Comments By Jim S.

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  • Jim S.
  • Joined:
  • 7 months, 2 weeks ago
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Posted:  4 months ago

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His and Hers

Is yours a 389? Gotta like that classic look.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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New grad starting at Swift

I won't be getting another student until September. Once I finish my current student I am picking up my son for a couple weeks.

I do run 48 and you're correct on packing. Just remember whatever you bring may end up with you on a greyhound if they need to send you to a mentor. The laptop is up to you, but if you can do it on your phone that would be a better option.

How long it takes to get on a mentor's truck all depends on how many are available and how picky you are.

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Too bad Big T. I sure it would have been great mentoring with you. Have fun with your son. I am hoping to take my son with me whenever I qualify. How long does it take to be eligible for a passenger? Are kids allowed in winter months? Will you be around Jurupa terminal toward the end of next week? If so, maybe I will see you.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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New grad starting at Swift

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I know that there are other aspects of pay besides cpm, such as safety and fuel bonuses, and sometimes detention pay. Those extras are nice, but my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles.

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Jim, the reason I asked about your preference is because it limits you to the loads in that area. I understand about the West being wide open, but that L.A. area is a killer to deal with in my opinion. I remember watching Raptor and his trainer sitting a lot and waiting for loads - they were running that area. They never turned a lot of miles that I noticed.

I'm not being critical of your choice, I just want you to realize your rationale for it may not be real accurate. As an OTR driver your dispatchers and planners have so many more options to put before you. I mean you could be in L.A. and they could give you a load to upstate New York! That's some big miles! Like I said, I just wanted you to look at it differently. The OTR experience is really the best way to get started at this. It has so many options, and it really is a wonderful experience.

I wouldn't ever try to get you to focus on things like detention pay, or even bonus money, so you've got the right attitude when you say...

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my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles.

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I just think that is easier accomplished by opening up your horizon to a bigger playing field.

Old School, I live on the outskirts of LA, about 70 miles inland from the coast, close to Jurupa terminal. Your are right. LA traffic is a nightmare. That 70 miles at rush hour takes about 3-4 hours in a car. Basically, 50 miles inland is good except LA area, in which you must get about 80 miles inland to be free of traffic. But once out of those areas, it's pretty much open, except a city here and there. Jurupa is right in the middle of West Coast distribution warehouses. I guess this areas is like a hub of a wheel with spokes going in every direction. I am hoping that many of those spokes will be to Western states. Maybe some drivers operating out of Jurupa and Inland Empire area could fill in and verify if business is still moving out of this area. I would really like some input as to how much freight moves out of this area to Western states, in order to help me make a decision. I am still open to all. I am just hoping to have an opportunity to work Western and turn some miles. Once I leave the Jurupa area, I am hoping to work Western except coastal.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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New grad starting at Swift

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That triage/Southwest is what I would like to do. I hear that it doesn't pay as much as 48 usually. But, as long as the bay isn't that much less, I would definitely think that the advantages of it would outweigh a little less pay.

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Hey Jim, understanding truck driving pay is a little complicated for newcomers. I'm curious, what you see as advantageous about that Southwest Triangle?

The way you make money and enjoy this career is to develop yourself into a top performing driver. Typically that's easier to accomplish by starting out as an Over The Road driver, doing the lower 48 states. I always recommend people start there, then move into something more specialized like a dedicated account or a more regional position if that's what they desire. You'll have such advantages as an OTR driver. You'll have much more flexibility and availability of loads, and a much greater variety of different customers. It really gives you a great foundation to build your career on. You'll have plenty of time out on the interstates and less stress dealing with multiple stops and high traffic areas.

Don't let varying CPM rates get you confused or lead you in a certain direction as a rookie. Your pay rate has a much lesser effect on your gross wages than does your ability to get things accomplished. There are drivers in my fleet working at the same or similar CPM rate as me who are struggling to make even half of my pay. I'm pointing that out as an illustration of how this whole truck driving pay thing is very much misunderstood by most people. Everything about our pay is performance based. The folks who get the most done take home the best paychecks. Consequently they are also the ones who get preferential treatment when it comes to load assignments.

