New Grad Starting At Swift

Topic 26170 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar
That triage/Southwest is what I would like to do. I hear that it doesn't pay as much as 48 usually. But, as long as the bay isn't that much less, I would definitely think that the advantages of it would outweigh a little less pay.

Hey Jim, understanding truck driving pay is a little complicated for newcomers. I'm curious, what you see as advantageous about that Southwest Triangle?

The way you make money and enjoy this career is to develop yourself into a top performing driver. Typically that's easier to accomplish by starting out as an Over The Road driver, doing the lower 48 states. I always recommend people start there, then move into something more specialized like a dedicated account or a more regional position if that's what they desire. You'll have such advantages as an OTR driver. You'll have much more flexibility and availability of loads, and a much greater variety of different customers. It really gives you a great foundation to build your career on. You'll have plenty of time out on the interstates and less stress dealing with multiple stops and high traffic areas.

Don't let varying CPM rates get you confused or lead you in a certain direction as a rookie. Your pay rate has a much lesser effect on your gross wages than does your ability to get things accomplished. There are drivers in my fleet working at the same or similar CPM rate as me who are struggling to make even half of my pay. I'm pointing that out as an illustration of how this whole truck driving pay thing is very much misunderstood by most people. Everything about our pay is performance based. The folks who get the most done take home the best paychecks. Consequently they are also the ones who get preferential treatment when it comes to load assignments.

Being a Top Tier Driver makes it all come together for you. If you can focus on getting great results and being highly productive you will find yourself really enjoying your trucking career and reaping the rewards that elude so many new drivers.

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.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

What division you pick doesn't really matter. Both will be available when you get done with your mentor.

You can switch divisions if you want. I'm a mentor on the reefer fleet out of Jurupa Valley, but the last couple students I've gotten were hired on for dry van.

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Jim, I'll just say that the advice you received from G-Town is very sensible. You need to get through the process to make an intelligent decision. Keep your options open until you get more education and information.

But don't fret the reefer option. There are many drivers here that are very successful with reefer. You will do fine with either dry van or reefer, as long as you apply yourself, educate yourself, and work hard. Whatever you choose, being safety conscious is the most important.

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I have heard hat Swift ask you what division you want during their orientation. That doesn't make much, since that division might not be available once you finish your four to six weeks mentoring. But, if it is true, that means I would have to make a decision at orientation in two weeks. So I am trying to find out some information now.

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I start orientation next Wednesday. Who knows, maybe you will be my mentor. It would probably be a good thing to mentor on a reefer to see if I like it. Do you do 48? I have been told to bring whatever will fit in a duffle bag and backpack, and be able to place those two at the foot of my bunk. Would it be too much to bring a large laptop to take care of bills and such? I have also been told to bring a sleeping bag or blanket. Should I also bring sheets? How long after orientation might I get onto a truck? Thanks!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

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That triage/Southwest is what I would like to do. I hear that it doesn't pay as much as 48 usually. But, as long as the bay isn't that much less, I would definitely think that the advantages of it would outweigh a little less pay.

double-quotes-end.png

Hey Jim, understanding truck driving pay is a little complicated for newcomers. I'm curious, what you see as advantageous about that Southwest Triangle?

The way you make money and enjoy this career is to develop yourself into a top performing driver. Typically that's easier to accomplish by starting out as an Over The Road driver, doing the lower 48 states. I always recommend people start there, then move into something more specialized like a dedicated account or a more regional position if that's what they desire. You'll have such advantages as an OTR driver. You'll have much more flexibility and availability of loads, and a much greater variety of different customers. It really gives you a great foundation to build your career on. You'll have plenty of time out on the interstates and less stress dealing with multiple stops and high traffic areas.

Don't let varying CPM rates get you confused or lead you in a certain direction as a rookie. Your pay rate has a much lesser effect on your gross wages than does your ability to get things accomplished. There are drivers in my fleet working at the same or similar CPM rate as me who are struggling to make even half of my pay. I'm pointing that out as an illustration of how this whole truck driving pay thing is very much misunderstood by most people. Everything about our pay is performance based. The folks who get the most done take home the best paychecks. Consequently they are also the ones who get preferential treatment when it comes to load assignments.

Being a Top Tier Driver makes it all come together for you. If you can focus on getting great results and being highly productive you will find yourself really enjoying your trucking career and reaping the rewards that elude so many new drivers.

Old School, one of the main reasons that I want to do Southwest or Western 11, is that it seems more of my kind of driving. I rather drive in wide open spaces without many cities such as in the West, coastal West an exception of course. Once outside of LA, it's 250 miles to Las Vegas, or 325 Miles to Phoenix with not much in between. I feel that I will be more productive in these kind of areas. I feel that it will make it easier to plan trips with nothing but open roads and not city after city to slow me down. I have read, What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver, and feel that I have gone through my life applying those recommendations. I have always been punctual and easy to work with. I have been reading input from you guys and gals on this forum, and I have some ideas on planning and staying organized. I will always take time to plan my trips and will have a plan b and plan c. I know that there are other aspects of pay besides cpm, such as safety and fuel bonuses, and sometimes detention pay. Those extras are nice, but my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles. I will be willing to take some bad load if that means I might latter get good loads.

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.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
I know that there are other aspects of pay besides cpm , such as safety and fuel bonuses, and sometimes detention pay. Those extras are nice, but my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles.

Jim, the reason I asked about your preference is because it limits you to the loads in that area. I understand about the West being wide open, but that L.A. area is a killer to deal with in my opinion. I remember watching Raptor and his trainer sitting a lot and waiting for loads - they were running that area. They never turned a lot of miles that I noticed.

