Knight CDL School Diary

Topic 11154 | Page 5

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Stevo VWbusman's Comment
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Well, that sucks! Knight was at the very top of my list too....I Live too far from Phoenix (Bullhead City)to drive back and forth. When did they quit putting you up at school in Phoenix?

Phox's Comment
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Amazing that it took so long to get your amazon load... heck I worked for the DC for amazon in the San Antonio area last winter (seasonal employee) and they put me on loading dock a few times to many... work ya real hard too... took maybe 2 hours on avg to fill a trailer... closer to 1 hour on a busy day closer to Christmas. I wouldn't want to unload one though... they told us to stack the boxes tetris style but that only works for the first 15 min of loading... next thing you know you have boxes that don't fit in your tetris pattern or they're all the same size and to do tetris you leave huge gaps making weak spots which is the whole reason for tetris stacking... yeah after about 3 rows down we just started stacking boxes till the trailer was full. sup would come, close it up and lock tag or whatever those tamper seals are called and unhook the trailer so it could go and another would take it's place very shortly after.

gosh i hated that job when they put me on loading dock... any other task they had for me no problem but loading dock i hated.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Phox's Comment
member avatar

Well, that sucks! Knight was at the very top of my list too....I Live too far from Phoenix (Bullhead City)to drive back and forth. When did they quit putting you up at school in Phoenix?

had to of been somewhat recent. I heard they give you something like $300-400 a week to cover expenses though... that would somewhat pay for a hotel at least. I'll have the money for a hotel I just don't want to spend to much of my savings if I can avoid it but I have heard from a friend of mine's friend that certain area of phoenix can be bad... same can be said for san antonio and I have yet to find them... I think some people are just overly scared of neighborhoods with a poorer population than their own.... yeah they can be dangerous but in my experience if you just mind your own business and don't look like you're not from there you'll be fine... don't give someone a reason to bother you and they won't.

Stevo VWbusman's Comment
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in my experience if you just mind your own business and don't look like you're not from there you'll be fine... don't give someone a reason to bother you and they won't.

True lol That never bothered me all my life having been in real bad places! Walked into a Mc'D's as a teen, working painting houses, I was the only white speck in the place, no one bothered me.

Or the East LA ghettos, Compton, Watts, act like you belong and you're fine. Look weak and like a victim, or big shot with a big mouth and ya might have problems.

Well, once I get closer to healed and get serious on checking schools out, Knights, still on the list lol

PPGER's Comment
member avatar

Amazing that it took so long to get your amazon load... heck I worked for the DC for amazon in the San Antonio area last winter (seasonal employee) and they put me on loading dock a few times to many... work ya real hard too... took maybe 2 hours on avg to fill a trailer... closer to 1 hour on a busy day closer to Christmas. I wouldn't want to unload one though... they told us to stack the boxes tetris style but that only works for the first 15 min of loading... next thing you know you have boxes that don't fit in your tetris pattern or they're all the same size and to do tetris you leave huge gaps making weak spots which is the whole reason for tetris stacking... yeah after about 3 rows down we just started stacking boxes till the trailer was full. sup would come, close it up and lock tag or whatever those tamper seals are called and unhook the trailer so it could go and another would take it's place very shortly after.

gosh i hated that job when they put me on loading dock... any other task they had for me no problem but loading dock i hated.

I wasn't the only one. They had numerous drivers stacked up waiting to live load. The Amazon worker told me that there was a "virtual delay" -- whatever that is. Our appointment was at 1 p.m. I kept checking back. At 7:45 p.m., I was told it'd be ready at 9 p.m. He said it was loaded and all he had to do was verify the load online. I went back at 9 and 9:30, still not ready. Disgusted, I went to the truck and took a nap. I decided they could just come and get me when it was ready. They finally came and knocked on our truck around 10:00 and told me it was ready. We finally got to the window and they signed the load out at 10:30 p.m. -- 9.5 hours after we were scheduled to be loaded. We didn't get out of the lot until about 11 p.m. It was ridiculous. Another driver that had an appointment at 1 p.m. didn't get to back up to the dock until we pulled out around 10:45 p.m.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PPGER's Comment
member avatar

Here's my first week in training:

Tuesday, 11-17: We picked up a load in PHX to El Paso. My trainer drove from Phoenix to Lordington where we stopped for the night.

Wed, 11-18: The next morning I drove to El Paso and we dropped the load of batteries from Auto Zone. Then I drove to St Theresa NM and we picked up a load of cardboard to Salt Lake City. I drove part way to SLT. That day I drove 205 miles, 4:23 hours.

Thu, 11-19: I drove another 477 miles, 8:35 hours, to SLT. My trainer drove the rest of the way. We dropped the trailer at the terminal.

Fri, 11-20: Got a late morning dispatch to Delta, UT to pick up a load of hay to Tipton, CA. Drove 271 miles, 5:06 hours.

Sat, 11-21: Drove 303 miles 5:55 hours to Tipton, CA and dropped the trailer at the terminal.

