Swift Edwardsville CDL School And My Journey Through OZ.

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Greg H.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations, Mynamegoeshere, on getting your cdl A.

I've been thinking about coming back and catching up on some reading, whew, I think I waited to long. ha ha

I remember Kansas City.... funny how you remember certain things. I was in the truck trying to get into the lane left to me, coming up on my exit. And I swear, you can sit there for hours, days and months with your signal on waiting for someone to give you a break, and it will never happen. So, I have this signal on just a flashin' for hours, months, days, years, and finally I just start edging over... my left tires were riding on the line before someone finally gave me a break and let me make my lane change. I hated having to do this, but it was my first time in Kansas and I wasn't about to miss my exit. lol Anyway, yeh, the things you remember.....

I think the woman instructor from the DMV shouldn't be there teaching. It's unfortunate that you had her. Shoot, I want instructors who have 15 to 20 years experience, and know everything, at least, most everything.

I went to school in Merkel Tx., at Action Career Training, and at the time they had really good instructors. I find it funny, or amusing, but I had a woman instructor. I think it's funny because of the old saying, ' woman can't drive ', and here she was s truck driver teaching us ole boys how. I mean, I didn't care either way, as long as the instructor knew their business, and she did.

We had quite a few people when I went to school. I didn't pay that close attention as to who stayed or who left, or who passed. I think I had my head wrapped up in trying to pass everything myself.

I had a hotel room to myself at orientation.... that was cool I guess. I think I prefer having room mate. And I did have one at the school. He was cool. I got lucky and it was like we'd already been friends before. We both worked at the school doing janitorial work for extra money. That was really cool. Well, I mean, if you can tolerate cleaning all ya bruthers hair out of the showers. I just liked getting a pay check while I was in school.

Being in a truck or in small quarters with someone isn't really that bad. Not near as bad as you'd think. I mean, they'd really just have to stink to high heaven and be complete **s *oles.

Anyway, congrats....

PS oh yeh, about the floating gears. I didn't mean to start a conversation about it or wasn't serious about it in any way. It's really just up to the company, what they want, and what you are comfortable with. Me personally, I hated floating gears , but when you're out there for hours upon end driving you tend to think, ' hmm, I wonder how difficult it is to float gears ', so you try. The company I worked for didn't really like us doing it, and I had no real complaint. Even though, after I'd learned that I could float gears, I would catch myself doing it. I really prefer double clutching to tell you the truth.

Anyway, be good....

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.

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

MyNameGoesHere's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations, Mynamegoeshere, on getting your cdl A.

Thanks

I think the woman instructor from the DMV shouldn't be there teaching. It's unfortunate that you had her. Shoot, I want instructors who have 15 to 20 years experience, and know everything, at least, most everything.

Truth be told, the only reason I said as much as I did about her was so that people would know what to expect. I could keep going. I don't, however, wish to get it in people's heads to not listen to her. She is an instructor and does have knowledge of things. She's got the years of experience but, I think it's also been years since. She's old and her husband passed away a few months prior. There also used to be two other instructors but one was let go and the other quit. So she was kind of thrown into all the extra stuff.

PS oh yeh, about the floating gears. I didn't mean to start a conversation about it or wasn't serious about it in any way. It's really just up to the company, what they want, and what you are comfortable with. Me personally, I hated floating gears , but when you're out there for hours upon end driving you tend to think, ' hmm, I wonder how difficult it is to float gears ', so you try. The company I worked for didn't really like us doing it, and I had no real complaint. Even though, after I'd learned that I could float gears, I would catch myself doing it. I really prefer double clutching to tell you the truth.

Anyway, be good....

I think there's a benefit to floating, since you are using clutch less you are prolonging the life of the clutch pads. Downside, if you don't do it correctly you eat gears. One is more costly than the other which is why I think some companies don't like it. Practice makes perfect though.

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.

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

MyNameGoesHere's Comment
member avatar

Orientation Day 2

Let's see, today I went and ordered a made to order omelet. It was delicious.

Class started off with some Swift history. Which, I must say was pretty cool. Mostly about the founder and the beginning of the company. I won't go into detail, mostly because the information is swirling in my head and needs more time to process. Also, either Swifties will either have seen it or know it or future Swifties will see it and know it. Anyone else can Google it.

After that, more paperwork (all computer based).

Then on to more HOS. More log books. Pretty much a repeat of everything gone over in the swift academy only drawn out as much as possible. There are C1 students in orientation so I'm not sure how much they were taught. There was information gone over about elogs on the Qualcomm , so there's that.

There may have been a couple more small things in there but it was kind of a busy full of information kind of day.

