Swift Diary

Topic 19355 | Page 2

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Traffic Jam's Comment
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In my mind I have some concerns about shifting. When I was originally in Truck Driving School (Midland College, Midland, TX) we had shifters and I learned it real good. However, when I then went to Con-Way they had different trucks (of course, Duh!) and the pattern and set-up was different. never did get it down and the mentor got quite upset with me at times, ha, ha.

Then when I went to Averitt they had auto-transmissions. I wondered how I would like that and right away, I mean in the first five minutes I realized this was great.

So, I guess I will learn it again when I go to Swift at Corsicana, TX. I won't be the first student who needs to learn this, AND my experience ought to help in some small way. I am speaking of the Midland College experience of shifting Though again, it will probably be a different pattern. I would have to guess that this is a fairly frequent situation that truckers face. Get a new/different truck and have to learn or become acquainted with a new shifting pattern?

-David (Traffic Jam)

G-Town's Comment
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Hey G-Town: I read what you posted on another diary about:

"Once under dispatch, learn how to "look-ahead" on the route when using Navi-Go, the integrated QC GPS system." It's a real education reading others diaries and the comments such as yours. Really helpful. My question is this: do you use an additional GPS system or do you just use what is provided in the Swift tractor you drive?


I do not use an additional GPS. When I first started OTR (before running Walmart Dedicated), I had a second unit,...but over time I realized it was overkill and I sold it.


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.

Traffic Jam's Comment
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Dear G-Town:

Thanks for the reply G-Town. Sounds like the combination of trip planning and Swift Qualcom GPS was ok?(Do they offer this on their "Qualcom?) I assume the directions they gave you were. . . . . . good? wrong? . . . . out of date?

Just read a book by Steve Richards, somewhat dated, 2006, Title: Driving A Big Truck or How I Became A Professional Tourist". He talks about how when he was driving the directions given with the shipping papers/by the dispatch were inevitably wrong/out of date. Even when drivers sent in corrections and up-to-date directions to a shipper or delivery site, the dispatch people or whoever was responsible never updated the directions. He did state that some companies seem to better than other companies on this.

Sounds like a driver has to take it upon themselves. Ultimately they are one the responsible. Comments?

If anyone wants to read the book, it is good. Like I said, kind of dated, it was printed in 2006. But it is a good read and has a lot of info on ins and outs of driving. For example, he discusses what to take with you when you pull through a Weight/DOT station and are told to pull over and come in the office. When I was mentored we went through a weight station once(just drove slowly through), other than that-well that was my education on that. If I had had to pull over and go in when I was on my own I would have been clueless. I think my trainer said, "Take the notebook in the driver's door pocket with you". Something like that. I don't knock him, I should have asked him about it and got him to open up.

No two ways about it, my mentor time is my time for training. I am going to ask these questions and etc. May 22 the training starts. Corsicana, TX. Just about six-7 hours from Plainview, TX.

-David (Traffic Jam)


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.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
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David the QC installed in Swift trucks has an integrated GPS called NavGo. It's fairly accurate and reliable.

The notebook your trainer mentioned is your permit and registration book. If you ever get pulled in, taking this with you is appropriate.

Traffic Jam's Comment
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Well, I thought this through and based upon two things, i.e., one other student on this site had similar problem and recommended students send a list of their Rx prescriptions to one's recruiter for review for pre-approval, and I was turned down by a good company because of one of my prescriptions.

My experience with Swift, I was told by a recruiter I was working with (Swift) that not all companies might have that same policy regarding the Rx prescription I am taking.

So today I did send in my list of Rx prescriptions. I asked them to review them and let me know. I feel this will save me time and money and Swift also. Sure enough, Swift said no on this. It was good to find out ahead of time so I can deal with it before I arrive at Corsicana.

I actually have an appointment with my doc and am confident this will be taken care of. My recruiter said I don't need any written proof or anything like that (that the Rx is null/void). Just must be off it or an accepted substitute.

-Traffic Jam

Traffic Jam's Comment
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Just read on one diary that at the Corsicana Swift School they start you into Haz Mat with he expectation this is one of the endorsements you will get. I was expecting to get it, had put off studying for it and realized I better not put this off-lots of mat-Tear-Re-AL!! So I am going at it, thanks TT.

Okay . . . column 6 on the has mat table is for . . . . . . . .

ps. I intend to try to obtain this any all the other endorsements I can. So this is good. Wow, that table . . . . .

VooDoo777's Comment
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I asked them to review them and let me know. I feel this will save me time and money and Swift also. Sure enough, Swift said no on this. It was good to find out ahead of time so I can deal with it before I arrive at Corsicana.

What did they say no on?

Traffic Jam's Comment
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Thanks for the reply VooDoo77.

It was a prescription drug my doc has me on.

If you have any prescription drugs and are new to trucking and going to start it might pay to submit a list of your Rxs for pre-approval before you go to the expense and time of traveling to the school/office, etc. That way, if you need to you could take action before you get there. This was some advice I picked up here on TT and it paid off for me.

-Traffic Jam


Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Traffic Jam's Comment
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I was working on Triples etc., on the High Road but switched to HazMat. Got it done yesterday. Wow, that was quite a list. At first I will have to admit as I looked through the material in the State "book" and then the list under Haz Mats in High Road I was to put it mildly . . . challenged. It seems they have expanded this portion of the book since 2013-or I am forgetting it all(Wow! I am only 64!).

But after getting it all done, going through it piece-meal as High Road has you do it, it was . . . easy! Ha! I did cheat though by taking lots of notes to review and I made flash cards. They help me review also. SO, if you are "challenged" like me when you view the list, just begin to take it piece by piece, you'll make it. If I can do it, I think anyone can.

My docs appt is May 17. Please say a prayer for me. Swift told me I don't need anything in writing but I am going to try to get this Rx prescription officially taken off my list, in writing.

-Traffic Jam


Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations


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.
Traffic Jam's Comment
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Well I am about done on what I am going to do on High Road. I was just reading the flatbed section but finally decided to wait and see if I go to Flatbed which at this point . . .. I doubt. I forgot for awhile that I was hoping to get on some kind of dedicated here out of or to Plainview, TX. There is a huge Wal-Mart Distribution Ctr., here.

Now the focus is on review of my notes, finish up getting everything ready to leave on Sat. Tomorrow we are going to see the grandkids!!! Watch one of them run and compete in track meet. Fun!

Saturday morning I am out of here to Swift Academy in Corsicana, TX. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!!!

-Traffic Jam

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