Comments By Greg H.

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  • Greg H.
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  • 4 years, 2 months ago
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Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Choosing a right CDL school

Perhaps some others can fill you in on some other companies or ways to go about doing this. As for me, I chose OTR, and I highly encourage anyone to do it, if not only but, for a short while. It's great experience.

BUT, if you're completely not into it. Swift Transportation doesn't only train OTR, or you're not away from home for 3 weeks. I have a friend who trained on a Dedicated Walmart, with Swift and he was home pretty regularly because his trainer was as well. I have an ex student of mine who decided OTR wasn't for him and he moved to local deliveries. I believe he's home every night. You'd have to live close to a terminal though to do local.

It's probably going to take a whole lot of research of each company because, I don't know about everyone else here but, I'm not fully knowledgeable of all of the different positions that Swift or any other companies offer.

There are so many different avenues you can take with your CDL. You may have to spend that first year doing something you don't want to do thoug

Anyway, bottom line, you don't have to train OTR.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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How do people survive

Lol, this made me chuckle. Been there, done it.

I had to sell some things, a lot of things, and max out credit cards.

BUT, I have managed to stay afloat the first year. Caught up on some debt. I've maintained my credit. Financed a new vehicle. And invested in home improvement projects. And taken care of misc things.

Btw, the whole first year out here (and now), I maybe bought 3 meals. The rest of what I eat, is what I take with me from home. That and water.

You have to come up with a plan that works for you.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Advice please - started solo and second time this is happening.

I think Rainy probably gave, uh, :) the best, *replies*, here.

My mind wondered a few times reading it all. lol

Don't get in a rut, thinking you have to be a *super trucker*. Just be honest with others, and be honest with yourself.

Personally, I don't handle the split shifts very well. Back in my younger years, I broke every sleep/work law there was probably but, now days, I just preplan a lot. Once you get experience, and learn the in and outs of things, you'll get a whole lot better and efficient at your job. I like day shift personally, but I do sometimes have to run it into the night hours a bit. Just don't think that you have to push yourself. Yes, learn to be productive but, like I mentioned, this will come with experience. I mean, don't push yourself in a bad way. A lot of people are built differently. They can run strange hours but, I still question their health. I'd like to have a sit down with their doctors because, we all know that it is suggested to get anywhere from 7 to 8 hours straight sleep. So, if you're doing something else different, how?

I love Rainy's input because she works how I work. I like staying one step ahead of the game.

Be honest with your DM's. Let them know what's up, and let them know your trying to figure out a work method that works best for you. If you get out here and get all frazzled, you're of no help to anyone. In the meantime, I'd suggest getting the rest that you need. Any dummy knows that if you don't do the miles, noones happy, not even yourself. So, figure out what works and do that.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Talk about nerve wracking

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It truly amazes me how companies scream, 'safety, safety, safety' but, we have to do silly crap like this.

Sooo, that being said, Good Job!

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I'd imagine most times they're just given an address and dont have the time to look each one up. Not every delivery can be to large distribution centers, it's up to us as professional drivers to do what it takes to get it done.

Companies are aware of the circumstances out here. They've heard it a million times from drivers over the years.

That's why I said, Good Job! because yes, we do definitely have to all exercise proffesionalism out here.

Be safe...

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Talk about nerve wracking

It truly amazes me how companies scream, 'safety, safety, safety' but, we have to do silly crap like this.

Sooo, that being said, Good Job!

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Packing for swift duffle or suitcase ?

One of my students brought 5 large duffles, a sleeping bag and pillow. Their stuff literally covered the when top bunk. They had the nerve to complain about the lack of space I'd provided for them. I gave them a cabinet space and room in both my refrigerator and the onboard refrigerator (that's right, I have two, lol), and I also let them store drinks in my personal ice cooler.

Ok, that was just an example of what not to do, or bring. 5 large duffles, waayyy to much stuff. I mean, come on, the whole top bunk. And they weighed a ton each.

Any student of mine will never go without water. I will not provide for them but, I will make sure that they at least survive the trip.

I'd prepare to sleep with your stuff. I just measured, never have b4. The top bunk is approx. 2 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet. And, unless you are a very large person, or very tall, you can put stuff at the foot of, and sides of the bed space.

