Getting back on the road...orientation with Swift as a flatbed newbie 2/3/2014

Discussion in 'Swift' started by bab1369, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. bab1369

    bab1369 Light Load Member

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Laurens, SC
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    Hey folks, just wanted to start up a thread about my experience with Swift mostly as a way for me to keep track of what I do/accomplish/go through in the forthcoming months but also in the hopes of getting to know my fellow drivers. Sorry for the length of this post.

    Anyways, I guess a little background is in order just as an introduction. I have been on TTR for a while, mostly as a lurker until I started driving for a different mega-carrier last year (back to that in a moment). I am an Army vet, a redleg (field artillery for those who don't know) and have worked mostly in law enforcement and served as a small, rural church pastor off and on for the past 9 years or so. I am a bit of a restless soul, a nomad if you will, and I do not like to sit around in one place for years and years. I enjoy seeing new things and meeting new people and challenges. That being said, I also have a family to provide for and have a very loving and supportive wife who has her own career that pays well enough to allow me to pursue the desire I have to go OTR. I get/got bored with jobs very quickly with the exception of one time, that aforementioned time spent with a different mega-carrier last year. I truly enjoyed driving for them and even tried to return but they did not wish to re-hire me so I am moving on.

    Just to bypass any questions of what happened before I hereby offer my story...

    I started with the other company in May and from the get go had a good time and it was a good experience. No I will not name the other company as I do not wish to start any issues, flaming, etc. What happened was not their fault, it was merely a decision that I made. By the time July roles around I am really starting to get a little comfortable with the company and looking forward to moving into my own truck as a company driver. My trainer drops me off for some hometime and he heads to his house stating that we will get back on the road in 7 or 8 days (obviously he is not a company driver). During the break, my wife starts having complications with her pregnancy and is put on bed rest. She was due in October and we now have an amazingly beautiful little girl :). My wife told me that she wanted me to be home with her during this time and my family comes in second only to my faith so I told her I would stay. Called some buddies up and had a job back in my former career of law enforcement within a few days and let the other company know that I would not be coming back. I did not quit under load/dispatch and no truck abandonment. Nothing was placed on my DAC and I had hoped they would re-hire me but it just was not to be. Oh well, I tried. Funny thing is, after being told that I was a "no re-hire" by my recruiter I got a postcard in the mail yesterday asking for me to come back. HAHAHA

    I drove refer before but really wanted to go flatbed as I enjoy work and wanted something more active. I am fit and in shape and would prefer to stay that way. I talked to the usual suspects when it came to flatbed and beginners but could not get anywhere due to my limited time driving and not going to a CDL school. I have always known about Swift but did not know they had a flatbed division until I drove by the Greer terminal, which is near my house, and saw a few flatbeds in the lot. Came home and put in an application and the rest, as they say, is history. I spoke with my recruiter last Monday for the first time and she pulled my MVR and DAC and called me back that evening saying everything looked good and that I was eligible for hire (go ahead and get they "of course, you have a pulse right?" jokes out now folks). I made sure she knew I wanted to go flatbed and she confirmed with me over the phone and I requested and was sent email confirmation of registration for orientation as a flatbed driver for the Greer terminal. I hope this doesn't get screwed up, LOL. She then asked me when I wanted to go to orientation, and wanting to tie up some loose ends at home I requested 2/3/2014 as my orientation date.

    I live 40 minutes from the Greer terminal so it will be nice not having to stay in a hotel and having good meals and showers at home. Only downside is hitting crappy I-85 traffic in Greenville in the evenings. I was told that I will do the three day orientation and will follow that up with phase I of the flatbed training before doing my 240 hours with a flatbed mentor. I will keep this post updated in regards to that and my wait or lack of wait for a flatbed mentor.

    Yes, I know what the Swift reputation is amongst some of you TTR folks and frankly I don't care. Every experience in life is, can, and will be what you make of it. All of the mega's are the same with the exception for the pay for the most part. I'm going to work, going to do my time, and will re-evaluate at the appropriate juncture.

    I look forward to getting to know my fellow drivers and hope to hear from some current Swift flatbed drivers. Hope you all stay safe out there, see ya real soon!
     
    blsqueak, Lady K, bigred81 and 3 others Thank this.
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  3. Rick)Rox

    Rick)Rox Light Load Member

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    Jan 30, 2013
    Tacoma, WA
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    Cool I'm in phoenix right now waiting to take the flatbed course this Tuesday. What coincidence Lol.
     
    bab1369 Thanks this.
  4. bab1369

    bab1369 Light Load Member

    175
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    Apr 14, 2013
    Laurens, SC
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    Awesome man. Hope all goes well for you!
     
  5. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler Medium Load Member

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    Aug 9, 2013
    Temple, Texas
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    subscribed!! Good Luck ! I watch NRS Adventures on youtube, they run for swift as l/o an seem very happy.
     
    bab1369 Thanks this.
  6. luvtotruck

    luvtotruck Road Train Member

    1,978
    1,160
    Jul 30, 2013
    Phoenix Arizona
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    Good Luck, Let us know how it works out for ya!
     
    bab1369 Thanks this.
  7. bab1369

    bab1369 Light Load Member

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Laurens, SC
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    Thanks, I will be updating as often as I can.
     
  8. plant

    plant Heavy Load Member

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    Sep 21, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
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    Welcome, we have a nice flatbed dedicated account out of Greer. Gaffney to High Point twice a day hauling school bus chassis on a step deck. OTR is a lot of fun too though.
     
    bab1369 Thanks this.
  9. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

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    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
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    Well bab, I hope you keep up with your thread.
    I'd really like to know how things go for you.

    Best of luck!!!
     
    bab1369 Thanks this.
  10. bab1369

    bab1369 Light Load Member

    175
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    Apr 14, 2013
    Laurens, SC
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    That dedicated run sounds nice but I definitely want to run OTR for a while. Will take a look at a dedicated route in time I am sure though. Thanks for the info!
     
  11. WitchingHour

    WitchingHour Road Train Member

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    Broomfield, CO
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    Ah, yes. Those daycab runs used to be out of Eden, although I always thought Greer was more logical. One of those drivers used to live right on one of the frontage roads on I85, and you see the truck parked in front of their house at night. The thing that pissed me off about those daycab drivers (and maybe it was the Gaffney crew's fault, rather than that of the drivers), but they had tandem trailers they were supposed to use. However, they'd take our spread axle trailers, instead.
     
    JR80 Thanks this.
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