Profile For Sparky

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    5 years ago

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Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Truck dogs - pets in 8x8 world

I've brought my cat with me for Swift since I started driving. No problem at all. Everyone always says "But how can you deal with the smell?" Easy. I clean it. Kitty litter has come a long way in masking smells, so obviously these people aren't cat owners or that would be common sense to them. I clean it at the end of every day and put it in my trash bag with the rest of my trash. If anything my trash smells more than my actual cat litter. But I do not have a trash bin, just a trash bag hanging from one of the arm chairs. Anyway, I think it would be easier because I don't have to stop to ensure she does her business at a truck stop or rest area, so more time driving.

Don't get me wrong, I do walk her. Yes, walk her as in on a leash and harness. I'll walk her when I make my trips to Walmart or a Target, since they never have an issue with it. I'll occasionally walk her around if I do a 30 at a rest area but she being a cat, she gets her exercise from running around on the top bunk and hoping off it while I am sleeping.

But I am bias, I prefer cats just because they do no require as much maintenance as dogs do. They clean themselves and they go to the bathroom by themselves. But since I am not a dog owner I cannot tell you the pros or cons of having a dog. The cons for a cat I would say are that you need seat covers or a towel to prevent the fur from getting everywhere. And before people say "But cats will scratch and ruin everything!!!1!!1" no, no they will not. I bought a small scratching post and she knows she is only allowed to use that. I have NEVER had an issue with seats being torn or clawed at.

So this is just my input as a cat owner. Hope it helps.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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California Pay for Swift (might switch companies)

I have been with Swift for about 10 months now, coming into 1 year of driving (had my license longer, but COVID caused me to get off the truck to take care of family). I was being told that I got paid between .45 and .47 (and obviously more like .52 for miles fewer than 150 miles and things alike). I was fine with it, but when I looked at my check I noticed I was getting .42 or .43. So I called payroll and after a very lengthy discussion I found out that because I live in California they are required to show an hourly pay. So, what they end up doing is taking off 2 cents of my miles to make up for the rest pay that we get, which is minimum wage for 2 hours per pay period. They also informed me that there is PRODUCTION pay (miles) and HOURLY pay (uh.. hourly..). Whichever is higher, I get that pay. So, say I work 65 hours one week, that would be roughly $910 a week. That's good, no complaints. However, if I drove 2.1k miles at an average of .46, that would be $966 ($50 more a week, which is $200 more a month, $2,400 a year, so it adds up). But since I am in California, I don't average .46, I average about .44. So why would I want to run hard, use the same amount of hours, if I can just take low miles, work up my clock, and get the higher pay? I feel like I'm running hard for free if the hourly will just end up being more BECAUSE they are taking out more for production.

We also just recently got a 2 cent raise, but I won't be seeing that 2 cent raise since they take it out to cover rest pay. I have no complaints about Swift other than that, I want to stay with them longer but unless I am missing something or just being dumb and not understanding the pay, I feel like I am being used for miles. Am I overthinking this? Am I possibly not understanding something important? Is this a silly reason to leave a company?

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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I heard CRST only pays you for what you drive, not for what the truck drives. I know some companies pay you split or together (example, if you are on a .50 split, you get .25 for say all 5k miles that month, OR .50 for the 2500 you drove, because either way it is the same). I asked a recruiter and they said "No, you get the split for your miles, not all".. so I was like.. cool I get .32 for 2700 miles? I can make more solo. I could be wrong though, or the recruiter just didn't understand? Who knows.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Texas doing something about nuclear verdicts against truckers

This seems horrible. I have to do more research into this and what benefits the truck drivers have if this passes, if any.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Trucking under Democratic or Republican Government

I hate Trump, rambling idiot. But I believe the trucking industry will still thrive.

It isn't even political at this point, I'm more fearful of driverless trucks ruining this for us than who is seated in the White House.

But we can speculate all we want, come back in 4 years and see who was right or who was wrong. I just want people to be happy doing what they are doing, so long as they are not hurting others in the process.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Leaving dryvan to go to Flatbed

I'm still with Swift, but I'll no longer be doing their dryvan side of things. Someone from Phoenix got in contact with me and asked if I wanted to do flatbed (I had sent in an email a few months ago saying I was interested but they wanted me to have a few more months of driving experience before switching).

I go to flatbed orientation next week for Swift, but I'm kind of scared/excited. I've done a lot of research into flatbed and the hassles and struggles it offers but I like physical labor.

That and I was offered a job with System Transport and I heard they were good at training people like me with no flatbed experience and were a overall good company but I know Swift and I like it here. Plus I can bring my cat along in the truck at Swift, can't with System. So a totally new adventure awaits me next week.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Trucking landscape could look different after Nov. 3

Not going to vote for someone who is a public figure and refuses to wear a mask, of all things.

Also not going to vote for someone who looks like they are about to fall over any moment.

That being said, the electoral college decides, not our vote. :)

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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When to know how to start your backing

Soni was with my mentor and he always said "go this many trucks past" but I still never understood when to stop. If I want to do a offset doni just align my mirror to the center of the spot I want to back in and pull away until I am facing 12 o'clock then 9o'clock then just start backing in? How do I know when the setup is complete? He always said "go past this many trucks then start turning away" but what if I'm at the end and there are no trucks to measure that with?

I would keep asking "okay but how do I know when I am at the point when I want to start setting up for my back? How do I know how to set up?" And he just always said "past this truck start turning " but that didn't help me. Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Officially Going Solo Tomorrow. It's Been a Long Journey.

Well it's happening. I'm done with my 200 hours at Swift and they have my truck ready and everything. I'm more nervous than excited but I'm sure that's normal. I've got a lot of backing skills to improve on and I know my 2 weakest points.

1: My setup. I still don't know when to stop before turning. How far do I pull up before I start turning? Until the back of my trailer is in the middle of the front of the spot I want to go in then I start turning? That's one thing I will need help on.

2: I sometimes forget which way I need to turn the wheel to make my trailer respond. I know it's opposite (I turn my wheel left to make the trailer go right) but in the mirror I get stuck and panic a little.

But even despite all that I know I'm a safe driver. Never once did I trigger the cameras in the truck for following distance or speeding. If a car or truck get in front of me I just back off until I'm 6-8 seconds behind them again. No biggie. I just hope i don't miss any turns and panic or mess up. And those dang round-abouts. I guess at times you just have to hog 2 lanes in order to make your turn? Haha.

Well time to get started on this. I'll keep everyone posted on my first week solo.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Companies that will take on new cdl grads with 0-3 month exp and will do tuition reimbursement ?

So I finished my training with Swift and CR and I applied with Schneider and when they verified my work exp they said I was "experienced" with a little over 3 months verified. But I want something local and all they have is something where I would be home twice a week doing 6 western states.

Are there other companies that will take me with little experience but also do a tuition reimbursement? I tried US xpress but they said I still had a financial obligation to CR so they couldn't take me until that was fulfilled. Swift needs at least 6 months and so do other major carriers. I'm located in southern California if that helps.

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