I've Applied To Attend Driver Training At Swift Academy Phoenix

Topic 32247 | Page 7

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Michael B. 's Comment
member avatar

Thank you George. I will take your advice, and I will update here on TT when I pass the exams.

Wishing you the best of luck. Dont overthink it. Just relax and go with it. You will pass. Keep us in the loop, Driver!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Michael reports:

I studied the air brakes portion of my pre-trip inspection. Here at Swift, missing anything on the air brakes portion of the pre-trip on exam day is an automatic fail.

Not just Swift, every state CDL test require the same on the in-cab air brake inspection; cannot miss anything and the exact order must also followed.

Not sure if you ever seen this, might help you study:

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.
Michael B. 's Comment
member avatar

Hi G-Town, thanks for the clarification. It makes sense every state would have that expectation. I clicked through to the study links you included and they were all helpful. I appreciate you following along and sharing your experience and insight. Trucking Truth, and you specifically, have been instrumental in helping me prepare not just for my CDL exam, but for life as a truck driver. Thank you for being here.

Michael reports:

double-quotes-start.png

I studied the air brakes portion of my pre-trip inspection. Here at Swift, missing anything on the air brakes portion of the pre-trip on exam day is an automatic fail.

double-quotes-end.png

Not just Swift, every state CDL test require the same on the in-cab air brake inspection; cannot miss anything and the exact order must also followed.

Not sure if you ever seen this, might help you study:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Michael B. 's Comment
member avatar

Thursday 6 October 2022

Today was another good day for me at the academy. It was 10 degrees cooler than it was our first week on the range, a welcome change. I was able to complete the pre-trip inspection twice today and am feeling really good about my ability to perform it well when I take my formal CDL test on Tuesday.

We took our final road drive today, and I feel confident I can do all that is expected of me on exam day. Today’s trainer had me pull into a gas station that has some diesel lanes so we could switch drivers. It was a challenge to wiggle in there, but we made it.

Two out of three backing maneuvers continue to challenge me. I’ve got the straight line backing down, but the offset and the parallel are still mysteries to me. I know how to begin them, and I know what I am supposed to see on step three to know I am “set up” correctly. What I’m still struggling with is how to fix it if I am too tight left or right to execute the next move. I need equal or nearly equal spacing on both sides to proceed. I’ve crafted some impressive tractor-trailer origami by proceeding when not set up correctly. I am still learning how to “fix it” when my spacing is not correct.

I get to practice offset and parallel tomorrow, and even on Monday, since I don’t test until Tuesday. I hope everything “clicks” for me tomorrow and that I get to spend Monday practicing my backing skills with some degree of confidence.

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is our final day of class. Four weeks flew by, likely because of our intense focus. I feel a sense of family among my classmates that I think will endure. We are all very positive and supportive of each other. I bet we all stay in touch.

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.

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.

Michael B. 's Comment
member avatar

Friday 7 October 2022

And that’s a wrap for academy training! We spent our final day on the range by fine-tuning our pre-trip inspections and practicing backing maneuvers. I finally nailed an offset back entirely on my own. I shouted “That felt GREAT!” as I pulled the brakes. I am getting better at parallel parking but still have not done it completely on my own. I’ll likely spend Monday on that skill, and be ready for my full CDL exam on Tuesday.

My training experience at Swift’s Phoenix academy has been solid. I’ll recommend it to anyone who asks. There were ups and downs, as there are with any month-long experience. The ups were the delight of meeting fascinating people, and celebrations of new experiences and new knowledge. The downs were mostly self-inflicted, when I let doubt creep in and began to question my ability to succeed. I had plenty of opportunities for self-reflection and to adjust my attitude back to one of “beginner’s mind.” When learning new things, it’s wise to stay teachable and positive.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Good luck with your CDL exam on Tuesday.

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.
George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, good luck on Tuesday. Keep us posted.

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

Michael reports:

I studied the air brakes portion of my pre-trip inspection. Here at Swift, missing anything on the air brakes portion of the pre-trip on exam day is an automatic fail.

Not just Swift, every state CDL test require the same on the in-cab air brake inspection; cannot miss anything and the exact order must also followed.

Good luck with your exam on Tuesday.

Good luck with your CDL exam on Tuesday.

Yes, good luck on Tuesday. Keep us posted.

Ditto from me as well, Michael ~ !!

G'Town sure hit the nail on the head; and even being married to a truck driver (various makes & models in the 19 years,) the in cab / airbrakes pressure part of the pretrip can sure be the toughest.

Hopefully you'll look at those links that he enclosed for you, and don't just 'memorize' the numbers; understand what they mean, and why. That still trips folks up, (yes, me...) the most.

Best wishes, man! Enjoy the holiday weekend, whilst protecting that CDL..for sure.

I'm rooting for you. You've worked hard;

~ Anne ~ (AND Tom !) ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

So Michael…you have arrived.

Congratulations for graduating from Swift Academy. You probably realize by now that you and the other graduates in your class make up about 30% of the original students from day 1. To say the schooling process is selective, is an understatement.

My advice for your test…try to relax. There is no penalty for not passing on your first try.

The test examiner wants to ensure you can handle the truck; void of auto-fail mistakes (like hitting a curb or rolling through a controlled intersection) they are not their to flunk you.

I’m sure you know where your strengths are and areas that require improvement. Practice the PTI (especially in-cab air brake test) as much as you can for the remainder of the day, but do give yourself some breaks.

During the test make sure you clearly understand every instruction from the Examiner and also pay attention to road signs and ground signs (like arrows). Take your time…don’t rush but be deliberate.

When you are backing, don’t try to be perfect. Use a pull-up to straighten your line and GOALs (if allowed). There is no extra credit for nailing a 45’ back without a pull-up. Execute the backing maneuvers within your current skill set. Now is not the time to attempt over-achieving.

Above all else, have confidence. If you were not capable of passing the CDL tests, you would not have graduated.

Best of luck!

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.
George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Sound advice from G-town. Once again brother I will be thinking about you this week Good luck!! Hammer down!good-luck.gif

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