What Should I Do ? Swift Has Me Stuck And Giving Me The Run Around

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Deonte M.'s Comment
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Hey guys I work for swift , or at least I used to. Due to some family issues I had to quit and take a local job . Even though I had the chance to just quit and leave while I was on my hometime in Atlanta , I didn't . I decided to do things the right way and I put my 2 week notice in and even went back Otr as normal during my 2 weeks. Big mistake. Because now the company has me stuck here in South Carolina for 2 days and now all of the sudden they can't "find a load for me to get back " and "it's not their responsibility to get back home on time ". The issue is not so much as my dispatcher who I have had a great and productive relationship with , it is the supervisor who is making things difficult from trying to save dollars on empty miles driven . I now feel angry because I have always treated my dispatcher and supervisor with respect and did countless favors for them including working during my last 2 weeks when THEY ASKED ME TO. I feel like I'm getting burned really bad because I'm not sure if I'll make it back on time to start my new job . What do I need/should I do ?

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Old School's Comment
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Best Answer!

I just have to respond to this thread because it has been bothering me since it first got posted. Deonte is a great guy and we have enjoyed him being in here - his enthusiasm was refreshing, and he really seemed like a decent respectable young person, which is hard to come by these days.

What bothers me about this post is that it leaves the impression that a decent well known company has done him wrong. I don't like what happened to Deonte, but the real truth here is that he just didn't know how to deal with quitting his trucking job effectively. He made a classic rookie mistake when he quit (I'll explain in a minute) and he didn't follow our all important advice of sticking it out for one full year. I saw where he stated:

Due to some family issues I had to quit and take a local job

I don't need to know his particulars, but this goes back to something we've talked about often in here which is not letting the tyranny of the urgent run your life and force you into quick, or possibly bad decisions. Often times we think we have had our hand forced, when in reality we caved under pressure. It is a wise man who can understand the difference.

Now here's what stood out to me as a rookie blunder. Deonte, gave us this information:

Even though I had the chance to just quit and leave while I was on my hometime in Atlanta , I didn't . I decided to do things the right way and I put my 2 week notice in and even went back Otr as normal during my 2 weeks. Big mistake.

Okay, for anyone who is new to this and reading through Deonte's difficult experience, here is what he should have done. Let me preface this by stating how much I wish Deonte would have just jumped in here asking us how he should go about this before he got into a bind, because we could have given him this good solid advice and saved him a lot of trouble, and kept him from accusing Swift of doing him wrong in a way that he will not soon forget. I've been through this whole switching OTR jobs thing, and I know how trying it can be. Deonte had an unfortunate chain of events working against him when his truck had to go into the shop - that is not the fault of Swift. The way he could have prepared for the unforeseen is a common but simple practice that OTR drivers do when they know they are going to turn in their two weeks notice. Look at what Deonte said:

I had the chance to just quit and leave while I was on my hometime in Atlanta

He decided to do the honorable thing and put in his two week notice - that is great! But here is what any experienced driver would have done if he knew he was going to give notice, go back on the road for only two weeks, and then expect to be brought back so he can start another job. He would empty out his truck while he was at home prior to his last two weeks.

I've been down this road before, it is very simple to just go ahead and empty out your truck and run for two weeks without all your conveniences in the truck. It is not hard, and as long as you have a few changed of clothes and some canned meats and some crackers along with you then you can still survive without spending a fortune on food. Had he come in here for some advice before he started the accusations, that is exactly the good solid advice he would have gotten from me. Two weeks isn't that long to live a Spartan lifestyle for a bit. Just have enough stuff with you so that you can throw it into a large duffle and leave. Part of being a successful truck driver is being prepared for the unforeseen events that throw off our schedules, those unplanned delays. That is why we lay out a strategy to try to get to our receivers early, we never know what kind of delays we may encounter on the way. It is the same when we want to leave our jobs. Deonte had no way of knowing his truck was going to have issues, but had he planned ahead for a contingency he would have not been inconvenienced like he was.

Continued...

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I completely understand Swift not wanting to spend money on a guy who just bailed. I don't think people realize just how long it takes for a new driver to get to the point where the company is actually starting to make a dollar off of their efforts. Deonte was probably just barely at that tipping point in his career where he was starting to operate in an efficient enough manner so that he was turning a profit for the company, and then he jumped ship. He can accuse Swift of doing him wrong, but he didn't give them a whole lot of a chance to benefit from his efforts. In all fairness to Deonte, he did seem happy with his relationships at Swift:

The issue is not so much as my dispatcher who I have had a great and productive relationship with , it is the supervisor who is making things difficult from trying to save dollars on empty miles driven

He just didn't give them enough of a chance to prove how great it can be to work for them. By leaving before he reached that all important one year mark he didn't give them the opportunity to benefit from his improvements as a new driver, and to be honest with you, he short changed himself in the transaction. He now moves on to an incredibly difficult job for newbies with a lot of stops everyday in ridiculously tight parking lots and very tight schedules for delivery times. He will have a lot more physical demands on his young body and will experience some fatigue in his job. All these are good reasons to have stayed on with his first job for one full year of safe driving experiences

Dispatcher:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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You can't do anything, nor should you do anything other than to wait it out. They'll get you there soon enough. You can't possibly think they're going to drop everything and do whatever it takes to get you home immediately like the world is going to end if you're a day or two late. I mean, they're not a travel agency. When the freight is available they'll get you home.

