Profile For JM

JM's Info

  • Location:
    CA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 4 months ago

JM's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

JM I think your over reacting a bit here. Your welcome and I will share my experiences with anyone that is interested. Nobody is jumping on anybody just pointing out their experiences as well. G town and several others work for swift and they have had different experiences than yourself.

First off I worked at some large carriers. They have different centers/terminals and each can be run totaly different even though they are under the same umbrella.

I can understand you wanting your own truck. Hell I did it. The most valuable thing I learned is IF you are leased to a company your miles will be about the same. Because you are required to pull their freight on their time table. You have hinted that once you buy a truck it will be for your business. Leasing from a carrier would be the worst way to go for a few reasons. 1st it will be spec'd to their work not yours. This can cost you alot of money over the long haul(pardon the pun). 2nd the lease will require you to pull their freight not yours. and they truck will be totally out of any warranty before you pay it off.

Another point and I'm not knocking any particular model but some are designed to last 3-5 yrs and then become money pits. I have known more than one owner op that bought a cheap truck and within a yr was bankrupt because of repairs.

I have a few options to go owner op again and pull dedicated freight. Direct from the shippers. I have run the numbers and it doesn't make sense for me too do it at least not know. I always keep an open mind though so I can always revisit it later.

Like you I have other income that pays my bills. I drive truck for extra play money and give me something to do. I have been very blessed in my life.

I get the impression your from cali. Nothing wrong with that either. I lived there 40 yrs before moving to Ga. I even still own property there. Freight going out of there is dicey at times as well unless your refer then you have issues at times as well. The areas you spoke of are not the best freight areas overall to my understanding. So some waiting is very understandable.

Enough of my rambling for now. God bless you in whatever you do sir

I thank you for your reply. I would definitely not use the lease truck for my business. The lease would have been short term and then I was going to outright purchase a truck.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

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This isn't a once and done discussion...it's a proactive process.

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JM, what G-town said is important. You've already made up your mind that this is just the way it is and there's nothing you can do about it. You've still got a lot to learn about how to set yourself up for success in this career. There's no way that buying your own truck is going to remedy your issues. There are ways that you can improve your communication and your performance. These are the things that keep a lot of company drivers at the top of the food chain.

I just spoke with my previous mentor. Literally, 2 minutes ago just got off the phone with him. Now, he has never heard of this forum. I did explain to him how I am getting a lot of negative responses for sharing my lack of miles. I don't know why y'all are focusing on this one thing in my post. This thread is becoming more and more negative. My mentor was just sharing with me about his lack of miles. He also said to get stacks in the areas to where I have problems getting loads. I have people on here who are telling me that my DM, my mentor, the dispatch lady, and other solo company drivers out of MY terminal in MY state in MY county are wrong and that I am not doing my due diligence. I am drawing a line here. No more talk about my miles. As for me getting a truck, I am planning on doing this anyways in about a year. I was just pondering if it was lucrative to do so sooner. Again, I am am engineer. My spouse is an Engineer. My future truck will be used for our engineering firm. I don't need to go into more detail than that. I have bigger plans than just driving a truck. Does anyone have anything positive to say that isn't counter with a negative comment? I also don't appreciate the condescending tones in this thread. We have never met in person. None of you know me outside of this forum. There are a whole lot of assumptions and not on my part. There is a general lack of respect and I am bringing this up because I have seen this group run off other new posters. I am not the first person to bring up the flash mob comments. It just one big wave of negativity. It's off putting.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

Jim is curious:

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Are you a company driver or an owner-op?

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I'm not going to take that route. Some people enjoy the challenge of making their own money that way. Maybe I'm lazy. Being a company driver I like the feeling of getting something on the truck fixed and just driving away, and getting fuel with no worries.

Well if it makes your day brighter, then I can see why. Trucking is a cog in the wheel for my overall business plans. I am not really pursuing the trucking business. I have other sources of income, so this whole trucking thing is not my main source of income.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

Hey Errol! Long time no see. I have an excellent relationship with my DM. He is a cool dude. He has also informed me about the lack of loads in the areas I listed. Although he is super chill, he does get a little frustrated about these areas. Yeah, I do use the planner qualcomm macro. Are you a company driver or an owner-op?

They did throw me on a Walmart route when I got into Washington, which doesn't really benefit my terminal. My DM had me pulled off of it as soon as they found a load back. I also get loads into Oregon up towards the North. I have to wait until they get me a load that usually is a 200 mile run to something in South of Washington. Then they finally get me a load back to California. I do enjoy driving the routes. There is a duration issue between loads.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

Oh, it's not just a me thing. There are other Solo Company Swift drivers who are also complaining about the lack of miles. I would gladly include a recording of the dispatcher at the window just explaining to me why there are a lack of miles. However, I don't think she would take kindly to being recorded, nor do I want the lack of miles to be the main focus of my post. Swift has a hierarchical system. Solo company drivers are at the lowest rung of company priority. I have been told that by the guy who assigns us trucks, two planners, and the dispatch window lady. Dispatch window lady also made a good suggestion. She told me to ask for a stack if I get planned to those areas and don't take they load if they cant stack me back.

