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Ahmalia's Comment
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Just checking back in. It's been awhile. Joined up back in 2012 when I decided to become a truck driver. For any newbies I highly highly recommend the CDL practice course on here.

So, I am still with Swift. For the last two years I have been on a dedicated shuttle Fleet. That means I pick up at our yard in Kansas City and drive to St Louis where I meet another driver at a truck stop and we swap loads. Then I bring that load back to our yard. This is Monday through Friday overnight. So I'm home every night, well everyday, and off on the weekends.

Anyway, just saying hi. 😊

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
So, I am still with Swift. For the last two years I have been on a dedicated shuttle Fleet. That means I pick up at our yard in Kansas City and drive to St Louis where I meet another driver at a truck stop and we swap loads. Then I bring that load back to our yard. This is Monday through Friday overnight. So I'm home every night, well everyday, and off on the weekends.

I drove the other half of that run - between Memphis and St. Louis - before I got into Swift's Academy as instructor. (I moved to the Academy before you started the run.)

midnight fox's Comment
member avatar

Errol, do you know if Swift would have runs like this into Minnesota? I'd looked into linehaul opportunities in the state, just to have an idea of what I could transition into after being OTR for a few years, but since Swift is ideally my first choice, I'd be interested if everything works out of course to do something like that while staying in the same company.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Midnight Fox, Errol will answer when he can, but it's really hard to know what all is available in these big operations. The other problem is that the trucking business is so fluid that things change regularly.

I remember G-Town calling me one time concerned that Swift was possibly being pressured out by other companies bidding on the Wal-Mart account. It happens. Many of these dedicated accounts get re-bid on a schedule.

I had this really strange experience once at a Knight terminal where the security guard wouldn't let me in. My truck had the SAPA logo on it because that was the dedicated account I was on. I was clearly employed by Knight. I even had my employee badge. But the rule was "Knight" trucks only. The security guard wouldn't budge. He was unfamiliar with the dedicated account I was on.

I'm just sharing that story to illustrate how much opportunity is available in these large companies. You can find something with Swift that will help you reach your goals. Just stick with that OTR job at the beginning. Establish yourself and you will have ample opportunity to make a change that suits you.

Oftentimes the opportunities are not well known by everyone.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Ahmalia - how are you doing girl?

It's always great to hear from you! I'm thrilled to see you're still in the game. That means you're healthy and still able to drive these beautiful big rigs.

It's really great to see you in here!

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

A lot of people are afraid to talk to recruiters because of the bad rep they have. But most wont lie to you if you ask about certain jobs and opportunities. Don’t just ask what is available now at your experience level, but what could be available once you get required experience. Drivers pulse is also a good tool to see the available opportunities. Swift definitely has a lot of opportunities besides for otr linehaul.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift has a terminal in Inver Grove Heights MN (hometown represent!) Just south of st paul/Minneapolis. I'm sure they have linehaul/shuttle positions but I couldnt tell you where they're going to or from.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Errol, do you know if Swift would have runs like this into Minnesota? I'd looked into linehaul opportunities in the state, just to have an idea of what I could transition into after being OTR for a few years, but since Swift is ideally my first choice, I'd be interested if everything works out of course to do something like that while staying in the same company.

The place to find out is at your local terminal. Ask at the T-call window about line haul or shuttle assignments.

They like local people to get on these accounts since you always start & end at that terminal. However, as Old School suggests, the shuttle business varies. Here today, not so much tomorrow, then maybe they add a line. When I was driving Memphis to St Louis there were four tucks a day, two trucks day and two trucks at night.

As for staying in the same company, Swift does have many options. Again either the T-call window or your own DM can help you out.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dm:

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.
Ahmalia's Comment
member avatar

Ahmalia - how are you doing girl?

It's always great to hear from you! I'm thrilled to see you're still in the game. That means you're healthy and still able to drive these beautiful big rigs.

It's really great to see you in here!

Hanging in there. Just Trucking right along. Last year when I went for my physical they made me do a sleep study and then determined I had to have a CPAP machine answer 30 days of usage before they would renew my med card. 30 days off with no pay and then I go back in only to have a different doctor tell me the test results show I do not need a CPAP machine. Which I knew all along. But that little Fiasco cost me about 6K between lost wages and paying for tests and equipment I didn't need. But while I was off for that 30 days they had me fill in at the dispatch window and what I learned from that experience is that I do not miss office work and that I will drive a truck until I'm physically unable to do so anymore. I have no patience for drama and BS.

So what are you up to these days?

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
So what are you up to these days?

I'm still doing flatbed work. I'm employed with Knight running a dedicated account for Hydro, the world's largest producer of aluminum extrusions. Most of my loads look similar to this...

0829809001584312981.jpg

I've run 700,000 miles on this account so far. I don't see myself moving away from it anytime soon. I may stick with this gig until my wife insists I come home for good.

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