Profile For Brian F.

Brian F.'s Info

  • Location:
    Syracuse, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 9 months ago

Brian F.'s Bio

Ready for a new adventure.

Brian F.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  9 months ago

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Homeless truck driver

Wyoming is a favorite state among homeless RV people

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Seeking Pros & Cons of Swift Driving School

As was said earlier the school is very intense. You and you alone are responsible for getting what you need out of it to pass the CDL test. What school you go to depends on where you live. I'm in NY so I went to the C1 school in Indianapolis. 3 weeks and I did pass the test the first time despite being dry mouthed nervous wreck. I was in a mentor's truck a couple days after orientation in Syracuse NY. I bailed after 8 days for mentor related reasons and they bussed me back to Syracuse and started looking for another mentor. In the interim I decided for personal reasons to go back to my old career at least temporarily. I will most likely go back to trucking at some point but it won't be with Swift. I won't bash Swift but I saw some things that were very unimpressive. Word on the street is that the "things" were probably Syracuse terminal specific. Anyway, if/when I do go back I will insist that my trainer 1) speak understandable English. 2) Take showers more often that once every 8 days 3) Be OTR and not dedicated. I found the learning opportunities in dedicated were very limited relative to OTR.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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OTR and being sick.

This is gonna sound stupid but when I was a kid I got ear infections frequently for a couple years. My mother would make a pancake in a frying pan and wrap it in a kitchen towel then make me hold it against my ear till it cooled off. Hurt like hell but infection was gone every time. Makes sense when you figure a fever is your body's way of trying to kill infection.

Once when my codriver was sick and needed to go to the ER, we were at our home terminal and they were going to give me local drops to run for the day, but I told them no, and accompanied him to the ER. They had no problem with that.

This past week, I've been battling an ear infection in my right ear. Our company gives us free TelaDoc service, but i knew we were trying to get home this weekend (and away from the ice), so I loaded up with ibuprofen for the ear pain and continued to run. We got here last night. Started running a fever this morning, got my consult and my antibiotics so now getting plenty of rest and on the mend. TelaDoc is wonderful but it's sometimes difficult to get into a pharmacy in a big truck, or have the time to park and get a cab to one. You do what you gotta do, but if you're so sick you aren't safe or okay to drive, you better shut down and inform your DM. It's a DOT violation to operate a CMV when too ill to drive.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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To deep on pre trip?

Having just recently obtained a CDL from the Swift school in Indiana I will say this. Don't even study before hand. Study everything else but not pretrip. My extensive studying of pretrip before school actually hurt me in terms of ingraining the wrong verbage in my head. On day one we were handed a 4 page pretrip with specific verbage (synonyms were not accepted) that must be used to pass the state test. The list was dynamic in that it changed regularly, in fact 2 minor changes were made in the 3 weeks I was there. Such was my experience in Indiana, your mileage will no doubt vary. And by the way, the state inspector DID expect everyone to do it in the same order and everyone did the entire truck there were no "assigned sections".

So I have been going through the pre trip inspection study materials and have a question. Is there to much to look at during a pre trip? And is there a specific sequence it should be done in.? When I do preventive maintenance inspections I always start out checking the truck while walking to it than raise the hood and check the fluids belts hoses tie rod ends and and drag link ends,brake chamber's and.brakes on the front shut the hood.... anyway I sorta have a routine I got used to will I need to modify it for the testing?

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

I recently sat through a company presentation on the justification of driver facing cams. I went into it feeling very much invaded but by the end I (almost) welcome the thing. To make a long story short, if you are doing everything right that cam can save your ass after an incident. They presented case after case of cam video saving a driver's career and more in court. So, pending first hand experience, I'm sold.

I'm going to be going to CDL school to become a professional truck driver and my first choice of trucking companies to get on with after school has driver facing cameras. To me, that would feel like an invasion of privacy. How should I deal with that? Should I not consider this company and go to a company that doesn't have driver facing cameras? Thank you.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Trainer in need of insight

How does bend it straighten it work? Haven't heard of that one.

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Instead of remembering Right = Left maybe if he thought Move the Bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.

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Hey all I have started training for my company I have had around 6 or 7 students all caught on and have upgraded to first seat drivers. A week ago I got a student that just doesn't seem to catch anything. I have tried to show him things like backing. He can do a straight back just fine however when I have him try to setup for a 45 or a 90 he has no concept of what the trailer is doing or which way to turn the wheel over a week practice for 7 hours one day and then a minimum of at least an hour a day and still just as bad as day 1. I hate to say it but I have no idea how to handle this student any thoughts anyone

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The left/right/opposite thingy always confused me for 45 and 90 degree backs. I adopted the "bend it" or "straighten it" mindset and I could automatically translate that into which way to turn the steers.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Trainer in need of insight

Instead of remembering Right = Left maybe if he thought Move the Bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.

Hey all I have started training for my company I have had around 6 or 7 students all caught on and have upgraded to first seat drivers. A week ago I got a student that just doesn't seem to catch anything. I have tried to show him things like backing. He can do a straight back just fine however when I have him try to setup for a 45 or a 90 he has no concept of what the trailer is doing or which way to turn the wheel over a week practice for 7 hours one day and then a minimum of at least an hour a day and still just as bad as day 1. I hate to say it but I have no idea how to handle this student any thoughts anyone

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift pay advance?

Finished Swift CDL school and heading into orientation next week. Does anyone know if they have any available pay advances? Do they pay weekly or every 2 weeks?

