My Swift Driving Academy Experience

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by Kalak, Jan 26, 2014.

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  1. Kalak

    Kalak New Member

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    I started the Swift Driving Academy in Lewiston, ID on 1-06-14. On this thread I will do my best to inform everyone what I am going through and how they teach us to drive these big trucks.

    A little background on me, I'm 38 and spent the last 20 years doing residential construction. After the last few years of little work, a friend of mine threw the Washington state CDL drivers guide at me and told me to read it. After studying it a little I got online for a little research and almost immediately came across TruckingTruth.com. I have truthfully barely even glanced at the state book since. With the help of The High Road Training Program I easily passed all of my permit and endorsement tests, I have even amazed some of the instructors with the knowledge that I have coming in and not having any trucking background at all.

    Coming into Swift I was required to have my CDL permit with the combination vehicle endorsement and air brake restriction removed. I was also required to have my DOT Medical Card and Social Security Card.

    Day 1. Bussed from the Motel to swift at 5:45am. Class starts at 6:00am in the winter. We started out with paperwork, personal info check, SDA (Swift Driving Academy) pre-enrollment check, SDA enrollment agreement, SDA photograph and video release form, Tuition loan agreement ($3,500 at 0% interest paid back by weekly payroll deduction over 13 months with a weekly tuition reimbursement paid to me over 26 months), student housing loan agreement ($500 at 0% interest paid back by weekly payroll deduction over 6 months), and the SDA driving range rules.

    Next we went over to the terminal for the wiz quiz, no hair test. When we got back we were given 3 open book tests on shifting, hours of service, and trip planning. We then started our logbooks, BTW (behind the wheel) form which keeps track of our classroom, backing, shifting, and driving hours.

    Then we were given a copy of our state pre-trip inspection guide and our homework, write out the pre-trip inspection guide WORD FOR WORD, yea that's right word for word. It turns out that some people in previous classes had only been scanning it and not actually reading the thing. Took me until Wednesday and 23 pages but I got it done.

    Day 2. Had a lesson on log book rules and the proper way to fill them out, then was tested on it. Then went to the WA DMV to pick up the CDL test sheet ($100) and spent the rest of the day writing out the Pre-trip.

    Day 3. Started the day with 3 hours of learning how to pre-trip a truck including the sequence that the tester would like to see it done in. Then got put in a truck and learned straight line backing. Did countless trips of pulling forward 100 yards, stop, back up into the box, get out and look, get in, repeat. Did that for 5 hrs. Finished up the day with 2 more hours of pre-tripping.

    Day 4. Started the day with 2 hrs of pre-trip studying. Next it was back into the truck for 3 hrs of straight backing. After lunch I was shown how to do 90 degree backing and off-set backing. I spent the next 3 1/2 hrs off-set backing, pull forward for 100 yards then back up 100 yards while moving left 12 feet and stopping in the box while trying not the kill the cones, get out and look, get back in and return to the starting point. I only managed to kill 2 cones but they're resilient little things and usually pop right back up. After that learning experience we did 1 1/2 hr of pre-trip studying then called it a day. After class I went to the store and bought some index cards and use them to make flash cards of each component of my pre-trip with the name of the part on one side and proper explanation on the other. (Thanks Brett for the idea)

    Day 5. Started with 2 hrs of pre-trip, notice a pattern yet? Then 1 hr on the off-set backing course, I,m getting better but I still need more practice. Next I moved over to the 90 degree backing range. That was a frustrating couple of hours. You'd think that it'd be as easy as turning the wheel one way, letting the trailer swing around, then steering back into it. Unfortunately it just hasn't clicked in my head yet, but I'll get it. One instructor suggested that I buy a toy tractor trailer and draw out the course on paper to help understand how the truck and trailer interact with each other, I'll be picking one up tomorrow. After lunch I went back to the straight line backing for 4 hrs. I've got that down pretty good now. Finished up the day with 2 more hours of pre-trip. After classes I came back to the motel and did a few hours of pre-trip studying.

    Day 6. Today was a classroom day. It started with a SDD (Swift Decision Driving) power point presentation. Pretty basic 10 point defensive driving program. Next came the videos, Eaton Fuller transmissions (witch left most people baffled but I found pretty interesting), mountain driving, downhill driving, commentary driving (which I remember from driver's ed when I was 17) and backing techniques. We also had an officer from the Idaho Port of Entry come in and talk to us about weight limits, off-tracking rules and legal truck routing. Over all it was a very informative day. After class I went out and bought my first 18 wheeler.
     