I'm not being critical of your choice, I just want you to realize your rationale for it may not be real accurate. As an OTR driver your dispatchers and planners have so many more options to put before you. I mean you could be in L.A. and they could give you a load to upstate New York! That's some big miles! Like I said, I just wanted you to look at it differently. The OTR experience is really the best way to get started at this. It has so many options, and it really is a wonderful experience.

I wouldn't ever try to get you to focus on things like detention pay, or even bonus money, so you've got the right attitude when you say...

my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles.

I just think that is easier accomplished by opening up your horizon to a bigger playing field.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

I won't be getting another student until September. Once I finish my current student I am picking up my son for a couple weeks.

I do run 48 and you're correct on packing. Just remember whatever you bring may end up with you on a greyhound if they need to send you to a mentor. The laptop is up to you, but if you can do it on your phone that would be a better option.

How long it takes to get on a mentor's truck all depends on how many are available and how picky you are.

double-quotes-start.png

What division you pick doesn't really matter. Both will be available when you get done with your mentor.

You can switch divisions if you want. I'm a mentor on the reefer fleet out of Jurupa Valley, but the last couple students I've gotten were hired on for dry van.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Jim, I'll just say that the advice you received from G-Town is very sensible. You need to get through the process to make an intelligent decision. Keep your options open until you get more education and information.

But don't fret the reefer option. There are many drivers here that are very successful with reefer. You will do fine with either dry van or reefer, as long as you apply yourself, educate yourself, and work hard. Whatever you choose, being safety conscious is the most important.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

I have heard hat Swift ask you what division you want during their orientation. That doesn't make much, since that division might not be available once you finish your four to six weeks mentoring. But, if it is true, that means I would have to make a decision at orientation in two weeks. So I am trying to find out some information now.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

I start orientation next Wednesday. Who knows, maybe you will be my mentor. It would probably be a good thing to mentor on a reefer to see if I like it. Do you do 48? I have been told to bring whatever will fit in a duffle bag and backpack, and be able to place those two at the foot of my bunk. Would it be too much to bring a large laptop to take care of bills and such? I have also been told to bring a sleeping bag or blanket. Should I also bring sheets? How long after orientation might I get onto a truck? Thanks!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I know that there are other aspects of pay besides cpm , such as safety and fuel bonuses, and sometimes detention pay. Those extras are nice, but my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles.

double-quotes-end.png

Jim, the reason I asked about your preference is because it limits you to the loads in that area. I understand about the West being wide open, but that L.A. area is a killer to deal with in my opinion. I remember watching Raptor and his trainer sitting a lot and waiting for loads - they were running that area. They never turned a lot of miles that I noticed.

I'm not being critical of your choice, I just want you to realize your rationale for it may not be real accurate. As an OTR driver your dispatchers and planners have so many more options to put before you. I mean you could be in L.A. and they could give you a load to upstate New York! That's some big miles! Like I said, I just wanted you to look at it differently. The OTR experience is really the best way to get started at this. It has so many options, and it really is a wonderful experience.

I wouldn't ever try to get you to focus on things like detention pay, or even bonus money, so you've got the right attitude when you say...

double-quotes-start.png

my main focus will be on what I should do to get loads and burn some miles.

double-quotes-end.png

I just think that is easier accomplished by opening up your horizon to a bigger playing field.

Old School, I live on the outskirts of LA, about 70 miles inland from the coast, close to Jurupa terminal. Your are right. LA traffic is a nightmare. That 70 miles at rush hour takes about 3-4 hours in a car. Basically, 50 miles inland is good except LA area, in which you must get about 80 miles inland to be free of traffic. But once out of those areas, it's pretty much open, except a city here and there. Jurupa is right in the middle of West Coast distribution warehouses. I guess this areas is like a hub of a wheel with spokes going in every direction. I am hoping that many of those spokes will be to Western states. Maybe some drivers operating out of Jurupa and Inland Empire area could fill in and verify if business is still moving out of this area. I would really like some input as to how much freight moves out of this area to Western states, in order to help me make a decision. I am still open to all. I am just hoping to have an opportunity to work Western and turn some miles. Once I leave the Jurupa area, I am hoping to work Western except coastal.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jim S.'s Comment
member avatar

I won't be getting another student until September. Once I finish my current student I am picking up my son for a couple weeks.

I do run 48 and you're correct on packing. Just remember whatever you bring may end up with you on a greyhound if they need to send you to a mentor. The laptop is up to you, but if you can do it on your phone that would be a better option.

How long it takes to get on a mentor's truck all depends on how many are available and how picky you are.

double-quotes-start.png

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Too bad Big T. I sure it would have been great mentoring with you. Have fun with your son. I am hoping to take my son with me whenever I qualify. How long does it take to be eligible for a passenger? Are kids allowed in winter months? Will you be around Jurupa terminal toward the end of next week? If so, maybe I will see you.

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.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

As soon as you upgrade you can take a rider. Not sure about winter months but I'm heading to the terminal tonight and can ask Monday morning.

I don't know when I'll be back at the terminal. One of the reasons I like otr is I never know where I'm going next.

double-quotes-start.png

I won't be getting another student until September. Once I finish my current student I am picking up my son for a couple weeks.

I do run 48 and you're correct on packing. Just remember whatever you bring may end up with you on a greyhound if they need to send you to a mentor. The laptop is up to you, but if you can do it on your phone that would be a better option.

How long it takes to get on a mentor's truck all depends on how many are available and how picky you are.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Too bad Big T. I sure it would have been great mentoring with you. Have fun with your son. I am hoping to take my son with me whenever I qualify. How long does it take to be eligible for a passenger? Are kids allowed in winter months? Will you be around Jurupa terminal toward the end of next week? If so, maybe I will see you.

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.

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.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

You may want to borrow a couple of pagesfrom the 12-Step recovery programs...

One Day At A Time!

Easy Does It!

smile.gif

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