Sun, 11-22: Drove 245 miles, 5:10 hours to San Bernadino to pick up the cursed load from Amazon. My clock was out so my trainer drove the load on into Phoenix where we dropped it at the terminal.

Mon, 11-23: We picked up a load of cotton in Phoenix to San Bernadino. I drove 372 miles, 7:12 hours.

Tues, 11-24: We picked up a load in Fontana, CA to Henderson, CO. Drove 565 miles, 9:35 hours.

Wed, 11-25: Picked up a load in Henderson, CO back to Fontana, Drove 550 miles.

Thur, 11-26: Picked up a load in Ontario, CA to Phoenix. Drove from Ontario to Phoenix.

I think I've driven just under 3000 miles from Wed - Thurs.

We got back to the Phoenix terminal Thanksgiving afternoon. My trainer stayed there Friday, today, to get the truck into the shop for some new steer tires. We had planned to go back out on Monday morning, but he contacted me this afternoon and told me that the truck will not be ready until Tuesday morning. It should drive a lot better with the new tires! -- hopefully no more shaking on the front end. So at this point, I'm supposed to meet him at the terminal around 10 am Tuesday morning.

It has definitely been a learning experience. I am very happy with my trainer's knowledge and demeanor. Very glad that he has over 20 years experience and not only the six month minimum.

The mountain grades have not been too bad. Of course, without the awesome engine brake on the International it might be a different story. However, my trainer did tell me that I will be required to go down some grades without the engine brake so I know what to do if I get a truck without one or if it goes out on me. The most stressful part so far was getting caught in a snowstorm on I-70 in Utah on Wednesday. I'm used to driving in snow so that didn't bother me, but not being able to see did! The snow was blowing sideways across the highway and that was really cutting visibility down. But then the wiper blades started icing up and not clearing the windshield and then it got really tense. I had to kind of hunch down and look through the lower part of the windshield where it was clear to see. We eased along until we got to a rest area where we were able to knock the ice off the wipers and get the windshield heated up really good with the defroster. Then we could see and drove another hour in the snow until we got to a lower elevation and drove out of it. Of course, the heavy holiday traffic made it all more fun. I am sure glad I had my trainer with me in all that and didn't have to do that all alone my first time.

I'm looking forward to starting up again next Tuesday!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ryder M.'s Comment
member avatar

I am hoping to go to Knight in Feb. I am working on my permit now. I wanted to thank you for the great insight that you have provided. Its comforting knowig what i will be getting into. Stay safeand thanks for keeping up with your posts. I have enjoyed reading them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PPGER's Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the delay in postings. It has been an intense few weeks. On Tuesday I will have of four weeks of training -- although we spent four days off over thanksgiving. I think I will test for my own truck sometime this week - I think on Friday. I am not worried about the written test, road test, or pre-trip inspection , but backing is still giving me a hard time. It's almost like I have a mental block or something. My trainer has said a couple of times that I'm overthinking it and he is right. I need to let the truck keep rolling so I can see what my steering inputs are doing. But sometimes I'm so paranoid about hitting something something that I get out and look too much and he said that you can't back up a few feet at at time and GOAL that way. He says that I should be backing up on my own by now, and I should, but at every truck stop or dock, he continues to direct me and not really give me a chance to do it on my own. At one of our drop yards, he said that he was not going to tell me what to do, but just make sure I didn't hit anything, and I did okay, so I am hoping that I will be able to do okay when I test out for my own solo truck. But, he sure does make it look easy. I try to remind myself that he's been doing it over 20 years...

I have lost track of how many miles we have put on. Donner Pass was certainly interesting. El Cajon pass. The Grapevine. Twin Falls, Denver, Boise, Patterson, Salt Lake City, El Paso. I was looking at weather.com and it certainly looks like we will get into some snow when we go back out. I am currently at home for a day while the truck is getting once of its 10K services.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Newbie78inpa J.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm really looking into going with Knight but i'm in PA and i never hear from people who train out of the Carlisle PA terminal. Also they don't have APUs and don't let you idle from what i read. So that's somewhat of a bummer i don't want to sweat like a dog in the summer. I can handle the cold but the heat not so much.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I'm really looking into going with Knight but i'm in PA and i never hear from people who train out of the Carlisle PA terminal. Also they don't have APUs and don't let you idle from what i read.

Newbie, when you say "train" are you referring to training for your CDL , or just the initial training that any rookie driver with a CDL would go through at his first trucking job? They do not do the Squire training program out of Carlisle, which is for obtaining your CDL.

Be careful about where you gather information about idling policies - I can assure you that you can idle your Knight truck as long as your little heart desires. They offer a very generous performance/fuel efficiency/safety bonus each quarter. Mine is right at about 1700 dollars for this quarter. Idling will count against your bonus if it goes so far that it keeps your mileage numbers below the benchmark measurements, but I always get great bonuses even in the summer months when I'm keeping myself cool in my truck while taking breaks at the truck stops.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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