Swift Training

Topic 88 | Page 1

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EngineeringMother's Comment
member avatar

I’m leaving Sunday (in 4 days) for Swift’s Richmond VA training facility. This has been a long time coming and I’m really excited! Three weeks ago I got my permit along with Air Brakes endorsement (required by Swift). A few days later I went back to DMV and got the rest of my endorsements, Doubles-Triples, Tanker, HAZMAT. The following week I went to the State Police to be fingerprinted and start the background check for HAZMAT. Thanks to the Online CDL training Brett has set up on this site, I passed all these tests the first time. Hooray! Earlier this week I went to the port of Baltimore and applied for my TWIC card. That will be ready by the time I finish the three week course for Swift. The school is only 3.5 hours drive so I’m taking my own vehicle. Once that is done a third party tester – that I pay $220 for – will drive me back to my home state DMV for the driving test. Then I wait for a female trainer and ride/live with her 4-6 weeks. After all that I will get my own truck! I requested a female trainer so there will probably be a wait and so far I’m the only female in the class. That means I get a hotel room all to myself. Woo hoo!

It’s been very hectic because I am not only leaving my home; I am moving out and renting it. For this final week my younger son and I have moved in with another family that has agreed to let my son live with them until he leaves for his 2 year mission in October. When he returns he will start his college career going for a degree in Civil Engineering. My oldest son is finishing his sophomore year in college going for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Once he’s done this year he is also going on a 2 year mission. When he returns he will continue his schooling. Both boys will be attending the same school. I am only 20 credits shy of my degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering. My remaining classes are all online so I will be completing that program once I am settled in my own truck. So you see where I got my username smile.gif

I figured everyone else is leaving, I’m leaving too. No way am I going to stay home alone. Driving a truck is something I wanted to do when I was 20 and never did. Now it’s my turn to live my dream.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Engineering Mother! It sounds like you've got the ball rolling now. Isn't it wonderful going to take those tests knowing you're over prepared. And for any other newbies reading this you too can excel at passing those tests by using the High Road Training Program. I'm glad to see you got your old user name changed back, it's really simple to do, I had to change mine too. I was starting to think I wasn't going to recognize any of my old friends on the forum, nor would they know who I was. Best of luck to ya at Swift. You'll be glad to have a female trainer, I hope it's not too long of a wait for you. I'm recuperating very well from my surgery and TMC sent me an e-mail yesterday indicating I might get to head back a little sooner than the six week waiting period. It will of course all depend on what the surgeon says after my three week follow up visit. I'm sure you're like me, ready to get this thing started. I applied for my TWIC earlier this week, and it looks like I may have it in hand before I go back to Des Moines. Keep us posted, we always enjoy hearing how our friends are progressing.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey I'm really glad to see you'll be documenting things here - that's fantastic! I think this section of the forum is going to be incredibly popular and extremely helpful. The more you can learn about the challenges that lie ahead the better prepared you'll be, and that's especially true for these company-sponsored programs which are notoriously fast-paced and difficult.

I'll be reading along here with everyone else and wishing you the best!!!good-luck.gifgood-luck-2.gif

EngineeringMother's Comment
member avatar

Hi Old School. Thanks for the encouragement. So glad to hear your recovery is going well. TWIC wasn't so hard, just time consuming. I know you're anxious to get back out there. Keep us updated.

Brett, I'll do my best to post frequently. I got my new phone last week, Galaxy 2 with Android. It's puuurty and I like it. I enabled wi-fi so it's a mobile hot spot to which I will connect my laptop. I did not want to count on Motel 6 having decent internet access. rofl-3.gif

That's right. Motel 6. But they do have new microwaves and fridges in the rooms. Apparently just for us.

I'll let you know what I think after check in Sunday evening.

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.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

Just remember to leave the light on for us.. good-luck.gif

EngineeringMother's Comment
member avatar

rofl-3.gif

You made me guffaw out loud. Do you remember those commercials, too?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

rofl-3.gif

You made me guffaw out loud. Do you remember those commercials, too?

Yep..good-luck.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Special K, aka Kathy's Comment
member avatar

Do I need a TWIC also, and how will I know?

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.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Engineering Mother I'm super excited for you:) I can't wait for you to get out here too! Its overwhelming at first but once you settle in it will be like "why the heck was I worried"? If you need anything let me know! Ill be glad to help. You can always call me to. Once you go solo your gonna crave some convo:) lol Kathy, if your company requires it they wil send you to get one. Unless you are with a company that ges to Canada or the ports you won't but if your going with a refer outfit you will. You get a discount with a hazmat.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

EngineeringMother's Comment
member avatar

Hello there Red! Good to hear from you. I will definitely be coming here with my questions.

Well, I drove 3.5 hours this afternoon to Richmond VA and am now checked in at the hotel. Swift moved everyone from Motel 6 to Candlewood Suites, thank goodness. Seems there were lots of complaints about the 6. I'm sure to hear more tomorrow in class. This place is nice. A complete kitchen w full size fridge, complimentary laundry, weight room, wi-fi and comfy beds - always a plus dancing-dog.gif I have a room to myself even though it seems there are other women in this class - hooray! We meet the van for school at 5:30am outside the lobby. I am unpacked and about to settle in for a good night's rest. I'm excited but tired. I'll be back tomorrow night!

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