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My last day of work. Uncharted territory.

Yea yea, that's it. Dam Russians.. LOL

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Ummm oops

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The same thing happened to me yesterday! I'll take the DENIAL route..............THE RUSSIANS HACKED THE TT WEBSITE!!!!!! LOL

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Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift Training @ C1 Indy

I read this whole thread a month ago. I just got home from C1 last night with my red hat and reread this thread. :) I'm surprised at how much has changed in 8 months, mostly little things. They tell you now that stalling at an intersection is impeding traffic and an auto fail. Stopping or shifting on RR tracks, shifting during a turn, and a few other things are auto fail. Friday of week one we got a demo drive by an instructor then immediately after we were taking turns driving on the street. The word Terrified really doesn't cover it. All 3 backing maneuvers start Monday of week 2 regardless of whether you have even tested pretrip or not, logging class is Friday of week 2. Or maybe backing started in week 1, geez it's all a blur now. Brad is awesome. I was told Monday of week 3 that I was testing Wednesday morning at 9:30. I was still struggling with backing and freaking out. I asked Walter for help backing and felt like he was blowing me off but 30 minutes later I was told Victor would stay late to help me if I was willing to stay. Of course I stayed, why else was I there if not to succeed. Anyway, Victor taught me things no one else had which gave me what I needed to fix the parallel when I screwed it up badly at state. 4 of my group tested Wed and shockingly we all got red hats.

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So what's the good word? We're all pulling for ya!

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Just passed state today! I leave for Orientation May 9th in Rochelle, IL. I'm officially a CDL-A holder! Woo-hoo, Feels great! 20160427_150446.jpg

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My last day of work. Uncharted territory.

Ummm oops

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My last day of work. Uncharted territory.

I too was a Nurse for 20+ years. Just wrapped up CDL school this week and going to Swift orientation the 28th. Nervous but looking forward to it. Just hoping I click with the trainer. Btw, CDL in 3 weeks was pretty intense with lots of external as well as self induced stress. Or maybe it was all self induced. If only we could have learned shifting in a bobtail around the parking lot rather than pulling a trailer through rush hour traffic and active school zones. shocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.png

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My last day of work. Uncharted territory.

I too was a Nurse for 20+ years. Just wrapped up CDL school this week and going to Swift orientation the 28th. Nervous but looking forward to it. Just hoping I click with the trainer. Btw, CDL in 3 weeks was pretty intense with lots of external as well as self induced stress. Or maybe it was all self induced. If only we could have learned shifting in a bobtail around the parking lot rather than pulling a trailer through rush hour traffic and active school zones. shocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.png

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

My last day of work. Uncharted territory.

I too was a Nurse for 20+ years. Just wrapped up CDL school this week and going to Swift orientation the 28th. Nervous but looking forward to it. Just hoping I click with the trainer. Btw, CDL in 3 weeks was pretty intense with lots of external as well as self induced stress. Or maybe it was all self induced. If only we could have learned shifting in a bobtail around the parking lot rather than pulling a trailer through rush hour traffic and active school zones. shocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.png

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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6 months! :)

Turtle, when did you say you're starting Swift school in Indiana?

Wow! Has it been 6 months already? Seems almost like yesterday that you were still figuring out where you wanted to go. Congratulations!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift CDL school Indiana Days 4,5,6

Day 4 must have been uneventful as I barely remember it here on day 6. Day 5 we started with a brief backing lesson on the range then SURPRISE, get in the truck you're driving down the road. In rush hour traffic. Stop lights on inclines, divided highways, interstates, 2 lane roads, school zone, intersections of all types. The word terrified falls somewhat short. Sat and Sun between days 5 and 6 was spent studying road speeds to gears, pretrip and doing some homework. Day 6 (Monday) we split up and ome did backing on the range and some of us drove again. I drove again, in the truck with 3 other students. I went last which did not help my anxiety level but apparently helped my performance. After watching the first 3 I was no where near perfect but magnitudes better than I was on Friday.

TIP: If you want to study pretrip before getting to a school by watching videos on youtube, great idea except DO NOT waste time memorizing or even listening to the verbage. It varies by test center apparently and changes frequently. The video I hammered into my brain pre-school actually hurt me. What would be very helpful is to come to school knowing what all the pretrip parts are, where they are, what they do, and be able to easily visually identify them. That's probably half the battle.

Tip #2: Come to school baggage free and FOCUSED. If your wife, GF, mother, sister, etc is calling you daily with some bs problems at home either turn your phone off or don't even come.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift school first week.

This is the study sheet they gave us all here on site. The word is verbalize it ord for word cause that's what the DMV dudes want to hear. I too wonder if it varies from DMV to DMV or state to state. At the end of the day though I don't really care if they want me to use the terms purple elephant and dancing monkees. smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

The 1/4" minimum isn't a local variance. It's DOT. That is why I asked what Brian was using as a study sheet.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift school first week.

I gotta draw the line somewhere dude. I'm actually giving 101.5% but don't tell them that cause then they'll want more.

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Thanks all. I am 101% focused and determined.

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SLACKER! Can't you at least give it 102%?

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Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift school first week.

On my study sheet it only refers to skid plate and mounting assembly.. Geez I might have mounting assembly wrong as I'm exhausted right now but the words 5th wheel are no where to be found. It is Apron btw. Another interesting piece is the brake "linings" are now "not dangerously thin", no mention of 1/4" thickness.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift: urine or hair follicle

First week of Swift school, urine only so far.

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