Training For Trucking

Topic 9808 | Page 1

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Nicole W.'s Comment
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Hello ladies my name is Nicole and I am planning on being a team driver with my hubby. He has recently retired from the Navy after 23 years of service and had driven OTR in the past. Since he enjoyed it so much we had discussed the possibility of him driving again and of course he won!! I was against it for quite some time since he has been gone so much over the years and I wanted to spend more time together. My husband had brought up a few great points as the months of pestering went on. He had asked me to join him on the road so not only would we be together working as a team but we can make some serious money to help our kiddo, family and friends if need be and to help with our future as well. He is currently training and towards the last leg of it. I will be going out with him for a few weeks to get the feel of what the trucking life is all about and to learn the ropes before I even start school and training. I already have my CDL permit and also just got the tanker endorsement. I want to be prepared especially with knowing the pre-trip inspection , shifting and backing. Since I am very new at this and I do not know any other women who drive, can any of you gals give me advice and helpful hints on what to expect when testing and training or just being on the road from a woman's perspective? I hope you all have an awesome day. Stay safe. Thank You Nicole

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

xxx xxx xxx's Comment
member avatar

I am currently working on my CDL through Swift Driving Academy in Richmond VA. My only recommendation is to NOT train through Swift. There is blatant favoritism to those with previous military experience, specifically males. Myself and other women are told we are "afraid of the truck", we are "too emotional", and too busy "giggling" to take things serious. My experience here is disappointing at best.

The class sizes are too large for the number of instructors, available equipment, and size of the range. Racism, sexism, and prejudice run rampant, and the instructors use intimidation, yelling, and other verbally abusive tactics as their only repertoire of instruction..when they are actually instructing. Often, students are shown how to do a skill, and then the instructor disappears, and will be seen sitting in a golf cart across the range chatting and drinking coffee. They rarely stay to assist in correcting skills, and when they do, they holler "what are you doing", "ok, do it your way", "stop the truck", etc.

Off-range driving is horrendous. Trying to coordinate actions, be safe and conscientious, while being yelled at, is stressful at best. For example, I missed a gear and had a continual tirade of "get it in, get it in, stop the truck and get it in gear", followed by a disgusted "tsk", and a head shake. The next guy immediately after me (who was military) missed his gear, he got an elbow bump and "it's ok buddy, you'll get it, you'll get it, it just takes time". This is just one instance, unfortunately there are many more. Additonally I've noticed my driving time is significantly shorter than the males I am with.

I used Trucking Truths review of training schools as my guide in choosing a school and chose Swift based on locale, convenience, and price. Sadly, I am now finding that there are other considerations of which to be mindful; specifically ensuring that as a female, you are treated with respect, given equal time, and ensuring you are actually going into a training environment, not just a driver puppy mill.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Nicole W.'s Comment
member avatar

I am currently working on my CDL through Swift Driving Academy in Richmond VA. My only recommendation is to NOT train through Swift. There is blatant favoritism to those with previous military experience, specifically males. Myself and other women are told we are "afraid of the truck", we are "too emotional", and too busy "giggling" to take things serious. My experience here is disappointing at best.

The class sizes are too large for the number of instructors, available equipment, and size of the range. Racism, sexism, and prejudice run rampant, and the instructors use intimidation, yelling, and other verbally abusive tactics as their only repertoire of instruction..when they are actually instructing. Often, students are shown how to do a skill, and then the instructor disappears, and will be seen sitting in a golf cart across the range chatting and drinking coffee. They rarely stay to assist in correcting skills, and when they do, they holler "what are you doing", "ok, do it your way", "stop the truck", etc.

Off-range driving is horrendous. Trying to coordinate actions, be safe and conscientious, while being yelled at, is stressful at best. For example, I missed a gear and had a continual tirade of "get it in, get it in, stop the truck and get it in gear", followed by a disgusted "tsk", and a head shake. The next guy immediately after me (who was military) missed his gear, he got an elbow bump and "it's ok buddy, you'll get it, you'll get it, it just takes time". This is just one instance, unfortunately there are many more. Additonally I've noticed my driving time is significantly shorter than the males I am with.

I used Trucking Truths review of training schools as my guide in choosing a school and chose Swift based on locale, convenience, and price. Sadly, I am now finding that there are other considerations of which to be mindful; specifically ensuring that as a female, you are treated with respect, given equal time, and ensuring you are actually going into a training environment, not just a driver puppy mill.

Thank You so much for replying to my question. My hubby who happens to be retired military is going through training with Prime Trucking Inc . He went to Missouri to do his orientation for 5 days and then once a trainer picks you then your out on the road immediately for 10,000 miles. He has driven truck before so he wasn't intimidated but I have not. He said the hardest things for him were a few of the backing tests but he passed and now has his CDL. He told me that they don't play around and when the DMV person is with you they pick you apart for everything. He failed the one part but then passed then next day Thank God. We were going to train with Swift 2 months ago until a friend of mine introduced us to the terminal manager at Prime and we took a tour and they are an outstanding company so far. He will be finishing up the last leg of his 30,000 mile training the end of Sept and then I will be going out with him to learn the ropes a bit before I go to school in late Oct. The pre-trip inspection , backing and shifting are my main concerns and knowing that there is usually only one woman in a class of 80 its important that I have some knowledge of driving before I even go. As you said military and men get the respect for the most part so I want to prove them wrong about women drivers. I have met a few very successful women and one would love to train me the second half but since my hubby will be with the company 90 days by the time I'm done Prime will let him train me. I am sorry you have had a terrible experience with Swift and hearing this just confirms the reason why we ended up going with Prime. I hope you finish with flying colors and you have a wonderful and safe experience on the road. I know this is a man dominant career but I am determined to get my license and try this new experience with confidence. Thank you again Nicole

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.

Terminal:

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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