Want To Know Your Thoughts On Swift

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Jordan's Comment
member avatar

Want to know more about Swift Transportation like the real truth behind it. Many of the videos online are saying its good place to work for and bad too. I just don't know who to believe because I hear that swift pays people to say good things about them.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Hey Jordan,

I signed up with Central Refrigerated on the internet and discovered it was Swift. I always heard great things about Central Refrigerated and always heard bad things about Swift. I decided to continue on with my application and attended the Truck Driving Academy in Fontana which is part of Central Refrigerated. Swift sponsors hundreds of kids per month just out of that location alone. I enjoyed my time in the academy. If I was lied to by my recruiter I cannot recall what they were, I do remember other people saying they were lied to, but in each of those situations I specifically remember that my recruiter told me the truth.

Now. I cannot speak for other companies BUT I can speak from observance why a lot of people were let go or did not pass the academy. None of the reasons that I have seen on the internet match with what I have observed. For instance. One kid went through the first couple weeks before orientation then orientation came. He failed to tell Swift about a minor criminal offense that happened in his younger days. (He lied really thinking it would be ok) They let him go, while another dude waiting for clearance from parole finished passed and is now SOLO. Other people just cant drive straight up, they just can not get it what so ever, they admit it to all the students "oh yeah, I came from this school and didnt pass, so Im trying it again" towards the end they start failing and they start getting angry and bitter and its those that go on the internet and make bad comments...

Now for the other guys that have actually gone SOLO and either got fired for having too many critical events or complete service failures... thats not the companies fault. When you are solo, you are solo, you make your own choices of when to stop and when to roll legally, you make the choices. If your load is not ride too heavy on the tandems when there all the way back lol... you have to make the right choice. All it takes is a freeform message explaining the situation to your DM you get the load adjusted and get rolling. If you have to send a Macro22 everyone knows the reason. If you start denying loads left and right your gonna get cut. If your out there tearing up equipment your gonna get cut.

The big thing is we are mostly MEN or Males at least. And we are SOLO we call home and talk to the wife yada yada then all of a sudden we screw something up and we get cut. How are we going to explain it to the wife? OH NO they blamed me for this but THIS is what really happened. then after that they have to continue it on because the wife is ON YOU and now you have to not only find a new Job your wife is ON YOU. lol thats just a minor example of the MANY reasons you see bad things about Swift.

Now... For the Pay we get .36 a mile on loads over 500 miles we get more for loads that are less. IF IF you sign up for Per Diem you will drop to .26 cents a mile and then you will get back UNTAXED 8.5 cents per mile. We have a macro and comchecks to pay lumpers.

For the miles. This is my whole run from my last home time until the next drop I am making:

Perris California to Phoenix Arizona Phoenix Arizona to Riverside, Los Angeles, Vernon California (3Stops) Rancho Cucumunga California to Salt Lake City Utah Salt Lake City Utah to Meridian Idaho Meridian Idaho to Wisconsin Springs Wisconsin Wisconsin Springs Wisconsin to North Carolina North Carolina to Virginia Dead Head to pick up a TCALL in Jonestown Pennsylvania Dropped that TCALL in Philadelphia Deadhead to Hershey Pennsylvania Hershey Pennsylvania to Salt Lake City Utah Salt Lake City Utah to San Diego California by July 27th then I will do home time.

The miles are there and the time between pick up and destination is plenty. I stopped in West Virginia for a whole day and enjoyed it took care of some paperwork, picked up some death records... I stayed in Salt Lake City and went over to the library and spent a good 5 hours just enjoying life. I saw the Grand Tetons and enjoyed the river in Wyoming. And was not late for pickup or drop on any of my loads. Heck I even spent the day in the hospital yesterday for a kidney stone that is too big to pass lol. With all of that so called free time to enjoy life I am still have miles... I think this next check will be for about 2900 miles... so the miles are there. dont let anyone lie to you.

My truck broke down a couple times the last time I was out and they got a tow truck there within under an hour. Yes it did take a couple days to take the DPF out and replace it... and those checks were minimal but still they were in the positive side of the line. This time I had to get a couple tires replaced on my trailer and there was no hassle. I have nothing bad to say.

If you follow the fuel route they give you you shouldnt have any problems getting fuel. My money is ALWAYS in the bank on Tuesdays.

