I Think I'm Done

Topic 15312 | Page 1

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PPGER's Comment
member avatar

Well, I've been driving for Knight for eight months now. Like everyone, I've had good days and not so good days, good weeks and not so good weeks. Being away from home has been harder than I expected. I expected to see more of the country, but 80%+ of Knight loads are between Phoenix and SoCal, up and down the 10 and 5 corridors. I told them that I would run all lower 48, but I've rarely gotten out of CA, OR, and WA.

Most of it has been as I expected -- thanks to all the helpful folks on this forum. I have a sense of accomplishment from the job. I expecially like how backing is no longer an issue like it was. I have pulled into some really tight docks the last few weeks and I remember thinking, "Man, I'm glad I wasn't having to do to this a few months ago!"

While I have enjoyed driving, this latest incident is, I'm afraid, the last straw. I cannot decide if I should just say goodbye to trucking or go to another company. Problem is, most other trucking jobs I see advertised want at least a year's experience. And I don't know that things would be different at any other company. I think that the problem of bad information from your DM (who blames it on the market manager or load planner) is the same everywhere (supposed to be drop and hook , but it's a 5 hour live load/unload, etc). Although, other companies with centralized dispatch might be different from Knight which has dispatch out of each terminal. I am debating whether to stay with Knight for a few more months and then look for a job driving local where I'm home most nights or at least every weekend, or whether to just say good bye to trucking.

But anyway, here's what appears to be the last straw with me:

Last Tuesday, July 5th, I dropped my truck off for service. That was supposed to be one day. Supposed to be back on the road Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon my DM tells me that my truck has to go to the dealer and that it should be finished Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. Okay.... What's wrong with it?, I ask. He doesn't know and tells me to call the shop. So I call the shop and after the usual forever on hold time, I get someone on the phone. He tells me that the rear timing cover is leaking. On Thursday, the 7th, I get a text from my DM telling me that my truck is ready and he has set me up with loads for Friday the 8th. Okay, good enough. THEN, shortly thereafter I get a message from him saying that he misread the email from the shop and that my truck will not be back from the dealer until the 13th!! That is nine days!! I ask about breakdown pay. He says that I can't get it because I am at my home terminal. I ask him how he expects me to go without work or a paycheck for over a week?? He says that he understands, but that is the way it is. I ask about a loaner. He says that none are available. I tell him that if I am willing to work and they take my truck out of service and cannot give me a loaner, that I should not be penalized by no pay for nine days. Sorry, is his answer. Then on Friday he tell me that he has found me a loaner... Okay, then I'll go out on Saturday. No wait, he texts back, it's a manual transmission. Can I drive a manual? Yes, I tell him, but Knight's policy is that you have to drive the same transmission that your trainer had and my trainer had an automatic. So, still no truck.

So, here I sit. I have been sitting since last Tuesday, July 5th. I will be sitting until at least Thursday, July 14th. No pay.

Yesterday, I filled out on-line job applications and I have two non-driving job interviews tomorrow. Part of me wants to stick it out four more months at Knight so I can move into another local driving job after I have a year's experience. Part of me wants to quit as soon as I can based on this latest incident with them. The whole thing with them seems so disrespectful of me and my time. If I want more than a couple days off, they tell me that they can't afford to have their truck sit that long and I have to come in and start running loads. But they have no problem with me sitting -- as if I can afford to sit for nine days!

The CPM is good now that I've been there for over six months. But on the other hand, when I think about all of the time that I give them that is uncompensated, it is pretty depressing. I know that trucking is a lifestyle, not just a job, but still. I've had some good paychecks from weeks where I ran a lot of miles. The number looks good until I figure how many hours it took to make it, then it's kind of depressing. Taking a local job paying $11-12 an hour, and being home may be a better option..

Anyway, that's for letting me vent.

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.

Dm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

I'd be interested in hearing what others say about this. I personally think it's a bunch of b.s. that they aren't going to do breakdown pay or anything. But it might just be one of the myriad of things I am still learning about the industry.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

I hope you will stick it out for that first year. It's only a few months. A lot can change in that time. For one, you will have that much more experience. Hopefully someone here with experience can give you tips on how to deal with your company and DM. Good luck.

