Comments By Blue Zombie Trucker

https://cdn.truckingtruth.com/images/truck-highway.jpg avatar

Page 3 of 3

Previous Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

A new project!

shocked.png

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

Adding: I know I'll be sharing a tractor and sleeper during mentoring/road training, but that's necessary and relatively short term.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

I jump the grey dog for orientation in 8 hours. I'm eager for the next steps. I've been reading a lot on these forums about what to pack, what to expect, different trainer personality types and training styles etc. It's very helpful, and I'm again grateful for this site and all of the more experienced drivers that are so generous sharing their experiences.

One of my classmates from CDL school really wants to try to get a team heavy haul run. I think he's so gung ho about that due to what he's been told are the advantages: more home time, a few cents a mile more. I was convinced it could be a good idea, but after reading up on team driving, it sounds to me like an excellent way to sabotage a fledgeling career. I sent him a link to a thread discussing the additional challenges, but he's unfazed. I really don't think he read it.

I've been living in a 22' camper for 4 years, the last 2 years, with my new wife. I cannot imagine living in a truck with another person and not going bat**** crazy, no matter who the other person or how big the sleeper. I'm keeping an open mind, if you'd call it that, but as you can probably see, the advantages of team driving would have to be more like a few extra dollars per mile, for me to think it would be worth it. (And yes, I know what I just wrote, and I'm aware of the implications.)

The smoke from the fire in Glacier Nat'l Park (25 miles from where I sit) is so heavy I can't see the Swan Mtn range, less than 4 miles away. Glacier Park will never be the same. What in incredible loss. Incredible, the word, used to mean "not believable", and what's happening in the Park right now is unbelievable. Sperry Chalet is gone, destroyed by the fire. This fire is destroying a unique national treasure that's been near my heart my whole life. As a teen, I used to picnic up there often, and we hiked into Avalanche Lake as a grade school field trip.

I checked out a couple of the other trucking forums, and it will take days to rid myself of all that negativity. (What the heck is wrong with people?)

Anyhow, on to orientation, and then, I hope, assuming I do get hired on, mentoring. Woo hoo!

Thanks again for this site, Brett, especially for all the hard work and dedication, but thanks to each and every contributor. You don't have to help. But you do help. Thanks.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Finished My OTR Training

Congratulations! Keep us posted... 😀

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Decided to go with Swift

Tom, I just finished Swift Academy in Lewiston, ID a week ago. I had an incredible experience, and I'm eager to get started with orientation in 3 days then mentoring.

Work hard, stay positive, and post regular updates! Best of luck to you! :)

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Did janitorial work in my parents small business from 4th grade to 8th grade. Then got a job at the local lumberyard/hardware store, starting stocking shelves, then doing the weekly hardware order, customer service and deliveries (had my "chauffers license".)

After high school and about 4+ years at the hardware store, I got on at one of the local sawmills. 4-1/2 years of green chain, dry chain and utility relief.

Then I moved to Phoenix, and got an AAS/EET (electronics eng tech). Stumbled into industrial maintenance, and wrenched in food plants and a huge injection molding plant for about 7 years total.

Then I stumbled into drafting, machine design, 3D printing, CNC programming and parametric solid modeling for almost a couple decades.

I moved back to NW Montana, had a few drafting, design and tech jobs, but I got really tired of being" overqualified ".

So, here I am. I finished company CDL school and got my CDL a week ago. I start orientation in 3 days, and IF I get hired, I really believe I'm up to this profession.

After reading a ton of "Advice for new drivers" threads here on TT, I feel I have a pretty realistic impression of how incredibly, um, character building, yeah, that's it!, the coming year will be :)

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just Another Trucker Training Diary?

Paul, keep up with sharing your experience! It's good to know what we're in for! ☺

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

Well it sounds like of the eight we had in our class at the end of week one, 6 of us got our CDL's.

Congratulations everyone!

I know one is in Phoenix for flatbed training; he's a wonderful guy and I think he'll make an excellent flatbedder. I believe one of the 6 is planning to get into wildfire support driving, but I'm not 100% sure on that one.

One of my classmates and I have discussed trying to get a team heavy haul run. We don't have any idea what our chances are, right out of the gate, but the next week and orientation will answer a lot of questions.

