Profile For Jaybird

Jaybird's Info

  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 months ago

Jaybird's Bio

Rookie in training on a Mentors truck.

Swift Transportation, Walmart Dedicated.

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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Update on Swift training.

I thought I'd do a quick update.

Graduated Swift Academy, tested out with CDL, and placed on Mentors truck early October.

Today I hit 60 hours of drive time. Mentor does not team drove, which at first I was very happy about, he is an owner operator, he owns the truck with no payment. He is on a Walmart Dedicated account that I will also be running on here out west.

It was great, he's an awesome guy, we get along, Swift itself has been phenomenal. Everyone is friendly, Driver leads here are great and friendly, no complaints from them.

BUT, my mentor takes home time, nightly pretty much. We go to and from Elko, he takes his 34 every weekend, for more like 60-72 hours, while I just hang out. He takes the short route to Elko, rather than the planned Fuelstop route, because as he says, he's going home. He's a good dude, I like him alot. But 60 hours of drive time in almost 3 weeks, I had to ask for another mentor, hopefully it would speed up the process.

Getting picked up Monday by a new mentor, hopefully it all works out. Swift itself has been awesome, the little driving I have done, has been awesome. I'm loving it and just itching to continue driving. Thanks for reading I'll update again soon!

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Kearsey, A Couple of Questions About Prime Inc

Kearsey you totally just jogged my memory.

Quick note. Swift Academy actually had a guy that started the week behind me, got his CDL through a school in SLC, Swift made him do the 3 week academy including the range and backing maneuvers. All except the CDL test, they made him do, and he will be on a Mentor truck the same hours as everyone else. They aren't charging him, he's not testing and getting his CDL. But he's following the same ciriculum because he's inexperienced and a brand new CDL holder. So he actually took a month longer than everyone else because he did a month of schooling before coming to swift.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Kearsey, A Couple of Questions About Prime Inc

I mean I'll give some information about myself here. Previous threads show where I'm at currently. I'm on a Mentor truck in Elko right now about halfway through with Swift. Went to Swifts academy.

Previously to this I've been a fixed route bus Operator for the past 8 years, and loved it, good pension and benefits, hourly was not where it needed to be and me and my wife struggled financially. Our first baby came along and something needed to change. Paycheck to paycheck with the kid ain't gonna cut it. Have some debts, few credit cards, couple cars, new cars mind you, and you know, the usual. Well we're a little lucky but near the end of our lease in the apartment, still have it, we decided to make some changes, fortunately we have family close, she and the little dude moved in with family so I could make this career change, upgrade my license and in the longer term picture make more money, right now it's about the same as I was making driving bus, and that's on my guarantee training wages. Hardest last 2 months of my life. New kid, worried financially because of no savings, 2 car payments fell behind, credit cards fell behind, everything I made went to food for myself, her and things for the child. Just had to keep telling myself that I'll catch up on everything as soon as I can. And still am telling myself that.

We have a plan. This year I'm going to try my best to run on this dedicated account to the best of my ability. Get some experience under my belt. She's in a safe spot with the child, we are taking a step back, leveling ourselves financially, paying all debts off, im selling 1 car, we don't need 2 cars. We are trying to financially build a future for my new little boy. Hard as hell, im in this new lifestyle here at Swift, away from both of them for a little at a time, but I'm in this 110%. Those bills and payments im falling behind on now, need to wait because I will pay them but I need to think about my little boy and the situation we were in was not going to cut it. Now that is my point sorry it took so long.

My point: I'm in this transition, and so is my wife, ALL THE WAY.

No reason to not do it efficiently, at as little cost to myself as possible, and get me making money as fast as possible. I'm reading a post from you, wanting to change your income source, you're paycheck to paycheck, but spending 11k out of pocket. Even if I had the means to spend that kind of money that's crazy to me, 0 out of pocket cost. I'm in this ALL THE WAY, and swift will train me. Because I'm 100% in this, I'll stay employed with Swift, work for them. And the tuition will get paid while I work for them. Cost 8000. And after 2 years with Swift. I won't have paid them a dime for training.

My situation is indeed different. Her and the baby are in their own safe haven. I miss em both dearly. Something in our lives needed to change and removing the 2k a month rent payment, 550 dollar car payment, me upgrading license, and taking help from family for 1 year to get out of debt completely, build some savings, level ourselves and then make a decision on what happens next. That's my plan. So my bills for 1 more month will get some money put on them as a show of good faith. 2 car payments being behind on for 2 months I don't care about, and in fact I was able to get a 3 month deferral on the one we aren't selling but i was behind on it a month, about a month and a half. Bottom line, you're serious about making an income change? My mind is blown that you aren't just showing up to training at Swift, Prime, Roehl or something of the sort. I started Swift academy Sept 12. I'm seeing 800 week right now, these last 2 weeks and going forward I'll only increase it. Overdrawing my bank account 4 times a month barely making ends meet and being paycheck to paycheck drove our life changes so I get it. But I ain't paying 11k out of pocket that is absolute bonkers.

