Profile For John G.

John G.'s Info

  • Location:
    WV

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 4 months ago

John G.'s Bio

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Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

DO NOT TRAIN WITH SWIFT!!

Bubber,

I know nothing about Swift except that they give lots of people an opportunity to get started in a career who wouldn't otherwise get the chance.....including you! Since you passed they must be doing something right unless you are a some kind of brainiac and I'm pretty sure that's not the case! How about showing a little gratitude instead of biting the hand that feeds you! By the way. I haven't met anyone who felt they were ready to go out and drive just after getting their CDL! Good luck!

I know my original post may have been a bit too much and I do appreciate the opportunity, but that doesn't change the fact that they are running a school with way too few instructors and way too many students. As for not feeling ready, I know most people are gonna feel that way no matter how much training they get before their CDL, but rushing so many people through without enough training is dangerous.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Looking for a Swift mentor in Salt Lake City

If you're a mentor with Swift thats looking for a trainee, and you'll be in SLC next week, give me a shout. I'm looking for a non-smoker who's been driving for a while. At least a few years. No offense, but seems like a bad idea to let people thats only been on the road for 6 months take on a trainee. I know I wouldn't want to be training someone in my first year. I'm from Charleston, West Virginia. Not sure if that matters or not for a mentor. I'm a non-smoker, obviously. I'm a hard worker and a quick learner. I'm pretty easy to get along with. I prefer to stay away from topics of politics and religion. I'm here to work hard and go solo ASAP. So let me know and we can talk.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

DO NOT TRAIN WITH SWIFT!!

Hey Bubber, Instructors are not giving the test, there are 3 testers there that will be administering the test, Tony, Dave, Mark. There are actually a lot of good instructors at that school, but Swift overloads the classes every week and it can get crazy out there. You just have to force your way into a truck sometimes, ask instructors to come in on the pad on sundays and work on backing. It's basically them showing/telling you how to do the maneuver the first time, then work it out on your own and with help from other students. No matter how big the class is you will get plenty of time to practice your backing I promise you, now road time might be an issue for your class, but should be no issues with backing. And my class had 93 percent pass rate, and DMV is involved, when you do your first test for the day which is pre-trip, you cannot start testing until DMV arrives, its heavily regulated and they have strict rules to follow, the examiners have DMV officials looking over their shoulders the whole time. The test is Federal approved exam. Errol is right also, if those ****** bags are messing with you while your backing, set your brakes, put it in neutral, get out and tell them to move. You'll get it, just stay with it. Are you still in Class?

I got put at the end of the line to test and had to sit in my hotel for a week before I could finally test. Thought I was gonna forget everything I'd learned. LOL Apparently I didn't forget much cause I breezed through the pre-trip and backing with no problem at all. My driving could have been better, but considering how little road time I've had I'm surprised I was able to get through it. But I passed!! dancing-banana.gif And they must have changed things in the last few weeks. As far as I know, the DMV isn't involved anymore. Probably because we're not getting a Utah CDL anymore. We now come in from our home state with our permit and then take our test results back home to get the CDL.

Anyway, I still stick to my original opinion about Swift's training program. If you have no other choice, then its worth it. I feel like they are pushing a lot of people through with a CDL that aren't quiet ready. They may have a high pass rate here at school, but I bet those numbers don't hold up for long after they're put out with a mentor. And I'm sure Swift isn't the only ones that do it this way. But just having a few more trainers here would make a world of difference. And maybe a few more trucks for getting road time or maybe smaller classes. People should be getting a minimum of 5 to 10 hours of road time. I got less then 2 hours total in the three days we went out on the road.

Now I'm waiting to start orientation and get with a mentor. If you're a mentor with Swift thats looking for a trainee, and you'll be in SLC next week, give me a shout. I'm looking for a non-smoker who's been driving for a while. At least a few years. No offense, but seems like a bad idea to let people thats only been on the road for 6 months take on a trainee. I know I wouldn't want to be training someone in my first year. I'm from Charleston, West Virginia. Not sure if that matters or not for a mentor. I'm a non-smoker, obviously. I'm a hard worker and a quick learner. I'm pretty easy to get along with. I prefer to stay away from topics of politics and religion. I'm here to work hard and go solo ASAP. So let me know and we can talk.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

DO NOT TRAIN WITH SWIFT!!

