Profile For Oingo

Oingo's Info

  • Location:
    New York, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years ago

Oingo's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Injured-Not sure what happens now

My luck...what I thought was just standard old guy arm aches and pains while training got worse until something in my arm went kaput while driving and caused pain so bad I had to pull over and was nearly doubled over for almost 10 minutes until it was somewhat tolerable. Was sent to the hospital by trainer, nothing torn or broken, but Doctor said it was some sort of bone issue and put me on meds. Had to sign a medical form or something from company, and told to return to school once I get a doctors clearance. Unfortunately, they are the ones that cause you to get dizzy or drowsy. And then found out my Uncles Hip Surgery opened up somehow and caused an infection...he is 85 and now not doing well at all. sigh...

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

STUDENT: Observations after 3 weeks of CDL School With Swift Transport

While backing the truck to perform offset backing during training, some instructors walk along side the truck. As I was backing, the instructor noticed that the overhead reading(?) light on the passenger side ceiling was on. It was probably left on during the early morning in cab pre-trip inspection and brake test. It was at that point the instructor demanded..yes...let me repeat demanded I turn off the light, for as I pressed the clutch brake to stop, he yelled "Dont Stop!", then "Turn off that light now!" I ignored him and continued backing, he did this a 2nd time, during my offset to the opposite side, and I ignored him. Finally, as I pulled up to finish, he said calmly, "go ahead and set your brakes and turn off that light". As I unlatched my seat belt, he suddenly yelled "Never Mind I will do it!" ROFLMAO Yes, God Bless us Students....hopefully that nutcase instructor will be fired. Another instructor in response to our complaints about him, told us that a week does not go by in which he is the only instructor to "get into it" with a student. Two other instructors mentioned in their replies to us, that they had almost come to blows with this instructor many times and have filed complaints with Human Resources. Apparently, he is on his way out as they have had enough of him and he will return to OTR driving, soon, according to the other 2 instructors. Imagine that....a driving school having bad instructors....

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

STUDENT: Observations after 3 weeks of CDL School With Swift Transport

Update... The bad DMV tester does not seem to be testing anymore. No idea what happened, but the DMV students are stating none of them got her.

It was a really good week, with no trouble from the instructor who insists on students turning off passenger side overhead lights while the student performs off set and parallel parking and backing, as instructors have rotated as routine and I and a few others have not got stuck with him.

My other 4 remaining classmates (9 expelled), are doing great as well. We had a minor speed bump when we got stuck with an instructor who sounds and acts like Samuel L Jackson's character in the movie "Pulp Fiction", and all admitted he was more of an annoyance that could easily be ignored or filtered out. This instructor is good at providing backing/parking instructions, but not road instruction. Contradictory orders such as "step on it step on it!" , then immediately stating "the speed limit is only 30 mph"! ROFLMAO We all keep out mouths shut and just accept the good instruction and filter out his bad instructions and do as the other instructors taught us despite him stating not to do it their way. The student with the medical condition that was being bullied got different roommates and the bully failed his DMV road test...thus, the bully will not be back. All the others passed. More about the student with the medical condition and the "bad instructor". We noticed he is the only one to "challenge" the bad instructor; for example, whenever the instructor tells him to do something he is already doing, he yells at the instructor "I already did that or I am!". Other times, he will yell at the instructor and say, "I already know that!". We find it kind of refreshing that he voices everything we would love to say but are afraid to, and when he does it the instructor backs down, oddly enough. This student also ended up as one of the best drivers at this point, and also one of the best behaved, mannered, good natured...just dont tell him the obvious! We got a new road instructor after a few days of "regression" with Samuel L Jackson, and instantly...let me repeat instantly...we ALL improved 4x! Like night and day and we are all ready to take the DMV test and passed all the academy tests.

In all, driving a truck is fun now and all admit this. 100% of the students and classes ahead of us that we spoke to all stated that the only really serious complaint by those taking the DMV is had they had the "same" instructor the whole time, they would have passed a week earlier, as many lost a week or two by getting stuck with bad instructors who literally caused the students to go from good to bad and cost them a week. And then after getting the original "good instructor" went back to being good and great drivers INSTANTLY. In fact, most of the instructors actually agree with this as well...the two poor instructors were not asked...

