Comments By Jim S.

https://cdn.truckingtruth.com/images/truckin.jpg avatar
  • Jim S.
  • Joined:
  • 4 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 79

Page 3 of 4

Previous Page
Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New truck :)

I got to move in to a 2020 Freightliner. It doesn't have a trolley break, but other than that it seems pretty decent. More space inside compared to my international.

0130752001560451181.jpg

That must be one of the new colors for Swift. I know that they are getting some grey ones, but I haven't seen the golden colored ones. Must be some of the first issued. Any other colors in the making?

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

New Swift Driver Wanting to Switch

I personally like the Counter button. Someone has already mentioned it. Of course, I'm probably a little more picky than some people. I'll counter until I get one that I feel comfortable with. I've rejected a few too. I usually never hear anything about it. You have to remember that the times you're originally given are computer generated, and they usually do not include enough *actual* time to pick up and deliver. So, yeh, you really need to use your own good judgment.

A good preplan will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

I'll get out a pen and pad and sit there and right down everything if I have to. This will include time to fuel, scale, take a 30 minute break, traffic (California can sometimes mean adding an extra 2 hours), and so forth and so on. Anything you need, write it down, figure it up, and then counter a load with your own times. Forget the computer generated times.

Getting in a hurry, or thinking that you *have to* will only get you into trouble.

Be a good and safe driver. Keep a strong head on your shoulders

And remember, no one knows everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.

Greg, is it true that the practical miles that most companies use to estimate trips and pay is about 10% less than actual miles? If so, do you add about 10% to the mileage of a run when planning?

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Free food at terminal

double-quotes-start.png

Got to my home terminal and I see multiple pallets 10 or so, of chef boyardees spaghetti and meatballs, take as much as we want. I got me six cases in my tractor, 12 cans per case.

Was told it came from one of our trailers that caught 🔥, have no idea how, but free food😁😁😁😁😁😁

double-quotes-end.png

2 weeks from now, he'll never touch another chef boyardees spaghetti and meatball can again.

rofl-1.gif

Or, come up with some creative ways of eating it. Heck, he might even be able to barter with some.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

I-5

Considering a job which runs 90% I-5. Lots of LA, some SanFran. Portland & Seattle. Never been there.

How bad is LA? How bad is SF?

* What are the challenges? * What are the bad times? (2pm-10pm?) * What are the difficult areas? * Why are they difficult? (Traffic, crime, earthquakes, crazy drivers, etc.) * Does I-5 get bad in the winter? Which section? Why? * Is there DOT weigh stations all over the place? * Is truck parking extremely limited? *Is it really gridlock? I Gooogled Santa Monica to Anaheim @6:20pm Thursday, May 20, 2019 local time. Results are 44 miles taking 1.5 hours. That would suck, but that's not stopped traffic. (Estimated 30 mph?).

Thank you

Basically, the traffic flow is into LA in the morning, and out of LA in the afternoon. The a.m. rush runs from about 6:00 until 9:00. The afternoon rush starts at about 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. If you are traveling to and from the central LA warehouse area , the traffic gridlock will be for about 50 - 60 miles in either direction on the I 5. Those 50-60 miles might take 2-3 hours to commute. Travel at night is usually much better. There is one area about 50 miles north of downtown LA, known as the Grapevine that occasionally gets snow and ice in the winter. Crime shouldn't be bad if you stay on the main roads while not on the freeway, and keeps your doors locked. There are some crazy drivers, but they mostly stay in the left lanes. Parking can be very bad in the central LA area, but once out of the central area, maybe 15 - 20 miles and into the suburban areas it's not so bad. Earthquakes, really don't feel them while driving. Most of them are minor. Hey, I guess that's what airride is for. Some of the freeway signs can be tricky or misleading. It seems that when they make freeway upgrades, they forget to change the signs. Hope that helps.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

New driver legs and but are killing me!

Another thing to keep in mind when sitting for long periods of time is the risk of blood clots. Blood that pools, as in the feet, has a tendency to clot. It's a good idea to do leg exercises while you are driving every once in awhile.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

double-quotes-start.png

If the Coca Cola account is really that good, I will have to jump on it before it's not available anymore.

double-quotes-end.png

If the Coca Cola account was that good they wouldn't be offering it to students still in school. You'd better find out more about that account from some drivers who are on it before you take it. I don't know anything about it, but it may entail doing quite a bit of manual labor yourself.

