The duration of CDL training is about on par with other company sponsored programs. It’s a very fast paced CDL course and you should expect a lot of information and learning in a very short period of time, so be prepared. The number of hours spent both in the classroom and driving trucks are comparable to the other company sponsored CDL programs we’ve reviewed.
Also note the very early schedule. We were told classes usually start at 5am and you do not want to be late to class. It’s extremely important to arrive on time each and every day.
Time spent with a company trainer is based upon number of driving hours. Trainees need a minimum of 200-300 hours before they are eligible to run solo. Generally, this takes about 5 to 6 weeks.
Weeks 1 - 4 = $450 per week
Weeks 5 - 6+ = $550 per week (if necessary)
For the first week or so, trucks are only dispatched solo freight. Gradually, trainees will begin driving more and more each day. The trainer will make the ultimate determination of when to switch over to a team truck.
No, all training trucks only have one trainee.
Yes, while the truck is in motion all trainees sleep in the bottom bunk.
Trainees are required to call their personally assigned Driver Manager at least once per week to check in and discuss the progress they are making in the training program.Any issues can be discussed at that time, or trainees may call the main dispatch line to discuss any issues at any time. Disputes are handled on a case by case basis, but if a new mentor is needed one will be provided.
Yes, trainees may request to have a non-smoking trainer.
All trainers must have at least 1 year of experience and have an acceptable service and safety record.
Training pay and training duration is very comparable to other company training programs. We find that 4 to 6 weeks of training is the “sweet spot” as far as training duration is concerned and Swift fits right into that time frame.
It’s also good to see that the first week of training, the truck is dispatched as a solo operation. Many other companies start their trainees off in a team dispatched truck right away.
Starting pay is $.36 cpm, plus bonuses.
Drivers will receive an increase to $.38 after 1 year, and then get increases every year up to 15 years.
Swift offers a mileage bonus, as well as on-time and safe driving bonuses. Quarterly bonuses could be as much as $.08 cpm (a potential of around $2800 per quarter.)
Swift offers 3 medical plan options, 3 prescription drug options, life, dental and vision coverage, as well as a company wellness program. A company match 401k plan is also offered where swift matches your contribution up to 3% of your pay.
Cost of benefits depends entirely on which options a driver chooses and how many dependents need to be covered.
Health benefits begin 90 days after employment begins with 401k options available after 1yr.
After 1 year drivers receive 5 days of paid vacation at $400
2 - 4 years drivers receive 10 days of paid vacation at $1,000
5 years or more is 15 days paid out at $1,800
The payment structure at Swift leaves a bit to be desired, only because it’s a complicated scale. Pay is based off of the length of haul and geographical region for any given load assignment. While starting pay out of training is fairly low compared to other motor carriers, there are more raises in the first year than usual (5 in the first 12 months).
We always recommend you stick it out with your first company for a minimum of 1 year, and by that time, your pay will be right about average compared to the industry standard.
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