Seeking Pros & Cons Of Swift Driving School

Topic 18880 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Samuel M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all I am just starting the first leg of a trucking career. Have read about a few schools and close to leaning towards Swift, could really use some help as far as honest (good or bad) opinions about Swift Training and program. Thanks so much and any suggestions are appreciated and to all drivers I am wishing everyone a safe ride

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

I had an excellent training experience at the Swift Academy in Phoenix last April. Was OTR for 9 months. Just landed a local job last month. I got the experience I needed from Swift. My only complaint with them was a lack of consistent miles. I would definitely recommend Swift to anyone looking for a start in Trucking. There are a handful of successful Swift Drivers on this forum. I highly recommend that you use the Highroad Training on this site to prepare for your Permit Exams. Give yourself at least 4-6 weeks to learn the material. Worth its weight in gold!

High Road Training Program

Paid CDL Training Programs

Truck Driver's Career GuideBecoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Ok now my turn, how thorough is Swifts training? I hear it is one of the best, but I'll like to know from those of you who have gone.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Ok now my turn, how thorough is Swifts training? I hear it is one of the best, but I'll like to know from those of you who have gone.

It is thorough enough to teach the Skills necessary to pass the CDL Exam. 3 weeks, 6 days per week, 10 hours per day (30 minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks. Very fast paced. There is no one to hold your hand. You must show up and be ready, willing and able to learn. When you complete your training, and pass your State exam, you WILL NOT be a TRUCK DRIVER. You will be a Class A CDL holder. You will not have the slightest idea on how to deal with Shippers, Receivers, use the Qualcomm , Fuel the Truck, HOS , Park in a Truck Stop, etc. You will be invited to Orientation. I tested out on Friday. Was given the option of starting Orientation the following Monday or 1-3 weeks later. I chose to return home and attend Orientation a week later. Orientation was 3 days. I believe we were paid 80 dollars per day plus Hotel room. I had to wait for 4 days for a Mentor to become available. Your Mentor will be the one that teaches you "All of the above, and more". You will be required to complete 200 hours behind the wheel. The first 50 hours with your Mentor in the Second Seat, the remainder will be driven as a team. Woops......Gotta go, didn't realize what time it was. I'll add more later.( Or someone will finish this for me!!)

smile.gif

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Continued......... After completion of your 200 hours and 40 documented Backs, your Mentor will sign off on you and drop you off at a Terminal , ( usually the one that you are closest to that has Trucks and a Road Tester. You will take a simple multiple choice exam and go on a short road test, return to the Terminal, and back in to a spot. You should be capable of this by this time. Road Tester signs off on you and you are sent over to the Tractor assignment office. You will be issued a Tractor, do a thorough inspection, note any damage and or needed repairs. You will then be sent your first Pre Plan on the QC, you will accept the load, and promptly FORGET EVERYTHING you have been taught over the last 2 months!!!! You will then SOMEHOW, pick up your first load and deliver it. Preferably on time on both ends. Congratulations........You are now officially a ROOKIE SOLO DRIVER.

EASY!!!!!!!

shocked.pngrofl-3.gif

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.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Well thats exciting because I will only be taking the second half of that because I have my Class A CDL smile.gif . So tell me something Mr. Tractorman, is it fun? confused.gifconfused.gif

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.
Brian F.'s Comment
member avatar

As was said earlier the school is very intense. You and you alone are responsible for getting what you need out of it to pass the CDL test. What school you go to depends on where you live. I'm in NY so I went to the C1 school in Indianapolis. 3 weeks and I did pass the test the first time despite being dry mouthed nervous wreck. I was in a mentor's truck a couple days after orientation in Syracuse NY. I bailed after 8 days for mentor related reasons and they bussed me back to Syracuse and started looking for another mentor. In the interim I decided for personal reasons to go back to my old career at least temporarily. I will most likely go back to trucking at some point but it won't be with Swift. I won't bash Swift but I saw some things that were very unimpressive. Word on the street is that the "things" were probably Syracuse terminal specific. Anyway, if/when I do go back I will insist that my trainer 1) speak understandable English. 2) Take showers more often that once every 8 days 3) Be OTR and not dedicated. I found the learning opportunities in dedicated were very limited relative to OTR.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Ryan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Brian F,

I would be curious what you witnessed that you don't want to share because you consider it bashing? Since when is truth something to keep from sharing, as to not, "bash" a company anyway? :P

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Brian F,

I would be curious what you witnessed that you don't want to share because you consider it bashing? Since when is truth something to keep from sharing, as to not, "bash" a company anyway? :P

What do you care Ryan? It's already been established that you don't like Swift and we're fine with that. You're not considering them anyways. Please focus on moving your own career forward. You have plenty to worry about without making everything into the Jerry Springer show all the time. Think of where you might be at this point if you would stop wasting time with things that aren't helping you get anywhere.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I will most likely go back to trucking at some point but it won't be with Swift.

