I Need Some Advice, Please!

Topic 22461 | Page 2

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LDRSHIP's Comment
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Someone answered what I meant my the problem after me. When checking the mirrors if you start seeing more of the trailer on one side than the other, that is the problem side. A straight line back starts with you being straight. All you have to do is keep the trailer and tractor lined up. If you start seeing 'more trailer' on the left. Turn the steering wheel left. If right, then turn right. As long as you are going slow, you don't need a lot of movement in the steering wheel to keep on top of the trailer.

Army 's Comment
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Good Morning

I think that if you apply at another school that pays for school and you owe an obligation, that is how I plan on going to school. Just remember to be up front and honest that you have attended another school. I believe other schools can tell that you have attended previously. If I am wrong please correct me anyone..

Best regards.

Colin K.'s Comment
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Thank you, Patrick C. I had trouble identifying the problem side before. I'll remember what you said.

Retired Army: Rest assured that I will pay any financial obligations that I have, as well as be honest when I apply to other schools.

The one thing I don't like about all this is that one of the Swift people said I should tell my recruiter that I have a family matter that I need to take care of. I told her that I felt uncomfortable with that but that is what she advised me to do. At the time, my plan was to get the help that I need and return to the Swift school, starting over.

I will spend today researching company schools with one-on-one instructors, as well as private schools. I'm still not sure which way is best. Besides being good companies, the other reason that I like Prime and Swift is that they allow pets. I want one eventually but not until I feel comfortable with what I'm doing.

Thanks again, Colin

Army 's Comment
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I bet the swift person said to do that, because I bet they have a "code" for when students go home. I agree with you, though honesty is the right answer. A family emergency might allow you to get back to school faster...

Errol V.'s Comment
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I bet the swift person said to do that, because I bet they have a "code" for when students go home. I agree with you, though honesty is the right answer. A family emergency might allow you to get back to school faster...

It's not a matter of using a "code number"for students leaving before they're done. That's just a classification to keep things sorted out. It is important to separate medical reasons from family matters, etc.

Yes, there is a code for family, but no code for "I need more practice!" So tell them you have family issues and need to come back in two weeks. You'll surely have to start over on the First Day again.

I suggest you try another day or two in the range before you head back home. Remember, to pass you simply have to "get it in the box", without worrying about being perfectly straight or exactly centered.

LDRSHIP's Comment
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Colin, one thing to note is that not all trailers ride exactly straight. Also the view in the mirrors on each side is slightly different. When setting up for the straightline back, is before you begin backing, take a second or two and memorize the sight picture in each mirror. How much trailer do you see in each mirror? What angle does it appear to be at? When backing attempt to maintain whatever it looked like before you started backing. Make that picture your reference. Don't fight to make the current picture in the mirror exactly the same on each side. Just maintain exactly what it looked like when you pulled straight forward.

Colin K.'s Comment
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Errol: I wasn't trying to be perfect but I couldn't even get it in the box. The Swift admin told me I had to pull out by Friday morning. I tried again on the range on Thursday but I was still having trouble doing a decent straight back. That doesn't include the three other backing maneuvers that were required. I took a leave.

As you know, Swift's program is multiple students in multiple trucks with one or two instructors on the range. It works for many people but it didn't work for me. This isn't on Swift, it is on me. I'd like to go back if I can manage it.

I am researching paid schools and company programs with one-on-one instruction now. I will also try giving my prior Prime recruiter a call to see why she quit returning my calls. I also stopped by the truck stop today and got myself a toy truck to better visualize and practice backing.

Thanks to everyone and stay safe out there!

Best Regards, Colin


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Errol V.'s Comment
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Colin reminds me:

As you know, Swift's program is multiple students in multiple trucks with one or two instructors on the range.

(I am an instructor at Swift's Academy in Memphis.) This is the usual setup for most trucking schools. Going one-on-one will run your price higher.

I appreciate your desire to get this thing done, "no matter what". I hope your plan will work out.

Dorothy M.'s Comment
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Hi Colin It brings me back to last year when I tried and tried to get used to the skills. Two of the teachers would scream at me, humiliate me and everyone that couldn't do it correct. What it took was to be easy on myself. I also chewed gum while practicing. Then I also had two different teachers who had a totally different way of teaching ; they even told us what we were doing wrong and how to do it. I took it slowely, and eventually it came to me. Small turns, very small turns. I memorized the turns also. When doing a parallel ; Back the trailer a little, then make a hard left until you see half of the crossbar in your mirror, then a hard right until you see the yellow line by the rear wheel. Then straighten the truck going backwards. When it is totally straight, a hard right, then a hard left and you should be in the box. Maybe someone could correct me if I am wrong, but it was almost a year since I did the test. Our school would also paint white on the cross bar to make it easier to see in the mirror. The first time I tested for the test I had a panic attack as it was one of the crappy teachers that came with me. He swore that I wouldn't get the test and that I should quit there and then. The second time ; I had the better teacher, he gave me confidence and I aced the three skills ; getting just one point between all three skills. With alley dock ; turn as soon as you start backing. Again, depending on where the dock is ; follow the instructions above but instead of backing before you turn, turn the wheel first.

000's Comment
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Sorry to come in late on this Colin. The best way backing was explained to me was this phrase, “baby steps”. What that means is exactly what everyone has explained earlier. Just slow gentle nudges to the wheel will give you the desired correction. I don’t know if Swift gives you the reference points on the ground to measure where you need to be to make your next steering maneuver depending on which back you’re doing at that time.

That said, if you’ll allow me to give you my experience. I failed my backing exams twice before passing my final exam. First was my alley dock, when I found myself going in too close to the near cone, my correction was wrong & pointed out. My second exam, I used the wrong cone as my reference point & never recognized my mistake, even though I goal’ed twice. Pointed out again. I made another mistake on my third backing exam, recognized my error, corrected properly & finally passed.

On your giving on Prime because you assumed they gave up on you is not beneficial to you. I say that cause I was told that I didn’t qualify flat out by the original recruiter I spoke with. I applied to 3 other companies & was accepted by all of them easily. I called Prime again & spoke with a different recruiter, explained what I was told by the original recruiter & was told that they didn’t understand why I was told that I didn’t qualify. I am now one week away from upgrading to my own truck.

I said all that to say this. Don’t get down on yourself. If you read the diaries section, you’ll see many others in the same boat you’re in right now. Find the will power, use every opportunity to grow & develop your skills. Everyone before us met the challenges & persevered. You’re no different. I also failed my road test twice before passing my last chance too. Pick your head up. Find a way. I’m going to ask my recruiter if she can give me any advise on your circumstances & let you know what she says.


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