My Swift Orientation In Sumner, WA.

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Daniel H.'s Comment
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2-3-14

I arrived at the hotel this afternoon at about 1:30. I'm just under 6 miles North of the terminal in Sumner. The shuttle bus will pick us up at 6:30 tomorrow morning to take us down to the terminal for a 7:00 start. I'm a little nervous but mainly excited, a couple of my classmates from the Academy came through here last week so I have an idea of what to expect.

I have no roommate yet but I'm sure one will show up before to long. I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes tomorrow.

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.

Daniel H.'s Comment
member avatar

2-4-14 SWIFT ORIENTATION

OK day one was a lot of paperwork and online paperwork. We had 5 videos, a Swift welcome video, Whistler blower video, Driver qualification video, Driver wellness video (eat right, exercise, get enough sleep) Bendix stability control systems video.

Next was the wiz quiz, that was sitting for 45 minutes just to pee in a cup.

Afterwards I spent 45 minutes filling out DOT forms online.

Last of all, we watched a video on US Legal Services. Witch I'm on the fence about but leaning towards.

I also was introduced to my Mentor, and I was given a shock of how hard I will be going. As soon as I am done with orientation on Thursday we are leaving and heading East. I will drive, take my 10 off then drive again, take my 10 off and repeat.

We'll see how I hold up. I personalty think that the company is testing me. Chris told me that he is suspended until Thursday. Then he takes me on. BS? I don't know, He may be screwing with me but I'm willing to learn along the way.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel; I hope all is going well for you. I've been a lurker here for a while, but joined to tell you people read your posts and look forward to them. I do, so I'm looking forward to your update.

Daniel H.'s Comment
member avatar

2-18-14

OK all here it is. On my last day of orientation I left with my Mentor. It started out good for the first 50 miles. He drove over the pass because of the snow and told me that I would be driving after that. Because of the weather he didn't want me to drive to our first destination, then the next. on our 3rd day in the snow he ran out of his 11hr clock as we hit the interstate , which was bare and wet, he changed over to my clock and I was getting excited but he kept driving. Now at this time I should've got off the truck as fast as I could but I wanted so bad for this to work so I kept my mouth shut.

By day 3 I had 3.75hrs of driving then he wanted to take time off with his friend in Vegas. Well I won't get into a day by day list about what happened but to get to the bullet points, in the 11 days I was on his truck the qualcom shows me driving 53hrs of which he drove 16-20 of those. Of the last 10hrs that I did drive he spent 7-8 of them in the sleeper watching movies instead of sitting next to me answering my questions or giving me tips on how to drive as is required for my first 50hrs of driving. He talked and text on his phone while driving (of which I have video) and he refused to use an ashtray, flipping his ash and lit butts out the window (I also have video of this) even through we were in AZ, NM, TX where it's dry as can be. Then he started telling me that my trainers at the academy misinformed me on how to shift and other things and when I told him that I was trained differently than how he wanted me to drive he told me "You can argue with me, but it'll be a very short argument, you can do it as I say or get the hell off my truck." So off I got.

I'm now in a hotel room waiting for another mentor, who will hopefully be a lot better.

Now this is not a slam against Swift in any way. In most any company you will find some people who will not follow the rules and as far as I can tell Swift is going to take care of me and the situation so I have no complaints there and would still recommend Swift to anyone wanting to get into the industry.

The moral of the story is, if you find yourself in a similar situation speak up at the first sign that something isn't going right, that's what your driver leader is there for. If I had done so then I could've saved myself a lot of stress and time.

Remember this is an important part of the base that your career is built upon, DO NOT cheat yourself out of the training experience that you deserve and need to be a safe and professional driver.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

Yikes Daniel, that's a learning experience for sure, just not the one you were expecting.

Daniel H.'s Comment
member avatar

A lesson well learned. I just hope it helps others to speak up. Just because we are new to this, ESPECIALLY because we are new at this, we need people that are serious about teaching us how to do this job safely and properly. I was out 11 days and was allowed to touch the Qualcom twice. That isn't right. But again I didn't say anything so it is my fault.It will not happen again.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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