the UA tests, it is a hassel and I need to prepare myself by drinking a lot of water.

My question, if anyone knows, is this a DOT authorized test now? Are they doing spit tests for new hires? I hope the industry is heading in that direction.


I only found this..

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift In Cab Camera

"Blaze the trail afterall.." That is funny.

I was going to update this thread later this week, but might as well now.

My attitude towards the camera has changed almost 100% and want to provide some positive feedback.

When I switched trucks, I new there was going to be a camera and I was not excited. In fact, the first day, I hard braked enough to cause qualcomm to record an event and the camera, of course created a video. I was so focused on the device, it felt like my every move was being watched.

I have since had time to review Swifts policy and FAQ in detail, documentation from Lytx website and read through the California 1945 Assembly Bill along with numerous articles.

How the camera is implemented at Swift, is that on average only 10 seconds of video is uploaded daily. With good driving, you can go a week without any uploads! It's not creating these massive amount of daily videos, that I first thought.

When the red indicator lights activate, you know that a file is being saved. So, the camera is not secretly video taping you. This also gives you live feedback.

With off duty privacy. The trigger threshold appears to be set high, geared for high gforce, hard breaking, collisions, etc. I've purposely tried to active a video by going over large pot holes, speed bumps and it has not triggered. It did create a video, when I had to quickly stop for a red light, but it was scored a zero(non issue). It takes more than someone backing into you at a truck stop, they have to really ram into you. I guess it could happen, but the chance is in the millions. I don't think about it.

If I could suggest improvements, it is to allow 24hr video in the front camera. If there is an accident with a pedestrian/motorcycle, etc. the driver has to remember to manually initiate the record button, to guarantee a video.. Second recommendation is a beeping sound during video creation.

I recently spoke with a driver that draped his seat belt over his waist, rather than secure the buckle while driving. Another, was a team and they were not using the safety netting when sleeping in the bunk. Changing those habits may have saved their lives!

I feel comfortable driving with the camera now and I hope anyone thinking of working for a company that has an in cab camera, does not stop them. If you are at a company that will be installing them, relax and don't jump to conclusions. The key is how each individual company implements their program.

I hope this feedback provides better understanding, because this is a new technology.

Stay safe out there!

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Trucking-specific Apps/Navigational Aids

I use Google maps for my primary navigation! It pulls realtime data and on large cities, provides the fastest route through due to traffic delays. However, she is a cruel mistress.

I remember once there was a complete shutdown on an interstate and google maps displayed a 2hr delay. It rerouted me on a side road for about 10 miles and once I got back on the interstate, it was completely empty.

So, how I do it is I akways use Google maps for a visual of traffic and route. Like really look at the route and terrain. Study it. Then, I set my gps garmin and qualcomm.

Anywhere 30 miles around shipper or consignee, I use qualcomm as primary routing. To many neighborhoods and small streets for google maps to mess up. Once on a highway, I switch to google maps.

I have a cradle for my cell phone, just above the qualcomm attached to a vent, so I can look at them both.

95% of the time, google maps routes the same as qualcomm.

Once I am getting close to shutting down,(1 1/2 hr before) I switch to Truckers Path. I put velcro on my steering wheel and set phone there, so not a distraction.

If google maps gives you any inclination of routing you into somewhere not truck friendly, switch to qualcomm immediately. Also, my garmin starts barking in bad areas.

With the garmin, qualcomm and google maps navigating together, I get there quick. But remember, google maps is not truck friendly, so study the route first.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Need advice

The hard stop, critical event, it happens and you know how to resolve that.

I am not sure why the planners are giving you loads that run into your 14hrs. Before you accept them though, make sure you have enough time.

I run out of time a lot during live loads and do the 10 mph thing also. We don't have a point program, not a problem a few of those messages.

There is a way to get an extra 8 minutes drive time after your 14hrs expire on qualcomm, but I am not going to post that here.

I would suggest really looking at your trips before accepting and depending on the situation, use the 8/2 split.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Becoming a trainer how much experience do you need

Honestly, I don't think it depends on how much time a person has behind the wheel.

Yes, experience is necessary, but just because a person has 20 years experience doesn't mean he can train better than someone with 18 months.

You have to want to train for the right reasons. Are you personable, would be patient with students? Want to teach safety?

I would rather have a trainer with 18 months experience that communicates well, then some guy/gal that has 30yrs, but is only interested in the extra paycheck.

If you feel you can teach safety and make the learning experience enjoyable and feel qualified with your driving, check with your mentor program to join. I think it would be rewarding.

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