New Swift Driver Wanting To Switch

Topic 25783 | Page 5

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G-Town's Comment
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David suggests:

As for switching to a dedicated or regional. Talk to a driver planner not a driver manager or fleet manager.

No, this is not what you do. Each driver has an assigned DL (driver leader), they are the only person you should be talking to. The planners have no say on this and cannot be bothered with HR issues or change requests. This is a great way to alienate the most important relationship a driver has. Not smart.

David you’ve been at Swift for only 4 months and clearly have some misconceptions on how things work here. I have 6 years of experience, Platinum about to become Diamond on a NE Dedicated Walmart Account. No way in hell would I have the opportunities or income potential with a small company as I do with Swift.

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.

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.
Don's Comment
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WestSide Transport has a very good tutorial on YouTube (and mabe their website if I recall?) on how to adjust tandems and weight loads.

Craig, when you're in company training, your trainer should teach you how to scale and balance a load. Its much easier to actually see it being done, to understand it better. Basically you'll weigh at a scale, if not legal then figure out which way you need to move tandems or 5th wheel (very rare), make your adjustments, scale again to make sure you're good to go.

Some trailers have an air release and others have a manual release that will unlock (retract) the pins so you can move the tandems . When you move tandems, you are actually keeping the tandems (trailer wheels) in place, while you MOVE the TRUCK and TRAILER backward or forward as the tandems stay put. The tandems are on a set of slide rails attached underneath the trailer. These rails have evenly spaced holes in them. The holes are where the pins lock in. The spacing between the holes gives you an idea of how much weight per hole you're actually moving. When the wheels are where you need them to be to get weight legal, you lock the pins back in and then rescale the load to confirm that you're legal.

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".

Greg H.'s Comment
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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.

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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?

No, it's not 10%. You can't go by percentages. It's zip code to zip code. And yes, it can get off sometimes. And, sometimes you have to call your DL and ask, 'what's up boss, with this mileage'. For example, one load I had only showed 30 miles for Empty Miles, and in actuality it was 150 miles. So, yes, I wanted to get payed for a few more miles than 30. lol

So, yes, unless you are familiar with where you are or where you are going, you need to double check mileage from point A to point B. When you pull up directions on the Qualcomms Navigation system it will give you correct mileage to your destination. Just check and make sure it matches your dispatch information. It shouldn't be off by much. Usually you can figure it being off by ohhhh 5 to 20 miles. I usually start questioning it at around 50, ha ha or when there is a serious noticeable difference.

Sorry for the late response. Busy busy busy busy here lately.

When I was at the Academy one of the instructors said something that is very true. "We're not training you to just be Truck drivers but, Managers." You have to be on top of things yourself, and not rely on anyone else. Get help from others, yes, but, you need to be able to manage your own time out here.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
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