New soon to be swift trainee!

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Newtrucker48, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Newtrucker48

    Newtrucker48 Medium Load Member

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    Hello all! I'm new to the forum and I have researched and read hundreds of threads as a guest. Just signed up last night/early this morning and I can honestly say I'm ready for training with swift mentally. I understand I'll need to pay my dues while learning how to operate a big rig safely, whether it's low pay a mile starting out, and/or the way some drivers treat and talk about swift drivers. I know that this is a lifestyle change and a big step driving professionally up and down our highways. I'm pretty low maintenance so living in a space as big as the sleeper berth is, I know I can handle. I've honestly lived through worse growing up.


    I've signed up to the swift academy for July 2nd in Texas, and how my family is, meaning as long as they know I'm alive and vice versa I'm content on driving non stop as long as the miles are there. I'd prefer to just drive and drive and drive. I know that in trucking that may not always be the case, but I'm sure the majority of the time it is. Also a little about me: I have gotten 1 speeding ticket 2 years ago (speed trap) and paid it off by going to court. Checked my 10 year dmv record and its not there, I'm double checking tomorrow to make sure that's correct. Also I was in a minor accident in a parking lot 2 years ago too. Lady pulled in behind me while I was backing up and I put a dent in her driver door. I did not get a ticket. A little confused on why it's not on my record either. I do know it was preventable on my part. Any idea why these aren't on my record? I did inform swift when I filled out the online application of these two incidents.


    I'm picking up the accident report for the first day of class just in case. I'm 28 years old, single, never been arrested, do not do drugs, I dont drink or smoke. Have a pretty solid job history with working constantly since 2008. I like the idea of not being baby-sat: meaning I know I'm the one who can virtually make driving professionally as good as I want or as bad. I'm a self starter and I keep myself on task and motivated. Anyway, hearing both the good and bad things about swift, my logic is if they are so bad they wouldn't have trucks rolling down the highway still. In my area, since I work at a p&g plant as a temporary contractor, I see 10-15 swift trucks a day/night. Can't be doing that bad in the miles department.


    I'm as openminded and willing for a career as a professional driver as I've been in anything. I've had jobs; I want this to be a career for years to come. I know my hard work and willingness to do a new thing is key to success at swift. I'm asking now is there anything, any advice any of you professional drivers can give a newbie like myself? What kind of paperwork do I need for the first day of class? I do have my DOT 2-year medical card, birth certificate, prescription for eye glasses, G.E.D, Social security card, 10 Year Dmv driving record, 10 year employment record,the actual ticket I received. I'll have the police report of my only accident tomorrow hopefully as well. My cdl permit with endorsements amd tomorrow also the receipt for the fingerprinting for hazmat, previous addresses just in case and 5 references. Will I need anything else? Thanks in advance for any responses!
     
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  3. VisionLogistics

    VisionLogistics Road Train Member

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    Welcome to The Truckers Report. Good luck on your new adventure.
     
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  4. CAXPT

    CAXPT Road Train Member

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    Patience, Perseverance, and thick skin.

    If you need help with something, ask and keep on asking until you get the right answer or it's phrased in a way you can understand.

    Good Luck.
     
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  5. Newtrucker48

    Newtrucker48 Medium Load Member

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    @visionlogistics thanks! This is a great site, a lot of knowledgable drivers on here. Feels right at home!

    @Caxpt thank you I intend on having a lot of patience and preservere through all the ups and downs of school, mentor and solo. Looking forward to everything and really excited! I do have a question though. This will be a new school in Texas, will everything be the same as the one in San Antonio? I've heard great things about the old school but do not know much about the new one. If anyone has info about it please let me know!! Thanks!
     
  6. PanteraUSMC

    PanteraUSMC Bobtail Member

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    Be safe, and never be afraid to ask drivers for help if you are nervous about backing in next to them. They would rather get out and help you than lose their mirror or worse. Welcome to trucking and Best of Luck. tip - NEVER EVER abandon a truck no matter how mad you may get. That will haunt you for the rest of your carrier or at least cause problems for you on your DAC report. Patience brother.
     
  7. Newtrucker48

    Newtrucker48 Medium Load Member

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    @Panterausmc thanks for taking the time to leave some advice. I'd rather ask for help backing if the spot is tight than taking their bumper off! I hope to run into willing help out there when the time comes. (not necessarily running into them, O.O, pray to avoid running into anything!! I never want to ever ever abandon a truck, I've seen some bad stories on former drivers having a hard time finding a jobs after doing that. I'm going to try to do all I can to make this career work. I don't want a job anymore.
     
