Profile For Drew Oswalt

Drew Oswalt's Info

  • Location:
    One of them in California, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 months, 3 weeks ago

Drew Oswalt's Bio

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Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Truckers Path new routing highly inaccurate

Thank you Jeremy and Grumpy.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Truckers Path new routing highly inaccurate

For follow up , has Truckers Path released an update that fixed issues brought up on this post? If it works well enough , I don't want to buy a Rand McNally GPS unit. But kind of want a Rand McNally GPS so I can have the dash cam (as a back up to the company one).

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

And I read the top tier driver link. Very helpful, and lines up with what some of the the staff at school and driver development told us.

I've read a lot of useful articles, blogs, and posts on TT. This site is one of the more usefull ones out there.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

Hey Drew, you're not going to make any more money by teaming than a good solid solo driver makes. Just focus on being the best you can be as a solo driver. Learn to manage your hours, move your appointments, and gain some street smarts on how to be more productive. In short, learn to be a Top Tier Driver.

Thanks Old School. I've read here and other sites, that you really don't make that much more. If any. My classmate and I were going to discuss this more when we're a couple months into soloing, and do the math. If it only adds a couple hundred a month to our checks, it's not worth it. Most likely I won't team drive. But have to research it. Just like, I wanted to get reefer and flatbed experience in. Already got a few days of reefer and not liking how loud it gets. But I can sleep when the truck is moving.

I'm leaning towards flatbed, get 2-3 years experience, then heavy hauling. We'll see how things go. One day at a time.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

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Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

I did make the safety report the next day as I said I was going to do. They actually told me I should report/make a statement anytime I see a company employee being unsafe. Including L/Os and O/Os. Which makes me feel good about the company. Safety is a priority. Or they were covering their behinds because of what I told them. They did say if the driver caused an accident and hurts/kills someone, then it would be on our conscious if I didn't make the report. I would rather just believe that safety is a priority.

Everything seems fine. Doesn't seem to be any backlash. Driver Development called me last Friday. But I had my phone on silent mode (need to whitelist all company numbers). They had a new trainer for me. I called back about an hour later. But missed my chance (trainer was ready to go within hours). I think one of my classmates got him. Which is great! The classmate has been waiting 3 weeks for a trainer.

As for me, the extra time has allowed me to repack my stuff. Leaving laptop, some clothes and a lot of food at home.

Just bringing:

•14 days worth of clothes (if certain items are worn 2-3 days), baseball cap, jacket •Freeze dried coffee, some snacks, protein bars (10) •1-2 days worth of emergency food/water (just going to eat truck stop food and protein bars) •Toiletries, couple rolls of TP (for places that may have run out and can also be used as napkins), wipes, couple thin towels (for showers at the terminals), shower sandles •Phone chargers and 12v plugs •Sleeping bag (North Face. compresses into a pretty small stuff sack), pillow and top sheet •Gloves (2 pairs)/safety vest/flashlight (pen and headlamp) •Study material/required paperwork for training •Just a few packs of smokes (other states are cheaper than Cali. Everything fits into a duffle bag and a backpack. Except the sleeping bag and pillow. I think that is a good general list to follow with variations for personal preferences and, budget and dietary restrictions.

I already put in about 42 hours of driving (4 days, 2058 miles. Drove almost max hours right off the bat. Would have more miles, but hit "end of holiday" traffic several times on the 7th and that construction on the 15 through AZ). I only have around 158 hours left to do when I get a new trainer. Might have to add on a few hours to make up for everything my original trainer didn't do and have me do. I'll attach a picture of my elog.

Any way, I can't wait to finish training and get my own truck. I already love driving and am looking forward to living the trucker life. My wife and I are going to work our butts off to save money for a house. We're going to apply for a VA loan. There are good areas of the country near a Swift terminal, where one can get a 3 bedroom house for $250-300k. But, it really depends on the miles I can get. I'm just going to do what the company wants me to do, build a good relationship with my DM and who ever else divvies out loads, and hope I can get all the miles I can. I was planning on sticking with the company for at least 12-18 months and go from there.

Might even try team for at least 6 months with a classmate to make a little extra dough. But that's down the line and a 40/60 chance of me wanting to do that.

Thanks again for all the help and input!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

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I'm at the terminal. Made my written statement. All factual. Didn't report anything about the way the mentor drove (65+ mph in California, using cell phone while driving, etc.) I'm just waiting for the report to filter through to the driver development team, so they can assign me a new mentor.

Thanks again everyone.

