Swift Vs. Prime: The Battle For Supremacy.

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Ben Eggers (Kreaper)'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the title I'm a video game nerd and the note does say make the subject memorable.smile.gif

Anyway, Can anyone give me a pro/con on Swift and Prime because all I can dig up is what I can find on the Company Sponsored Training section. and I'm kind of leaning toward Swift because they're the only ones to have a recruiter actually get back to me other than a single email. But on the same token My sister (whose father happens to be a trucker for FedEx, and is friends with at least 3 Truckers that I know of) told me Swift is a No no, which directly contradicts the Training review Here and everything else I've read so far. I really want to make a better life for my tiny family and working 13 hours a week at Kmart is not cutting it which has led me to Trucking Truth.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

When you're choosing a company the first things you have to decide are what type of freight you'd like to haul and how often you'd like to get home.

As far as the types of freight available, both Swift and Prime have a ton of options. Swift has nearly everything - dry van , refrigerated, flatbed, intermodal , and all sorts of various dedicated fleets. Prime has a ton of stuff too - refrigerated, flatbed, and food grade tanker.

As far as home time, Swift will likely have far better options than Prime. Prime is mostly OTR so on average you're out 3 to 4 weeks and home 3 to 4 days. Swift will have options for home every night, home weekends, or of course you can run OTR. Some of those various options may require putting in a few months time before they become available.

After that you want to look at pay. Prime pays a little bit better than Swift but it's not so much more that it should be the only deciding factor.

Another one to look at is equipment. Both companies have outstanding equipment. The only thing to note is that you may wind up in a lightweight truck at Prime which has quite a bit less room in it than a full size truck but they will pay you better to compensate for that. Daniel B, one of our moderators and a trainer at Prime, says you can get a full size truck if you have a solid reason for needing it - like maybe you want to have a passenger along with you.

One final thing to consider is where you'll be running. It's more likely you'll cover more of the country with Prime than you will with Swift. Swift will tend to keep you in a certain region of the country more often where with Prime you will likely get the opportunity to see most of the 48 states at some point, though you will spend the majority of your time toward the Eastern half of the country.

Really both companies are outstanding. This is a great choice to have. For me personally the choice between those two would likely come down to the home time I wanted, the possibility of getting assigned a lightweight truck, and which regions of the country I wanted to travel. If you want to get home more often and stay in a particular region of the country, Swift is the way to go. If you want to stay out longer and see a greater portion of the country, Prime is the way to go. You may or may not care much about the lightweight truck. I personally would much prefer the larger truck but I don't know if I would avoid Prime just for that reason.

Here are some more resources for you:

Category Of Articles: Finding The Right Truck Driving Job

Career Guide Chapter 5: Choosing Your First Truck Driving Job

Article: How To Cut Through The Negativity And Choose The Right Trucking Company To Start Your Career

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Mr. Eggers, you're gonna have to learn quickly that in this industry you have a TON of whiners and complainers. Truth be told, you can be successful at any of the major carriers. The majority of 'reviews' on trucking companies are useless. Lots of axes to grind on the internet. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can be better equipped to be on the road to success. Your ability to succeed in this industry will rely primarily on you - your work ethic, and your attitude will make or break you. A lot of new drivers get that negative pollution ( internet reviews and rants from bitter, older drivers) in their head, and then it's too easy to blame others for their lack of drive and willingness to do what it takes to get the job done. It's a tough job, and it's easy to blame others for personal failure.

Granted, these are big corporations. They're not gonna hold your hand. It can be tough to make a living, but they want you to succeed too - it's their profits on the line, based on YOUR productivity.

Welcome to the forum, and enjoy the journey!

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Mr. Eggers, you're gonna have to learn quickly that in this industry you have a TON of whiners and complainers. Truth be told, you can be successful at any of the major carriers. The majority of 'reviews' on trucking companies are useless. Lots of axes to grind on the internet. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can be better equipped to be on the road to success. Your ability to succeed in this industry will rely primarily on you - your work ethic, and your attitude will make or break you. A lot of new drivers get that negative pollution ( internet reviews and rants from bitter, older drivers) in their head, and then it's too easy to blame others for their lack of drive and willingness to do what it takes to get the job done. It's a tough job, and it's easy to blame others for personal failure.

Granted, these are big corporations. They're not gonna hold your hand. It can be tough to make a living, but they want you to succeed too - it's their profits on the line, based on YOUR productivity.

Welcome to the forum, and enjoy the journey!

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah ... What 6 String says.

With all respect for your relatives, how does your sister come up with Swift = "no no"? For one of your Life Decisions, listen to her advice, but ask what's behind her negative opinion. (Disclosure: I drive for Swift, but I'm calling out your sister's authority on things Trucking.)

P.S. Good thing you didn't title this thread Epic Rap Battle of Trucking!

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Ben Eggers (Kreaper)'s Comment
member avatar

With all respect for your relatives, how does your sister come up with Swift = "no no"?

confused.gif I truly have 0% Idea on how, other than her friends and her dad, she came to her opinion. (and I wouldn't exactly give her an "authority" more of a 1/2 informed opinion.) But I have been cruising Trucking Truth before I registered for an account and have been using the High Road program and am currently on page 5 of Bretts book, so I feel (in my humble uninformed opinion) that I am slowly making my way to being more informed.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Keep at it Ben. Besides Trucking Truth, you'll find some good drivers out there who realize that success depends on the driver - not the company. Granted, you might have some very small outfits out there that might be less than desirable to work at, but for all the major carriers, they WANT you to succeed - they WANT to give you the job.