Dm:

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Wow I can totally understand your frustration..fortunately I haven't had such experience. I had a day from hell that started about 36 hours ago... but not my company's fault.

The no breakdown pay is crap. I sat at My terminal for three days and they paid for my hotel and cat fee plus gave me "layover" pay cause the truck is in the shop. My FM has nothing to do with my repairs... if I need something I tell him I need it ask when he can get me to a terminal and make the appointment. The shop calls me directly. I have the same FM always.

I have a funny feeling if I sat for more than 4 days for repairs that they would put me in another truck.

Maybe you should start looking around. Many of the bigger companies might take you without the year... do u have a year contract with them? If your record is clean I'm sure you won't have any issues. One thing you said is thst you wanted to see the country. .. other companies can offer thst as well as taking more than a couple days off at a time.

Good luck. It doesn't hurt to look and weigh options

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.

Fm:

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

OTR isnt for everyone, and I personally dont think its much more than a stepping stone. You can make it a career if youre willing to lose your family, have no life and be in solitude forever.

Thats what OTR was for me and I dont see me going back anytime soon.

But here's the problem, theres two kinds of local jobs; one that pays terribly with super hard work and one that pays well thats easier physically but requires more skill.

If you quit now you can land a local job it wont be a good one. I suggest you stay with it out a full year and then apply. I work for a local tanker company in CA delivering gas to gas stations and I work about 10-12 hours 5 days per week then i get 2-3 days off. The money is great (hourly) but they wont hire 8 months, they just lowered their requirements to 1 year down from 2.

Theres a lot of BS with OTR, but stay with it man youre almost there. I did it for 3 years I think you should be able to handle 1.

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.

Alexander D.'s Comment
member avatar

If you put in 8 months you are more than half way to the one year point. The one year point may be the time to seek work with a different company but this site recommends "sticking'' it out. At least you'll have that Pride of sticking it out but more importantly you'll have a year to put down towards another job be it local or not. Having said that I totally empathize with your situation. It does sound Hellish to me and must be quite frustrating, but I'd stick it out to the one year mark if possible.

Best of Luck

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

I would see if there someone above your DM you can talk to regarding breakdown pay. Seems pretty arbitrary that just because the breakdown happened at your home terminal , you're not entitled to it. Sounds like they're giving you the runaround honestly. I would politely take it up the chain of command, all the way up to the president if necessary. I'm sure someone along the line will be distant enough from the day-to-day operations to see the big picture and understand why this is wrong.

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.

Dm:

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.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

I would see if there someone above your DM you can talk to regarding breakdown pay. Seems pretty arbitrary that just because the breakdown happened at your home terminal , you're not entitled to it. Sounds like they're giving you the runaround honestly. I would politely take it up the chain of command, all the way up to the president if necessary. I'm sure someone along the line will be distant enough from the day-to-day operations to see the big picture and understand why this is wrong.

Persian is right. Knight is known to have an open door policy. Use it. Get your money.

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.

Dm:

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.
ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

I feel you. I was off the road for two weeks due to being hit by another truck at a truck stop. No fault of mine, we were sleeping.

Got ran around the block trying to find a recovery. My husband ended up in the ER due to not being home in time for a doctors appointment. It's was a bad deal all around.

But there was supposed to be break down pay at the end when I got back to my truck.

Come to find out, break down pay doesn't cover body work!! So two weeks, no pay, no truck, no nothing.

Did I want to quit? Heck yeah!

Am I? Not right now.

Brian B.'s Comment
member avatar

You hit the nail on the head brother.

OTR isnt for everyone, and I personally dont think its much more than a stepping stone. You can make it a career if youre willing to lose your family, have no life and be in solitude forever.

Thats what OTR was for me and I dont see me going back anytime soon.

But here's the problem, theres two kinds of local jobs; one that pays terribly with super hard work and one that pays well thats easier physically but requires more skill.

If you quit now you can land a local job it wont be a good one. I suggest you stay with it out a full year and then apply. I work for a local tanker company in CA delivering gas to gas stations and I work about 10-12 hours 5 days per week then i get 2-3 days off. The money is great (hourly) but they wont hire 8 months, they just lowered their requirements to 1 year down from 2.

Theres a lot of BS with OTR, but stay with it man youre almost there. I did it for 3 years I think you should be able to handle 1.

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.

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