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Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

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Just a quick update. I'll go into more detail when I have more time. It's been a hectic go go go....sleep....go go go schedule. My driver number came in on Friday and my mentor was there in 2 hours. From there we left and have been on the move.

All is good and as soon as I have time I'll go into more detail.

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Welcome to Swift! Congratulations. Safe travels.

Thanks

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Just a quick update. I'll go into more detail when I have more time. It's been a hectic go go go....sleep....go go go schedule. My driver number came in on Friday and my mentor was there in 2 hours. From there we left and have been on the move.

All is good and as soon as I have time I'll go into more detail.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Just a quick update. Wasn't sure if I was going to post anything but, here I am. Still waiting on my driver number. Hopefully I will get it tomorrow.

We didn't have to go in quite so early today. Left the hotel around 8:30 and spent the whole day up at the terminal just waiting. Most of everyone left sometime today. Only around seven of us came back to the hotel. Some of the peeps either leave this evening or early in the morning. Of the seven, two of us don't have driver numbers. The other I believe will depart sometime tomorrow.

Fore now, just hanging out back at the hotel.

Until tomorrow.......

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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New Beginnings Chapter One(Houston Community College

That's the go getter attitude to have. Don't think of it as testing, think of it as practicing. As for stalling, it happens. With practice it'll happen less and less. Keep up the good work.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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New Beginnings Chapter One(Houston Community College

Glad your ok down there and congrats on making it this far.

As for backing, this is just my opinion and what worked for me. You've got enough of the off-set down you can put that behind you and focus solely on parallel. Off-set is just parallel on easy mode. If following your reference points, it's as simple as paint by numbers. Just make sure you take your time and stop at each change in direction of your steer tires. Just make sure you take your time and listen to your instructors. Use your get out and looks. Get at as many times as you need to while in class. Lastly, relax, have fun and don't OVER think it. Laugh at each cone hit like it's a comedy of the new person who just got something with his (or her) car. Helps bring humor to relax while keeping a constant reminder that could have been an actual car.

Best Wishes and I'm sure you'll do fine.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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C1 Driving Academy - Indianapolis, IN... Adventures with Swift

They really cram a ton of information in a short period of time. Orientation could be a week, and there still would be information over load.

Just wait until tomorrow. It's like when you put stuff off until last minute and you rush to finish it right on time. That's what it's like.

As far as feeling like you made the right choice. I agree completely. Could be brain washed to think that (haha) but I definitely agree.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Orientation Day 3

Started the day short one guy. He had personal stuff come up (from what I hear) and had to go. We lost one more later in the day, an experienced driver. Not sure the reason, not my business.

We started the day on safe driving. Took a good chunk of the morning. Then more e-paperwork. We then were visited by our development coordinator (I think that was her title). She went over the details of the mentorship. After she finished then it was mote policy and apps and other miscellaneous things. A visit from the fleet manager and then a shop guy. Then trip planning then charity donations. It was pretty much back to back information and a lot of it. End of the day we were given our comdata cards and our medical stuff back.

Four of us are still waiting on our driver codes. Yes, I am one of them. One guy leaves tonight and another was supposed to leave first thing tomorrow but his driver code isn't in so he won't be leaving. Two of the guys had their locations moved to Illinois since they will be reefer and apparently Edwardsville doesn't have reefer, apparently.

End of the day, those of us who were still waiting went back to the hotel. We will return tomorrow @ 9, leaving here @ 8:30. Those who won't leave until Friday will just hang out at the hotel. Currently, I'm just mentally exhausted and just ready to get rolling and get my 200 hours done.

Until tomorrow....

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Orientation Day 2

Let's see, today I went and ordered a made to order omelet. It was delicious.

Class started off with some Swift history. Which, I must say was pretty cool. Mostly about the founder and the beginning of the company. I won't go into detail, mostly because the information is swirling in my head and needs more time to process. Also, either Swifties will either have seen it or know it or future Swifties will see it and know it. Anyone else can Google it.

After that, more paperwork (all computer based).

Then on to more HOS. More log books. Pretty much a repeat of everything gone over in the swift academy only drawn out as much as possible. There are C1 students in orientation so I'm not sure how much they were taught. There was information gone over about elogs on the Qualcomm, so there's that.

There may have been a couple more small things in there but it was kind of a busy full of information kind of day.