The thing to remember about these observations and what to take away is as follows:

1) There are good and bad instructors, if you feel an instructor is "realistically" not up to par, just ask for a different instructor. The academy will usually honor your request as they already know which instructors are good and which ones still learning to not so good. Remember, you are paying money for this course, and earning no money for every week in pre-,mentor training.

2) Training is fun when you are doing good and not fun when you are doing bad. Thus, you mist first determine what you can do to improve things, and then as a last resort "possibly" look elsewhere for the issue.

3) Training is a serious business, do not expect a bunch of peasant and funny instructors as they ALL do take their job seriously regardless of their level and/or quality of instruction.

4) Smoking and non smoking...many instructors caught the crud the students had and are either out sick or working sick. All of the students are no longer sick.

5) Various rules are still being cherry picked by certain instructors as to whether they will break them or enforce them. The rule seems to be that if the instructor indulges in a particular rule breakage, then he does not enforce it on others and vice versa. All you can do is stay away from and refuse to work with instructors that break the rules and smoke around the trucks. The academy will comply with your request.

In a nutshell, I feel the academy is VERY good in that 99% of students WILL learn to perform what is expected of you and pass both the academy and DMV. Those that do not pass either one, are pretty obvious from the get go. For example, if the student insists on calling right and left indicator lights "Port and Starboard" like the Navy does during the pre-trip inspection or calling the gear shift the "shaft" during pre-trip inspection because you think it's funny, floating gears, grinding gears while slowing down until slow enough for the grinding to end when it finally goes into gear, and hitting every curb every day and still passing the driving test, but then failing at DMV...well...you can see where that's going.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Debt Pay Off

90% of the students currently 1 -2 weeks behind my class and the 2 classes ahead, as well as mine said they will not be working for Swift even if given an offer. They all claim there are better opportunities out there, and they started applying to other company's before even attending school. I am not sure what I am going to do. If I personally was to base whether I accept a job with Swift or not based on the behavioral and professional standards of 4 out of the 7 instructors we currently have, I would refuse the offer and work elsewhere. Not sure how SWIFT is in other state schools.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

STUDENT: Observations after 3 weeks of CDL School With Swift Transport

You are correct, I am doing well. Not perfect yet, but closer each time I get behind the wheel. A few things I forgot to add.

1) According to the instructors, the DMV where we go to test got a new employee who also gives the DMV test. The instructors and students noticed her harassing students during the DMV driving test, i.e. instead of observing or giving directions during the test, she chooses to harass students. Last I heard the school is demanding her removal.

2) Each new class, including mine, that I observed and came after mine (three), not only loses most of its students before the 3rd week, but those that remain who were once enthusiastic, are no longer...regardless of how well they are doing. They all act differently, gone is the excitement and eagerness. Instead, they literally stare glassy eyed, and don't talk, and walk like automated robots with no emotion. As for myself, I go thru cycles like this as well, but I do admit my excitement for the job is more tempered. This is not due to how I feel about the truck; in fact, on the contrary...most of the students are all saying the same thing. "There motivation to pass and move on from the school is not due to eagerness to become a truck drive, it is 100% due to leave the school and never ever have to deal with all of its negatives ever ever again. Case in point, in military basic training and tech school; no matter how tough or rough the Drill instructors were we all remained motivated and morale increased. It was a 100% positive and motivating experience. Unfortunately, with this particular school every student in my class has stated their only motivation is to finish up and get their CDL so they never have to deal with a (insert cuss word) school like this one ever again. I do not think its a bad school, its a "ok" school, maybe even good, but I do not think it sets any standards at all. Also, almost every student has already stated they will not accept a job offer even of presented, and have already applied at other trucking companies, as there are a ton of better opportunities out there. Not sure how I feel about that.

3) The trucks are falling apart.....one time it it took 3 tries to find one operational. Bald tires, gouges and cuts in the side walls and treads. Electrical issues, windows and mirrors that do not work. On a positive note, the instructors do everything they can to fix them despite not being mechanics.

