Swift Or Western Express?

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Light S.'s Comment
member avatar

These are my only two options now and can't decide. I mean I know Swift has this reputation all over the country but I know Western has had some negative things. No idea who to go with. Thanks all.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

These are my only two options now and can't decide. I mean I know Swift has this reputation all over the country but I know Western has had some negative things. No idea who to go with. Thanks all.

Whichever one has routes and cargo that suits you.

Swift has a reputation for having accidents, right? Maybe that is because they have 20,000 trucks on the road, driving well over a BILLION miles a year, so statistically they will be involved in more accidents, just because of the sheer numbers of trucks on the road and miles traveled.

I'm not sure what reputation Western Express has, other than being a second chance company. If you need a second chance, I bet they sound like a great company. They have 2600 trucks on the road, they must be doing something right.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't believe everything you may read (negative reviews) on some internet forums. Both are successful trucking companies that offer many options for drivers. Swift probably offers more options, due to it's size, than Western Express. But either one are fine.

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.

Brian's Comment
member avatar

We have a few Swift drivers on here to include a moderater. And also have a moderater who drove for Western Express give them a few they'll chime in.

Chris M's Comment
member avatar

I don't have any experience with Western Express, so I won't speak about them.

I've been with Swift for 2 years, and have not experienced anything like the horror stories that you can read online. Every negative I've experienced, has been handled with courtesy.

The biggest thing I can say about Swift, is there is a real effort being made right now towards attracting and keeping good quality drivers, and efforts to change their overall reputation.

In my experience, if you can't be successful at Swift, the problem is you, not the company.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Doesn’t see the Light...yet

These are my only two options now and can't decide. I mean I know Swift has this reputation all over the country but I know Western has had some negative things.

If I had a dollar every time I read this sort of thing...

Light what you know about Swift is basically nothing. Same for Westrrn Express. I suggest NOT wasting anymore time surfing the Web of Lies and Misinformation.

I have been with Swift for almost 6 years now committed to a north east regional Dedicated Walmart Account delivering dry and perishable groceries to Super Centers and Sam’s Clubs. I have yet to experience any of the “Swift garbage” scattered about in Cyber Space by the former students/drivers unable to meet the challenges of this job. My CPM is at 56 now, another 5-6 CPM 1/4ly bonus, plus stop pay. I average $260 per day. Money talks my friend...

Swift has too-notch training conducted by company schools and certified affiliates. One of our moderators on TT is a Swift Instructor based in Memphis. Hopefully he will provide additional information for you to consider.

One of our most highly respected moderators Old School successfully started his career with Western Express. I consider him the foremost authority on their operation.

Please invest your time wisely and thoroughly review and study the links posted in Bill’s reply. I can provide way more positive and valuable information on Swift when you are ready.

Good luck!

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

USMC AAV's Comment
member avatar

I'm going to add my two cents on this one also, but first I have to agree with G-town! The vast majority of what you will find on the internet about Swift and Western Express are false and have bias opinions from people who made comments about these companies when they felt wronged or were ****ed off.

My brother has worked for them as Long haul flatbed driver, flatbed trainer and now drives dedicated. In total he has about 8 years with this company. "Old-School", one of the moderators did in fact start his career with Western Express also I believe, and he can offer loads of good information.

That being said, I will say this. I know three drivers that are currently with them (we graduated truck driving school together and have kept in touch). All of them, say that it is fantastic place to work. That being said they all have had to learn about the trucking industry and pay their dues. If you go into this industry with assumptions and expectations about a glorious lifestyle you are in for a shock. There is a big learning curve and mastering all the ins and outs takes time.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Light, and welcome to our forum!

It always bothers people who are starting this career when they realize their options are limited. I understand why they feel this way, but it actually makes it a lot easier to make a decision and get started. The one huge factor that everybody overlooks when starting this career is that the least of their worries is the name of the company on their truck's doors.

