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Swift Diary

Topic 19355 | Page 3

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

TrafficJam wrote:

I forgot for awhile that I was hoping to get on some kind of dedicated here out of or to Plainview, TX. There is a huge Wal-Mart Distribution Ctr., here.

Based on the information I have available to me through the driver's portal, Walmart's Plainview DC is a General Merchandise DC, not typically outsourced with an outside transportation partner. WMPF trucks and drivers run loads for the GM DCs almost exclusively. Thus Swift is NOT contracted as a transportation/store delivery partner for this facility or based on my information any DC in the state of Texas.

I suggest the following; once you are assigned a Driver Development Manager, let them know your intent and ask how you can make it happen. You might be able to pick-up a Walmart assignment for a Grocery DC in an adjacent state.

Good luck.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Traffic Jam's Comment
member avatar

Well, I am here at Corsicana, TX where the Swift Academy is. I drove by and took a look and it looked pretty organized and like they had it together. One thing I will put to rest are the complaints I saw about the motel they put up you up in. They put you up in the LA Quinta Inn here at Corsicana. Pretty swanky. Nice, clean, comfortable.

One thing I learned that I did not know about at all is that the Swift instructors are authorized by the State of TX to do the final CDL testing on behalf of the State. Wow, how convenient is that!

Well, tomorrow is the first day. I think it's going to be a lot of work, study, scrambling, application and .... fun!

Going to rest now. Talk to you all tomorrow perhaps.

-Traffic Jam

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

Good luck Traffic Jam. I look forward to your updates.

Well, I am here at Corsicana, TX where the Swift Academy is. I drove by and took a look and it looked pretty organized and like they had it together. One thing I will put to rest are the complaints I saw about the motel they put up you up in. They put you up in the LA Quinta Inn here at Corsicana. Pretty swanky. Nice, clean, comfortable.

One thing I learned that I did not know about at all is that the Swift instructors are authorized by the State of TX to do the final CDL testing on behalf of the State. Wow, how convenient is that!

Well, tomorrow is the first day. I think it's going to be a lot of work, study, scrambling, application and .... fun!

Going to rest now. Talk to you all tomorrow perhaps.

-Traffic Jam

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Traffic Jam's Comment
member avatar

Ok! Just completed day two. So far, so great! Today is 5/23/17.

First Impressions: I felt good right off the bat as the facility is modern and well equipped , and comfortable. Three separate classrooms, each with hi tech presentation devices for teaching purposes. Student chairs and tables are made for adults and the break room and facilities are very adequate.

There is a shop attached to one end of the bldg; a bus barn for the Bluebird, and many trucks and trailers (TT). The staff seem very forthright and clear to hear and understand. They put put their expectations to us right away and we got off to a grand start.

The first day was taken up with documentations, drug test, etc. Par for the course and to be expected and no problem for me or anyone that I saw so far. However, this afternoon I noticed we had 13 of the original 15 there in the class.

We had some homework last night and it was on let's see... a chapter on shifting, a chapter on h.o.s. and logs and a chapter on trip planning. I am through with the text now. I'll try to put the title and author here tomorrow as I meant to write that down today. Pretty neat book, about 1.5 inches thick! On evry subject one could think of that a novice driver would want to read about it seemed to me.

Today we spent half a day each on log books/rules pertaining thereto and trip planning. It was a blast for me. Map reading, stuff like that is easy cut of my background. Also, logs and HOS were very comfortable to me because of THE HIGHROAD. I recommend it! Here on TT.

Tomorrow, third day we start out with pre-trip inspection review and the straight line backing for the rest of the day. I am enjoying myself, feel good about everything and looking forward to tomorrow.

I don't get how people speak negatively about Swift Academy. I am very satisfied thus far and my room mate tells me (he is in his last week ) he has no complaints and thinks everything here seems very professional and good. Not a mill by any stretch of the imagination. And we each have earned our CDL before at a different school/oganization. The support I see for this school and the resources available to it indicate to me it is a going concern for swift. Indeed they told us that Swift is to double their force of drivers from 26,000 to double that number.

The property has several acres to practice the backing and I would estimate about 20 TT there on the property with room for them to move. The instructor to student ratio is about 4/1 at the most. Some have been on 2/1.

I am back at the LA Quinta now and having a salad. At lunch, I eat pretty light I had what I usually do - a 8 oz., bottle of Boost and an apple. Then I walked three trips around the property and did my crunches on a outdoor picnic bench. Had one quiz this afternoon on what we had covered. No problem with it of course.