So, Bubber, you went right past the fine facility at Memphis to get to SLC? I took the class in Memphis. The policies seem to be about the same - It was over Christmas/New Year so we only had about 30 students at the start of the class. On the practice range we loosely paired up - you could change partners any time. The instructors demonstrated how to make each of the back up scenarios, then we were on our own. You drive and your partner spots/calls out helpful suggestions. Then you swap. This goes on all day, and the instructors move around the work with students all across the range. This is my experience, and it looks a lot like what you have.

Oh, gee! sometimes I had to wait to get into the driver seat, but when I was there, I enjoyed the heat (Winter, remember?) and practiced till I could not practice any more. The instructors did come by and work with me a few times.

Did you partner up as I described, or did you have 5-8 other students yelling at you about what to do? If there's too many, ask them to be quiet you need to concentrate.

The driving with the mentor is easy, but you need to know how to back the truck/trailer up. In fact, your mentor needs to grade you on 40 back-ups while you are on the road. Get your practicing done now!

A suggestion - go get a toy truck from Walmart or Toys R Us. (don't roll your eyes!) Watching the truck on your table top will show you how backing really goes down.

Bubber, your job is to focus on the backing target you have to do. The instructors do give you the evaluation to get you out of the school (don't tell any body but you do get a few extra chances if you "blow it") I needed a chance to pass the whole thing.

Finally, remember this: the cones/barrels/boxes you need to park into are on purpose 1 foot closer together than the CDL test standards. So if you have to back in to that (killer!) 90 degree alley, the CDL test, no matter the state, will be a piece of cake.

Chill Bubber! Practice with your toy truck. Don't waste your time looking for YouTube videos. I did look, hard, but did not find any that were really helpful.

Thanks for the advice. I was gonna get the toy truck, but my roommate thought it was a dumb idea and money is tight anyway. And I tried to do Memphis or Richmond, (only a few hours of home) but my recruiter said it was SLC or nothing. And yeah, there's about 8-10 per truck and I haven't been in a truck one time with an instructor. At least the weather is nice.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

DO NOT TRAIN WITH SWIFT!!

This school in Salt Lake City is a complete joke. 50 students in a class and TWO instructors out in the yard at any given time. Plus there's at least another 50 students out here from previous week's classes. You'll be lucky to get in a truck for 30 minutes in a 10 hour day. And when you're lucky enough to to actually get some time on one, you have to deal with the other students that think they know everything running around your truck telling you what to do. It's hard to learn anything when you NEVER see or talk to an instructor. I'm not paying $3900 + $500 in housing cost to be self taught. I get that most of the learning comes on the road with a mentor, but how are you supposed to pass the CDL when you never get any feedback or help from an instructor? I'm guessing the only way anyone is passing this class is because the instructors are giving the test. They'd be lucky to get a 10% pass rate from this school if they're testing was done by the DMV or an impartial 3rd party. I don't feel safe being put out on the road like this. I'll be lucky to get 20 minutes of road time before my road test.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Headed to Swift Driving Academy in Kansas City, MO

Here are three things, two not on any list, but they will come in handy. First, get a toy semi truck. Die cast. Walmart has some, around $13-15. The real trailer is 53 feet long, and it will wear your patience out trying to get the back end to do what you want it to do. With the toy, you can see the moving relationship as you "back" the truck.

Second, to help with frustration, get a bottle of patience pills, 2,000 IU. 50 count. Take two a day in the morning, or you'll go crazy by 5pm. Since these really don't exist, they're undetectable in any drug test. rofl-1.gif

Lastly, go ahead and get your Range McNally Motor Carriers Road Atlas. Deluxe with laminated pages. Don't spend the $80 sticker price. Find a truck stop. They'll have them for cheap.

Thanks for the advice! For a second I thought you were serious about those pills. Lmao As for the road atlas, is it really needed in this age of GPS? I've looked into a few that are made just for truckers. Anyone have any suggestions on which is best? I'm also bringing my iPad along, so I may just get the Copilot GPS app that's made specifically for truckers. It's got mixed reviews, but seems to be on par with the dedicated units and would be far cheaper since I already have the hardware.

