You might be looking for a career change or just to update your current skills. A commercial driving license could open up a new world of employment. There are so many different schools out there though. That coupled with all the different types of licenses might make choosing an academy seems like an impossible decision. It’s really not though.
Swift Truck Driving School could be the company to help you gain that license. They are a well-known company, both in the training and the trucking industry. However, committing to studying for this license requires you to be serious. Before you jump into it, there are a few things you need to consider. You need to make sure that not only is truck driving for you, but also that this is the right school to help you get there.
Who Runs Swift Truck Driving School?
Swift Truck Driving School is an off-shoot of Swift Transportation, which is a transportation company that operates out of Arizona. They’ve been in operation since 1966. It’s a family-run business, first started by Jerry Moyes and his father Carl. They were descendants of the Swift meat-packing company, which is where their name comes from. To this day, it is still a family-run business that tries to employ the same values from its early days.
They started off as a purely transportation company. The company would run Arizona cotton to Los Angeles, and for the return trip, they’d transport steel rods from Los Angeles ports back home. By 1990, they were a multi-million-dollar company. Transport is the company’s main focus, but they also now run an academy to get drivers up to scratch.
They also own Trans-Mex, which is a Mexico-based transport company. By operating across multiple countries, it gives their employees many different opportunities. While they don’t fully own any facilities in Canada, they do still operate across that country. Taking all of that into consideration, they could be considered one of the largest trucking companies in North America.
What Does Swift Truck Driving School Offer?
As a company, Swift employs 16,000 drivers and has more than 16,000 trucks and 60,000 trailers. With numbers like that, you’d like to think they know what they’re talking about when it comes to a commercial driving license.
They offer training towards a Class A commercial driving license. By obtaining one of these, it gives you all you need to work with various truck-trailer combinations, as well as tractor-trailer combinations, livestock carriers and flatbed trucks. You can even operate a tanker trailer if you so wish to.
Let’s break that down even further. By studying and getting a Class A license for commercial truck driving, there’s a number of specific vehicles you’ll be able to drive. These include dry vans, refrigerator trucks, ocean haulers, dedicated transportation trucks and heavy-haul trucks. By getting experience from Swift in all these models, it really opens up your options when it comes time to find employment.
The biggest positive to beginning your journey with Swift Truck Driving School is that you are basically guaranteed work once you graduate. They offer this training in the hope of getting the best drivers for their own companies. Once you work for Swift as well, there is the opportunity for tuition reimbursement. With tuitions nowadays being very expensive, this is a clear bonus.
As they pride themselves in being a top-of-the-range company, the trucks they use are equipped with first-grade technical equipment and instruments. This means you will be learning the trucking trade on the best equipment available. With such a high number of trucks though, you will also get to practice driving a variety of trucks that they own in-house.
While getting work after studying is clearly the main bonus, there’s an added bonus that comes with working for a company like this. They allow all employees to take a furry friend on the road with them. That’s something that is sure to attract many people and also help to keep you awake if you’ve been on the road for long hours.
You may not want to work for them though, which is fine. They are such a well-known company that even if you don’t want to work for Swift, your skills will be looked on kindly when interviewing with other companies.
As Swift Truck Driving School only offers training in certain areas, this could make life difficult for some people. These areas include the following:
- North Lewiston, Idaho
- Richmond, Virginia
- Corsicana, Texas
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Phoenix, Arizona
As hands-on experience is definitely needed to gain this license, if you don’t live in one of these areas, you would need to relocate to complete the training. That may pose some problems for certain applicants.
The reimbursement of fees could be quite an attractive feature when considering this academy. It’s important to note though that this reimbursement comes with a few conditions. The first and most important is that to receive it you are required to work for the company for a minimum of 3 years.
This locks you into the company, and there is not much room for adjustment with that. It means you need to be certain of your situation and be happy to stay where you are. This might not work for everyone and it requires a big commitment, but at least there should be a lot more routes than training facilities for you to choose.
There are also some industry regulations that the company strictly enforces. In order to receive a license, you have to meet conditions. These include no DUI convictions for at least 5 years, no avoidable accidents in the last 12 months and no more than 2 total accidents in the last 5 years. You are also required to be at least 23 years of age, unless you have served in the military, in which case you only need to be 21 years old.
As per industry standards, there is also extensive drug and alcohol testing, both during the training and on the job after graduation.
The Final Word
While the cons may seem extensive, it’s important to understand that a lot of them are industry standard. Once you graduate, you will be responsible for big, potentially dangerous equipment. That’s why they are so strict, and it’s why you should be too.
When it comes to training with Swift Truck Driving School, they have an extensive history. They’ve been around for over 60 years and by choosing them, they’ll be showing you things that they know work. They are a loyal company, as shown through the guaranteed job and tuition reimbursement program.
It’s simply the locations of the training that could pose a problem for those who are considering studying with them. It’s one thing for us to tell you that the benefits of the company would outweigh that, but the final decision comes down to what is better for you as a person.
By studying for this license, you are getting yourself into something that could potentially be a lifelong and very rewarding career. This training is your first taste of that, so consider it from all angles. By doing this, you will make sure that it really is the best option for you.
Swift Transport School Locations
2450 S. Business Highway 45
Corsicana, TX 75110
1428 Seventh Avenue North
Lewiston, ID 83501
1940 East Brooks Road
Memphis, TN 38116
2200 S. 75th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85043
2841 Charles City Road
Richmond, VA 23231