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If that guy is doing it “the wrong way” by speeding, texting, etc. you need to report it. You think he will just suddenly stop his bad habits one day? NO! He’s going to pass them on to the next student, so break the cycle of bad behavior by him! If he were doing what he’s supposed to be doing, he would have nothing to worry about. See? You did NOT disclose all the facts, did you?

Suppose he runs over a minivan full of pre-school kids because he was speeding and you had the chance to report him and didn’t? How would you feel?

My report was only supposed to include the lack of training and lack of daily paperwork (why I requested a new trainer). His speeding and cell phone use will be brought up tomorrow. There will be a sit down. They were still waiting for the report to get back to them. Don't worry. I don't want to share the road with someone that irresponsible.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

I'm at the terminal. Made my written statement. All factual. Didn't report anything about the way the mentor drove (65+ mph in California, using cell phone while driving, etc.) I'm just waiting for the report to filter through to the driver development team, so they can assign me a new mentor.

Thanks again everyone.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

Thank you Big T. I appreciate your advice.

I'm meeting with a Driver Development staff member in the morning. Get everything sorted out.

Funny thing. As soon as I told my former mentor I had a "family emergency", he immediately called someone and asked for another student ASAP. So, obviously, he'll do this again.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

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I thought about it last night. Didn't sleep at all. At this point, I won't get the proper training. He just runs me until my time is out, immediately puts me on sleeper. Once that 10 is up. I'm driving right away.

I brought up stuff I need to learn, keeping my own set of training paper logs, like I was told to do in orientation. And his reply was we'll get to it. And I didn't need to do my own set of logs. I got safety points because there was no pretrip done.

Just drive and sleep. That's it. Not learning anything else. If that's all I ever had to do, I'm fine. But, I need to learn the Qualcomm , trip planning, macros, hooking the trailer to the 5th wheel, tandems , etc..

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I'm in agreement with G and others (including my earlier post). Sounds like it's time to pick up the phone.

It's one thing to be treated like "meat in the seat" - and quite another to not get your questions adequately answered, or get trained in the skills required.

But - as you mentioned earlier - there are people still waiting to get a trainer, so you may have to wait to be re-assigned a new one. At this point, the wait might be worth it - versus coming out of your training miles lacking the skills you need to be safe & successful.

Rick

I whole heartedly agree. Waiting a few days to weeks to receive proper training in my new career/life is well worth it.

I already love driving. I can deal with the truck stops, the life style, odd sleep schedules, stupid/crazy/reckless 4-wheel drivers, etc. Just need to reset to a new trainer. Get it done right and safe.

This website besides a couple othershas helped out quite a bit. Thank you all for your continued advice and input.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

Drew, what company are you with?

When I read stuff like this, I realize how great my trainer was at Schneider. And then there's Mr. Turtle, and Rainy, etc. But not every student gets a great trainer. Very sad.

It's not the company. I think they did a great job getting me ready to go out with a trainer. It was an intense few weeks. But it worked for me.

I already knew there are bad trainers out there. But many more great ones. I did my best to voice my concerns. They went unheard with the driver. So, I had to make a decision to not be his mule anymore.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

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If this is the way your first 50 is going I hate to say it but the next 150 isn't going to be much better.

I would chat with your mentor and explain your concerns and if it doesn't work then have a conversation with your DQ person. It is not unreasonable to request a place with facilities.

More important though is that you get the training. If they are not going over the qc with you, paperwork, and procedures then you are being used for your clock.

Part of the issue out here is too many students don't speak up when mentors are not doing their job.

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The lack of proper training is the issue. I posted this elsewhere and everyone replied that I should get a new trainer. Prolonging training is fine. I want to be trained properly before I go solo. Don't need to damage property or kill anyone.

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Drew considering you are with Swift, please carefully consider Big-T's suggestions. He is a highly competent Swift Mentor, clearly understands the process and what is expected. I absolutely agree with his statements and suggestions. Talk to your mentor, try to work it out before addressing it with the Driver Development Manager (you should have met them when you were initially introduced to your mentor).

Force the communication to occur. It's your training, and unfortunately you need to be your own advocate.

I thought about it last night. Didn't sleep at all. At this point, I won't get the proper training. He just runs me until my time is out, immediately puts me on sleeper. Once that 10 is up. I'm driving right away.

I brought up stuff I need to learn, keeping my own set of training paper logs, like I was told to do in orientation. And his reply was we'll get to it. And I didn't need to do my own set of logs. I got safety points because there was no pretrip done.

