Profile For ArcticWolves

ArcticWolves's Info

  • Location:
    Whittier, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 8 months ago

ArcticWolves's Bio

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Posted:  10 months, 1 week ago

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Knight Transportation, in Phoenix, in July. What the ...... was I thinking?

Congratulations on passing everything! Now forget the seams/cracks in the ground, the pizza slices in the landing the gear, and the Ricki Lakes you learned. That all goes out the window Knight did you a big disservice by not teaching the most important backing skill, the 45 degree/90 degree setup.

Sure they give you a fool proof way of passing your test to get your cdl but now the real learning begins with your trainer. I just hope you get a patient trainer and one that actually wants to teach you backing rather than use you for miles. Make sure you tell your trainer you want to back into every situation that you find yourself backing in. Don't let the trainer back. He's there to teach/train you.

I don't learn well when a trainer is telling me left/right/wtf are you doing rocking the truck in reverse (well @^#& those automatics are a ***** to back at times, lol). Don't get discouraged and don't be afraid to call your DDM if it's not working out well with your trainer. I had enough after the last trainer grabbed my horn pull because he couldn't control his road rage even though I was driving😂

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Switching trainer

My first trainer with a "mega" did that on day 1 from California to Utah and once I was in the passenger seat I yanked out my phone and started filming secretly. Then the next day was on the phone with safety and his ass was gone. That is absolutely unacceptable behavior from a guy that calls himself a trainer and should be setting an example for whatever company they work for. Hang in there I had to go through a couple trainers before I got enough experience and just applied at a company that would accept my experience. Got my own truck and learned by myself what the trainers didn't want to teach (backing).

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Schneider Offer

5 days is plenty with a trainer to be honest. The rest is up to you and the only way you learn out here is by doing it yourself without a trainer there to hold your hand so to say. It's all fine and good that you have the trainer but my experience is the trainers at these other 4 to 6 weeks companies just want you for their miles and bonus pay. I didn't have the best experiences with a couple trainers it was so frustrating I put this career on hold for awhile. Now that I'm on my own it's much better. You can absolutely learn all the basics you'll need out here on the road in 5 days. All the extra stuff you will learn what works for you and what doesn't. Practice, Practice, and then practice some more. Every day out here is practice and learning something new. Please get a CB radio asap when you get your own truck so you know if there is a pileup up ahead. That alone can save many people's lives.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Sobering Winter Weather

I'm actually a bit scared of a loaded tractor in snow.

Be scared of an unloaded trailer. Less weight gives you less grip and traction easier to jacknife and slide.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

Lastly, you seem to have a dim view of team driving with a trainer. You say driving long distances is easy. So do you need training while you are sitting in the driver seat and holding the steering wheel? Your trainer expects you to handle the Interstate part easily. They should then be available at terminals and shippers/ receivers to watch and train you in the backing maneuvers that are hard for most people. Team driving with a trainer is the best way to get the rough edges of your newly learned abilities smoothed out.

Team driving is not allowed per Knight Policy during any portion of training. The trainer/trainee is to be awake at all times and the truck is to be treated as it's a Solo operation. This did not happen because I was taken advantage of due to my previous OTR experiences as a charter bus driver. They knew I would drive miles and so we were given miles that could not be done as a solo operation. I didn't complain because I don't like to be that kind of person. I realize it's just like my old tour bus job where I was threatened my job if I didn't do something (sometimes illegal hours). I just need to speak up but I don't like causing waves because I've found that sometimes screws me and I'm not worked for a few days sometimes weeks. Unfortunately that's been my experiences. :( Somehow though the dispatchers at Knight think it's a team operation and it's not. It's clearly plastered all over the papers we sign before hire and even on their site (it's a selling point) that they train as a solo operation with your trainer.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

Ronald...do you have your CDL?

Yes I have had a CDL-B for 7 years prior to getting my CDL-A (knight training program) in March 2018.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

Okay G-Town you win :). You're right I got my Class A license by avoiding the dreaded Alley docking skill by going to Knight Squire program. I didn't seem to struggle with it at Roadmasters but when I took my DMV test I aced everything except that stupid thing. I practiced over and over and over at Roadmasters till they kicked me off the truck yet when it came time to do that one maneuver at the CA dmv I kept hitting the cone barrier with my tractor on the right. So you're right I have nobody to blame but myself for this. I eventually did get my Class A by avoiding this part of the skill test as not every state tests on that. I thought I'd take Knight up on the offer of learning it out on the road. I have since not had that experience but I guess I'll just go find another school to work with me on it (refresher training).