After lunch, we went over a bunch of small things. I really don't remember every little thing off the top of my head. It was mostly Swift driver website stuff. Some over the comdata card, how to set up direct deposit, Swift store, training something or another center thing. Some Swift policy things. Benefits.

Sorry, so much little stuff my brain hasn't had time to fully sort it.

Final thing of the day was over appropriate behavior. Not sure what was worse, the inappropriate behavior acted out or the terrible acting from Swift HR. It did have it's entertaining moments.

One final note, seems no more people have been sent home or went home.

Until tomorrow.....

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Congratulations, Mynamegoeshere, on getting your cdl A.

Thanks

I think the woman instructor from the DMV shouldn't be there teaching. It's unfortunate that you had her. Shoot, I want instructors who have 15 to 20 years experience, and know everything, at least, most everything.

Truth be told, the only reason I said as much as I did about her was so that people would know what to expect. I could keep going. I don't, however, wish to get it in people's heads to not listen to her. She is an instructor and does have knowledge of things. She's got the years of experience but, I think it's also been years since. She's old and her husband passed away a few months prior. There also used to be two other instructors but one was let go and the other quit. So she was kind of thrown into all the extra stuff.

PS oh yeh, about the floating gears. I didn't mean to start a conversation about it or wasn't serious about it in any way. It's really just up to the company, what they want, and what you are comfortable with. Me personally, I hated floating gears, but when you're out there for hours upon end driving you tend to think, ' hmm, I wonder how difficult it is to float gears ', so you try. The company I worked for didn't really like us doing it, and I had no real complaint. Even though, after I'd learned that I could float gears, I would catch myself doing it. I really prefer double clutching to tell you the truth.

Anyway, be good....

I think there's a benefit to floating, since you are using clutch less you are prolonging the life of the clutch pads. Downside, if you don't do it correctly you eat gears. One is more costly than the other which is why I think some companies don't like it. Practice makes perfect though.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Orientation Day 1

Finally a different breakfast. Something other than biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs. They have an all american breakfast setup and a room right next to it for made to order omelets.

Now off to the shuttle. Room for 14 passengers. Enough room to feel like we are crammed in like sardines. 14 passengers in, still more waiting to pile in. Haha. They made it somehow, not sure how but, they made it.

Orientation is upstairs. 14 ish of us standing in the front area not sure where to go for a few minutes when someone ask where we go. Upstairs. Once upstairs there are signs directing you. Check in while entering the room and find your seat with your name tag (just a table display type name tag). 26 people expected. 21 show up. Most are Swift students from other areas and the rest are existing CDL holders.

Introductions start (I really hate this part). Medical card and long form are collected. Then on to some videos. During which the existing CDL holders begin slowly sent out for their road evals and others sent back in groups for the wiz quiz. The first half of the day is pretty much that. Replaying the videos for those who missed and one bit about Reefers. It was short and to the point and there were only 6 videos. I don't remember exactly what they were, but they were important, ish. Haha. Basic stuff really. Not to terrible for a single sit through. Rough to have to sit through it all multiple times. Somewhere in there you'll sign off on some forms (all paperless, you can either do it on your phone or on the computers in the back, most of us used our phones).

After lunch (lunches a free and provided by swift, you'll get a coupon to take to the food court thing for one free lunch each day of orientation), we then finished catching the last of the people up on the videos. By now we lost 4 people. Down to 17. There are some who need to get their physicals done, they were lacking long forms and just had to redo it. They were sent off for that and the rest of us went on to safety. After safety, we went over hazmat. Those took the rest of the day and those parts helped the rest of the day go by pretty quickly.

Excitedly, one of the lost was my roommate, regretfully, he'll be here until tomorrow. Oh well. Not sure why he didn't make it. Sucks he made the trip and didn't get the job. FYI, he is one of the already has a CDL peoples. Tomorrow should be a little more productive. Those few who had to redo their DOT physicals will have to take short lunches to catch up on what they missed today, over the next couple of days.

Until tomorrow....

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

I want to start with the night before. My trip up on a bus slightly more occupied than my first bus trip, was...how can I put this....interesting? It was pretty uneventful. I turned on my mobile hotspot since the WiFi on the bus won't let me run Netflix. Streamed some shows and wrote my review and read the blog from G-Town that is linked above. It actually took me quite a bit of time to write that. I had a prelude to my review all written up. It was just a long winded way of saying how awesome everyone on this site and how great the site itself is. Long story short, I got so long winded with everything I had to split it up and accidentally lost the entire prelude.