  2. Kalak

    Kalak New Member

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    Day 7.

    Today was good but really tiring. We started with 2 hrs of per-trip, I'm starting to find my rhythm and getting a flow going from one part to the next without so many stops to check myself . Started backing on the offset for a short time then was moved over to the straight line backing for 1 1/2 hrs, got the hang of that one. Then was put on the 90 degree backing for 4 hrs and I finally figured it out, something just clicked and it dawned on me how to do it. I'm not all to efficient at it yet, I hit it right about 50% of the time, but I know what I did wrong right after I did it and sometimes as I'm doing it . I'll get it with practice so I'm now worried. After driving we were shown how to slide the trailer tandems and the 5th wheel. Then finished up the day with more pre-trip study.

    I'll do more pre-trip study tonight, I'm going to make sure that by the time I take the state test I can spit it out without having to think about it.

    I chose Swift because I wanted to train with a large company. One that hauls different kinds of freight and has opportunities to get into a dedicated route Swift also has comfort zones that they will try to keep you in and I would like to stay in the west, well not so much as to stay in the west but more as to stay out of the northeast. Also I couldn't get the recruiters from Prime, Knight, or FFE to call me back.

    Day 8. Today started with 2 hrs of pre-trip, surprise. I felt pretty comfortable with it this morning. I'm able to go through large sections of it with only a couple of stops to make sure I didn't forget any parts.

    Next I spent an hour practicing the Oregon-Idaho 90 degree backing, they had me hook up one of the Volvos to it and let me tell you, those trucks steer so much better than the Freightliners. Well I've got the 90 licked, I can hit it 90% of the time now.

    After our first brake the fun started. I was taken out on the road and taught how to shift. I picked up the up shifting pretty quick but the down shifting is a little more involved, Clutch in gear out clutch out, tap throttle just hard enough, clutch in gear in clutch out, It seems pretty straight forward to me as I write it out but it took a little while for my feet hand and brain to agree on the sequence of these things but I got it. The instructor, Rick, seemed pretty impresses with how fast I picked it up. Impressed enough to throw in a couple of other exercises, I was told to drive with my tandems 1 foot off the curb along a line in the road and after a few tries I was able to stay there for the most part. I was only out for a little over an hour but I'll get more time at it tomorrow.

    After lunch I was told that I was going to take a practice pre-trip test, so I went through the whole pre-trip only missing a few things. When I was finished the instructor and I went over how I did and what I missed and he asked me if I felt comfortable enough with it to take the Swift pre-trip test. I told him tat since I know what I needed to do to get it right that I would be up to doing it. He then spun his clipboard around and said sign here and congratulations you passed with a 97% score.

    Next it was onto the offset backing test. I went back a little to far and was docked 2 points but that just proves I'm human.

    When I was finished with the offset test I got onto the Washington 90 degree backing course for the first time. After a couple of tries I was able to get it in easily. 45 minutes later an instructor came over and tested me on the 90 degree backing and I nailed it.

    We finished off the day with more pre-trip studying. So, over all today I passed 3 Swift company tests, and got out on the road for the first time. It was a great day.

    Day 9. Today started with, wouldn't you know, pre-trip practice, 2 1/2 hours of it.

    Then Rick, my driving instructor, grabbed me and put me in the truck to practice shifting. Well it just wasn't shifting on the roads around the academy, oh no, we got out onto the highway and took a trip to town. Over bridges, one of which really had me sweating it was so tight, through stop lights, stop signs, residential neighborhoods, school zones, left turns, right turns up hills, and down hills, and all the while I'm trying to remember what gear I'm in, how fast I'm going, what my shift points are, how to shift, and a hundred other things. Needless to say, I was stressed.

    Here I must stop and say that Rick was very patient with me. He kept trying to get me to laugh and relax. He would explain to me what I did wrong and how to correct the problems, even when I tried to up-shift from 4th gear to 3rd gear, funny how that doesn't work all to well. Anyway Rick is a great instructor, I've already learned a lot from him and will continue to.

    After we returned I got to practice the 90 degree backing for almost 3 hours, I've got the hang of that now and can do it 9 times out of 10. The other 10% of the time I turn to soon or to late or the cones just decide to commit suicide and jump under my tires.

    At 1:00 Rick and I went back out on the road for 1 1/2 hours. This time out things went smoother for me but I'm still trying to down-shift without getting my RPMs down first and every now and then I start a turn to soon and my trailer tandems end up on the curb. Rick had me drive down a narrow, twisting road that would be a lot of fun on a motorcycle but the designers had definitely not thought about semi trucks with 53 foot trailers when they built it. I made it through but it was tight.

