Profile For Big T

Big T's Info

  • Location:
    Memphis, TN

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 11 months ago

Big T's Bio

OTR Refrigerated Mentor Swift Transportation

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Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Introduction and advice for Driver from Europe

How possibly they could take advantage of me? They offered to pay my CDL

You need to ask yourself why a company would go through the hassle of hiring a driver from overseas and getting them licensed when there are experienced drivers struggling to find work. There are also plenty of citizens that want to go through CDL school, especially if it’s being paid for by someone else.

One of the reasons there are a lot of companies around Chicago that do this is because Illinois is one of the states that doesn’t require you to have a regular license for a year prior to getting your CDL. You just have to have an Illinois license that will be valid during the year the permit is good for.

While it is technically possible to get an H2B visa to drive a truck in the US, I would be interested to see how they convinced the department of labor that there are no drivers available right now considering the about of trucking companies that have failed over the last year.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Big T Checking In from Memphis

Hope everyone is doing well. I got a friendly reminder from a student today that maybe I should check in on here. I apologize for the absence but have been going a little crazy down here.

I started at the Swift Driving Academy March 2nd and have been going almost non-stop since. I have maintained a 100% pass rate so far and I enjoy the position. It was a bit challenging to change from a mentor over the road mind set to an instructor for the CDL mind set but it is coming together.

Besides the day to day instructing of students they have me training new instructors, moving equipment between schools, and I’m a go to when students are struggling. Provided Tennessee accepts my application I will be heading to class to become a state CDL examiner as well.

I went home for the first time a few weeks ago and will be heading home again as soon as we find out about the examiner’s class.

I am not going to lie though. I miss the road, but I think I am in the right place right now. I enjoy moving the trucks between schools on the weekend because I get to play trucker lol.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Swift Academy Memphis

I remember. You and I met while you were working at the academy. I’ll be reaching out.

Hey, Big T, Welcome to Memphis! I taught at Swift Academy for about a year, up to 2018. Let's get together.

email to tt.errolv@spamgourmet.com. I'll get it. I'll get you pointers on teaching the skills. (And maybe you'll have some for me - I'm teaching CDL at a "private" school now!)

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Swift Academy Memphis

It has been almost four weeks since I cleaned out my truck and passed it on to my last student. I took two weeks off with the family and then packed up my car and drove from San Diego to Memphis to begin the next chapter in my career at Swift.

Yesterday I completed my training and Monday I will get my first class of students on the range. It has been interesting switching my brain from teaching otr skills to teaching the basics, but so far I’m doing alright and have had some success with the students I’ve been helping so far.

Now I just need to find an apartment and all will good.

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Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Where are they now?

I'm still here. I try and jump on and read what is going on.

I'm still mentoring for Swift but may be taking a position as an instructor with the academy. I should find out this week or next.

Big T?

Posted:  3 years, 5 months 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:  3 years, 6 months 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:  3 years, 6 months 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:  3 years, 6 months 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:  3 years, 6 months ago

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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.

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