There really is nothing confusing about my post. *sigh* I am not getting enough miles because I sit in certain regions for long periods of time. I really hope this post does not go on a patronizing negative spin. I am 34 years old and educated in engineering and life sciences. I have integrity. I so happen to be taking time off from my field to drive a truck. I want to own a truck.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

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Yeah, I really want my own truck.

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JM, congratulations on your first year!

I've been a long time business owner. I owned a small fleet of six big trucks. I'm not sure how your reasoning seems to make you think things will be better once you have your own truck.

Thank you for the list. I will read over it. There is a lot of great info in here.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

What suprises me is your comment about 2500 miles a week. Swift being as large as they are I'm suprised. Unless your on a dedicated account that just is a lower mileage route. OTR I would think should have more miles available to you if you want them, and it sounds like you do. Have you had a proffessional conversation with your dispatcher about this issue. I know some dispachers have lower expecations of newer drivers in the beginning and will not pile on more than they can handle. Have you been with the same dispatcher awhile??? It takes time to build those relationships. Changing carriers for what you are describing in my opinion would be a big mistake. I wish you all the best in 2018

Thank you for your advice in regards to leasing. I am also going through that suggested link by the previous Parrothead. Yeah, I really want my own truck.

Swift has many planners. There are planners at each terminal. They deal with so many drivers on a daily basis that forming a close relationship with them takes years. What happens is that I get a route that takes me out to places where I just sit waiting for loads. They have me on this circular type of route that goes from Southern California out to Georgia and then up through the Great Lakes area toward Oregon. When I get to places like Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Mississippi, and California, I can end up sitting for 3 days for a load. I send messages and also give my DM and whichever planners are covering that area. They all tell me there are no current loads and the freight is slow in that area. So, I end up waiting for these load offers. Goodness forbid, I am taking a shower when one of those load offers come through because they get swooped up immediately by another driver. Now, I cant say what 2018 will be like with freight volume, but 2017 was a bit slow for half of those months. There are also these giant screens where I can peer at the freight volume visuals that display near the planners' areas. There have been very dry regions. They will also give me these loads where its approx 500 miles for a load that delivers in 4 days! >:o Then, my DM says, "take it to the terminal in [so and so] and they'll TCall it off of you or swap out". This never happens. I now say No to those loads and then sit for 1.5 days waiting for a different load. Very frustrating at times.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

I Survived My First 9 Months Trucking =D

...well, more like my 9 months because I started in April 2017. However, I did it! I haven't been on the Forum in a while, but this website and the forums have played a significant part in helping me get work through the trials and tribulations of the trucking learning curving. To recap, I went to Swift's Trucking School. I made it through the first go. I did my OTR training with mentors. My routes have touched almost every state and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the sights that the terrain of the US has to offer. As for my performance record, I am doing well. My DOT inspections have been gold except for that one in the dessert between California and Nevada. I had picked up a load and my wheels were a little past the tandem mark for California. My bad California. -.-

Question: I keep getting messages on my qualcomm suggesting that I become a Lease Owner-Op. I do understand that the numbers the company floats around on their fliers is rather optimistic. I keep hearing Lease Owner-Ops not getting enough miles on a weekly basis. I do remember from previous forums that I should take negative comments with a grain of salt. So, I wanted to hear from those on the forum who are familiar with the Lease Owner-Op programs. As of now, I average about 2100 miles a week as a company driver. I would much rather run 3,000 miles a week, but there is rarely enough freight to even hit 2500 miles from what I am assigned. I am also considering finding a different company that has more freight if that is possible. I have even been familiarizing myself with used trucks. I like planning ahead. I know that insurance is out of this world for drivers with less than 2 years. If I was to do Owner-Op, I would prefer to do it with a truck I purchase. I don't want to have to lease if leasing is less lucrative than outright owning a 2-3 year old truck.

As always, suggestions and thoughts are welcome. Thanks again for your time, my fellow truckers and Happy New Year!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

View Topic:

On the fence about staying, maybe not for me?

Let the trainer know that you will literally **** your pants in their truck and that urine is going on the floor and possibly the seat. Let them know you are not kidding either. I had a trainer try to ignore my need to use the restroom. I looked him dead in the eye and told him I was going to pee right where I was sitting if I didn't get a bathroom stop. We didn't have that issue again. Mind you, we had been on the road for 6 hours and he wanted me to hold it for another 1.5 hours after I had already told him I needed to go 2 hours prior. I would have went through with it too if he had pushed me that far. You can get urinary tract infections from holding urine too long. You can permanently scar your kidneys if that urinary tract infection makes its way up to The kidneys and then you wake up with 104 degree temperature on deaths door requiring a doctor visit and strong antibiotics. Ahem, not that I would know anything about that...

As for trainers, good luck!