One of my students would take their stuff down and put it in the passengers seat while they slept. This was fine. They were a rather large person.

Hey, we don't live in a perfect world. Even though I do believe that trainers should provide a little space, they will not always do so. And, I personally only provide so much space. One reason is because, I have no idea how long you will be on my truck. 2 days, 2 weeks, who knows, I've had both. If I provide all of this extra space for you, then it takes away from space I could have used for myself. I'd have to purchase more stuff out on the road.

So, prepare for the worst case scenario and only bring what you can fit into that 2 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet space, including yourself.

Regards....

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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What really irritates you?

Yep, yep, yep and that too.

I'm sure whoever watches my Driver Cam footage is having a chuckle.

If I had my way about it, 99.9 % of the drivers on the road today would lose their licenses. Seriously..... Well, ok, 99%....

I've been trying to calm myself over the past few months, and figure that they are just simply under educated drivers, and knuckleheads to boot. But, fact is, they can really suck at driving sometimes. And, sometimes they can simply be complete Assh****.

I hate towns that don't accommodate for truck drivers, AT ALL. They build and structure things in just a way that makes it impossible to stop anywhere. You're welcome, btw, for all the crap we bring to you. I understand that some drivers abuse the privilege but, still. You can drive for awhile b4 finding a place to stop sometimes. I don't like it....

People in charge that let the power go to their heads. I'll point no fingers.

If there are paper towels in the restrooms, and hand soap, I'll grab them and scrub the seat down b4 using it.

I don't believe this has been mentioned but, the as*hats that pull to far forward in rest areas making it impossible to get out. Well, without climbing a curb.

These new trucks that govern our lives and figure that they know best for what is the correct comfort zone for truck drivers.

Super Truckers, you've met a few. Full of themselves.

Traffic that slows down to 15 mph, when the accident is on the opposite side of the hwy, across a concrete barrier to boot.

Whew maybe someone else will fill in some more blanks.

Oh, me, for getting so irritated. 😁

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Game: What Excites You Now That You Drive?

Probably the first thing that comes to mind is making a fresh pot, or a couple of cups, of coffee after each day.

I love a long deserted hwy, with plenty of places to pull off and stop. I was just on one today, US 90 and US 285 coming up out of Del Rio, Tx headed to I-10 W (Fort Stockton). Pretty smooth, and flat, and straight, for the most part. I really tend to hate the winding, hilly East.

I love finding a place to park in the evening. And, depending upon where you are, you can be more grateful in some areas throughout the US. If it's late that is. I love finding a place that is secluded, and quiet. I really tend to shy away from truck stops, even though they can be inviting at times. Hey, a place to park, is a place to park. And we all said, amen.... lol

I don't share others enthusiasm where it concerns backing. Even though I can tend to back quite well, when I'm not having a bad day, I tend to seek the less opposing spots to park in. You guys/gals enjoy, lol....

I love watching Movies, and TV shows in the evening while eating a meal. And, the new Smart TV I just bought helps with that experience, lol. My last, or first, truck with Swift didn't have a mount or place for a TV. So, that's really cool. And, I love being able to run the sound through the trucks stereo system. Both trucks have nice sound.

Mmmm, free laundry at Swift terminals. And showers to I guess.

Oh, lol, yeh, green lights on the EZ Pass is always cool. Who else hates Texas weigh stations. Follow Road Signs. Meh..... :) Even though, they are open few and far between. Except for border patrol areas. Hey, who loves those, lol. I always feel like I just went through a microwave, with all of the things pointing at you.

I do miss doing stuff at home. I love getting projects done when I go home for home time. I love eating a real meal, and cooking one, and turning my phone off, or the ringer all the way down. And, I enjoy also driving my personal vehicle. I love ordering an 18 inch Bruno's Combo Pizza, for those who live in the Tyler, Tx area.

Okie dokie.... I guess that about sums it up. I love the desert. Don't know why, like in NM. Weird.... Love trees to but, the open country appeals to me.

And, I love a long walk in the evening.

Ok, that's enough, Next.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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New Swift Driver Wanting to Switch

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I personally like the Counter button. Someone has already mentioned it. Of course, I'm probably a little more picky than some people. I'll counter until I get one that I feel comfortable with. I've rejected a few too. I usually never hear anything about it. You have to remember that the times you're originally given are computer generated, and they usually do not include enough *actual* time to pick up and deliver. So, yeh, you really need to use your own good judgment.