I don't know how many hundreds of people we've seen laboring uselessly over spreadsheets of information, trying to make just the right decision, as if there was some strange conspiracy out here working to make failures out of the folks who accidentally chose the wrong company to start with. It's ludicrous when you realize that those same companies that they finally decide are the perfect starting place, have thousands of people completely bomb out as rookie drivers each year.

What does that teach us?

Success at trucking is a hard fought battle that starts with a clear understanding of what it takes to make a go of this. It has nothing to do with the company, and everything to do with the individual. Individuals who understand this principle can and will succeed no matter where they start.

Trucking requires a strong work ethic. That holds true at every single trucking company out here. It also requires determination, discipline, and a lot of effort and drive. It's a very competitive field, which I sometimes compare to sports. Trucking is not easy - at least it's not easy to make a good start. Imagine how tough it is on rookie year athletes who get their first shot at the big leagues. Everything about their success depends on how they perform their duties on the field. It doesn't matter if they have the "Patriot's" logo on their helmet, if they can't prove their worth on the field then they're gone. It's that simple, and that's exactly how it works in trucking.

I somehow found myself with limited options when I started this career. To be honest with you, Western Express was just about the only company willing to give me a shot. I took the opportunity and never looked back. They did everything they could to keep me moving, and here's why. All of these trucking companies quickly recognize the few new rookies they have who demonstrate a propensity for success. They will gladly get behind those drivers with lots of support and great opportunities to help them continue proving themselves. That's how it works. It's that way no matter what name is on the truck.

Don't believe all that trash talk on the internet. It's extremely misleading, not to mention demoralizing. If you start at Swift or at Western Express, you are going to meet people who are already convinced the company is setting them up for failure. Guess what? It's the same story at the companies who the "spread sheet geniuses" determined are something special. Don't fall for the hype, and separate yourself from the vast number of losers at orientation. March to the beat of your own drum and make sure you stand out as a rookie who wants to be a professional.

I spent my first year and a half out here working for Western Express as a flat bed driver, oftentimes in the top ten producers on a monthly basis. Your results in trucking are on you - the responsibility for success lies squarely on your shoulders. Every rookie who thinks it is the company's responsibility to make them successful will ultimately be either a miserable trucker or an all out failure.

We teach people everyday about becoming successful drivers. If you'll hang with us a little it will help you get your mind right concerning the approach. We've got a ton of really helpful resources here to help you. One of the finest is this free, and easy to read, online book. Check it out - it's a quick read and I am sure you'll enjoy it.

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm the Swift instructor G-Town talks about. Swift has opportunities for you in most major truck operations. Before my first year at Swift was up, I got experience in OTR , regional dedicated (Georgia Pacific) and shuttle/line-haul. Even a couple of weeks as Walmart refrigerated.

The competition for good CDL drivers is so intense now that you'll find it hard to be unhappy at most trucking companies (mainly the ones that do not push you to team drive). Do not limit yourself to "Swift or Western Express". If you understand the lifestyle of a truck driver you shouldn't have a problem finding the "right" job.

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.

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.

Light S.'s Comment
member avatar

A big thank you to all of you for taking the time out to reply.. and long replies at that. Yeah, I was one of those spreadsheet guys right after CDL training back in 2015. A lot of the other students were doing the same thing and me being a complete greenhorn was buying into it. I called almost every company the school printed out for us and only got the megas that would accept me and of course I had a few opportunities with slightly more appealing companies but I ended up turning them down because of personal issues that cropped up so that is why I am now where I'm at where I'm stuck with these two companies. Western want me to sign the contract to commit to a year. Swift said they would road test me without any contract but I am leaning more towards Western because they seem more my style and slightly a smaller company without that top brass feel to it. lol, guess I'm spread sheeting again.

I do realize it's up to me and it is something I am willing to try. I definitely want to do van. It would be more convenient to go with Swift because they have a terminal just 40 miles away but someone once told me don't always think the more comfortable choice is the best choice. Anyway, I appreciate the detailed responses. I wish I'd signed up for this forum before truckers report.. nothing but negativity over there.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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