Packing For Swift Duffle Or Suitcase ?

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Bryan Q.'s Comment
member avatar

I read what to pack for company CDL school but should I pack in a suit case for school , and duffle bag for training ? Or duffle back for both ?

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

This works for most company sponsored school programs:

When you leave home, you'll be gone of course for 4-6 weeks of training, and probably you'll move right into your Mentor's truck for the road trip. I used a soft sided suitcase plus sleeping bag. Your mentor is prepared for an extra rider, but there will be room for your suitcase/ duffle.

Just in case, here's a big checklist for you:

Best of luck, Bryan! And welcome to Swift.

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.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

I used a rollaway suitcase that was expandable, and a backpack. I was able to fit everything I needed, and it took up very little space in my mentor's truck. However, a duffel bag can do double duty as a pillow.

You will see some students bringing half their house.

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

I would suggest two duffle bags and a backpack or shoulder bag or something suitable for use as your shower bag. You don't want any hard-sided stuff, or even rigid-frame stuff, in my opinion. If you put your clothing and so forth in one duffle, your pillow and sleeping bag or bedroll in the other, and your hygiene supplies in the shower bag, you'll be ready to deal with whatever space your trainer gives you. After you remove the sleeping stuff from that duffle, it can then become your laundry bag.

I've ridden with three OTR trainers in my time. Two of them gave me my bunk space only. The third gave me that plus one small cabinet. In any case, I was ready for whatever with my setup.

Some companies require their trainers to provide cabinet space. Some (most, probably) don't. I'm about to become a trainer myself...I won't be able to provide cabinet space to my trainees...I live in the truck and it is already brimming with stuff so the trainees will get their bunk and maybe the little upper cubby, and they'll have to be mobile with that stuff when we start teaming. Duffle bags will always work, there is plenty of room for a person to sleep and have a couple of duffles in a bunk.

Something to keep in mind when packing that isn't often mentioned is that unless a student lives near the training location, we need to be prepared to exist as a solo driver post-training for at least a little while with nothing more than what we bring to training or are willing to purchase immediately thereafter, because in many cases we'll be put in a truck and need to run a load or two or more before we can stop wherever our other stuff is and get more stuff. I my case I drove about a week and then was able to get by my stuff. Sometimes it is more...sometimes less.

I read the what to pack for company CDL school. But should I pack in a suit case for school , and duffle bag for training ? Or duffle back for both ?

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

An additional observation: the bunks on a truck are often extra long. I'm 6' 2". Keep my suitcase at the foot end and I still had room to stretch it.

BTW, shopping for your own truck, the bed sheets are Twin Extra Long (code TXL).

Bryan Q.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys !! I’m going shopping as we speak and I’m counting down the days. ( 6 days) I’m more nervous about all the swift test that they have. I’m a nervous test taker lol

Drew Oswalt's Comment
member avatar

Just so I don't start another thread...

I passed my CDL test yesterday and will be getting on a mentor's truck soon.

No one posts anything about food and water. I'm bringing one standard size duffle, backpack, sleeping bag, pillow and sheet (if it gets too hot).

To save money, I am bringing one bag of shelf stable foods that will last me about 4-5 days. And another bag with water for 1-2 days and 10 protein shakes.

For all you mentors, am I bringing too much stuff with the addition of food and drinks?

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

That is similar to what my last student brought and it was fine. As others mentioned be prepared to live with it on your bunk.

The main issue will be if you have to get off the truck for some reason and find yourself riding the greyhound.

Just so I don't start another thread...

I passed my CDL test yesterday and will be getting on a mentor's truck soon.

No one posts anything about food and water. I'm bringing one standard size duffle, backpack, sleeping bag, pillow and sheet (if it gets too hot).

To save money, I am bringing one bag of shelf stable foods that will last me about 4-5 days. And another bag with water for 1-2 days and 10 protein shakes.

For all you mentors, am I bringing too much stuff with the addition of food and drinks?

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Large duffle bags are the best choice. One can serve as a pillow at night if you want to read. Plus a good backpack. Traveling light is traveling best. Bring a sleeping bag with it's own case. Only pack what you can carry in those 4 bags: 2 duffles, one backpack, one sleeping bag.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Drew Oswalt's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Big T and Bruce K. I appreciate your responses.

I may see you around Big T. I'm with Swift and Jurupa Valley will be my home terminal.

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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