Comments By Big T

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  • Big T
  • Joined:
  • 3 years, 3 months ago
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Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

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You cant makey money saying no

I had a conversation earlier with one of my students in which he was complaining about not making enough money.

The very next statement was that he turned down a 170 mile run because he isn't a local driver. He then turned down a load to New York because he had heard stories and was scared.

I explained that you can't have it both ways. You can't make money saying no. Everytime he declined a load he got moved to the bottom of the list.

Just a quick thought for the new drivers. This is performance based meaning at some point you have to perform.

Posted:  5 months ago

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First Accident Ever, Made Stupid Mistakes

When you talk to safety own up to it like you did here. Obviously you understand what your mistakes were. The chance that they will terminate you are not high. Im not saying it isn't a possibility, but attitude is everything.

Most likely you will have to take the close quarters class and then be back at it.

Fight the tickets and charges in court. There is a good chance with a clean record they may reduce it. If you were really leaving the scene you would not have gone back.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Interstate 15

It is usually open. They also just built an ag check as part of the scale area. It's now like the one on I80 going over Donner.

Pack Rat is right. Once you've failed an inspection you are likely to get inspected more. As Mikey has found out, CA inspectors can be on the strict side. Makes sense though considering you have a major climb out of that scale and then a decent that is long.

Is it a 24/7 scalehouse?

If not, I would alter my driving schedule if necessary to avoid any extra visits with those inspectors. As you're experiencing, once a violation is found, you will be more likely to have another inspection there next time, too.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Interstate 15

Becareful on Nipton. It's a two lane desert road. I don't how hard it has rained in that area.

Going into California at the beginning of the month remember the PTI ABCs. No abrasions, bubbles, or cuts. It doesn't say no leaking abrasions, bubbles, or cuts. A minor abrasion one minute can become a blown airline the next.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Does OTR actually mean OTR

Communicate with dispatch. A simple hey do you have any freight going somewhere different?

I just spent a month running CA,UT,ID, and OR. It started because I had oral surgery and needed to stay close to home, but continued afterwards. I asked my dispatcher for a load east and she sent me to NY.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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I Ran a red light but no ticket. Who will hire me?

What else did you have on your sps? Swift usually does not terminate for one occurrence. However running a relight is a major violation worth 21 points on your sps. If you had other things even minor it could have raised your score into termination level.

It is going to be tough. When potential employers contact Swift they will be told you were terminated for violating safety policy. (I'm also assuming swift based off the 200 hour comment).

Here is what safety saw though:

1. Too fast for conditions 2. Failure to identify potential hazards (stale green/yellow, wet roads, etc.) 3. Hard brake in hazardous conditions creating a potential jackknife hazard

When you talk to potential employers you should address that and what you should have done differently. Take full responsibility and you may have a chance.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trainer kicked me off the truck tonight!

Tolerance is important but it needs to go both ways. As a student you need to understand that what you are doing can become life or death very quickly. And sometimes trainers do not handle it well.

I'm going to speak solely from my experience. I wasn't there so I'm not going to judge Jay or his trainer.

Out of the thirty or so students I've trained eight or nine came from other trainers. I was trainer number five for one student. The story is almost always the same. "My previous trainer was a jerk and wasn't training me." Rarely does the student admit any responsibility for the mutual failure. Based on my interactions there were only two that I could tell were probably accurate. You can tell if a student is eager or st least willing to put in the work to learn what they need to. I can show and instruct, but I cannot force someone to learn.

I also make it very clear before a student ever puts their bags on my truck what the expectations are and how things work. We are adults and I expect people to act accordingly. I do not yell, curse, name call etc. I tell them what needs to be done and they either do it or they are off the truck.

Professional attitude is expected no matter what the other person did. As was pointed out you will deal with other drivers and customers that are having bad days or lack people skills. We still have a job to do regardless.

As was also pointed out most of the trainers out here are barely figuring this out themselves. They have a minimum amount of experience and have managed to not hit anything in that time frame. We're not really trained how to train. It creates a stressful situation on both ends. Most of the time we are just hoping this isn't the student that turns my wife into a widow.

Sorry for the book.

Posted:  6 months 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:  6 months, 1 week 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:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Expiration of DOT physical

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

Posted:  6 months, 1 week 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:  6 months, 1 week 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:  6 months, 3 weeks 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:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Post A Picture Of Your Significant Other Here’s Mine

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Posted:  7 months, 1 week 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:  7 months, 1 week 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:  7 months, 4 weeks 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:  7 months, 4 weeks 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:  8 months 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:  8 months ago

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Americold Caves

No just dusty.

Is that snow blowing around in there?

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