Just Finished Training At Swift Academy, Lewiston, ID

Topic 20605 | Page 9

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Jim F.'s Comment
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Just checked BZT's blog and he's still turning miles. He was very comfortable with the constructive critique from this site and left. Tried following him through his blog but he got mad at me for agreeing with the critique. Sometimes we just need to put on our big boy pants and get to work.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
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Just checked BZT's blog and he's still turning miles. He was very comfortable with the constructive critique from this site and left. Tried following him through his blog but he got mad at me for agreeing with the critique. Sometimes we just need to put on our big boy pants and get to work.

How could he be comfortable with it, but at the same time be angry with you for agreeing with it?

Not much different than how he flipped in his diary. Probably best he moved on...but, what goes around, comes around.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Splitter's Comment
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Reyn wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

I had to do a double take when he went there. I thought I had missed a page or something. All in all, I liked the first hand account of the struggle to remain detached & composed, which was very admirable, all the way up to the point that he flipped the script.

double-quotes-end.png

Reyn I can understand your "double-take" on the ending of BZT's diary. However this is not all that uncommon. We see this scenario repeatedly. Look at Paul's "just another Prime diary". A similar end. Why? It's about the intersection of hope, expectations and managing the scope of reality when family is involved.

Many people attemp entry into this career, only to learn through experience, it's not at all what they thought it would be. Or perhaps in this case, the significant other either didn't understand the process or realized early on it wasn't going to work for them. How truck driving affects and alters the family dynamic is not always predictable. One can never be sure...

What I am sure of; this diary stamps an exclamation point on the need to set reasonable goals and establish realistic expectations before committing. This also includes family members as well. The burden of sacrifices and adjustments also falls on them. Unfortunately BZT now owes Swift for the full tuition.

Must reads to help with understanding:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Thanks G-Town. As soon as I'm done with my personal project, I'll be chomping down on all the links you've been feeding me! I want to fully focus on all that material without the distraction of finishing another task on this computer. In the meantime, I like to read the diaries & general discussion for guidance in my decision making process. Believe me, it's been very sobering going through some of the diaries. I truly & deeply appreciate the raw truth being dished by yourself & other contributors!! Keeps me focused on the realities ahead of me but also the rewards when I apply myself.

I'm 55 years old. I'm divorced. My youngest is 26 years old. I've been living a solitary monastic life for the better part of 7 years. I work 12 - 14 hours a day driving a Suburban through the streets of Manhattan (mostly) now but used drive throughout the tristate area when I was driving corporate. I've been driving in this city since the late 80's. NY has lost it's appeal for me (never imagined I'd ever say that), been here since '69.

To be honest, I didn't have the maturity to drive a rig until very recently! Driving a rig always intimidated me & along with driving all over this country alone. Handling such a behemoth, not knowing how to drive manual, not knowing up & down grade speeds, all the excuses I told myself to keep me from challenging myself. A number of years back, a kind man from Texas took a liking to me & asked me to take his number so that I could call him should I ever decide to do this & he'd help me from start to finish. He was a fare I took to the airport after he visited this city. Wish I still had his number!

I look forward to the journey now! I am very grateful, thankful & humbled to have found such an amazing resource such as this site! I only look at other sites to see the opportunities out there & the reviews (with a more skeptical & discerning eye of course) to see the feedback. I have 3 months to find the right fit for me. I am looking totally at solo OTR dry van to get the hang of things. From the reviews & stories on here, I've narrowed it down to 3 companies: Swift (they're not who they are by being schmucks!), Prime (the diaries & other accounts by current employees helped) & CFI (Big Scott's diary was a very motivating factor for this one).

Once I commit, I'll start my diary! Hoping to start the ball rolling in mid-December with the actual plunge after the 1st week of March when I get my affairs in order after moving to Florida on the March 1. For now, I'm going to re-read Paul's diary as you suggested as Prime is one of my choices! If you ever have some down time anywhere near NYC, let me know, would like to return the favor for all the help you've shown me! reynrod@hotmail.com

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.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jim F.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey G-Town

I misspoke on that last post. He was way ****ed off about the critique. I just don't get it. I read through a bunch of his blog and got the impression he's not handling the stress very well. Some of it was down right disturbing, but oh well.

double-quotes-start.png

Just checked BZT's blog and he's still turning miles. He was very comfortable with the constructive critique from this site and left. Tried following him through his blog but he got mad at me for agreeing with the critique. Sometimes we just need to put on our big boy pants and get to work.

double-quotes-end.png

How could he be comfortable with it, but at the same time be angry with you for agreeing with it?

Not much different than how he flipped in his diary. Probably best he moved on...but, what goes around, comes around.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

kekizzle's Comment
member avatar

I don't know if anyone besides G-Town is reading this but... if any new academy students are reading this, please take heed:

Do Your Homework, starting from studying for your CLP and then just keep on doing your homework.

I just finished Orientation and I *still* have homework! Please do yourselves a favour and Be Proactive About Doing Your Homework!

There's SO much to learn and it doesn't stop when you get your CDL: HOS , Trip Planning, QualComm macros, different tractor familiarizations... on and on.

Months later but your diary has been helpful, as I'm considering the same company. I was just sent info for Waco, Ga.

Since obtaining my permit, I have revisited Air Brakes/Testing and Pre-Trip just so I dont forget. Plus, finding this site has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! I've gotten a head start and trying to take it all in as it can get overwhelming lol but I'm ready for the challenge. I'm ready to tame the beast lol.

See you out there soon!

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.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

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