I Need Some Advice, Please!

Topic 22461 | Page 3

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Splitter's Comment
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She couldn’t look up your file without your last name & when you filed your application. Her name is Vanessa Waters (800) 224-4585 Ext: 6830. She’s in her office today but if you don’t get a hold of her, leave her a voicemail. Good luck & let me know if I can help with anything else.

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

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

Thank you, Errol. I appreciate that. I had problems shifting/clutching too. The difference there was that I had an instructor in the cab with me to explain things to me. He said I improved considerably from my first day to the second and thought I'd be good enough to pass the road test. None of the Swift instructors yelled at me or made me nervous.

Thank you for the encouragement and for sharing your experience with me, Splitter. It is encouraging.

I hope to finish my research today and get on the phone tomorrow. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.

Thanks again and stay safe out there.

Best Regards, Colin

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Quick question: I believe in being honest, but I also don't want to volunteer information that might doom my chances of getting into another company paid training program. When I speak to a recruiter, do I volunteer that I will need one-on-one help with backing and that I was in the Swift program but voluntarily withdrew due to my backing issues?

I'm going to call Prime again to see if I can get in there. I've re-read info here and like Wil-Trans and Jim Palmer's programs too. I may go to a paid trucking school but would like to avoid that, if at all possible.

Thank you, Colin

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Retired Army (soon)'s Comment
member avatar

Colin, is there a reason you are trying to avoid paid training programs? Just curious, because i feel like the 10-12 month commitment is well worth it, and you need to drive for someone.

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

<>

No, Retired Army, I'm not trying to avoid them. I actually like them. I plan to work wherever I start for at least a year anyway, and hopefully, for my entire trucking career.

I'm just trying to find a program that fits me best. I found one private training school that offers an "extended" program of 180 hours, besides the usual 160. I'm considering that option, Prime and Wil-Trans , Jim Palmer. Wil-Trans and Jim Palmer seem to offer students a bit of extra time and a smaller instr/student ratio. I feel that would benefit me in my attempt to get the hang of backing.

I just want to know how much info I should volunteer on my trouble getting the hang of backing up when I speak to a Swift, Wil-Trans and/or Jim Palmer recruiter. I want to be honest but I don't want to doom myself either. Also, if I end up owing Swift, I will meet my financial obligation.

I hope that answers your question. If not, please let me know.

Colin

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Retired Army (soon)'s Comment
member avatar

Colin

I would imagine having backing up issues won't be held against you, but what do I know, I am not a trucker yet....lol I have applied to JP, and CRST. If JP is still doing what I read in a diary a year or so ago, you get your permit fairly quickly and then head out with your trainer....I like the whole hands on approach. I am not a fan of being at a school for 3 plus weeks, waiting daily for your turn in the truck. My recruiter at JP said they start classes every Monday, and average about 5 students a week.

Best of luck, but don't take my spot at JP...lol

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck at JP, Retired Army! Please keep us posted. I never did get a response to my question asking if I should tell other companies and schools that I will need one-on-one help with backing or if that is volunteering too much information that will doom my chances. I'm going to be upfront about things when I make my calls today.

Best Regards, Colin

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Don't expect or tell them you'll need one on one help with backing as that's not a realistic expectation.

They'll show you the basics and expect you to work it out. That's the ONLY way you'll actually become proficient.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Susan is spot on as always. Don’t state the obvious. We all need as much help as we can get with backing, shifting, trip planning, etc., when we start this adventure. I failed my backing test 2X. Now, while I’m still very green, I’m tons better than when I first started. The only backing I had prior to this was 2 months with a 5X8 trailer attached to my suburban. It’s about angles & watching the others at every opportunity you can. Most important step in the process for me is the set up, second is baby steps, third is knowing when to get under the trailer & so on.

For reference, Prime kept some of the rookies on the pad longer than someone like me who went out with a trainer. Like Susan said, both these scenarios only teach the basics to pass the CDL exam. The true learning comes on the road, doing it day in & day out.

Never volunteer more than what is asked of you. For the obvious reason of loose lips sink ships. Some even before leaving port. Good luck with this & all your future challenges but do relish the success’s too. God knows they come few & far in between. Stay safe out there & the one advice I constantly read on here that echoes in my head every time I take the wheel is “WATCH YOUR WAGON” & “GOAL”!!

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

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Susan and Splitter. I know that practice is the only thing that will fix this. I was one of the few students in class who actually would GOAL and that was only because I read about it here. I'm determined to keep trying.

I was finally able to speak to my original Prime recruiter. She wouldn't say why, but she did say that I am not eligible for their training program. I was frustrated that she didn't tell me that earlier, but I was polite and thanked her for her time. I was told that I would be hearing from a Wil-Trans recruiter today and am hopeful. I'll keep everybody posted.

Stay safe out there, Colin

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

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