Profile For Thomas M.

Thomas M.'s Info

  • Location:
    Portland, OR

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 9 months ago

Thomas M.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Knight Transportation's Training Program - Looking For Advice

I hear alot of good things about knight, they seem like a good company to work for? What kind of trucks do they run, meaning what type of transmissions? APU's, etc Any feedback about the pro's and Con's of their trucks

Knight runs all Volvo and International Pro Star's. Eaton 10 Speeds No APU's

The Volvo's turn sharper and their Jake Brake is much better, but the sleeper's are smaller. The Pro Star's ride better, have more room for both storage and sleeping, but they turn more like a 379 pete and the engine brake is a joke.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Knight Transportation's Training Program - Looking For Advice

You need the CDL Permit before going to the school.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Knight Transportation's Training Program - Looking For Advice

Misty,

If i remember correctly the only time any company can push you into a refresher course is if you do not have 3 years of recent combination vehicle experience. (Truck & Transfer or trailer are combinations) I would simply ask them for a road test and if you pass then no need for a refresher. In my experience people who have driven local or dumptruck are a lot better drivers than anyone who comes out of any school or someone who drives 90% highway.

I have driven OTR (53') Local , Log Truck, and Dump truck w/transfer. The dump truck and Log truck were by far the biggest test of skills and the hardest to master. I am by no means an expert but after trying different things i can honestly say OTR takes the least amount of training.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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CDL School 4 weeks or 160 hours cost?

Knight was 2800

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Paying your dues

Everyone talks about paying your dues and getting through the first year. There is really no way to sugar coat it, the first year sucks. The failure rate is huge and recruiters are full of s***. Reality is that a recruiter is nothing more than a salesperson and they will tell people anything to get them through the doors. Whether you go to a company school or a private school it does not really matter the job is the same. Anyone who has the false hope that you are going to start with high wages and be home every night fresh out of school is sadly mistaken. The reality is that until you have a few years under your belt you are going to struggle and the divorce rate is extremely high.

It took a long time but i finally got on with a small company where i am home every night and off every weekend. It was along road and i thought about quitting so many times that i lost count. In the end it all worked out and now my family and i are very happy. The best thing i can advise to anyone considering a career in being a truck driver is to just hang in there it will get better and you will get where you want to be if you just work hard and never give up.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Hours of operation

It is working great for me and i have been in a 2012 Volvo for a while, but i am seeing a few 2014 Pro Star's roll in to some of the guys that have been around for a long time. Hoping that someday maybe my name will come up for one of them.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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High paying CPM reality?

For the most part i love everything about the company i work for. Yes i do max out my HOS every day and the money is awesome. The only major issues i ever have is that our shop at my terminal stinks really bad. The shop manager is horrible and i have had issues where i have had to refuse to move the truck until they fix a mechanical problem. I really have no interest in jumping ship unless the company i would go to would assure me in writing that i would not have issues with the shop and getting service. I went rounds with the shop manager this last time where i finally just told him and the terminal manager that i run that truck and my dispatcher keeps me moving freight, if the terminal wants the revenue then keep my truck running 100% and i will move as much freight as i can legally run. It didn't go over well with the shop manager but the terminal manager just smiled and said he would support me and work with dispatch as much as possible to keep us on track with our goals. I understand there will be down time since the truck is just a mechanical item and it will break. It is not a matter of if but when. The key is how fast it gets back up so i can keep moving. I run a Volvo so i am not sure it gets any more cramped, especially with everything i have in there. The way i look at it is that i have invested the money into everything from refrigerator to cooking so i don't ever need a truck stop for anything more than fuel and a wal mart every couple weeks for food restock. If the shop does not get better i will take a hard look at prime. Thanks for the advice Brett, i love to hear advice from the guys that have been out there a long time. I have managed to avoid a lot of "Rookie Mistakes" by simply asking other drivers about their experiences.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Hours of operation

Thanks Brett, That is interesting. I never knew why they do it. My company always kicks an extra $36-$48 for doing local deliveries plus $14/Hr to do them so i spend 1 day every 2 week run just doing them because nobody seems to want them. I like the extra cash and it seems to make dispatch happy. I don't know if other companies do this but i will take them every time. we do not have any local drivers at my terminal so anytime someone runs out of hours and dumps a load on the yard someone has to run it. The wife loves it because i make enough money that i can be out 14 days and home for 5-7 days.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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High paying CPM reality?

