My Swift Adventure- Columbus Academy

Topic 20224 | Page 2

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Michael B.'s Comment
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Hi roadpilot, what can you say about the camera? are you excited to go with the trainer yet and hopefully you can give some views on that too, like where you went, etc. always enjoy reading post, michael b.

Roadpilot's Comment
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Hi roadpilot, what can you say about the camera? are you excited to go with the trainer yet and hopefully you can give some views on that too, like where you went, etc. always enjoy reading post, michael b.

Hey Michael, I'm not to worried about the DriveCam, I dealt with the system at Greyhound and I'll just deal with it the same here. Our classroom instructor said you could cover up the inside facing camera when off duty or in sleeper berth status so that's a plus. I talked to a few other drivers that said Swift was disabling the inside facing camera so I may not have to worry about it at all, I expect I'll get more information when I go through orientation

And I will definitely do a diary when I head out with my mentor. Like I said I'm the first one on TT to go through the Columbus Academy so I'd like yo give the full picture if possible. I'm glad someone is getting something out of this!

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Roadpilot's Comment
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7/24 Day 7

First full day on the range.

Started off doing a Pretrip, did it in less than an 30mins but I'm still having problems with the verbiage.

Then went onto maneuvers, started off with the offsets, knocked those out then went to the blind side parallel. I had a extremely hard time with them initially, but after talking with the instructor I was able to get the truck into the box with little difficulty.

Then I decided to jump onto the 90 degree back (or alley dock). It was extremely ugly in the beginning and my frustration rose. After our lunch break I jumped back onto the "90" and it got slightly better. I'm able to get the truck into the box but I'm doing too many pull ups. I know it's my first day but I didn't feel like I was making much progress. The instructor said he thinks I'm doing great for somebody who is doing the 90 for the first time but by my standards I thought it was fair-poor.

That's pretty much it, back at it tomorrow

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
ACO476's Comment
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The Columbus terminal has some great mechanics staffed there. If you ever need work done and you can make it to Columbus, do so. Unless you're pulling reefer. They can't work on those there. Go to the back of the lot and you'll find quite a few broken reefer trailers.

Best of luck to you.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Michael B.'s Comment
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hello roadpilot, glad to hear everything is going good, out of curiousity where do they have you staying at? is it near the school or anything? also if you drive over there can you drive to the terminal or is there a shuttle to pick you up? thanks for the info. michael

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Roadpilot's Comment
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The Columbus terminal has some great mechanics staffed there. If you ever need work done and you can make it to Columbus, do so. Unless you're pulling reefer. They can't work on those there. Go to the back of the lot and you'll find quite a few broken reefer trailers.

Best of luck to you.

Thanks ACO476. I noticed a few of busted Central Refrigerated trailer in the rear near the training pad. Talking to the other drivers that are around it does seem like the shop here has its stuff together. Seeing as I want to go reefer it sucks they can't work on them here.

hello roadpilot, glad to hear everything is going good, out of curiousity where do they have you staying at? is it near the school or anything? also if you drive over there can you drive to the terminal or is there a shuttle to pick you up? thanks for the info. michael

Hey Mike, They put us up in the Motel 8 about 5 minutes away from the terminal. It's nice, there is a fridge and microwave in the rooms if you want to get groceries. There's a Steak n Shake and Bob Evans across the street and a 24 convenience store next door, so food is readily available.

They allow you to bring your vehicle is you want, I believe they will reimburse you for fuel and tolls up to the cost of what a they would pay for a Greyhound ticket. It's nice to have a car if you want to get around but there is a shuttle to and from the terminal so it's not a real big burden if you don't bring it

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I'm gonna combine Day 8 and 9 into one post.

Day 8 7/25

Today was another backing day on the range. Pretty much worked on the parallels, offsets and the alley dock. The alley dock is still kicking my ass. No matter what I do I end up taking out the first left side cone getting into the box. Just feel very frustrated with my lack of progress on this one maneuver. Also called the test site and set up my test for the 9th, so the pressure is on

Day 9 7/26

Funky start to the day, got to the terminal and as they do every morning they ask to see our license, CLP and medical card. Then we got asked to see the long form of the medical. Well I left it at the hotel along with the rest of my important paperwork. I was told we always have to have it on us as a DOT cop can ask for it. In 13 years of having my CDL B, I've NEVER had a DOT officer ask for the long from, I've always been told that all I needed to have was my medical card. I'm not sure if this a Swift policy or this is an actual DOT rule but in any case they ran me back over to the hotel to grab it.

Today we did evals for the pretrip. J can not stress this enough, study your pretrip, study your pretrip, study your pretrip! I've kinda coasted on the pretrip because of my previous experience but I did 4 pretrips this morning just as a last minute cram. Passed the eval taking only 8 points so I'm pretty happy. The afternoon I spent mostly on the alley dock, it's starting to click and get better but I'm still not at the point where I can hit the box consistently. We have to eval on our maneuvers by Friday, if I start getting consistent on the alley dock tomorrow then I may try to squeeze in the eval in the afternoon.

That's it until tomorrow

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Roadpilot's Comment
member avatar

Day 10 7/27

So today was about perfecting our backing maneuvers. I spent time on the alley dock and blind side parallel before finally saying screw it and decided to take my maneuvering evaluation. I passed, only taking 3 points! Somehow I pulled off a miracle on the alley dock, I only took one point there with an extra pull up. Took 2 points on the left offset for encroachment, I should have gotten out and looked....got ****y because it was my last maneuver. Afterwards I was pretty wiped so I just kinda floated around the backing stations because it rained a bit. For the last part of the afternoon I went out on the road with with the trainer and a student just to get a preview of what my next week in training will be like. Getting that eval done took a real weight off my shoulders and now I can focus on getting ready for road training and shifting

Thanks for reading and I'll update more tomorrow

Phillyfan13's Comment
member avatar

Road pilot

Thank you for the great review you are providing us. It is like we are at training with you. Congratulations on passing the backing maneuvers.

Scot2727

Michael B.'s Comment
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Hi roadpilot, in your opinion so far what is the hardest thing you have had to deal with in school or most stressful thanks , michael

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