Brian, I'm very sorry to hear that things didn't work out for you.

Please, allow me to use your experience as a teaching moment for others who are just getting started...

Those of you who are just getting started on this journey please take note. Brian was a promising candidate, I know because I have kept up with him from when he first entered this forum. He didn't give us a whole lot of details, and we really don't need them to make a good assessment of what caused him to give up this pursuit so quickly. He did point out that his trainer/mentor was a mess.

Getting into trucking is like no other experience you will ever have to go through when trying to land a job. I had a terrible time of it. Buried deep within these forum pages are all the stories of the struggles that I decided to post about, and there are many others that I just kept to myself. People often times want to give up very early in this pursuit, and we try to warn them that they are going to have these feelings, but it is important to press through the issues if you really want to do this. I wanted to quit many times, and I came so close one day to just telling my trainer to "go to hell" where he belonged, and I will find my own way back home.

So many times it is the interactions with just one person that causes new entrants to make up their mind that trucking is not for them, or maybe even that one certain company is not their choice. How many times have we seen comments in our forum about how a person made up their mind not to go to company "XYZ" because of the recruiter they spoke with on the phone? How many times have we seen folks give up because of their trainer? It is extremely common for one person to mess up our whole concept of a very dynamic industry. That is a travesty, which should not be. Trucking attracts a lot of "nuts." It is a unique career that is extremely independent, and therefore a lot of oddballs can fit into the role of being a trucker. You can do this job with no social skills, poor hygiene, and utter contempt for the things that most self respecting folks consider just normal behavior. You can be a trucker when just about no other employer will keep you for very long due to your issues. If you can move freight fairly efficiently without causing too much trouble you can keep your job even if you stink (sometimes literally) at everything else. There are a lot of average performing truck drivers out here who could use a crash course from "Miss Manors School of Etiquette." There are also a lot of high performing people in this business who are hard working pleasant individuals who are above average employees.

My point is that there are some very unusual characters involved in our industry, but you just have to accept that and not let it deter you from your end goal, or let it keep you from getting past that starting gate. I personally have found that many of the high performers I have come across feel much the way that I do about training. It isn't financially worth the trouble to do it. I make a very decent amount of money at this, and the decreased productivity that I would experience by giving my time to training is not fairly compensated by the pay that is offered to me for training new comers into the business. Therefore we end up with the average guys who may just be a mess personally, more often than not, becoming trainers. They are not as productive as they should be, or they are caught up in the burden and pressures of an ill advised leasing agreement that they are pressured by to find alternative ways to increase their cash flow. I am afraid that training has become a way for the lower performers to increase their income a little and they are the ones who are taking the bait most of the time. If you are a trainer, you need not take offense at my comments, because I know there are some very noble characters out there training, and I salute you if you are one of them.

My main point is for those just entering this arena as trainees is that you just have got to realize that there are issues with training. You have got to get that settled at the first, and realize it is just one step in your progress forward. You will never be fully trained no matter how excellent your trainer is. Even after years of doing this I still am learning every day.

Please, for those of you just starting this journey, realize that it will be difficult. There will be times you will just want to throw up your hands and scream to the heavens, "What have I gotten myself into?" But you absolutely cannot let one individual, no matter how difficult they may be to deter you or influence your opinion of an industry that is both incredibly dynamic and diverse. Always remember this: Once you get past that short few weeks of training and you are in your own truck, the ball will be in your court, and you can do with it what you want. Of course if you are like most of us you will be wishing you still had that crazy trainer there beside you for just a few more days. That first week of being solo is usually a nightmare in it's own way, but eventually things will smooth out. It just takes time to get this career underway, You cannot let one individual get you off track, and you must be willing to go through a fair amount of difficulties to get this thing launched.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

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