About To Start Training With Roehl

Topic 19945 | Page 7

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Dart's Comment
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Day 1 at Swift orientation.

Pretty boring all around. Morning was spent doing drug testing and DoT physicals for those that didn't have the proper paperwork. We also filled out some forms on TenStreet and some started their road tests.

Then the AMAZING (famous even) Swift Lancaster lunch. I had BBQ chicken with mac and cheese, rice, and bread. There were several other awesome looking choices...I just had to get the BBQ because that sweet smell hit me when I walked through the door.

After lunch we did the food safety stuff (which I did at Roehl twice, it was simple so I didn't push it), then finished road tests.

My road test was is a KW T680 with an 8 speed (yes, an 8 speed). It was a VERY short drive (maybe 5 or 10 minutes behind the wheel). I feel I did well, but the 8 speed tripped me up once when shifting to high range (I wanted to shift to what would be 6th on a 10 speed, but is a low gear on the 8). It really felt good to be back behind the wheel.

It's also looking like my friend will be my trainer. It's also nice that they provide for situations like this. There's a mother/son team here where she has some experience and he doesn't. Swift is allowing her to take the mentor class to train him so they can run team later. Pretty cool.

Gotta run. Just figured I'd pop in with a quick update.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Dart's Comment
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My Swift orientation is now complete. Days 2 and 3 were both just waiting, slideshows, and paperwork.

Met up with my long time friend and received confirmation that he will be training me. Ate dinner and caught up with hom for a while before heading back to the hotel where I'll stay tonight.

Tomorrow I will be checking out of the hotel and moving on to my friend/mentor's truck. We're looking at a Friday afternoon departure.

Oingo's Comment
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Dart, Any updates?

PackRat's Comment
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Good reading your journey. You're not the only one that Roehl has kicked to the curb, so don't feel too badly. Good luck with Swift.

Dart's Comment
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I'm still at Swift and doing well so far. My mentor/friend was having some issues with his stability system giving off false critical events, so they put me on a truck with another mentor.

I've been running team for a bit now and have 137 behind the wheel hours of my 200 required to upgrade.

While Roehl pretty much had me in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri, Swift has had me coast to coast (almost literally). I got on my current mentor's truck in South Carolina, drove down to Atlanta, then out to Phoenix, California, and Oregon. Went through Vegas at night and got to stop at the Hoover Dam for a few hours to take a bike ride and see the dam. Then back to Texas and Tennessee, which will soon be followed up by New Jersey.

As far as my driving, I'm doing well. More driving and fewer stops at customers has REALLY helped.

The biggest downside is I will likely be stuck in automatic trucks because both of my mentors have/have had automatics (I don't have an automatic only restriction, just minimal experience with a manual).

At this point, it looks like I should be able to take my upgrade tests in about a week (give or take a few days).

PackRat's Comment
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Enjoy the automatic. Within the next few years, every big carrier will be nothing but autos. I like mine a lot more than I thought I would.

Dart's Comment
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Just completed my 200 hours of driving with Swift. I wasn't able to upgrade today because I got to the terminal late in the afternoon. I'll be in the hotel this weekend and upgrade Monday morning.


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.

Susan D. 's Comment
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Awesome, Dart. You got this!

Dart's Comment
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Thank you, Susan.

I'm looking forward to FINALLY taking off the training wheels and going solo.

Dart's Comment
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I passed my upgrade tests with flying colors. I missed 1 question out of 57 on my written (it was a question about overspeed in a company truck...I've been in a lease operator's truck for my training and they're governed a bit higher than a company truck) and had 1 point deducted on my road test (I did too many pull ups on the backing portion).

I've been assigned a 2018 Freightliner with an automatic transmission , but I've got to go to Rochelle, IL to pick her up. After spending tonight and tomorrow in hotel Greyhound, I should be in my truck tomorrow night.

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