Struggling In My 3rd Week Of Swift Driving Academy

Topic 25368 | Page 1

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Nicc F.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, I am in my 3rd week at Swift driving academy to obtain my CDL. I have made it to the skills and road driving portion. I can't seem to get the backing down or the shifting down on a 10 speed. It is my 2nd day of doing both. With about 2 hours to practice straight backing, offset and parallel. I have gotten about an hour and a half to practice the driving and shifting. Our class is pretty big and time to actually practice is hard to come by with only 3 trucks going at a time. I am feeling very discouraged at this point as I have been put on academic probation. If I don't improve by Saturday (2 days) I will be sent home. I have wanted to do this for a long time but had some things holding me back from actually going. Does anybody have any advice for me to help me grasp these concepts? I feel like the time is short for training but if others can obtain their cdl in the same time frame I should be able to as well. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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

Nicc, the backing and shifting issues are natural at your rate of practice. Why are you on acedemic probation? Because of the backing and shifting, or because of classroom issues? Give us more info and maybe we can help. Hang in there, you can do this. What you are experiencing is normal.

Nicc F.'s Comment
member avatar

Nicc, the backing and shifting issues are natural at your rate of practice. Why are you on acedemic probation? Because of the backing and shifting, or because of classroom issues? Give us more info and maybe we can help. Hang in there, you can do this. What you are experiencing is normal.

They have a grading system where you get graded every day you do backing and driving. The start at a C when you first start and must be raised to at least a B- the next day or you are placed on Academic probation. I went From a C to C+ in that day and subsequently was put on Academic probation. It was specifically for "gear pattern, shifting and speed control". Therefore if I dont raise those 3 to a B- by Saturday I am sent home.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Nicc, the backing and shifting issues are natural at your rate of practice. Why are you on acedemic probation? Because of the backing and shifting, or because of classroom issues? Give us more info and maybe we can help. Hang in there, you can do this. What you are experiencing is normal.

double-quotes-end.png

They have a grading system where you get graded every day you do backing and driving. The start at a C when you first start and must be raised to at least a B- the next day or you are placed on Academic probation. I went From a C to C+ in that day and subsequently was put on Academic probation. It was specifically for "gear pattern, shifting and speed control". Therefore if I dont raise those 3 to a B- by Saturday I am sent home.

Nicc, Which Swift academy are you attending? I was at the Phoenix Academy 3 years ago and they never had that policy! (If there was such a policy it certainly wasn't enforced to my knowledge!) There was one guy in my class that REALLY struggled with backing. The instructors went out of their way to assist him. He did get his CDL on the 2nd try. Ask for help......be humble and do everything that is asked of you. Ask to speak with the Director and discuss your difficulties with Him/Her. These people really want you to succeed.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Nicc F.'s Comment
member avatar

I am at the Fontana ,CA academy. I have asked some of the instructors to help. Some have tried a little, others literally said don't ask them for help that I need to figure it out. I went out today with a different instructor on my driving and he helped me tremendously. I'm not perfect yet but I saw major improvements in my tempo and gear pattern knowledge. Now i just need to perfect the downshift and stop grinding so many gears. The backing instructors however literally all just sit at a picnic bench and talk or stay on their phones. I may actually take your advice and talk with the director but I'm not the type of guy to go creating negative waves that could have blow back on me.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Nicc, the backing and shifting issues are natural at your rate of practice. Why are you on acedemic probation? Because of the backing and shifting, or because of classroom issues? Give us more info and maybe we can help. Hang in there, you can do this. What you are experiencing is normal.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

They have a grading system where you get graded every day you do backing and driving. The start at a C when you first start and must be raised to at least a B- the next day or you are placed on Academic probation. I went From a C to C+ in that day and subsequently was put on Academic probation. It was specifically for "gear pattern, shifting and speed control". Therefore if I dont raise those 3 to a B- by Saturday I am sent home.

double-quotes-end.png

Nicc, Which Swift academy are you attending? I was at the Phoenix Academy 3 years ago and they never had that policy! (If there was such a policy it certainly wasn't enforced to my knowledge!) There was one guy in my class that REALLY struggled with backing. The instructors went out of their way to assist him. He did get his CDL on the 2nd try. Ask for help......be humble and do everything that is asked of you. Ask to speak with the Director and discuss your difficulties with Him/Her. These people really want you to succeed.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Nicc, just relax, it’ll help because you tense up when nervous. We all do. And don’t expect to “perfect the downshift “ in school. It’s very rare for anyone to accomplish that, even at the end of road training. At this point your best allies are patience, perseverance and a super great attitude. You’re gonna get this, I’m confident in that.

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

NIcc, don't get freaked out. You're already a success because you had the guts to go to school in the first place. Don't get discouraged and don't give up. You will be able to learn to back up and shift. I got faith in ya! Hang in there. You're going to do okay.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar
The backing instructors however literally all just sit at a picnic bench and talk or stay on their phones.

If that is really the case, Im sure the Director would like to know about it. Our range instructors were always on their feet and helping students. That is what they are paid for. That is unfortunate.

confused.gif

NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

Dang no pressure at all! That's crazy.

As far as the shift pattern, try getting a stick or something and sit down and go through the motions. Even act like you are pushing the clutch and everything. That helped me when I was in school.

Scott D.'s Comment
member avatar

Upshift. about 1500rpms then clutch in about 2 inches. nuetral, then clutch 2 inches gear. down. let the truck slow to about 1k rpm. clutch in 2" then out when in nuetral. give the go pedal a flip to get rpms to 1300, clutch in 2 inches then gear.

when you go to 5th and know your going to 6th+ pre switch to high range. same for when in 6th and you know your going down.

if you push the clutch in farther then the 2- inch mark your getting into the clutch brake and that could be a some of your grindings.

it takes a couple days but you should easily have it by sat.

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