How long before a new trucker gets his mentor after orientation?

by Liz
(Fort Wayne, IN)

My husband just recently graduated from trucking school and is currently going thru orientation thru Swift.1How soon before they get their mentors for their 6 week training and can he request a specific route for his mentor to be home on weekends? This is super hard on me and my depression is bad knowing he decided to truck for a living and could use any advice you have how to maintain our marriage without me leaving him. I understand also that pets cannot come along if I decide to travel with him. Is this true?

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Feb 05, 2010
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Hold ON!!
by: 17 yr driver

I remember when I first started, seemed like it would never get better. It will be hard for some time BUT, it will get easier also! The pay will get better with his experience and he will have better opportunities. I understand that you are feeling depressed but he also is going through a hard time adjusting to being away from home. In order to make it work in this industry, don't tell him how much you miss him and wish he was home when he calls, instead, talk about how proud of him you are and how the new career will be good for both of you. It is a very hard time for new drivers, I wanted to quit many times but my wife was very supportive and kept telling me how she bragged on me, that was a long time ago, now, I am home daily, love the company I work for (FedEX) make pretty good money, and have time for my family! I drove OTR for 1 year and put in an application here at fed ex and have been here ever since. we Bought a house with 15 acres after I worked here for 2 years. So trust me, if you stand each other, this new trucking career he has will make things better for both of you in the future. Just bear down and hold on for a short time and it will be worth it!! Good luck!!

Jan 23, 2010
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Swift orientation
by: Robin

Hi Liz - My husband works for Swift, so I'm familiar with their orientation process. I know this is really hard, but this is by far and away the worst part! I'll tell you my experience, I can't say yours will be the same. The sign-on policy was out for 2 days of orientation at the terminal. They have a mentor come to the terminal on the end of the 2nd day they leave right away, they may have to wait until someone's available, some guys waited a wk and 1/2. Out for 43 days....45 days on the truck. Home time for him or the mentor extends this mentor period. If they can't get freight back it may be a day or 2 more. The mentor my husband had was from Texas and we live in Minnesota,he did not get home the entire time; his mentor got home. They never once got freight coming close to MN; that mentor has been a driver with Swift for 10 years AND he was an owner-operator, so it's different for him than a company driver.He can request from his DM to be in a certain region, but the chances are slim at getting what you want when you're first starting out. Swift has a system of rating. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum....depending on how many miles they put on, their rate of on-time deliveries, etc., so the drivers at Platinum status get preference for routes. Right now a dedicated route is pretty much out of the question. He can requestto stay away from a certain place...like New York City, but that doesn't mean they won't send him there. I'm sorry to say that Swift does not really do dedicated routes, but certain terminals get sent freight loads for certain regions, so, our terminal out of MN handles a lot of freight through the midwest, and he usually goes east - as far south as Alabama and Georgia and all the way up to New Jersey and New York, and everything in-between to get there. The money's not great at first, I'll be honest.He's been driving with Swift for 6 months, and he has Platinum status, he's had 3 raises, so his checks are finally starting to look a little better. Not great, though, for the amount of work they do and what they go through! I'm sorry, it sounds kind of bleak....after they're done with orientation they have to be out a MINIMUM of 12 days per trip, to get a 2-day home time. My husband stays out 3 weeks because it works out better for his payroll and he gets 3 days home....so we see him 3 days a month. That part stinks. It's tough in the beginning, for sure! If you can get through this you can get through anything! He'll have 6 days off before he'll have to go out again, when he gets his own truck. The rider policy is that you have to be with them for 1 year before you have a rider. You can also go to the Swift website for info. Did I answer the questions you were looking for? If you need any help getting through this feel free to join our trucker's wives group on facebook...there are over 50 women in the group who are all dealing with families and supporting their road warriors...we'd love to have you. Take care, Liz! Robin

Jan 21, 2010
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Overcoming life's little bumps in the road
by: Anonymous

Yeah hun unfortunately there is no way to get around the 6 week training period. Its hard times so after he gets his training in things will become easier I promise. As long as the company is making money you will too.

Its a tough road but you have found a great support group here. Look them up on facebook....LAATtruckers wives websites all over....very helpful info! Hang in there....my hubby has been at it for 2 and 1/2 years now and Im still not used to it....but for some guys its where the money is. Good luck to yall!

Jan 21, 2010
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answer
by: Keith S.

Usually,orientation is between 3 and 5 days depending on the company. Right after that they are matched up with a trainer or mentor. Again depending on the company the training period is usually a period of 4-6 weeks.

Unfortunately,unless things have changed,the likelyhood of your husband getting home during that period is slim to almost none,unless the trainer requests loads that are in the area,which usually doesn't happen.

Also,as to the pets and riders,that varies by company so hard to say,I am not familiar with Swift's policies on those subjects.

Jun 18, 2016
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New truckers for Swift and I'm one wife. NEW
by: Ronda Brown

We can not go 1mouth without a pay check. We have an SUV to pay for.He was told he would get payed for orientation. I hope they keep their word. If you work you should get payed just like the office people do.Once every week.

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