Should I Ask For A New Instructor ?

Topic 33650 | Page 1

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Radar's Comment
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I’m at the Swift Academy in Lewiston ID. Now, I’m 54 and decided to start a new career and life now that my son is grown. I haven’t been in a classroom in over 30 years. I’ve been here for 4 weeks and have the pretrips in and out down, but have issues with the skills and road. I don’t feel comfortable with this instructor. I worked with another one while mine was off and felt more at ease. Wisdom in numbers here, I feel I should ask to change instructors. Thoughts?

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

I'm not familiar with the way things are done with Swift. Is that even an option? Try to find out if you are allowed to request another trainer first.

Are you able to contact a training coordinator, or anyone further up the chain of command who oversees instructors/trainers?

Let us know what specific problems you are having within the those two areas of training you're having difficulty with.


Hours Of Service

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

It’s great that you are starting a new career of driving. It’s tough at first but very rewarding for those that stock it out. What RealDiehl said is an excellent way to approach this matter. You do have the advantage of working with another instructor that you felt more comfy with, so asking for a change is not unreasonable as long as you are very diplomatic about it. On the other hand, I had one instructor that I didn’t like but I stuck it out. Now, looking back, I can see that he was perhaps my best teacher. Either way, hang in there. It’s not really supposed to be easy.


Hours Of Service

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

Hello!! Great Choice with Swift. I too went through the Swift Academy a little over a year ago. Assuming the layout and process in Lewiston is the same as the location I attended, the instructor assignment for road drives and skills was random day to day. I would advise approaching the instructor you felt comfortable with, calmly explaining your feelings and your thoughts, and throw in the need for maybe a different prospective as multiple viewpoints and trainings in the small amount of hours you have to prepare on your road drives, is in my opinion beneficial. As well as that may be a route to go down that won’t potentially annoy the instructor you are having issues with.

Now, that being said, at the location I attended there was an instructor that several students had an issue with, myself included. In hindsight I see that part of the issue was myself and some overconfidence. For example we did not see eye to eye on his perspective of follow distance and slowing down in relation to approaching a red light. I mean he’s like yelling to be on the brakes, 200 yards from a red light. I’m with the mentality of, please, I got so much room. Nowadays and over a year going strong I still find myself shooting myself for not taking that seriously. Just yesterday I was grateful for 300 yards of room to stop safely having scaled at 79600.

BUT with that in mind, that instructor was recently terminated. That instructor received several complaints from students. One other instructor I still swing by and visit when I go through the terminal vocalized to me that at first they (the other instructor’s) were unaware of students feelings and what was going on in the truck out on the road and on the training pad when it was just this instructor and no other instructor’s present. It took about 4 months from what I’m told, and some solid investigation to actually be able to understand and see what the instructor was doing before action was actually taken. Not good for 4 months of Students during investigations and all the students before. Myself included. There were many more problems I had with this particular instructor, the one that I gave as an example was not a him problem it was a me problem, and I hope, was meant obviously to just try and open your mind a little to potentially helpful reasonings.

That all being said, I was informed that polite discussion, vocalization of your feelings, followed with actions by said instructor, and the simple mindset of taking seriously what you are learning now, SHOULD, go a long way with the instructor you are more comfortable with. After all, this is your new career. I am very happy I can actually give some advice having seen and experienced this now, at the same company as you.

And, now all of that aside. 4 weeks in I assume CDL testing is fast approaching although thanksgiving may or may not delay it correct? Bottom line. You are at the home stretch and will soon test out, number 1 thing. Have some serious self confidence when you approach your pre trip, skills and road test. I mean come on. You got it. Between this website, everything swift gave you and some common sense, you got it without overthinking. And again, you can GET OUT AND LOOK more than the amount of times the tester gives you. Better to lose a point getting out an extra time, then feeling like you got it in the box and you didn’t. Self confidence goes a long way, and don’t worry about getting out if you need to.

Swift from my year and 2 months has been a great experience thus far, I am still here, getting miles, and supporting my family in these dark times with my wife a stay at home mom. I will proudly wear my Swift shirt and represent a company that has done me right. Good luck! I look forward to hearing how it goes for.


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.


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.


Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hang in there Radar! If you can laugh off the pettiness of one rough Driver, you’ll likely prove to be a hugely successful driver yourself.

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