Profile For Big T

Big T's Info

  • Location:
    National City, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 6 months ago

Big T's Bio

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

3 years and counting

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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Asking for information

The FMCSR only requires you to be 21 to operate interstate. There is no federal requirement that you have a non-commercial license for a year. FMCSR 49 CFR 391.13 lists the actual requirements.

Many states however do require you to obtain a non-commercial license and have it for a year before they will issue you a license. Your best bet is to just Google it.

I’m pretty sure the FMCSA requires you to be 21 years old and have a regular drivers license for at least 1 year

Furthermore, if you just started driving, there are a lot of other basic skills you need to get comfortable with as well as driver tendencies and reaction scenarios you need to learn to recognize in a 10-18 foot car, suv or pickup truck before trying to drive a 70 foot tractor trailer. These skills can only be honed by repetition and spending time on the road

Most important thing is learn to drive safely and keep your license clean!!! No tickets or accidents

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Trans Am Trucking Employment or Non Employment Question?

If it's on your DAC you can dispute it. Same way you did here. Then Trans AM has to respond. Even if it's not removed your dispute will accompany your record if someone does a check.

Best of luck

BIG T

If you read Trans Am's own words they offer training and on going training. Now, maybe their words are more carefully scripted than the ordinary reader would read them but when I asked if what they say they offer was offered, they said "No". They said they did up to fairly recently offer the training and trainers but no longer do. I took my question to the highest management on the scene and was told that they do not offer trainers.

Ok, no problem with that as far as I'm concerned because it was an easy decision that Trans Am was not the company for me and I did sign the "Voluntary Withdrawal" from the orientation after three days. Maybe I should not have?

I hold to the fact that I was never "employed" by Trans Am trucking. I dont want it on my employment record or my DAC that I was employed and quit the job.

What I claim as to their misrepresentations can be clearly read on their web site written by them.

"Quibble" is a word I learned as a term used by the army in the 60's. To "Quibble" maybe does' not mean to out and out lie about something. What it could mean is "double talk" maybe. maybe they didn't actually out and out lie with their representations on their web. Maybe just worded so that dopes like me would think they're saying something that they're actually not saying? Maybe so, maybe not but it might also be worth the time to read what their former drivers have to say about them. Now and then a positive statement but for the very most part by far.............pretty ugly.

When I read Kerry's remarks on a different thread I tend to lean his way some because of the way I feel about Trans Am. Maybe he's wrong. Maybe I'm wrong.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Trans Am Trucking Employment or Non Employment Question?

I'm just pointing out that it is normal practice to ask about companies that were employed at or attended orientation at.

I don't know anything about their "training". I've never looked at it since it wouldn't apply to me. I don't live in their hiring area. But to say you didn't receive anything from them isn't accurate either because you got at least three nights in a hotel. That costs money.

If you're on at CFI though it shouldn't be a problem for you. Unless Trans AM is saying you owe them.

I still do not understand if you were never hired why you would have to sign a withdrawl letter unless it's to cover their rear and prevent you from claiming unemployment or something.

BIG T

It was made clear that until you passed orientation you were not employed by Trans Am.

It was also made clear that training on board the truck and follow up hands on training was part of the program.

They made very clear although it clearly says training and follow up training is all part of the program they made clear that it once was but no longer is.

If you read what they say on their Web Site it still offers what they do not offer.

No, I dont think three nights in a motel constitutes employment.

I do feel that putting someone loose in a truck with no on the road training, no solo experiance, a week or so in a classroom only , is irresponsible and dangerous.

Each to his own

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Hopeful Swift Driver in Boston

I'm not aware of any drop yards in MA. Syracuse is the nearest terminal.

Another question to ask would be if Knight has any terminals up there. A question I do not have the answer too.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Trans Am Trucking Employment or Non Employment Question?

How did you get to orientation? Where did you stay for those three days of orientation? A company provided hotel?

If you weren't considered an employee why would have to sign a withdrawl letter?

It is not uncommon for carriers to list people that showed up for orientation as employees. It is also normal practice for potential employers to ask about previous employers even if you just attended orientation.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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To Roadmaster in Millington,TN,I go!!!!!!!!!

Bubbles there are roller coasters out there with fewer twists and bends than your journey lol.

Good luck.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Can't sleep while truck is moving

As I mentioned above if you're in your first 50 you should be running solo. If your past the 50 and can't acclimate then you can talk to your mentor and driver qualifications to see about a mentor willing to run solo or super solo. But it is rare to find a mentor willing to run that way.

Reality is the way our compensation works there is no real benefit to run that way.

Swift Transportation

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Which company are you with?

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Posted:  2 months ago

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Can't sleep while truck is moving

You should have your license when you get to your mentor's truck. Until you have 50 hours behind the wheel you will run solo. The mentor is supposed to be on duty during that portion.

Once you reach 50 hours behind the wheel you will usually run team for the remaining 150 behind the wheel hours. There are some mentors that will run solo the whole time, but that isn't the norm.

If for some reason you only have your permit then you will have to run solo until you get your actual license.

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Generally "Team Driving" means the truck is always moving. Both drivers need to be licensed CDL drivers. Some company do train like this. If you are just a permit holder and your trainer goes into the sleeper that is unsafe as well as illegal. One call to training or safety would shut that down.

I did 15K miles with my Millis trainers and I was never required to sleep in a moving truck. I did almost all the driving and we basically took our breaks at the same time. Trainer trucks always have double bunks.

