Knight CDL School Diary

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Newbie78inpa J.'s Comment
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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.

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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.

Yes I mean the CDL training they don't offer in Carlisle PA and i never hear anyone who works out of that terminal. That is the closest terminal to me where i live in PA. So would i work out of that terminal?

And yes i read on other forums that the trucks only idle at certain temps and they don't have APUs. But if you are saying different maybe different terminals operate differently?

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Yes I mean the CDL training they don't offer in Carlisle PA and i never hear anyone who works out of that terminal. That is the closest terminal to me where i live in PA. So would i work out of that terminal?

Yes, you would need to obtain your CDL through a private school, and then you would work out of that terminal. I visit that terminal at least once every two weeks, it's actually more like it is in Middlesex, but they call it the Carlisle Terminal.

And yes i read on other forums that the trucks only idle at certain temps and they don't have APUs. But if you are saying different maybe different terminals operate differently?

Almost any major carrier company you go to work for has their trucks set up to idle at certain temperatures. One of the first things they showed us in orientation was how to over ride that system - it is simple just a push of a button. They want their drivers comfortable and rested - that contributes to a safe driver. Now you see how dangerous it is to base your company decisions on what you read on other forums! You could decide not to go with Knight on some worthless information like that and be missing out on an extra 6,000 dollars a year in bonus money! It' not that different terminals operate differently it is just that you have believed information from a website that doesn't make sure it's contributors are being honest or even know what they are talking about. I've come across Knight drivers who are not aware of the simple way to over ride the idle cutoff, and if those drivers are blabbering on about how Knight treats them badly by not allowing them to idle, it is just false information that you cannot verify or figure out if it is true.

They do not have APU's , and just so you know I consider the APU a very foolish thing to base your choice of company on because so many of these major carriers that have tried the APU's have started removing them. Basing your choice of employer on amenities in the trucks is tricky at best. These guys are always changing things up to try and see what works and what doesn't work for them. Their main concern is the bottom line, and the APU's have proven to be such costly items in the maintenance expense column that most carriers that tried them have ended up removing them. Prime is the one exception to this rule that I can think of, but you just never know!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

APU's:

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.

Newbie78inpa J.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Yes I mean the CDL training they don't offer in Carlisle PA and i never hear anyone who works out of that terminal. That is the closest terminal to me where i live in PA. So would i work out of that terminal?

double-quotes-end.png

Yes, you would need to obtain your CDL through a private school, and then you would work out of that terminal. I visit that terminal at least once every two weeks, it's actually more like it is in Middlesex, but they call it the Carlisle Terminal.

double-quotes-start.png

And yes i read on other forums that the trucks only idle at certain temps and they don't have APUs. But if you are saying different maybe different terminals operate differently?

double-quotes-end.png

Almost any major carrier company you go to work for has their trucks set up to idle at certain temperatures. One of the first things they showed us in orientation was how to over ride that system - it is simple just a push of a button. They want their drivers comfortable and rested - that contributes to a safe driver. Now you see how dangerous it is to base your company decisions on what you read on other forums! You could decide not to go with Knight on some worthless information like that and be missing out on an extra 6,000 dollars a year in bonus money! It' not that different terminals operate differently it is just that you have believed information from a website that doesn't make sure it's contributors are being honest or even know what they are talking about. I've come across Knight drivers who are not aware of the simple way to over ride the idle cutoff, and if those drivers are blabbering on about how Knight treats them badly by not allowing them to idle, it is just false information that you cannot verify or figure out if it is true.

They do not have APU's , and just so you know I consider the APU a very foolish thing to base your choice of company on because so many of these major carriers that have tried the APU's have started removing them. Basing your choice of employer on amenities in the trucks is tricky at best. These guys are always changing things up to try and see what works and what doesn't work for them. Their main concern is the bottom line, and the APU's have proven to be such costly items in the maintenance expense column that most carriers that tried them have ended up removing them. Prime is the one exception to this rule that I can think of, but you just never know!

If the Knight wants you to idle your truck and be comfortable why would they teach you in orentation how to over ride the system? Why have the system in the first place?

And i'm not choosing companies based on "amenities" . If you can't idle the truck then an APU will be used to keep cool.

Sleeping in the heat will be miserable to me and that is pretty important to me. If that truck is going to be my home too it needs to be comfortable like one.