Being a Top Tier Driver makes it all come together for you. If you can focus on getting great results and being highly productive you will find yourself really enjoying your trucking career and reaping the rewards that elude so many new drivers.

Old School, one of the main reasons that I want to do Southwest or Western 11, is that it seems more of my kind of driving. I rather drive in wide open spaces without many cities such as in the West, coastal West an exception of course. Once outside of LA, it's 250 miles to Las Vegas, or 325 Miles to Phoenix with not much in between. I feel that I will be more productive in these kind of areas. I feel that it will make it easier to plan trips with nothing but open roads and not city after city to slow me down. I have read, What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver, and feel that I have gone through my life applying those recommendations. I have always been punctual and easy to work with. I have been reading input from you guys and gals on this forum, and I have some ideas on planning and staying organized. I will always take time to plan my trips and will have a plan b and plan c. I know that there are other aspects of pay besides cpm, such as safety and fuel bonuses, and sometimes detention pay. Those extras are nice, but my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles. I will be willing to take some bad load if that means I might latter get good loads.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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New grad starting at Swift

What division you pick doesn't really matter. Both will be available when you get done with your mentor.

You can switch divisions if you want. I'm a mentor on the reefer fleet out of Jurupa Valley, but the last couple students I've gotten were hired on for dry van.

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Jim, I'll just say that the advice you received from G-Town is very sensible. You need to get through the process to make an intelligent decision. Keep your options open until you get more education and information.

But don't fret the reefer option. There are many drivers here that are very successful with reefer. You will do fine with either dry van or reefer, as long as you apply yourself, educate yourself, and work hard. Whatever you choose, being safety conscious is the most important.

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I have heard hat Swift ask you what division you want during their orientation. That doesn't make much, since that division might not be available once you finish your four to six weeks mentoring. But, if it is true, that means I would have to make a decision at orientation in two weeks. So I am trying to find out some information now.

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I start orientation next Wednesday. Who knows, maybe you will be my mentor. It would probably be a good thing to mentor on a reefer to see if I like it. Do you do 48? I have been told to bring whatever will fit in a duffle bag and backpack, and be able to place those two at the foot of my bunk. Would it be too much to bring a large laptop to take care of bills and such? I have also been told to bring a sleeping bag or blanket. Should I also bring sheets? How long after orientation might I get onto a truck? Thanks!

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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New grad starting at Swift

I agree with G-Town, you need to get through orientation and training first. Both dry van and refer are places to be. Though I do get dry van loads on my refers, I like doing refers for Swift. They keep me rolling and yes sometimes at the shippers and receivers can take a little extra time. And you get used to the refer noise. It will be like a little lullaby to put you to sleep at night. Sometimes I have to get refer fuel when I don't need tractor fuel, but it isn't that often. My trainer had a triangle route, Utah, Nevada and Southern California. So they do have west coast accounts. And sometimes he would do Northern California also. What ever the miles were we did it. So focus on your training first of all, then you can make your decision to go either dry van or refer.

Raptor

That triage/Southwest is what I would like to do. I hear that it doesn't pay as much as 48 usually. But, as long as the bay isn't that much less, I would definitely think that the advantages of it would outweigh a little less pay.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

New grad starting at Swift

Jim, I'll just say that the advice you received from G-Town is very sensible. You need to get through the process to make an intelligent decision. Keep your options open until you get more education and information.

But don't fret the reefer option. There are many drivers here that are very successful with reefer. You will do fine with either dry van or reefer, as long as you apply yourself, educate yourself, and work hard. Whatever you choose, being safety conscious is the most important.

