Profile For Big T

Big T's Info

  • Location:
    National City, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 2 months ago

Big T's Bio

I am returning to the industry after being away since 2009. I have driven dry van, reefers, and heavy haul dry van. I have been a solo, team, lead, and trainer. I am currently jumping through all the hoops again getting my license back and starting my driving career again. I have missed the road and am finally able to return.

I have one non-preventable, not at fault wreck in which I was rear ended outside Queens, but other than that I have a clean record and value safety above all else. I also believe in the "brotherhood" of trucking and believe it is up to each of us to keep it going and to bring it back.

Big T's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Swift Upgrade Test

You should be fine. IF they check them it is to make sure you know how to fill one out.

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Then upgrade in Phoenix. Better chance of getting a newer one. They only get new ones in JV if someone turns one in.

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I think ima do Phoenix I'll post back here if my upgrade goes well. Does anyone know if they will check all my paper logs because I don't have some days down due to me running out of logs for like 3 days

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Swift Upgrade Test

Then upgrade in Phoenix. Better chance of getting a newer one. They only get new ones in JV if someone turns one in.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Swift Upgrade Test

What type of transmission are you wanting to get?

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Sick of OTR and living in a truck

Have you noticed how many drivers don't appreciate the general public? After all if they weren't buying stuff there would be a lot less need for drivers.

Sounds like you have a serious case of burn out going. What about trying different freight? Does your company have dry van options?

Get a hotel once in a while if you are going to live on the truck. You still need down time and relaxation.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Swift Passenger Policy

As long as your DM approves it she should be fine.

I was wondering if it was possible that my girlfriend from Canada come on my truck at swift as a passenger. She has a passport etc. Anyone know if that would be okay?

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Surviving A DOT Safety Blitz

Rainy pretty much summed it up.

At least once a year and sometimes twice a year they do a blitz or Roadcheck or Safety check and focus on a specific compliance or safety issue.

As Daniel pointed out this year they are focusing on HOS and ELD compliance.

Those of us driving for the mega carriers probably won't get as much scrutiny as the owner ops and small carriers because our companies have been using electronic logs for a while. You still want to make sure you're doing your stuff correctly though.

Also this is a national blitz. States can and will do there own blitzes and they work the same way.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Surviving A DOT Safety Blitz

A DOT blitz is nothing to fear and easy to survive.

First tip is to do your job. Do your pre trips and post trip inspections and report needed repairs.

Second tip is get your tractor washed and clean the inside. DOT knows those that take care of the truck are less likely to have violations. The entire point of a blitz is to find unsafe drivers and equipment.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Team Training: The Fear And Misunderstanding - article by Rainy

Spot on and accurate as usual.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Suicide by truck and having the big picture

I cringe every time I see a truck tailgating. These are probably some of the same people that whine about truckers not getting any respect.

I had the Smith System drilled into me at the age of 15 in Driver's Ed when I got my drivers permit back in the dinosaur age of 1975. It's been an ingrained habit for life, and as GTown said.. it's used EVERY SINGLE DAY.

To the doofus who asked, "When will I ever use that?", They don't need to be driving a go cart much less an 80,000 pound death machine.

I was also taught ... A . minimum of 3 car lengths apart (for driving cars, obviously). I'm going to be real blunt. People who speed and tailgate, positively disgust me. And as my company safety director would say, "The speed limit is the MAXIMUM speed you should be driving.".

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Suicide by truck and having the big picture

I had the Smith system drilled into my head when I first entered the industry. This is driving 101. It's what you are supposed to do. I rearrange the keys a little when I teach it because there is really only three keys.

Get The Big Picture How do you do that? By aiming high in steering and keeping your eyes moving. This is the basics of looking ahead 12 to 15 seconds and scanning your mirrors and surroundings.

Leave Yourself an out. This is basic space cushion management. This includes everything from the speed you travel at, your following distance, and what lane your traveling in. How about where you park at the end of your shift? Can you easily get out or get blocked in?

Make Sure They See You includes lights, signals, horns, etc. Even when you have direct eye contact assume they are blind and don't see the small building traveling down the road.

Sorry for the long winded explanation.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Suicide by truck and having the big picture

Last Sunday I stopped for fuel in North Platte, NE. As far as fuel stops go it was nothing out of the ordinary. However, shortly after getting back on the interstate, a close call managed to screw up my week.

