Profile For Big T

Big T's Info

  • Location:
    National City, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 3 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:  5 days, 13 hours ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

Yes you do need to have logs. At least eight days worth when you go to upgrade. They would love to see logs for the entire training, but as long as you have eight days worth you should be ok.

I would write everything down: your concerns, your attempts to discuss your concerns, and responses, what you actually did, etc. They may make you write a statement and if they do you will be prepared.

It sucks you had to deal with a paycheck mentor but there are other good ones out there.

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If this is the way your first 50 is going I hate to say it but the next 150 isn't going to be much better.

I would chat with your mentor and explain your concerns and if it doesn't work then have a conversation with your DQ person. It is not unreasonable to request a place with facilities.

More important though is that you get the training. If they are not going over the qc with you, paperwork, and procedures then you are being used for your clock.

Part of the issue out here is too many students don't speak up when mentors are not doing their job.

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The lack of proper training is the issue. I posted this elsewhere and everyone replied that I should get a new trainer. Prolonging training is fine. I want to be trained properly before I go solo. Don't need to damage property or kill anyone.

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Drew considering you are with Swift, please carefully consider Big-T's suggestions. He is a highly competent Swift Mentor, clearly understands the process and what is expected. I absolutely agree with his statements and suggestions. Talk to your mentor, try to work it out before addressing it with the Driver Development Manager (you should have met them when you were initially introduced to your mentor).

Force the communication to occur. It's your training, and unfortunately you need to be your own advocate.

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I thought about it last night. Didn't sleep at all. At this point, I won't get the proper training. He just runs me until my time is out, immediately puts me on sleeper. Once that 10 is up. I'm driving right away.

I brought up stuff I need to learn, keeping my own set of training paper logs, like I was told to do in orientation. And his reply was we'll get to it. And I didn't need to do my own set of logs. I got safety points because there was no pretrip done.

Just drive and sleep. That's it. Not learning anything else. If that's all I ever had to do, I'm fine. But, I need to learn the Qualcomm, trip planning, macros, hooking the trailer to the 5th wheel, tandems, etc..

Posted:  5 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

If this is the way your first 50 is going I hate to say it but the next 150 isn't going to be much better.

I would chat with your mentor and explain your concerns and if it doesn't work then have a conversation with your DQ person. It is not unreasonable to request a place with facilities.

More important though is that you get the training. If they are not going over the qc with you, paperwork, and procedures then you are being used for your clock.

Part of the issue out here is too many students don't speak up when mentors are not doing their job.

The lack of proper training is the issue. I posted this elsewhere and everyone replied that I should get a new trainer. Prolonging training is fine. I want to be trained properly before I go solo. Don't need to damage property or kill anyone.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

New boot device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters

Walmart already pays you to deliver the freight. That is where their responsibility ends. I guess companies could negotiate some parking along with that compensation, but it wouldn't open it up to other drivers.

As far as the ticket goes; the driver made the choice to park where they weren't supposed to they should pay the ticket.

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I've never understood the logic behind immobilizing a vehicle you want to move!

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Your not thinking big picture. If it hits enough wallets people take notice. Signs obviously didn't do the job so they moved to the thing people feel the most which is that hit to the wallet.

Do you think a driver who got hit with 500 will ever park there again? How about anyone who saw this, would you park there knowing it could cost you 500?

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EXCUSE me, but I have a problem with this Wal-Mart policy. If Wheels-On-Wheels brought you your food and you dictated where they parked, or called the police, wouldn't that be self-defeating? Where would Wal-Mart be without trucks and drivers? And who pays the ticket? The company or the driver? Either way it doesn't make sense to me. Please correct me if I'm not seeing this correctly.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Packing for swift duffle or suitcase ?

Are you going dry or reefer? Good luck. Im sitting there now. I deliver around the corner in a few hours

Thank you Big T and Bruce K. I appreciate your responses.

I may see you around Big T. I'm with Swift and Jurupa Valley will be my home terminal.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Packing for swift duffle or suitcase ?

