My First Week With Knight Transportation Squire CDL Training. For Anyone Who Wants To Know What To Expect.

Topic 24827 | Page 1

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Paul S.'s Comment
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Last Friday I was scrambling trying to figure out how I was going to make it to Phoenix, AZ from Lincoln, NE since my last company wasn’t able to get me to Phoenix like they promised. I ended up booking a rental, drove and made it to Phoenix on Sunday morning. Knight reimbursed me for the fuel and rental fees which was pretty cool. My recruiter had my hotel room ready for me at the comfort inn and suites for the next 3 weeks and to my surprise we aren’t sharing rooms, everyone has a room to themselves... which is great! I’ve heard plenty of stories where companies try to pair you up with someone or have dormitory style sleeping arrangements. I was afraid of that because I like my own space to relax at the end of the day. Knight paid for our lunch on the first day which was cool, and they’re virtually paying for everything. If we have to take an Uber or Lyft, submit that receipt and they’ll reimburse you.

Our group that started Monday was the first group to not have to learn manual shifting because the company recently switched all their trucks to automatics. I was thrilled but then again not too thrilled because I was looking forward to learning how to shift, it could’ve made me more marketable if I ever chose to go elsewhere. I was told that if I wanted to add manual shifting to my CDL I could later add that endorsement... so that’s cool if I ever wanted to go that route.

Our day starts at 5AM, the shuttle bus comes to pick us up from the hotel at 5:45AM and at 6:00AM we are at the terminal. At 4PM we take the shuttle back to our hotel.

Our first day was mostly classroom, learning how to log, HOS (hours of service) and other important things we may need to know while out on the road.

Day 2 you’re out on the range learning pre-trip and air brakes test.

On day 2 we were split up into groups of 3 and head out onto the main road to learn right/left turns, and later mixed in with more pre-trip and air brakes tests.

Day 3: We went out for some more driving, and once we returned to the range we started learning how to straight back, offset parking and parallel parking. We also mixed in more pre-trip and air brakes tests.

Day 4: We are cycling through everything we previously learned and perfecting it.

Day 5 (which is today): We had an evaluation on our pre-trip. We were able to miss 19, I missed 16. Although it’s still passing I still have some work to do.

Driving is something you have to get used to because that trailer is something else, it’s very sensitive and the slightest turn will move it. Once you learn that you are driving the trailer and not the truck things become much easier for you.

READ and retain YOUR PRE-TRIP & AIR BRAKES TEST like it’s the freaking BIBLE!!! You can miss a certain amount on your pre-trip, and I’m not really sure how many it is in any other state but here in Arizona it’s 19. You cannot miss anything on your Air brakes test or else it’s an auto-fail. That’s the advice I have to give so far. A lot of us were getting too wordy with pre-trip, I’m sure out of nervousness.. but when you do that you tend to forget a few things. Say what you have to say, hit your points and keep it moving.

It’s my first week but I’ve learned a lot so far, if you have any questions feel free to ask... I’ll answer to the best of my ability.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
RealDiehl's Comment
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Thanks for posting. Reading that schedule makes it apparent just how much info they throw at you so quickly. It really is like a boot camp. It does help you prepare to be a driver though. Not just the classroom and driving. The hectic schedule is a lesson in itself.

Lucky! You get your own room.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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I noticed many similarities between your description and what I experienced at Schneider. Training must be fairly standardized in the industry, which I think is a good thing. Plus, they want it to be challenging so both the company and you can see what you are made of, and, perhaps separate the men from the boys, so to speak.

Good luck throughout the process!

MrTechit's Comment
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Thanks for that man. I am heading to school in 1 to 2 weeks. Its great to know that its packed with learning.

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