Twenty miles East of North Platte there is a rest area. In the process of scanning my surroundings and making sure I had the big picture I noticed a car on the far side of the on ramp leaving the rest area. Once again nothing abnormal there.

When I was about two truck lengths from passing him he made a 90 degree left turn and parked his car across my lane of travel. Somehow I managed to slow the truck enough and at the last minute he backed up. I got close enough to see his face and I have seen his face every time I have tried to go to sleep since.

By having the big picture and not driving distracted I was able to avoid a tragedy. Things can happen at any time out here. A split second can ruin a life.

I will be upgrading a student tomorrow and then I'm taking a couple days off to clear my head and hug my family a little tighter than normal.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Swift upgrade test questions.

There isn't a map part. It is questions like: Trip A is 1200 miles how many hours should you plan? Can you deliver on timed based on load assignment? You have 20 hours available, can you legally deliver the load on time.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Swift upgrade test questions.

Sorry drive test usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes each.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Swift upgrade test questions.

The written test has two parts. First part is matching the correct macros from the Qualcomm. The second part gives you a load assignment and you answer questions about the trip. This includes how much transit time and if you can legally do the load.

The drive part is going out usually with a group and takes about 30 minutes or so. Then when you get back to the terminal you each take a turn backing into the spot they have set up.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Errol!

That is an understatement Pack Rat. It's definitely clean up time.

It was great being able to meet up. Errol along with G-town, Old School and Rainy make up a great group of teachers on this site.

That's great that you two got to meet up there at the terminal. You both need to work on those beards, though.smile.gif

Posted:  1 month ago

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Preventable accidents

Andrew preventable accidents or incidents are exactly what it sounds like. Was there something you could have reasonably done to prevent the accident.

You are driving down the road and someone plows into you will usually not be preventable. However if you were parked on the side of the road and someone ran into you then it could be considered preventable.

It is possible to not be at fault, but still get hit with a preventable.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Errol!

Thank you for taking the time to say hi Errol.

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Posted:  1 month ago

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Errol!

I'm stuck on your turf this morning. My truck is in the shop.

I didn't realize how big the academy was here.

Posted:  1 month ago

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International pro star backing problem

I didn't say every 14 to 16 does it. All I said was it is a common problem here.

I don't know about ALL of them jerking, regardless of the type of truck. At West Side we have Autoshift Volvo's, Internationals, and Freightliners and none of them jerk like that... The Volvos surge a little right at first, if you're not careful with the throttle when backing, but that's it. I've driven all 3 brands from time to time when my manual Cascadia was getting serviced (and first truck was a Volvo). I'd still have it checked out.. are your brakes grabbing? Is it a tranny problem? Is it not set up/programmed correctly (ie does it "gear hunt" during normal driving?). How is it spec'ed out? What gear ratio? Maybe that has something to do with it, but NO, not every 2014-2016 does that. It doesn't sound normal to me.

Posted:  1 month ago

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When Murphy Decides to go for a Ride Along

Good ol Murphy decided to come for a Ride this weekend. I had three trailer breakdowns in a 24 hour period.

About 0200 Sunday morning I had a piece of tire tread that was laying across my entire lane. With a truck to my left and a soft shoulder to my right I decided to take my chance and run over the tread. It was the least bad of the bad options I had. Unfortunately the tread caught my airlines on the front left trailer brake and snapped them off the break chamber. That turned into a three hour wait on the side of the interstate.

I dropped that load and went and picked up the next load which was a meat load. We pre tripped the trailer, good to go, went to the scale and the reefer lost a gear and wouldn't start again. Another four hour visit with a mechanic.

We hooked back up to the trailer and I do another brake check using the trolley bar and now I have almost no braking power on the trailer. I carefully made my way to the Petro in Salina KS and waited for their mechanic to get in. He ended up being the only guy there with four trucks needing help. 14 hours later we departed with a new ABS control valve.

Things happen out here. You need to be able to take a breath and relax.

Oh and then you have the good times like today. Despite the breakdowns, I made it to the delivery an hour early. Was out of there within 90 minutes. Next customer told me I could park on site and they would load me early if my order got ready early. I was back on the road seven hours before I was supposed to pick up.

Just some real life examples of how to deal with the good and bad that can happen out here.

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