Swift Orientation Monday

Topic 20894 | Page 2

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Dart's Comment
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Almost forgot...what to bring.

Clothes for about a week. Truck stops and terminals have laundry facilities that you can use while on your 10 hour break. If you can, get a small package of laundry soap pouches (3 or 4 pouches should typically be enough) or purchase single use from the laundry room.

Toiletries...normal hygiene items (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, razor, etc...), shower shoes (never know what kind of nasties are crawling around a public shower), a towel and washcloth (or loufa) for when showering at the terminal (truck stops typically provide clean towels and washcloths), any other anti-funk products you may need (foot powder, deodorant, aftershave, etc...), and any medications you may need (prescription, anti-fungal, antacids, etc...).

Work gloves and sunglasses. You will want to have a good pair of work gloves that will keep diesel fuel and grease off of your hands while doing pre-trip inspections, fueling, and trailer hooking/unhooking. Sunglasses, while not necessary, are very nice to have especially when driving into the rising or setting sun.

Pens and notebook. These come in handy for writing down load information and taking notes while talking with your mentor or during orientation.

Sleeping gear...at a minimum you'll need a sheet and blanket or sleeping bag.

Other supplies...12V (cigarette lighter plug) chargers for any electronics you bring (e-cigarette, cell phone, tablet, razor, etc...). If you smoke or vape, bring enough to get you through 3-4 weeks. Cigarettes are expensive at truck stops and vaping supplies are tough to come by on the road (especially if you use mods). When bringing nicotine devices, take into account increased usage if you use more while you drive. If you are a vaper, it may be a good idea to bring extra tanks (or higher capacity tanks) to "hot swap" tanks instead of filling while driving. If you are like me and need to sleep with a fan, bring a 12V car fan for the nights that the truck isn't running.

Lastly, a tip for packing. Your mentor may or may not have space cleared out for you to store your things. Expect to sleep with whatever you bring. Not sure if you packed to much? Find a twin bed and put your bags in the bed and lay down with them as if you're going to go to sleep. If you can't get comfortable, you packed too much or not tightly enough.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
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I prefer a separate set of fueling gloves with neoprene grips. The diesel won't penetrate and come in contact with your skin. Truck stops sell them, so does Harbor Freight.

T-Rex's Comment
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Thanks for the tips, Dart. One concern I have about something you posted. I don't live too far from the terminal I will be going to orientation at so I will be driving there each day. You said something about surrendering my license. This will be an issue if I am going to drive home each night. Will they give it back to me so I can legally drive home each night?

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.

T-Rex's Comment
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Thanks as always Gtown. I'll look into the neoprene gloves. I picked up some good work gloves but if you think it's in my best interest to pick up separate ones for fueling I'll do that

G-Town's Comment
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Thanks as always Gtown. I'll look into the neoprene gloves. I picked up some good work gloves but if you think it's in my best interest to pick up separate ones for fueling I'll do that

The fuel will leach into the fabric of the work glove. The fuel gloves are throwaways, cheap, 3 for $6...i stow them in a ziplock when not in use.

Dart's Comment
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Thanks for the tips, Dart. One concern I have about something you posted. I don't live too far from the terminal I will be going to orientation at so I will be driving there each day. You said something about surrendering my license. This will be an issue if I am going to drive home each night. Will they give it back to me so I can legally drive home each night?

They return your license to you before you take the road test. If you don't take your road test day 1 and they don't return it to you by the end of the day, talk to the orientation instructor before you leave for day 1, I'm sure they'll work with 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.

T-Rex's Comment
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Something else I was curious about....I've heard conflicting reports regarding how much time your mentor is allowed to give you behind the wheel each day in the beginning. A guy in my class told me his recruiter told him they're only allowed like 3 or 4 hours a day to start with. I wondered if that was true and if that's standard operating procedure for newbies or if it's ran on a case by case basis. Like if my mentor decides if I can handle it will he allow me to run full days (8 to 10 hours or whatever the case may be) from the beginning? I'm hoping thats the case so I can get a jump start on those hours as well as rack up some experience. I realize I shouldn't rush things but at the same time I'm really eager to get going.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Something else I was curious about....I've heard conflicting reports regarding how much time your mentor is allowed to give you behind the wheel each day in the beginning. A guy in my class told me his recruiter told him they're only allowed like 3 or 4 hours a day to start with. I wondered if that was true and if that's standard operating procedure for newbies or if it's ran on a case by case basis. Like if my mentor decides if I can handle it will he allow me to run full days (8 to 10 hours or whatever the case may be) from the beginning? I'm hoping thats the case so I can get a jump start on those hours as well as rack up some experience. I realize I shouldn't rush things but at the same time I'm really eager to get going.

If so, that's new.

There are three active Swifties going through mentoring in the diary section. Ask them. I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
T-Rex's Comment
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One more thing, I wondered if Swift had a policy against using hands free devices while driving. (Bluetooth headsets) obviously I can't use my phone but was going to pick up a headset if I'm allowed to use it. Didn't want to waste the money if they're not permitted.

JakeBreak's Comment
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One more thing, I wondered if Swift had a policy against using hands free devices while driving. (Bluetooth headsets) obviously I can't use my phone but was going to pick up a headset if I'm allowed to use it. Didn't want to waste the money if they're not permitted.

Not sure about Swifts policy on it, I know roehl doesn't allow it. Personally I'd say give it a month before you really worry about it, regardless of policy. There is so much to pay attention to I would focus on that and getting the "muscle memory" down before you start talking and driving.

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