Swift Academy

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G-Town's Comment
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OMG the horror! Quick everyone into the bomb-shelter, Swift is on the move!!!

If I had a dollar for every time I replied to one of these, I'd be rich. Can't determine if Angelica is a one-post-wonder or if her concern is genuine. Time will tell...

I'll spare you the details unless you want to discuss further (Angelica)... if I had it to do all over again, my entry path into trucking would still go through Richmond Virginia, attending the Swift Academy. I had an awesome 9 year run with them, no regrets. If not for a quality of life decision to drive locally, I'd still be there. I stay in-touch with the majority of the friends I made there and still sincerely recommend them to anyone seeking a trucking career.

Angelica, all rookie drivers make mistakes, lots of them. And some of the mistakes are both dumb and very dangerous. Swift does not have a monopoly on internet worthy follies... they just happen to hire more entry level drivers than most of the other companies offering Paid CDL Training Programs. Simple...

Fear not Angelica...the safe Swift drivers far outnumber those earning a social visit with their safety director. Trust what this forum offers and ignore all of the internet fodder about Swift or any other TL (Mega Carrier). It's 99% BS, written by either former drivers, knot-holers (who have never driven) or former employees let-go for any number of policy and safety violations. The sources of this misleading information lack creditability and reliability.

And for the record... Swift was not purchased by Knight nor was Knight purchased by Swift. It didn't happen that way, false information. It was a merger, a merger of equals with both companies maintaining brand and operational autonomy.

Carry on.

I'm about to start at swift but now have second thought because of the horror story's and been told that other truckers don't like swift drivers and that they r the laughing stock of truckers I'm just wondering if swift academy was a good choice

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.
Angelica A.'s Comment
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Thank you all for the info and reassurance I'll definitely let you all know how it goes

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Good luck Angelica.

If you have the time and are so inclined, giving these links a try will give you piece of mind…

…setting a realistic set of expectations and building a foundation of knowledge that will serve you well into the future.

Thank you all for the info and reassurance I'll definitely let you all know how it goes

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.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

And for the record... Swift was not purchased by Knight nor was Knight purchased by Swift. It didn't happen that way, false information. It was a merger, a merger of equals with both companies maintaining brand and operational autonomy.

Carry on.

Thanks for the clarification, G. I initially thought so, but Kevin seemed so 'submissive' to Swift back in 2017; it left some wondering. What's up with the AAACT acquisition....any news there? AAA Cooper was HUGE when I was a kiddo; my (late) mom and my brother in law (at the time) both worked for Miller Trailers, in Bradenton, Florida. Thus became, my love of trucks, and my familiarity of the companies. I worked part time there after school myself; my job was to check the codes on the 'waybills' and send the 'iffy' ones out to our CPA, Bernie Sapperstein.

Angelica, you've got some SOLID info here; hope you'll let us know how things go for you, at the academy! We LOVE diaries, of such...in the other section. Helps pay it forward, with TRUTHS, to the new folks coming in here, to learn as well.

Best of luck to ya; check out some of Kearsey's videos...she's a trainer for Prime: Truckin' Along w/Kearsey!

~ Anne ~

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

AAA Cooper is officially part of Knight/Swift. Scroll to the bottom of ACT’s website:

AAA Cooper

NaeNaeInNC's Comment
member avatar

Angelica, the bottom line is, the name on the door does not determine success and failure. (Aside from freight availability, but that's a whole different ball of wax.) If you walk in, with the mindset of learning, absorbing everything you can, and unafraid to ask questions, you will do well in the initial training phase. Be teachable. Be humble, as the second you think you got it and know how, your trailer will show you who is boss.

Once you have your CDL , your success is wholly dependant on being where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there. Be the part of the team that doesn't need to be babysat and handheld.

One of my old school driver friends, also a former Swift trainer, said it best.

-Your first 6 months, you know just enough to get up 💩 creek without a paddle. Your second 6 months, you will know enough to point your boat down stream. The rest of your career, will be 'huh, learned something new today! '-

Another of his gems, when I was struggling, and frustrated, and managed to screw up even a straight line back:

-Some days, a driver can back it up a gnats @$$. Other days, the same driver couldn't get it straight in a wide open parking lot, without 5 pull ups. -

When you look at actual data, the rate of reportable incidents/accidents at Swift, is similar with what is seen at other Mega Carriers. Swift wouldn't be as big as they are, if every one of their drivers was tearing up equipment.

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.
Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

As a trainee driver I heard a lot of bad things about Swift. My first year driving I saw A LOT more FedEx trucks off roading/on fire/upside down and wondered why I heard so much about Swift but nothing about FedEx. Of course, that's before Amazon started putting trucks on the road...

Swift would have been a better choice than the first company I drove for.

Safety records:

Swift

FedEx Freight

Amazon

Note: They all have safety records that are ABOVE AVERAGE.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Just to clarify why I held the opinion that Knight was the acquiring carrier. In no way meant any disrespect.

On a practical day to day level, Knights Top Gun program was developed and implemented at Knight and then brought to Swift. Also several of our instructors from Squire began teaching at Swift campuses.

We're slowly beginning to merge facilities but in general it seems a long way off, the badges are two completely different systems and both our yards our over crowded. I was able to use the Sumner WA Swift yard and everyone there was friendly and helpful. The facilities were very similar to ours.

A few of us have hauled Swift trailers but very rarely.

In general though, most of the Swift personnel I have met have been very professional and friendly.

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BK's Comment
member avatar

As a trainee driver I heard a lot of bad things about Swift. My first year driving I saw A LOT more FedEx trucks off roading/on fire/upside down and wondered why I heard so much about Swift but nothing about FedEx. Of course, that's before Amazon started putting trucks on the road...

Swift would have been a better choice than the first company I drove for.

Safety records:

Swift

FedEx Freight

Amazon

Note: They all have safety records that are ABOVE AVERAGE.

From what I understand, Amazon doesn’t own any trucks. They only own trailers and contract out for tractors to pull those trailers. If that is not accurate, please correct me.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I've seen lots of Amazon brand daycabs, so they do have some of their own tractors, too.

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