Comments By Lemmy_Lives

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Posted:  4 years ago

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Pump Safety *Warning Graphic*

Nice road rash!

It's all good though. Chick's dig scars. :-)

Posted:  4 years ago

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Babysitting the Rig.

Mac there will also be opportunities to explore some neat places while in the truck too! We stopped at a little spot in Geary OK that was truck friendly. Cherokee Indian art, crafts and other cool stuff plus they had live buffalo and buffalo burgers at the diner.

You can find little cool spots like this just by watching signs and looking on Google maps and street view to find out if they have truck parking.

Cherokee truck stop, right? I just ate there 2 days ago.

Welcome to my neck of the woods! Lol

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Training Academy Memphis

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention...

The drivers (4 wheelers) in Memphis are borderline suicidal or just simply insane. You've really got to keep an eye out for them. Not a boring moment to be had on the streets of Memphis. Lol

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Training Academy Memphis

I just graduated from the Memphis academy last Thursday. Expect to have a lot of information fed to you at a very fast pace. However, if you take notes and pay attention you will do well. Also, DO NOT give up. The class after ours lost 7 or so people when backing training started...one guy just said I can't do this and quit. Don't be that guy. :-)

The instructors are passionate about the industry and want you to succeed, but they won't hold your hand either. You are expected to figure it out using the information given. In time, you'll figure out what works best for you.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Great!! I know what you went through. I'm there now! I test Wednesday, I'm struggling with shifting, and the skills. The off set, and straight or the only two we know will be required. The other will be the 90 or parallel . Only two days to work on skills. A couple road trips are scheduled. I know one includes u-turns, going north on four lane then u-turn south. Already did three road trips and feel my shifting is awful. Yesterday instructor had us skip from ninth to seventh, then on down to fifth, and back up to ninth, repete to fifth. Wish me luck Wednesday, if I don't pass this, next test is a week later. Only test on Wednesday. Keep us posted!!

Good luck on your test! You're actually learning more than I did in regards to shifting...we weren't taught how to skip gears. At least you'll have time to sharpen your skills if you don't pass the first time. I had 3 chances to pass the test, and I tested 3 times in 3 days.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

I'm back home! Can't wait to hit the pillow...I've been up since 3 am yesterday.

Looks like I'll be going to orientation a week from now and the second chapter begins!

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Congrats Lemmy, been following your diary and was pulling for you. Can't wait to hear how your journey goes from here.

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Thanks Jim. Beat of luck to you in your journey. I look forward to hearing all about it.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

I'm heading home tonight back to Oklahoma. They told me it'll take about 3 or 4 days for the paperwork to process. At that point I'll get my precious plastic from my local DMV.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

I PASSED!!!!!!!!!

Cue the dancing bananas; I'm outta here!

Thanks to everybody for the encouragement and advice.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

You give someone a ride home, don't get into conversation, but they will give you directions to get them home. Drive like that.

The only problem is that someone trying to get home isn't going to instruct you to make a turn that will cause you to go up a curb unless you use the turning lane on the other side. I wasn't able to take the turn because the turning lane was full. I think the instructor got ****ed; he told me if I couldn't make up my mind on the turn then just go straight, which I did.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

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Aced my pre-trip. Aced my backing tests.

Failed my road test. I was told I ground the gears too much. Last chance to pass tomorrow afternoon. I am screwed if I can't pass tomorrow.

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Key word, Lemmy:

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R E L A X

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"H" pattern, flip the selector, repeat. The only thing that messed me up was I had to know which way to flip the thing going up and going down.

"Addams family timing" really means slow down, give the gears a chance.

I've described the accelerator pedal tap to be like just enough of a kick to move a dog out of the doorway. Not much "push" at all.

R E L ... you know the rest.

I thought I was relaxed, but apparently not. My tester also told me I didn't have to do commentary... I did some, but I guess I should have done more. It didn't help that my test was during Memphis rush hour; I was up and down shifting the whole time.

All of these are just excuses, however. I have to get this done tomorrow. I'm out of chances.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Aced my pre-trip. Aced my backing tests.

Failed my road test. I was told I ground the gears too much. Last chance to pass tomorrow afternoon. I am screwed if I can't pass tomorrow.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Strike one...

Failed my CDL test today due to something I've done a million times....the air brakes test. I know it inside and out and completely messed it up. Nerves I guess.

