Swift Training Academy Contract?

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Ryan D.'s Comment
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I see that their website says they don't require a contract to go through the academy, but I also see that they require you to work for them for 26 months. Is it only required a contract to be financed by them? What if I need financing for schooling but don't want to work for swift, as I have a company willing to let me team with someone ahead of time. Will this contract stop me from working for the other company ? Or is it just a contract saying I have to pay them back? I have full intentions of paying them back, but prefer to work elsewhere.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The Swift contract finances your Academy training. You can pay it off in 13 months and walk away. If you do stick around for the next 13 months (26 months total) Swift will pay you back all the tuition (as in free school!)

Here's an additional feature of Swift's repayment system. The tuition is $3,400. In 13 months you will have paid off the tuition, but your out-of-pocket is only $1,080. If you take the class and immediately bail out for another company, you owe the whole $3400. (I'm skipping the details of how this works, but these are the numbers.)

I went to the Swift Academy. I recommend it for the thorough​ness of training and the dedication of, well most, of the instructors. But why would you plan to go to the company school and plan to skip out? Why not just go to Roadmaster?

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
VooDoo777's Comment
member avatar

What is the $1080 out of pocket?

The Swift in Phoenix fees I have noted are $3900 school $500 housing $150 seating fee. I'm not sure if the seating fee is separate from the $3900 but the $150 is due the first day.

The Swift contract finances your Academy training. You can pay it off in 13 months and walk away. If you do stick around for the next 13 months (26 months total) Swift will pay you back all the tuition (as in free school!)

Here's an additional feature of Swift's repayment system. The tuition is $3,400. In 13 months you will have paid off the tuition, but your out-of-pocket is only $1,080. If you take the class and immediately bail out for another company, you owe the whole $3400. (I'm skipping the details of how this works, but these are the numbers.)

I went to the Swift Academy. I recommend it for the thorough​ness of training and the dedication of, well most, of the instructors. But why would you plan to go to the company school and plan to skip out? Why not just go to Roadmaster?

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

VooDoo says:

The Swift in Phoenix fees I have noted are $3900 school $500 housing $150 seating fee. I'm not sure if the seating fee is separate from the $3900 but the $150 is due the first day.

This is correct. The numbers may have changed since the time Errol went through the academy. After 13 months you have paid off the tuition but your out of pocket is only $1950 plus housing if you used it. I don't know about the $150 fee--I don't remember paying that, unless that's a new thing. Over the course of the next 13 months, Swift pays you back the $1950.

Ryan D.'s Comment
member avatar

But why would you plan to go to the company school and plan to skip out? Why not just go to Roadmaster?

Because roadmasters charges more than the swift academy

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ryan, conceptually what Errol and Pianoman replied with is accurate. I graduated from Swift Richmond Academy several years ago and although the numbers are likely different, the initial 50% of the schooling fee is paid back through the first 52 weeks of solo operation using a weekly payroll deduction. At the 12 month point the total owed to Swift is zero. If a driver continues with them beyond 12 months, the same weekly amount ($38.37) is deposited back into your account until it nets to zero and the training is basically free at that point.

Please realize that once you graduate and pass the CDL tests, you have very limited skills, basic knowledge and no real-world experience. Everyone comes out of school knowing the bare minimum needed to pass the CDL tests. That's it, you're totally green. Company's like Swift offering Paid CDL Training Programs also road-train their student drivers for up to 3 months in order to prepare them for solo or team running. I understand your intent is to attend Swift's school and then leave, but I also recommend road-training with them through their mentor program. Unless your future teammate has experience training other student drivers, I'd suggest taking the road-training path with Swift. If for no other reason, you will get a brief 4-6 week introduction of what team driving/co-existing is like before committing to your first employer and team member. C

Although I am trying to advise you here, not a fan of your approach to this. Swift's training plan is purposely designed to support and assist new drivers through their very difficult first year...all of the companies offering company sponsored have the same process. They have tons of experience helping new drivers...no idea if where you are going to work supports rookie drivers in an organized, mutually beneficial fashion. If nothing else, please think about this...

Good luck.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ryan D.'s Comment
member avatar

Unless your future teammate has experience training other student drivers, I'd suggest taking the road-training path with Swift. My future teammate is a trainer and has already been approved to train me once I get my CDL. I have also been on and off his truck as a passenger for about 4 years now. I'm just taking this approach because I can't afford $6000.00 for a independent school, and this company doesn't have a school.

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.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

Have you made sure the company you are going to hire on with will accept Swift's program? There are several companies that will hire inexperienced drivers, but only if they went through an approved program.

Unless your future teammate has experience training other student drivers, I'd suggest taking the road-training path with Swift. My future teammate is a trainer and has already been approved to train me once I get my CDL. I have also been on and off his truck as a passenger for about 4 years now. I'm just taking this approach because I can't afford $6000.00 for a independent school, and this company doesn't have a school.

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.
Ryan D.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you made sure the company you are going to hire on with will accept Swift's program?

Not yet, I am still weighing my options. Once I decide on a few different places I will ask them.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Big T wrote to Ryan:

Have you made sure the company you are going to hire on with will accept Swift's program? There are several companies that will hire inexperienced drivers, but only if they went through an approved program.

Swift's training is the required, minimum 160 hours that the larger and secondary carriers require. Their tests for graduation are more difficult than most state CDL tests, especially for backing. You will get a certificate from Swift once you pay-off the debt and if you pass the CDL tests, I see no logical reason why they (your future company) would not accept their training.

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.
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