Knight Swift Merger: Driver, And Customer Benefits

Topic 27360 | Page 1

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Aaron N's Comment
member avatar

I'm retired but am considering becoming a trucker. I have my permit and am looking into starting a paid cdl program in a couple of months. I'm particularly interested in Knight and Swift. This is my first post. Note: I mention Knight before Swift here only for consistency and because K comes before S in the alphabet.

I was wondering if drivers for Knight and Swift could comment on how, after about two years now, the Knight Swift merger has benefited them, and their customers. I'm particularly interested in:

1. Do Knight drivers have access to Swift terminals (e.g. to layover if drive hours are up and need to rest) and vice versa? 2. Do Knight drivers, at least sometimes, transport Swift loads and vice versa for whatever reason? 3. If a Knight driver lived in an area where a Swift terminal was much closer than a Knight terminal, would the Knight driver be allowed to work out of the Swift terminal, transport Swift loads, etc. and vice versa? 4. Is it a big deal for a Knight driver to drive for Swift or vice versa? 5. Has the merger improved driver training, as well as driver and public safety in any way?

Any other operational, or other changes you guys have noticed and want to comment on would be greatly appreciated.

AaronN Sacramento, CA

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Aaron!

I'm a steady and successful driver with Knight for over five years now. I think I can answer your questions.

Do Knight drivers have access to Swift terminals (e.g. to layover if drive hours are up and need to rest) and vice versa?

Yes, but I've never felt the slightest need to do so. There are ample and strategically located Knight terminals that I've never needed to rest at a Swift Terminal. To be honest with you, I'm not a fan of the terminal environment. Typically I park at truck stops. Terminals and their locations are more important to the purpose of the logistics business than they are to driver's convenience.

Do Knight drivers, at least sometimes, transport Swift loads and vice versa for whatever reason?

I've never seen this done. It may happen occasionally, but I don't think it's common at all. The companies, though under the same umbrella of ownership, are run as two separate entities.

If a Knight driver lived in an area where a Swift terminal was much closer than a Knight terminal, would the Knight driver be allowed to work out of the Swift terminal, transport Swift loads, etc. and vice versa?

There's no reason for this. Terminal location has little to do with how you are dispatched. I live in Texas. My terminal is located in Gulfport, Mississippi. My dispatcher sends me loads from the comfort of his home in Arkansas. This age of electronic communication is quite marvelous!

Is it a big deal for a Knight driver to drive for Swift or vice versa?

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. You will work for one company or the other. They are managed as separate entities. You don't swap back and forth at someone's whim.

Has the merger improved driver training, as well as driver and public safety in any way?

When you merge two operations like this you try to incorporate "best practices" from each of them. Part of the strategy is to improve all facets of the business, including safety. The answer to this from my perspective is YES!

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.

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.
Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

Only thing I'll add to what Old School said: we do now on occasion run Swift loads that they aren't able to complete on time.

Swift has the contract for Target DC #554 in Pueblo, CO, and I've done a small handful of loads pulling Swift trailers as a Knight driver. I don't consider it as being substantially different from running dedicated for Wal-Mart though, I'm just filling in a temporary crack in the customer's need for drivers, as opposed to being answerable to and dispatched by them (I hope this makes sense)

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Aaron, First off I am not a Knight or Swift driver, but feel I can still contribute to your questions. I am sure that since the merger, the drivers of both companies are entitled to stay at each others terminals. The company I work for (Schneider) bought a smaller company (Watkins Shepard) several years ago, and shortly thereafter I began seeing Watkins Shepard trucks parked at Schneider OC‘s. So I’m sure that that’s an industry standard.

The question about pulling each other’s loads... i’ll just say that regardless of your truck being branded Knight or Swift, there will never be a shortage of loads. That’s a non-issue.

With regard to driver training and public safety, i’ve observed Knight and Swift drivers to be some of the steadiest, safest, and most courteous drivers on the road. Of the numerous trucks I’ve seen crashed due to excessive speed on ramps or in inclement weather, I can’t remember ever seeing one being a Knight or Swift truck.

Congratulations with your retirement and best of luck with your trucking research. If you do decide to become a professional truck driver, please make use of The High Road Training Program found on this site, it’s the very best CDL prep learning program available anywhere, and it’s free.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Knight merged with Swift as Knight got Swift started back in the day (owners are friends) is the story I have heard about the "merger" deal Knight was my 1st choice 6 years ago when I began my research on this career......Life just didn't work out for this to be for me.....lol

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Knight merged with Swift as Knight got Swift started back in the day (owners are friends) is the story I have heard about the "merger" deal Knight was my 1st choice 6 years ago when I began my research on this career......Life just didn't work out for this to be for me.....lol

The owners are relatives.

James F.'s Comment
member avatar

Should you start with knight, then want to work for swift, or any other of their companys like barr nunn or abaleen, there would need to be a 3 month gap from when you quit knight due to a compete clause.

Aaron N's Comment
member avatar

What is the significance of "my terminal" (quoting Old School)? I worked in agriculture, construction and related most of my life. We had to report to a job site each day. How does it work for a trucker? Do you have to report to "[your] terminal" at certain times or...? For instance, I live in the Sacramento, CA area. Knight has terminals in Sparks, NV and Tulare, CA, about two and four hours (respectively) from me (in fair weather). Swift has terminals in Lathrop, CA (about an hour away, no fog) and Sparks, NV. How would where I live and these terminal locations affect me being dispatched or otherwise working dry van OTR for one or other of these companies day to day, week to week, or however a trucker would analyze it?

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.

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.
Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

What is the significance of "my terminal" (quoting Old School)? I worked in agriculture, construction and related most of my life. We had to report to a job site each day. How does it work for a trucker? Do you have to report to "[your] terminal" at certain times or...? For instance, I live in the Sacramento, CA area. Knight has terminals in Sparks, NV and Tulare, CA, about two and four hours (respectively) from me (in fair weather). Swift has terminals in Lathrop, CA (about an hour away, no fog) and Sparks, NV. How would where I live and these terminal locations affect me being dispatched or otherwise working dry van OTR for one or other of these companies day to day, week to week, or however a trucker would analyze it?

Terminals are only important if you cant park your truck at home. Sometimes people forget not everyone can park their truck at home on their 34 hr reset or hometime we all dont live on palatial estates some of us live on 1 way city streets with a garage off an alley. Not very truck freindly. Also when the nearest truck stops are 5 miles away but they happen to be in Gary In your company tends to frown on leaving them there.

But simple answer you dont report to terminals as an OTR driver. Theyre mainly hubs for drop and hooks or a place to get service done.

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.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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