4) The hotel is ok, but cramming 3 people into a normal sized hotel room is crazy. Although , marketed as "suites", they are not true suites. Basically, they cram a kitchen into a small hotel room, and force one poor soul to sleep on the crappiest roll out bed ever made. The hotel does not change sheets except for once a week and only if you strip the bed yourself and bring it all downstairs. We are paying for these rooms.....

5) We had two fires at the hotel and there were no fire extinguishers. When a student informed the front desk, the clerk told the student "hold on let me finish with this customer"....ROFLMAO

In a nutshell, everyone in my class agree's that although the classroom training was kind of boring it was still top notch. No one feels that way about the range and driving training. In fact, regardless of how good the outcome is, I will not be recommending this particular school or hotel.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

STUDENT: Observations after 3 weeks of CDL School With Swift Transport

1) Out of the original 12 students in my class; 2 left during the first week due to a financial reason and the other for a stupid reason (did not want to pay CDL license fee for his state, thought it was free).

2) Lost another student that first week due to his admission of smoking pot before coming to CDL school.

3) Lost 4 students at the start of the 2nd week of school; one was kicked out due to him smoking pot before starting CDL school (he tried to dilute drug test) and smoking pot during his first weekend at CDL school. Another never returned to his hotel room until late the next morning and left, another met his parents for dinner the previous night and never returned. Another left that weekend for a short trip home and never returned. 4) Despite the large amount of rules, instructors will pick and choose which rules they will enforce or even break themselves, including the head of the academy.

5) All instructors are good, but each has their own techniques to doing things and how they teach you to do them. For example, one instructor will teach you one way to down shift, while the other 4 will teach you 4 different ways. They will each point out that its fine to do it different ways, but that when you are in the with them, to do it their way. This has been the main source of complaints from students and even possibly why it has taken a little longer for some to master shifting, and 3 different ways of parking. Personally, I felt it gave me a choice to select which techniques worked best for me, but will admit it was frustrating to master one instructors way of doing things, only to have to unlearn it and master another way. Also, I can also see how the different techniques may or may not apply to certain situations. Thus, it really depends on the student as to whether this is a good or bad thing.

6) Some instructors are good and some are really bad. For example, if you an instructor cannot speak or communicate properly as at least a Elementary School student they have no business teaching a class. Also, one instructor is an absolute GENIUS and every student learns 1000% from him. IMHO, if this particular instructor taught everything aspect of parking, shifting and driving, we all would have taken and passed the DMV after only 2 weeks of training. He is INCREDIBLE.

7) Don't argue with fools..although I got along with all students , you will encounter all kinds of persons. For example, students who think the earth is flat and that islands will capsize if there are too many people living on them (NO LIE), perverts, psycho's, sissy's, bully's, you name it. The good thing is that there was only one student who fit all those traits except sissy, and he has tormented a student with a medical condition for 3 straight weeks and broken every printed rule of the school. Not sure if he was written up, but he has not been expelled despite violated every rule multiple times that results in expulsion. In addition, the closest he came to being expelled was when he admitted to sabotaging an 18 wheeler of a truck driver after following him to a truck stop, because the 18 wheeler kicked up some road debris and broke his cars windshield when it struck. In the end, he explained after 1 solid week of defending himself to instructors, that "it was a long time ago and my brother made me do it". (cough).

8) Listen to your instructors 100% and do what they say unless it is unsafe or against the law. We had one instructor who demanded a student while in the middle of offset backing and moving to shut off an overhead light on the passenger side. After ordering the student to do this twice and the student ignoring him, the instructor finally told the student to stop and secure the truck and turn off the light. However, before the student could get out of their seat the instructor stated angrily "Nevermind I will do it!" ROFLMAO!

9) New found respect for truck drivers. As for myself I always had respect and admiration for truck drivers. However IMHO, it takes a very intelligent, skilled, and disciplined person to be one. Driving an 18-wheeler is a serious undertaking, it is no joke. It can be learned in 3 - 4 weeks, by most, but not mastered in that time. To master or even become "really good" takes miles, time, and experience.

In the end, you will find that driving an 18 wheeler is actually fun. However, you had better take it very seriously as driving an 18 wheeler is not a game.