That is similar to what my last student brought and it was fine. As others mentioned be prepared to live with it on your bunk.

The main issue will be if you have to get off the truck for some reason and find yourself riding the greyhound.

Just so I don't start another thread...

I passed my CDL test yesterday and will be getting on a mentor's truck soon.

No one posts anything about food and water. I'm bringing one standard size duffle, backpack, sleeping bag, pillow and sheet (if it gets too hot).

To save money, I am bringing one bag of shelf stable foods that will last me about 4-5 days. And another bag with water for 1-2 days and 10 protein shakes.

For all you mentors, am I bringing too much stuff with the addition of food and drinks?

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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Thoughts on PAM Transports class action lawsuit?

This is ridiculous. When I got hired I was told I was going to get paid x cpm. I agreed to work for that rate. Now because I can't figure out how to run enough miles I'm going to sue because I'm not getting paid to sit on my butt.

People think that is ok? This is only going to help the rats that spend their time complaining instead of driving.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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8-2 split sleeper berth question

Unless you had two hours off duty in that shift you will only have the 20 minutes drive time and 2 hours 12 min after 8 hours in the sleeper birth.

Told you I wiped out my clock. Only 20 minutes driving time was left and 2 hours and 12 minutes on my 14 clock. So will I get 2 hours and 12 minutes back to get to the receiver? Or is that only count on the drive time?

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Which company would offer regular home time?

Hicks something isn't right. Our DMs have service records and goals just like we do. One of the things they get dinged for is not getting drivers home on time.

I've been at Swift doing otr reefer for two years and have been late for two hometimes. One due to a blizzard and one due to a combination of breakdown and tornados.

I don't go beyond Nebraska within ten days of hometime. I usually get back to southern cali three days before hometime and i turn myself into a local driver helping out picking up loads or delivering loads for other drivers. I will also do trailer moves so that some of the live loads become preloaded for other drivers.

I suggest having a conversation with your dm and if you can't work it out you may want to look for a different dm.

Sorry for hijacking the thread.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

10-speed vs. Everything else

An 18 speed for reefer doesn't make any sense. I'm not sure I'd want to be learning a new transmission in a setting where I'm paying the maintenance bill.

Unless they changed recently hurricane is a lease purchase company.

Posted:  1 month ago

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New truck :)

Yes it has a fridge, tv mount with antenna. The inverter is an 1800 watt inverter. There is also a cubby where you could put a microwave.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

New truck :)

It's a gray one. The sun is reflecting off of it.

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I got to move in to a 2020 Freightliner. It doesn't have a trolley break, but other than that it seems pretty decent. More space inside compared to my international.

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That must be one of the new colors for Swift. I know that they are getting some grey ones, but I haven't seen the golden colored ones. Must be some of the first issued. Any other colors in the making?

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Posted:  1 month ago

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New truck :)

I would love one of those for some of the places they think we should deliver meat to in Los Angeles.

That is nice Big T. We’re getting 20s into 7030, all in “Wally Blue”. I’ll post a picture soon...I will however miss the LW with 600k on it I’ve been tooling around in...nimble and highly maneuverable in close quarters.

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Progress I guess. Good luck with your ride! Safe travels.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

New truck :)

Dang i did spell it wrong. Smh.

The trolley brake is usually a T handle that only operates the trailer brakes. Useful for sliding tandems, checking service brakes, and getting out of a Jack knife.

Big T, what is a trolley break (or, brake)?

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

New truck :)

I got to move in to a 2020 Freightliner. It doesn't have a trolley break, but other than that it seems pretty decent. More space inside compared to my international.

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Posted:  1 month ago

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Why dont we have a national truckers day ???

We do. Every week. It's called payday.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Do you have to report the accident after 3 years still in Texas?

You got a job as a fuel jockey following a rollover? Even if it wasn't on your mvr yet, didn't they ask if you've had any accidents?

Megamillions is up to a half billion today. Id buy a ticket if i had your luck.

