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 240hrs before they are eligible to run solo. Generally, this takes about 4 to 6 weeks.
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.
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.
Drivers receive an increase in pay rapidly during the first year at 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and again at 1yr. After the 1yr mark, drivers receive a pay raise every year for the next 5 years.
No, a fuel bonus is not offered. Drivers do receive layover pay, detention pay, load/unload pay and breakdown pay at varying rates depending on circumstances.
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.
To qualify for vacation time, drivers must maintain a minimum of 6,500 miles each month for one full year.
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.
Posted on 5 December 2013
I've never turned away from a challenge or a new path. But I also never thought I would find myself living in a semi truck with my truck driving husband, going over-the-road for twelve weeks at a time. What would possess me to do such a thing? I'm glad you asked. Maybe I can share the adventure with you. Maybe, one day, you will be faced with a similar decision and this account will help you make the right choice for you. Continue reading →
Posted on 26 November 2013
At TruckingTruth we're always telling everyone that they control their own destiny in trucking. And yet now I'm saying that you can't get anywhere without the right people supporting your efforts. So which is it??? Do you control your own destiny or is it controlled by others around you? The answer, quite simply, is yes to both! It's actually quite simple to understand so let's lay it out for ya... Continue reading →
The post You Won’t Get Anywhere In Trucking If You Can’t Get Along With Your Support Personnel appeared first on TruckingTruth.
Posted on 22 August 2013
Company-sponsored CDL training versus private CDL training is one of the first big career decisions you'll make. Here's a quick rundown of the differences between the two different types of schooling and what criteria you should use to make your decision. Continue reading →
The post Private Schooling Versus Company-Sponsored: The Basic Differences appeared first on TruckingTruth.
Posted on 21 August 2013
There's nothing that comes natural when learning to drive a rig. But learning to back these things up? Are you kidding me? That's the worst. I mean, the stupid thing bends in the middle! Here's a fun way to approach your training that will certainly help you out in a big way... Continue reading →
The post The Backing Range At Trucking Driving School – It’s Like Clown Soup For The Soul appeared first on TruckingTruth.
Posted on 15 August 2013
Every year thousands of people sabatoge their truck driving career before it ever gets off the ground. They come into the trucking industry with bad information, the wrong attitude, and the wrong approach. They're doomed to failure before they even know how many wheels are on an 18 wheeler. Here's the story of how that happens and what you can do to avoid the same fate. Continue reading →
The post The Story Of Why So Many Rookie Drivers Fail And How To Avoid It appeared first on TruckingTruth.
Posted on 5 August 2013
Recruiters for truck driving schools and trucking companies are a valuable resource for anyone considering a career as a truck driver. But far too many new drivers equate the professionalism of the recruiter with the quality of the company or school, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Let's take a look at what a recruiter's job is, how they can be valuable to you as a potential driver or student, and what mistakes you should avoid when interpreting the conversations you're having with recruiters. Continue reading →
The post The Biggest Mistake New Drivers Make When Speaking With Recruiters appeared first on TruckingTruth.
Posted on 23 July 2013
By far the toughest aspect of truck driving is handling the endless stream of mental challenges you'll face day after day, month after month, year after year. It never ends. In order to stay safe out there and enjoy your career there are two things you have to watch out for... Continue reading →
The post 2 Mental Mistakes That Cost Drivers Their Sanity…And Maybe More appeared first on TruckingTruth.
Posted on 11 July 2013
If each truck driver would be a true professional...dress well, work with pride, talk kindly...the American public would respect us once again. Continue reading →
Posted on 8 July 2013
One of the most common reasons people walk away from trucking is the relentless solitude; the isolation from their home, their family, and their friends. And if that isn't bad enough, the most heartbreaking part may be that it doesn't necessarily end when you get home. Sometimes the isolation you experience after returning home from the road is the part you'll find to be the most unbearable of all. Continue reading →
The post Solitude Becomes Every Truck Drivers Heaven Or Hell appeared first on TruckingTruth.
Posted on 20 May 2013
Not all trainers are created equal. There are some really good ones out there and there are some that, frankly, we'd be better off without. But you're being tested out there every day in a number of different ways, many of which you may not even be aware of. Continue reading →
The post Your Trainer Will Test You On Far More Than Just Your Driving Skills appeared first on TruckingTruth.