So, here is the story I've been keeping to myself.
I had a pretty good sum of money rat holed and my wife and I wanted to start a new business. I also have an investor who is willing to join in. We had decided to move ahead with being an O/O.
I got my permissions from Swift and started talking to a recruiter. I know they all lie about everything and I made it clear I would not be leasing a Swift truck. That backed him off and he basically wouldn't give me much info. I called Lone Mtn in Las Vegas and after telling them what I was looking for the salesman said he had three trucks that would work. I got a load to LV and went to look at the trucks.
All three were Peterbilt 389's. Two were just junk and the third was worth paying for a Dyno on. I pulled a Rig Dig report and found out the truck had two crashes. LM said they had no info on the truck at all and I was welcome to call Knight. After making a few calls I found out the crashes were very minor. I was also told by Safety at Knight that when they sell a truck to LM they give them all of the service records. Not what LM told me.
I took the truck in for a Dyno and told LM I would take the truck IF it passed the Dyno and DOT inspection. Later that night I got a call from the shop. They got 4 minutes in and the truck overheated and A/C did not work. I called LM and told them it was a no go. The salesman told me I was being silly. I can afford to be with my own money and I walked.
The next day the Swift O/O recruiter called and said he had a truck in Memphis and it would work. I could afford to put down a large down and the payments would be more than LM but less than normal. I decided to fly out and look at the truck. This was a HUGE mistake.
The recruiter said that Swift would pay for the flight. After I turned my truck in at Fontana he called and said the ticket cost more then he thought and I would have to cover about $40. I said ok and forged ahead. He sent me an email with the Memphis terminal phone number and the truck number I was supposed to look at.
When I arrived in Memphis I called the terminal, explained my situation and was promptly transferred to Phoenix. It took me 4 calls to finally convince them not to transfer me. The hotel, who I called for a ride, had been banned from the airport property..according to them. Swift sent a driver to get me and off to the hotel I go.
What a dung hole. I noticed right off the strung out hookers in the lobby. I paid for the upgrade for my own room and tried to sleep. The next morning I headed to the terminal to see the truck. Now the problems really started.
The O/O recruiter had no idea I was going to be there. She said the truck wasn't ready but I could look at it. I took the keys and found the truck. The batteries were stone dead. I walked back to the shop and asked them to come jump start the truck. A mechanic came out and had to use two different power packs to get it started. Once started there was an engine msg that came up. The windows also had a home installed tint that looked like a little kid did it. I never got to drive the truck. I went back and told the recruiter what I had found and that I really couldn't evaluate the truck the way it was. She made a list of things to have fixed and told me it would be done in a couple of day. She gave me three nights back at the scumbag hotel.
On Tuesday afternoon she called and said the truck was ready. Because it was so late I knew the paperwork couldn't be done until Wed. and doing so would short me a week before I had to make a payment. I told her I would be there early Thursday morning to look over the truck and if it was ok I would take it.
The truck wouldn't start. Once again the batteries weren't strong enough to turn the truck over. I made sure it was out of gear and tried again, still nothing. I checked the batteries and they hadn't been changed. I couldn't even drive the truck out of the lot even if it did start. I had seen enough and took the keys back. I told he I would go back to being a company driver and asked who should talk to about getting a truck.
I went to the truck assignment office and was told to come back in two hours when they might have something. I told them I would not spend another night in Memphis. I called Lewiston and talked with them about how this whole thing had played out. They called Memphis and said to check back at 1130 and they should have a truck. I checked back and was told to come back in an hour. I did and the gal was gone to lunch. 45 minutes later I came back. She said the truck wasn't ready. She told me to come back in 30 minutes. I did and she said she just checked on the truck and it still hadn't been to the detail shop. I told her at least twice that I would not spend another night in Memphis based on the word from anyone at Swift. It was now after 1400 hours and I called Lewiston and talked to the fleet manager. I explained how my week had gone and that I was flying home. I was tired of the Swift lies and did not believe there was a truck being cleaned up for me. I also told her that I would be happy to still drive for Swift, however I was going home for a few days to clear my head. She agreed and said they had several trucks in Lewiston they could issue me, all she needed to know is when I would be back to work. I gave her a date and she said great. She did encourage me to write a detailed report about the entire incident, including something that happened when I walked in to the Security Office. I won't get into it more then only to say if ANYONE had said what was said in another company....immediate terminations would follow.