A good preplan will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

I'll get out a pen and pad and sit there and right down everything if I have to. This will include time to fuel, scale, take a 30 minute break, traffic (California can sometimes mean adding an extra 2 hours), and so forth and so on. Anything you need, write it down, figure it up, and then counter a load with your own times. Forget the computer generated times.

Getting in a hurry, or thinking that you *have to* will only get you into trouble.

Be a good and safe driver. Keep a strong head on your shoulders

And remember, no one knows everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.

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Greg, is it true that the practical miles that most companies use to estimate trips and pay is about 10% less than actual miles? If so, do you add about 10% to the mileage of a run when planning?

No, it's not 10%. You can't go by percentages. It's zip code to zip code. And yes, it can get off sometimes. And, sometimes you have to call your DL and ask, 'what's up boss, with this mileage'. For example, one load I had only showed 30 miles for Empty Miles, and in actuality it was 150 miles. So, yes, I wanted to get payed for a few more miles than 30. lol

So, yes, unless you are familiar with where you are or where you are going, you need to double check mileage from point A to point B. When you pull up directions on the Qualcomms Navigation system it will give you correct mileage to your destination. Just check and make sure it matches your dispatch information. It shouldn't be off by much. Usually you can figure it being off by ohhhh 5 to 20 miles. I usually start questioning it at around 50, ha ha or when there is a serious noticeable difference.

Sorry for the late response. Busy busy busy busy here lately.

When I was at the Academy one of the instructors said something that is very true. "We're not training you to just be Truck drivers but, Managers." You have to be on top of things yourself, and not rely on anyone else. Get help from others, yes, but, you need to be able to manage your own time out here.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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New Swift Driver Wanting to Switch

I personally like the Counter button. Someone has already mentioned it. Of course, I'm probably a little more picky than some people. I'll counter until I get one that I feel comfortable with. I've rejected a few too. I usually never hear anything about it. You have to remember that the times you're originally given are computer generated, and they usually do not include enough *actual* time to pick up and deliver. So, yeh, you really need to use your own good judgment.

A good preplan will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

I'll get out a pen and pad and sit there and right down everything if I have to. This will include time to fuel, scale, take a 30 minute break, traffic (California can sometimes mean adding an extra 2 hours), and so forth and so on. Anything you need, write it down, figure it up, and then counter a load with your own times. Forget the computer generated times.

Getting in a hurry, or thinking that you *have to* will only get you into trouble.

Be a good and safe driver. Keep a strong head on your shoulders

And remember, no one knows everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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If coming to Swift Denver

I would rather have a 5cpm increase in pay. I rarely use the showers at Terminals. I'm with Gladhand, I prefer to avoid them. I wonder if they finished the renovation at Jurupa. I think they hired " Two Men and a Shovel Construction" to do that one!

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Yeh, they finished it... Looking pretty good. A friend of mine that runs reefer said that they have already graffitied the stalls though. I didn't notice myself. He had been there the day before.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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If coming to Swift Denver

Isn't there a Walmart within rock throwing distance, or maybe I'm thinking of a different terminal? Take a left out of the terminal, curve/turn left and Walmart is off to the right, past the dirt lot. At least for a restroom. Maybe even parking but, they do say not to park in the dirt parking lot next to Walmart.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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I have hit the 1 Year OTR mark

Good job tractor supply, I mean Tractor Man. Sorry....

I have a question concerning on time deliveries. My company is smaller and doesn't have the same structure as some of the companies y'all drive for. Ok so you pick up a load and have just enough time to get it to receiver at appt time the next day. Now let's say you hit traffic in a non expected place. Like an accident. Let's say you call and let dispatcher know. Would that count against your %100 on time deliveries?

Congrats, Tractor Man! I'm ruffly at the 1 year mark (All OTR), with Swift.

I hear you, on everything you mentioned. I wonder about achieving Platinum status and then becoming a Diamond driver. Not that I personally care myself. I'm blessed just getting a pay check every week, and having a great career. But, don't you know that those who do become Diamond Drivers, they must be best buddies with the planners! Haha πŸ™‚ Mmmm, as for the Mentoring, I'll get back to you.

