Profile For Hicks

Hicks's Info

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  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 1 month ago

Hicks's Bio

Just trying to make a living.

Page 1 of 1

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Which company would offer regular home time?

I do not get that at Swift.

As I've said, I've driven for Swift for over a year now, and out of the 6 hometime requests approved two weeks or more in advance, only 1 has ever been on time. 1 was a snowstorm that closed NY roads, 3 were sitting and not having a load going home until after the approved time, and the most recent time they just *forgot all about it* and I called them 4 days after the hometime was scheduled to *end*.

That last one I'm not mad about or anything, there was nothing time critical that I missed. I called in because the *coming up* hometime was a critical doctor's appointment I couldn't miss and I was like.... hey... I need to go to California for this hometime? And also you forgot about me.

So far Swift has a 16.67% completion rate for on time home time. For me. And that is just the facts that happened. I'm not mad or anything; In my experience it is wise to just always expect to be at least 2 days late to get home, and never ever schedule a can't miss appointment on the first day back

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Which company would offer regular home time?

I haul OTR dry vans and Wal-Mart dedicated refrigerated for Swift for the past year. Swift company policy is 1 day home time for every week on the road, with a minimum of 2 weeks in between hometime requests. Being home every 10 days is an unrealistic fantasy that will cost you money as you wait for dispatch to find you loads in a post-Trump trade war world. Realistically, you'll be out for at least a month before you take 4 days of hometime. And I reccomend you never take more than 4 consecutive days starting out, as insurance and training bill's are still accrued weekly even if you make 0$ because of you're home 7 days and didn't make any money.

Also, expect your hometime to run at least 3 days late. NEVER EVER EVER schedule a can't miss appointment on the first day of hometime, something stupid ALWAYS happens (weather, traffic, no loads) that will delay you AT LEAST 2 days. Always put your can't miss appointment at the LAST DAY of your scheduled hometime if you ever want to be there on time.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Of course the big companies don’t want the small companies to be able to cheat their logs. That is how the small guys are staying in business.

This. This is just the worst thing I've read here. Driving tired is like driving drunk; you're going to kill yourself and everyone around you. Oh sure, you got *lucky*? You can't stop sleep. One second you're driving and the next *you're waking up because of the lane avoidance alarm*.

IF you wake up.

Some of us have had to do things we are not proud of to get somewhere legal and safe, and it is our failure as drivers to plan contingencies for such events that got to where we take a hard look at the logbook and desperately try to make it appear legal. But when that exception becomes the rule you cheat yourself. Out of safety, and out of life.

If you can't achieve your means legally, you are living and working *beyond your means*. And I hope the feds shut down any outfit that requires a falsified record for business as usual.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

To be blunt- bras vs concrete highways...

Just a heads up: you dont hit the road in Louisiana, the road hits you.

You have been warned.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

To be blunt- bras vs concrete highways...

OH! and don't sit on the floor! That pneumatic cushion doesn't get rid of the shaking bumps, but it does smooth the vertical travel as long as it neither bottoms out nor tops out. Have a good head of air in there and sit comfortably suspended.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Are Drop And Hooks Really Any Better Than Live Loads? - article by Rainy

To be honest, I cannot agree with the article. The Live Load vs. DnH is more a question of trip length to me. My company's policy is to schedule 2 hours for each DnH and 4 hours for each Live Un/Load. And when you have a 2500 mile trip ahead losing 8 hours for live loads opposed to losing 4 hours for DnH just doesn't compare to the 120 hours between stops. Where Live Loads kill your paycheck is on shorter trips. Five 500 mile or less trips is still 5 days of travel but now you have 20 hours budgeted for DnH or sitting for 40 hours to unload and that's an extra day lost to just sitting there waiting for the freight to move on/off the trailer.

All this policy also gets in the way of experience. Generally a DnH takes less than an hour to check in, drop, find an MT, hook, and check out, and a Live Un/Load takes 5 hours, although I have had to sit for 9 hours at a dock for lumpers to get their act together.