  8. PanteraUSMC

    PanteraUSMC Bobtail Member

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    The trucking industry always has it's slow points and freight does slow down at times, so dont be surprised to be running a few crap loads that dont pay all that much. You will be surprised how many drivers out there will help you. Yeah, there are some ignorant a-holes out there, but a lot of good down to earth people. Get your time in brother, the more miles you rack up safely, the more doors open to better opportunities. I found that volunteering for the nightmare loads helped not only with my rep in the company but my driving skills. (ie: NYC) now, 19 years later, I run NYC whenever I can and enjoy it. It's all in knowing how to get in and get out and what timeof the day and night you go in. Granted, you will see a lot of this great country and be amazed at how beautiful it is, but, it is also a real nasty world out on the road. Keep your head on straight and be smart. Common Sense is the biggest key that will help you out there. Always lock your doors and don't ever assume that someone knocking on your door is simply looking for help or directions. Best bet if you are parked in a rest area and its dark, anyone knocking on your door is not good news. I have made some great money driving, and a lot of friends out there. The first step is to get that initial experience. once you get a year or two with a single company, you are golden, you can get into the better paying jobs, dedicated runs that get you home a lot, and better equipment. I pop on here every so often during the week, so fire off any questions you may have.
     
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  9. Newtrucker48

    Newtrucker48 Medium Load Member

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    I see alot of some truckers talk about crappy loads, and being a newbie I can understand why the "experts" feel that way. They have paid their dues, and done the hard, laborous work, but I hope I never get there. All the hard work and drilling of my brain, and stuffing trucking info into my brain has made me thankful to have a shot and chance to enter into a field that can be really rewarding with some hard work and a positive attitude. I know I may have good days and bad but I never want to forget where I come from and why I started on this journey (finally after years of thinking about it.) My granddad who also lives in NYC, after me talking about it one christmas, pushed me just enough to finally go ahead and start the process of becoming a professional driver. If not for that I probably would never have. IF I dont do it now I know I never will, no sense in waiting any longer. Just this 2-3 month of studying, researching, and thinking about trucking has me feeling like I have alot invested in this career opportunity. I know its all up to me to make it work. Im willing to get whatever I have to have thrown at me in order to be known as a safe driver with Swift. Pay starting off is not that important to me, Ive had jobs where my pay was really low compared to my expenses and I made it somehow work. Lowered my expenses, so basically anything in a months time will have me in the black. And the way I dont have to have any home time at all, has me thinking I can make it work for me also.


    I do have a few questions, thanks for offering your answers, they are:

    I went to get my fingerprints taken yesterday, should have results next week some time. Im not worried Ive never been arrested or anything like that, my question is; Should I apply for a Twic card as well seeing as I have the tanker endorsement already on my permit?

    How difficult is the pre-trip DMV and in cab inspection/air brakes portion? ( im studying now, but will do better with hand on availablity. ( Mostly the engine and suspension section not really that mechanically inclined.)

    I have been worried about the big most populated areas like NY and LA, but I think you have cleared that up for me already. Basically just timing of the day?

    Do you have alot of people knocking on your door alot late at night? I know that is a huge safety thing with complete strangers knocking on the door when you shut down. How do you deal with it? Im planning on being a solo driver for awhile unless I meet someone I trust with my life, in a teaming environment, so late nights alone does bring out watch your back thoughts and ways to prevent up to no good people from approaching me.

    Im a huge fan of nature and the outdoors in a vehicle. Of course I love driving. But I want to ask on an occasion I want to take "home time" away from home how does that work? I want to see alot of the sights because I have been in Louisiana my whole life and I see alot of people in places Ive never been and I know for a fact I would love to see the amazing sights out there. Though I dont need to come back home, is it possible to take off anywhere and just be for a day or so? I for sure do not want to burn out just starting. I think that is all the questions I have at the moment. Thanks again!
     
  10. duckdiver

    duckdiver Road Train Member

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    welcome, you don't want to team trust me, I've done it for 3 months (I have no idea why) and it is no way to live a life, I don't care how much money you make. if you're not driving you're either sleeping or in the sleeper, there is no shutting down, your entire life just becomes driving and you're pretty much the company's #####. good luck and drive safe.
     
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  11. Newtrucker48

    Newtrucker48 Medium Load Member

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    Thanks duckdiver. I kind of figured it would seem like that with the truck moving 24/7. It doesn't sound that healthy or interesting, seeing as I want to drive, drive, and drive AND have time to see the sights I want to see when I can. Teaming to me, lost its appeal when I thought about how it would feel to only see my co-pilot only on driver change overs. I know there is money to be made but there is money to be made solo I'm sure once I've gained experience. I'm all about safety, and having a vehicle moving all the time, to me at least and my logic, doesn't seem to safe and healthy for those involved. I admire the new drivers coming out of school and teaming with strangers, but I tend to like the idea of having going to sleep in one place and waking up in the same to avoid confusion. The only way I would maybe do it is if I ever settled down and my significant other had a desire to get a cdl and travel the country with me. Or maybe someone super experienced and me having years of experience under my belt. And that's barring all the other things listed.
     
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