Remember, I'm a total newbie here, so please don't be to hard on me if I sound totally clueless. Lol

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Training Journal

Wish I had some experience in this. The biggest truck I've ever drove was a U-Haul. Lol I'm starting from scratch as a total noob. But I'll be there with you guys. I'd do a diary myself, but honestly with this accelerated course, I'm sure I'll be too busy studying and trying to get every second of practice I can in before the big test. 😬

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Headed to Swift Driving Academy in Kansas City, MO

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Well, I finally got to talk to my recruiter again today. Looks like I'm all set up to start school on June 1st. I'm a little nervous and excited. 😁 Anyone else gonna be in my class? Let me know.

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Yeah I'll be in your class, I have also talked to someone else on here that will be in class with us also, he replied to my post in CDL Training Diaries.

Cool man! I just emailed you.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Headed to Swift Driving Academy in Kansas City, MO

Well, I finally got to talk to my recruiter again today. Looks like I'm all set up to start school on June 1st. I'm a little nervous and excited. 😁 Anyone else gonna be in my class? Let me know.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Headed to Swift Driving Academy in Kansas City, MO

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Well, after what seems like an eternity of research about trucking here and elsewhere, it looks like I'm about to take the plunge. I put in my application with a few companies that have CDL schools and Swift was the first to respond. Of course I'll consider one of the others and report back when and if I get any other offers. But for now I'm gonna go ahead and plan for starting school on June 1st.

My first question is... Has anyone even heard of Swift having a school in Kansas City? It's not listed on their profile here at TruckingTruth. It's not even listed on Swift's website! My recruiter from Swift, Joan, told me she'd be emailing me the details soon. But I'd like some info from anyone that's either been through that school, or even heard of it. Lol

I'm one of those people that try to be over prepared for everything, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Any advice for a newbie? Anyone working for Swift now or in the past wanna give me any advice? I don't mind hearing complaints about them as long as they are valid and helpful to my situation, but I'd rather hear the positives of what I should expect.

Thanks a lot for everything I've already learned from this site. I'm sure it will remain a great resource for years to come. Wish me luck on this next chapter of my life! 😊

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Bubber, I'm going to Swift May 31st in Kansas City, Mo, that's not the actual school. You'll go there to drug test, physical, and etc, you'll be there for 4 days, then you'll be going to Salt Lake City, Utah for 9 days of training at the Swift Terminal. I have the training sheet if you need it, just message me your email and I'll email it to you. But you'll be in Missouri Mon-Fri, Saturday you'll get on bus for Salt Lake City and do 9 day training. The Salt Lake City training is accelerated program to get you through training faster and with your OTR trainer.

Thanks a lot for the clarification. My recruiter still hasn't emailed me anything. I've already called her back once and still nothing. What you describe sounds a lot different than what I've read about Swift's schooling. How do you get everything done in only 9 days?! That sounds scary.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Headed to Swift Driving Academy in Kansas City, MO

Well, after what seems like an eternity of research about trucking here and elsewhere, it looks like I'm about to take the plunge. I put in my application with a few companies that have CDL schools and Swift was the first to respond. Of course I'll consider one of the others and report back when and if I get any other offers. But for now I'm gonna go ahead and plan for starting school on June 1st.

My first question is... Has anyone even heard of Swift having a school in Kansas City? It's not listed on their profile here at TruckingTruth. It's not even listed on Swift's website! My recruiter from Swift, Joan, told me she'd be emailing me the details soon. But I'd like some info from anyone that's either been through that school, or even heard of it. Lol

I'm one of those people that try to be over prepared for everything, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Any advice for a newbie? Anyone working for Swift now or in the past wanna give me any advice? I don't mind hearing complaints about them as long as they are valid and helpful to my situation, but I'd rather hear the positives of what I should expect.

Thanks a lot for everything I've already learned from this site. I'm sure it will remain a great resource for years to come. Wish me luck on this next chapter of my life! 😊

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