Let's Be Honest

Topic 29574 | Page 1

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Witch Chick's Comment
member avatar

Hello people,

Let's be honest, What are you're opinions of Swift Transportation? I get that they're the butt of jokes a lot, but it kind of just feels like the "Make fun of the lil guy" kind of humor. (Even though they're pretty large.)

Anyway, what do you guys think of Swift?

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I've never driven for Swift and before spending some time with G-Town, I shared the "I'll never work there" mentality. Thinking back, I don't know why I thought that way but I did. After a day with G-Town, Swift became a front runner for me. My home life and being OTR didn't mesh, so I went another route (no pun intended).

The truth is, Swift is a company that can offer you a lot of options and a lot of resources. In my opinion, the bigger the company the better off you are. They offer you an opportunity, what you do with it is up to you. They have multiple dedicated accounts and divisions that pay well. Don't get hung up on the starting rate and comparing CPM. This is a long game and the money comes with experience. Prove yourself to be responsible and reliable and you'll make money.

People also say "I don't want to be just a number". The CEO of FedEx doesn't know my name and I don't need him to. I know my dispatchers, managers and advisors and they know me. One day, I blew a tire on my dolly. Getting the tire changed on the interstate wasn't an option so my dolly had to be towed, which means my rear trailer had to be towed. That required an additional tow truck. A wrecker for the trailer and a flatbed for the dolly. Dispatch told me to keep going with the lead because there was a guaranteed shipment on it. I asked the tow truck driver if he was ok just waiting there for the other truck and he said "because of the name on the truck I'll wait. I know they'll pay. A company I never heard of would have to pay upfront or I'd just leave it here because I don't do storage".

I tell this story because it opened my eyes to the benefits of a large company. People gripe about not being known by the owner and I don't understand it. The bigger the better and Swift is as big as it gets.

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.

Interstate:

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

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Swift has been the butt because they're the biggest truckload carrier in the US.

Lots of driver turnover? Sure there is because they're are lots of drivers.

Lots of accidents, crunches, YouTube videos, etc? If there are more than 20,000 trucks, it stands to reason that some will have incidents.

There are lots of trucks so lots of visibility. I'd rather be beside a Swift rig than quite a few others on the road.

Seth N.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello people,

Let's be honest, What are you're opinions of Swift Transportation? I get that they're the butt of jokes a lot, but it kind of just feels like the "Make fun of the lil guy" kind of humor. (Even though they're pretty large.)

Anyway, what do you guys think of Swift?

My uncle, and CDL school instructor both worked for them and found them to be ok or liked them. My uncle who worked for them would have stayed but he had health issues and needed a wheel holder job and went to a home based daycab job instead of Swift OTR. He said they treated him right though. The offer they gave me a few days ago honestly wasnt bad at all pay wise(especially compared to others) it was just 14-16 days out and 100% touch freight in dollar tree parking which i didnt want after reading Dollar account horror stories

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.

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.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

I've teamed with a few Swift drivers over the years. Their driving skills were all satisfactory. To the man, they all had nothing but positive things to say about the organization.

I'm still puzzled how Swift got tagged as being the bottom of the barrel for safety. I've seen A LOT more FedEx trucks in distress (upside down, on fire, off roading, etc.) than Swift, though Amazon is working hard to catch up with FedEx.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes there are some entertaining videos starring Swift. I like my teaching job, but I have zero problems working for them again.

As PackRat points out, with 16,000 power units, plus hiring "recent grads", the raw numbers are also bigger in the accident department.

But the bottom line is: Swift didn't get to be the largest trucking company because they treat their drivers crappy or have bad equipment.

Here is a FMCSA page that has statistics on Swift. Go down to the national average percentages for Out Of Service:

SAFER Web

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

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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