Comments By Lemmy_Lives

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Posted:  4 years ago

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My Swift Journey, cont.

Nothing too exciting today, but I did drive through Cabbage Pass (again) on the way to our first of 3 stops.

One thing that was pretty funny was I was walking back to the truck through the Love's parking lot and a driver was attempting to back up. He was having a hard time of it (he was blind siding it for some reason) but he had it. Suddenly he threw it in gear and lurched forward and started cussing and yelling at me and another guy for not helping guide him in. I was thinking about it but like I said it looked like he had it. The other guy just told him, "if you can't drive, you can't drive". I don't agree with that but if the guy needed help he could've asked. All he had to do was straighten up and back straight in. I was just waiting for him to finish because I didn't want to walk in front of him. I guess he thought we were mocking him or something. Oh well...

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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My Swift Journey, cont.

Well today I almost screwed up. We were pulling into a truck stop in Yakima which turned out to be full. As we were headed to the exit from the truck stop a truck was parking right on the side of it (not a good idea). I went to pull out and thought I was supposed to turn right but I was supposed to turn left. I got flustered but I was already committed to my right hand turn. Suddenly my mentor pulled the brakes on me...my trailer almost hit the guy parking in the exit. He pulled me from the seat so he could get us out of there. He was upset for a while but he calmed down and explained why he was upset and what I did wrong (not watching my trailer). Ordinarily I do watch it but I got panicked in all the chaos. Not an excuse but it is what it is. I definitely learned a few lessons today though...make sure you know where you're going, and WATCH THE TRAILER.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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My Swift Journey, cont.

Delivered my first load today to the Costco DC in Sumner WA. My mentor had me back into the dock...there was plenty of pull-up room, but man that space looked small with a truck sitting on both sides of my lane. My mentor is slowly giving me less and less backing instruction so I can figure out what works for me...he basically just watches to make sure I'm not going to hit anything (which I almost did...darn drive wheels lol). I'm slowly getting the hang of it I think.

Next load is going to Idaho after a pickup 15 miles away. Unfortunately since we were on the move this morning, we won't have time to pick up and get down the road. The load won't be ready until 7pm, so here we sit...

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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My Swift Journey, cont.

I forgot to mention one of the mountain passes I took was Cabbage. Slow and steady, that's all I can say.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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My Swift Journey, cont.

Thanks everybody. I've been getting a taste of mountain driving the last couple of days...not a fan. Lol

I actually spoke to Flatie the other day. She's going to orientation with Maverick this week, I believe.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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My Swift Journey, cont.

Looks like you're set up for a great learning experience with a great mentor!

Good luck, Lemmy_Lives!

Thanks Errol! When I make it down Memphis way I'll be sure to see if you're in town so we can catch up!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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My Swift Journey, cont.

This is a continuation of my previous Swift training thread.

Today, my mentor and I went through Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Washington, where we're camped for the night. I've been getting a lot of driving time in and I'm loving it so far. I also got in some backing practice at a Flying J this afternoon. My mentor is very patient and explains his backing technique very well. We're only about 3 hours out from our delivery which isn't scheduled til the 8th, so we made good time. I got the pleasure of creeping down a couple of 6% grades, so that experience was definitely beneficial to me. I was starting to lose focus so I told my mentor I needed to stop so here we are. He was very understanding and said he would rather I do what I did than keep going and possibly hurt someone.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Something I've been wondering...should I continue this thread or start a new one and let this one die?

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Don't push yourself too hard. It's much better to bite the bullet and admit that you are getting drowsy than to drive drowsy and put yourself and others at risk.

I know you want to prove yourself and jump right in but marathon driving is HARD! Especially at first when you haven't built up the stamina.

Remember, it's never a bad thing to tell your trainer that you simply can't drive anymore. And even once you are solo, it's always better to stop for a short nap if it's early on your clock or to stop earlier than planned for your 10 if you are getting too sleepy.