I purposely left this story a bit vague. I'm going back to being a company driver and will stay that way for at least another year.
The start of my first year with Swift.
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Sherif! I'm interested in what happened! The suspense is killing me! Lol
My truck was cleaned out and turned in the way it was supposed to be back in Fontana. I've talked to the fleet manager in Lewiston and I'll be showing up on Tuesday to get a 2013 Kenworth and have a few meetings with some folks with a higher pay grade then I have.UncleMeano Thanks this.
I was getting a little worried there for a bit. About you, mrh and the decisions I have recently made. As of 4pm today I am officially a swift driver. I went to swift academy in Millington and am assigned to the Ocala terminal I got coded today and was really concerned if I had made the right decision to drive for swift instead of werner. If I gather the story right I should not walk away from leasing or owning through swift but run like h***. I'm glad that everything seems as though it is manageable at this point and now that we have the rest of the story. Good luck and keep posting I always look forward to your posts.
As with any job, there are ups and downs, and each employee must make their own decisions on what is acceptable and what is not. Theramsey3, my first year with SWIFT really was OK, my only complaint for the first year was sitting for too long occasionally. My mentor Is a great driver and was very helpful, Home time was on time nearly every time, the equipment I was in was always safe and road ready and after 8 months or so phoenix let me choose my own trucks, for the last 6 months, i didnt drive anything older than 2011! never had a single problem with payroll, over all it wasn't a bad experience for me. If I were to start all over, I might even choose swift as my starter company. But keep in mind, swift is in fact a starter company and the easiest way for them to make money is to bring on the new guys at $0.25 a mile. At one year, you'll be at 32cpm with swift while other companies will offer 35-37cpm for 1 year experience. Money talks!
OK, so you had a bad experience with the foray into buying a truck and were just shagged about about but I can't see why this should deter you from still making the career switch to O/O.
This seems the only road to go down if you're to do well in trucking and if you can finance a deal, you're halfway there.
You're smart, know how to "drive", don't let the hiccups in the client interaction derail you, and have a good work ethic. I've read the long posts from people like the Klingons etc and what is evident is that it's a big learning curve and that truck ownership is expensive. It should be compulsory reading for anyone contemplating O'O.
Eight years ago I had the opportunity to buy a $175,000 truck but did my sums on the hourly hire rate I was offered and decided not to go ahead. One guy went ahead because the "new truck thing" was too tempting and went belly up 6 months later. I didn't have the benefit of being able to tune into the experiences of prospective owners on a forum like this but there's no excuse for you not understanding what you're getting into.
I'd bet that you're not going to be able to tolerate much more of being a Swift company driver so it may be time to stop banging your head against a wall. Have a few days off and recusitate "the plan".
Anyway I hope things get better. You deserve it.
I've not given up the idea of being an O/O, I still have a plan, I'm thinking I was too hasty in trying to go there just yet. I will not buy a truck after Sept. 1st because of the lack of time to save up money for the 1st quarter slow down. I think doing so is a recipe for failure.
In trying to evaluate my experience with Swift for the O/O deal, I feel I have to see it from eyes of a customer. I was there to potentially lease a truck from a truck dealer. Swift seems to put you into a position of "take it or else." I'm certain they never expected me to turn the truck down or pay for my own way home. The recruiter made it clear that is what would happen if I didn't take the truck even before I had seen it.
Today I will start writing a letter to the terminal manager, as requested, about my experience. The bottom line is that I no longer have any trust for Swift when it comes to the O/O side. They will have to earn that back.
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