I have heard hat Swift ask you what division you want during their orientation. That doesn't make much, since that division might not be available once you finish your four to six weeks mentoring. But, if it is true, that means I would have to make a decision at orientation in two weeks. So I am trying to find out some information now.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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New grad starting at Swift

I haul dry van and have run 5k miles the last two weeks combined, with two more days to add to this weeks total. Not world beating by any means, but I wouldn't call it slow.

Five thousand in less than two weeks is pretty good. I am encouraged by what I see here in the inland empire area of So. Cal. In the last five years, there have been and still are huge warehouse be constructed like there is no tomorrow. These warehouses all have rows and rows of loading docks. Another good sign is the large amount of big rigs traversing the freeways in this area. The Inland Empire area is a large distribution area for goods coming into the ports of LA and Long Beach, the number one and number tow busiest port in the nation.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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New grad starting at Swift

Congratulations Jim and welcome to Swift!

My initial suggestion is donโ€™t get too far ahead of yourself. Focus on orientation and road training. Much has been written about training and trainers...

Here is a blog article I wrote a few years back specifically on Swiftโ€™s orientation and Mentoring...

Going On the Road With a Trainer

Good luck.

Thanks G-Town. Good article. I am hoping for patient trainer that will allow me to make mistakes, as long as they don't endanger people or property, and insist that I correct myself without his or her jumping in too quickly. I feel that I learn from my mistakes. I want to really get the feel of the truck and the ways in which things should be done, and not just go by instructions doing it this way or that way. One of the first things that I will ask of my instructor is to allow me to make mistakes.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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New grad starting at Swift

I received my CDL yesterday and will be starting at Swift Jurupa in about two weeks. What should I expect during orientation? I am hearing conflicting reports that dry van is slow for some right now. Any thoughts? I guess that it depends on the region of the country. Hopefully, being in the area of the distribution centers for all of the good comming into the ports of LA and Long Beach, there will always be a high demand for dry van out of Jurupa. I am also considering reefer, because I hear reefer has more consistent miles. Are reefers really very noisy? Is it a hassle to keep reefer fuel tanks fueled sometimes? Are there times that you need reefer fuel, but not truck fuel and therefore have to make an extra stop. I have also heard that reefer live loads/unloads take a long time sometimes. But, hearing that reefer drivers are still getting miles, that doesn't seem to be much of a problem. I would also rather do regional or 11 Western. I know that the miles might be as much as 48, but is it that much less? I am definitely not interested in local or intermodal/ocean container. What kind of dedicated accounts run out of Jurupa to Southwest regional or 11 Western? If I missed asking any questions that might be of help, please feel free to add. Thanks!

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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New Graduate

Congratulations!! I just received my CDL yesterday and will start orientation at Swift in about two weeks.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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No idle laws

Our latest genius wrote...

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I don't understand the no idle more than 5 minutes laws. I understand the 5 minutes, most manufacturers recommend idling 5 minutes before shut-off after running hard to cool the turbo and save the wear on the bearings. As for the law it makes no sense. We have certified Clean idle trucks if they are newer than 2008 and have the certified Clean idle sticker which features a hologram of California on it. As for company with anti idle rules, I agree with the drivers how do we stay comfortable when it's too hot. Open the windows is what one company said. I got choice words for them but I'll keep it clean. I'd tell them to stick the truck. As for Apu yeah they are great when they work. I have one. I also had to get my truck reprogrammed to idle above 80 and below 30. This is why I'm doing a lease. I pay for the fuel. If I have to idle it's my choice although they don't allow it, I can rig it to idle. I won't give away my secret but we have a box with triangles and tarp straps are dirt cheap. I'm buying my next truck and first thing I'm having them do is disable idle interrupt. Second thing enable manual mode on the transmission so I can lock gear on steep grades and not blow the engine because it chose wrong gear.

