Reminded me that when I went to school we were told to tell the examiner that we need to chock the wheels before doing the brake test.
Swift - Starting the New Year training with Swift 1/7/13 - A long read...
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I like that idea about carrying around the rag. I'm gonna use that.
I'm going to use that acronym COLAS as an additional backup. Good idea. I'll keep in mind about the chocking too.
My first day in the truck I was about to conduct my brake test and I released both trailer and tractor brakes. I looked down at my pretrip sheet and felt like I was moving. I looked up and I was slowly rolling backwards and hit the brakes. Had to chock the wheels. I only went back a couple of feet but still. Scared the #### out of me.
We can do our pretrip in any order but when it comes to various sections we still have to include everything that is on the Washington pretrip inspection. Apparently Washington state has had the habit to change some things before the book is updated (where our pretrip comes directly from) and when you go to take the test you lose points for something that was not in the CDL book under the pretrip.
I heard a story the other day about a DMV guy that would tell all his testers that they were going to fail right from the get go. He was doing it so he could make the state more money with the retest fees. They say he was fired as he should have been.
I'll keep those tips in mind especially about the chocking.scottied67 Thanks this.
Wiping the lights and tags off during the pre-trip worked for me. I hope it works for you.
in Mississippi, we don't really have a DMV. Everything is done through the Highway Patrol. I remember being real nervous because of the clip board and smokey bear hat and he noticed that. He told me to relax and that he wasn't there to fail me, he was there to make sure I knew what I was doing, which I did. It all flowed out after that. I'm sure you will get it as well.
Advice- Don't let the examiner hear you say " I didn't know my truck had one of those " or " I wonder what this switch does ".
Good luck in your training Doc. I am waiting now for a call from my mentor to start my 240 hrs behind the wheel I have to complete to go solo. I saw that you had a mentor reading your thread so I hope you don't mind but would like to ask a question.With the minimum wage Plus $1 what do the trainees average for a pay check?
Lol, definitely not. That would not be good. I ask a ton of questions of the trainers. I'm sure they are about to pull their hair out.
I'm not sure as you are a couple of steps ahead of me in the process. I'm still in the training on the range for the 17 days. We're in our second week.
From what I understand, if your mentor gets you your 70 hours a week it would be that times your state's minimum wage plus $1. I'm lucky in that Washington State has the highest (I think) minimum wage in the country so we would get $9.50 or something for seat time and $10.50/hr for driving time. For me, at 70 hours a week, I would gross $735.00 a week. Then you of course got your taxes at say 20% would be $588/week minus what they take out for schooling. It's not bad to start, at least I don't think so considering they used to pay all of us a flat salary of $450 or whatever a week during training so this may work out better or at least the same in some cases.
Not sure if you are asking me tho or the mentor on here. I'm hoping my mentor gives me a good amount of drive time hours so I can bank some. I need it as peanut butter sandwiches are getting old quick.
Let us know how your training with your mentor goes.
How long did you have to wait for your mentor?
Day 7 -- Range
Today we worked on our "alley docking/90 degree" backing and "Off set" backing. I had trouble with both. These are going to take some practice. At least I wasn't the only one. I know they took out some people for an hour or so on the local roads practicing shifting. I'm really excited about doing this although I didnt get a shot at it today. Hopefully tomorrow.
I gotta lot of respect for you guys who do these alley docking and off set backing like it's easy. I know it's habit but it's not that easy to get used to. Part of the off-set backing is doing it somewhat blind as you cant always see the cones you are backing between. I can't wait to get more practice on this and get it down.
I have been breaking down the pre-trip onto my flash cards so I can study each section independently in the order I will do my pretrips later. It seems to help a lot plus writing it down again commits it to memory better.
I thought we had started our class with 11 but I was wrong, it was 10 individuals. A new class started this week with 3 people. Average is about 5 people to a new class so my class had double that. I guess they expected a few of us to leave early, fail the drug test, etc. but as it is we lost no one. Kind of cool. Everyone is awesome in my class and we all help each other out. It's a cool atmosphere.
I was on my day 30 of my quit and I blew it tonight. I was just miserable today not smoking and so I was weak and gave in after class buying a pack. It doesn't help that cigs are so cheap here in Idaho compared to Washington. It's like $7.00 a pack in WA versus $4.00 in ID. I guess I have to restart all over again tomorrow. Oh well, not the end of the world. Gotta be strong.
We're in the second week of class and I think we have Swift test of our off-set backing and 90 degree backing at the end of the week. Possibly pretrip test too. Not sure.
So far everything is very positive and I don't have any gripes. It's all in what you make it.
Thanks for all the info, I just happened to find this website and your thread tonight, and it has definitely gave me a more positive outlook towards Swift and trucking in general. I have been searching the web constantly for info on getting into trucking and with so many disgruntled truckers ragging on the industry and all the major companies who hire guys with no experience it is nice to actually find some feedback from a positive thinker. I for one am looking forward to reading your results and hopefully some more posts once you hit the road with your mentor. Keep at it and good luck with all your testing.DocWatson Thanks this.
Oh...Thanks for responding, but I'm the wife...and it was my husband and best friend who did that to me. Oh...and I didn't start Monday. I was suppose to but apparently, I have more permit tests to take. I'm doing this blindly. NO help from anyone and my recruiter was kinda iffy on what exactly I was supposed to have done. But thx! Keep posting. I'm learning.
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