Anyway, I quoted NeekIODN because I know the answer! lol. No, it only counts against you if it is your fault, and you have no good excuse. At least, it hasn't been counted against me so far. I've been late a few times. Illinois for example, I was snowed in. I was only 30 miles from my delivery but, I was lucky to make it that far when I found a place to shut down. Late due to an accident in Albuquerque but, my DM didn't let it count against me. Anyway, various reasons but, they haven't put me as being late, when I have a good reason. Still holding at 100% on time delivery.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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A Day In The Life of a Walmart Dedicated Driver

Thank you GTown, this was a great read. I have a friend that I went to the Academy with who trained for Walmart Dedicated. I was curious about the life of dedicated, as opposed to otr. I think they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I don't believe that I am built for dedicated myself. It's just, hard work, to me. Buttttt, on the other hand, otr is hard work as well. ☺️ My clock is ticking tick ticking away as I type this. It seems like I've been cutting it really close on my clock here lately. So, ha ha.... another day in the life of otr, and dedicated.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Mentor's/Trainers (all companies) and Starting Rookie Solo (Swift)

Woohoo, I start my rookie solo career today. I spent the better part of yesterday evening at home (with my tractor... my DM let me bring it home and load it up. I thought that was cool... ) cleaning the outside of my truck. It was filthy, and now it looks brand new. It's something to feel good about. I mean, yeh, it's an older model but, IT'S MINE, ALL MINE. lol

Anyway, yeh, mentor's/trainers, all companies. I won't mention any particular company because, I'm sure that they are all pretty much the same. People wear different cloths but, they all still just people.

I had a pretty rocky experience, as well as a friend of mine. He and I both attended Swift Driving Academy in Corsicana, Tx.. Anyway, yeh, we had bozo's for Mentor's. Ah well..... You do with what you have sometimes. My mentor came back to the tractor drunk and expected me to drive. He was an owner operator. I heard they chased him all over the parking lot on foot but, never caught him. I was stuck in Jurupa Valley, CA/Ontario, for a better part of 11 days. They really had a difficult time getting me another mentor out of CA. Finally they got me a ride to Phoenix where I met number 2 bozo. Aaaa, the second one wasn't so bad at times but, he did have a way about him. So, on to mentor number 3. And by the time I got him, I only had 22 more hrs left of my training. So, we shot up to Illinois and back down the Phoenix, to Loredo and then back to Landcaster. I think I ended up with 220 hrs, and he ended up with a nice little pay check. I passed all of my test, after going home for 7 days (my training took 7 weeks.... remember, I was stuck in Jurupa Valley for 11 days), and now here I am, getting my first load assignment. I get to go make the big bucks now..... :)

My friend, he had a really hard case.... I mean, this guy, while my friend was driving down the road at 65 mph, came out of the sleeper and stuck a towel my friends face. Not cool.... it's no big secret to Swift. My friend wrote a 3 page report on him, and was still writing..... he did end up with a cool mentor after this though.

On a positive note, not all mentors are bad. It's about half and half I think. You seriously just have to work closely with your Driver Coordinator and find the best solution for you.

Anyway, it worked out.... and away we go. :)

PS I may or may not reply to this. It depends upon my phone service. It hasn't been that great lately. Anyway, be good and God Bless... I love my truck. Drives like a dream, even for an older model.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Academy and Terminal Overview

I'm almost done here. I just wanted to mention real quick about the Medical Card (DOT Physical). There is a little dot or place to mark Yes/No for CPL applicant or CDL Holder, I believe the 2 options are. Make sure, if you get your physical done before going to the Academy, make sure that they mark this option as ' Yes '. Otherwise you will end up having to get another physical. They paid for mine so, no big deal for me. I just had to pass another physical. But, yeah, this has to be marked ' yes '.

Oh, and the only information they ever asked for from me was my License and my Med Card. I went to the County Clerks office and got an original copy of my birth certificate, and never used it. Not one bit of information I took that they needed other than my license and my med card. This will differ individual to individual I guess but, as for *having to have all of this information, not so far. You may need 3 forms if you get Hazmat endorsements, I don't know.

Anyway, out of school and in orientation. You get to pick your orientation date. They did mention, you may not want to wait to long because positions are filling up. You can either go on Monday or Wednesday for orientation. You can wait a complete week if you need or want to. But, it's either Monday or Wednesday.