Anything that I can complain about would not be company specific. example. I wish I could play catch with y 3 year old son and put my hands up and teach him to punch. I wish I could hold my 9 month old daughter and try to make her laugh. I wish I could sit outside on the curb and eat an ice cream sandwich after running around with the dogs and my son. I wish I could be home rebuilding a 454 and doing body work on the camaro, I wish I would have made it to phantom of the opera but the truck broke down and i didnt make it home in time. I wish I could make 100,000 a year... none of those are company specific.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I want to say thank you for all the information that you guys share with me. Would like to know how I would be able to memorize all the different state laws while going those state to state. What is your opinion makes good truckers from bad? What are the most common mistakes that new truck drivers make? The other concern I have is how to deal with with the trainer 24/7 for like 2 to 3 months while being trained? I hear some horror stories on this subject like getting into fights because you’re in a small truck all day long.

Jordan, keep the questions coming. I'll back up what Mr Smith says - it's all his opinion, of course, but there's nothing really out of bounds here. I have driven with Swift since January. I feel (probably not limited to Swift) that they do give new drivers some slack - "second" even "third" chances, depending on the situation.

Here are my answers to some of your second set of questions:
* State Laws: Most state laws are too similar to worry about the differences. Your dispatch on Qualcommm will highlight anything that's important, like if your route goes through Ohio, you'll get a message about some special thing in Ohio. California has a thing about kingpin to tandem distance - 41 feet, ant it's marked on the trailer. No big deal.

* Good/Bad truckers - that's too wide a range to describe. "Good" in driving or good in loading or good in getting the load delivered? On the road, I appreciate and try to be the driver that gives everyone the space they need, and signal my intentions. If another truck is trying to pass, and it's taking "forever" (thank you governation), I'll cut the cruise control for a bit so they can get ahead, and allow the drivers behind them to get on with their lives.

* Most common mistake: The trailer is 53 feet longer than you are used to. You will back into something you don't see (hence the code word GOAL: Get Out And Look). Or you will turn, and the back end will cut that corner and you will take out a sign, or worse, another truck's headlight assembly.

* Team driving while training: Yes you and a more-or-less stranger are living in a box, hardly ever more than 8 feet apart, for several weeks. This is a luck of the draw thing. My mentor was easy going, made sure I knew my stuff, and we got along. You will read here horror stories of other mentors, but you can always call the Office Of Driver Development and see about a change. Remember this: Good news is boring, the wacko cases get the headlines. So, writing about The Mentor Who Is Satan Himself is more common than The Mentor Who Really Taught Me Something.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Gunner's Comment
member avatar

Want to know more about Swift Transportation like the real truth behind it. Many of the videos online are saying its good place to work for and bad too. I just don't know who to believe because I hear that swift pays people to say good things about them.

The only way to determine good from bad is to experience them first hand. Honestly, most of the people that ***** about their jobs or the companies they work for simply have crappy attitudes. Everyone I've talked to that works for swift loves them. Ive met alot of guys just in the last few months with swift. They are all happy. Try not to focus on the negative reviews. They are mostly from brats with garbage attitudes

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift has better things to spend money on than lackeys spewing positive reviews on the internet for them.

They're a fine company. They will train you to get your CDL if you need it. They have never forced me to work when it was unsafe, past HOS , etc. Home time is a day for every six days out. They recently had a company wide pay raise. Starting pay is .39/mile solo and .50/mile split team. Trucks are governed at 62.

If you have any specific questions I'd be more than happy to answer. And no, I don't get paid to write good things about Swift. If that was the case I'd sit home doing that instead of driving!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jordan's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replays I read that Swift Transportation are going to switch from manual to automatic if so is this true? How long have u been working for Swift? Did you got your CDL from Swift training school and if so how was the training?

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.
C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

We received a message in late March that the company is moving to all automatic "smart trucks" with lane departure warning, brake assist, rear end collision prevention, etc. Most likely they'll be Volvos in my opinion though the message didn't specify a make. That is supposed to be implemented late this year, with all company trucks like that by the end of 2017.

However, the company is huge and has a ton of trucks, and is understandably slow to change. They are still buying 2016 Freightliners and Internationals (manual) as of this year, so it's unlikely that the entire company will be on automatics by the projected date.