Next up was a wonderful moment with passenger body odor. Blech! Then on to some kid picked up along the way. I took my headphones off to get up to use the restroom and he decided it was a good time to chat. After a simple "hi", he then began by telling me his friends call him 'president' for some reason. I mistakenly inquire about it to which he told me it had to do with an interest he expressed some time ago on Facebook. I asked if he was still interested, he then told me that he is but he isn't. Only if (when he's old enough, he looked like he was in his 20's) the country was bad enough, as if he was so great he could single handedly make it better. It's always the crazy ones who insist on speaking. I made it to the restroom and back all the while he's still trying to chat as I am walking away and after I walk out of the rolling stainless still porta potty. I eventually put my headphones back on and continue to ignore him.I think he still continued talking for a little while after. Haha.

Next up is the final bus terminal. My paper says shuttle pick up at 8. After calling to confirm with hotel I discover that pick up is 8:45. Not long after being there, I was yet again asked for money, just like last time and I think it was one of the same people as last time. I had a 2 hour wait. 2 hours of potentials asking for money. 2 hours of me wondering if I should just be rude or think of polite excuses. How much am I supposed to tolerate? (Rhetorical question) I put my headphones in. No music. No audio. A disguise. My phone battery was to low to really play anything and I didn't feel like digging out my tablet. 2 hours passed and I made it undisturbed. I overheard others getting asked for change or money with some excuse. Don't get me wrong, people get in bad circumstances and actually could use assistance. It gets ruined by everyone else constantly asking.

Night continues at the hotel. Shuttle was nice enough to run us to get food after we checked in and dropped off our stuff. I think I have a room to myself and then eventually I hear someone entering. =( Oh well, it's only a few nights. He then leaves after he arrives (I'm assuming it's for food). At this point I get locked in the bathroom. Latch won't pull in when handle is turned. Still doesn't. It's rigged now so it wont latch. Now no secure door while sharing a room. Yay. I would have tried prying the latch but I had nothing to do it with. Only thing I had was my phone. I called down to front desk to finally be rescued. Maybe 30 minutes stuck, not a huge deal. Now tired and frustrated I then go to bed to get some sleep.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Company truck driving school

I personally would prefer an automatic. Since I'm new I don't have the experience with a manual to prefer it over an automatic. Especially if I have to do a lot of city driving. That being said, I have the same opinion as Brett. I would rather train and test out on a manual and not have to deal with the restriction or have to go through the hassle of having to re-test if I want to get it removed. That was my personal choice though.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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1 down so many left to go!

Congrats

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

One more thing. Be prepared to have your excuses or money ready. There are a ton of people constantly asking for money (some just ask for you to buy them food). Pretty sure the one guy who asked me is the same guy who asked me the last time I was here a month ago. I hear quite a few others asking other people.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Had a bit of an issue and lost the first part. Was basically a long winded text. I'll summarize.

Basically, it was thanking everyone on the forums. All the way from the top (originator of TT) all the way down to the bottom (us rookies who ask questions). You're ALL awesome keep doing what you're doing.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

My Review

Starts with the nightmare of traveling on a bus. Personal opinion, for the academy portion, if you're not to far, then driving is best option. Gives you wheels to go places while in town and gives you the ability to go home on weekends. If you so choose, it gives you the ability to drive to and from class. I only drove on Friday's so I could head home right after class. Might as well save your fuel cost and let the shuttle take you to and from. Only down side is you're stuck waiting for your shuttle which may or may not be on time. Most of the time it wasn't on time picking us up but we were never late for class.

The motel wasn't spectacular by any means. It provided the basics of what you would need while staying there and of course it is not that far from the academy. My only complaints were having to have card reactivated every day was also a bit irritating. Reasons were explained as to why they did it but I don't rememeber what it was. Final complaint of the hotel actually comes from Swift and not the hotel. I would like to have had my own room. I was fortunate to have a decent roommate that I got along with. Even gave him my number before I left. Others not so lucky. I understand it's to cut cost but if I'm going to be paying it back anyway then I should be allowed the option. Bad enough I get to look forward to a large closet space with a mentor but sharing a motel room with too while in the academy. Overall it was a good place to rest my head and the staff were always super friendly. I would definitely pay to stay there again (if I'm ever in the area). It's not far from World's of Fun and Ocean's of Fun, so it is a likely possibility.

