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.
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.
Swift has a fairly complicated sliding pay scale. The amount you’re paid per mile depends on the length of dispatch and the area of the country you are traveling. But starting pay will range from a minimum of $0.25 per mile to a maximum of $0.41 per mile with 5 pay raises in the first year. Payday is once per week on Tuesdays. You can view the full sliding pay scale here.
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.