Just remember business is business. They're not going to have you run a ton of empty miles or repower a bunch of freight just to hurry up and get you home. I mean, you didn't alter the future course of your life to stay on as an employee. They're not going to alter how they do business to get you home immediately. Don't take it personally.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Brett. I want to add that you should call the new company and explain your situation to them. Just do it with a smile on your face without blaming anyone. They know the industry and how things work. You may even be on your way as i type this. Relax. We tend to stress out most when things are out of our control. Good luck. If you need to let off some steam, just yell at your truck. It's in the same boat as you. Trucks just want to move. good-luck.gif

Deonte M.'s Comment
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Well admittedly I might be spoiled when it comes to going back to atl when I want because I've never been late getting back not once . My dispatcher has always had superior planning , plus there is a terminal there . Also , I have been one of the few drivers who never had to sit a day in his life ... Well until 2 days ago that is .

I have spoken with my new company and he says it's fine .

And when I've spoken with swift it's been the same kind demeanor that I've always had .

Oh here's a new wrinkle. I have to be towed to a shop because my truck won't regen properly . I'll keep updates with what's happening .

I'm just afraid of sitting for more days ...

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Like I said just roll with it. Unfortunately right now it is out of your control. Swift will get you there. Contrary to what you see on line, business are generally not out to screw there employees and customers. You are a tiny cog in a huge machine. That is just life. You look young. You will learn and grow from this situation. I promise you that 6 months from now this will be a memory you will laugh at. Also, stay pleasant with Swift no matter what. You never know when you may need them someday. Life has a way of working out in strange ways. Good luck with your new job.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Here's a different take on it... although you may be needed... the new company may appreciate that you didn't just cut out on swift. It means you won't disappear on them and appear to be reliable. I'd rather employ someone of integrity who honors their commitment than someone who could jump ship at any time.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Hey Deonte. Been a while since we have heard from you. Good luck with that new gig, and like others have said I think you are handling yourself with integrity and professionalism. Try to be patient,...not unlike a relationship breakup. Rainy made a good point though, keep the doors open with the people at Swift you have developed a rapport with. You never know when and where you paths might cross again. Although I know you know this (more for the newbies reading this), whatever you do, stay with that truck. Abandonment is one of the Cardinal sins of trucking.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Not too much to add here. Sorry to see you getting the runaround.

But - as everyone mentioned - better to communicate with your new gig, and part with Swift on good/professional terms.

Never know when you might need a reference from them, and you don't need an abandoned equipment on your DAC.

Best of luck, keep us posted on your new gig...

Rick

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Deonte, good to hear from you, but too bad it's a "vent" for your frustration.

I often get to SC, taking a load in then loaded (sometimes dh to NC or GA) back out. I also have been marooned there a couple of times. It's not because you put in notice, it's that there's no outbound traffic.

I know another "be patient, bro" is useless when you're already cross eyed with waiting. But Swift, and all truck companies, really want to move their drivers only when they can move freight and make some money.

The thing about dealing with Swift's people with professionalism will go far. Your Swift DM appreciates it, you'll be emotionally stronger from this experience, and New Trucking Co. will see they're getting a driver with integrity. They'll have a spot for you, not to worry.

Keep us posted.

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.
Deonte M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello to all my old friends who decided to pop in!! Good to see all of you are doing great!

UPDATE: Got load back home but missed it due to truck being broke down. DEF issues and doser assembly malfunction . Wont be ready till Wed . Because I put my two notice in and my last day fell on Fri. Swift Refuses to pay for my hotel until then , or bus fare back home. The told me "you should have driven back to atlanta when you had the chance " Meaning i should have just done it without the ok i presume , and once you quit the company we aren't spending any money on you anymore". They even told the shop here H&H to not let me back in my truck to get my stuff after today. Another issue is we all know that our trucks is our homes, so I can't possibly grab all of my belongings with just my one travel bag that i have in my truck. Asked about how am i supposed to get all my stuff with just my two hands and my travel bag? they said not their problem figure it out...

I mean.... Damn..... they are treating my like i abandoned their truck and its my fault that it broke down. It seems Swift is acting like a spiteful ex spouse who is trying to get me in anyway they can at the moment . I always been a top notch employee and person to them so i know i don't deserve this.

I don't know trucking truth family , but this is definitely something ill never forget. Send prayers my way.

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