Profile For Big T

Big T's Info

  • Location:
    National City, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 9 months 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.

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Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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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:  1 week, 6 days ago

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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:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Expiration of DOT physical

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

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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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:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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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:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

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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?

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Post A Picture Of Your Significant Other Here’s Mine

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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Death in the family

Ryan you will find that if you communicate and you are a hard worker Swift will usually work with you.

Companies in general want their driver's to be happy. It is cheaper to retain a driver than train another one.

My condolences to your fiance.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Death in the family

Ryan you want to talk to your Driver Qualifications contact and your mentor's DM.

Swift's general policy is three days off, but that is up to the DM and DQ. They may let you go and finish up with a different mentor.

As Kearsey pointed out though: a fiance's cousin isn't going to be seen as the same as a direct relative (spouse, child, parent) so you may get some push back.

This is one of the hard parts of this career is when stuff happens and you can't be there.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Tips For New OTR Trucker With A Family

Welcome James.

How old are your kids?

I run OTR and have a wife and six yr old daughter at home. It is tough. There is no getting around that. There are a few things we do that helps.

First we have daily phone calls. I try to talk to my daughter before she goes to school and my wife goes to work. This is usually when I'm going to bed since I mainly run nights.

We video chat a couple times a week. I will also let my daughter put me on video even when I can't participate. It's not the most exciting thing to watch me drive, but it keeps her connected. Sometimes just being able to see her Daddy is enough for her.

Hope that helps. There are a lot of things you can do.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Training coordinator unhappy with me.

Amber you also have to remember your coordinator is human. I have no experience with USX, but at Swift Fridays are one the most hectic days for coordinators. They are trying to get everyone taken care of before the weekend. You may have followed 10 problem child students and you got the chill.

Just as we have off days the office staff does too.

As you learn the chain of command and the politics for your company you will learn how to maneuver for your benefit.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Americold Caves

Lol that was pretty much my experience. When I was finally able to pick up they had us go through the tunnels to get to the other side due to the roads being icy.

They gave me a map.

I do have a trainee. These caves had plenty of room. At least the docks I went to.

(Not trying to answer for Big T. here) This looks like the cave I was at most recently, Rob. They did provide a map at the gate showing you where the cave entrance is. There was parking just outside so I walked into the cave to check in. After i got a call with door assignment i drove in. After i got loaded I then asked "how the heck do i get out of here?"

Big T. may have had a different experience.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Americold Caves

No just dusty.

Is that snow blowing around in there?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Americold Caves

I finally got to pick up in the caves in Carthage, MO tonight.

0616638001573541870.jpg0988552001573541920.jpg0418958001573541984.jpg0082670001573542078.jpg

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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I messed up BAD

Is there a reason 11,500 miles a month would be hard? What area will you be running?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Who's going swift

After two days on my truck my student had to use both the parallel and offset skills parking a blitz load at one of our terminals.

Then he had to parallel park a trailer on the street in the dark because Nestle didn't have any room on their actual yard.

One trip to our Sumner terminal or Denver terminal and you may have to use one of those skills.

Keep the basics in your head and learn to tweak the maneuver based on the spot you need to hit. That goes for all backing skills.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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What is your most unpleasant task per week?

Attempting to pick up loads without the correct information. Customer Service seems to be dropping the ball a lot this past month or so.

I got to the shipper almost three hours early only to find out we weren't given the correct information. Six hours after our appointment and we are s.o.l until at least morning.

At least I'm sitting at the Joplin Petro and not some dirt lot somewhere.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Work boots or no work boots during otr training??

I wear a pair of $50 insulated waterproof work boots from Walmart during the winter. Get caught in the cold with tennis shoes and you may regret it.

If I'm packing light the boots are coming and tennis shoes, flip flops etc. are staying.

But I am also the jerk mentor that doesn't allow flip flops, sandals, or open toed shoes to be worn on the truck while on duty and you don't get out of my truck in them period. I've seen what that leg grater can do in person.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Question on Testing

Don't show up with alcohol in your system and don't drink while in school.

Swift has a zero tolerance policy and they mean zero. .01 and you will be unemployed.

I have watched drivers have a celebratory drink at the hotel after passing and Swift found out and terminated them.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Loaner truck and DM issues

Drew I'm not saying go over his head for everything he says, but if you're having repeated issues then you can use the chain of command to your benefit.

As far as service goes, unless it's different for his fleet, his DM has to schedule the A or B service now. For the most part this has been a good thing. It has made getting a service done less time consuming because they have certain mechanics that focus on the services and you are guaranteed to get in on the day of your appointment. Four or five hours later you're back on the road unless they find something wrong.

Drew A service is every 25k, B is every 50k, and Cal Bit is every 90 days. Swift is usually (usually not always) pretty good at getting it done on the mark. So if you're mileage is getting close to x25,000 or x75,000 you will have an A do. X50,000 or x00,000 a B will be do. If you are close to your cal bit they are SUPPOSED to do it at the same time. Cal bit, however, doesn't get scheduled.

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