The recruiter said d&h, regional, CA, AZ, NV, home weekly. Sounds too good to be true.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

double-quotes-start.png

If the Coca Cola account is really that good, I will have to jump on it before it's not available anymore.

double-quotes-end.png

If the Coca Cola account was that good they wouldn't be offering it to students still in school. You'd better find out more about that account from some drivers who are on it before you take it. I don't know anything about it, but it may entail doing quite a bit of manual labor yourself.

That's is what I was thinking. And, they would have filled it by now. It just sounds too good to be true. That is why I am asking.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

About your shower credit concern, if you fuel 1k gallons in a month at pilot they give you shower power for the current and next month. This means free showers any time you want them. Something to consider for your shower needs. Although as previously mentioned for live load/unloads you'll wan to stage as close to customer as possible to try and not start your clock until they are done.

That's definitely a consideration. Do you move your truck a very short distance, very slowly off the clock. Seems like a gray area, and also dependent on company policy.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

Jim, all I can speak to is Schneider Operating Centers (aka 'terminals') and drop yards. I prefer these to truck stops because I have always found super easy parking at these. The chance of the dreaded Truck Stop fender bender is also pretty much non-existent. This option will vary from company to company. Truck stops do serve a very important purpose. Personally, I will not try to park at a truck stop after dark, being a rookie, because parking will usually be tight and I am still honing my backing skills. After dark backing is the most difficult for me and I don't want to risk an incident.

This is the type of information that is helpful. I hear so much about truck stops, but not terminals. Also, parking at shippers or receivers seems like a good idea, or even outside of their facilities, paralleled on the street. Do most terminals have fuel? If so, saving your company fuel cost might put you in their graces.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

OMG...

Jim...honestly man, your interest in the Swift bonus structure is way too premature. Step 30+ in your process. (Reread Old School’s reply to you)

Consider getting your permit as step 1.

If you must know, Swift bonus is progressive; from silver, to gold, to platinum to diamond. It’s totally performance based and requires 100% on time delivery, no preventables and no citations. Diamond also carries a certain time on the road between hone time.

I’ve been Platinum for 5 years; translates to 60 consecutive months of the above performance parameters. You must be with Swift a minimum of 1 Year as a 1st seat driver to be eligible for Platinum. As a Walmart Dedicated driver, since I am effectively local dispatched, same day or next day return to the DC is SOP, Platinum is the highest level available.

When I was about to enter school the bonus structure at Swift was the furthest thought from my mind. You must focus on the immediate when doing this, otherwise you’ll be overwhelmed with information and quickly lose focus. Go to school, pass your CDL and complete the 200 hours (or whatever it is now) of mentoring. Then worry about stuff like this.

I just finished my CDL school, and will take my test next week. I am hoping to choose a company very soon after passing my test and want to be informed. The Swift recruiter said that I may choose the Coca Cola route at orientation time, even before I start my OTR mentoring. That I why I am looking for information now. If the CC account is really that good, I will have to jump on it before it's not available anymore. Your explanation of the bonus program is helpful. Since it is progressive and will take time to accomplish, that makes the CC look more attractive, since it starts at a pretty high pay.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

The Coca Cola account doesn't pay bonuses, but the pay is considerably more.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

What do you mean pays more? More CPM? Usually if a certain account pays quite a bit more it's due to lower miles.

Also, I know you keep bringing up the coca cola account. Was that an account that had been offered by a recruiter? The longer you take to get going the less likely it will be available once you get going. I understand this is a big decision but you just gotta jump in if you want this. There are a few of us here that kept putting it off. It took me 3 YEARS hanging around this forum before I finally took the leap and I kick myself in the ass all the time for waiting. Are you currently in school? Paid school or private?

double-quotes-end.png

Yes, it pays more CPM, but no bonus pay. It was offered a few weeks ago by recruiter that came to my school. I spoke again over the phone with the recruiter, and she said route was still available. She said it would pay between $900-1200 per week and home weekly. That is what has me concerned. A route that sounds that good should be easy for them to fulfill. Sounds too good to be true. She also said all d&h. I just finished private CDL school. My test is next week. Schiff has tuition reimbursement.

