Comments By Glenbob

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  • Glenbob
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Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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What to do about the driver shortage?

I found the FMCSA report of 75+k CDL holders who tested positive or alcohol incidence in 2020/2021 staggering. Coupled with the average age of professional drivers could factor into a perceived shortage.

As newbie I’m 62 and know I don’t have many years to go but being willing to work goes along way. Out of my orientation class in January I’m the only one that completed the hiring process. Since that date the terminal has retrieved four trucks from drivers. Two trainees quit during the OTR training. I haven’t been around long enough to have history of the industry. However, as a business owner myself I know the challenges of hiring and retaining the current generation of workers. After 12 yrs of trying to get others to work. I sold out to my partners. The hiring pool of workers with good work ethic is shallow. competition for there service is sought across all industries. A quick google search will provide interesting articles concerning retention in the trucking industry.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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First year solo. Knight Flatbed

Don’t beat yourself up. I watched a million miler reset his set up four times for a wide spot at the terminal last week. I haven’t tried the angled spots yet. When your tired and beating yourself up know YOU have made a difference for me. Take care of yourself, stay safe. Everyone says one day it will click. My TopGun instructor drilled us to “drive the tandems” as every setup will be different. His saying was get the tandems straight in the hole then follow them in. I still need practice myself but once that clicked it’s sure helped. I understand that our terminals are planned get simulator’s in the future. If you have the opportunity to utilize one I highly recommend giving it a try.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Knight Training at last.

Who is your trainer?

Jeremy he’s been great. We’ve made a 3 stop SE run and just returned from 3 stop SW run all wagon. Jason is trying to set up a tarp run next week. I’ve been driving daily to the point of using all but 15-20 of clock. The 600+ mile day was a little hard on my old body but know I’m capable if needed.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Considering joining the trucking world

If you should decide on SWIFT ask your recruiter about attending their Top Gun school. As a newbie myself I had the privilege to attend 2 weeks ago. It does wonders for your confidence. Again having just gone through the search process myself. All major players are going to be fairly inline as far as new trainees go. You may see things online that give the impression of great pay, benefits, bonuses etc.. keep in mind not everything is as advertised. General based upon OTR experience and regional demands. Example I live in NW FL limited opportunities for a rookie. If lived 40 miles away in Mobile AL opportunities with 4 more companies become available. (Roehl, Schneider, Werner, PTL) all said out of there recruiting area due to lanes and home time routing. In the end followed the advice found here on the TT site. Went with a company that meet 90% of what I was looking for. Wages and benefits on par for a newbie. Had a few hiccups in the onboarding that all worked out for the best. A week on the road with my trainer and I know the right decision was made in my case. Bottom line don’t make decisions based on online company reviews. Do your own inquiry. (I visited terminals, spoke with drive managers, shop workers and viewed equipment myself, vice depending solely on recruiters spill). Make the best of which ever you choose.

Good luck with you endeavors.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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I have a terrible driving record, drug user and criminal record …………,

Bruce, as a newbie here myself I’ve already become amused with some of these. Although new to the trucking industry having 40+years of employment / management requiring drug test, personal behavior parameters and overall all clean records. I can say I’ve seen this mindset more often than you would believe. Concept of personal responsibility, actions and consequences are an after thought for a large part of our population. My humble opinion.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Food at truck stops

I have to confess even prior to the big truck I’m a fan of Love’s counter of fresh fruit, salads and the grilled chicken. My complaint is consistency across locations. The newer locations seem to be better setup with healthy options. I can’t seem to fuel without out a chicken sandwich:).

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Knight Training at last.

We should have bought lottery tickets! Left shipper after strapping headed to Tx. Clock down to last hour and looking for a parking spot. Several we had pre-planned did not work out 28 minutes left we pull into a Love’s it’s PACKED, drive, lot next door, 3x at the scales figure nothing to lose as I snake through fuel area jam head to circle the back. Low and behold about 6 sports along the side and there it was beautiful empty spot. Eased up expecting a 4 wheeler jammed in it. No, the good Lord was blessing us it was empty! Easy pull-up straight line into it 16 mins remaining. Right at 580 mile drive for me and a pickup needless today my old body is tired today. Two drops remaining and head home for the weekend.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Knight Training at last.