But ok thanks for the information I never totally ruled Knight out.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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.

APU's:

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
If the Knight wants you to idle your truck and be comfortable why would they teach you in orentation how to over ride the system? Why have the system in the first place?

These systems save money. That is why they have them. Here's an example: a lot of drivers have bad habits of never turning the truck off. When they pull into a shipper or receiver they leave the truck running while they are inside checking in or stopping to take a shower, or all kinds of scenarios. the truck will automatically shut itself down after a few minutes if the driver were to get delayed. When you have thousands of trucks out in the field working and running every day, that savings adds up in a hurry. The over-ride is there for the purpose of driver comfort and safety. The system of shutting down is there to save the company money that drivers with bad habits would be costing them.

The beauty of it all is that the driver has control over his own idle time, and he can choose to get the larger bonuses if he chooses to manage it properly. The only repercussion that a driver who is abusing his idle privileges is going to receive is that it will cut into his bonus money. I've always been able to stay comfortable and still be what Knight calls a "three star" driver, which simply means you are meeting all the criteria for the top bonus pay levels.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Buster's Buddy's Comment
member avatar

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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?

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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.

Just visited the Phx Training Center yesterday and housing was one of my questions since I'm about 100 miles away in Sedona. I was told they put you up in a Comfort Inn (3.5/5 stars on Yelp) the first week, and pay is $100. Not a great neighborhood, but not a bad one. The next 2 weeks the company rate is $52 + tax and the pay is $400/wk. I was told that Friday ends at 2:00, so going home for the weekend is easy which means I'll only need to rent 5 nights/wk. there is a shuttle, but I'll have my own car. I'm all ready to start in 4-6 weeks.

Buster's Buddy's Comment
member avatar

Just visited the Phx Training Center yesterday and housing was one of my questions since I'm about 100 miles away in Sedona. I was told they put you up in a Comfort Inn (3.5/5 stars on Yelp) the first week, and pay is $100. Not a great neighborhood, but not a bad one. The next 2 weeks the company rate is $52 + tax and the pay is $400/wk.

I'm looking at AirBnB for the first time. Seems to be a number of private rooms available for $20-$30. I might go that route instead.

PPGER's Comment
member avatar

Sorry, haven't been keeping this updated.

Anyway, I've been on my own since December 26th. I have been home about 5 days since them (3 and 2). I am currently at our Denver terminal for the weekend. I just finished a load to Cheyenne WY. Since my son lives in Denver, I asked to spend the weekend here and go back out on Monday. Thankfully, they accomodated me.

Since starting solo driving on Dec. 26th, I have driven about 8500 miles. No complaints at all about Knight. Sometimes, they do want me to take a load that is physically impossible to deliver. That is frustrating. But I tell the dispatcher why I can't take it and they take it off. As a matter of fact, this weekend they wanted to give me a load from Ft Collins, pick up on Friday and deliver to AZ on Saturday. Duh. That's impossible.

I have gotten really burned out of delivering to the LA area. Traffic is a mess. They often want me to pick up a live load from AZ and deliver to Long Beach or the LA area all in the same day. I am not going to take loads like that anymore because there are not enough hours to get it done in one day. If it was drop and hook , it'd be one thing, but live loads just take too long. I recently had one where I had to get live loaded in Surprise AZ. So, go on duty, find a trailer, inspect it, and drive to Surprise -- that's 1.5 hours. Then wait 2 hours to get loaded. Eight hours to get to the consignee in Long Beach. Another three hours to get unloaded and your 14 is up.

I was really glad to get this load to Cheyenne and get out of LA for a change. I lucked out with not having any snow coming up here, but I don't think I'll drive I-70 from Grand Junction to Denver in the dark again -- too much stress for this newbie!

It has certainly been a learning experience. My biggest frustration is the ridiculous wait times to get loaded or unloaded as some places.

I have met some very helpful veteran truckers and I appreciate their advice and helping me out these past few weeks.

Like I said, I have no compliants about Knight. They have treated me very well so far -- I couldn't believe it either when I was assigned a practically new 2016 Freightliner right out of school. Luck of the draw I guess.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Be careful about turning down loads. Even though you know you don't have the hours available, they're aware of that too and most likely have another load planned once you're unloaded. They'll call and re schedule your delivery time. A dispatcher who sees a driver turning down loads is going to see them as being pick. In return, you'll watch your miles dwindle and you won't be happy.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Buster's Buddy's Comment
member avatar

Sorry, haven't been keeping this updated.