The academy itself. I will start off by saying something I have said before, totally worth it even if it means waiting a short while longer. The academy itself is operated out of Metropolitan Community College (MCC) in Kansas City, Mo. Swift loans MCC trucks and in return MCC loans a classroom and parking lot to operate out of. There are new classes that start every Monday. First week students sit in the front row, second in the second row, and so on. The small class sizes mean more one on one attention from the instructors. The instructors do really want you to pass, it's what they are paid for and it reflects well on them for every passing student. No, they don't hold your hand or allow you to skate by. Your license isn't acquired from them, they only teach you how to drive to grt your license. They have a limit of 3 DMV failures before they stop taking you up there. They will however, expect you to be able to pass their skills course (which is the same as the DMV) before they will take you. You get one less of everything for theirs compared to DMV (one less free pull up, one less get out and look, one less points needed to fail).

The head instructor is super awesome. He will work with you as long as it takes (as long as you are showing an equal effort). I saw him spend an entire day with someone. This someone wasn't doing well and was going to stress himself to failure. I thought for sure he wasn't going to make it. This same someone after working with this instructor was able to pass his DMV exam the same day I did. There was another point (different day) where this instructor looked mad or extremely frustrated. Not once did he raise his voice in anger or yell at the student, you could tell he was mad though.

The other instructor. She may have had the experience and time behind her but, she hadn't driven in quite some time. She was recruited from the DMV, she was an examiner. Her ability to teach, maneuver, or even drive were lacking in many areas. Her inability to perform maneuvers made it impossible for her to teach correctly how to do them, let alone the correct reference points needed for them. Her driving on the road was at times scary and hypocritical at best. She would do the very thing she tells you or gets on to you for doing, example being, when someone would be driving and cross a line, she would be all over it, yet I would lose count how many times she would cross over one. When performing maneuvers on the range, she would constantly come up and start directing you (incorrectly) she might not give a direction leaving you waiting and over shooting because you were waiting on her to say something. I sat and watched her tell a student to turn the wheel in the wrong direction even though the student really wasn't doing to bad, the incorrect instruction caused the student to be way off target. You couldn't ignore an instruction, no matter how incorrect it was because she would get mad for not doing what you're told when she told it to you. Yes, I agree that you should listen to instructors and do what they tell you but for her to have a cow because you don't turn the wheel in the direction she tells you even if you know it will put you outside of the box. I could keep going, yet I will probably edit some stuff out. Outside of her inability to instruct she is a great lady. She was an examiner for the state of Kansas and knows her stuff when it comes to what you need to know and what will fail you.

In the end, you will know what you need to know and be able to do what you need to do to pass the exam. I highly recommend this location and I am glad I went to the Swift Kansas City Academy.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Considering you're with Swift, you might find this helpful... Going on the Road with a Trainer

Safe travels. Good luck!

Thanks, I'll give it a read on my bus ride.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Edwardsville CDL School and my journey through OZ.

Just a quick update. Everything is pretty much all set to head back to Kansas City tomorrow to be there for orientation on Monday. Bus tickets have been purchased, bags are packed with everything still in the go bags from before. Squeezing the inside liner of my jacket and a hoodie into the two bags (one duffle and one backpack) for the colder weather coming and potential for being in much colder climate. Going to get the final stuffs crammed in the bags tomorrow morning then I leave in the afternoon.

Still excited and nervous all at the same time. Mostly just nervous about the mentor phase. With so many horror stories (a few successes in the mix, have to mention those since they do happen) out there. Being stuffed inside an oversized closet with some random guy will be bad enough but, to possibly make it worse to be stuffed in there with a ****** canoe just looking for a paycheck. I will make it my own. In the end, if all goes well, it'll just be a short time in the grand scheme of it. Thanks to the dump truck loads of advise on here I will be prepared to handle a poor mentor. Just going to stay positive, I may get a cool mentor. I was fortunate to get a good roommate, maybe the fortune will continue.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Another Ride Along Story

I've only read one so far and it was an enjoyable read. Look forward to this as well.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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New Truck

I love it! Time to update your profile picture lol.

Hilariously enough, I had to put effort into it to see that it wasn't the same truck. After identifying different numbers in an enlarged pic I then started spotting a couple minor differences. They looked the same to me. =)

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