Orientation last for 3 days, and then you should get put out on the truck with a Mentor.

Everyone was pretty friendly at orientation. Just a butt load of information being pushed at you. Some of it you've heard before and some you haven't. And then you're handed 2 books and a few sheets of paper you have to study and over the course of the next 3 to 5 weeks, you'll be studying this information and taking test. Yaaaaaahhhhhh..... :(

Oh yeh, I wanted to review the Hotel (Days Inn and Suites) I believe it was called. It's a step down from the LaQuinta but, it's not to bad. About the only issue myself and some of the guys had was that there was a lot of questionable things going on there with some of the guests at the hotel. My roommate said that the smell in the hallway was Meth. Personally, I don't know what meth smells like but, I could definitely smell what he was talking about. And someone else smelled pot....

and here all of us guys are standing here, fresh out of schools and with our brand new Class A cdl's thinking, ' crap, I hope this doesn't show up in my Urinalysis. By the way, if you went to swift academy and already did the hair follicle, you won't have to do it again, just the Urinalysis. But, still, it had us a little concerned.... for our safety some. But, yeh, that meth smell was seriously strong....

Ok, so you get through orientation, all your stuff gets verified, you get your Employee Code, and your off to see the wizard....

The End

If you made it this far, the rest is an adventure. So, enjoy.... by the way, the Driver Coordinator said something in regards to Mentors. They are not your boss, I am. Even though she'd like for us to try and work things out with the Mentors, if issues should arise, they will find someone else to mentor you if necessary. I like that though, they are not your boss, I am.

So, good luck in your adventures with Swift..... a lot of talk about different companies, how they pay and what not. Do your homework, I mean, seriously do your homework before making your decisions.

Oh, almost forgot..... Knight merged with Swift, for anyone who does not know.

Sooo, anyway, yeh, if you made it to your mentor then the rest should be down hill from here.... if they've liked you up to this point and you passed all of your test, then I don't see any serious obstacles in the future. Besides the fact of, are you really ready for this. Who's really ready for anything though, right?

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Academy and Terminal Overview

Also included in 2nd week is straight line backing. They'll let you start practicing around the 3rd day. If you can not get this, they'll send you home. You have to be able to straight line back to drive a truck. And yes, you only have a couple of days to get it. I'm not sure what kind of leave way you'd have there. They pretty much told us, within those 2 days, if you don't get it, or pass, you're going home. I think they worked a little more with a few people that weren't getting it. But, in the long run, if you slide by on the straight line, it may bite you in the behind when you start the offset and parallel backing.... so, pay attention to what they are telling you and try your best.

3rd week - yahoo, you'll get to stand around on a rocky dirt hot parking lot for several hours this week so, prepare yourself. Hydration is key word here. And head cover, sun screen, anything you need. This is pre trip, pre trip, pre trip week.... study folks, study, study, study. We had some pretty smart peeps (including my roommate) out there, and they still missed stuff on their test. I was one of them. I never could remember, no foreign objects or spacers, between the tires. And I failed the air brake test the first time I tested. I had to wait until the next day to retake the test. And I believe you only get 2 chances at this, and if you don't pass, you'll have to come back the next week and take the whole 3rd week over again. I forgot to turn the key on (so I could read the gauges)... once you start learning this stuff, you'll understand what I'm talking about (safe start). You can't miss or get anything out of order on the air brake test. You can miss and go back on anything else but, not the air brake test..... anyway, you test out on it on mmm Wednesday.... so, Over the weekend, after week 2, study study study the pre trip and air brake information they will give to you. And continue studying it all the way up to the test.... otherwise, you will return the next week and retake the entire 3rd week over again if you fail.

(I'm going to do a quick overview of the facilities at the Academy and the Instructors after I finish this info. )

4th week actually begins on Friday, after the pre trip and backing test. By the way, the backing and the pre trip/air brakes test are separate. You can pass the pre trip and airbrakes ( considered the written test ) and fail the backing, and only have to come back on Thursday and retake the backing test. On Friday, you'll get to meet your road instructor. You may or may not drive this day, it all depends. John, my instructor had to do road test and was tide up until 12 so, we only had a 4 hour day on Friday. Most of it we spent talking..... Ok, so, you come back on Monday, and you go up and down the service road, shifting up, shifting down, shifting up, shifting down.... you do this along with around 3 others, all day long. And Tuesday, you get to do it all over again. Wednesday, you get to visit in city and practice crossing railroad tracks, making turns, observation (bridge heights, speed limit signs, etc. ). Thursday, off to the long windy country road where you go and do the off tracking practice, of your trailer. Thursday evening, you practice your backing.