Been on the road for three days now with my trainer. He’s a great guy! The hours are long. Takes a little getting used to Used all but 34mis of my 11. Backing is coming to me. First run 3 stops S. Fl, last delivery was ugly location to get out of. Blind side back with limited nose swing. Conestoga this trip, headed back to shipper for run West with another Connie. Trainer has requested Tarps for next week for my experience (not his :) ). Looks like weekend in hotel while he takes 36. Will update our next’s trip at the hotel, my drive clock ⏰ almost refreshed time to take the wheel to Delhi.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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A Week In The Life Of A Flatbed Driver

I know this is a 8+ year old post. However, I just stumbled across it this morning and after a day of honey do’s finished reading. I wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU Old School! A lot of good insight still I’m sure. Head out with trainer tomorrow. This helps with getting the mindset adjusted :).

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Gut instincts and do you listen to them?

As you know I’m newbie here. In my previous careers be it personal safety, judging someone’s ability to preform task (explosive handler) treating the public honestly, dealing with children or life in general. l found more often than not they “gut instincts” are not wrong. Like you sometimes I fret over why. Often later on it became clearer and I’d just smile to myself. Hardest thing for me is not to second guess them. Sure every now and then you get one wrong and you may never know why just roll with it.

In the safety classes for real estate professionals we taught “go with your instincts” was on the top of the list.

Stay safe.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Knight Training at last.

double-quotes-start.png

Thanks I've been following you since I signed on. Your documentation of experience has help me more than you know. I have had the discussion about going out with a dry van trainer the "shadowing" a FB driver for a cupule weeks. I stood firm that was setting me up for failure. My conversation ended with I'll drive what I train in. I was promised a FB trainer we'll see how that goes. I did get to go to the Top Gun course hopefully my backing will not go down the drain with split tandems :).

double-quotes-end.png

I'm glad it helped out. It's somewhat disappointing to hear this could be a company wide issue with flatbed training. Hopefully your terminal will actually have you shadow a driver for a week. Like OldSchool said and I agree, Knights flatbed work isn't hard compared to other flatbed companies but it would be less of a strain if they would train rookie drivers.

Two tips I have for you right now. Listen to OldSchool, Chief Brody and the other flatbed drivers on here. They are very very helpful and experienced. The other, buy a winch winder. Your wrists and hands will greatly appreciate it lol.

Good luck and be safe.

Thanks, talked with terminal manager today, looks like I’m headed out with trainer Sunday/Monday. The information on this sight is priceless. I’ve tried to absorb everything OS, CB, others have said and the articles Brett and folks have put out there to help us newbies. Due to my OCD and over achieving desire for knowledge of anything undertaken (according to wife of 36yrs) I often dig deeper than required then second guess myself. Hopefully, getting on the road and behind the wheel will slow me down some. Stay safe, hope to meet you on the road.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Sage truck driving school...

Welcome James! Ironically, I just told my wife last night after watching the training the company was providing to students this week. If I had it to do over I'd go the company paid sponsored program. The basis for that is: More in-depth training vice bare minimum to pass the state CDL exam. Company 4 full weeks classroom & range, My school 13 days not counting two test days (permit/license) road driving opportunities shared by 17 students in 2 road worthy trucks 1 manual 1 auto. Current model equipment, Training Aids. Company 2yr old Sleeper Cab, road worthy trailer, mock-ups of systems, current training materials, My School old South Eastern day cabs restricted to off road use, bent trailer no doors, operational landing gear, working air or electrical systems, No training aids, course material was an older copy of the state CDL handbook. Company reimbursement for CDL school. In my search as a newbie myself I've discovered a big disconnect between advertised amount and what's paid. Example, We will reimburse up to $6,500 of your cost even if paid by VA. Reality, paid at the rate of $45 per pay period. Most new drivers will not stay with a starter company long enough to see a real return. I only found one company offering reimbursement to folks who had been previously employed by another trucking company. As everyone has told me, you need to stay with your first company for a year.

Good luck with which ever route you choose. There are companies that do not require a contract.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Knight Training at last.