But yeah. Short hauls need their freight too, and DnH beats to pants off of Live Un/Loads for anything under 1000 miles.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Everyone has a story....

1. Can they do a hair follicle test on someone that is bald? I don't care if they check it 20 YEARS'll be clean. But I generally do the head shave thing and its getting kinda I'd REALLY like to shave for comfort.

2. What tools should I have or carry with me to school and beyond? I'm guessing a tire gauge would be at or near the top of the list...but...

3. Is there any type of cheat sheet permitted when doing the Pre-Trip Inspection for the test?

4. How long does background check take for HAZMAT? I was told that i could add it near the end of school. I was wondering if on the day I did written tests for CDL permit and endorsements (second day of school) that I could start that process. Then, just stop in DMV and take written HAZMAT test when i was ready to get license.

thanks all!

Firstly, welcome to Swift. I literally just passed my academy testing and hope to meet my mentor tomorrow. So since it's fresh in my memory let me answer some questions:

1. Of course. They'll snip it off your legs, arms, back, pits, or privates. Hair is hair.

2. To school? A STURDY GOLF UMBRELLA AND SUNSCREEN. And black pens and a notebook. You don't use a tire pressure guage or tire tread depth guage for training or testing, tho you will use both of those at least twice a day for the rest of your life for pre-trips and post-trips.

3. Absolutely not. You are required to do the Pre-Trip test from memory. It WILL include the in-cab, 5th wheel & coupling, and airbrakes test. The airbrakes test is a bit harder because you MUST do it EXACTLY AS WRITTEN from memory or it auto fails your whole Pre-Trip segment. In addition to those three sections you will be asked to Pre-Trip the front of the tractor and engine and steer tires, driver's door to the tractor tail lights, trailer from bulkhead to DOT bumper, or all three at the same time. From memory. You get a study sheet literally the first day of class, and you will Pre-Trip a tractor and trailer literally every morning from your 3ed day on. Study that study sheet.

4. No idea. I don't have a HAZMAT endorsement. And it's probably different in every state too.

Good luck, study hard, and when you're doing your 90° IGNORE THE CONE: IT IS A PIED PIPER OF LIES. You want your trailer to go into the space between the 1st and 2nd dashed lines from the opening to the box at a ~45° angle, then turn the wheel aaaaaaall the way right really quick, then turn it aaaaaaall the way left even quicker, then straight back into the box once you're lined up; a pullup is acceptable to get straight in the box, but once your trailer is IN the box don't take it OUT of the box. Be sure to get out an look to make sure your DOT bumper is in bounds before you end that test. Study your Pre-Trip and IGNORE THE CONE!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:


It's the tachometer that matters, not the speed.

Break to 1000rpm Tap the clutch + shift to neutral Rev to 1400rpm Tap the clutch + shift into gear

The process (for me) takes about a second per gear, so if I'm cruising @45mph in the city in 9th gear I'd start downshifting one gear at a time ~7 seconds from the light (I'll only need 4 seconds to get to 5th and stop, but it's a testing environment and I put on a few more seconds for nerves). Also if there is any traffic between you and the light, just assume that at least 3 cars will pull in front of you and force you to stop earlier than you thought.

A 1/4 mile is 1320 feet... but if you were going 55mph you shold be able to stop in just under 600 feet. Yeah, I know you should break smoothly and what-not but that is way far out... and then you'll feel like a chump if you're creeping up to the light at 15mph in 5th gear and probably overreving your engine. Personally? I used telephone poles as markes for where I should start breaking. And if somebody cuts you off (and they will) stay in gear, break until the engine lugs ~500rpm then clutch + break to an emergency stop.

Now you can totally stop in 7th gear in an emergency, but you CANNOT, CANNOT, CANNOT stop without being in gear. #autofail.

And once you stop: CHECK THAT YOUR SPLITTER IS DOWN, clutch + shift to neutral, clutch + shift to 3ed or 4th gear!

Good luck on your test!

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