I'm 3/4 Of The Way Through My 200 Hr. Mentor Phase W/ Swift

Topic 14975 | Page 1

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Tractor Man's Comment
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Hi All!

Its been a while since I've posted here. To describe my last 3 weeks in 1 word...Hectic! Been driving in "Team Mode" for the last 2 weeks. As the clocks have fallen, I have been driving almost exclusively nights. It has been tough on my body clock to get used to this schedule including back and forth through various time zones. I have not been a "Night Owl" for over 20 years! My sleep schedule is normally..... up by 0400 in bed by2100. It has been a very good experience though. I have driven through many 100's of miles of construction zones. Skinny lanes bordered on both sides by concrete barriers, glow in the dark orange pylons that seem like a bad halloween movie whizzing by in the middle of the night!

I have to hand it to all of the Team Drivers out there, it is a tough gig! I'm 50 hours away from testing out and going Solo. My Mentor is a great guy and we get along great. That is such a plus. I am just not cut out to live and sleep in a moving truck for 20+ hours per day.

I am currently in a Travelodge in San Ysidro, CA. for the weekend on Swifts dime. I could throw a rock into Mexico from here. My mentor went home for the Fathers day weekend. This is a MUCH NEEDED break in the schedule. We will both have a fresh 70 hour clock on Monday morning. Hopefully we can get a long coast to coast run next week and I can finish my last 50 hours by next weekend. Going to try to drive days next week to finish out my training, but that was the plan 2 weeks ago. Pick ups and deliveries can switch that in a heartbeat!

To everyone out there considering a Trucking Career. Be prepared for one of the TOUGHEST things you have ever experienced in your life to get started in this business. You won't have to change ANYTHING in your life.................... You will have to change EVERYTHING! The last 2 months of my life have been HARD. My Mentor has a Wife and 2 young children at home, I honestly couldn't do his job. I really admire him and others that can do this with a family at home.

Thanks to my TT Family out there in Cyberspace. This Forum really helped me prepare for this "Adventure". Thanks for all of the TRUTH!

Tractor Man



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.
Mr. T's Comment
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Glad to hear everything is going Great TM! I was wondering what had happened to you hut I know how it is in the training phase. Glad you & your mentor get along well because to me that is the Key if you wanna make it through training. I can still remember how eager I was to complete my last & final 50 hours. Felt like Forever! Lol. But again, glad your doing well & keep us updated!

PS I HATE Nights embarrassed.gif

Tractor Man's Comment
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Mr. T

I don't like to drive at night at home in my own vehicle when I KNOW where I am and where I'm going! LOL. BUT.....It has been a plus to be "forced" into it so early in my training. I'm much more comfortable with it than I was 2 short weeks ago. "Comfortable" does not mean I like it😠

Mr. T's Comment
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Mr. T

I don't like to drive at night at home in my own vehicle when I KNOW where I am and where I'm going! LOL. BUT.....It has been a plus to be "forced" into it so early in my training. I'm much more comfortable with it than I was 2 short weeks ago. "Comfortable" does not mean I like it😠

Lol I can agree with that! Safe Travels TM!

DSTURBD's Comment
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Hey there Tractor Man, I have been following your posts since you were in CDL school. I am about a month or a little more behind you and getting excited for my next phase. I should graduate and get my CDL the end of this next week, barring any unforeseen circumstances (fail test and have extra training), but that's not gonna happen!

Congratulations in advance, and hope to see you out there somewhere, sometime soon!



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.


Operating While Intoxicated

Tractor Man's Comment
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DSTURBD, I just finished reading your diary and posted a reply as you were posting this. WEIRD!!!


Turtle's Comment
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It's great to hear from you Tman. I was wondering how you've been making out, but figured it's been a busy time for you.

Hope the final 1/4 of mentoring goes well. Good luck!!


Tractor Man's Comment
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Thanks Rich!

Old School's Comment
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Hang in there Tractor man!

Glad to hear of your progress, keep it up. If you are like most of us, when they hand you those keys to your own truck you are going to be really excited, but then when you get to work you are going to feel like you forgot everything you just learned, and are getting started all over again. It's a never ending adventure, that is the thing about this job that endears it to some of us and causes other to despise it. I hope you have continued success and enjoyment of it all.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
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Old School tells the truth: You do "everything" with your mentor. You get your upgrade, and your very own tractor!

Bring it on! Your first dispatch.

Then you head for the shipper , empty trailer (hopefully) in tow. You pull up, the guard gives you directions. You remember the ARRIVED AT SHIPPER macro. Wow! Backing a trailer for reals. Unhook, find your loaded trailer.

Now what?

Best of luck, Tractor Man! Nothing runs like a Dier!


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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