Thinking About Dumping My Corporate Job

Topic 23453 | Page 4

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FliteRisk 's Comment
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FliteRisk (nice tag by the way!!!), I spent the last 17 years of my previous life in supervisory roles. All of the baggage that goes with being 'the boss' goes away the minute you get into the career. The nice thing about driving is that, as you've already figured out from your research and other commenters here, you are responsible for yourself, your load, your equipment, and the spacial bubble around your rig. Period.

There is no drama, unless you choose to create it. And if you are sharp, which it sounds like you are (you're here seeking knowledge, after all) you will avoid creating drama. Your dispatchers and driver manager types will love you for it. Most of your coworkers will appreciate that you aren't living the reality TV lifestyle, and your blood pressure and overall satisfaction will benefit as well. Ive been doing this for a bit more than five years now, and love it. I went from OTR regional to day-cab local work. Jumped back into the sleeper for OTR regional again, as I missed it.

Good luck to you, and keep us posted on your progress.

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.

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.

FliteRisk 's Comment
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Thinking about starting with Swift.

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Welcome to the forum FliteRisk...very good choice, but not the only one you should consider. As follows...

As indicated by several of my good friends on the forum, I am indeed a Swift driver; have been running on one of their Dedicated Fleets delivering dry and perishable groceries to NorthEast Regional Walmart stores and Sams Clubs for well over 5 years now. For me this gig fits like a glove; I work with an awesome driver support team and planners. My relationships with them are intrinsic to overall success. Contrary to what you may have read on the Internet or heard, although Swift is a huge company with many, many moving parts, I basically interact with 2 primary Driver Leaders (DL), 2 planners, several weekend and night DL's and our Terminal Manager. At no time have I ever felt like just another "set of cheeks" in the First Seat. Nope... So...I could easily give you an extended commercial on Swift, pimping how wonderful they are. Yes they offer really good schooling, training, solid support for rookie drivers and almost infinite amount of driving options. Not my style to "sell" anyone on the merits of driving for them. Plus, honestly; one size does not fit all. Instead I will suggest that your success is based primarily on you, and NOT the company you are driving for. For the most part, the same basic principles apply and will deliver positive results no matter the name displayed on the door of your truck. If you are a safe and efficient driver, you will be successful at Swift, Prime, CFI, Schneider, West Side, Werner, CRST, CR England, Knight...etc., etc.

I always recommend to Newbies to exercise all of the available options and look beyond a single choice. Review the contents of the Truck Driver's Career Guide to get a feel for the types of OTR driving jobs available. Steer clear of local, tanker, and anything associate with a "Dollar" type of store. Dry van , reefer , and flatbed are your 3 best considerations as a rookie driver. Think about where you want to run be it regional, dedicated to a single customer (like I am) or coast to coast. And how you want to run; be it solo or team.

Spend some time looking through these links:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Trucking Company Reviews

You can use this link to apply once you have settled on your top 3-4 candidates:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Once you have thought this through further, reviewed the links we have sent, I'd be happy to expand on Swift's Company School (Academy), their road-training called Mentoring and upgrade to First Seat Driver.

Good luck!

I have decided on swift and most likely be in the next class on October 8th. I would really like to get more of your insight on swift. You ever run Walmart’s in Martinsburg WV?

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I used to manage 90 guys at my dads business. i left for a postal career with great benefits and a pension. after two years as a temporary and 16 as a regular employee and i walked out. I went to MO got.my CDL and wish i did it sooner as Turtle said.

i love not having to deal with bum coworkers.

i concur with GTowns statement that being at a mega carrier is not being lost in a sea of numbers. even the mechanics know me. i make it a point for people to know me, so when i need something i get the help required.

line haul would drivr me crazy. Christian here on the forum left Prime for OD P&D and does line haul on the weekends. having a set start time, working 14 hours every day, having an hour commute each way that eats up your 10 hr

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I have run Northern Virginia; as far west as Harrisburg Pa. North to Johnstown NY (Albany) east to NJ and DE beaches, Baltimore; predominantly the North East.

I am happy to provide additional insight into Swift. What exactly do you want to know?

And to put an exclamation point on Rainy’s reply, make yourself visible in a positive way.

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