Greetings everyone that actually reads this!!
I am happy to report that I just completed my Pre-CABS test. I missed one question, that concerned the chain-of-command in Swift. One of those questions where I answered how it actually happens vs what the book answer is. The main thing is I passed. I actually had till the 17th of Jan to complete it, but I figured since I am sitting here in Seville, OH watching it try to snow I may as well be productive.
I also received an email today letting me know my Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) was approved and ready for pick-up. I wonder if having a Top Secret clearance when I was in the military had anything to do with it getting approved so quick. I was told it would take 4-6 weeks, but mine came back in two.
The reason I need the card is due to Homeland Security. All drivers that go into ports need them. Although I don't go into ports, but a lot of the steel mills we haul out of are going to require this to get in. It looks just like an Active Duty Military I'd with the little chip in it and needing to create an 8 digit pin. Supposedly it will speed up access into the mills.
I kicked myself in the ass a bit when I applied for it though. See, it cost $132.50. Swift reimburses that expense though. FOR COMPANY DRIVERS… Although, I can still deduct it on my taxes.
Another thing I totally forgot about was my student loan ($3,600) with Swift for the driving school. As a company driver, the were paying half of the loan. Than if you stay with them a second year you get the $1,800 back you paid towards the loan. Well, Swift really loves me right now. When I became an O/O Swift stops paying which means I assume responsibility for the loan. That means I have $1,800 to pay them now and will not get that money back. However, another tax deduction. 🙂
Still not getting the MPG I want yet either, but am hoping that starts to change. The numbers show that if I can improve my MPG by 1 mile that saves me $15,000 in fuel cost over the year. So, you can understand my incentive. I don't even drive the 68 I am allowed. I normally keep it at 64, but may drop it down to 62 for awhile and see what happens. Although I have been in the mountains of NC, VA, and WV the past week. I highly doubt anyone can get above 5.5mpg going through the mountains with 45K lbs behind them. Hell, some of the spots I was in 5th gear going 25mph.
I am confident I will get good mileage on the next run though. I'm picking up in Cleveland and delivering to Albuquerque. Lots o flat land between here and there.
That also means I will be stopping by the house. Angie is in DC until Friday though, but I can still make my Monday morning delivery if I leave Sat morning.
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