Profile For Hicks

Hicks's Info

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  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hicks's Bio

Just trying to make a living.

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Posted:  2 days, 8 hours ago

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Are Drop And Hooks Really Any Better Than Live Loads? - article by Rainy

To be honest, I cannot agree with the article. The Live Load vs. DnH is more a question of trip length to me. My company's policy is to schedule 2 hours for each DnH and 4 hours for each Live Un/Load. And when you have a 2500 mile trip ahead losing 8 hours for live loads opposed to losing 4 hours for DnH just doesn't compare to the 120 hours between stops. Where Live Loads kill your paycheck is on shorter trips. Five 500 mile or less trips is still 5 days of travel but now you have 20 hours budgeted for DnH or sitting for 40 hours to unload and that's an extra day lost to just sitting there waiting for the freight to move on/off the trailer.

All this policy also gets in the way of experience. Generally a DnH takes less than an hour to check in, drop, find an MT, hook, and check out, and a Live Un/Load takes 5 hours, although I have had to sit for 9 hours at a dock for lumpers to get their act together.

But yeah. Short hauls need their freight too, and DnH beats to pants off of Live Un/Loads for anything under 1000 miles.

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Everyone has a story....

1. Can they do a hair follicle test on someone that is bald? I don't care if they check it 20 YEARS'll be clean. But I generally do the head shave thing and its getting kinda I'd REALLY like to shave for comfort.

2. What tools should I have or carry with me to school and beyond? I'm guessing a tire gauge would be at or near the top of the list...but...

3. Is there any type of cheat sheet permitted when doing the Pre-Trip Inspection for the test?

4. How long does background check take for HAZMAT? I was told that i could add it near the end of school. I was wondering if on the day I did written tests for CDL permit and endorsements (second day of school) that I could start that process. Then, just stop in DMV and take written HAZMAT test when i was ready to get license.

thanks all!

Firstly, welcome to Swift. I literally just passed my academy testing and hope to meet my mentor tomorrow. So since it's fresh in my memory let me answer some questions:

1. Of course. They'll snip it off your legs, arms, back, pits, or privates. Hair is hair.

2. To school? A STURDY GOLF UMBRELLA AND SUNSCREEN. And black pens and a notebook. You don't use a tire pressure guage or tire tread depth guage for training or testing, tho you will use both of those at least twice a day for the rest of your life for pre-trips and post-trips.

3. Absolutely not. You are required to do the Pre-Trip test from memory. It WILL include the in-cab, 5th wheel & coupling, and airbrakes test. The airbrakes test is a bit harder because you MUST do it EXACTLY AS WRITTEN from memory or it auto fails your whole Pre-Trip segment. In addition to those three sections you will be asked to Pre-Trip the front of the tractor and engine and steer tires, driver's door to the tractor tail lights, trailer from bulkhead to DOT bumper, or all three at the same time. From memory. You get a study sheet literally the first day of class, and you will Pre-Trip a tractor and trailer literally every morning from your 3ed day on. Study that study sheet.

4. No idea. I don't have a HAZMAT endorsement. And it's probably different in every state too.

Good luck, study hard, and when you're doing your 90° IGNORE THE CONE: IT IS A PIED PIPER OF LIES. You want your trailer to go into the space between the 1st and 2nd dashed lines from the opening to the box at a ~45° angle, then turn the wheel aaaaaaall the way right really quick, then turn it aaaaaaall the way left even quicker, then straight back into the box once you're lined up; a pullup is acceptable to get straight in the box, but once your trailer is IN the box don't take it OUT of the box. Be sure to get out an look to make sure your DOT bumper is in bounds before you end that test. Study your Pre-Trip and IGNORE THE CONE!

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:


It's the tachometer that matters, not the speed.

Break to 1000rpm Tap the clutch + shift to neutral Rev to 1400rpm Tap the clutch + shift into gear

The process (for me) takes about a second per gear, so if I'm cruising @45mph in the city in 9th gear I'd start downshifting one gear at a time ~7 seconds from the light (I'll only need 4 seconds to get to 5th and stop, but it's a testing environment and I put on a few more seconds for nerves). Also if there is any traffic between you and the light, just assume that at least 3 cars will pull in front of you and force you to stop earlier than you thought.

A 1/4 mile is 1320 feet... but if you were going 55mph you shold be able to stop in just under 600 feet. Yeah, I know you should break smoothly and what-not but that is way far out... and then you'll feel like a chump if you're creeping up to the light at 15mph in 5th gear and probably overreving your engine. Personally? I used telephone poles as markes for where I should start breaking. And if somebody cuts you off (and they will) stay in gear, break until the engine lugs ~500rpm then clutch + break to an emergency stop.

Now you can totally stop in 7th gear in an emergency, but you CANNOT, CANNOT, CANNOT stop without being in gear. #autofail.

And once you stop: CHECK THAT YOUR SPLITTER IS DOWN, clutch + shift to neutral, clutch + shift to 3ed or 4th gear!

Good luck on your test!

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