Reality of Swift: How to get screwed

Discussion in 'Report A BAD Trucking Company Here' started by Sandman 660, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Sandman 660

    Sandman 660 Light Load Member

    Jul 15, 2017
    New Mexico
    I'd like to run over a list of crimes Swift commits against it's personnel every day they operate. Though I am now an O/O with a much better and smaller company, I left Swift a few months back and would like to shed some light on the reality the ways they screw their drivers and staff.
    No matter which Swift Academy you go to, you will learn only enough to pass a DOT CDL test. Swift got it's staff in Arizona authorized to administer the testing, so more people would pass and join the ranks. At the price of $4,000 it's not worth it as you're literally getting nothing for your money.
    The first trap they lay is being a company dupe making low wages driving crippled vehicles.
    The governor set at 62 should be enough to make anyone realize how unsafe it is and how much it robs you of the ability to climb anything more than a slight incline without downshifting. Well, that's for the trucks that still have manual transmissions in them.
    The camera will alert and go off for no reason at all and you will be sent to Safety only to find nothing was wrong.
    The Qualcomm will never cease. You will be micro-managed to death and you will NEVER be able to talk to a planner, even when it's critical that you do.
    You will be gone from home for 3 to 5 weeks at a time and no one will care about anything but serving Swifts' interests in moving that freight. Your needs and concerns won't matter.
    My last month with Swift I was gone 34 days and I sat for 10 of them making no money.
    If you don't like being a company dupe, you can become an 'owner operator' by visiting a recruiter.
    That's the next trap: The Fleece Purchase program. Where you literally become an indentured servant.
    Jerry buys 2k Freightliners for a deep discount, puts you in the truck under a 2 year contract that basically pays the truck off for Jerry, then you turn it in and he sells it for the same price you paid for it. Swift not only gets a truck for free, because of the bulk purchase discount, but actually gets the truck, in the end, for free with a big profit post sale of the truck.
    Meanwhile, you're responsible for all the maintenance and fuel and weekly payments that range from $600 to $900. After food and fuel, you've got nothing left, which means you're hauling Jerry's freight for free.
    If you make all your payments on time, those won't be reported to any of the big 3 credit bureaus. Miss a single payment and they'll report you in a heart beat.
    The only people who benefit from a fleece purchase are Swift's board of directors.
    If you go the route I did, which was elevate my credit score to around 800 and get a low interest loan for an almost new Kenworth, instantly the load availability will dry up.
    Swift wants to use you as a tool that they can exploit, but if you're smart and buy your own truck and ELD system so that you can actually reduce their deductions, you'll suddenly find your self with no freight to haul.
    I always ran early, so when I was told I would be written up and penalized for delivering a load a day ahead of schedule I told them that it was absurd that that they could sit me for 10 days on a cycle and not be held to account, but if I actually did my job and arrived early that I'd pay for it.
    This happened several times because I'm habitually early and I'll always try to make customer contact to see if I can get worked in.
    Swift will screw you on your training as well. You'll be paired with a moron who has little to no experience themselves who'll use you as a team driver. Rather than train you, you will drive your miles at night and the trainer will get paid for all the miles you drive while you get $9/ hour only for the hours you drive.
    There's no incentive for the trainer to train you, so they don't. And there's no accountability when your rookie butt goes out and has an incident.
    The mechanics and office staff get the same treatment. Low pay, unbelievable work loads and a demoralizing environment. You'll never see the same mechanic or office person twice because they burn out and quit and are quickly replaced by another well meaning ideologue who's about to get chewed up in the Swift meat grinder.
    If you're a mindless dupe, with no family or children you want to see, then being a company driver for them makes sense. I noticed a tendency for people who were homeless when they showed up to love being company drivers. I wonder why. You also see every manner of screw up who has no problem being exploited or being used as a tool by Swift.
    The first time the governor kicked in when I needed to power up a hill and ended up down in 5th gear I was over it.
    The first time the camera triggered an event when there was no event I was over it.
    The non-stop harassment from the Qualcomm was annoying at best, and the geniuses would send you time sensitive messages rather than call you, where the needed quick response on your part couldn't be implemented or replied to.
    Week after week of low pay after having driving non-stop, literally until all my clocks were exhausted was demoralizing.
    Never seeing my wife or my dogs or my house for all the hard work I gave was demoralizing.
    And as soon as I got my Hazmat and bought my own truck with a loan, they had no more work for me.
    Learn from my mistakes.
    Stay away from the mega carriers like Swift and never take a lease purchase.
    Once I had a truck that was having low pressure warnings, coolant and oil leaks and a hard alignment issue that made cornering turns in mountains almost lethal. One instance coming across the pass from Oregon to California I had smoke pouring out of the brakes, the engine brake wasn't working properly and I had a 45k pound paper roll load from Georgia Pacific heading into a hair pin curve. I looked out my mirrors and saw massive plumes of smoke, enveloping the cars in the left lane and when I saw the curve I was heading to in 6th friggin gear I thought for sure the truck would roll.
    Upon reporting this tractor 5 times to my driver manager, nothing was ever done about it. I finally turned it in in Phoenix refusing to drive it again.
    Swift is composed of liars. The big bosses don't give 2 turds about you.
    Save your time and your money. Go to a real trucking school and find a smaller company to work with.
  2. albert l