TOP GUN update. Attended the Training Center located at the Memphis Swift Terminal. Stayed in the Freightliner Condos didn't turn the bunk heater on till the the ice storm rolled in. Slept great, had a nice Memory Form mattress. Hey, in my Navy days we'd bunked 3 ppl in that much space. Side note, rookie mistake saw that an alarm was already set for 5 am on the in dash system thought great hit OK. Did not check time zone, so at 4 am I had my choice of showers. Class runs 6:30 till ? M-F. Class room and simulators are available 24hrs with student access. Daytime is spent between completing modules on the simulators and applying skills learned on the range. Classes start weekly, up to 8 students (Memphis). Sadly, only 3 show up, me and two SWIFTies for our class. Next weeks class of 8 was already down to 5 as of Thursday. What a missed opportunity. Due to small class size and afterhours availability I was able to complete 86 simulator sessions covering. Blind Side and Sight Side backing and Docking using Straight, 45 & 90 setups. BS/SS Parallel Parking, BS/SS Serpentine Backing through barrels, City Driving, your are going to hit something its just a matter of when. And multiple delivery scenarios. backed around shipping containers, dumpsters, cones, barrels, cars and even super truckers buzzing around you. Mountain and Inclement Weather Driving where again you are going to experience Jack-Knife and Skids. Other scenarios and courses covering the basis Defensive Driving, Fatigue Awareness, Lane Position/Changing, watch ALL your mirrors that darn motorcycle comes from nowhere! I was able to complete 51 maneuvers on the range. In the evenings after a quick bite to eat I went back into the class room and worked with the simulator until 9-9:30. A couple of nights the instructor told me “don’t stay all night, go get some rest”. Wednesday night one came in and saw me Blind Side Parallel Parking and stated “we don’t teach that”, my reply was “that’s ok I figured it out myself using the the skills you guys taught me” (even got to demonstrate on the range). After reviewing the computer and seeing that I’d already done three successful parks, (nicely done I might add) he said “I might as well demonstrate”. There was very little difference between his demo and my method. After becoming bored with Parking I moved to Level 6 Backing (very tight, lots of obstacle's, blind 90’s, small delivery areas nothing straight). Told Instructor's the next morning how difficult it was, neither could believe I ventured there. After reviewing the computer they told me most students don’t make it very deep into Level 5 much less successfully complete Level 6 in their first attempt. Not that difficult if you paid attention. This experience really helped boost my confidence with a 53” trailer. I would encourage any Knight or SWIFT newbies to request this course, talk with your recruiter. There is very little info available on line you will need to be proactive in pursuing. You’ll learn to do a Horseshoe using only 1/4 turns of the wheel, parking just a few feet from where you originally started. Actually, everything taught is 1/4 turns.

I don’t share this to brag. I share to show what can gotten out of it. Neither, of my classmates put forth effort and it showed big time! I'm a rookie at truck driving, 30+ yrs training people in other professions. This is a get what you put into it course. an old phrase I used with previous career "those who do get, those who don't oh well" holds true here.

Hopefully, I'll hear sometime today from my TM/DM what's in store next.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Knight Training at last.

Congratulations and good luck. As a rookie flatbed driver for Knight, I will be following

Thanks I've been following you since I signed on. Your documentation of experience has help me more than you know. I have had the discussion about going out with a dry van trainer the "shadowing" a FB driver for a cupule weeks. I stood firm that was setting me up for failure. My conversation ended with I'll drive what I train in. I was promised a FB trainer we'll see how that goes. I did get to go to the Top Gun course hopefully my backing will not go down the drain with split tandems :).

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Got my first informal reprimand but not for anything driving related.

“”””Im still dumbfounded at the lack of training and cohesion on the flatbed program and hopefully your experiences can be a catalyst to get them to change some. I would be skeptical but if OS said they could use better training, and Ive heard it from others there that I have talked with, It seems to be an issue. I take pride in Knight and enjoy working there. Hopefully they can make the changes needed.”””

Davy, I have to say as a new hire same thing with flatbed, “going to put you with a van trainer then let you shadow a FB for a few weeks”. Being aware of TwoSides adventures. Told them that that wasn’t going to work, that was setting me up for failure. I didn’t get attitude with it just remained firm. It took most of a day to get back with me. Solution so far was to send me to Top Gun for a week, then 2 was with FB trainer. Finished TG today, no word from anyone yet as to the trainer side. My conversation pretty much ended with I’ll drive what I train in. It’s not just Semi’s with the Adpt Cruise and Lane Departure issues my 18 F150 is a nightmare. So frustrated last night driving back from Memphis in the rains I finally pulled over and disabled it in the system setup. I can only imagine the headache I’m headed for.

I was also looking at the FB page, think I’ll forgo for now. Thanks for the heads up on the monitoring.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Driver Pulse

I would recommend logging into the tensteet program directly and doing the full application. Once I did that started receiving communication from companies I had not contacted or considered. You can also upload documents that most are going to ask for. Several companies I submitted to either never responded or received the “recruiter assigned” message. I will say response; a call, email or text was about 50/50. Two companies I was really interest in would not respond to calls or email from me but would show status changes in Pulse. I had 3 recruiters for the company that finally brought me on board. First two not really impressive finally got the military/veteran recruiter who was great.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Driver Pulse

Has anyone here used it?

