Swift review, new driver

Discussion in 'Swift' started by cannonrush, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. cannonrush

    cannonrush Light Load Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    Short and to the point. I will try.

    I went through the orientation. It was ok, however they don't really talk about topics you want to talk about, such as home time and how life will be on the road with your trainer.

    I have been driving with swift with my trainer for about 3 weeks now. Basically as soon as I got in the truck, everything that was said in orientation no longer applied. I was told to do paper logs each day and study for 2 hours a day while marked on-duty.

    None of that happens at all. I'm either off duty or I'm driving down the road. Everything that I do that isn't driving is marked as off-duty. So you kind of work for free a lot of the time.

    I am okay with it because my driving skills are fine, I just need time learning the Qualcomm and how to deliver and pickup loads. Mostly the paperwork. I will say the training is a 6/10 or 7/10. It has been my burden most of this time to try and get trained. No training happens unless I really try and watch what he's doing and ask questions. I guess they call them mentors for a reason, and not trainers.

    I have counted maybe 3 or 4 times Swift has caused us grief. 1 of these times we had to go "look for" an empty trailer at a terminal, because when we called swift they said there were none. So that seems pretty bad of them. I was glad the trainer knew where to go look for one. I would have been screwed if I were alone.

    The other times we will finish a delivery and swift will waste a good chunk of time finding us our next assignment, so there is quite a lot of wasted time from my experience.

    Current opinion: Swift seems kind of sucky, but ok if you need experience to get a job with a better company. The training is weak, and living with the trainer is horrible.
    I would only do this 1 time in my life. I will never go out with a trainer ever again. I'd rather work at McDonald's.

    P.s. As it stands, I'm most likely going to try to switch to j.b hunt or another company that accepts drivers with little experience. I believe j.b hunt wants 3 months. I will see if swift improves at all until then
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
    Lightside, SHOJim, 123456 and 2 others Thank this.
  2. turtle1969

    turtle1969 Light Load Member

    Nov 18, 2015
    every chance you stop in a Tstop talk to other drivers and explain what youre doing, most drivers are not ###e$ like people think, i been driving 12 years and still rely on others with some questions time to time
    NavigatorWife Thanks this.
  3. Mudguppy

    Mudguppy Degenerate Immoralist

    Apr 28, 2014
    Wooley Swamp
    If you think this is the only time you'll be stuck with a trainer, you'd better set your sights higher....Much, MUCH higher than J.B. Hunt! Not only that, but you'd better get yourself at least a year under your belt before you jump ship. I know Swift sucks (did you do any research beforehand??!?) but you set your own place at the table; now you gotta eat what's cooked for you- nasty veggies and all!

    Good luck and stay safe. A clean CDL is a must for your "ticket" out of there!
    FreightlinerGuy Thanks this.
  4. pumpkinhead

    pumpkinhead Light Load Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    man that sucks. I just had a student and I took time to make sure we updated the paper logs and kept on track with all the paperwork. And i am always talking and listening and trying to answer questions or give advice. My training experience wasn't great either, I hated it.
    Wild Murphy Thanks this.
  5. cannonrush

    cannonrush Light Load Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    Swift isn't that bad. But I definitely would never do this 200 hour mentor thing again.
    RookieJ1987 and antoinefinch Thank this.
  6. dodgeram440rt

    dodgeram440rt Heavy Load Member

    May 19, 2009
    Piqua, Ohio
    Your opinion of a company, any company regardless of what it is, is based entirely upon the people you encounter within that company. Unfortunately for you, so far it seems you've encountered some of the worse parts of Swift, especially your "mentor". From the things you have posted, this guy is a complete moron and I will be more than happy to tell him for you if you wish. At the end of your training you should feel confident enough to go out on your own and be able to capably do the job at hand, and it sounds like you aren't sure if you are ready.

    On one hand, that is understandable and to be expected. It's a big step going out on your own with no back up in the bunk behind you. It's all on you. You should be looking at the team portion of training as actually being on your own and run the truck as yours during the times you are driving. At this time, you should be doing ALL of the work: dropping, hooking, checking in with shippers and customers, backing, fueling, paperwork, etc, not because your mentor is lazy but because you need to learn to do it.

    If you aren't satisfied with the training you are getting, call your training coordinator and discuss it with them. They have no idea what is going on out on the road and really don't know what kind of trainer your mentor is unless you tell them. If he isn't teaching you the proper way of doing things and forcing you to violate HOS rules, tell them. If you want a different mentor, let them know. It might take a couple days to get a different mentor, depending on whether one is available where you are, but it could make a world of difference as well.

    A couple more things...your training is as much your responsibility as it is the mentors. Meaning there are certain tasks that are your responsibility to complete and it's not his job to babysit you. Namely doing the paper logs. It may seem redundant to do the paper logs along with the e-logs, but Swift requires that you do it so you know how in case your Qualcomm should malfunction and you have to use paper logs. One of the hardest problems I had with my students was getting them to understand that they had to do the paper logs as they did the work thruout the day just as they did the e-logs. They would always try to catch up the paper logs at the end of the day. But if you ever have to actually use the paper logs, you can't try to do it all at the end of the day. You won't have the Qualcomm to tell you what you did and when you did it. It is your responsibility to do it as you do it.

    It is also your responsibility to learn everything you can, and you learn by asking questions. If you are unsure about something, ask. If the answer you get is not sufficient, ask again. Discuss the problem with your mentor. Sometimes we forget what it's like to be a newbie. The job becomes so second nature to us that we forget that you don't know everything you need to know. Talk to your mentor and let him know about your concerns. And be honest. He can't help if he doesn't know the truth.

    Swift may not be a perfect company, but to be honest, there is no perfect company. Every company out there has their issues. Swift is a good company. Basically, it is what you make it, just as anywhere else. Some people stick around for a month, some three months, or six or a year and then jump ship for something they think is gonna be better only to be disappointed. Some of us are happy where we are, learn the system, stick it out and make some good money.
    SHOJim Thanks this.
  7. iloveatrucker

    iloveatrucker Light Load Member

    Jan 17, 2015
    Sincere question, but isn't it illegal to have 2 different log books, and since the qualcomm is recording one, the paper logs would be considered a second. Or is it okay as long as they match perfectly?

    (My fiance went through swift training too. His trainer never had him record the paper logs either.)
  8. w.h.o

    w.h.o Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Chicago, il
    Welcome to trucking, you'll see that a lot going solo.

    That's seem common for megas

    Do a year with swift and move up. Jb hunt isn't that better, but what is your main goal? Home daily? Regional? Owner operator? Flatbed?
  9. 8thnote

    8thnote Road Train Member

    Aug 12, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    When I was a trainer at Stevens, they told us to tell the students to write "for training purposes only" with a black sharpie on the front of the paper log.
    MM3Deg and iloveatrucker Thank this.
  10. dodgeram440rt

    dodgeram440rt Heavy Load Member

    May 19, 2009
    Piqua, Ohio
    Swift says to write "For Training Only" on the signature line of each log page. It's not an official document until it is signed with your name.
    MM3Deg and iloveatrucker Thank this.
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