Thanks Brett and TT. More to come.

-Traffic Jam

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Traffic Jam's Comment
member avatar

Today was a great day and lots of fun and learning. We first were in class reviewing safety rules and theory on straight line backing, tips etc. Spent the rest of the day on the range doing this. 15 students with 6 trucks going at once it was the deal let me tell you. Man they got this set up with cones out and lanes marked and all. We took turns obviously and it was a blast. I was good right from first try because of past experience and schooling - so lucky me. It was fun to practice and I tried to hell a new friend and eventually he got it!

There are over 20 trucks at this facility and it's a happening. The ratio of students to trucks seems very good. The range instructors were there all day every moment supervising and helping. This was a great review time for me and just kinda fun.

Howsomever, at the end of the day I was tired. I did not say this but as we are all practicing backing up straight one of us always walks along beside, a safe distance away to be a spotter. So I was a little warm, sweaty and ready for a break for the day at the end.

Tomorrow we text out on straight line backing, take a written test on what we have covered in the classroom, turn in homework, move on to PTI/parallel and off set parking. Should be a good day.

I figure out today they have here in these trucks the same shifting patterns that we had in the trucks at Midland College. That makes it easier for me.

My room mate is in his last week and on Fri will probably test out and I will have a couple nights by myself. :-)

The trucks today were Volvo and Int'l. Everything sure seemed nice in the trucks. I saw deliveries today of six more tractors. Man this place is popping. I still think this is the place to be and I admire their set up, process, organization and routine. They take the time with those that need the extra help and I like to see that as I am sure at some point I will need extra help.

I feel like I have learned some new methodologies in the process today of going over straight line backing. All in all, a great day.

-Traffic Jam

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Traffic Jam's Comment
member avatar

2/25/17 Started off today with Straight Line Backing evaluation (test). Got it, passed no problems. :-)

Then we went to the classroom and did some stuff, had a break and then went out to do a walk through on a demonstrated Pre-trip Inspection. Back to the classroom after lunch to turn in homework. Then we did a test based on pre-trip planning, map reading, tracking counting miles (harder then it seems), determine fuel needs, and usage, etc.

We were told off the top we could do this in groups of three and I decided to do it by myself. In the end I really regreted it as I was running out of time at the end. In the last twenty minutes I jumped ahead to problems I could tell were "easy", then moved back to the other ones. At the last minute I was allowed to join a group and got five answers for five problems. I think the two part test had maybe 30 problems. I was real worried but in the end I received a score of 90! Yeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!!

So, things are going good here. Tomorrow we start the parallel and offset parking as well as combining pre-trip with it. I feel pretty good about everything and recommend Swift Academy here at Corsicana. If you read this diary please leave an encouraging comment. Thanks.

-Traffic Jam

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Traffic Jam's Comment
member avatar

2/25/17 I forgot to say that also today there was a written text on log books and H. O. S., which we had an hour to complete (could use our notes!). I never referred to my notes and completed this as fast as I read it. Took less than 5 minutes. I was then told I was on my own for the rest of the time.

I only say this to share that . . . You too may do the same as I did. Just study the high road system before you come to cdl school. It has put me ahead in every way. What a gift to us all is TruckingTruth.com I very much appreciate Bret and all his work and of others to make this site possible.

Traffic Jam

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

2/25/17 I forgot to say that also today there was a written text on log books and H. O. S., which we had an hour to complete (could use our notes!). I never referred to my notes and completed this as fast as I read it. Took less than 5 minutes. I was then told I was on my own for the rest of the time.

I only say this to share that . . . You too may do the same as I did. Just study the high road system before you come to cdl school. It has put me ahead in every way. What a gift to us all is TruckingTruth.com I very much appreciate Bret and all his work and of others to make this site possible.

Traffic Jam

Wow! Congrats on an amazing job! You obviously studied hard, and now it's paying off. How great does that feel, right?

We sure are glad to hear our High Road Training Program is working great!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you are through the majority of classroom work. The mapping exercise and test fails a lot of students, great job getting through that.

Good luck with the rest!

Big T's Comment
member avatar

Good job Traffic Jam. It looks like you are busting through this stuff. How long is the program you are going through? Our program was three weeks including testing and orientation and we did not get through trip planning.

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