Up To Date Review Of Knight Transportation

Topic 18157 | Page 1

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Nick A.'s Comment
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Hello all, This is my first post, i have been doing alot of research on this site over the last few months and decided to ask some questions.

i have been looking into Knight for my first company to drive for and with all the searches here on this site alot of the post seem to be pretty old (about 2 years in most cases). i have also tried to do some research on line but it seems like all you get out there is the negative from people that change companies every few months and everything is the company's fault.

so im here to see if anyone has some honest review of the company. ie... do they get their drivers home when they say they do... do they get the drivers the miles that they say they will get or at least close. just trying to get an honest review of the company. i know there will be bad in all companies that is just life and i feel like for the most part its what YOU make of it and that is how it will be.

thanks again

Nick

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

Howdy Nick. I'm from Texas, and in texas, we say howdy!...or at least we used to....anyway....

Take all of the major carriers and put them on a dart board and throw a dart. Whichever one you hit will be fairly similar to all the ones next to it.

As far as knight specifically, I've been working on their rlefrigerated side for a little over 6 months now.

I can't really tell you about home time because I've only ever requested home time once......and they missed it by a day. However, others that I've heard from say they usually do a good job at getting you home on time.

Here's the thing, it's never going to be perfect, sometimes, if you request home time, you may be late getting home, or you may be early. It has to do with how freight is moving. If you live in Tulsa, and are currently in Denver, they are not going to deadhead you to get you home. They will work you back with loads so the truck keeps generating revenue. Having said that, they usually do a good job getting you back close to your home terminal when you request time off.

If it is imperative that you be home on a certain day, just make sure your driver manager knows this. Also, make sure to give them at least 2 weeks notice, and remind them every few days, not in a pestering sort of way, but just to make sure they don't forget. Most dms have several drivers, so they can sometimes forget.

Knight has about 30 terminals spread out across the country, and most of them are pretty nice, with many of them having drivers lounges, WiFi, free showers and free laundry, maintenance shops, and fuel islands. Some of them are just drop yards with little more than a small trailer parked on the lot.

Knight has a fairly knee Fleet of trucks, generally no more than 3 years old. They mostly use volvo vn670, international Prostar, and some freightliner Cascadia. A very few terminals have some peterbilt. Most of these trucks are well maintained, and in good shape. You will find the occasional truck that is kind of worn out, but for the most part, they will be in good shape, and if you have a problem, they will get it fixed.

As I said, knight has maintenance families at many of their terminals, however, if you are not close to any terminal and need work done on your truck, they will set you up to run to the nearest maintenance facility at a truck stop. Usually a Loves or a TA.

Knight does lack in some of the comforts that other companies have. Knight does not have APUs on their trucks, and currently, they do not have inverters, however, they are slowly installing inverters on their newer trucks. Also, some of the new trucks are coming with refrigerators. They have an idle policy, which they don't want you to idle between 30 and 70 degrees. Basically, they want you to keep your idle time as low as possible. For the cold times, they have bunk heaters installed in all of their trucks which do a good job of keeping you warm.

Knights pay is generally within thee industry standard. This means you will probably start around .36 cpm for a solo driver during your probationary period, and then move to between .38 and .40 cpm once you are out of this phase. This can vary a little, so, your pay rate will vary a little from those numbers.

You can expect to run an average of about 2300 to 2600 miles a week. A lot of this depends on how often you take home time, how often you are in the shop, and generally where you are at in the country. Freight is slower in some spots and more heavy in others.

If you like to run hard and do a good job at being on time and dependable, AND, if you are willing g to run wherever your dm sends you, it's very possible to make over 3000 miles a week. The key thing that the members here at TT will tell you is that it is imperative to have a good relationship with your dm. Don't be a complainer, or start telling them you will only run certain areas. Doing things like that, as well as telling them you won't run in winter weather can limit the options they have for you on loads, and will impact how many miles you get each week.

Having said that, knight is a very safety oriented company, and they will never ask you to do something you are not comfortable with. So, for a new driver, if you are not comfortable with running in the snow and ice, just let them know own you feel you need more experience before you get into those situations, but, try to make an effort to be accommodating.

Just remember to take it slow, and if the weather gets bad enough, knight gives you the authority to shut down. Knight generally leaves these things in your hands. If you feel there is a safety issue, they let you make that call, since you are in the drivers seat. On occasion, they will issue a mandatory shut down, if you are in an area where it warrants it.

Just keep a good line of communication to you dm, and try your best to help them out, and they will also try and help you out.

Remember, there will always be problems, and not every company is perfect. Knight is no exception. I will say, the lack of an APU can be tough. We have a drivers Facebook page and currently, there is a rash of people complaining about the bunk heaters. They are not always working as they are supposed to, but, they generally work. Again, however, if you have ever an issue, call the shop and they will get you in to get it fixed.

There are also a few other complaints that drivers are having. The key is to not let that drag you down.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

Be proactive in doing your Pre trips and keeping your truck in good working order, and it will keep running well for you.like I said, it will not always be perfect, but you will find this with any company.