    albert l Road Train Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    On the Road
    Sandman 660, Dave_in_AZ and Puppage Thank this.
  3. Anthony Ruther

    Anthony Ruther Light Load Member

    Nov 4, 2015
  4. Sandman 660

    Sandman 660 Light Load Member

    Jul 15, 2017
    New Mexico
    I had reported the problems several times before this incident. Luckily a was able to keep the rubber side down and turned in the truck a couple days later.
  5. Lonesome

    Lonesome Road Train Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    Northern Indiana
    A well written, detailed post, very refreshing! Thank You, and hope you are doing well at the next gig.
  6. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    I only got through about 1/4 of this rant...

    First, every training company only teaches enough to pass the CDL test. No more, and usually a little less. Nothing unique to Swift here.
    The other is home time. Swifts policy is 1 day home every 6 days out, with 12 days minimum. If you ever was out more than 12 days, that because you wanted to. Or at the very least didn't push back when they requested you to spend more time out. Every single time I put in a request for hometime and a dispatcher sent me a dispatch going the wrong way, I would decline with hometime as the reason. Every time it got pulled off and I got a run going home.
    Also you need to learn what a governor does. A truck with poor hp is not the same as a governor holding you back from going the speed you want.
  7. stayinback

    stayinback Road Train Member

    Jan 24, 2014
    If Swift truly operates this way......How are they still in business?
    Oh wait, Non-union company using any necessary tool against an employee not deemed illegal or against any law.

    Does anyone succeed at Swift? I'm serious, By Reading the OP's story- It seems impossible- What's Swift side to this?

    Will Jerry Moyes or a major officer of the company publicly speak for the behalf of future employees?

    or is counting benjamins the way of the new world,At others expense?
    Dave_in_AZ Thanks this.
  8. Alaska76

    Alaska76 Road Train Member

    Jan 20, 2014
    Inland Empire, WA
    A governor does not limit the trucks ability to climb, it only limits top speed. Torque, gearing, the nut behind the wheel, grade and load determines rate of climb.
  9. Toomanybikes

    Toomanybikes Road Train Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    Well If you were a company driver for Swift before you purchased you truck, why the hell would you lease on to them knowing their business tactics? Sometime things people do don't make sense.

    Overall the ##### fest is pretty much accurate about Swift except they don't pay trainees by the hour. Just a flat rate for all the time they work.
  10. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    Define succeed. Seriously.
    I succeeded at Swift. I used them as a company driver to get my year in and then moved on. That was my plan from the start, so in my mind I did everything I set out to do. Thus succeeding.

    The op is simply pissed he fell for the l/o scam (which is a scam, and is something to rant about) and now has to lash out at whoever helped him fail. Like a previous poster said, if he was a company driver first then why did he go for the l/o scam knowing how they operate.
    nightgunner, Smut, ladr and 1 other person Thank this.
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