I have talked to a lot of drivers from different companies and it seems like the ones that offer to pay high CPM are nothing more than a marketing play. What good is it to get paid 50 CPM if you are only gonna run 1000 miles a week? Seems like the ones like my company that pay a little less actually run more and you make more. I have been getting 33 CPM but my runs are all 600-1200 Mile average and have been getting 3000-3500 Miles a week consistently.

Interested to see others experiences. No need to mention specific companies, just want to get the truth.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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About to jump on the road

Things like Hazmat & Passport are helpful but i agree a TWIC card is useless unless you are going to do Port & Rail. I also agree, buying a truck before having several years under your belt is very foolish. I have talked to so many people that fell for the O/O pitfall as rookies and lost their butts. O/O is great for a single person that can live in it especially with fuel being so high. Companies will feed people a big line of BS about all the money you can make but reality is it is a rough road.

Talk to as many O/O as possible and get the truth before buying a truck. There are a lot of pitfalls that can put you out of business quick. With a felony under 10 years old i would work for a smaller company that will not care as much. Any large company will not consider hiring anyone with a criminal history at all and depending on what it was you may not be eligible for a hazmat, passport, or TWIC card.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Hours of operation

The only exception i have ever seen to the 11/14/70 rules are for local drivers which do not currently run logs. If you are OTR and you run local deliveries at my company we have a macro that does not effect our regular HOS. Not sure how this works though.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Good low experience OTR companies??

Knight has a sliding pay scale based on the mileage of the load. 33-42 cpm. It is pretty good and as you stay longer they have raises every 6 months until you hit the top of the scale. I see lots of drivers from different companies coming over and hear a lot of horror stories about other companies. It seams like it is always the same 4-5 companies that always come up as bad.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Can you go straight to solo driver with 1 year experience?

I know at my company they classify 1 year as OTR. Local and Regional driving is not considered.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Bluetooth Anyone

I had the plantronics Voyager and took it back and now have the Blue Parrot. I love my new one, the plantronics was horrible.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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New driver needs some work

Knight pays newbies while they are in training and the time with a trainer is strictly up to you and your trainer but it normally 3-6 weeks.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Paying your dues....

Guy is absolutely right and i couldn't agree more. It only took me a couple of months to go from 1500 miles a week to being dispatched over 3000 - 3500/week. I simply ran hard and made every delivery on time or ahead of schedule and my dispatcher started sending me better runs and asking if i would pick up extra loads. Those "favors" really show them that you are willing to go the extra mile and next think i know i started seeing extra money with the extra loads. Whenever i do a "favor load" for my dispatcher he throws in an extra $50 on top of the mileage for the load. Lately i have been picking up 2-3 extra loads a week and although i wind up staying out a few extra days the wife really likes the extra cash. :-)

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Possibly a dumb question.... How are taxes handled as an OTR driver?

Gary,

We have a specific trucking accountant doing our taxes right now. I agree though it is by your state and the IRS. It is really not much different at the basics but you have all the write off's and per diem that gets confusing. For a couple hundred bucks it is well worth it to have a professional do it.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Snowpocalypse 2 Coming to Atlanta

Here we go again. Got to come home for 2 days after being caught in the NE with the last storm. Heading out tomorrow for another 2 week run.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Going to USExpress???

I get a lot of e-mails from US Express trying to get me to come over there. We have a lot of former Werner drivers come to our company lately though. Not sure if they just got a run of dispatchers or management issues recently or what is going on. I agree that if it is your first job you should try your best to stick it out for the first year. There will be similar BS with any company until you have been there for awhile or are an experienced driver and they know better than to push too hard. I think all companies are pushing students really hard to see what they are made of and if they will hang in there or quit. Good luck whatever you decide.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Schneider or KLLM?

I have heard good things about Schneider but not much about KLLM. Doesn't sound like you could go wrong with either one. Personally i don't think anyone should consider leasing until they have 3-5 years on the road and have a good understanding of the ups and downs so they are successful.

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