I guess it's all mental because I failed it when it mattered most (on my CA Dmv test 4 years ago it still haunts me to this day). It took something I had no problem doing in a bus to dreading that manuever in a truck based off my DMV test results. No matter how many times I practiced it at the training pad when it mattered most I kept going over some imaginary barrier on my right (Tractor tires kept going over some barrier)

I'm sorry so yes I guess I couldn't perform the maneuver when it mattered most at the DMV. No body to blame but myself. Time to get out there and find a school/company willing to work with me on this. Thank you all and sorry! :(

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

Before you go too much further Ronald; you are in serious need of an attitude adjustment.

I have read all your posts; take some responsibility for your failures and shortcomings. It seems to be all Knight’s fault...experience has taught all of us on this forum, it’s almost never the case.

Find a company willing to retrain you, or rengage with Knight. Be totally honest with your skills and where you need work.

Practice and repetition is what you need, NOT hand-holding.

G-Town honestly I'm trying to see where my failures were if I hadn't learned or been taught said alley docking skill. When I'm told I'll learn it out on the road then isn't that the correct expectation to have to learn it out on the road? When I'm not learning it out on the road like I was told due to trainers not wanting to be bothered with you then what am I supposed to do? I'm going to give it another shot and I will learn it one way or another. Just need to get some refresher training it seems or find a company willing to work with me on this. I'll get it just needed to get this off my chest as it's been bothering me for quite awhile now.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

At Knight Squire Training in Phoenix Arizona it is a fast paced 2 week program that only teaches you pre-trip inspection, basics of driving on the road/shifting/etc. with 4 students per truck. They only teach Straight line backing, Offset-Left, and Parallel Parking - Right. The rest we are told we will learn out on the road once we have our license and our with our trainer. We are given phrases to remember (Ricky Lakes Staff Loves Reality Sleeze) which tells us to remember our Rights/Lefts/Straights. Then we are on a concrete pad that has cones, cracks and seams that we may use as our landmarks. It's a foolproof way of passing the skills test provided you practice it. None of those landmarks or anything on that skills training pad applies in real life as there is no seams or pizza slices to be looking for in our mirrors for the landing gear. It's literally them guaranteeing you a way to get your CDL if just practice what they show. Here's there videos of their exact pad and maneuvers. Nothing changes it's always like this. They test right on their pad with their own DMV testers of Phoenix, AZ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YULCFVvQTBI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS9PZTLfyq0

I honestly enjoyed my training and was excited to get on the truck with my trainer. Things were going great until my trainer learned they didn't teach us how to alley dock. He seemed very surprised by it and said he's going to have to talk to them about that. He had been a truck driver for about 1 year with CR England Fontana, CA then took a break for a few years and came over to Knight for 2 years and had been a trainer for a few months but he couldn't stop bragging about himself. Then came time to alley dock and he didn't really want to be bothered showing me how and his only attempt was him hanging off my drivers side door saying, "Right, left, straight, pull up, right." Then since he confirmed with our Terminal manager they in fact don't train us on alley docking he kicked me off his truck and decided to go back to being a solo driver, lol.

So I was supposed to get another trainer but it took Knight 2 weeks to get back to me and in the meantime I started searching for local positions. Well Knight got back to me before one of the local companies got back to me so I went back out with another trainer who was an old timer but very inpatient and we wouldn't GOAL on any backing maneuver. So I felt unsafe and my luck the local company wanted to hire me. So I finished delivering our load with Knight and we took our MT back to a drop yard and I got off his truck and got a ride home.