Good advice, CM. I drove almost 500 miles today before we stopped. I could have gone farther but my mentor was worried we would be in the middle of nowhere when,my time ran out. So, we're camped out at a Petro in Colby KS.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

I hear ya CM. Me and my mentor went to Walmart to stock up on food and now we're just berthing it. He's kinda bummed since we're losing all this time but I plan on driving like a beast to make it up.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Got my first taste of trucker life today. Lol

Well headed out of OKC to Jenks, OK to pick up a trailer bound for Washington. We got there about 2:30 only to be told the trailer won't be ready til tomorrow morning. Sigh...

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Automatic transmission out of Cdl school help!

Anthony, I am feeling exactly the same as you. I was trained in a 10-speed manual, and tested in one as well. I definitely didn't feel totally at ease but I apparently mastered it enough to pass the test. Today at orientation I learned I'll be driving with a mentor in an automatic, getting a road evaluation in one and getting one myself once I get my own truck. I have no problem with automatics (I feel the positives outweigh any negatives regarding them), but I feel I'll be a few steps behind the people who are out there sharpening their skills in manuals. I realize the industry is heading that way, but it seems like I'll be shorting myself in the long run regardless.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Well, as of this afternoon I'm officially a truck driver! Rookie that is, but I was very proud of myself when I was finally issued my driver number and spoke to my mentor. He seems like a pretty easygoing guy so we should get along pretty wel . I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can so I can be as successful as possible once the leash comes off! :-)

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

I'm sorry I can't be a mentor in a dedicated account. The student would be in a hotel room every weekend. Aww shucks!

Best if luck, Lemmy!

Thanks Errol! Right now it looks like I'm not leaving til tomorrow. The good news is that my mentor's truck is brand new and automatic.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Day 2:

More videos and paperwork. We received classes on HoS, company benefits and other company policies. Tomorrow we're supposed to be assigned mentors and the real adventure begins!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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I'm now a CDL A holder!!

Congrats! Hope to see you out there soon...I'm heading out tomorrow with my mentor!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Day One of orientation:

Nothing much to report really. We had 3 people who had to redo their physicals and do a driving test, so the rest of us spent much of the day sitting in a classroom doing not much of anything. We did fill out some paperwork and take a open-book HAZMAT test as well as watch some videos but other than that....

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

I'm currently sitting at the Days Inn in Oklahoma City; tomorrow I start orientation at the OKC terminal. Kinda nervousness but I'm also ready to get this show on the road. I'll post an update tomorrow.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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CDL permit, forgot to get Tank Endorent.

I already plan on doing getting the tank endorsement.. The permit cost $76 which I hadn't expected. Ill probably do the physical too to remove the k restriction too. I was already told by prime that I'd do a DOT physical in Missouri regardless of if I did one in Oklahoma since I was going to Prime to learn to drive a truck and wouldn't have a commercial driver's license already.

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David, why don't you just go back and get it? It will only take a few minutes of your time to take the test. You are going to want to have that already out of the way, and it is so much easier to do it now than after you are on the road. You need to get it because there are times when you will be hauling those containers filled with liquids - you are required to have the tanker endorsement to be able to take those loads. You sure don't want to be that driver that has to say, "sorry, I forgot to get my tanker endorsement, I can't take that load."

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I'm not sure what Prime's policy is regarding permits but what they told you doesn't make much sense. Like I said, if you don't get a physical the K restriction prevents you from driving outside of Oklahoma. When I went to school the only ones who had to retake the physical were people whose paperwork wasn't correct.

Was it a recruiter telling you all this? If so you might take what they said with a grain of salt.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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CDL permit, forgot to get Tank Endorent.

Are you from Oklahoma? If so you probably have a K restriction on your permit which prevents you from driving outside of the state. I went to school in Tennessee and all of the people with K restrictions were sent right back home to get their DOT Physicals and remove the K.

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