    Finished out the day with more per-trip study. 9 days down, 8 to go, onward and upward. I'll keep the wheels rollin'.

    Day 10. Started off with Pre-trip as usual but it was 26 degrees out and my feet were frozen. Once we got the trucks warmed up everyone decided to study the in cab portion of the pre-trip.

    I practiced the 90 degree backing for 2 1/2 hours, got it every time but one. Damn cone jumped out and dove under my trailer tire.

    Three of us went out driving with Rick in the afternoon and took turns driving. I did much better on my shifting today there's still room for improvement but I'm getting better. We were told that we won't be driving tomorrow so that they can concentrate their efforts on the other students. So I don't get to drive until monday. Until then I plan on studying my commentary driving form so I know what to do come Monday.

    Finished out the day with a few minutes on the off-set backing course and helping one of the first week guys learn the pre-trip inspection.

    On a sad note we lost one person from our class today. He was really struggling and decided that this wasn't for him. I have to giving him credit for trying, nothing ventured in life nothing gained.

    Day 11. Started the day with 2 hours of Pre-trip study. It was cold again this morning but we had fog as well.

    Then I was put on the 90 degree backing range for an hour, no cone suicides today.

    After break I went out driving with Bill, a new instructor for me, for a little over an hour. He is very laid back, he allowed me to do my thing and told me how to correct my mistakes which were only minor this morning. It was a pretty cool drive.

    After lunch I got to get on the offset backing range for 1 1/2 hours. I had no problems with it at all.

    At 1:00 Rick took my roommate and myself out driving. I got to go first. That was a fun, somewhat stressful, and at times really scary 1 1/2 hours. After driving through town he took us to a small lake to take a break. When we left there he told me to turn left on one road and I knew where we were headed, right for an 18% downgrade. As we approached I asked Rick what gear we should be in and he told me to take it in what I thought was appropriate so I put it 5th gear and started down. As I went down the first part I realized that the hill was getting steeper and steeper and my eyes got bigger and bigger. About this time Rick casually says "I would have put it in one gear lower." Now I'm thinking that I'm in for a hell of a ride. Rick tells me that I can down shift but if I decide to do it then I can't hesitate and to make the shift quickly. So I hold the brakes and get the RPMs down to 600. I managed to get it down shifted but in that 1 1/2 seconds from when I first put in the clutch to when I released it in 4th gear I had a real sick feeling that it was going to end really bad, but all turned out well and I got a big confidence boost. About 20 minutes later as I was following Rick's directions we were approaching the airport and he told me to turn right. He said that this is a fun road. Now, I've learned that when Rick says something like that it's time to get ready for a challenge, and I wasn't disappointed. It turned out to be an extremely narrow, twisted, hilly road. I most definitely had my hands full just steering and keeping the trailer tandems on the pavement but you throw in the shifting, oncoming traffic, and trying to keep my speed up and I was almost frantic. I managed to keep my cool and afterwards found that I enjoyed it and now I'm looking forward to whatever Rick has in mind for me next.

    When we got back to the Academy we had a class on shifting and emergency procedures as well as commentary driving, which we start on Monday. We finished up the day with more pre-trip study. Tomorrow is a classroom day.
     
  3. Kalak

    Kalak New Member

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    Day 13. Today was the first day of road training. I have Scott as a driving instructor now instead of Rick. We left the terminal at 6:30, I was the first of the 3 of us to drive. My shifting this morning was a little slow so Scott had me shift from 2nd gear to 8th gear back down to 2nd then up to 8th over and over and over again, needless to say I now have no problem shifting. After almost 2 hours it was time for the other guys to drive. We came back to the Academy at 11:00 for lunch then it was back to it. I drove for 2 more hours with no major problems, I just need to work on my recovery gears but I'll get it. Tomorrow we get to start commentary driving, that will be an interesting experience.

    Day 14. The day started out with pre-tripping the road truck. Then away we went with James at the wheel. At 9:30 it was my turn to drive. I did pretty good this morning, only a couple of things I need to work on. After 1 1/2 hours we took a lunch break. At 12:45 it was my turn again, for the next 2 hours I was put through my paces. I was told that tomorrow I will be doing the Swift driving test and on Thursday I will be taking the State tests. I just have to remember to start down shifting a little earlier and calling out my mirror checks and I'll be fine.