Started with the local company and I was basically laughed at when it came to alley docking. :( I honestly thought trainers were supposed to help you out with advice and tips but the closest thing I got to help was my first trainer. Everyone else so far has not had any patience or any desire to help point me in the right direction as far as setting it up.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

The thing that I only regret saying was when the trainers asked me what kind of experience do I have. I'm tempted to lie to them and say none! I was honest and it got me taken advantage of twice because they knew I could push myself and make them lots of extra $$$. Honestly the driving long distances was easy for me we basically team drove and that's not supposed to happen at all in any part of training with Knight but I guess they don't know and don't really care. That's the attitude I got from the Dispatchers. :\ All's they cared about was getting the load their on time and they didn't care how we did it. On their website though it clearly states training is done as what it would be like as a Solo Driver. That definitely was not my experience.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

My experience so far with Knight trainers was I was just a warm body for extra miles. First trainer decided he didn't want to be a trainer anymore and got out of training me then I was left wondering if I had a job with Knight but took them 2 weeks to get back to me with another trainer and during that time I had applied to other companies around my area and that's when a local company hired me on the spot, lol. I've definitely learned that I need to speak up more to my DDM's about my trainers using me as a warm body while we team drive as that was a big NO NO at Knight but it happened twice! I just don't like to be an employee that snitches or causes problems. I'm used to driving extremely long distances in varying weather and times as I came from a Class B Tour Bus Driver for 7 years so that wasn't a problem.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

Then I just need a patient trainer I guess instead of being made to feel bad because I can't get it 1 shot like they can. I see these youtube videos though of trainers helping their students by giving them advice on how to line up and do stuff I haven't even got anything close to that except someone hanging off the edge of my drivers side mirror going right left right no explaining. Ahh well I just need to find a company then that will hire me after having 8 months off when I go back next year.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

I took a break from trucking after being frustrated with no one having any patience to train alley docking. I ended up going to Knight Squire program but they only taught us enough to pass the skills test and they didn't teach us how to alley dock. Yep, still that dreaded alley dock. My first trainer at Knight was just telling me left, right, left, pull forward, back up, right and I explained to him that I'm not learning anything with you telling me which way to turn the wheel as you won't be there when I'm on my own. The next trainer was in hurry up mode and was ****ed off when I GOAL that he just took over and backed up for me. :(

At the time I was dealing with my girlfriends (yes that's plural) fighting back at home and that was on my mind a lot as I wanted to come home to settle things down which is why I looked for local companies. Got a job with MVE but that training experience was even more terrible than all the others combined.

Basically, he said I have a Class A and this is something I should already know how to do. I explained to him our training program did not and he said it wasn't his problem and it wasn't his place to train me on that. Needless to say that day got worse and he just made me feel like the most incompetent truck driver out there.

It's fun trying to back up a truck when a trainer is saying, "Oh my god, what are you doing you're so lucky there wasn't a truck on the left or right of you while backing in that dock." Hell I'm surprised I got it in the dock with him talking all crap. None of that stuff he was saying helps and I told him so. I eventually just let his butt back up the truck the remaining of the day. Then we got back to the yard and he left me alone and told me he's going in the office to turn paperwork in and to back it up on my own in another dock. Boy that's fun when you're causing a traffic jam of other company trucks and other drivers coming right in front and being an audience not helping in any way as you're trying to alley dock in a yard with no help on your first day on the job. I was way to stressed after that whole day that I just left on the spot. I told him I'm in over my head and for him to back it up I quit. I didn't last 1 day at MVE and I'm extremely frustrated with myself.

I just need one patient trainer out there to give me the basics of how to line up and do that stuff. We were supposed to learn this stuff out on the road with Knight but it seems like no one wants to be bothered training. That being said I need a truck to practice in then if I'm to learn this properly. Should I go back to school? Or do you think there is a patient trainer out there somewhere when I decide to get back into trucking next year?

I'm going to be calling all the company recruiters and make it clear what I need to learn with my trainer first before I even start asking about the other cpm questions. If no company wants to work with me on that then I guess I'll have to pony up more cash and go to school to learn the basics of this. :(

I'm currently a stay at home dad to my 2 1/2 year old daughter but I realize the longer I keep staying at home the more unemployable I'll make myself as it's harder to find jobs when you have a big gap in your history (going on 6 months now). I'm never going to be able to own a house if I keep my situation the same. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make this work provided I have a willing trainer to just point me in the right direction and then practice practice practice! Unfortunately I have not had that training yet which I feel is really stressing me out way more than is necessary. I mean I can straight line back and offset back no problem but a tight 90 degree alley or 45 degree training I have been confronted with but I can't learn when you tell me turn right, now left, now right.

