Swift Academy

Topic 32215 | Page 3

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Ryan B.'s Comment
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Swift wouldn't be as big as they are, if every one of their drivers was tearing up equipment.

Between insurance skyrocketing, down time from trucks not moving, and the cost of repairing equipment, they would have been forced into bankruptcy long ago if that were happening.

Pretty much safe to say that anyone with any amount of credible driving experience knows that Swift is a solid company. It's those who THINK they know about trucking who have the idea that Swift is some terrible company.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Davy I did not take offense to anything you said; I just took exception to it from a factual perspective.

I maintain my initial point; Knight/Swift is the holding company, with two primary operating companies; Swift Transportation and Knight Transportation reporting financial data to the holding entity.

Executive level maneuvering and posturing always occurs in these situations …Knight definitely emerged as the dominant partner occupying more executive roles than Swift executives.

When the merger was announced the only assets they officially planned (documented) to share between the operating entities was computer technology/software (not data) and identification/application of best practice (like training, procedures and policy) establishing continuity and increased efficiency.

As far as sharing terminal facilities, I’m not aware of anything official. Although sharing shop facilities would make sense for obvious reasons. However when considering the complexities, scope, costs and risks of completely merging both operations, it’s doubtful that will occur any time soon. When I left last year I saw nor heard no indication of this.

Simply put; I believe Swift will continue to move Swift freight with Swift power and Knight will continue to move Knight freight with Knight power. Now, could Knight subcontract Swift (and visa/versa) to move their freight on a “spot” basis? Yes I could see that happening and it likely does happen. Keeping it in the family per say…

Tell us specifically what you are seeing Davy…it’s been 10 months since I left Swift, things do change.

Just to clarify why I held the opinion that Knight was the acquiring carrier. In no way meant any disrespect.

On a practical day to day level, Knights Top Gun program was developed and implemented at Knight and then brought to Swift. Also several of our instructors from Squire began teaching at Swift campuses.

We're slowly beginning to merge facilities but in general it seems a long way off, the badges are two completely different systems and both our yards our over crowded. I was able to use the Sumner WA Swift yard and everyone there was friendly and helpful. The facilities were very similar to ours.

A few of us have hauled Swift trailers but very rarely.

In general though, most of the Swift personnel I have met have been very professional and friendly.



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.

Banks's Comment
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As a trainee driver I heard a lot of bad things about Swift. My first year driving I saw A LOT more FedEx trucks off roading/on fire/upside down and wondered why I heard so much about Swift but nothing about FedEx. Of course, that's before Amazon started putting trucks on the road...

Swift would have been a better choice than the first company I drove for.

Safety records:


FedEx Freight


Note: They all have safety records that are ABOVE AVERAGE.

That's not really a fair comparison when you consider what FedEx freight does. P/D work will always have more accidents than OTR carriers, especially when that LTL carrier hires people with no experience. That's why it's recommended to go OTR before going local.


Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier


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.


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


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


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.


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.
Pacific Pearl's Comment
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From what I understand, Amazon doesn’t own any trucks. They only own trailers and contract out for tractors to pull those trailers. If that is not accurate, please correct me.


They do have their own trucks and drivers. There's a huge distribution center next to the airport I fly out of and I see them all the time. No fine print on the door saying, "Amazon affiliate" like FedEx and others do. I saw an article about 4 years ago describing how they were going to train warehouse workers to drive trucks. The only thing my google-fu could come up with was a link to Amazon's Career Choice program that pays for a worker's CDL training. It doesn't say anything about working for Amazon once they get their CDL though.

Apparently, they've re-fitted the program to reflect Jeff's three years and done philosophy. The jobs Amazon will pay for their employee's training in (CDL, aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies and nursing) are all NOT jobs working at Amazon.

Amazon recognizes that these workers are not likely to remain employed with the company forever, so rather than pretend otherwise, it is offering training for these employees’ next opportunity as a way to get the best work out of them for the limited time they get their paycheck from Amazon.


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.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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