A Question For Past And Present Swift Drivers

Topic 31419 | Page 1

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Jerry B.'s Comment
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I am looking at Lewiston, ID and Salt Lake City for my Academy (when i get to that point). Can someone tell me the pros and cons for both? Lodging? Instructors? Things like that.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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I am looking at Lewiston, ID and Salt Lake City for my Academy (when i get to that point). Can someone tell me the pros and cons for both? Lodging? Instructors? Things like that.

Until they stop in, look up posts by G'Town, Errol V., and Big T ~ for now! :)

~ Anne ~

TCB's Comment
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Lewiston is in the middle of nowhere. The road training would probably be on mountainous back roads. They’re are no freeways in the area. In fact, there is a section of hwy 12 in the area in which Swift drivers are not allowed. SLC is in a mostly flat valley, intersected by several freeways. So, SLC road training would probably entail more fwy training. Lewiston would probably be more demanding, but make you a better driver. SLC is more of a hub and at a crossroads. It might be easier to get a mentor in SLC once you graduate from the academy.

G-Town's Comment
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Welcome Jerry.

I’d like to clarify a couple of points here:

Swift Academy primarily teaches the student what is required to pass the CDL and tests on road skills, yard skills and pre-trip inspection. Upon graduation the student will take the three parts of the CDL test relevant to their home state (where their license is issued). You will be driving (practicing) locally on roads near whatever Swift Academy you are attending.

Once the CDL is passed; 200 hours of mentoring (road training) will commence. This training is typically done on the lower 48; thus not regional to the specific Swift Academy location. During my mentoring phase I was East coast to West coast numerous times.

I was a Swift Driver for nine consecutive years. Happy to answer any further questions.

Good luck!

Lewiston is in the middle of nowhere. The road training would probably be on mountainous back roads. They’re are no freeways in the area. In fact, there is a section of hwy 12 in the area in which Swift drivers are not allowed. SLC is in a mostly flat valley, intersected by several freeways. So, SLC road training would probably entail more fwy training. Lewiston would probably be more demanding, but make you a better driver. SLC is more of a hub and at a crossroads. It might be easier to get a mentor in SLC once you graduate from the academy.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Rob S.'s Comment
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I went to Lewiston in 2016. I think it was an excellent experience. Class size seemed small. Started with 20 or so, I think 6 graduated. That made for plenty of time behind the wheel.

It's not a large town. Plenty of narrow streets and hazards. One road we drove on was ( I think), 17%. Completely stopped at the bottom. When the instructor says go, get to the top as fast as possible, double clutching all the way. Fun times.

Accommodations were a basic hotel, nothing fancy. Subway and McDonald's nearby. A shuttle was provided to the school site.

I'd do it again.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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