Well I haul fuel and what the problem is that I request extra loads and I get them and still not making sufficient funds. I was out west making good. I understand your point. I am way more cautious than I ever been driving and I work extra as much as possible and my dispatch and manager always say that I’m there go to guy for loads. It’s just that they promised me a wage that I said I needed to make a living. Kind of like a lure tactic. I raise my kids alone and I’m the sole provider. I already told myself that I’d have to tough this out to make it back to making better wages and I’m in no hurry. My mind was set on working my way back up, but I ain’t ever giving up or gonna quit trying to better my craft or my future in this field. I know things take time. I just appreciate all the knowledge and info on how the system works on accidents. I am very lucky that I applied here before the accident. The old company I was with didn’t care about us or the equipment. I was still learning and should’ve refused to take the load, but I needed to work now I know it was the biggest mistake and sure did learn from it. Thanks for the input. I’m not an OTR man. Can’t be due to my situation.

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Jake, if you're with a large carrier already then you've already found a great place to work. What you have to work on is being the best driver possible. If you're not getting enough miles then you have to work on that. Why aren't you getting the miles? The company certainly has them available but for some reason they're not giving them to you. You have to prove yourself for a while and develop strong relationships within your company. You have to communicate really well, get appointments moved ahead, leverage those relationships to get more miles and better freight, and learn how the system works within your company.

There's a hell of a lot more to getting big miles than just sitting back on cruise control and waiting for things to happen. It's a process that takes time and a lot of work on your part. If you're with a major carrier then there's no reason to be looking elsewhere. They don't just hand out fantastic miles to anyone. You have to earn them, lobby for them, and prove you can handle them once you get em.

Your career is on life support right now. You need to figure out what the top tier drivers are doing and you're not. Follow that link to learn more. You also need to dedicate yourself to the company you're at for a minimum of one year or more. The idea that someone in your position is considering jumping ship shows that you still think it's the company that's letting you down and not the other way around. Average (or worse) drivers don't get great miles and special treatment at any company. Top Tier drivers get great miles and great treatment anywhere they go. That's the part that most drivers never figure out. It's not the company that makes or breaks a driver's career, it's the driver.

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Cannabis Testing, Swift, NYC Ban on Cannabis Testing

I got a chapstick in a care package for Christmas. I didn't think anything about it until i needed some and my inner voice told me to check the ingredient list and one of the ingredients was cannabis sativa. Thank God i didn't use it.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New Swift Driver Wanting to Switch

When you get schedules like that all you have to do is send a macro 22 with your eta. For reason you would put "insufficient transit time". They know you aren't going to make that on time.

Don't worry about the blitz. Do your inspections and get anything repaired that needs it. As long as you are doing your inspections you should be fine.

Also request some home time and go get your gear.

Good luck

Sorry for the late response, the company gave me very tight deadlines for my first 2 loads and I was late both times., couldn't help not being late. They gave me an 8 hours window to drive 583 miles...the first load I was late because the tractor I was given was leaning one way, and the frame was twisted. Been sitting at least a third of the time at the moment...

Maybe it is like you've said, I'm still adjusting. They put me in a 2016 Freightliner and my anxiety is skyrocketing because of the safety blitz.

My recruiter gave me wrong information so I was kinda roped into the dedicated account my mentor was on which is Otr one way and dedicated the other way. I really do want to stick it out at least 6 months...please tell me it gets better lol

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Late Home Time

It can be annoying but it happens. I'm going to be a week late getting home. The breakdowns and weather have played havoc on everything.

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Guess that was there way to get you home.

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Probably so, not mad but was a bit annoying. be glad to make it back in a few hours, 177 miles to go!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New Swift Driver Wanting to Switch

You would need to find out who is running that fleet and contact them.

Most of our dedicated accounts require three to six months solo before they will take you on. You need to prove yourself first. You need to prove that you can safely deliver on time. Until you prove yourself most won't take you on unless you trained on that account.

If you're frustrated I would advise you to talk to your DM about your concerns. Quitting especially with no experience isn't going to solve your problems and most companies will make you go back through training if you do jump ship.

What are your frustrations with Swift right now? Maybe some of us can help out.

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