    I did a lot of in town driving today and about 30 miles out on the highway. I really enjoyed the highway driving and am looking forward to the day I'll be getting paid to do it. But first things first, I'll concentrate on tomorrow then on Thursday and then we'll see what the future has in store.

    Day 15. After pre-tripping the road truck We set out at 6:30 this morning with me behind the wheel. Right from the start It went wrong. I couldn't shift, remember to check my mirrors, couldn't even remember to stop far enough back to see the stop lines at intersections. I thought that my Swift company driving test was going to be an absolute disaster.

    After the other 2 in the truck got a chance to drive we came back to the Academy and took a break. At 10:00 Scott came out and asked me if I was ready, what was I going to say? No? So off we go and it started off well good shifts, stops, nice tracking down the road. As we entered town I missed a downshift coming up to a turn, turns out I wasn't required to shift to 3rd to go around every corner. So I started to get nervous. To combat the nervousness I figured that I'd try commentary driving. The problem with this is that it ended up distracting me, I started forgetting to check both of my mirrors during my turns and that cost me points. I ended up losing 11 points but passing with 89%.

    After lunch I spent 45 minutes practicing both the 90 degree and off-set backing in preparation for tomorrow. I nailed them both 4 times straight right from the start so I jumped out and walked away before I screwed myself up on them. I spent the rest of the day practicing my pre-trip.

    Tomorrow is the day that is going to really count. The State tester is coming in to test me. Pre-trip, straight line backing, off-set backing, 90 degree backing, and road driving tests. All in 2 1/2 - 3 hours. I'm going to get a good night's sleep, have a good breakfast, and give it my best tomorrow.

    Day 16. The day started with roll call and 1/2 of pre-trip. Then at 7:00 I was called into the office to talk to the state tester. Nervous didn't even cover it.

    PRE-TRIP; I started with the Exhaust, and from there I went around to the engine on the passenger side then the driver's side. Next was the from the Tires, in through the Brakes to the Suspension. Checked the Doors and the Emergency equipment then moved on to the rear of the tractor, Frame, Drive tandems, and 5th wheel set-up. Next was the Trailer, then the In cab. All of which I passed with only 3 points docked from me.

    Skills tests; Straight backing, Off-set backing, 90 degree backing, Nailed them all!

    Driving test; Started off great, no gear grinding or anything. Then I thought things went to crap. I got nervous and thought that I was missing things and that only made things worse for me mentally. About a quarter of the way into my test I was told to do an Emergency stop.

    Once I had explained the procedure, I had decided to let it go as it will and to drive as I was taught. Went pretty well until I came to a stale green light in 6th gear that changed on me and I downshifted to 5th and came to a stop. I pulled it down into 2nd but I forgot to do one thing. (how many are laughing at me now?) for those who don't know there is a switch that changes the transmission from low to high range. I didn't flip that switch down, and stalled the truck right there.

    When we finally returned he asked me how I thought I had done. I told him I thought that as long as he didn't fail me for stalling I had passed but just barely. Turns out that he was grading that intersection so stalling cost me a point but wasn't an auto-fail. I was dinged 9 points total so I had passed with a 97%. Out of 300 points I could miss 30 and still pass.

    So long story short, I was given my Commercial Driver School Certification, and will be attending Swift orientation in Sumner, WA on 2-4-14.

    Day 17. Final day Woo Hoo! After roll call Brandon and I went across the river to Clarkston, WA to the DMV and got our official CDL licences. I am now a professional truck driver and have the licence to prove it.

    The rest of the day was long and time seemed to crawl along. I went over my pre-trip inspection 5 or 6 times then just sat in a truck until it was time to leave.

    I came back to the hotel and packed my bags. I have my bus ticket home and leave tomorrow morning at 6:00.

    If anyone who reads this is looking into getting into the truck driving industry and lives in Oregon, Idaho, or Washington, I would very much recommend coming to the Swift Driving Academy in Lewiston, ID. Yes it is fast paced, but the instructors know their jobs and are VERY good at them. 3 weeks ago I had sat in the passenger seat of an 18 wheeler twice in my life. Today I am confident that I can drive one safely. Do I have more to learn? Of course, I haven't even scratched the surface of what I will learn, but the instructors have given me a solid base to build upon, and I want to thank each and every one of them for what they have done for me.
     