And then there's Friday: Big test day.... and let me tell you folks. I was the very first to test. I had just driven up and parked in the parking lot when the instructor came around the corner bellowing my name, looking for me. It was 5:50 am, and even though I was still early, he was ready to get started. Soooo, I was first to test.... yahhhh me! whew, I passed.... I tell everyone, maybe it's a good thing. I was still half asleep and didn't have time to over think things.... He complimented my driving though. And I'd passed the backing with only one problem. I'm going down to the next paragraph, because I want to make a point of something.

GET OUT AND LOOK. I had one "encroachment", because I didn't get out and look, on my offset back. Stupid, stupid, stupid.... I knew I was getting close to the line but, I didn't stop and get out to look. After he blew his whistle, I got out, looked, shook my head, got back into the truck, pulled forward and straight line backed it in. I mean, COME ON, you get 2 free get outs and 2 free pull ups, except on the straight line back. You only get 1 free get out and pull up on the straight line.

Ok, anyway, got that out of the way.... yeh, get out and freakin' look already. Don't be stubborn.....

Overall the conditions and the instructors were pretty awesome. I think a few of them could be a bit to gungho for my blood sometimes. And they have their own personalities but, they were generally friendly, helpful, good people. They really only get upset when they believe that you are wasting their time. They'll be very helpful if you honestly want it. But, hey, they can't give licenses away.... so, work at it and you should do fine. The Academy, while I'm thinking of it, was an old terminal. That was pretty cool....

Oh yeh, I think I wanted to mention a little about the other students.... it was like family out there for us. We all pretty much stood on the side lines and cheered one another along. You have your certain group of people you get along with but, everyone pretty much had one another's backs. At least, as much as possible. We can't drive the truck for you.....

Ok, so, we pass, and we go home.... for the weekend.

To be continued.....

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Academy and Terminal Overview

I went through the Corsicana, Tx training facility, and am based out of the Lancaster, Tx terminal so, some of this may or may not apply to you. It's all relatively the same information no matter what Swift Academy or Terminal you go to but, maybe with small differences.

Ok, first, go to your local DMV and get started studying the information in the Commercial Handbook. It's simply a whole lot of information to cover, and you'll want to get started on it asap. If you wait until you are already at the Academy, you'll find yourself thinking, ' this is a whole lot to grasp in a such a short time '. They only gave I believe 3 days learning the handbook before the class had to go test for the written exam. And from talking with my roommate, he was a bit frantic about it. Luckily I had already been through all of it and was there to help him out with any questions he had. And personally, I had already picked up a Handbook at my DMV and started studying way in advance. And I also took the written portion before I went to the Academy. So, I didn't have to attend the CLP class (The first week of Academy). I was only at the Academy for 3 weeks.....

The Hotel in Corsicana (LaQuinta) was awesome. I mean, this is a very nice Hotel. It has a pool (unfortunately, I simply didn't have the time to check it out), exercise room ( I did check this out. It was small but, still very nice. ) There is an outdoor patio with a grill so, take advantage of this. Can food and fast food gets old. I personally brought all of my own food. So bring a few pork chops in a cooler or something with you. They have microwaves, and small iceboxes. The rooms are huge.... and the Tv had to be a 50 inch. I have a 36 inch at home and I know it's much smaller than the ones at the LaQuinta Hotel. And there are around 200 channels to choose from.... woohoo. :) They also have free wifi. And it works very well.... I watched Netflix on my tablet. So, that was cool..... They do have two computer stations down in the lobby... And I believe breakfast is free the first day but, after this, you'll need to pay $6 a day if you want to continue eating it.

The shuttle will pick you up around 5:30 am your first week. mmm, yeh, believe so (I started out in the 2nd week).... if you're in class, it's 5:30, if you are out on the Range, you'll be getting up around 3 am and leaving at 3:30. And depending on how many people are going to class, it could be the mini bus, the full size bus or the van. Most likely it'll be the bus.... and it does not roll up to the front door so, be standing out by the service road in front of the Hotel. You'll most likely see others standing out there.