I totally get why I'm turning right and left as that changes the direction of my trailer but I need help with the initial setup and then it's just a matter of steering the trailer in the dock with corrections in direction of turning the wheel. No one has told me line yourself up with this line and now go hard right and when your shoulder gets to the middle of the lane hard left and now pull all the way up until the rear of your trailer is just passed the spot you want to back up in (I've learned this all through watching youtube videos now as I'm being more proactive about it rather than depending on some trainer to help me).

Unless this is just something I'm expected to learn on my own and no one wants to be bothered teaching anyone how to do it? I thought that was the point of training though. I guess I may have no other choice but to go back to Knight although my experiences with trainers there have not been the best. :(

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Knight Transportation CDL Squire Training Program - Phoniex, AZ

So I've finally narrowed my decision down to Knight Transportation. I want to be trained not as a "Team Driver" but as a "Solo" Driver. Through all my research on schools in my area it will cost about 3k to get my training. Sure I could go spend $800 and only spend 6 hours driving a truck to get my Class A but I don't feel that will be enough time behind the wheel and what local company would hire me off the street like that. Most of the starter companies I spoke with (Prime, Swift, Schneider, Werner, Jim Palmer, Knight) mentioned I need to have an approved state certificate of completion from the trucking school I attend. I feel that if I want to make this my career then why try to squeak by with the bare minimums? With that being said I am curious if there is anyone here that can offer more insight into the Knight Squire Training program? I have read the information on this site but haven't found any up-to-date information on driver's experiences or diaries. :(

I spoke with my recruiter and she said I'd be going to Fontana, CA for the first week for orientation and then for weeks 2 -4 I'd be out at their Phoenix Training facility. Once I tested out I'd be able to come back to California to turn in all my paperwork and get my temporary license. After that it's off to 30,000 training miles and then 30,000 solo miles until I'm a full Knight driver.

One thing I really like about Knight is that they train you as a solo driver and my life or the trainer's life isn't in each other's hands while one is sleeping. That's one thing that made me really nervous about all the other companies. Would I really want to be sleeping if there was another inexperienced driver with me? Nope!

Another thing I like is they pay you $550/week the 2nd week of training before you even get your CDL!! For me that's huge as I wouldn't suffer such a loss in income. I mean yes I have enough saved but being able to start making money right off the get-go is how I actually trained for my CDL B.

The only thing that sucks is the sacrifice of missing my girlfriends and baby daughter (19 months old). However, I have written down my reasons of why I want to get into trucking: (I will use these as my motivational factors when times are tough)

1.) Pay Off Debt
2.) Save up money to buy our first house
3.) Improve my and my family's life
4.) Be my own boss

When I'm barely making 3k per month with over 70 hrs of hard work I put in each week there is something wrong. Sadly the tour bus industry does not make a lot of money. It's time to give this another shot!

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Backing Practice - Walmart/SAM'S #2

I'm still a student so please forgive me if I'm wrong. I'd approach it by turning my wheel left as soon as I touched the concrete pad making sure I cleared the building then using up all the space I could and cutting it hard right to straighten everything out and use up all the space I could setting my truck up as best as I could to almost straight line back it in. Then I'd GOAL then come back to my truck and stick my head out the window and driver's side alley dock it into place. So I'm basically using up all the space I could to make a 'U' pattern. Hope that makes sense.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Prime vs Knight vs Jim Palmer/Wil Trans

Ronald M.,

Prime has a drop yard in Fontana. Hopefully that will make your decision a little easier. I don't get out to CA too often here of late, but maybe that will help with your decision knowing that little piece of information.

Ernie

By having a drop yard I'm assuming that only means I can drop off my trailer there. Where would I park my tractor. I live in an apartment so there is no way I'd be able to park my truck on this street due to their being signs of no commercial vehicles over 6000 lbs. :(

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Prime vs Knight vs Jim Palmer/Wil Trans

So I submitted my full applications to a lot of trucking companies that offered cdl training. I wasn't expecting to hear back from so many. Now I'm overwhelmed with phone calls and have narrowed my decisions down to these unless anyone knows of any in Southern California.

