Career Change For A 50 Year Old Contractor, Committing To It.

Topic 29483 | Page 4

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Davy A.'s Comment
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Well...one last change on this trip. Happened today. Found out that one of my speeding tickets was being erroneously reported and is actually off my record. Happened by chance to call my recruiter at Knight and ask him to check and see. He did. All is good. Hired by Knight. Went down to their terminal , drank a ton of water, pee'd in the cup, gave up some arm hair since Im bald as a cueball. Submitted paperwork.

Starting Knights school on Monday March 22, Then one week of their "Top Gun" training program at the school, back home to CO, and then on to Training with them.

I was mistaken with Prime, spoke with the recruiter here, she said they do not offer regional to CO residents and their minimum days out dont line up with my needs. Knight is a much better fit for those needs. Less pay to start, but Im good with that.

Really happy, I originally wanted to go with Knight so it somewhat circled back.

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Oh, WOW~!

Kinda the 'switch up,' but hay ..whatever works! I'd be PROUD flying w/Knight (Swift.) Vans? Flats like O/S?

Still 'stymied' re: your 'date' with Prime . . . . however . ?!?!?

Happy for you eitherhow~!

~ A ~

Dry van regional, western 11, Out for 6 days or 8 days, in for 2. I will probably end up staying out for more some of the time.

Knight started a new program within their training called "Top Gun". It seems to really concentrate on real world backing skills and is performed in a full in-cab simulator. They have a truck cab set up very much akin to aviation sims, as I was told, developed by folks worked in training for aviation and astronauts. In addition to the sim work, there is also live backing and specific maneuvers done on the range. The student sleeps in their truck at the campus rather than at a hotel to help get a feel for life on the road in the truck. According to Knight, they have seen a 60 percent lower rate in backing accidents and incidents among students whom have taken the "Top Gun" course in comparison with those that havent. The program costs no extra money, so it seems like a winner to me. I spoke with a gal who had just finished the program and she said she was really glad she had done it, felt way more confident in backing. She said it was about 80 percent on real life backing and was very focused training that worked well.

You do the program after you have graduated from their school, prior to going on to training. After it is complete, I will return home to CO, get my CDL from the DMV and go back to training consisting of two to three weeks solo with a trainer, meaning they run the training not as a team, but solo truck. The recruiter said that if I felt like I needed more training time after that, they would certainly do that.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Davy A.'s Comment
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Busy day today. Went to go get another med card from Knights approved doctor, this entailed peeing in more cups for a whole new set of people. Apparently the transportation industry likes students to pee a lot as I did it for my first med card, for Knight at the terminal and again today. Did their physical and agility tests, passed easily, it consisted of climbing up and down steps for a minute, lugging a bunch of weights around the room, lifting them up over your head and then pulling one to simulate the strength needed to pull the 5th wheel release. After the physical I went and hung drywall on a ceiling and walls for 6 hours after sitting in traffic on I25 for 2 hours, so in my opinion the physical wasnt really that taxing. I hate drywall.

Flunked the colorblind test as I knew that I would. The medical individual who administered this test seemed to have been born sometime in the early 1rst century Russian area. She asked me to identify the colors of several thumbtacks. To which I replied "Im colorblind, I can see colors, but cant identify correct shades of red/green." Helga simply shrugged her shoulders, pointed at the tacks and said "Vat Color?!?" I did my best, but missed a few reds for browns, a purple for blue, and saw several suspect yellows. (yes, I see three distinct different colors on a stoplight: Top is Red, Middle is Orange, Bottom is whiteish green). That seemed to appease her.

My recruiter asked me to send in two forms through the portal, so I took the initiative to fill out all the forms but two, downloaded copies of them and called him. I also sent him my articles of formation and state summary of compliance for business to establish that I have not been slacking the last decade and indeed a functional member of society. I have documents coming out my rear end in regards to business, so no worries there.

Knight does require 500 down to start school, if youre freaking out over that, read Paid CDL Training Programs select on Knight Transportation, it describes their program in detail. Ill be giving them my money tomorrow.

Nothing else to report until I attend school on March 22nd. Fearful of the 0600 start time, but ill make it through it, I have my crazy German woman calling me every morning at 0500. Still trying to decide on taking the Free airline ticket and free ubers while im there or taking my truck down to there (reimbursed for gas) or paid for rental car. Also of note, You pay for the hotel at 55 bucks a night, but my recruiter says he will cover the 3rd week of the hotel during school as long as I do the Top Gun program which I am going to do anyway.

