Profile For Phil M.

Phil M.'s Info

  • Location:
    Scranton, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 10 months ago

Phil M.'s Bio

I just got back into driving after a 9 year return to manufacturing. A lot has changed. E-logs, DEF and the lack of folk on the CB along with ever better and more useful tech such as smart phones and google earth. I've been coming to this site to lurk a little and now when I have a little time I'd like to ask a few questions and also share a little of my gained experience.

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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thought I was going to die

My driver side window switch died last night, with the window in the down position. It was 22 degrees at 18:00, with 30mph + winds.

My company would have sent out road service, but what is the chance they would have a 2015 Freightliner window switch assembly?

I’ve carried a set of Torx screwdrivers for 2 years. I almost took them out a few months ago since I’ve only used them once but decided they didn’t take up much room so I kept them. Thank God I did.

I took the door apart, and switched the wire from the driver side switch to the passenger window switch. Problem solved until I can get to the shop.

On a side note, I’m parked at a closed receiver. Easily 100 empty spots. I was looking forward to a nice quiet night. Prime reefer pulls in and parks right beside me. This happens to me all the time.

Are these guys lonely or something? LOL

I got into the habit of carrying torx for changing the old style trailer incandescent lights that would be frequently torn off and busted up. I'd snag a few from old parts trailers in the yard to keep on hand when needed, which happened a lot when picking up trailers. Same for tail lights and such. I just keep a small folding set that takes up little space, same for allens, plus fuses, channel locks etc.. One night I had a pen or something roll across the CB posts on the dash of the Cascadia I was driving and it shorted out the eld, navigation, cb, am/fm stereo & whatever. Luckily I also had the trucks owners manual on hand to find the fuse box. I was relatively new to the Cascadia. Since I had several stops that night and it was snowing I knew I was going to miss the navigation most. Sure I could find my way but it is a very useful tool when you go to hundreds of different places having to get in & out from different directions. Anyway the fuse box I needed to get to is behind the glove compartment of all places and needs to be removed in its entirety to get to. I believe it is 4 torx screws and the whole thing comes right out, door and all and you're in like Flynn.

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Paperboy, Gas station attendant, burial vault maker/installer, plumber, landscaper, binder, pressman, injection mold tech, pvc extruder tech, & general laborer of all sorts. Those are some of the jobs I got paid for. Others like fixing cars, furnaces, roofs and such I learned and performed so I didn't have to pay anyone. I ran a lot of production machinery, usually becoming a lead, training , giving breaks, joining the safety committees & doing OSHA spec inspections. Older siblings went to college and I got volunteered to get a job even with good grades and ap classes. The folk needed another income, not another expense. At least I was used to hard work & confident that if another man can do it, so can I. Trucking aint a bad gig & I kind of like it for the most part. When you're solo it's on you to sink or swim & you won't necessarily have to carry the weak links. That's the best part of all. You get to keep your success. God willing of course.

Posted:  9 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Backing practice - Store Deliveries

"Phil M. ~ Do you still haul for Swift / WalMart ? All going well ? Good to see you stop by, btw~!"

No, I left there a little while back but I'm considering returning. Spoke to a recruiter and they said they'd be glad to have me back and can likely get me back on that account with the same driver manager. Just need to pick up a new medical card and make the call when ready. "All going well ?" Yes, the world may have gone mad but not this little corner of it.

Posted:  10 months ago

View Topic:

Backing practice - Store Deliveries

I've done store deliveries aplenty but one stands out in my memory from almost twenty years ago. Wish I could remember where exactly it was(somewhere in NJ) but here's a description of the back up. There's a supermarket & mini mall on this lot & it's surround by a tall steel fence & gated with one entrance/exit for the general public and you. The dock is in the front of this store & the lot is surrounded by residential narrow streets. You turn off the main st. of town & on the left is fence down to the gate. You MUST back into this gate. To set up to back into this gate you must pass it and use the intersection, which is residential to do so. This means going into opposing traffic to be able to swing out and hook back left. Now that you are ready to back up you only have about two hundred yards to go. On you drivers side is the mini mall with around ten or so shops, eateries, nail salons, what have you. On your right is the parking lot. It's the middle of the day & people are crossing back & forth on foot while others are pulling in & out in their cars. Reminder,It's also the only entrance to this gated shopping center for the public. So you straigtline slowly through all that constantly scanning your mirrors for people and cars. Now you're in the door, go into receiving, then wait ten minutes for "the guy" who speaks English. Good times.

