New Swift Driver Wanting To Switch

Topic 25783 | Page 4

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Rick S.'s Comment
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I personally do not use a truck GPS. Because even they will give you bad directions. Talk to the CRST driver that drove down the Atlantic City boardwalk.

I use my Atlas and Apple maps. But the most important things I use: my eyes and my brain. Apple maps is mainly for traffic alerts. I plan my route out using my Atlas, then I follow what my eyes tell me.

As far as axle weights go. Remember, slide your trailer tandems TOWARDS the problem. If you drives are overweight, slide your trailer tandems forward. If your trailer tandems are overweight, slide your trailer tandems rearward.

When it comes to sliding your 5th wheel, you move it AWAY from the problem.

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Good info here but can you explain how fix the weight problem in a bit more detail. If this ever comes up I wanted to be prepared to handle it.

Since you're still "on the fence" about even getting into this career - while it's good you have an "enquiring mind" - weights and balances are covered pretty well in the High Road Training section of the site.

The most IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW about weights - are the max weights per axle (which can cary somewhat from state to state), and max GROSS WEIGHT (which is typically 80K).

You will actually learn how to balance a load - when you get into your actual road training. Though the physics and math of it are actually pretty cool.

Rick

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Rob T.'s Comment
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Https://youtu.be/vSa3HDE50R4 this video is a quick run down of sliding tandems. It may help explain it a little easier. My first driving job I never had to deal with tandems , when I got trained at my current job I was shown how to slide them only once due to real nasty winter weather. I watched a couple YouTube videos and got it figured out now I'm sliding them a couple times a day. Your trainer will show you as its required to make most OTR load legal.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

I personally like the Counter button. Someone has already mentioned it. Of course, I'm probably a little more picky than some people. I'll counter until I get one that I feel comfortable with. I've rejected a few too. I usually never hear anything about it. You have to remember that the times you're originally given are computer generated, and they usually do not include enough *actual* time to pick up and deliver. So, yeh, you really need to use your own good judgment.

A good preplan will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

I'll get out a pen and pad and sit there and right down everything if I have to. This will include time to fuel, scale, take a 30 minute break, traffic (California can sometimes mean adding an extra 2 hours), and so forth and so on. Anything you need, write it down, figure it up, and then counter a load with your own times. Forget the computer generated times.

Getting in a hurry, or thinking that you *have to* will only get you into trouble.

Be a good and safe driver. Keep a strong head on your shoulders

And remember, no one knows everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.

Greg, is it true that the practical miles that most companies use to estimate trips and pay is about 10% less than actual miles? If so, do you add about 10% to the mileage of a run when planning?

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Greg, is it true that the practical miles that most companies use to estimate trips and pay is about 10% less than actual miles? If so, do you add about 10% to the mileage of a run when planning?

There's always going to be a difference between what the load is booked at, and what the actual hub miles are going to be.

Rest assured - the company is not going to under-bid a job and get beat out of $$'s.

Practical Route Miles calculates mileage pay based on the shortest practical distance a truck can travel. This measurement is taken from the downtown post office box of the starting location and ends at the downtown post office box at the destination. According to Rand McNally, “The Practical Route is the most time efficient method of driving. Practical Routes tend to be the more desirable route of travel.”

So 10% is actually likely to be more than the actual difference, but it balances out (depending on the size of the zip code). One load may be LESS hub than the actual practical miles - and one may be MORE.

But again - at this stage of your planning (on getting into the industry), is yet another thing you really don't need to worry about AT THIS VERY MOMENT.

There are a number of factors that go into trip planning (for time) - fuel stops, average road speeds, where you're going to take your breaks, etc. - NONE OF WHICH are going to make a lot of sense, until you're actually sitting down in a truck, with a load - with the companies routing and fuel stops, Google Maps, Rand McNalley MC Road Atlas and a bunch of other factors. You'll figure out (close to) your ACTUAL MILES, when the load has to be there - and plan your time accordingly. Going through Atlanta on I-75 - between 6AM & 11PM - better ADD SOME TIME (I've sat for hours on a SUNDAY).

Again - like scaling loads - this is WAY DOWN THE ROAD for you - since you haven't even decided if you want to do this yet.

ALL WILL COME AND BE TAUGHT IN DUE TIME GRASSHOPPER. Little to early for you at this stage of the game, to get your head wrapped in this.