Glean what you can from the forum. And definitely study the High Road. When you can blast through the questions and are getting perfect, or near perfect scores, you'll be more than prepared for the driving exams. I went through the entire High Road twice. I'm about to start again, just as a refresher.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Mr Eggers, good answer. Most opinions you've seen on the internet are so very negative that you could wonder that if they were true, how come the government has not hauled the company president into court for treating & cheating their workers so badly.

If you talk to truckers about companies, only ask them about the people they work for now. Even it they did work somewhere else, they are not there now, so don't waste your time (It's probably a negative opinion anyway.)

Since you have taken all those grains of salt looking at internet rants, understand the core of 6 string rhythm's comment:

Granted, these are big corporations. They're not gonna hold your hand. It can be tough to make a living, but they want you to succeed too - it's their profits on the line, based on YOUR productivity.

(I bet you "get" this anyway.) Neither Prime nor Swift will waste time with you. Meaning, there's a job to do, this isn't even High School, it's work. Let's get busy. Now!

I'll tell you my opinion on Swift, but I can't compare to anyone else since this is the only place I've driven. The company is fair to the drivers. I often got little "extra" payments (layovers, cancellations, surcharges) on my paycheck without me asking about it. Meaning they payed me for the extra duty and I didn't have to argue. After the first month, (I could tell when this happened) I started getting dispatches even before my current load was delivered. Meaning, I was more or less always running - a good thing.

Enough rambling. Most companies are so similar, that's what makes your choice so hard. But I know you'll make the right one for yourself and your family.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Ben Eggers (Kreaper)'s Comment
member avatar

Well, Errol

Since you work for swift Can you tell me the general policy they have for Home/Trucks? I only ask because I see a lot of posts about putting X,Y,Z in the truck but it is still a Company truck (for company drivers anyway) so if you aren't in your truck for say a week as an example because of whatever reason be it vacation or injury do you drop you truck at a yard and then whoever needs a truck that is at that terminal gets your truck or does it sit there until you come back (I am basing the assumption off of a "Sinnizter the trucker" (Knight trans driver) YouTube video I saw where he was speaking to a Reefer Recruiter and she said if you're down for more than X days they need the truck because if you're not driving they aren't making money. https://youtu.be/ziPC2uRlzPM) , So if this is the case what do you do with your stuff?

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Sclose757's Comment
member avatar

Every company is different when i was in your situation before joining a company sponsored training program i had to decide what it was i looking for .. for me as an example i needed free training that would allow me not to be a financial burden to my family until i was making a check.

Swift pays for your hotel room but not food.. after a month that adds up. Prime fronts you $200 a week and gives you a meal card for the first week you get there...

Others pay you minimum wage starting on day 1..

Next was home time... what i wanted vs what they offer

Most Company-Sponsored Training want you as OTR with 3-5 weeks out and 3-4 days of home time. This varies with companies. Some may have ya home for a day within 2 weeks ask about this.. I'm personally prepared to not be home till December I started Prime psd 3 weeks ago.

Then there is pay. There's a lot of info regarding pay.. cents per mile aka cpm this can vary from 18 cents to 45 cents for starters

There is also stop pay detention pay breakdown pay and so on and so on there's a wealth of knowledge here

Most company sponsored schools have. 1 year contract if you leave early there may be fees ask the recruiter about this. .

Also in picking a company find out where their terminals are if your home is close to one you have a greater chance of stopping by home when you drive through. I choose one with a terminal far from me to make being on the road easier as i wont get swayed to stop home and get too comfy my first year ... I'm weird i guess lol

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Sclose757's Comment
member avatar

Well, Errol

Since you work for swift Can you tell me the general policy they have for Home/Trucks? I only ask because I see a lot of posts about putting X,Y,Z in the truck but it is still a Company truck (for company drivers anyway) so if you aren't in your truck for say a week as an example because of whatever reason be it vacation or injury do you drop you truck at a yard and then whoever needs a truck that is at that terminal gets your truck or does it sit there until you come back (I am basing the assumption off of a "Sinnizter the trucker" (Knight trans driver) YouTube video I saw where he was speaking to a Reefer Recruiter and she said if you're down for more than X days they need the truck because if you're not driving they aren't making money. https://youtu.be/ziPC2uRlzPM) , So if this is the case what do you do with your stuff?

I can answer that lol

You take your stuff out this happens a lot unless you're an owner/operator

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

What's all this X, Y and Z stuff? Are you using Algebra?

Yes, you may "lose" your truck. From the company point of view, the truck needs to be rolling. If it's parked somewhere, it's not making money, ya know? I took up to four days at home, and no squeak from the DM about my truck. Other than that, I never asked how long I could park the truck.

Yeah, Sinnitzer is da kool bro, dat's fo sure! I watched several of his videos. His heart is in the right place. Nothing like asking your recruiter, or DM or someone who ought to know.

BTW, check out ABCO Transportation in Dade City. They don't take on new drivers, but after your year of OTR experience, ABCO may be worth looking into.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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