Posted:  1 year, 12 months ago

View Topic:

CDL School - NON-SMOKERS HELL

My only complaint as I start my 3rd week at CDL school is that although smokers are supposed to smoke only in designated areas; i.e. the "smoking Pavilion" and not anywhere around the trucks or on the range, they ignore the rules and smoke everywhere except indoors or in the trucks. There is no escape from them as you TRY to practice your "Pre-Trip" and the only places with a canopy for shelter from sun or rain, as well as a place to sit are all infested with smokers. All of us non smokers are coughing, hacking and now a few are complaining about burning noses, burning eyes, and coughing up green or yellow phlegm. I am very sick as well with the same symptoms. I complained to the lady in the school office and she repeated that the rules are no smoking except where the cigarette butt receptacles are and I explained to her that no one is following those rules. She then told the head of the school and he said yes that's a violation of the rules, but they did NOTHING. All of the instructors and staff of the school see the smokers everywhere and do not say anything. As a result, I will be a coughing, snotty, red eyes burning, phlegm spitting, sneezing and runny nose student while driving the range this week. Very frustrating...

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Bed Bugs and Other Creepy Crawlies

Thanks! BTW I see you work for Swift. I am going to take my CDL training with them.

I beleive that this link about Bed Bugs is what you're looking for.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Bed Bugs and Other Creepy Crawlies

Based on the several posts I have seen about Bed Bugs...how the heck do bed bugs infest a truck or sleeper in a truck anyway? Is it due to poor personal hygiene ? Also, what can drivers/students do about it? Any tricks of the trade?

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

About to Start Training with Roehl

Dart, Any updates?

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

An important question about Swift.

Thank you all for the replies! First some background: I worked in the I.T. Field for 23 years with 75% of my employment being "Contract Work" for the government. The remaining 25% was working for Corporations. Things started out well, $45K back in 1996 for 4 years at Compaq Computer as a Technical Assessment Analyst (dead end job) until they purchased Digital (big mistake), killed the stock price, and caused the CEO to be fired and over 1000 people laid off in one day including me. Had to teach myself programming because that was all the rage in 2000, and my old job was no longer in demand at all. $74K a year for almost 4 years with Shell Oil as a Programmer. Then "Outsourcing" arrived! Why pay Americans this kind of money, when you can outsource to India for peanuts and not have to pay benefits to them , and also make them work 12 hour days etc. My entire department of 200 people got laid off in 2003 as a result with the added humility of training our Indian replacements. Figuring "Information Security" was more secure, I transitioned into that and had a 10 year run in this career as a Government Contractor, until the Obama era Government Budget Cuts known as sequestration hit in 2012. Not only was I laid off, but trying to find a government job was very difficult because of the lack of government contracting in my area 90% of jobs here. Thus, I NEEDED work and took a Corporate Job, which was good for about 4 years until they decided to lay people off due to OUTSOURCING to India yet again. Since then, I have been out of work for 9 out of the past 12 months, and cannot even apply for Government Contracting jobs because due to the previously mentioned Government Budget Cuts/Sequestration and so many people including myself losing their Government Contracting jobs had their "Clearances" , i.e. Secret, Top Secret etc lapse or go inactive due to there being a 700,000 person backlog for background checks that are required to be done every few years to keep clearances going. Thus, I would get job interviews only to be told by the Hiring Managers that the days of getting a clearance reinstated in just a few weeks are over. NOW, it takes at least 3 months but a year on average! I and others were informed of this over and over.....and the contracting firms have complained to the Obama Administration in the past, but the Government stance was "Once you get the contract" staffing is not our problem its yours". I have been told that these Contracting firms such as Northrop Grumman, SAIC, and others big and small are pleading to the Trump Administration to address this issue....but so far nothing...after all its only been several months...maybe next year. The remaining corporate jobs in this area consider me "over qualified" for all positions below Manager and "under qualified" for all positions from manager on up....I have applied for hundreds of jobs since last October and the "Over Qualified/Under Qualified" situation is frustrating. Plus, when you have the experience I have, and NAIL the interviews only to be rejected yet again with a standard form letter, just BEATS ME DOWN. In the meantime, I have wiped out my savings in the past year except for two 401K's which could be used as a last resort with a big tax penalty if need be. NO UNEMPLOYMENT, due to a technicality.... Fortunately, my wife works part time and hopes to be full time soon, so at least utilities are covered and also the House payment is covered for this month and next. I considered getting my CDL because I am just fed up with Information Technology and the Outsourcing of Jobs to India, but also because I have always liked 18 wheeler's and trucking, and when I was 16 declared to my parents that was my career choice...my mother wanted me to become a mail man, because back then it was a great job. Anyway, with a choice of "no income" or at least "low income" in a trucking career, it is a no brainer. I guess I could get a job at McDonalds or something, but I want to hold on to the last self respect and dignity I have left. IMHO "Blue Collar" work is something to be RESPECTED. My father was blue collar all his life, and for a guy who dropped out of high school with no diploma did better than anyone would have expected with hard work and dedication. Low Salary aside, I RESPECT and ADMIRE Truckers, IMHO they are America, regardless of whether they are a company driver or an owner operator. If hard work and dedication is the recipe for even moderate success, then so be it. At least, my success or failure will be mostly determined by my performance, which is something I have more control over. I know trucking is far from perfect, but if I have to start over, at least these Trucking companies are giving me a "CHANCE". No one else is giving me a chance....these trucking companies even respect the fact I am a Veteran, and at least with Swift are waiving my tuition as part of the Veterans's scholarship program. As a result, at least trucking gives me a chance...in fact, when it comes to most corporations outside of trucking the whole we prefer Veteran's stuff is a myth IMHO as despite being qualified for positions I apply to, and being a "Protected Veteran", I cannot even get an interview. The worst part was when I could not even get a tech support or customer service job...yet even when I call my bank etc. I representatives who can barely speak English. Is that not a qualification? I would think so....yet I cannot even get those jobs.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

