Swift Transportation Academy Phoenix

Topic 13535 | Page 1

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Gladhand's Comment
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It is a surreal feeling when you go from thinking about something, researching it, and then actually doing. I am truly excited to embark on a new journey. Trucking Truth has been so good to me and I figure it is time to give back. A little info about me, I am 21 and I am from rural northern New Mexico. I have been working at a truck stop on and off for the last 2 years. As you can probably tell, this lead me to gain interest in trucking. I started researching in August before I was 21, decided to drive, then I decided not to, but after not having any opportunity for advancement, I decided to commit to truck driving.

I have low expectations, not in a negative way, but I do not expect anyone to hold my hand and I do not expect to make big checks out of trucking school. I have learned from others on here and truck drivers at work that our worse enemy can be ourselves. If anything I expect to learn a lot and to do everything to the best of my ability.

I will be leaving tomorrow on the greydog at lunch time and should arrive in Phoenix at 1AM. My bags are packed and I am super excited to be getting out and seeing this beautiful country of ours. I thank Brett and others on here for being helpful and hope to be of help to other guys in the future when it comes to this amazing opportunity. I will try my best to keep you guys updated!

Errol V.'s Comment
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There's several TT-active Swifties here, Devan. Sounds like you're ready to play with the big boys, as opposed to those who don't get their way & whine about it.

Well be watching for your thoughts here!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Gladhand's Comment
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There's several TT-active Swifties here, Devan. Sounds like you're ready to play with the big boys, as opposed to those who don't get their way & whine about it.

Well be watching for your thoughts here!

Thanks Errol. I read your diary back when I was looking at what schools to go to and boy do I know about the whining haha!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob S.'s Comment
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Sounds like you have a good attitude. That's the proper way to have low expectations. Sure, some stuff will go wrong, so what. More stuff is right than wrong.

Gladhand's Comment
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Sitting on the bus righto now. I expected the bus to be worse than this. It is actually nice and not overcrowded. I am lucky because I only have one bus change in Albuquerque, after that I am home free to Phoenix. I will keep you guys updated!

Gladhand's Comment
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Made it into Phoenix at about 1:30 AM. Had to take the taxi to the hotel and got hit with bad news. I didn't have a voucher, but thankfully I was able to get one and got put into a room for the night. Really wish if my recruiter told me about that. Oh well, I made it and I am ready to get started training tomorrow!

Errol V.'s Comment
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Made it into Phoenix at about 1:30 AM. Had to take the taxi to the hotel and got hit with bad news. I didn't have a voucher, but thankfully I was able to get one and got put into a room for the night. Really wish if my recruiter told me about that. Oh well, I made it and I am ready to get started training tomorrow!

In real life, balls get dropped. You roll with that.

If the hotel does lots of business with Swift, they'll get you a room first, and look for a voucher later.

Similar things happen, and it works out for everybody. I took a trailer to a local repair shop. Fit some unknown reason, one of my air lines came loose! wtf-2.gif

The shop did plenty of Swift repairs, so they had a new air line slapped in before I had a reference/PO number for them.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Gladhand's Comment
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Yeah the cool thing is I stayed with a veteran driver and he gave me a lot of good tips. It's always nice to meet positive veterans.

To be honest I was scared last night. Being from a small town and going to a big city all my own was nerve wracking haha. However I didn't panic or yell at the hotel clerk and everything worked out.

I was grateful for this cause I will probably come across plenty of difficult situations and these things will make a man of me!

Gladhand's Comment
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Day 1

Class runs from 6 to 4, 7 days a week. Got up this morning at 4, the Swift bus picks us up at 5:15 in front of the hotel.

Class is a good size of 15 students and everyone looks ready to learn. We started with getting introduced to the academy and getting instructed on what to do and not to do. Afterwards we went on to sign a good amount of paperwork, I thought there would be more haha, but I am not complaining.

After that we went and toured the whole terminal and went into the drivers lounge. It was quite a site to see. This terminal is beautiful and makes sense too because it is the headquarters. We went back to school and started going over logbooks, a lot to take in, but I have learned quite a bit before coming here.

Lunch was free today, but afterwards we have to pay for our own. It's ok though because it is same at the hotel, we have to feed ourselves. The rest of the day was spent going over logbooks and finished with map reading/crash course on trip planning.

I haven't been this happy in a long time. You know something is great when you actually want to pay attention and get giddy about everything.

My overall beginning impressions of this place are great. I can really tell that these people all love their jobs and it shows with the way they instruct us.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Gladhand's Comment
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Day 2

Another good day. Really know I am enjoying something when I smile like an idiot every time they talk about something haha. Started the day going over logs and feeling them out. We then went to the terminal clinic and got drug tested. I went quicker than I thought too and was glad that it did.

Afterwards we went back to the classroom to go over a safety course concerning many on the job preventable injuries and accidents. We then went outside to learn 3 points of contact when getting into a truck proceeded by a demonstration of the pre trip. Which lead us to going to lunch. Remember to buy your own food when coming to the Phoenix academy because they do not feed us.

In the afternoon we went over in cab brake test and then continued to do pretrip. Afterwards we went back inside to conclude the day going over straight line backing because we will be getting into the trucks tomorrow!

I am super excited to finally do so and I am confident in the instruction of the instructors to help us get our CDL. Hope I am writing these ok and I am trying my best to make sure to do so!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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