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Have you ever heard of Opti-idle? Thermostatically controlled AC that autostarts the engine so the AC can cool the truck. Since you claim to have an APU genset, probably not. No company is going to enforce no-idling policies when the temps rise above 80โ€™f. Give me a break...

No time for anyone knowingly tampering with any system on a company truck. And seriously...you donโ€™t seem smart enough to pull this off without getting caught.

Good luck with your lease and your plunge into financial ruin.

Are clean idle certified engines allowed to idle over the time limits? If not, wouldn't Opti-idle idle the engine over the time limits if it's really hot?

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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One of THOSE days...

Show up at appointment at 0800 fresh off a 34hr reset this morning. They tell me I'm not scheduled until tomorrow. They can fit me in later (1500-1700) though if I want. Yeah, but I have two more stops on this load, both today. At 1130 and 1400. Dispatch tells me to go to my next stop. I'm there at 1015. The place is a zoo! Nowhere to park that is not in someone's way. Anyway I stand in line at receiving for half an hour and hand them my paperwork. The guy looks it up in the computer and says, "sorry. You're not on the schedule today or any day this week." *sigh* Now I'm waiting for further instruction from dispatch. I feel bad for the FM having to handle this BS, and I told him so when he apologized for the situation. Hopefully it'll get straightened out soon. Still, I'd rather be stuck out here than working in a warehouse.

If you second stop would have been able to unload you, would your first load have to be unloaded out of the trailer, then loaded back in? If so, would second receiver unload first load?

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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The TruckingTruth Meet Up Thread

I notice Old School is sitting on the right side of the table in a few pictures. Is that the "I'm picking up the meal check" side? Or maybe that's so the camera can capture him from his good side.

It might be "you're picking up the meal check" side. Maybe that's why Old School is at so many of the meet ups.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Free shower every day

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Showers? What are showers? Sponge baths are all a driver needs, and those can be done right in the truck.

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I always have a couple packages of baby wipes with me. For those nights I spend in rest areas

Do you carry a five gallon bucket, just in case, lol?

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Doing The Happy Dance.. My sweetie is doing better

Glad to hear about your sweetie's progress and pray that he continues his speedy recovery. Congratulations on the engagement. I guess that someone had to propose, and he probably got tire waiting for you to make that move, lol.

๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜Š

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Last day

They don't have any local accounts in my area. Not sure who services my local stores. Only truck I've seen at one was a Werner, so that's probably who does it.

I hear that the Dollar accounts are all touch freight, unloading box by box using rollers and roller carts. Maybe good for young bucks.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Last day

Well, yesterday was my last day at Schneider. It's been a very interesting year to say the least. I have to say they were incredible at my departure. Very supportive, offered to have me come back any time, and I even got to drive my truck one more time. ๐Ÿ˜Š I couldn't believe how badly they wanted me to stay, they basically offered me any account I wanted, told me they'd switch my leader if that was the issue, but after I explained how it was the whole being away from home, not showering every day, (which was starting to give me skin rashes), and suddenly developing kidney stones, which is what sent me over the top, they were very understanding. They also told me that when I move, if I'm near a Schneider facility that has home daily accounts, I'd be able to come back if I wanted. Can't say enough about how helpful they've been getting started, and teaching me over the past year. They really bent over backwards for me.

You could have stayed and taken one of those local Dollar accounts, lol.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Advice please - started solo and second time this is happening.

Do you have a preplanned next pickup requiring you to be in sleeper for 10 in order to make a certain time? If not, maybe you could do a split sleeper, being off duty two at the at receiver, then eight sleeper after you have driven and nearing the time of your sleeping habit. I know, that will still give you four hours of on duty at receiver, but in the end, you might end up driving more from not being sleepy.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Any interiors of Mack pinnacle?

Mack has been known as a work truck, but they have stepped up their game on road trucks. I am seeing more and more small fleets with them, Bulkmatic has some really sharp looking new ones.

I bet that your four legged friend likes Mac.๐Ÿ˜€

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