They said they're going to retest me tomorrow.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Lemmy, you (or anybody) wants to come out for a night/early morning practice, text me to let me know. I can come by at 4:30am Monday to get you. (hint: you can get away with practicing on nearly any unoccupied tractor or trailer on the lot.)

Thanks Errol. I saw this too late.

However, I did more driving and apparently the weekend break helped a lot. My shifting (both up and down) was on point...only a couple of missed gears but I recovered them quickly.

Test day tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Posted:  4 years ago

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Question about blood pressure?

I'm pretty sure 140/90 is the highest they will go. It is possible you can get a 3 month physical card, but most companies won't accept it.

One thing that I found will affect the reading is the cuff size. My BP was consistently high until the DOT physician fitted me with a large cuff. Presto, problem solved.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Wow, the CDL diaries forum really dies down on weekends...lol

I've spent the weekend studying my pre-trip and getting tips from other students. I feel a bit better about my driving skill...not where I'd really like to be, but good enough for someone who's driven maybe 5 hours in the last week.

I spoke to Flatie C the other day about her AP for backing skills. I told her not to worry about it...in a week's time, she'll be better at backing than most of the people who advanced. I think she'll be all right.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Quick update: I passed my road test! It took me two tries and it wasn't pretty but good enough to pass. Next step: CDL test on Tuesday!

Really gotta work on not grinding those gears...

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Yeah fifth gear is a good gear to turn with. Remember this: 4th gear is the most forgiving gear for shifting into. (There is not so much grinding there). Just remember to take the selector down!

Shifting is mostly a muscle memory kind of thing. Just make sure your right elbow memorizes where it needs to be for 4th gear.

The instructors know and expect all the usual screw-ups. Nothing new there. Just aim for the other end of the test, and you'll do fine.

Thanks for the encouraging words, Errol. I'm probably putting too much pressure on myself, but I have a lot riding on this. My instructor is also a bit animated I'll say and it makes me a bit gunshy. I'm normally not bothered by things like that but I get butterflies in my stomach every time I'm told it's my turn to drive. I love the driving I just wish I could do it without all the added pressure. I know this is a serious profession though, and I also know my instructor loves driving and wants us all to succeed. Maybe I should just stop being a wuss and drive. Lol

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Lemmy juggles things:

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one of my (many) problems is I occasionally forget what gear I'm in. I'm realizing now that I need to keep an eye on how fast I'm going to rectify this.

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In training mode, you can't really go too slow while turning. Start in first or second, stay in third till your turn is done*, that's only one or two shifts. Listen to the engine, that leaves your eyes to be watching out for your driving.

If your instructor says different, do that. Duh!

Later you'll feel like King of the Road when you're turning and double clutch downshifting at the same time.

I'm doing better on my turns...problem I'm having now is my downshifting. I can hit the gears that I need but my timing is way off. I don't get down to 5th (the highest gear our instructor will let us turn at) quick enough. I know it's just going to take practice but I was told I'm road testing tomorrow. The instructor said we're all ready to pass the actual driving test; I just don't feel as confident.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Swift Academy, Memphis TN

Lemmy asks a good question:

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Dumb question: how do I keep an eye on my tandems? Do you mean using the mirrors to make sure you clear the lanes?

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During the day, I watch the bottom convex mirror on the inside of the turn. Yes, you're looking in two directions at once (forwards and at the rear tandems) - you'll get the hang of that.

Hint hint: suppose you need to turn right. As you approach the corner, move your truck to just inside the left white paint lane line - basketball rules out-of-bounds. As you proceed around the corner, pull straight out, then turn into the second lane out from the curb. Now watch those tandems. Steer the front wheels for their benefit.

When the tandems clear the corner, drive your front end over into the right lane.

Left turn's the same, only the other way, including pulling straight out and turning into the second lane, this time counting from the left.

Good information, as always.

I'm getting better at it...one of my (many) problems is I occasionally forget what gear I'm in. I'm realizing now that I need to keep an eye on how fast I'm going to rectify this, it's just a lot of things to keep track of and my brain locks up when I'm driving in Memphis traffic and I have to downshift for a turn. Today I was making a perfect lefthand turn and a 4 Wheeler decided to straddle 2 lanes and pass me on the left even though I didn't leave any room for someone to do that. My instructor was quick to point out that it wasn't my fault and that I did what I was supposed to do. I just know I would be royally ticked if someone did that to me during my driving test (auto-fail).

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