For me it ultimately comes down to getting paid during training and home time. I live in Whittier so it's not like I can bobtail and park my truck at my house so I'm confused how that works even if I go to Fontana.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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She thinks my tractor is sexy!

The part 3 was:

I trained at Roadmaster for over 180 hours. I did so much practice in alley docking as I felt it was my weakness. Showed up for my DMV test failed the Alley docking maneuver. I got the trailer in the boundaries but the tractor tires were over an imaginary the dmv examiner created out of thin blue air (LOL). This DMV loved failing Roadmaster's students to the point that this roadmaster's location made it so they could test directly rather than the DMV.

I was out of money and out of time to continue any longer. Roadmaster's said they couldn't reschedule me for another month. Gee, they had no problem scheduling us the day after we completed our training (we just weren't a priority anymore). I called up my tour bus company and they worked the hell out of me which I was happy with because I needed the money. Hindsight, I should have stuck it out and I'd have a much different career right now, but I may not have my beautiful daughter now. I believe things happen for a reason and it just was not meant to be for me at the time. Now I'm stuck paying back my $6495 back to Roadmasters every month and I'm reminded of my failure. I'm going to give it another go!! This time I have my finances in a much better position.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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CR England - Training

Hey all, I submitted my application to CR England and within 5 minutes received a phone call and they interviewed me over the phone to qualify for their training program. I have been a CDL Class B driver for a tour bus company for 7 years and have a little experience driving tours over the road but nothing like trucking. Anyways, my question is:

CR England is partnered with Premiere in Fontana, CA. The training in the trucks is only offered with Automatic Transmissions and the recruiter warned me that my Class A license would have that restriction placed on it. It's making me reconsider their offer and choosing another trucking company/school with Manual Transmission. How important is it to not have that restriction on my license? I was reading that the industry is heading towards Automatic Transmissions in the future but I get the feeling having this restriction will limit me in a lot of future employment opportunities with other trucking companies if a better opportunity presented itself to me.

How hard is it to remove that restriction and what would be required? I live in Southern California.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Clutching

I just wanted to voice a concern, or apprehension about the double-clutching system. I've driven (cars, not semi's) stick only once in my life and automatic the rest of the time. I've heard the double-clutch system takes some getting used to. Some people have said that's a good thing because I don't have the bad habits and others have said that lack of experience in using a clutch will work against me. I wanted to get some of your input on this. How difficult is it to master this? Does teaching yourself a different coordination routine significantly effect your focus on the road? I'm aware they have automatic trucks out there, but I think, as a rookie, not having standard truck experience starting out will limit me on a lot of opportunities and may be a turn-off to companies.

Hey Ken, I too shared that same fear. I only ever used a clutch in one of my jobs for 3 months and never used one sense. Double clutching scared the heck out of me when I saw someone do it for the first time. The timing was what was scary for me. I had the thoughts of how am I ever going to be able to get the rhythm...Clutch Neutral Clutch Gear... Clutch Neutral REV Clutch Gear.... Ahh yess the fun of double clutching.

Well here's some things I learned about double clutching. Practice Practice Practice and then Practice some more. That's really all it comes down to. You need to go out on the road and just keep practicing upshifting and downshifting to become more comfortable with it. At first, it will be scary. Heck, you might even stall it out on the road a few times, but with each mistake you'll learn how the clutch works on a truck.

1.) Let off the clutch EASY when starting off from a stop. If you pop it out you will stall out.

2.) You can let the truck cruise at low speeds with no pedal input but once you put your brake on at low speeds you better start putting in that clutch or you'll stall out - this is usually recognized by the engine sound and truck jumping a lot before it stalls out.

3.) Don't ever take your foot off the clutch while you have the service brake applied especially on a hill. :D That always makes for a fun sight in the mirror when you see all the cars start getting out of your way especially when you panic and let your foot of the brake and begin rolling backwards LOL.

Double clutching is all about timing though. Just know what speed each gear is for and you'll be set. Eventually, you'll get to a point where you hear your engine and will know when to shift.

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