An important question about Swift.

CORRECTION: it was an article by "highflight1985"- "What The Recruiter Didn't Explain".

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

An important question about Swift.

I just finished reading a forum article here on the TT Forum (2012) where the author who started with SWIFT as an inexperienced driver, but came back later after he had driven a few years, said Swift pays very bad during the first year and most drivers quit during the first year due to the bad pay. Is this true say compared to Roehl? Or has the economy since 2012 picked up enough that its gotten better. Also, he ripped the SWIFT Terminals and their repair and maintenance shops. I am kind of worried as I do have a $1700 monthly mortgage to pay....and wondering if I am better off with Roehl?

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

New To Trucking

You are right Brett. BTW, I read your book last night and enjoyed it very much! Thank you for the book and this website, my head would have exploded without it.

double-quotes-start.png

there was a guy on uTube who.......

Another guy who

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OMG people kill me with this. Stop worrying about what some random guy says on the Web! You guys don't know anything about these people. You have no idea who they are or whether or not their information is reliable.

This is a performance based business. Not everyone is treated equally at any company. You're going to be treated based on how well you perform. If you perform at a high level you're going to get better miles, better equipment, more home time, more favors, and better runs. If you perform at a low level you're going to be sitting around a lot doing nothing, you're not going to get many favors, and you're not going to have it as good as the top performers.

But make no mistake about it - all of the major companies are great places to work if you're a top performer, and there are no companies that are going to give you top miles, top pay, and top equipment if you're a lousy performer.

That statement is true across the board in this industry. There's no such thing as avoiding a bad company or seeking out a good company when you're talking about the major carriers. These companies are the elite in the industry. They're all the best of the best. There's no such thing as a bad elite company.

You have to learn how to perform at a high level if you want to make top pay. Prepare yourself well, work super hard, learn all you can, and get along well with people. If you'll do those things you'll be happy anywhere you go. If you don't do those things you won't be happy anywhere you go.

Pick the company that suits you well based on their pay, home time, types of freight, and the regions of the country they run. That's it. You'll never hear us say, "Don't forget to check YouTube to see what some random knucklehead says about the company."

