Profile For Abiding Monkey

Abiding Monkey's Info

  • Location:
    Ramona, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 3 months ago

Abiding Monkey's Bio

I am from Ramona, California embarking on my trucking journey

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Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

It finally happened. I finally completed my training and am a CDL holder. The last week was really rough.

I was set to test on Tuesday, May 9th. Everything was going well. Pre-Trip knocked out. In-Cab inspection good up to the airbrake test. Then . . . I failed the airbrake test. Dumb mistake. I chocked the wheels, did the air leakage test, released the brakes, tested the air pressure warning and emergency pop-out valves . . . Oops.

So, I had to wait till Thursday to test again. And Thursday came. I did my pre-trip. My in-cab. passed the airbrake portion. Nailed the backing maneuvers. Then, onto the road. The road had been where I'd been most comfortable for all of my schooling experience; so I wasn't too worried. Big mistake. I clipped a curb coming around a curve onto the freeway. Boom. Failed again.

Downtrodden and defeated, I rented a car and drove all the way home to California for the weekend to recharge. I think it was just what I needed. I came beck to Utah, tested today and passed my road test. One step closer to being a real truck driver.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

Rooting for ya! Keep up the good work!

Thank you! I appreciate the motivation!

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

I have completed week one of two (three if you count testing week) of range and road training. Today was dedicated to range only. They grouped me with the people I was with on Monday and we had a different instructor. He was fantastic. Very patient and informative. Today was the first day I actually felt comfortable on the range.

The first half of the day, we focused on the straight backing, offset to both sides, and parallels on both sides. For the most part, I nailed most of the maneuvers on the first try. I had a couple hiccups but I was able to correct them myself after one or two resets. It felt really good.

After lunch, we focused on the 90 degree back. It was my first time doing it, and I was able to do it about two or three times. That is a far more complex maneuver. But, I got it on all tries with some instruction. I just don't know how to gauge where the right side of my trailer is. The instructor told me that knowing where that corner is comes with time. I will trust that.

One week down. One to go.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

Keep listening to your instructors. Everything is brand new, so it may take awhile to get the basics.

The instructors have been very helpful. I am going to continue to trust the process.

If it's going backwards, my hunch is that your only or primarily using your left mirror. If it's when you're going forward, my hunch would be that your body is reacting to a fear of the unseen on the fight side, or target fixation on the left.

I think these are my exact issues. I've been glancing over at the right mirror a lot more and I have physically stuck my head out the window when going forward to verify I am not too close or far from the line. That seems to have helped!

Try to relax and let go of expectations and overthinking. You can do this.

I really appreciate the encouragement. I'm taking it all one day at a time.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

Update:

It is nearing the end of week one of truck training (Is that the proper term? Haha). I was sent to West Valley City, Utah for training. The instructors there are fantastic.

The first day went pretty well. We did an overview of the pre-trip and practiced straight backing and offset backing. I was pretty confident that I could do straight backing. I was in for a surprise. In my group of five, I was one of two people who could not back the truck and trailer in a straight line or understand some of the concepts of offset backing (mainly due to my straight-line difficulties.). I was a little discouraged by this but realized it was only day one. Then came day two.

Day two arrived and I and the other person who was having difficulties were paired up with a different instructor. The other three people we were with were grouped with the same instructor. In my mind, that meant that they "graduated" to the next steps and couldn't afford to be held back by us. The instructor is really patient, but I could see him getting frustrated trying to have us continuously repeat straight line backing over and over again. By lunchtime, I was worse than I was on day one and I was gripped with discouragement.

Lunch came and went and we went out on the road. If it wasn't for this experience, I may have believed for the rest of that day that truck driving may not be for me. The opposite happened. I actually did really well. I felt comfortable and at ease. This ended my day with a little victory. Day two ended with the roller coaster of emotions back in the station.

Wednesday, I woke up ready to face the day. We worked on some offset backing and I did okay! Then, we took a short break. A ten minute reset must have rewired my brain, 'cause I came back from break ready to learn the blindside parallel back and was in worse shape than I was the day before. I could not line up the truck for a setup. I couldn't even pull the truck forward in a straight line. I would continue to veer to the left. To the left. To the left. The instructor would try to help me fix it and I would make it worse. Another lunch period was spent rethinking my life choices.

