Researching My Chances...sm

Topic 26513 | Page 1

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Blair's Comment
member avatar

Good evening everyone, I have lurked on this site many years and am finally getting ready to jump into trucking. My wife and I will be empty-nest here in a few months and timeliness is part of navigating the path of life. I follow a few truckers on YouTube and really appreciate the positive attitude, advice for success, and realistic expectations offered here and there. From what I have gathered, a humble attitude, flexibility, and realistic expectations are as a good a foundation as any. My family lives in Phoenix, so I will be applying to Knight/Swift for a localized base when home, and Prime initially to gauge my chances at a sponsored CDL program. I have high-blood pressure which is has been controlled (120/80) since turning 18, currently with Losartan. I also take Voltaren (diclofenac) for some arthritis/joint issues. Although I am in decent shape at 43, my body isn't 23 anymore. From what I have learned this will limit my initial medical card to 1-year, and both medications are considered acceptable according to http://www.truckmed.com/medications.htm .. Otherwise no drug/substance abuse history, a clean driving record, steady work history, and no other red flags I can think of. Off to study the High Road....Wish me luck everyone!

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Blair! It's nice to have you out of the shadows.

I'm assuming you know that Knight has a training program in Phoenix. They call it the "Squire" program. You should look into it.

Blair's Comment
member avatar

Old School, Thank you for the greeting. I contacted Knight and Swift today and ended up going to Swift's PHX terminal. They offer a standard 3-week full-time day program and a 6-week part-time evening CDL training program. Overall a positive experience (of course, what recruiter is going to be glum?) and now I can compare other options moving forward. An interesting note for those considering an overall benefit package, Swift has partnered with Southern New Hampshire University allowing employee and dependents $150 per semester tuition for all bachelor's degrees. That is a crazy good value for low-cost education if someone is able to pursue. I entered the conversation inquiring about medications, starting wages, and how school is paid for all with satisfactory answers. One box checked :) dancing-banana.gif

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Blair's Comment
member avatar

I will find out tomorrow if I am approved for Swift's CDL school starting Sep 30th. The evening program is the best fit for my family and will allow me a smooth pay transition between jobs. My physical is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday. Prospects are looking up!

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.
Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

Good luck

Blair's Comment
member avatar

Got my medical card this morning with a 1-year renewal date due to controlled high blood pressure, which is to be expected. I have gone through various medical and drug tests for work before and this was the most informal yet. I spoke with Prime to see what else is available but will probably stick with Swift. My CDL permit is scheduled for Sept 26th. Based on the various exams I have found, there appears to be no pre-trip for the permit exam in Arizona. General knowledge, combinations, air brakes, and cargo hauling are the categories I have been studying.

-Blair

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.
TheRolexTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Hey Blair. Congrats!! I too am talking to Swift and will find out soon if I'm accepted. Although I wont be starting the training until the first of the year. I am some business to finish up in L.A. before i move to Phoenix. Keep us informed as to your progress. I'll be following it for sure.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Blair's Comment
member avatar

Rolex, Thank you for the positive comment. PHX is a beautiful location in "winter" for outdoor work and training. Swift is next to Knight in the heart of industrial complexes that stretch for miles. Depending where you live plan accordingly for travel, although it is never LA caliber. PHX urban planners did a bang up job for navigation, you are truly 2 turns from any destination. NW (Glendale, Peoria, Avondale) and SE (Chandler, Gilbert) parts of the valley are more expensive, Tempe is drowning in ASU buildings and students.

Blair's Comment
member avatar

Rolex, PHX is fabulous in "winter" for CDL or any outside work and training. Swift terminal is on the southwestern side of PHX so be prepared for mild traffic (nothing like LA) depending where your commute is from. Metro PHX navigation is absurdly simple, just a matter of where your house will be located. NW (Glendale, Avondale, Peoria) and SE (Chandler, Gilbert) are more expensive areas, Tempe is flooded with ASU buildings and students.

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.

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.

TheRolexTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Awesome! Thank you for the info. I'm heading out that way in Nov. for a truck show, so I'm going to stay a few extra days and figure out where I want to live and stuff. I'll be so glad to get out of L.A.

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