My bad, should be Swift.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

double-quotes-start.png

The Coca Cola account doesn't pay bonuses, but the pay is considerably more.

double-quotes-end.png

What do you mean pays more? More CPM? Usually if a certain account pays quite a bit more it's due to lower miles.

Also, I know you keep bringing up the coca cola account. Was that an account that had been offered by a recruiter? The longer you take to get going the less likely it will be available once you get going. I understand this is a big decision but you just gotta jump in if you want this. There are a few of us here that kept putting it off. It took me 3 YEARS hanging around this forum before I finally took the leap and I kick myself in the ass all the time for waiting. Are you currently in school? Paid school or private?

Yes, it pays more CPM, but no bonus pay. It was offered a few weeks ago by recruiter that came to my school. I spoke again over the phone with the recruiter, and she said route was still available. She said it would pay between $900-1200 per week and home weekly. That is what has me concerned. A route that sounds that good should be easy for them to fulfill. Sounds too good to be true. She also said all d&h. I just finished private CDL school. My test is next week. Schiff has tuition reimbursement.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

double-quotes-start.png

I will be taking my CDL soon, and am seriously considering Swift. I like the fact that they have many terminals. I feel that this would be a major convenience and help to avoid truck stops.

double-quotes-end.png

Jim, I'm just curious. Why are you so set against truck stops?

I work for Knight. We've got lots of terminals, but I seldom stay at them unless I'm there for maintenance or repairs.

Part of a successful driver's approach to this job is learning to take advantage of strategic parking locations near or at your shippers and receivers. Many drivers don't seem to realize this and unfortunately you'll probably encounter many of them at the terminal driver's lounge. You'll be able to recognize them right away because they won't stop complaining about how badly the company is treating them, and how they can never get the miles their recruiter promised them.

I think you're way premature on trying to figure out where to park. You haven't even learned how to park yet.

I'm not trying to be critical, but it will do you good to focus on what's critical for you now. You are setting up all kinds of ideas in your head that are going to be obliterated once you get out here in the "real world."

Take this career one step at a time. Right now focus all your efforts on the High Road CDL Training Program. That will keep you busy enough to avoid picking up a bunch of these preconceived ideas you're formulating from your frequenting of trucking forums.

You don't have to settle everything in your mind now - in fact it's a common mistake new entrants into this career stumble over. You are going to be learning a ton of things as you work your way through your rookie year. You don't want to have to re-learn everything that you thought you already had figured out. Ease up on some of the information you're taking in and focus on whatever is critical for the immediate time ahead of you. You'll be better off taking this medicine one spoon at a time, as needed.

I am a cheapskate. If I may have free amenities instead of paying, I am all for that. I realize that some amenities might be provided with fuel credits at truck stops. But, there will probably be times that I don't have enough credits, especially if I travel with my son during the summers. I realize the advantages of parking at or near receivers and shippers, especially if you have a delivery or pick up in the morning, and I will use that advantage. I hear that parking might be none to be found at truck stops. I haven't heard much about terminals. I have nothing against truck stops. In fact, I am looking forward to experiencing them. If things might be a little more accommodating at terminals, I will use that to my advantage. I am still focused on the task at hand right now. I am just trying to be informed for decisions that will be making soon.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

Jim said: "Maybe it's time that you start lifting your tractor and leg pressing your trailer for a workout, lol."

I used to do that, but the company made a policy against it. And I'm not as strong as I used to be, so now I can only lift tankers hauling Helium.

I guess pull ups using the landing gear is out of the question. I could feel the tires with helium, and it still wouldn't help. I'll just try to mind my manners in the gym.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

Chris wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

I will say though, some of the dedicated accounts are not eligible for the bonus program. There are way way more accounts than I can name, so I can't tell you which ones are not eligible, but I know there are some.

double-quotes-end.png

Walmart Dedicated does receive the quarterly bonus, at least we do at the DC I’m committed to.

