Profile For Big T

Big T's Info

  • Location:
    National City, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 1 month ago

Big T's Bio

I'm a Mentor for Swift Transportation on the refrigerated side running out of the Jurupa Valley terminal.

I recently celebrated two years with Swift. Platinum driver with 100 percent on time and zero accidents.

Page 1 of 33

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  1 day, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Sometimes the wheels fall off

This weekend was set perfect. A couple 600 mile trips to keep us running and then we were going to do a reset in Ohio after delivery Sunday.

We got to our first delivery got checked in and went back to the truck to wait for our door assignment. Two hours later I got a call informing me that the appointment was set for the 27th not the 22nd. I have to get with planners and customer service to figure it out, but they don't get in until 0800. That means we are going to be late for our pick up. Nothing we can do about it.

Get up this morning and take our load to our Jonestown terminal. Grabbed an empty and started to head for New York as instructed. I called the shipper to verify what temp they wanted the trailer cooled to and was informed they wouldn't be loading us until Tuesday morning. Back to the terminal we went.

Poor student only needs 70 more hours and we are sitting instead of running. But it gives us a chance to get that reset in and do some laundry. My student only had two hours left on her 70 hour clock.

These things happen sometimes. You will do everything correct and the wheels will still fall off. Do your laundry, catch up on sleep, and relax. Getting upset doesn't fix or change anything.

Posted:  4 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Mentor for SWIFT don't grow on trees

It is correct that a lot of mentors are not taking students right now. Four days in normal times is common so throw in covid and it becomes normal.

As far as going to a different area you can talk to the DQ people but it is similar at all the terminals. If I don't have a student I start getting contacted by terminals all over to pick one up.

Just be patient and try and enjoy your last few days outside the truck. As someone that doesn't sit well I know that is easier said than done.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Another Swift question. Grocery shopping

I have not heard of that policy. In fact just the opposite. You're not supposed to drop a loaded trailer anywhere except a secure location. Also remember most truckstops have signs saying no dropped trailers.

Oh okay, both of my driver trainers told me I have to bobtail as per company policy. I'll call my home terminal and see what they also. Thanks for your input

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

I didn't see anything posted before, I got the go ahead from my driver leader/manager to get a mini fridge. My question is how do I get to Walmart if I'm not anywhere near a terminal? My understanding is I have to bobtail there, but I can't uncouple unless at a terminal right? Or can I do it at a truck stop and use my kingpin lock? I definitely need to re-up on non cold food items too.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

No need to bobtail, no need to call ahead. If you can safely get in and out pull on in. You have probably noticed how and where trucks park. You do however need to ask if you are wanting to park overnight but for just shopping you're good. I do mention looking before pulling in because some of the parking lots are not good for semis but most are fine.

double-quotes-end.png

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Brothers company won’t pay promised bonus..

Ok one question that leaps out is if the company isn't on the verge of bankruptcy or diar financial problems why are they getting ready to lay off drivers?

How long have you been driving for? How many companies have you driven for?

Swift has added an additional productivity bonus on top of the normal quarter bonus we get and they have doubled mentor's weekly bonus during this mess.

Those trying to get into the industry are going to find it more challenging because when times are lean companies tend to get pickier. Now people with records like your brother will have no problem because productive, safe, and professional drivers are a valuable asset. Especially in times where service is crucial.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Need help please, i have a question.

You would need to go back to the shipper and have them rework the load.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

An amazing brithday! Had a small bump in the road at the end of the day but all turned out good!

Happy belated birthday Victor.

You need to focus less on the grass in other pastures and start really focusing on just mastering your craft.

Remember companies do not usually report things until you leave them. This may be your first parking lot incident, but its your fifth bump in the road. Its at least your second backing accident.

What could/should you have done differently? How can you prevent future "bumps" in the road?

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

You cant makey money saying no

I dont generally say no. Even when I don't have the hours or I'm heading for home. What I will do is contact my DM and see what the plan is. A lot of times they will have me pick up the load and then get it repowered.

Usually when I get sent a screwed up load my DM hasn't seen it yet. When she does she will decline it.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

You cant makey money saying no

I had a conversation earlier with one of my students in which he was complaining about not making enough money.

The very next statement was that he turned down a 170 mile run because he isn't a local driver. He then turned down a load to New York because he had heard stories and was scared.

I explained that you can't have it both ways. You can't make money saying no. Everytime he declined a load he got moved to the bottom of the list.

Just a quick thought for the new drivers. This is performance based meaning at some point you have to perform.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

First Accident Ever, Made Stupid Mistakes

When you talk to safety own up to it like you did here. Obviously you understand what your mistakes were. The chance that they will terminate you are not high. Im not saying it isn't a possibility, but attitude is everything.

Most likely you will have to take the close quarters class and then be back at it.