I've been reading a lot on these forums, trying to be as prepared as possible. TT has such a wealth of information. So far I've been focusing a lot on threads tagged as helpful for noobs such as myself. I'm very grateful for all the information!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

So I just read the transcript of the "terminal rats" podcast. Sadly, those rats exist in every corner of society and in every industry. Life's too short to let them drain my energy. :)

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

G-Town, of course you're right. Looking back on the conversation, even though he didn't seem like the sour grapes type at the time... what else could that comment have been about.

Honestly, it's a full time job for me right to just not overthink everything.

I worked as a technician, then as a machine designer for almost 20 years, and I believe trucking will be the most challenging yet rewarding thing I've done.

For now, my only job is to keep my head on straight, stay positive, remember my work ethic, and to ***keep it all in perspective***. ☺

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

Understood, G-Town.

Had an interesting chat with a chip truck driver from St Maries today. I asked about how long his daily turnaround run takes, (we have an MDF plant here,) and as soon as he found out that I just got my CDL, he was incredibly friendly and helpful.

He stressed a few points that we see emphasized on this site: *Stay positive. *Don't whine about insignificant stuff. *Expect that a lot of what you were told by recruiter types was... a sales pitch.

He also mentioned that for a certain mega carrier, only 4 out if 100 *new* drivers finish out their first year with that company. Wow.

But he also stressed the importance if a strong work ethic and a thick skin.

Really good feeling to... belong.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

Excellent post, thanks G-Town! (And you're right, setup was barely touched on.) :)

I don't mean this as any sort of criticism; the academy has very little time to cover a whole lot of material, and they do it quite well.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

Excellent post, thanks G-Town! (And you're right, setup was barely touched on.) :)

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

One other thing that I'd like say to if it helps even one person: STAY POSITIVE.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

Thanks! I didn't add much detail to my original post, but I will add a bit more now.

I used the study materials from Trucking Truth almost exclusively in preparation for my CLP, and did very well with them.

Our class at Lewiston had 12 on Day 1. One walked out as we were preparing for our UA's, and by Day 3 we were 8. Of the eight, four of us graduated on schedule. Of the four, I was (very happily) surprised with the success of one, as he had seemed to not be taking it seriously until the final week, but he got serious and succeeded.

Of my class, I will be the only one attending orientation and mentoring at Lewiston, as the others are back to Washington for the next steps.

I've seen it mentioned on these forums that CDL school is just the first part of the job interview process, and I behaved accordingly. I worked hard and it paid off.

We had 4 classmates held back, and none of those came as a surprise. With one, well, her heart was in it but she just wasn't able to listen, hear, and DO IT as told. One guy couldn't accept that this isn't theoretical physics. He badly over intellectualized *everything*. Another was so nonchalant and uncaring about safety that I began to hope he'd fail just so I wouldn't have to share the road with him.

I have no doubt that some of the students that I watched getting held back will spread sour grapes about the company, the school, and the industry. That's a shame, but honestly, the idea if any of them flying along at highway speeds with 80,000 lbs strapped to their ass scares the heck out of me.

I had a pretty major misunderstanding with an instructor early in the second week, (there were some raised voices and threats of expulsion), but I stood rock solid and didn't crack. I also didn't argue, make excuses, or talk back. It turned out for the best. It earned me some respect and some self respect. Was it a test? I'll never know, but if it was, I passed with flying colors.

I guess that for me, the bottom line is that a LOT of what I've read on these forums was dead accurate about my experience. If you're serious, work hard, ask questions that show you're head and heart are IN IT, your instructors will bend over to see you succeed.

I treated Swift Academy Lewiston as Step One of a job interview. I move on to Step Two, orientation, next Wednesday. I'm excited, humbled, and a bit proud.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just finished training at Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

I finished the Lewiston, Idaho Swift CDL Training Academy last Friday. My experience was very good, even considering a major misunderstanding.

I will only say that if a person is serious about learning a serious career, has a strong work ethic (is willing to *work* for it), can listen to instruction and take a little initiative, that person will succeed here. I was very happy with the curriculum, with the instructors, and with the equipment.

I give Swift Academy Lewiston 5 stars of 5.

Page 3 of 3

Previous Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More