  4. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    you are in NO WAY a professional truck driver...

    if anything at all, you are a professional student, till you get your experience....

    now this..



    personally, i think it was very stupid to say to you to downshift, once that truck was going down hill...you should have asked sooner what gear. i guess the trainer is also a student....

    dumb, dumb thing to tell a student, who is already nervous, and trying to down shift WHILE going down a hill...

    the chances of you blowing that shift were surmountable....this time, you survived, next time..??

    don't get cocky over this, cuz some day....it's gonna bite you, and you will miss that downshift..
     
  5. Kalak

    Kalak New Member

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    Do you Know the definition of a professional is? Following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain.

    As for Rick showing me how to downshift on a hill, When in my life am i supposed to learn how to do it? When I'm loaded and the truck pops out of gear and I have to recover into a higher gear then figure it out on my own? You say that it was a dumb move, I am grateful that he had the foresight and was willing to teach me something that may save my life or the lives of others.
     
  6. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    20 yrs ago I left Stevens Transport school feeling I was a professional driver. Wow was I in for a reality check. Not being negative this driving thing put my wife through college and takes care of some of the bills. Professional out of school NO WAY, still at this stage 20yrs later I sign on here and learn a thing or 2, and every day behind that wheel I learn something new.
     
  7. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    you ARE NOT a professional yet, if you ever will be...

    chances of you staying in the industry past 6 months are slim once you get out on your own...

    that was the dumbest thing a trainer (another student) could have ever taught you..

    once you have started to descend down that grade, you should have already been in the proper gear. you do this BEFORE you start you down grade, not during it..

    he taught you a dangerous move, and i can assure you that this will be your doom in the future, as right now, you already sound "cocky" to me..

    he..this idiot of a trainer, should be fired. this is why Swift, Werner, Western Express, and a few other mega-carriers have a terrible safety record. i can assure you too, that should you get into an accident due to his training, you will be fired....you learned a dangerous move, try it again, you will lose control, crash and burn...
     
  8. Kalak

    Kalak New Member

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    I know that there is a difference between being a professional and having experience. Being a professional means getting paid for what you do. Acting professional is just that, how you act, how you dress, how you interact with those around you. Experience will come in time but until then I can only drive safely and do as I was taught and continue to learn as much as I possibly can.
     
  9. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    My only "real" advice is to be calm drive slow and know where you are going
     
  10. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    he's gonna drive a Swift truck....they are already slow, unless they downshift while going down a mountain...as apparently they teach them in that school....

    can you say.."Georgia Over-Drive"..????
     
  11. Kalak

    Kalak New Member

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    So please tell me, what is a driver to do if the unthinkable happens and the truck comes out of gear while going down a pass? I know about recovery gears and was taught how to recover. But after you recover and are now in to high of a gear then what? You make it sound like I plan on making it a habit to shift on down grades, that is not what I was taught, what Rick showed me was to let me know what can be done in a situation that hopefully never happens.
     
  12. kantgetryte

    kantgetryte Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on your new profession and if and when you get out in the fleet don't ask another noob any questions seek out the driver who has his act togeather they are easy to spot,good luck and remember it's one mile at a time
     
  13. RacerX69

    RacerX69 Retired Gear Jammer/IBEW Retired/Wingnut

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    Congratulations Kalak. You now have many miles of learning ahead of you.

    It sounds like they are pretty thorough at that school, focusing on the basics of operating a big truck, and that should help you as you learn trucking.

    I have been driving since the early 70's, and drove my first big truck not long after that. It had little power, crappy brakes, and no Jake brake. Oh, and it had 3 gearshift levers. A main box, and 2 auxiliary boxes. You think you get confused with the swift 9 speed? :clapping:

    The shifting should become second nature soon, and you will do it without thinking about it. When you occasionally miss a gear, getting back where you need to be will simply happen.

    As far as forgetting when to turn and running the trailer tandems over the curb, just think what it will be like when you start pulling flatbed freight and get one of these:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The overall length was just a few inches under 100 feet, and notice that the tandems are all the way at the back. I pulled that load from Portland, OR to Thetford Mines, Quebec, a distance of about 3,200 miles.

    Oh, and notice that there is only a few inches of ground clearance under the trailer. Try dragging that over a curb!

    Good luck when you get to Sumner!
     
  14. RacerX69

    RacerX69 Retired Gear Jammer/IBEW Retired/Wingnut

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    What I would do if I found myself in a situation like that would be to bring the rig to a stop as safely as I could. Today's trucks have much better brakes than they used to, and provided you haven't let the speed get out of hand the brakes should be able to stop the thing. Then, after getting stopped and safely off the road (not the shoulder either) I would sit for a bit and asses my situation.