Just drive and sleep. That's it. Not learning anything else. If that's all I ever had to do, I'm fine. But, I need to learn the Qualcomm, trip planning, macros, hooking the trailer to the 5th wheel, tandems, etc..

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

Is this trainer on a lease?

Yes. So I figured I'm being used.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

The lack of proper training is the issue. I posted this elsewhere and everyone replied that I should get a new trainer. Prolonging training is fine. I want to be trained properly before I go solo. Don't need to damage property or kill anyone.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

All I'm doing is driving. When we get to a receiver or a shipper, he is on the clock since mine is out. I ask him about backing, elogs, Qualcomm, he says we'll get to it. I highly doubt it at this point. He's sleeping halfthe time when I'm driving. First 50 hours, he's supposed to be in the front seat training me on stuff. Also, as soon as my clock is up , he puts me in the sleeper. I asked him why am I not put on "on-duty" . He said we may need the time later. Sounds fishy. I have the extra time to study. I'm not losing sleep to study right now. Makes no sense when I have on duty time.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trainer's behavior

My trainer ends up picking up a load where he lives every couple days. Ends up parking the truck in a shopping complex parking lot. And leaves me there. Nothing is open after 10PM. We get there after closing. Always. I asked for a truck stop before and they got huffy about it. I mean, I've been running max hours from day one, with no complaints. I think I deserve to be left in a lot with some facilities.

I feel this is unethical. But on the other hand, I will be done with "training" very quickly. But really am feeling i'm going to get the short end of the stick and not get proper training. We're due to go team in a couple days. I feel any training I have received is to make sure I don't f' up the trainer's truck and maximize what they can make off of me. Which is fine, if you want to make more money. But at least teach me stuff. I ask questions, but they're so busy on their phone, they don't even acknowledge my questions. And if they are answered, it's half-ass.

Should I deal with this crap? Request that he parks the truck at a truck stop? Or request another trainer. Mind you, I have classmates that have been waiting close to 2 weeks for a trainer to become available.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Sorry everyone

Congratulations Driver! I'm with Swift also. I'm going out with my trainer tomorrow. Good luck with your otr training!

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Packing for swift duffle or suitcase ?

Are you going dry or reefer? Good luck. Im sitting there now. I deliver around the corner in a few hours

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Thank you Big T and Bruce K. I appreciate your responses.

I may see you around Big T. I'm with Swift and Jurupa Valley will be my home terminal.

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I'm not sure if I'll be dry van or reefer with my trainer. I get what I get. As long as they smoke, I don't care really. I have to go to the DMV tomorrow since I tested Saturday. Then I'll know what's up a couple hours later.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Packing for swift duffle or suitcase ?

One of my students brought 5 large duffles, a sleeping bag and pillow. Their stuff literally covered the when top bunk. They had the nerve to complain about the lack of space I'd provided for them. I gave them a cabinet space and room in both my refrigerator and the onboard refrigerator (that's right, I have two, lol), and I also let them store drinks in my personal ice cooler.

Ok, that was just an example of what not to do, or bring. 5 large duffles, waayyy to much stuff. I mean, come on, the whole top bunk. And they weighed a ton each.

Any student of mine will never go without water. I will not provide for them but, I will make sure that they at least survive the trip.

I'd prepare to sleep with your stuff. I just measured, never have b4. The top bunk is approx. 2 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet. And, unless you are a very large person, or very tall, you can put stuff at the foot of, and sides of the bed space.

One of my students would take their stuff down and put it in the passengers seat while they slept. This was fine. They were a rather large person.

Hey, we don't live in a perfect world. Even though I do believe that trainers should provide a little space, they will not always do so. And, I personally only provide so much space. One reason is because, I have no idea how long you will be on my truck. 2 days, 2 weeks, who knows, I've had both. If I provide all of this extra space for you, then it takes away from space I could have used for myself. I'd have to purchase more stuff out on the rroad.

So, prepare for the worst case scenario and only bring what you can fit into that 2 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet space, including yourself.

Regards....

Thanks for your input Greg H.

That's crazy. Why would anyone need to bring that much stuff. Unless they literally brought all their belongings. I brought enough clothes to last 2 weeks w/o having to do laundry. Factoring in, wearing pants 2-3 days. Everything else is set for a daily change. Food and drinks will wittle down daily. I'm 5'10" and am skinny. I should be fine with everything on my bunk.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Packing for swift duffle or suitcase ?

Thank you Big T and Bruce K. I appreciate your responses.

I may see you around Big T. I'm with Swift and Jurupa Valley will be my home terminal.

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