Swift Diary From Training Acceptance

Topic 8463 | Page 1

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Jarod(Red)'s Comment
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Well I have been accepted into Swift Driving Academy as of Friday, May 1st. I wanted to start at end of 2014 but my father suggested I start in spring to get some warm weather training before winter hits, and I agreed. After all He is retired Truck Driver of 30 years for Airtex and he knows his stuff. He also gre up loving it from his dad and uncle driving for Airtex also, up until he retired my dad and my great uncle drove team for Airtex. I have been contemplating driving a truck my whole life. As a kid taking my father to his terminal to drop him off with my mother and I would sit in cab of his old Freightliner and I fell in love with trucks from then on. His normal route would be from Evansville, Indiana to Los Angeles, California every week, leaving Sunday afternoon and making home Thursday morning, but here and there he would have a trip to Atlanta and PA, and if it was during summer break from school he would bring me a long, and once again I fell in love with the business. And it's not just my father, My uncle Tom Williams has been driving for 25 years and he's still going strong, most of his time was with Yellow Freight, he's a master truck driver, winning many awards including Truck Driver Rodeo. My Uncle Chuck also drove Yellow Freight for 20 years, and I also have a cousin who's been driving for Us Xpress for about 15. So it's kind of been in my blood to drive a truck. I just haven't made the leap until recently. I joined Army in 2004 and retired in 2010 and being an Army Infantrymen it was hard finding a line of work to get into, and after talking to my dad and uncles I decided it was time to get into the family business, and at the age of 34 I believe my maturity and patience is ready for it. So in 2 weeks I'll be making my trip to Memphis and starting my 2 weeks of training, I have already obtained my Class A CDL permit so I only have to do the 2 week school. I look forward to keeping a good diary and letting you know my progress even though I'm not someone important, I believe people interested in getting into the business like to know what they will be going through, I know I have probably read all of the journals on this site to get the feel of it. Anyway, Ill keep you guys posted, Thank you

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
I look forward to keeping a good diary and letting you know my progress even though I'm not someone important,

Jarod, why do you say that? You are important to many people, including the people who read these diaries. We have all had to learn the trucking business (nobody here was born with a CDL). Many people here will follow all your school experience, and a few may even add a comment or two.

Best of luck in Memphis. You get the new facility next door to the terminal. (When I did the Memphis school, it was 35 miles north in Millington.) Sometime I'll get up the gumption to go over & check out the new place.

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.

Attila's Comment
member avatar

I look forward to reading your journals. This is a good career especially once you start figuring out what you really want from it.

Jarod(Red)'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I look forward to keeping a good diary and letting you know my progress even though I'm not someone important,

double-quotes-end.png

Jarod, why do you say that? You are important to many people, including the people who read these diaries. We have all had to learn the trucking business (nobody here was born with a CDL). Many people here will follow all your school experience, and a few may even add a comment or two.

Best of luck in Memphis. You get the new facility next door to the terminal. (When I did the Memphis school, it was 35 miles north in Millington.) Sometime I'll get up the gumption to go over & check out the new place.

Thanks Errol, I've actually read every entry of your diary, and its very informative. What will be my home terminal if Im from Mount Vernon, Indiana(Southwest tip of Indiana)

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.

Attila's Comment
member avatar

Probably Memphis, not sure if there are smaller yards closer to you. You can set your home terminal anywhere, it does not effect your hometime or where you park the truck.

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.

Jarod(Red)'s Comment
member avatar

Probably Memphis, not sure if there are smaller yards closer to you. You can set your home terminal anywhere, it does not effect your hometime or where you park the truck.

Thank you Attila, ok that's good, as long as I can take rig home then Memphis will probably be home terminal, I looked on terminal map and its eith Gary, Indiana which is about 8 hours away, or Memphis which is about 6-7.

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.