Pick a company that offers what you're looking for and go show them you're a top level performer. That's all you have to worry about. Every company has a long list of miserable drivers. Every company has a long list of happy drivers. That always has and always will be the case.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

New To Trucking

Thanks guys! Right now I am considering both Swift and Roehl. I will be deciding by Monday. Also, there was a guy on uTube who really liked Roehl training but then claims they hosed him when he was overweight and despite the fact he let them know. They would not allow him to drive back 20 miles to correct it, and he got a ticket and fine later that day and they refused to pay it and he had to. Now I am just a noob, but it sounds like he is not telling us everything, as from what I understand, and I may be incorrect, but are not you supposed to go to a weigh station asap after picking up your load to get weighed, so that if its overloaded, your not miles and miles away from the terminal? He ended up quitting Roehl and going to Knight and claims its so much better. Another guy who works for Swift said he just got weighed and was fine but later in the day a Maryland cop made him weigh and was 4K over, but he fought the ticket in court and won. Not sure what to think.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

New To Trucking

Earnie, Wow, even with the closest terminal being Pittston, PA? Also, I think I found as typo on the TT Prime CDL review, or maybe a moderator can confirm this below, is it a typo? "After obtaining your CDL, you will complete a minimum of 30,000 miles with a Prime Trainer to become a professional commercial vehicle operator. During this time, you will be paid $700 guaranteed weekly ($0.14 cpm)."

$700 weekly = .14 cmpm? Is that not 5000 miles a week? $700/.14= 5000?

Also, I notice the TT review says 50% Drop and Hook...does that mean you are loading or unloading the other 50% of the time?

Vin,

I live in Chesapeake VA and drive for Prime. They have one of the best training programs going. Don't limit your search for a company to drive for just because you are close to one of their terminals.

Ask any questions you may have, we have lots of Prime drivers on this forum that would be more than happy to help. All you have to do is ask.

Not to say Swift isn't a good choice, just making sure you understand you have many options to choose from.

Ernie

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

New To Trucking

Errol. Using Roehl as an example, I seem to get the impression that the closer a driver lives to any terminal, the easier it is for the company to allow them to take advantage of their company's "Custom Home Time" policy, otherwise it may be difficult. Closest Roehl terminal to me is Atlanta GA and the closest drop yard is Darlington, SC. I believe Roehl even states something about this on their website I recall. Any Roehl drivers here that can ad their 2 cents?

Hi, Vin. Welcome to Trucking Truth, and maybe to Swift. Yes, is true, Swift has a "scholarship" for veterans. I benefited from that myself.

Bring a copy of your DD-214 with you. You will still need to sign the financing contract. But that's all you'll see. No tuition payments will be deducted. You must drive for Swift for one year, then your account will be cleared. (You owe $0.00.) But if you stop driving for Swift before that first anniversary, the full amount will be due.

I had/paid the fees for my CDL permit and medical card, so the academy did not ask me for any more money - you may not need to come up with the $300.

Finally, living near a terminal has advantages, but it's not necessary. Any company will make it easy for you to stop by the house for home time. Don't limit your choice of company by that requirement, though of course going to Swift is an excellent decision 😆.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Serious Question: Health Insurance

About a year and a half ago, both of my previous employers Health Insurance and Benefits (Health, Life, Dental, Vision) premiums went up and I was paying for my wife and I (non smokers age 52-55) between $1200 and $1300 a month at a salary of $60K-$86K a year. During that $60K a year job which was a small company, the cost of $1200 a month destroyed my paycheck. I am concerned that if I end up with a similar premium with a trucking company, I won't be able to make ends meet. Can anyone give me an idea of what you pay for you and your spouse? I am looking seriously at SWIFT, so any SWIFT driver feedback would be very appreciated. Thanks

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

New To Trucking

Thanks Earnie! I will look at their website today.

Vin,

I live in Chesapeake VA and drive for Prime. They have one of the best training programs going. Don't limit your search for a company to drive for just because you are close to one of their terminals.

Ask any questions you may have, we have lots of Prime drivers on this forum that would be more than happy to help. All you have to do is ask.

Not to say Swift isn't a good choice, just making sure you understand you have many options to choose from.

Ernie

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

New To Trucking

Excellent Errol! That is a load off of my mind, one less thing to worry about.

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