After lunch, I was ready to chase the dragon of road success that I had found the previous day. For the most part, I was able to capture it; but I did make a pretty large turning mistake that had my instructor very upset - less in regard to the mistake and more so in the breakdown of communication on my part. I was so elated to be out on the road that I didn't let that get me down. Another day of road driving on the books.

Today was day Thursday - day four. My first order of the day: Waking up fifteen minutes after the shuttle left. Great! Throw on clothes and hail an Uber. Made it to the terminal with 32.5 seconds to spare. Not a great start. I spent the whole walk out to the range repeating the mantra "I am restarting my day. I am restarting my day.. And that I did. I left my rocky morning behind me and trudged forward. We wrapped up blindside parallel and continued to Driver side parallels. For the most part, I think I did okay. I had another moment where I struggled to back the truck and trailer into position and spent the next three minutes trying to fix it only to make it worse. After guidance from the instructor, I got the truck back on course and finished the first half of the day with success.

The road was great. Very minimal instruction. A couple of critiques, but overall successful. I pulled back into the range and felt like I was grasping everything better.

I still can't help but shake the discouragement. I try to push it aside, but when it creeps in for a second, it overwhelms me. In talking to other students (most of which graduated this week), they all said that backing was a pain-in-the-ass and that I will get it with time. It felt good to hear that. I know I need to make small adjustments when backing, but I still don't quite have the sight picture in my mind. I think the trailer is straight. It looks parallel, but it is not. I also don't understand why I can drive just fine on a roadway but veer to the left when on the range. My depth perception is off as well. Above all, this is greatly affecting my setups. I look forward and in the mirrors, and I feel like I am straight and within one foot of the line when in reality, I am eaither way too close, way too far, and veering in one direction.

Tomorrow is Friday. I hope to finish off this week strong and have a relaxing weekend. Do you guys have any tips on what I am doing wrong? Any guidance would be appreciated.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

Good luck!

Thank you! I'm very excited

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

Sorry I missed you I got hung up getting out of headquarters in pheonix. Didn’t get into Fontana till almost 7 that night and we rolled out at 7 am for our delivery in anehiem. Good luck with your next phase of training.

No worries! I figured you got hung up somewhere. Hope to catch you down the road somewhere!

I do have a few questions about the steps after training regarding DQP, readiness, mentor, home terminal. So much. If you are available to answer some questions, I'd appreciate it.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

Good luck with your next phase. Being away from family will be a challenge for everyone involved if you haven’t done it before. Try to take it “one day at a time”. Don’t fixate on how long you will be away.

That's what we've had to do. It's gonna be tough! Thank you for the encouragement.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

04/20/23

The last week was very slow up until today. We have been doing the ELDT program and boy is it slow! Today is the last day before we ship out.

I have been worried all week about the logistics around me leaving to school. I came to Fontana with my motorcycle and have been trying to figure out what to do with it. I spoke with the training managers here and they spoke with some people at the Jarupa Valley terminal to allow me to leave my helmet and riding jacket with them. That's one hurdle down.

The training manager also gave us our assignments today. At first I was going to go to Memphis, TN. That sounded so cool. I was very excited. Then he told me I'd be leaving Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning. I had planned everything at home with leaving on Sunday. I have to remember that I have a family at home that I am emotionally responsible to.

I was able to switch with another student and am now going to be flying out to West Valley City, UT on Sunday morning. I am excited for the new journey, and I can't wait to actually start on the trucks!

Thank you all again for the motivation and kind words.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Journey with Swift Transportation

I may bump into you Tuesday afternoon. I’ll be rolling in there to Fontana. I’ll be the only flatbed in there with 2 vans on a flatbed trailer. With an American flag flying from the headache rack. If you see me stop by and say hi.

I hope to see you. I will be out and about every hour or so as they have us on break, I'll be the guy vaping clouds that are obnoxiously large.

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