Attila's Comment
member avatar

That map does not tell the whole story. SWIFT has many smaller yards or contracts with other institutions on parking. Your DM most likely won't know that info. Best bet talk to a Planner at Memphis, they know the logistics infrastructure better than DM's.

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.
Jarod(Red)'s Comment
member avatar

That map does not tell the whole story. SWIFT has many smaller yards or contracts with other institutions on parking. Your DM most likely won't know that info. Best bet talk to a Planner at Memphis, they know the logistics infrastructure better than DM's.

Will it be possible to get home every 10-14 days running OTR , Id like to run all 48 if possible.

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.

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.
Eckoh's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

That map does not tell the whole story. SWIFT has many smaller yards or contracts with other institutions on parking. Your DM most likely won't know that info. Best bet talk to a Planner at Memphis, they know the logistics infrastructure better than DM's.

double-quotes-end.png

Will it be possible to get home every 10-14 days running OTR , Id like to run all 48 if possible.

you are supposed to be out atleast 18 days... also if you try to take hometime that often you will get noticed as doing such and get short runs that never take you too far away. From what i have found the more often you ask for hometime it seems to directly effect your miles in a bad way. Most the guys you find claiming they get no miles are the guys that go home often because they cannot go far because of wanting to be home.

I am out for 4-6 weeks at a time and get runs that are normal 1000+ miles my DM knows that if i do 2 sub 500 mile runs i will start declining loads until i get a longer one so she keeps me in long runs. However i also worked my as off to be able to do that with her. Like i said in another post i have done 1200 miles in 2 days with 2 deliveries today if i went by "swift trip planing" it was an impossible run as swift doesn't want you planing on doing more then 550 miles a day.

Being OTR is a lifestyle going home every other week is more of a local driver or dedicated driver thing. Also you only make money when rolling so you want to be rolling as much as possible.

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.

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.
Jarod(Red)'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

That map does not tell the whole story. SWIFT has many smaller yards or contracts with other institutions on parking. Your DM most likely won't know that info. Best bet talk to a Planner at Memphis, they know the logistics infrastructure better than DM's.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Will it be possible to get home every 10-14 days running OTR , Id like to run all 48 if possible.

double-quotes-end.png

you are supposed to be out atleast 18 days... also if you try to take hometime that often you will get noticed as doing such and get short runs that never take you too far away. From what i have found the more often you ask for hometime it seems to directly effect your miles in a bad way. Most the guys you find claiming they get no miles are the guys that go home often because they cannot go far because of wanting to be home.

I am out for 4-6 weeks at a time and get runs that are normal 1000+ miles my DM knows that if i do 2 sub 500 mile runs i will start declining loads until i get a longer one so she keeps me in long runs. However i also worked my as off to be able to do that with her. Like i said in another post i have done 1200 miles in 2 days with 2 deliveries today if i went by "swift trip planing" it was an impossible run as swift doesn't want you planing on doing more then 550 miles a day.

Being OTR is a lifestyle going home every other week is more of a local driver or dedicated driver thing. Also you only make money when rolling so you want to be rolling as much as possible.

Great Stuff Eckoh!! And I totally understand that, I have 3 daughters, 15,11,9, and I just trying to see them as much as possible, but what I'm going to have to do is just bust my ass for a year or year and half and make as much money as possible, and then maybe find a company that I can get home more often, I'd like to at least be home every 2 weeks, but there is no doubt that I'll do the 4-6 weeks runs for as long as it takes, after all its making money for my kids, and I just need to keep that mindset, no matter how long I'm gone, it's to provide my kids with better life, I have no choice but to do this, I'm 34 years old now and this has to work for me, I haven't done anything since I left the Army and if I want to give my kids a good life I have to bare down and do this. And then a year or two from now try and find a better company that can get me home more often. What's your opinion on my age? I'm starting late at 34 years old, do you think I have enough time to put into driving to get a decent retirement one day?

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.

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.
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Swift Transport Reports From CDL Training
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