    If the transmission is coming out of gear you should have already become aware of it.

    If you feel safe to proceed after letting the brakes cool down then resume your trip, and let the engine brake carry you down the rest of the grade, and don go into the gear that is problematic. Send a message to the Mother Ship telling them there is a mechanical issue that affects the safe operation of the rig and request guidance on how to get the issue resolved.

    Even when the dispatcher pushes you to roll, remember, you are the one who has the final say on the operation of the truck, and if you truly feel it is unsafe to operate then no one should be able to force you to run.
     
  15. pilot87

    pilot87 Well-Known Member

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    Best of Luck to you Mr Kakak in your new career!

    It sounds like you have been taught the basics well and the training was pretty comprehensive.. ... the rest is "on the job" training...which will, or should, encompass the rest of your Career.......I say that after nearly 30 years of Driving Experience.... and just to respond to a point you made to another poster....You are correct in that there is a difference between "experience" and being a "professional"... The Road is full of drivers that have "experience" but yet drive with no regard for themselves or others, tailgating...driving to fast for conditions ect..., that is NOT being a professional...... we all see them everyday on the road as will you....Don't look to those as "role models" and emulate their behavior..

    Think, and put Safety first....you'll do fine!
     
  16. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    It's a safe bet to go down the grade in a lower gear than you went up it with. If you went up the grade in 7th, you want to go down in 6th. This way you use the transmission to keep the truck slow instead of the brakes. Once you select your gear, DO NOT TOUCH THE SHIFTER UNTIL YOU CLEAR THE PASS, unless you need to stop.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

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    Ignore everyone. Just throw that beast into neutral and let her roll! YEEEEEEHAAAAAA!!!!!
     
  18. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    you do realize (don't you..???) that some of Swift's driver trainers are still students themselves with nary 4-6 months experience..???

    oh yeah...what an "on the job training" he will be getting towards his career......

    betcha that happens in "real life".....!!!.......:hide:........be the last time too......
     
  19. pilot87

    pilot87 Well-Known Member

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    I was responding to and based my remarks on what Mr Kalak wrote regarding his experience in the Swift Program....and to me it sounded like the basics were covered to a satisfactory extent.... I know you take exception to the part about downshifting after your already descending the grade...and I can't say as if I disagree.....however it seems to me that Mr Kalak also agrees that it should not be done as a "routine" practice...so I don't think you need to be to concerned about that becoming a safety issue.....The rest of his description sounds like he was given the basics so as to be able to gain experience in a safe manner......Keep in mind that there are many accidents each year that involve Experienced drivers. Sometimes experience can breed complacency and that can prove to be a greater danger....

    There is NO training program that will be able to "train" anyone to the experience level of someone that has been driving for many years....So to your point of Swift instructors having only 4 to 6 months experience......Number one....How do you know that is true of all of Swift trainers? and specifically to Mr Kalaks trainers...... And even if that were to be the case....It doesn't take 5, 10 or more years of experience to teach someone how to pre-trip a vehicle.....or how to shift etc....There are a lot of drivers out there that always like to take Swift, or the other so called "training Companies" to task....but often overlook the fact that the vast majority of those drivers do just fine and gain valuable experience...safely......

    Most everyone learns something "new" along the course of their Driving careers.....Everyone is exposed to different circumstances and situations and it is accumulated experience that will determine the outcome.....and that experience is usually a matter of proper judgment...rather than the actual physical "operation" of the vehicle..... and that is a large part of the "on the job" training" that I mentioned....and the "quality" of such "training" can only be determined by the attitude of the person involved.....and that is something that will come into play long after the Class room......

    From reading the account of Mr Kalaks Experience during training....he comes off, in my opinion, as having a good attitude about what he has learned and that is only the beginning....

    I believe that he will be successful as a driver for as long as he wishes...and I only wish to encourage him to be the best....and wish him the best of luck going forward.....
     
  20. RacerX69

    RacerX69 Retired Gear Jammer/IBEW Retired/Wingnut

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    +1!

    Great post Pilot. I agree 100%. The n00b give the impression that he has a very good attitude toward this new path in his life, and it appears that he has a good foundation to build upon.

    One thing he needs from all of us is a sympathetic ear and whatever honest and straightforward answers that we can give should he ask us any questions.

    Kalak's posts are articulate and well composed, indicating to me that he has a good head on his shoulders. I am eager to read of his progress, and expect that he will be a great example for his fellow Swifties to follow.
     
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