The Academy isn't but something like 15 minutes from the Hotel, if that far. Don't miss the freakin' exit off of the Interstate or you'll be driving a good ways down to the next exit to turn around. There are a few routes to take to get to school.

On a personal note, I checked out Collin Street Bakery. It's on Hwy 31 West a few miles from the Hotel. They have great cookies. And from what I've heard, great food over all. Oh, and the Walmart is somewhere around 4 miles West, also on Hwy 31, down on the Left, from the Hotel.

1st week - CLP

2nd week - mapping, logbook, general discussion, overview....

3rd week - Range/Class ( very little time will be spent in Class, most on the Range practicing backing. )

4th week - Road ... The first day will not last long or didn't for us. The second day, up and down the service road you'll do up shifting, downshifting. And yes, you do learn and test on trucks with Manual transmissions. 3rd day you'll go on a route through different parts of the city. 4th day, you'll most likely go East of Corsicana and drive a long country road with a lot of curves to learn off tracking. 5th day is D - Day, either pass or fail. They will not give you your grade, only pass or fail.

Oh, yeh, forgot to mention or haven't gotten around to it yet. They have 3rd party testing at the Corsicana Academy. We didn't have to go anywhere or to the DMV to test. We tested right on the facility, and DMV approved testing routes for the road test.

You get tested for blind side offset back, blind side parallel parking and straight line. First you have to do the pre trip, and it's not simple. They don't simply ask you a few questions, you have to know it all, front to back. You'll choose a card that is facing down. It will either have A, B, C or D written on it. Which ever one you choose, you'll pre trip this part of the truck or the trailer. Everyone has to do the coupling. Coupling includes the pig tail (electrical line) and air lines coming from the truck, going to the trailer, and everything about the (fifth wheel). DO NOT call it the fifth wheel. It's called the skid plate.

I hope I'm not confusing anyone. I'm not proof reading much and I may skip around a bit.

Ok, first week, CLP is a pain.... generally ask anyone who has had to do it.

2nd week is pretty easy... mapping is generally fun stuff and who doesn't like log books.

By the way, no, you will not use paper logs, unless the QUALCOMM goes down. It is illegal to keep 2 sets of logs. And Swift uses the Qualcomm to log all your times. But, you will learn how to paper log in case the QUALCOMM does go down.

To be continued....

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

My head will explode!***

Ok, let me explain.... I'm not being overly dramatic. Back when I first got into trucking, I knew absolutely nothing about trucking. I couldn't tell you how many lights were on the back of one to save my life, much less the inner workings of a rig. I was *winging* it I suppose you could say, out on the road.

Everything up to this point is on a, ' Need to know ' basis for me. I skipped so many things back then. I look back on my experience as a trucker, and it amazes me that I didn't get myself, along with anyone else killed. It's not that I wasn't extremely careful, as much as I could be. It was the lack of training that I had though.

I studied more to pass a test, then I did to actually learn anything. This is a very exciting and adventurous deal for me now. I'm really into it. I'm really excited about learning as much as I have, and learning more. I really, from the beginning of this, have wanted to *know* what I'm doing out on the road, instead of simply, *winging* it again.

And not to mention, I could seriously use a really good long term career right now.

I'm trying to be to much into *having to know everything* or thinking that I have to absolutely know *everything*. But, still, do desire to *absolutely* know as much as I possibly can.

I don't believe I can explain my attitude any better. I honestly simply want to know the answers to some questions. I'm not so much into the whole DWI deal anymore. I've already taken the test. So, simply put, you shouldn't be driving *any* vehicle while intoxicated. This is all I need to know about this in the future.

I didn't say that I wouldn't get hazmat if it is required. The test that my recruiter or the Online School set up for me simply didn't give any information, or have me study to get the hazmat endorsement. I really only meant that, if I had a choice, I wouldn't not want to.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

My head will explode!***

I think my brain has shut down. I might as well just walk around moving my finger quickly up and down on my lips, making the bbbbrrrr sound.

Way to many facts and twisted question as of late. My brain needs a break. It needs time to catch up. :)

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