Anyway, I've been on my own since December 26th. I have been home about 5 days since them (3 and 2). I am currently at our Denver terminal for the weekend. I just finished a load to Cheyenne WY. Since my son lives in Denver, I asked to spend the weekend here and go back out on Monday. Thankfully, they accomodated me.

Since starting solo driving on Dec. 26th, I have driven about 8500 miles. No complaints at all about Knight. Sometimes, they do want me to take a load that is physically impossible to deliver. That is frustrating. But I tell the dispatcher why I can't take it and they take it off. As a matter of fact, this weekend they wanted to give me a load from Ft Collins, pick up on Friday and deliver to AZ on Saturday. Duh. That's impossible.

I have gotten really burned out of delivering to the LA area. Traffic is a mess. They often want me to pick up a live load from AZ and deliver to Long Beach or the LA area all in the same day. I am not going to take loads like that anymore because there are not enough hours to get it done in one day. If it was drop and hook , it'd be one thing, but live loads just take too long. I recently had one where I had to get live loaded in Surprise AZ. So, go on duty, find a trailer, inspect it, and drive to Surprise -- that's 1.5 hours. Then wait 2 hours to get loaded. Eight hours to get to the consignee in Long Beach. Another three hours to get unloaded and your 14 is up.

I was really glad to get this load to Cheyenne and get out of LA for a change. I lucked out with not having any snow coming up here, but I don't think I'll drive I-70 from Grand Junction to Denver in the dark again -- too much stress for this newbie!

It has certainly been a learning experience. My biggest frustration is the ridiculous wait times to get loaded or unloaded as some places.

I have met some very helpful veteran truckers and I appreciate their advice and helping me out these past few weeks.

Like I said, I have no compliants about Knight. They have treated me very well so far -- I couldn't believe it either when I was assigned a practically new 2016 Freightliner right out of school. Luck of the draw I guess.

Great thread. Glad to hear from you again, and that you are still comfortable with your decision to start at Knight. Sorry to hear you are spending so much time with live loads. Drop and Hook is supposed to be one of the advantages of Dry Van over Reefer , and one of the reasons I have chosen that fleet with Knight. Although as you mentioned, we'll see where I sit at the end of training. I don't have a huge preference, but I do intend on having my dog with me at the conclusion of my 30,000 solo miles and I have heard that reefer customers are often not pet friendly. I was told by my recruiter that Port & Rail is out of the question for that very reason. Which is more than fine by me. I've already driven from Phx to LA well over 100 times, not what I'm hoping for with OTR trucking. I don't mind doing it sometimes, but the thought of that as a dedicated route is not appealing.

Nice score with the Cascadia, congratulations! Does that come with a refrigerator? I refused to allow amenities to sway my decision making, but I really would like to have a fridge in my truck. I've heard most if not all of Knight's new vehicles have a fridge.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Sorry for the lack of updates. I finally dug out the laptop and decided to try to catch up.

I have about 2500 more miles to go before finishing out my 30K miles under Knight's Squire program. After that, I "graduate" to the regular Knight program and get, I think, a 5 cent per mile raise.

So far, my foray into the trucking industry has been okay. I've had the usual glitches like others have posted about. You know -- discovering that the GPS is not accurate. Driving on a narrow, two-lane highway, hearing the "your destination is .2 miles on the right," from your GPS about the same time as you roll past the shipper's entrance which was before the actual address and having to drive a 12 mile circle to get back to the entrance because there is no way to back up on that two lane! That was fun!

Or arriving to pick up what was supposed to be a preloaded trailer only to find out that it'll be a live load instead, adding hours of unexpected delay to your day.

Or the unplanned detours when the exit you are supposed to take is closed and you have to take a long detour.

Being away from home is harder than I thought. Dispatchers and load planners quite often don't know what they are talking about.

On the other hand, I have been pleasantly surprised by the helpfulness of other drivers. The rude driver who expresses impatience with my backing skills have been rare -- probably less than two times. But I have had many drivers go out of their way to help me get backed into a tight spot at a dock or truck stop.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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