I've worked for them since January. I didn't go through Swift's school so can't comment on that. One thing I will say, if you end up going through the program in Memphis try not to judge the company based on the condition of that terminal. It is aging and very poor in comparison to most other terminals. Great BBQ delivery, though.

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.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Hey Jordan,

I signed up with Central Refrigerated on the internet and discovered it was Swift. I always heard great things about Central Refrigerated and always heard bad things about Swift. I decided to continue on with my application and attended the Truck Driving Academy in Fontana which is part of Central Refrigerated. Swift sponsors hundreds of kids per month just out of that location alone. I enjoyed my time in the academy. If I was lied to by my recruiter I cannot recall what they were, I do remember other people saying they were lied to, but in each of those situations I specifically remember that my recruiter told me the truth.

Now. I cannot speak for other companies BUT I can speak from observance why a lot of people were let go or did not pass the academy. None of the reasons that I have seen on the internet match with what I have observed. For instance. One kid went through the first couple weeks before orientation then orientation came. He failed to tell Swift about a minor criminal offense that happened in his younger days. (He lied really thinking it would be ok) They let him go, while another dude waiting for clearance from parole finished passed and is now SOLO. Other people just cant drive straight up, they just can not get it what so ever, they admit it to all the students "oh yeah, I came from this school and didnt pass, so Im trying it again" towards the end they start failing and they start getting angry and bitter and its those that go on the internet and make bad comments...

Now for the other guys that have actually gone SOLO and either got fired for having too many critical events or complete service failures... thats not the companies fault. When you are solo, you are solo, you make your own choices of when to stop and when to roll legally, you make the choices. If your load is not ride too heavy on the tandems when there all the way back lol... you have to make the right choice. All it takes is a freeform message explaining the situation to your DM you get the load adjusted and get rolling. If you have to send a Macro22 everyone knows the reason. If you start denying loads left and right your gonna get cut. If your out there tearing up equipment your gonna get cut.

The big thing is we are mostly MEN or Males at least. And we are SOLO we call home and talk to the wife yada yada then all of a sudden we screw something up and we get cut. How are we going to explain it to the wife? OH NO they blamed me for this but THIS is what really happened. then after that they have to continue it on because the wife is ON YOU and now you have to not only find a new Job your wife is ON YOU. lol thats just a minor example of the MANY reasons you see bad things about Swift.

Now... For the Pay we get .36 a mile on loads over 500 miles we get more for loads that are less. IF IF you sign up for Per Diem you will drop to .26 cents a mile and then you will get back UNTAXED 8.5 cents per mile. We have a macro and comchecks to pay lumpers.

For the miles. This is my whole run from my last home time until the next drop I am making:

Perris California to Phoenix Arizona Phoenix Arizona to Riverside, Los Angeles, Vernon California (3Stops) Rancho Cucumunga California to Salt Lake City Utah Salt Lake City Utah to Meridian Idaho Meridian Idaho to Wisconsin Springs Wisconsin Wisconsin Springs Wisconsin to North Carolina North Carolina to Virginia Dead Head to pick up a TCALL in Jonestown Pennsylvania Dropped that TCALL in Philadelphia Deadhead to Hershey Pennsylvania Hershey Pennsylvania to Salt Lake City Utah Salt Lake City Utah to San Diego California by July 27th then I will do home time.

The miles are there and the time between pick up and destination is plenty. I stopped in West Virginia for a whole day and enjoyed it took care of some paperwork, picked up some death records... I stayed in Salt Lake City and went over to the library and spent a good 5 hours just enjoying life. I saw the Grand Tetons and enjoyed the river in Wyoming. And was not late for pickup or drop on any of my loads. Heck I even spent the day in the hospital yesterday for a kidney stone that is too big to pass lol. With all of that so called free time to enjoy life I am still have miles... I think this next check will be for about 2900 miles... so the miles are there. dont let anyone lie to you.

My truck broke down a couple times the last time I was out and they got a tow truck there within under an hour. Yes it did take a couple days to take the DPF out and replace it... and those checks were minimal but still they were in the positive side of the line. This time I had to get a couple tires replaced on my trailer and there was no hassle. I have nothing bad to say.

If you follow the fuel route they give you you shouldnt have any problems getting fuel. My money is ALWAYS in the bank on Tuesdays.

