Swift PHX Part-time Academy

Topic 26699 | Page 1

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Blair's Comment
member avatar

Greetings everyone! My part-time, evening academy with Swift began this week in Phoenix, AZ. Day 1 We have a total of 4 applicants. Oddly enough I am the only one who already has their Commercial Permit. All the paperwork and discussions with recruiting implied you couldn't begin without obtaining a permit. We toured the terminal , observing the body shop, trailer prep and storage, a flatbed training area, washout, and the various corporate perks of a full-gym, diner, basketball courts, lounge, showers, and laundry. I would imagine truck stops and other terminals have a variety of services as well. One of the applicants has some questionable expectations about time invested and current career choices. I wonder if he looked before leaping. Day 2 All 4 of us have returned! Today is permit prep going through the AZ manual, looking up websites, and downloading apps. The goal is to have permits finished by next Monday so we can drug test. I pitched TruckingTruth.com as my primary resource (having already passed the permit) but no one in class has heard of us :P To end our day we toured new Kenworth, Freightliner, Volvo, and International tractors at the terminal. I am stunned how much money there is in tractors, trailers, and various logistics support on site Just by our academy building there are 120 trucks in overflow ready to be assigned. Conservative cost of a new truck at $120,000 x 120 tractors is more than $14 million dollars alone just in overflow. The primary instructor is very engaging and positive. He doesn’t bash other companies and continues to advocate realistic expectations for our class. An interesting perspective of evening class is we will learn to drive and back on the range at night with limited lighting available. Our instructor says this will teach us to “drive the trailer” rather than rely on reference points - time will tell! Onward and upward!

-Blair

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.

Blair's Comment
member avatar

Why do none of my paragraph breaks ever show up on the published article?

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Why do none of my paragraph breaks ever show up on the published article?

You have to hit the spacebar twice.

Took me

Two years

To figure

That out!

rofl-2.gifrofl-2.gif

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.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Why do none of my paragraph breaks ever show up on the published article?

double-quotes-end.png

You have to hit the spacebar twice.

Took me

Two years

To figure

That out!

rofl-2.gifrofl-2.gif

rofl-3.gif

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.

Jay G.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the valley of the sun and hopefully you've been enjoying the nice mornings! I have an uncle that works in the body shop there at Swift.

Drive safe and good luck during training! Keep us posted.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Why do none of my paragraph breaks ever show up on the published article?

double-quotes-end.png

You have to hit the spacebar twice.

Took me

Two years

To figure

That out!

rofl-2.gifrofl-2.gif

You learn more than trucking here lol

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Didn't you mean this:

You

Learn

More

Than

Just

Trucking

Here

rofl-1.gifrofl-2.gifrofl-3.gif

Blair's Comment
member avatar

Days 3 , 4 , 5 were a mixed bag. My other 3 classmates have earned parts of ther permit and all should be complete Monday. We have drilled permit tests, various corporate videos about safety, and health and wellness closing out Thursday. Friday we were on the range working on visual identification of pre trip components. Additional information and explanation of coupling/uncoupling finished out our evening. I am humbled at the amount of information, knowledge, and skill that is required to be a safe and capable driver. We toured a Kenworth flatbed tractor, and that was pretty sweet! I have no idea what division to look at first. That will give me something to work on this weekend. Stay safe everyone!

- Blair

Blair's Comment
member avatar

Greetings TT! Hump day of week 2 is upon our evening academy! All 4 students continue to show up, which is a good sign. Everyone has permits and our class completed the last drug screening yesterday. We have watched a few additional videos about safety, road rage, and using commentary driving. An open book test covered shifting and throttle control, route planning, and fatigue. Route planning is an element of logistics I have always enjoyed, and will continue to develop this aspect of my skills as long I drive. Our instructor is teaching us paper logs and how the 14/11/10 HOS rules are structured. We haven't gone in depth yet, but that is supposedly next week. Again, this will be a constant vigil to improve my performance.

My goals for training remain simple. 1.) Be on time. 2.) Be an engaged learner 3.) Understand there is more to CDL than just driving. The plan in weeks 3-6 will be rotating days of closed course and open road driving. I have narrowed my preferences to either dry van or flatbed. Staying physically active is important, and I enjoy the struggle to accomplish goals in poor, sometimes downright terrible, weather conditions. This may be present in any driving scenario, but might be more frequent in flatbed. Dry van is a reasonable start to my driving career where I can gain overall experience and hone my skills. Learning a wide variety of driving skills is important to me so rotating through different divisions might be worth a look. Talk again soon!

-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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Sounds like things are going well.

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