How to Start Work with Swift Trucking

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Swift Transportation, formerly named Common Market, was founded in 1966 by Jerry Moyes. Originally hauling steel and cotton between California and Arizona, Swift drivers now log billions of miles per year with more than 17,000 Volvo and Freightliner trucks and 37 service centers in the U.S. and Mexico. Whether you are an experienced trucker, work as an owner/operator or have never been behind the wheel of a big rig before, Swift can get you on the road to a successful truck-driving career.

Things You'll Need

  • CDL (commercial driver's license)
  • Certified MVR report
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Contact a Swift recruiter or one of the six Swift Driving Academy locations (see Reference section) to sign up for the 23-day program. The cost is $3,900, which will be reimbursed to you over 26 months of employment with Swift.

  • Follow the checklist for the academy in which you have enrolled. Bring all required paperwork, and be ready to take drug tests and physical/health screenings.

  • Spend six to seven weeks with a Swift mentor after successful completion of a Swift Driving Academy course. You'll be learning the ropes and gaining insight and knowledge from veteran drivers.

  • Start driving on your own. There are a number of options, including driving solo or as part of a team. You can also choose, to some extent, which type of loads you will haul (dry, reefer or heavy). Some positions are only available after you have proven driving ability, after at least six months from your date of hire.

  • Take advantage of opportunities to learn more skills and pick up endorsements for double trailers, tankers and hazardous materials to improve your earnings and further your truck driving career.

  • Call the east or west Swift recruiter (see link in Resource section) to discuss options, benefits, drive time, home time and to get answers for any other questions you may have.

  • Complete the online application, including driving experience and work history. Read the acknowledgment and send by clicking on the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the page.

  • Submit to any required pre-employment drug and medical screenings and driving tests.

  • Complete all required paperwork, including any waivers, releases and tax forms (W-4).

  • Request an assignment, if you have a preference. Certain positions require more experience and driving endorsements, so talk with your recruiter and hiring manager about the course of your driving career with Swift.

  • Review the Swift Transportation leasing program options, if you do not already own your own rig. Also download and read the owner/operator contract and information regarding the compensation and benefits of the program. (See Resources section for link.)

  • Contact a recruiter to fully discuss your options as a Swift owner/operator. At this time the recruiter can determine if you meet Swift's owner/operator qualifications. Write down any questions you have before calling, and keep a notepad with you during your telephone discussion.

  • Complete the application, and sign the contract to enter into an owner/operator relationship with Swift, if you are qualified and decide to go with this option. Also forward copies of your CDL and DOT physical and medical card (it must be less than 60 days old).

  • Purchase all necessary licensing, insurance and permits for your rig, and get set up with a Qualcom unit (required) and Pre-Pass system.

  • Communicate with your recruiter and hiring manager to determine what types of loads you will haul, your start date, the process involved in getting loads and getting paid and any other procedural issues.

  • Keep accurate records of all expenditures and income. To ease your burden, you may want to consider hiring an accountant, or at the very least a tax professional, to keep the financial aspect of your business in order.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drivers who have three years of DOT-regulated employment before the application date have the right to review, have errors corrected and rebut any statements from previous employers under DOT Regulation 391.23 (i)(1), (i)(1)(i), (i)(1)(ii), (i)(1)(iii).
  • Photo Credit DS Waltenburg 2005
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