After lunch, we went over a bunch of small things. I really don't remember every little thing off the top of my head. It was mostly Swift driver website stuff. Some over the comdata card, how to set up direct deposit, Swift store, training something or another center thing. Some Swift policy things. Benefits.

Sorry, so much little stuff my brain hasn't had time to fully sort it.

Final thing of the day was over appropriate behavior. Not sure what was worse, the inappropriate behavior acted out or the terrible acting from Swift HR. It did have it's entertaining moments.

One final note, seems no more people have been sent home or went home.

Until tomorrow.....

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Orientation Day 3

Started the day short one guy. He had personal stuff come up (from what I hear) and had to go. We lost one more later in the day, an experienced driver. Not sure the reason, not my business.

We started the day on safe driving. Took a good chunk of the morning. Then more e-paperwork. We then were visited by our development coordinator (I think that was her title). She went over the details of the mentorship. After she finished then it was mote policy and apps and other miscellaneous things. A visit from the fleet manager and then a shop guy. Then trip planning then charity donations. It was pretty much back to back information and a lot of it. End of the day we were given our comdata cards and our medical stuff back.

Four of us are still waiting on our driver codes. Yes, I am one of them. One guy leaves tonight and another was supposed to leave first thing tomorrow but his driver code isn't in so he won't be leaving. Two of the guys had their locations moved to Illinois since they will be reefer and apparently Edwardsville doesn't have reefer, apparently.

End of the day, those of us who were still waiting went back to the hotel. We will return tomorrow @ 9, leaving here @ 8:30. Those who won't leave until Friday will just hang out at the hotel. Currently, I'm just mentally exhausted and just ready to get rolling and get my 200 hours done.

Until tomorrow....

Fleet Manager:

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Just a quick update. Wasn't sure if I was going to post anything but, here I am. Still waiting on my driver number. Hopefully I will get it tomorrow.

We didn't have to go in quite so early today. Left the hotel around 8:30 and spent the whole day up at the terminal just waiting. Most of everyone left sometime today. Only around seven of us came back to the hotel. Some of the peeps either leave this evening or early in the morning. Of the seven, two of us don't have driver numbers. The other I believe will depart sometime tomorrow.

Fore now, just hanging out back at the hotel.

Until tomorrow.......

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.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Hurry up, and wait.... smile.gif

MyNameGoesHere's Comment
member avatar

Just a quick update. I'll go into more detail when I have more time. It's been a hectic go go go....sleep....go go go schedule. My driver number came in on Friday and my mentor was there in 2 hours. From there we left and have been on the move.

All is good and as soon as I have time I'll go into more detail.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Just a quick update. I'll go into more detail when I have more time. It's been a hectic go go go....sleep....go go go schedule. My driver number came in on Friday and my mentor was there in 2 hours. From there we left and have been on the move.

All is good and as soon as I have time I'll go into more detail.

Welcome to Swift! Congratulations. Safe travels.

MyNameGoesHere's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Just a quick update. I'll go into more detail when I have more time. It's been a hectic go go go....sleep....go go go schedule. My driver number came in on Friday and my mentor was there in 2 hours. From there we left and have been on the move.

All is good and as soon as I have time I'll go into more detail.

double-quotes-end.png

Welcome to Swift! Congratulations. Safe travels.

Thanks

MyNameGoesHere's Comment
member avatar

Friday started out the same as Thursday. Wake up, eat, shuttle to terminal , sit and wait. She told me that if my code didn't come in that she would just send me home and call me when it was in. For the second time I was excited and disappointed. I wanted to go home to see the family but, I also wanted to just get started and get this bandaid ripped right off.

I was looking forward to going home and was getting excited. I knew that today would be the day I get my code since that's how it works. Sure enough, my code comes in and my mentor is there in a couple of hours. He called me as he was on his way to the terminal. Things started looking good, he is set on getting my 200 hours done as soon as it is possible to. That and the 40 backs. The backing may need a little bit of effort squeezed in since he wants to go full OTR to get my driving hours. I calculate that if I'm out 4 weeks then I just need to manage 10 a week. Assuming I run hard to need a reset then I just need 2 a day. If anything, I'll just have to back in places I would still be able to pull into. As soon as I was loaded up and in the truck we left immediately.

First stop was 16 miles from the terminal. Batteries going to Laredo, TX. He thought it was going to be a simple preloaded pick up. After being ignored by several employees we found out what We needed to know. Turns out it's a live load. Three hours later and 40k lbs. heavier (sure is much different than hauling an empty) we are able to depart. We came back and dropped it off at the yard. Once it was dropped we bobtailed to Omaha, NE. There we stayed the night. He lives up there so he went to his house whole I got to experience my first night in the truck by myself.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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