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Maybe I don't understand the training then. I'm going to be with Swift hopefully soon and I believe I'll only have my permit when I go out with a mentor. So are you saying that both of us will be awake all day and sleep at the same time? If so, that relieves some of my worries. I thought it was team driving where he sleeps and I drive... whew..glad that may not be what happens.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Can't sleep while truck is moving

Which company are you with?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Companies that hire with recently being fire for an accident

Doubtful Swift will give a second chance. The cell phone is a big issue with swift. Automatic termination if your caught.

What was the accident?

Western Express and Swift gives chances to guys even with DUI (depending on how old it is). Pretty sure Western Express and Swift will give you a chance even with the accident and smartphone while driving. Especially with a year experience.

Also may I ask, how does Prime Inc work? I was told after training (for new grads), in order to drive for them you have to “lease” their truck. Meaning you have to pay for fuel, maintenance etc. is that true?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Training Backlogs?

Kearsey can probably answer that for you, but a quick phone call to your recruiter or email to them will get you an accurate response.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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The (My) Storm Of Coming To Trucking

Bubbles I know it is frustrating. You're ready to go but everything else seems to be getting in your way.

When I first started coming back to the industry it was shortly after I had shattered my pinky finger and had to have it put back together. My knuckle had broken into seven pieces. I went in for my physical with my hand still in its brace and they wouldn't certify me. I had to have a grip strength of 40 pounds per inch and I had ten.

Finally got to school and failed my physical due to sugar in the urine. Got that under control and a month later was back at school May 9th, 2017. May 10th President Trump issued the executive order requiring showing proof of citizenship to upgrade your license even if you already did it to get your initial license. Guess what for the first time in my life I couldn't find? My birth certificate was nowhere to be found.

To make matters worse I couldn't just go to a court house and get a copy. I was born in Iceland while my dad was stationed on the NATO base. I had to go through the State Department to get a new certificate. That process was supposed to take 10 weeks from the time they processed my application. However, someone took pity on me and I had it 14 days from the day they received it.

I just finished my third year with Swift. Keep your eye on the goal.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Prime Inc Lawsuit

Were you a lease op?

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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What Would Cause a Trainer to Kick a Student from a Truck?

He was already going to be getting off my truck due to family commitments.

Had we not needed to be on opposite sides of the country I would have kept him on. He took ownership of his mistake and learned from it.

I did refuse to sign off on him upgrading early though.

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Thankfully I have only had to remove one student from my truck because he wouldn't drive more than three hours without having some kind of problem: tired, stomach hurts, shoulder hurt etc. Almost two weeks on my truck and that was over.

In general though I have rules for the truck and if I have to bring it up more than once or twice then we will have a meeting with driver qualifications and figure out a better mentor for them.

Cellphone use while driving, alcohol use, and threatening me are automatic tickets off my truck.

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What about the student that put the trailer tandems in the ditch, nearly rolling it over, trying to get turned around?

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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What Would Cause a Trainer to Kick a Student from a Truck?

Thankfully I have only had to remove one student from my truck because he wouldn't drive more than three hours without having some kind of problem: tired, stomach hurts, shoulder hurt etc. Almost two weeks on my truck and that was over.

In general though I have rules for the truck and if I have to bring it up more than once or twice then we will have a meeting with driver qualifications and figure out a better mentor for them.

Cellphone use while driving, alcohol use, and threatening me are automatic tickets off my truck.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Lost my first trucking job, rather resigned ( a longish post sorry for length)

*hit submit by accident*

I routinely pull 45k pound loads out of and into that area. You are not supposed to use jakes in wet or icy conditions so what will you do in those situations?

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Lost my first trucking job, rather resigned ( a longish post sorry for length)

That's tough Moe. Hopefully you can get on with May and get some proper training done.

Something to point out though. The jake not working is not an out of service issue. Would I bring it up to the shop? Absolutely. The ECM codes I'm not sure about, but if they say it's ok to run until you get back then I would do my run and put it in the shop when I got back. One of the joys of working with the big boys.

Back to the jake issue though. You were picking up 30k and aside of the hill out of Yakima and the climb towards Moses Lake you were going to be on flat ground in dry weather. Jakes are a convenience, but not a requirement. In fact for a good part of the year you wont be able to run your jakes due to road conditions.

Proper gear selection and controlled braking would have allowed you to make your run safely, allowed your company to service their customer, and prevented the headache you have been dealing with.

Without training though how would you have known that though?

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Reefer Companies that Fuel at PIlot/Flying J

I'm going to ditto Kearsy's comment. Right now Swift is using flying j which is cool because I've earned shower power, but for a while it was TA or Loves. It all depends on which company is giving the best deal at the moment.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Second chance carrier for teams.

Every company out here has horror stories. In your situation you don't really have a lot of options.

Something to think about though. Your brother has less than a year and has two preventable accidents/ incidents that were major enough to be terminated for them. Is it a good idea to put your career, earning potential, and safety in his hands?

Personally I would wait till you both have a year of experience and he shows he has learned from his mistakes before you jump ship.

Consider this: you settle some place that will take him and he has another wreck. Now you are stuck somewhere you may not want to be.

Not knocking your brother just putting some food for thought out.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Big News! Off-Topic but I kind of grew up here (been on TT since I was 20) so I must tell!

Congratulations Daniel. "Just wing it" is probably the best parenting advice I ever heard lol. You will also find that a lot of people without kids are like some of the newbies that come through here. Somehow they became experts without having any experience beyond what their dad, uncle, friend did.

Thanks Jamie!

Haha Old School please do come. Always a pleasure to meet the legend. We need advice. Our linehaul dispatcher has 8 kids and I asked him for advice this morning and he said "just wing it". I'm sure you can do better!

Rob, I get the feeling that that's how it will go from here onwards. No one ever warned me it would be this difficult to get the first one though. He's set to arrive End of January 2021.

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