Rick

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

What Ray is experiencing is what all rookies go through. Changing routes or companies wont fix that. Ray, I think you need to request some home time and decompress. But do not give up. Everything you do the first year is a learning experience. Good Luck

Nervous about Going Solo? You are not Alone!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rainy wrote:

What Ray is experiencing is what all rookies go through. Changing routes or companies wont fix that. Ray, I think you need to request some home time and decompress. But do not give up. Everything you do the first year is a learning experience. Good Luck

Nervous about Going Solo? You are not Alone!

Totally agree with Rainy's assessment and many others on this thread... Ray there is no grievance to be filed/reviewed with your DL, this is all about rookie expectations and dealing with challenges absorbing the steep and unforgiving learning curve. A “change of company” at this point may actually be the worst thing you can do. Swift has a vested interest in your success...and is there to help you succeed (contrary to what the Internet Pseudo-Experts would have you believe).

Use the QC to communicate with Swift (self-documenting audit trail of communications) and then follow-up with a phone call if need be.

Here is a link to an article I wrote documenting the things I deal with as a rookie...proving you are not alone and that we all went through what you are experiencing...

The Freedom of Trucking, "Blessing or Curse"

David F.'s Comment
member avatar

I am currently on my fourth month with Swift. You need to build your experience to change to a better smaller company. Warning all companies have good and bad things. As for switching to a dedicated or regional. Talk to a driver planner not a driver manager or fleet manager. I am sticking with over the road for now. I miss my wife and home a lot but good experience. My frustrations with Swift is they keep running me regional and local dedicated type runs, very frustrating.

Hey all, been browsing this site for awhile and decided to train at Swift...finished schooling and mentorship and am in my 2nd week of solo driving. My question is, how do I go about asking to switch to a pure dedicated account where I can get home weekly or every other week?

I'm also considering switching companies, solo driver on a dedicated or regional account where I can get home weekly or every other week. Any input on where to go? Just so frustrated with Swift right now...I just don't know what to do but know that I'm frustrated with the company and my friend is considering leaving too...

Any input would be greatly appreciated!!

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Fleet 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.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I am currently on my fourth month with Swift. You need to build your experience to change to a better smaller company. Warning all companies have good and bad things. As for switching to a dedicated or regional. Talk to a driver planner not a driver manager or fleet manager. I am sticking with over the road for now. I miss my wife and home a lot but good experience. My frustrations with Swift is they keep running me regional and local dedicated type runs, very frustrating.

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Hey all, been browsing this site for awhile and decided to train at Swift...finished schooling and mentorship and am in my 2nd week of solo driving. My question is, how do I go about asking to switch to a pure dedicated account where I can get home weekly or every other week?

I'm also considering switching companies, solo driver on a dedicated or regional account where I can get home weekly or every other week. Any input on where to go? Just so frustrated with Swift right now...I just don't know what to do but know that I'm frustrated with the company and my friend is considering leaving too...

Any input would be greatly appreciated!!

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It may be frustrating, but take a step back for a moment and look at it from a different perspective. Think of what you are learning as a new driver. Things such as effectively managing your time and deadlines, extra opportunities to hone your backing skills (most everyone needs this for the first year), dealing with extra traffic and congestion in urban settings. Try to gain something from the positive aspects of shorter trips.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Fleet 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.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
I am currently on my fourth month with Swift. You need to build your experience to change to a better smaller company.

David, can you explain what makes a smaller company a better company? I'm curious about your thinking. Do you really believe that, or is it just something you've heard? If you think it's true, then please try and give us some real reasons why you think that way.

Warning all companies have good and bad things.

Again, this is a saying truckers have been throwing out there for years. I don't know how they can elaborate on it. How does one determine what things are bad? How would a company that has a lot of bad things going on even have customers or employees. I mean, it's a free country - we can choose who we do business with. We can choose where we work. I'd never work for some company that has a bunch bad mojo going on.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

David F.'s Comment
member avatar

First off did you macro 22 the load or just show up late? If you are going to be late macro 22 and let driver manager know. Hang in there get your experience like a I am doing and go from there.

Sorry for the late response, the company gave me very tight deadlines for my first 2 loads and I was late both times., couldn't help not being late. They gave me an 8 hours window to drive 583 miles...the first load I was late because the tractor I was given was leaning one way, and the frame was twisted. Been sitting at least a third of the time at the moment...

Maybe it is like you've said, I'm still adjusting. They put me in a 2016 Freightliner and my anxiety is skyrocketing because of the safety blitz.

My recruiter gave me wrong information so I was kinda roped into the dedicated account my mentor was on which is Otr one way and dedicated the other way. I really do want to stick it out at least 6 months...please tell me it gets better lol

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.

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.
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