Pretty much my entire hiring process with Knight was processed through Pulse App/ tenstreet. All of the companies applied with required signing documents through that system.

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Knight Training at last.

Thanks for the reply. I still don't have an ETA on getting my unit replaced/repaired. I even asked about getting a different model and was told no dice. Thats sort of frustrating. My unit is like 3 years old and does have all the remote reporting capability to the VA as well as the app which syncs with Bluetooth on my phone. I will probably be parked for 30+ days before I start CDL training if the Dr is a hard-ass and wants data because I will have to buy a new unit out of pocket. I have lost nearly 20 pounds since i stopped using it cuz my wife was all over me about my weight. Maybe I don't bring it up if they don't after they poke and prod me and dont see a reason to order a sleep study. Then I press on once I get my replaced/repaired unit in hand.

I tried the buying one out of pocket route myself. Could not find one in stock. As far as omitting during medical exam IMO don’t. Yes, there are probably people who cheat the system everyday no doubt. However, if discovered it could end your career before it ever begins and permanently at that. Not trying to tell you what to do, the below is copied from FMCSA’s web page. It just wasn’t worth the risk to me.

“The FMCSA medical certification process is designed to ensure drivers are physically qualified to operate commercial vehicles safely. Each driver is required to complete the Health History section on the first page of the examination report and certify that the responses are complete and true. The driver must also certify that he/she understands that inaccurate, false or misleading information may invalidate the examination and medical examiner’s certificate.

“FMCSA relies on the medical examiner’s clinical judgment to decide whether additional information should be obtained from the driver’s treating physician. Deliberate omission or falsification of information may invalidate the examination and any certificate issued based on it. A civil penalty may also be levied against the driver under 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(b), either for making a false statement of for concealing a disqualifying condition.

In addition to what is clearly stated by the federal government, general legal principles apply. As a truck driver, you owe it to the public to refrain from driving if you cannot do so safely. As soon as an accident occurs, lawyers will be combing through your medical records. In 2015, a driver was involved in a fatal crash in Minnesota. He had denied his diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea to his medical examiner on multiple occasions. His lying to medical examiners contributed heavily to his ultimate sentence of 3 years in prison. Courts have ruled that If they can prove that you had a medical condition contributing to an accident that was not documented in your DOT physical you will be held criminally responsible. It is not worth it to lie or omit facts on your DOT physical. Just don’t do it”

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Medical emergency

Had similar issue several years ago mine was 399. Sent Dr high right. Gave me 60 days to work on it with diet. Remember being happy at 240 and coming down. Went on South Beach III maintenance, basically Nothing white, no flour, no sugar, no pasta, no potatoes. Lost 45lbs in roughly 4-6 mos and blood glucose has maintained below 115. I can eat a baked potato and watch it spike for two days. Dr said he didn’t care how much I ate but what. Been heavy all my life SB III was the first time It didn’t feel like I was starving. Best of luck will keep you in thoughts and prayers.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Knight Training at last.

Congrats on your progress ! Im trying to get my ducks in a row to get started with my CDL training. My question to you. Ive got a VA supplied CPAP that's in the middle of a huge recall process. Manufacturer as well as VA told me not to use it until its repaired/replaced. I was in total compliance till i had to shut it down. I can pull the reports from the app that show compliance when I go for my DOT physical. Did it seem your Dr. was willing to work with you or was it a total shutdown?

thanks !!

The Dr doing the company DOT exam was cool. She stated that I was “Compliant”. However, company Safety Dept would not waiver on the compliance report or the ability to monitor remotely. Like you I had the same machine only mine died while waiting on the replacement (VA estimated June 2022). I was using a machine from 2001 which would not produce the reports or availability for remote monitoring. I picked up the new machine (paid for by TRICARE) signed the release for them to monitor. Once the machine updated with the previous nights results and they reviewed them the hiring process started moving forward. Based on my experience would recommend obtain a prescription for a new machine. Then ordering one through one of the medical supply companies in your area. The old machines that were recalled are not capable of being monitored via cellular or Bluetooth technology. If replaced with a repaired model of the same machine your still stuck 10-15 yr old technology. The 2 major carriers I tried to work with both wanted the ability to monitor. The supplier I used moved me up the list when they found out I needed it for a DOT physical to work.

Bottom line is going to be: Are you compliant it’s a yes or no question. On another note the new ResMed 11 is awesome 👏 wish I’d upgraded years ago.

Good luck with it, especially if going through the VA.

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