Swift Class Start Date Of Nov. 24th Is Finally Here

Topic 6287 | Page 1

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Matt S.'s Comment
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Well, after a long couple of months, I'm finally here in good old Richmond, VA for the Swift Academy. I decided to drive down instead of take the grey dawg simply because I want some freedom and the trip was only about 4 hours versus a 6 or 7 hour bus ride. My roommate is a pretty cool guy, laid back, and on his 3rd and final week. The hotel Swift put us up in is actually really nice: the Candlewood Suites. It's clean and comfortable.

There was no time like the present to tap my roommate for advice and he said be prepared to work extremely hard and have a good, positive attitude. I can thank truckingtruth.com for already preparing me on that front. I found out that I will most likely be training on the Volvos and they have 8 speed transmissions. Well, I'm nervous and excited as hell. More to come tomorrow night.

Sean S.'s Comment
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I feel you. I just drove from San Antonio to attend Swift's training academy in Corsicana, TX and start tomorrow morning also. All of this studying will hopefully come to fruition as well as getting so much new knowledge and actual hands on experience. I'm just hoping I can hurry up and get to sleep since I'm so excited to start and it's gonna be an early morning. Good luck!

Brian M.'s Comment
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Congrats and good luck to both of you. I am looking at Swift as a possibility for myself. I talked to my recruiter at Swift today and I having difficulty where I currently reside in Florida (to far south). Lucky for me my parents own a few condos in Tampa and will rent one to me so I can be better located so companies will hire me. My recruiter at Swift told me to move and change my address to the Tampa home and they will send me to their training site in Tenn. I am scheduled to take my permit on Jan 8th. I look forward to your experiences in school. Brian

Matt S.'s Comment
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Congrats and good luck to both of you. I am looking at Swift as a possibility for myself. I talked to my recruiter at Swift today and I having difficulty where I currently reside in Florida (to far south). Lucky for me my parents own a few condos in Tampa and will rent one to me so I can be better located so companies will hire me. My recruiter at Swift told me to move and change my address to the Tampa home and they will send me to their training site in Tenn. I am scheduled to take my permit on Jan 8th. I look forward to your experiences in school. Brian

First day was a lot of paperwork and a drug test. We have three chapters worth of homework to do. Woohoo! I'm writing this during my class break because there will be no rest for the weary tonight :-)

Sean S, hope it's going well for you. Day 1 we ready lost someone due to not bringing their driver's license to school. This one left me scratching my head. How do you come to a driving school without your basic license in hand and ready to go!?

Matt S.'s Comment
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Oh and let me pay some additional homage to the High Road Training Program. It literally reduced the amount of textbook reading that I had to do by an order of magnitude. I found I could literally take many of the open book exams based on the learning from HRT. The amount of time savings cannot be underestimated. It has freed me up to do a lot more studying on the pre-trip, a 116 item behemoth checklist.

Sean S.'s Comment
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Well I had to go home as well but not because I forgot anything, just a lack of communication. In Texas there are 5 written parts to the Cdl , when you go the the DMV and ask to take the permit tests, they give you 2 tests that are needed for that, the Combinations and Commercial Rules. You can also take the Pre-Trip, Airbrake, & General Knowledge. Because I applied on Friday the 21st and was contacted by Swift on Sat the 22nd and drove to Corsicana on the 23rd, I didn't have time to take the remaining 3 anyways (I had taken the 2 basic tests in order to have my permit already) but when speaking with the recruiter, I mentioned that I had my permit, passport, & twic and she said great. She never mentioned that I needed to have the other 3 tests done before arriving. Well there were several that also didn't have all 5 tests completed and rather than have those who were ready wait, the instructor decided to have us just start next Monday. I really wanted to just go to the local DMV and take the tests and get back in class because I was prepared (thanks High Road!) but it wasn't an option so no big deal, I drove back to San Antonio and went to the DMV and finished the testing. So now I'll start Dec 1st and will have the opportunity to enjoy thanksgiving with my family. As a reminder, if you're a Texas resident and planning on attending the Swift Academy in Corsicana, make sure you have the 5 tests completed and also make sure the permit is no longer that 90 days old, that was an issue for one student. Bring all of your paperwork to the classroom also, several left theirs in the hotel room the first day. Other than that, the instructor seems great, and I'm looking forward to next Monday!

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.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Matt S.'s Comment
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Today we had the three exams on logging. Exam 1 and 3 were 100%. Exam 2 was 95%.

Turned in the 4 open book exams early. First three were 100% and the fourth was 87%.

Tomorrow will be a half day due to the holiday and the two map exams in the morning.

No rest for the weary :)

Matt S.'s Comment
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Today the seriousness of the whole profession sunk in for four more people. We had the map reading exams consisting of two separate tests and four people got sent home. The class started with 16 and we're down to 11. On the 3rd day you can tell who is really serious and who is not. I met one other guy who seems to have my same level of determination and drive. While he is only 29, his work ethic and attitude are impressive beyond estimation. He doesn't have much money so I treated him to a decent lunch today. This guy has a young wife and a son whom it's obvious that he loves dearly and wants to do everything possible and legal to get them out of poverty. I really admire the way he talks about and adores his wife. He speaks lovingly of how she keeps him in line and cares deeply about him. I want to see this guy succeed and I'm gonna do everything I can to help him. Thus far he's failed nothing and in no danger whatsoever. We're off for turkey day but the two of us are going to get a jump start on studying pre and post trips so come Saturday morning, we're dreaming about slack adjusters, pittman arms, and air compressors. Y'all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Dm:

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
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Wow Matt S. YOU are the kind of people I give thanks for. Tomorrow and everyday. I hope that guy does well and so do you. Congrats on all you are accomplishing. Keep up the great work!

Matt S.'s Comment
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Tomorrow is going to be a rather critical day at the Swift Academy at Richmond: one of these make or break days that could be the great eliminator. It will be day 1 on the range with a straightline backing exam. I'm a bit nervous about this as the largest thing I really ever drove was a 24 ft. box truck and let's just say I didn't even drive it long enough to get any experience that matters. It will be just time to be a sponge and soak in as much information as possible and ask questions when unclear. According to our classroom instructor, we will be broken up into three groups according to our driving experience. I think I'll just go with the absolute beginner group as I want to make no assumptions about my ability. I'd rather the training be a little bit elementary than be completely out of my league. The old adage applies that you can learn something from anyone applies. Please wish me luck ... I want this very badly!

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