I Start Swift Training Academy On April 23rd!

Topic 22308 | Page 1

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Colin K.'s Comment
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Great news. I start the Swift Training Academy on April 23rd! I finalized everything today.

I'm still not sure how it happened, but I left the DMV a few weeks ago without taking the Combination Vehicles part of the CDL permit test. I stopped when the computer said I was done and the clerk processed my paperwork. She did not tell me I was still missing a portion of the test. I figured that out and took my final test on Wednesday.

I got a little bit nervous when I got there. The lady at the DMV told me that, if I failed that portion of the test, it would invalidate every other portion that I had already passed and that I'd have to start over. No pressure at all, right???

Fortunately, I had used the High Road Training Program to study. I took a deep breath, told myself that I got this, and thought about all of the support and encouragement that I have received from folks here. I passed it on the first try.

As I learned here, all of the company sponsored training programs are great. I had it narrowed down to Prime and Swift. Both are great companies, and both allow pets, a huge consideration for me. I felt that dry van was the best place for me to start my trucking career and ended up going with Swift. It was close, but I feel good about my decision and am grateful that they accepted me.

It turns out that Swift has an online portion of their academy that I must take and pass before I start training on the 23rd. I don't anticipate that being a problem.

Due to my financial situation (being broke), and realizing that I would not be able to meet my financial obligations while in training, I reluctantly sold my house. The county was also going to take the house due to the back taxes being offered. I don't say this for sympathy, just to let others know that, if you really want something, sometimes you have to make hard decisions. I'm moving forward and not looking back.

I want to thank G-Town and the other Swift drivers here for correcting my initial bad impression of Swift. This site helped me to sort out all of the bad information put online by disgruntled truckers.

A huge thank you to Brett for starting this site. Thank you also to Old School, Rainy, G-Town and the many others who continue to offer real world advice and encouragement. I have no family in the area so this group is a tremendous help to me.

I plan on keeping a training diary in hopes that it will help others like the other diaries have helped me. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post, but the entire diary will eventually be posted here.

Have a great weekend, everybody! Stay safe out there! Colin K.

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Due to my financial situation (being broke), and realizing that I would not be able to meet my financial obligations while in training, I reluctantly sold my house. The county was also going to take the house due to the back taxes being offered. I don't say this for sympathy, just to let others know that, if you really want something, sometimes you have to make hard decisions. I'm moving forward and not looking back.

Congratulations, Colin!

More importantly, congratulations on your kick-ass attitude of doing what you gotta do! I can relate a whole bunch. I didn't sell my house (since I'm an apartment dweller that could cause me some legal difficulties!) But I have pretty much wiped out savings putting up money for a similar endeavor of my own with a different company. I hope to begin everything on May 7th, so maybe we'll have duelling diaries on the site here!

Best of luck and many great miles to ya!

Retired Army's Comment
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Congrats. I look forward to the daily posts once you start school.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar
I want to thank G-Town and the other Swift drivers here for correcting my initial bad impression of Swift. This site helped me to sort out all of the bad information put online by disgruntled truckers.

I can totally relate to this. When I started looking, Swift was the last company on my radar. Today, I am very happy with my decision to drive for Swift. I couldn't ask for a better start to my career.

Good luck to you, and I snow looking forward to reading your experiences.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Awesome news Colin. Best of luck to you.

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