Anything that I can complain about would not be company specific. example. I wish I could play catch with y 3 year old son and put my hands up and teach him to punch. I wish I could hold my 9 month old daughter and try to make her laugh. I wish I could sit outside on the curb and eat an ice cream sandwich after running around with the dogs and my son. I wish I could be home rebuilding a 454 and doing body work on the camaro, I wish I would have made it to phantom of the opera but the truck broke down and i didnt make it home in time. I wish I could make 100,000 a year... none of those are company specific.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Jordan's Comment
member avatar

I want to say thank you for all the information that you guys share with me. Would like to know how I would be able to memorize all the different state laws while going those state to state. What is your opinion makes good truckers from bad? What are the most common mistakes that new truck drivers make? The other concern I have is how to deal with with the trainer 24/7 for like 2 to 3 months while being trained? I hear some horror stories on this subject like getting into fights because you’re in a small truck all day long.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I want to say thank you for all the information that you guys share with me. Would like to know how I would be able to memorize all the different state laws while going those state to state. What is your opinion makes good truckers from bad? What are the most common mistakes that new truck drivers make? The other concern I have is how to deal with with the trainer 24/7 for like 2 to 3 months while being trained? I hear some horror stories on this subject like getting into fights because you’re in a small truck all day long.

Jordan, keep the questions coming. I'll back up what Mr Smith says - it's all his opinion, of course, but there's nothing really out of bounds here. I have driven with Swift since January. I feel (probably not limited to Swift) that they do give new drivers some slack - "second" even "third" chances, depending on the situation.

Here are my answers to some of your second set of questions:
* State Laws: Most state laws are too similar to worry about the differences. Your dispatch on Qualcommm will highlight anything that's important, like if your route goes through Ohio, you'll get a message about some special thing in Ohio. California has a thing about kingpin to tandem distance - 41 feet, ant it's marked on the trailer. No big deal.

* Good/Bad truckers - that's too wide a range to describe. "Good" in driving or good in loading or good in getting the load delivered? On the road, I appreciate and try to be the driver that gives everyone the space they need, and signal my intentions. If another truck is trying to pass, and it's taking "forever" (thank you governation), I'll cut the cruise control for a bit so they can get ahead, and allow the drivers behind them to get on with their lives.

* Most common mistake: The trailer is 53 feet longer than you are used to. You will back into something you don't see (hence the code word GOAL: Get Out And Look). Or you will turn, and the back end will cut that corner and you will take out a sign, or worse, another truck's headlight assembly.

* Team driving while training: Yes you and a more-or-less stranger are living in a box, hardly ever more than 8 feet apart, for several weeks. This is a luck of the draw thing. My mentor was easy going, made sure I knew my stuff, and we got along. You will read here horror stories of other mentors, but you can always call the Office Of Driver Development and see about a change. Remember this: Good news is boring, the wacko cases get the headlines. So, writing about The Mentor Who Is Satan Himself is more common than The Mentor Who Really Taught Me Something.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jordan's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Errol V. for your quick replay to my questions. How do most truckers stay in shape? Do you eat out at all the diners or make your own food? I also read that high blood pressure is a big problem for many drivers. What is the best way in your opinion from falling asleep while being up for so many hours? Is it common that drivers take the pills that help stay awake? Are you able to get enough sleep to drive safe to keep up with all those miles that you have?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joshua P.'s Comment
member avatar

As a seasoned rookie I can tell you I learned the most by asking drivers questions. At truck stops, in the yard, at other DCs. Just be careful what you believe. Especially about other companies. I have personally noticed a lot of people who bash swift are ex drivers and most that like swift still drive for them and LOVE swift. I have also noticed a lot of drivers are crybabies and those are the ones that don't get the good loads, get loads taken away from them. I drive dedicated dollar tree so miles aren't as important as your unload pay so it also depends on wether you are otr or dedicated when getting advice from another driver. And most im portant of all DO NOT READ MESSAGE BOARDS. I almost did not sign up with USX because of what I read and it was the best choice of my life. Brand new truck, grossing over 1k a week, and home every weekend. Find the good drivers wherever you go. Get their phone #s and ask questions relentlessly. Never feel like a question is stupid no matter how simple. You will find out the good ones will always take time to help us new guys out.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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