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Returning to Trucking

I too took a ten year break from driving and ended up with SWIFT. I first called two or three other companies and they wanted me to go back to truck driving school. Like you I still had my CDL and picked up a new medical card so I'd hoped someone would send me off with a trainer for a while plus orientation then OTR for a while. Then I called SWIFT and was in orientation the following week. Got a great trainer, all went well, got my truck, then hometime, then they sent me my first solo load with them. At first my driver manager tried to get me into a SEARS DC but the DC manager didn't want a guy who hadn't run for ten years. So my first pu is at a Walmart DC 50 miles away. And my next and my next and my next... I start leaning the routine and rethinking the whole OTR thing, maybe this would be better, oh wait, this pays much better and that's kind of the point. So I start making a list of questions in my notebook if they decide to ask me to stay on the account full time instead of being a surge driver. They asked, they answered, I accepted. A lot of good people and they run things pretty well. Can't say anything bad really. Seems the majority working in the offices are ex drivers and know the drill. Didn't take too long to get used to things again either. Learned what DEF was and how to elog. Oh, and SEARS shuttered its doors, oh well.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Just got my CDL-A, have an urgent question.

Rusty part of the exam is to not only understand what prescribed Meds you or on but also why.

I suggest to check out this link:

FMCSA banned substances

See if your meds are on any of the CFR lists.

Hey G-Town, again sorry to jump off topic but I've been wanting to talk to you. I sent you another reply and I'm not sure yet if you received it. I just started with SWIFT and was supposed to be OTR solo. Right off the bat they started giving me load offerings on the Walmart dedicated routes. Then they offered me a spot. Today I accepted and now they are going to put me on reefers too. I've already got the more important questions answered before I gave them my yes, but surely more will arise. Anyway, even if we don't talk more directly I will lurk and read your posting history. Don't worry, the voices tell me I'm quite sane. It's everyone else that's mad. :)

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Vs. Prime: The Battle for Supremacy.




Swift is a bigger company, has more dedicated accounts and more options for different freight in general. Prime pays more and seems to have more flatbed if thats your thing.

If you are considering Swift you might want to check out Schneider as well.



What are the differences between Swift and Schneider? Can you line it up kind of like Brett did for Swift and Prime? I don't care about home time at all. I would like to be out on the road for as long as possible. Space can be a thing, but I can also do without, so if a company puts you in an LW like Prime is said to be doing it really doesn't mean too much to me.


They are similar companies; similar opportunities (OTR, Regional, Dedicated, Reefer, Flat, Intermodal), competing in the same markets. As far as I know Swift does not have a tank division though, Schneider does.

I can only speak from my experience with Swift. I have been driving for them for over 2 years on a dedicated grocery account (Walmart). They are a huge company, very good company sponsored school (if you choose that route), very good driver facing management (DMs, Safety, and Planners), and many opportunities once you gain some experience. I can honestly say they have always treated me fairly and professionally. Most important they keep me moving.

A very good choice to get your start with, and like me (and many others) you may continue with them beyond your first year of experience. The first year is key, once past that you will have many, many choices if you prefer a change from your initial employer.

Hello G-Town. I'm new to this site so please forgive me for going a little bit off topic because I do not know how to message you directly or even if that is possible on this site. I've recently returned to trucking and ended up with SWIFT and was planning and expecting to be OTR. Now I find myself running Walmart dedicated and have been offered a spot at this one particular DC. I've only been at it for 3 weeks here and it's a great dedicated gig, but I'm left with a million questions about hometime and how I can make this work out which I really want to do. I'd appreciate it greatly if you could enlighten me a bit on the workings of these SWIFT dedicated Walmart accounts. Thank You, Phil

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