I am a current Swift Driver. I am also retired from another career in law enforcement and I really do not have to worry much about the job security. I drive to see the country but I also believe in a good work ethic so I do my best even when I am frustrated. This job can get the best of you if you let it. Like any other labor service, not much is required in terms of education to do the job, so if you expect that kind of professional treatment, you in the wrong business. The same goes for most of the "management" in the company. DM's are not really managers, for the most part they are your mouthpiece to the real mangement which is the Terminal Manager and the Dept. Heads, Like maintenence, fleet, etc. These are the people who have the juice at the local level. If you notice, there is no real avenue to upper management unless you are bold enough to find names and email addresses. And in cases where those people are contacted by drivers, they tend to try and hide by contacting the Terminal Manager to intimidate you and your complaint. On the other hand, if you are merely posting your frustration on this website then you are not doing much to help yourself. Most drivers have gone through the usual intimidation tactics that DMs and others use. And it's usually your conscience that they target to get you to comply. Some of the lines include "Per company policy" or "This is the what the job is" or "You agreed to do the job" or my favorite "this is an atwill job". The truth of the matter is that you can be fired at any time from any job in the U.S., the question is; Can the employer say it was for cause? Thus not having to pay the unemployment payments to you. Corporations do not see you as an individual, "literally" you are a number. But not to fret, so is your DM and the rest. The real trick is "Proof" and legal proof at that. What is legal proof? First is direct testimony, Your word. Next is documentation; Did you write anything down? Next is tangeble; Do you have pictures or other documents such as receipts? Then comes witnesses and so on. Getting mad and venting on the phone helps a little in the heat of the moment but it is largely what is expected from you and really useless. So here is what I do: first, keep good paperwork. Your scans are great proof especially if you document arrive and departure times on the BOL. Second, use the email address of your DM/Dispatcher to communicate problems with them or anyone else in the company but don't use their system. Use your own email address. In most cases they will not respond directly to any of your claims via email because the lawyers tell them not to. Remember, emails are time and date stamped, create a folder for your sent and received and move them into it as you go along. But be very professional and do not use profane language. Be direct and to the point and even bold and name names. If you are making a claim for compensation then state in the email somewhere that it is a claim for, ie. "please accept this as my claim for $25.00 as detention on order #00001", This is considered legal notice. Now here is the difficult ones. If your company uses qualcomm then take a digital picture of all of your messages, use muti pics if the message is long. Then transfer those pictures to a folder on a computer and label them by the date and time on the message. Believe me, you will thank yourself later. This is a timeline in addition to your log and can be used as "direct evidence" in any proceeding. Record "all" messages you receive on the unit, even if you think it is useless. Next, if your company has a website and a way for you to see your pay statements and or performance evaluations, Print them or store them on your computer or get copies when the occassion arises. Write an email to yourself to record statements made to you by anyone in the company, remember, it's timed and dated and therefore admissible in most cases as a journal or diary. Next, keep up on your company and the complaints against it in the courts. Companies are always being sued by someone. if you have a computer then just type in the name of your company and the word lawsuit. You'd be surprised what pops up. You can join a lawsuit if it pertains to you and your situation. Usually the plaintiff attorney will be on it and you can contact them directly. You can also look at company activity if it is publicly traded to see how it is doing financially. When you research a company, look for patterns, such as the same kind of complaints and who is making them and why and where. This can give you great info on what to avoid.
Now here is a couple of don'ts, Don't rely on what you hear from other drivers or even from dispatchers or DM's. If you are serious about your complaints, then don't share them openly. certain drivers love to spread rumors and bragg. If you are serious about your job then be professional at all times and don't blame customers for your problems or time spent. If you are not sure of how to wod something, then seek help away from the business. Call an old friend or teacher and use a dictionary. Remember, your writings could end up in front of a jury. And always treat the people you are complaining to as if they were a jury, professional and to the point. That way your story never changes and is consistent. Now here is a tactic you can use if you want to. Recently, drivers have been informed about the the new CSA guidelines. You should always remember that if you are the one responsible for the truck then you dictate weather or not it is safe for operation. If you are being harassed by a DM on something, when you get to where you are going to do your hometime, Do a PTI and note "ANY" little thing you find and present it to the shop, not your DM. If it is a company truck then it has to be inspected and delt with before you go back out. We all know that aging trucks always have problems, and if the equipment gets enough reports then the company investigates it for liability. Again, remember, the company is about numbers and not your feelings. Business is business, it works both ways. Hope this helps some of you and if you work for Swift, check this out http://www.hbsslaw.com/cases-and-investigations/swift_transportation_lawsuit it is a link go on it and check the "related news". If you follow company news then you know about the recent message about Maptuit and the company has gone public and B service is now every 35k miles, all of these are related to cost. Usually a company that goes public is an exit strtegy for the owner. I could be wrong but then again...