Fight the tickets and charges in court. There is a good chance with a clean record they may reduce it. If you were really leaving the scene you would not have gone back.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Interstate 15

It is usually open. They also just built an ag check as part of the scale area. It's now like the one on I80 going over Donner.

Pack Rat is right. Once you've failed an inspection you are likely to get inspected more. As Mikey has found out, CA inspectors can be on the strict side. Makes sense though considering you have a major climb out of that scale and then a decent that is long.

Is it a 24/7 scalehouse?

If not, I would alter my driving schedule if necessary to avoid any extra visits with those inspectors. As you're experiencing, once a violation is found, you will be more likely to have another inspection there next time, too.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Interstate 15

Becareful on Nipton. It's a two lane desert road. I don't how hard it has rained in that area.

Going into California at the beginning of the month remember the PTI ABCs. No abrasions, bubbles, or cuts. It doesn't say no leaking abrasions, bubbles, or cuts. A minor abrasion one minute can become a blown airline the next.

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Does OTR actually mean OTR

Communicate with dispatch. A simple hey do you have any freight going somewhere different?

I just spent a month running CA,UT,ID, and OR. It started because I had oral surgery and needed to stay close to home, but continued afterwards. I asked my dispatcher for a load east and she sent me to NY.

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

I Ran a red light but no ticket. Who will hire me?

What else did you have on your sps? Swift usually does not terminate for one occurrence. However running a relight is a major violation worth 21 points on your sps. If you had other things even minor it could have raised your score into termination level.

It is going to be tough. When potential employers contact Swift they will be told you were terminated for violating safety policy. (I'm also assuming swift based off the 200 hour comment).

Here is what safety saw though:

1. Too fast for conditions 2. Failure to identify potential hazards (stale green/yellow, wet roads, etc.) 3. Hard brake in hazardous conditions creating a potential jackknife hazard

When you talk to potential employers you should address that and what you should have done differently. Take full responsibility and you may have a chance.

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Trainer kicked me off the truck tonight!

Tolerance is important but it needs to go both ways. As a student you need to understand that what you are doing can become life or death very quickly. And sometimes trainers do not handle it well.

I'm going to speak solely from my experience. I wasn't there so I'm not going to judge Jay or his trainer.

Out of the thirty or so students I've trained eight or nine came from other trainers. I was trainer number five for one student. The story is almost always the same. "My previous trainer was a jerk and wasn't training me." Rarely does the student admit any responsibility for the mutual failure. Based on my interactions there were only two that I could tell were probably accurate. You can tell if a student is eager or st least willing to put in the work to learn what they need to. I can show and instruct, but I cannot force someone to learn.

I also make it very clear before a student ever puts their bags on my truck what the expectations are and how things work. We are adults and I expect people to act accordingly. I do not yell, curse, name call etc. I tell them what needs to be done and they either do it or they are off the truck.

Professional attitude is expected no matter what the other person did. As was pointed out you will deal with other drivers and customers that are having bad days or lack people skills. We still have a job to do regardless.

As was also pointed out most of the trainers out here are barely figuring this out themselves. They have a minimum amount of experience and have managed to not hit anything in that time frame. We're not really trained how to train. It creates a stressful situation on both ends. Most of the time we are just hoping this isn't the student that turns my wife into a widow.

Sorry for the book.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Greenhorn and trying to make sure I don't get in too deep

First thing is do not attempt this career until you can pass a hair follicle test. It doesn't go back years. Usually it goes about 90 days. Just because you find a company that only tests urine doesn't mean they won't start doing hair. When I got hired on they did urinalysis but a few months later they started doing hair follicle as well.

Second thing to think about is if driving isn't your thing then this really isn't the career for you. Driving a truck is much more mentally and physically demanding than driving an auto.

Third if you're not wanting to work hard then you're wasting the company's time and resources. They expect you to run if you have hours available. These are not paid vacations. Yes you will see stuff but it is a job.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Seeking solo otr

How did you do research and then choose a company that doesn't pay what you think you should get?

.50 cpm with no experience is a long shot.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Expiration of DOT physical

Swift puts you on a safety hold five days before it expires.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Forced dispatch?

I'd pick up the load. I operate under the premise that I'm an employee and as an employee I do what the person signing my check asks me to do.

Now you still have to operate within legal and safe restrictions. This is where communication comes in. You inform your DM that you can pick up the load but there are issues. Make sure they understand what is going on.

Im picking up a load right now and I'll be headed that direction. Unfortunately the load is only 20k pounds so I'll be shutting down most likely. I am supposed to be in the shop Wednesday morning, but if it isn't safe then it isn't safe.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

This could be very useful for new drivers and those coming into the industry. Might be cool if we could get a couple going: different companies, freight, experience levels etc.

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Maybe I missed something....but did the hos split go away?

Did you have time left on your 14 when you started the eight hour sleeper time?

Page 1 of 33

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More