The Coca Cola account doesn't pay bonuses, but the pay is considerably more.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

The Swift terminals do have free showers and free laundry. However, the showers leave a lot to be desired. I use them as a last resort. They are also in the process of upgrading the drivers lounges in the older terminals.

As far as the silver and gold awards, I'm assuming you're talking about the quarterly bonus program. It is paid on the first pay period after the quarter ends. It's really simple honestly. As long as you don't hit anything, and you make your appointments on time, you'll be fine. If you're not going to make an appointment, and it's for a legitimate reason, if you send a Mac 22 notifying the company, you'll be covered. I'm platinum level and I don't have to do anything out of the ordinary to maintain that. It's as simple as just doing your job, honestly.

I will say though, some of the dedicated accounts are not eligible for the bonus program. There are way way more accounts than I can name, so I can't tell you which ones are not eligible, but I know there are some.

It's the driver ranking bonus. I am sure that it's the same thing. Does each level come in succession for succeeding quarters, exp. 1st quarter bronze, second quarter silver, etc..., or is each level based on performance for that quarter, start out at the top level for really good perfomance? If you reach platinum, and then the next quarter your performance is not quite as good, do you get demoted? I was told that the Coca Cola account doesn't pay bonuses. But, even without the bonuses, the pay is considerably more.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

Some Schneider operating center terminals have work out facilities, maybe even most of them. I've been banned from using them because I destroy the equipment.

But if you were at a terminal, even if they didn't have a gym, they would still have a Jim.

Maybe it's time that you start lifting your tractor and leg pressing your trailer for a workout, lol.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift new recruits

I will be taking my CDL soon, and am seriously considering Swift. I like the fact that they have many terminals. I feel that this would be a major convenience and help to avoid truck stops. Do you guys find the terminals accommodating for your 10 or even 34? Do they have free showers and laundry? Gyms? I wouldn't miss the truck stop food, as I plan on preparing food in my truck. If I am one of those lucky guys who get d&h from terminal to terminal, having many terminals seems good. Their Coca Cola account seems good, almost too good to be true. The pay is much more than their pay for other divisions for new grads. Is there a catch? Recruiter said all d&h, regional and home weekly. The routes are from Jurupa Valley to Sacramento, AZ and NV. I would really like Jurupa Valley to AZ, NV. Do any of you know about the Coca Cola accounts? What about the Silver and Gold awards? Any information that you have would be helpful. I am in the Riverside area and also considering Knight and Werner.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

What Are The Best Truck Stops, And Why?

"I think some of the nose ins might be those that have just run out their clock and need to park in a hurry."

Not true at all. First if you are running that tight, you need to re-evaluate your trip planning. Second, once you are at the truck stop, you are home free. Just go on your 10 hr break or sleeper berth and move slowly. No need to rush in nose first. That's when accidents happen, when drivers panic and get in a rush.

I am still trying to understand the 10/14. Is it ok to go on your 10 while you are moving slowly and travel less than one mile. If you are in line for fuel more than 30 minutes, are you allowed to count that as your 30 minute break even though you drive just a little in the line? What about waiting long times to load or unload? There are some that will say that during those times, you are still responsible for your load.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Refrigerated

Jim wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

Same here. Recruiters have been known to bend the truth sometimes.

double-quotes-end.png

Jim this is the second such statement you’ve made about a recruiter. It’s not necessary. Your compensation is based purely on performance and your ability to grasp what is necessary to Become a Top Performer.

As a rookie driver expect to earn about 45k average and think of it more as a well paid apprenticeship. It will take most of your rookie year to absorb the very steep and often unforgiving learning curve.

Not sure if you read or studied any of the following links:

The above is time well invested and far more valuable than whining about recruiters.

As suggested earlier, start a new thread about Swift and I’m sure we can address and answer any question you can think of.

Good luck.

I am not whining about recruiters. I realize that they might not see the same things that those behind the wheel do. That is one of the reasons I am on theses forums, to get drivers' perspective on things. I use much of the drivers' input that I have received to clarify things that recruiters have said. I will have to make some important decisions here soon, and I am gathering up as much information as I can. I have read many of the resources that you listed, and have received some very valuable insights.

Page 3 of 4

Previous Page
Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More