Most people by now realize that there are big national trucking companies, and then there are smaller, owner-operated trucking operations. Some of the biggest companies in America offer on-the-job training for professional drivers. In fact, many professional truck drivers earn their initial CDL through one of these approved training programs. However, it tends to be throughout the industry, at least anecdotally, the same companies that provide this training are often companies that offer poor driver pay and have low retention of quality drivers. If you or a loved one are injured in any of these Swift, or other truck accidents, contact Kruger & Hodges to defend your rights.
According to Swift’s own information, they operate about 16,000 trucks in their fleet. Truckingtruth.com, an industry-wide source of information on trucking companies and training, the company’s CDL driver training program lasts about six weeks. Here is the problem, though. Six weeks of driver training should be adequate for most people to learn the ropes and become qualified truck drivers. However, it is not really enough time to become a proficient and safe operator. That takes a lot longer. Swift has a bit of a reputation for hiring inexperienced and poor-quality drivers. It is a reputation that seems to persist. This may be because unlike most trucking companies, Swift will hire people with absolutely no prior experience operating a tractor-trailer. While yes, they do get the minimum amount of training to become licensed, most people leave the company to go make more money after they have obtained experience, leaving the company with a relatively less experienced workforce when compared to competitors.
When it comes to truck drivers, experience is everything. Muscle memory, knowing the tricks of the trade, and understanding how to navigate tricky situations can all be life-saving advantages in dangerous traffic conditions. Experience can be the difference between turning onto a road that the truck should not be on or getting stuck under a bridge. Experience can be the difference between pushing yourself too far or stopping for rest. Maturity and experience tend to be the two biggest factors in driver safety, as well.
If you ask most truck drivers, Swift, like some of the other large entry-level trucking companies on the road, has a serious turnover problem. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, driver turnover is one of the biggest problems plaguing the industry. A study from 2008 showed that most companies experienced more than 100% turnover each year. This would be unsustainable for any other business model. The study also revealed that of the new drivers surveyed, about a quarter of them were not with their original company just 60 days after being hired and that after just 100 days, over half of them were gone. Less than 3% of all brand-new drivers surveyed in the study were still with their original employer a year after hire.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a careless and inexperienced Swift truck driver, call Kruger & Hodges today. Our skilled truck accident lawyers will happily speak with you free of charge to learn more about your case and see if we can help. We never take a fee upfront either, so you have no risk or obligation for making the call.