Best of luck. I'm taking off back to the DC in Corrine UT. Headed to Idaho for a 650 mile trek.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Graduated and on the road at 8am!

Thanks G Town! I did read it and it was one of the reasons I ultimately chose that route over OTR or any regional. Here in SLC there is also a couple other dedicated accounts, the Walmart seems to be the one that is high paced and will push my clock each week..? I'm excited to dive into this. Little nervous for all the backing coming up. Overall just ready to hit the road!

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Graduated and on the road at 8am!

Graduated Swift academy SLC today!

Passed the CDL test, live locally in SLC so I was able to run to the DMV, upgrade the license and get back to the terminal within the hour. Filled out the rest of the required documents, obtained my badge, and comdata card.

I am on the Walmart account out of Corrine. I am getting picked up by my mentor tomorrow and he is on the Walmart account as well so I will learn it with him. Meeting him at 8am, very excited and ready for the last bit of training! I'll post an update during these next couple of weeks!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Final week!

Yeah the straight line, offset, parallel and 90 are all great. Feeling confident, not hitting cones, always in the line. Now mind you remove my line references and cones, im confident it will take me 10 minutes and 10 get outs. Excited to practice and try a back for the first time out in the world!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Final week!

Title says all. Final week at Swift academy, things are going great. Backing maneuvers are going well, I am feeling confident and having little to no problems getting the trailer where it needs to go. Cones are making it easy I'm sure and down the road I think I'll miss having them. Pretrip is great. Not missing anything other than the stupid torsion bar on the tandems. I don't know why but I keep forgetting to mention it.

Other students are doing good as well for the most part. I think they have all realized they need to pay attention and a couple that are struggling are getting anxious and paying attention instead of just hanging around. Boggles my mind that they upend their lives to come do this and think 2 weeks of smoking and sitting on the bench not watching or listening to instructors is acceptable, they are sweating each day now.

One of the trainers, the guy that is new and loves interacting with all of us that are applying ourselves was getting into one of the trucks, tore his meniscus and went to the hospital. He's pretty upset he's missing out and hopefully he has a full recovery soon. If he wasn't using 3 points of contact he woulda fully fell out but he caught himself and hopefully will be ok soon.

Almost halfway through the last week before testing week. Still enjoying it all and super super excited!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

1st week done!

Top Gun was brought up and explained to us. There are more guys in this class, the Memphis class, Phoenix and Texas class then the amount they let do it and they said instructors make the call on who gets to do it so we'll see if they let me participate in it. Trying to do my best to stand out in a positive way so I'll update as soon as I find out!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

1st week done!

Hey! Things are going well.

Today was the last day of the 2nd week. All week was backing on the range, practicing pretrip inspections and most of us are doing really well and applying ourselves. Couple of the guys are a little lazy, sitting on the bench laughing and smoking, not participating as much as they should be but so it goes.

Backing has been great, there is a new Trainer at the academy, very cool guy, decent guy, commends us on things we do correctly and provides constructive criticism in a great tone and manner when it's needed. He's vocalized how he feels as he watches all of us that are participating and helping each other. He seems genuinely happy when we accomplish the task at hand, work together and succeed and he's just a genuine dude. Gonna be a great trainer.

1 more week to go! The itinerary is continue pretrip, backing exercises, and road training before our testing week, excited it's getting closer and I'm confident in my backing, confident in my pretrip, and starting to feel confident on the road portion.

Overall it's been a great experience, enjoying most everything thus far and the managers have been awesome.

The recruiter I had. His name was Scott. He's called every week and sent messages through driver Pulse, he keeps asking if I have any questions, anything I need done. Making sure training is going well, and he makes sure I know how to get ahold of him if I have any questions I need answered. Surprising that a recruiter is involved as much as he is, as no other student can even get ahold of their recruiters. Happy with him. He's also I great dude.