Also, as Im wrapping up my lengthy rambling diary of getting to the point of going with Knight, I was thinking of terminating this diary and starting one on Knight as I noticed there are very few diaries of Knight students here and also because it would be more in line with actual school, training and well....actually getting to be a driver hopefully. Also hopefully people read this and pay attention to what the old timers here say right off the bat in regards to company paid training and such. I ended up needlessly chasing my tail and spending a lot of time I didnt need to. And for god sakes, If you have speeding tickets, get em dealt with and find out what your MVR looks like BEFORE you start applying.

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.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations Davy! Now you know why I made that previous statement...

I've been to enough trucking orientations to know it's not a "done deal" until they assign you your own truck and give you a set of keys.

Welcome To Knight Transportation! You are in good hands.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Davy! Now you know why I made that previous statement...

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I've been to enough trucking orientations to know it's not a "done deal" until they assign you your own truck and give you a set of keys.

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Welcome To Knight Transportation! You are in good hands.

I do indeed. Once again, thank you and everyone here for the advice and support, its really been helping. Im actually a Knight employee as of today, but I dont consider it a done deal. I still have to make it through school, pass my CDL test and training and then get a truck. Im nervous and excited, so the best thing I can do is go dive into the pre trip study guide here. I really like what I have seen so far from Knight as a business. Its also the first w4 Ive filled out in about 20 years.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Its also the first w4 Ive filled out in about 20 years.

Haha, yeah, I get that!

I was in business for decades before I jumped into trucking. I was accustomed to signing paychecks that were cashed by others. I got comfortable real quick with actually getting a paycheck. I still remember telling my wife, "Man, this is great having somebody pay me like clockwork every week. I'm not even having to run around town trying to collect what people owe me!"

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Im very much looking forward to that OS.

Quick update, and summary of possibly useful tidbits of information:

Heres a quick rundown of costs and slight changes to Knights Squire school and training program.

1. 500 dollar deposit is due in order to start school, 150 of that can be paid to secure your spot for school - I paid the 500 through the Knight Portal, though I have yet to see it hit my bank

2. Knight does not offer lodging, most students elect to stay at the Comfort inn located 7 minutes away from the Campus. You have to make your own reservations, but tell the desk its through Knight Transportation and you get the room at their corporate rate of 58.00 per night, depending on which clerk and how savvy your communication skills are, I found that you may be able to get it locked in without additional fees or taxes. Laundry facilities are available free of charge at the school.

2.A. This means that if you are not from the area, you will need to provision funds for 3 to 4 weeks of lodging. In my case, my recruiter volunteered that he would cover the third week, If I cover the first two. (I think I had a painful look on my face at paying for lodging)

3. While Knight does not cover ground transportation while there, My recruiter volunteered to either reimburse me and or is looking into covering a rental car, but there is a shuttle from the Comfort Inn to the campus and back, as well as to Wally world and such. My recruiter also said he would cover Ubers if it wasn't incessant use. I cant stress enough that building relationships through effective communication make a huge difference in results.

4. Knight will cover a bus ticket, flight, rental car and or gas to travel to and from the school from your home region. *I have a flight lined up but presented the idea to my recruiter of Me renting a car in Denver as they are far cheaper here than Phoenix, using it while down there (I hate being a passenger and using public transit) and then returning to Denver in it after school. Im waiting to hear the answer.

5. Knight offers lunch throughout the duration of the school. Comfort Inn has complimentary breakfast. Additional food is up to you.

Total out of pocket costs 500.00 + 812.00+Fuel if using rental car (may be reimbursed), 100.00-300.00 for food *additionally, you may need more out of pocket if you pay for all 3 weeks of your lodging. The first week of Top Gun, if selected, you will not need a hotel as you will sleep on the truck at the campus.

5. Squire school is 18 days long (3 weeks), gross pay is 480.00 per week. You can go back to your home state, get your CDL and then you are on the road for 3 to 4 weeks with a trainer. Pay for that training period is 650.00 per week, gross. OR, you can elect to remain for one more week in Phoenix as part of the Top Gun Training and then return home, get your CDL and do 2 weeks or more if desired training with a trainer on the road. You will still receive the 650 per week training pay in Top Gun while at the school.

This may sound like a lot of out of pocket costs, but for the most part, they can be negated by the fact that you are getting paid while you are in school. I did a ton of shopping trying to come up with a more affordable lodging solution, but in the end it wasnt worth the trouble.

If anyone shares my night owl-ism, school starts at 6 am. Ive been training for that by setting multiple alarms, across the house where I physically have to get up to shut them off at 0500. Ive been doing dry runs for school the last several weeks and have been successful with it, also meditating when going to bed, visualizing waking up and enjoying it, and looking forward to doing something I think I will very much enjoy for a career.

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.
Braham's Comment
member avatar

Congrats! I LOL at the part about the Russian lady as she was the one who tested me when I applied to Knight. Unfortunately I made a silly mistake/omission on my application and I was told they could not hire me :( Good luck!

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