When you start with knight, they will put you with a trainer. The time you spend with that trainer will depend on your experience and the feedback that the trainer gives on you. It could be wrong a few weeks, up to a couple of months.

When you arrive at knight, you will have about a week of orientation, and before you go out with your trainer, you will have an initial road test. You will also have another road test after you get back with your trainer, before they put you put on the road by yourself. Knight does urinalysis, as well as hair follicle testing. You will have a dot physical, and if you are flagged, you will have a sleep apnea test, and if necessary, will be required to purchase a cpap machine.

Dry van usually does more drop and hook and less live loads, reefer tends to have more live loads and fewer drop and hook. This can vary, however, depending on the load. Dry van generally has a window for appointment times, and reefer generally has specific appointment times. This means for dry van, they may say, for example, "arrive on Tuesday between 8am and 4pm", whereas reefer will say "arrive on Tuesday at 8am".

Dry van runs tend to be a bit shorter, with average load length being under 850 miles, and reefer tends to be a little longer with loads generally being 850+. Again, this varied by load, some could be more, some less.

Because reefer has more specific appointment times, your drive times are generally dictated by the load. Some days you'll be driving during the day, some days you'll be driving at night. Since dry van usually has more appointment windows, you have ever a bit more flexibility to dictate your drive times. Some dry van drivers enjoy only driving during the day, or at least getting to work their drive times when they like to drive. Again, this can vary, so don't rely on that being a constant.

Knight does have forward facing cameras in their trucks, but do not have driver facing cameras. This is for your protection as well as liability purposes.

Knights insurance is nothing special. It's run of the mill insurance, and, if you are a smoker or you have a high bmi , it can be expensive. There is a tobacco and fitness surcharge added to your insurance, however, those can be eliminated by doing some coaching courses, like a tobacco cessation, and taking a bmi test/ health screening. Both are offered by knight. The tobacco cessation is via phone i believe and the health screening is often offered at the terminals, or if you cant make.it to one of those, you will have to pay for it yourself by going to your local doctor. I won't get into dollar amounts, because it can vary depending on what insurance options you take.

Now, all of that sounds pretty standard right? Well, that's because it is. Knight is just another freight company, just like swift, prime, Crete, Werner, etc. Don't get me wrong, they are a good company, but you wanted an honest opinion, and while I'm known to toot the company horn from time to time, I'd be lying if I said there was just something super awesome that just jumps out that makes them heads and shoulders above the rest. Now, keep in mind, this is the first OTR company I have worked for, so I have nothing to compare it to, but from all that I have heard, it really is very similar to all the other companies out there.

Is knight a good place to work? Yes, they are. Are they better than every other company out there? Don't know, but I'd probably be pretty accurate in saying that, no, they are not any better or worse than the others.

Knight treats you well, and they will keep you moving. The one thing I can say about knight is, they are flexible. They will work with you regarding problems you are having, or with home time. They have never appeared to be hard nosed or forceful, and instead of shoving loads down your throat telling you that you have to run it, they actually ask you "does that load work for you?". At least that has been my experience. They give you options, but again, it's always best to work with your dm , don't refuse loads unless there is a good reason for doing so. Work with your team and they will work with you.

****this message has been provided by a single individuals experience and should not be construed as anything else than.one drivers opinion and experience. Your mileage may vary. Offer not valid in all areas, see local participating facility for terms and conditions.**** <---- meant to be read really fast.

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.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

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.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Wow Sambo. What an awesome company review. Thanks for taking the time. I hope many people will get to see this.

Roy B (Giddy) 's Comment
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Sambo what is meant by a causal driver. I read that term on Knights web site

Nick A.'s Comment
member avatar

Sambo,

Thank you so much for your reply. i know that it will help out more then just me so thank you very much for taking the time to write that up . That is a lot of good information and very useful. again thanks for the reply.

Nick

Lynn H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks very much. I'm planning on starting my trucking career once I get my son squared away with some things. Meanwhile, I lurk and study for my CLP. Knight is at the top of my list of companies so the info is greatly appreciated.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Nick A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey i just had one more question that i forgot to ask. i looked all over their site and all over this site but i can not find out where they do their orientation at. Does anyone know where that is held and also do they pay for hotel/food during that time. Thanks in advance.

Nick

P.S. i live in Idaho so i dont know if that matters where they will send you.

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

According to what I'm seeing, the terminal in Idaho falls offers orientation. If not, they may send you to boise. I'm not sure exactly where they will do it.

Orientation may vary from terminal to terminal, but at my Orientation in hutchins, tx. They paid for my hotel, and they provided breakfast and lunch, dinner you were on your own. They also provided transportation (hotel ****tle) from the hotel to the terminal. But again, I'm not sure if this is at every terminal. Each terminal may do things differently, just have to talk to your recruiter to see.

Also, orientation pay isn't anything to speak of, only like $150 or something like that, but, you'll only be there for 3 to 5 days...usually. once you get on a trainer truck, I think training pay is like $500 gross a week. Again, this all may vary from terminal to terminal, this was just my experience.

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.

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

Really? S.h.u.t.t.l.e. was beeped out? Lol

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