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

What's the funniest thing you've seen on the road?

My ribs hurt from laughing so hard. These are great! rofl-1.gifrofl-1.gifrofl-2.gif

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Got placed out of service

I am a company driver and use a comdata card to purchase fuel. I need to carry receipts?

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

The Daily Vent - Divas, Primadonnas, and Trolls

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Things are quiet and peaceful, you're enjoying a little Bob Seger on a sunny day in July, and suddenly there's a huge fireball and several bodies are rolling and bouncing across the highway.

I must have a a little dark humor in me, because the way you put it made me laugh. I know, it's not funny in real life.

Just in the couple of months I have been OTR, I have already seen cars and trucks on fire, tires exploding on heavy hauler flatbeds (2 for 1 special), idiots-galore yammering away on their cellphones without headsets or texting, a truck run off the road into the black night of the desert, a dry van rearend another dryvan out of impatience....I say this for any new people reading. The one thing that I find keeps me out of trouble is that I am one of those people who has always been a defensive driver. I stay vigilant and have a complete understanding and respect for the monstrosity of loads we are hauling. I also think back to my Physics classes, especially the one focused on mechanics and motion. On paper, there is mathematical horror to be had with drivers making mistakes and semi-trucks involved.

Lastly, I am thankful for this website. The test practice area helped me learn a great deal and I owe a bit of acknowledgment to the forums as well. The people who invest the time to make this site have helped me. Thank you

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

What's the funniest thing you've seen on the road?

Something does come to mind now that I think of it, I was in Georgia recently dropping a load over near Atlanta. When I was done with the load and waiting in line to leave, one of the security guys were out there chatting with me. I asked him if the area around here is considered safe to park at the local Truckstop, and he say "technically, the area is safe". I asked him to elaborate. He says that a dead body was dumped down the street last week. I asked him how that's "technically" safe. He says, "well, the guy was shot and killed somewhere else. He was dead when he got dropped off"

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

What's the funniest thing you've seen on the road?

Every time I see the sign for the town of "Lickdale". Yes it's a noun,... not a verb.

I haven't seen Lickdale yet haha. I do know of a Whynot, NY, but I would rather TCall before entering NY at this point in my limited docking and backing abilities

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

What's the funniest thing you've seen on the road?

Discount cremation billboards around Detroit make me laugh.

And then I die a little more on the inside.

That is so sad and so funny all at the same time!

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

What's the funniest thing you've seen on the road?

It has been a long week and I would greatly enjoy reading about other truck drivers' funny stories. If you have one, please share. I'm still in the rookie driver category.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Weighstation Woes: Inconsistent Communication

Well, I guess things are the way they are out in these DOT stations. I gather I am not alone on the matter.

It's one of those "such is life" moments.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Weighstation Woes: Inconsistent Communication

Jm, be happy they let you go without a ticket and forget about the way they talked to you. They can't help it. That's what they do.

Yeah, I got you. I did say I am thankful. I need to travel through these parts again because I am OTR. I am not concerned with the fact they talked to me that way, rather, I don't want DOT officers thinking I am not following the signals. I am asking for future reference. Thanks.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Weighstation Woes: Inconsistent Communication

To clarify, I corrected my tandem to the weight printout presented by the first DOT station, and reweighed to an acceptable weight distribution. I was legal by the time I got to weighstation two.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Weighstation Woes: Inconsistent Communication

I'm in Louisiana and I'm pulling a heavy load. I got pulled into two DOT stations to check the weight. Understandable. It turns out that the cat scale I went to originally gave me bad weight values. When I rolled into the first DOT weigh station behind another truck getting weighed, the green sign to go back on the freeway was on. I stopped on the scale, receive no signal other than the green sign telling me to go back on the freeway. So, I started rolling forward to go back onto the freeway. Then, the sign said stop in red letters follow with a “back up”. I did exactly that. I was then told to pull over in the parking area and come inside, which I did. The two men behind the glass window began berating me for not following the sign. I said I did follow the sign it remained green to go back onto the freeway even after I stopped on the scale. I also offered to show them footage from the camera that I attached to the front of the cab. I was then told that the green side wasn’t for me it was for the other truck and next time I need to wait. Fine.

Second DOT weigh station not far from the first weigh station and still in Louisiana, I get signal to go into the weighstation scale. I get it, I have a heavy load in there just making sure that I’m legal. No qualms there. So, I roll up onto the scale and the light is remaining Green from the previous truck saying to go back on the freeway. I think to myself I’ve got this, just wait for a signal. Nope. The DOT weighstation officer gets on the intercom and proceeds to talk to me like I am an idiot for not following the green sign that says to go back on the freeway.

Queue the flipping a table over meme.

I said as clearly and calmly as possible that I was told by the previous weighstation to wait for a signal change.

My question: what should I have done in this situation to have a better outcome?

I did inform the cat company regarding the bad scale readings after the whole ordeal if anyone is wondering. Thankfully, I did not receive a ticket in either situation.

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