1 thing I kind of complain about, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to complain but it's been hard to adjust to:

The on road portion, the trainer continues to demand the signals for turns, he says things like: "you are going to be making a right turn at the stop sign, put on your turn signal". Thing is, he makes us do it, before we've passed or cleared all potential right turns we can make. Meaning I have yet to get to, and clear an intersection, before I would then travel almost another block to make the turn. Several times cars, and other trucks have what I assumed seen the signal, turned either in front the same direction, or to their left thus impacting my travel pretty badly at times, and then he gets mad they do that. Often times we must signal more than 300-500 yards in advance. When I try to bring it up, he says "hold that thought" then proceeds to go on about, slow down, look for this in the turn etc. Then says sorry we can't talk and answer questions we only have a limited time on the road and he needs to teach not engage in conversation. He also was filling out paperwork, and got mad I didn't check my mirror on a right hand turn, in the yard lot, when I checked the mirror twice, left an excessive amount of room during the turn, the other student said I checked my mirror too, he then said "well you need to be watching it through the entirety of the turn. I just said ok, im sorry and submitted but it was very frustrating as we had another student ahead of us mess up a right hand turn and hit a pole so I've tried to be very aware and check that mirror as much as I can. But I just say I'm sorry and let it be. 1 more week til testing and hopefully the mentor stage will be good.

It's been fun to see everyone progress and gain confidence, a couple guys i really enjoy training with, made some friends I think I'll be in touch with after we get out on our own. Swift has been awesome, office guys have been great and friendly. Looking forward to the rest of the journey!

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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1st week done!

I'll update as this and next week goes on. Super excited to start the backing and pretrip on the range. Big couple weeks ahead!

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

When am I in the clear?

It's a better career choice when it doesn't cost you the license. I said that in the sentence too I believe. Better for them and their career.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

When am I in the clear?

If you're confident then you wouldn't have to worry about being in the clear.

A positive test will appear on your FCMSA Clearinghouse page, it will prevent any and all future and current employment until you complete the return to duty process and potentially prevent it even after that. If anything, even 5 months, I would have been extra cautious, and waited even longer. No idea on when you're clear. Good luck. Use nicotine instead. Much better for you and your career.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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1st week done!

1st week with Swift done, ELDT computer training complete. Long week behind a computer is in the past. At the Swift academy. Been a good experience so far. Many of the managers and Driver managers have been present around the building, all have been very nice and welcoming people. The facility is great from everything I've seen.

Some of the other students are a little iffy. Seem to be pretty hot-headed and I feel uncomfortable associating with a couple of them. Very loudly are vulgar and vocalizing unhappiness with the computer training repetition.

This next week is all range practice, backing and pretrial stuff. Can't wait to get it rolling!

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Question on "Non" DOT hair test.

OK. Left the Physical exam medical site. Took the exam and hair test.

Swift called me, verifying a start of Monday. I'm rolling with it, not going to juggle around what ifs or what nots. I start swift academy Monday morning, going to do my very best and am looking forward to this experience, I will keep an update rolling. Thanks for the replies everyone.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Question on "Non" DOT hair test.

OK. Thanks for all of the help. I'm going in right when the place opens to try and do the physical. The appointment was set up for yesterday, CerteDrive says it's "order" is good until the end of the month so I'm hoping they let me do it. Major fingers crossed. Thank you for the responses.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Question on "Non" DOT hair test.

OK. I was supposed to take the physical today and I didn't. I'm going to go first thing in the morning and hope they let me, online the order is good through the end of the month it says although it was scheduled for today. I'll take it, and hopefully just satisfy the request. I don't want a refusal at all, and then I'll just go with my gut and go with Prime. I'll let you know how this plays out these next 2 weeks.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Question on "Non" DOT hair test.

So I originally applied with Swift Transportation. I got through all the onboarding things, passed all background got my orientation start date.

After reading and looking at alot of the forums and mainly Kearsey saying things about Prime I decided to go with Prime Inc. Really looking forward to all of this, got a start with Prime now. Want to go with them. They asked for my current long form and medical card, which I have and are valid, I currently am a CDL B holder driving Public transport.

Swift told me to go take a DOT physical and the pdf they sent shows a box unmarked that says "DOT Urine" and a Marked box that says "DOT hair". So KY understanding is it's a DOT physical, and a non DOT hair test that I have to submit too, and that's totally fine.

Current company I'm with says to not take my DOT physical, and keep my current DOT medical card that I got through them, until I leave them as my employer, I submitted a 2 weeks. Swift has not gotten back to me, im trying to tell the gal that my current employer said to wait for my physical, haven't heard anything. Not going to leave my current employer on bad terms. I didn't go to the physical and now I'm wondering if I made the right call. I don't want a refusal, either way I want to drive with Prime. Am I in a position to be stressed about a potential refusal? I'm still trying to call Swift and I had a start with Swift scheduled for after my start with prime, I wanted to make sure Prime is really a place to be. I don't know what to do and this woman at swift won't answer her phone, or email me back.

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