On Board With Knight Transportation, Squire School Started 03/22/21

Topic 29854 | Page 2

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Davy A.'s Comment
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I dont know, but its the second one Ive seen since ive been here, in one week. Odd, the streets are not one way as well. todays afternoon drive was eventful as well. Semi driver pulled an illegal u turn in front me, right lane to right lane across four lanes of pretty busy traffic, bicycle metal scrapper guy wrecked his bicycle towing a trailer into my lane as I was approaching, had a 4 wheeler try to sneak up the inside during a right turn, I closed it off quickly, but Im just learning, so I was a tad wide for longer than I should have been. Notwithstanding, a 5 foot wide car wont fit in a 2 foot wide space to the best of my knowledge?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Week Two Day 2

Man, it was a long day. A good day, but long.

First off, all through the first week, I kept thinking "Its pretty chilly out, I thought it would be really hot in Phoenix."...Its getting really hot in Phoenix now. Anyhow, were pretty active on the pad, so I'm making sure to hydrate properly, and keep enough long lasting carbs and protein in as I burn through them, heat makes it worse. I have a high enough metabolism that if I don't maintain proper nutrition and diet that I can get fairly low blood sugar. Nothing too bad, but not something I want to risk.

First thing out the gate this morning at 0600 was our Pre Trip inspection test for the school, (not our actual CDL test). It went great, I felt utterly prepared and confident. Initially I passed, I received 9 points for small stuff, things like forgetting to say the mud flap covers both wheels. The only complete item I missed was both the city horn and air horn. The air brakes tests went well, but upon review, during the low air pressure warning test, I stated ..."At or Below 60 PSI" rather than what it should be "...at or ABOVE 60 PSI" So Ill retake the air brake tests on Thursday. The results however were good enough that they counted it as a pass and it left me as the only student driving today and doing backing maneuvers as my other classmates didn't pass by a large margin. Loved the practice.

Driving went well, really well. I was the only student on the truck and spent the morning doing figure 8s, series of 4 left turns on city streets followed by 4 right turns. It really helped, while I wasn't hitting curbs or anything, it helped build my confidence and smooth out my turns, most of which were just sort of "grabby" for lack of a better word, I found I wasn't smooth on the wheel nor on the throttle and it quieted that down, Also It helped getting in seat time and guided practice. We came back to the yard for lunch

After lunch I was the only on the pad with my instructor. I repeated all my straight back, offset and parallel and then reset the truck all afternoon. For the most part my instructor just had me do it, Him and I both feel I can pass the maneuvers at this point. It was a workout getting in and out the truck, as both the offset and parallel require a GOAL to pace off distance for adjustment. I enjoy the workout though, so who knows, maybe down the road, maybe one day Ill try the skateboard division.

After school, I stuck around and helped my other classmates study for their pre trip, they spent all day on the pad doing it but still wanted to get some more time in on it. I feel very secure in testing for it.

One major thing that comes to mind, is the understanding that CDL school, weather paid for or company funded doesn't teach us how to drive a truck, much less be a trucker. It teaches us how to pass the CDL Test. There simply isn't enough time and real world experiences in the class to do anything other than that. The CDL is simply the key that opens the door to training, which in turn opens the door to gaining experience and then we become a trucker.

I'm exhausted, really grateful to have stumbled on to this site, the high road training program, the efforts of the experienced here and the abundance of truth here really help prepare the receptive mind.

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

Congratulations Davy! It sounds like you are progressing well - that's great!

I drive a flatbed for Knight. You talking about the heat in Phoenix reminded me of a delivery I made to the University there one summer. It was the month of June and my delivery appointment was set for midnight. I was delivering some aluminum materials for new stadium seating going into a re-model of their football stadium. I thought midnight seemed like an odd delivery time, so I questioned the job site foreman over the phone. He simply asked me if I had ever been to Phoenix in June, and then said the construction workers there always work at night because of the heat. After I got there I understood. Even at midnight the heat was stifling.

Sorry to ramble on in your diary, but you gave me a memory when you mentioned the heat up there. Keep doing what you are doing. It sounds like you are doing real well.

Davy A.'s Comment
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Not rambling at all OS, you have been an inspiration to me and again, cant thank you guys enough for all that you do here. It goes through my head several times a day how grateful I am not to be working construction in the heat down here as I watch the contractor working on the buildings at the school and terminal. Im sure Ill have tough days ahead as well as good ones, but how I react and prepare and learn for those days rests in my hands. Im looking forward to it.

Just in the little bit of seat time that ive gotten, I had one of those moments of serenity, watching the morning sun backlight the mountains, driving down the road in big rig, The instructor and I quiet for a moment, just peaceful, calm and enjoyable. Its a small moment in time, but one of the reasons why I want to do this for my career and for a way of life.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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Davy this is really good. Enjoyed reading it! You are really doing great.

Be safe.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Week 2 Day 3

Usual morning routine completed. Replying to a post on here got me to thinking about how I have handled somethings in the process. So Im going to periodically start listing them and solutions I've been employing:

Problem 1. Really horrible with waking up early and being on time. Very big fear of mine. Root cause: Laziness and reluctance to follow a schedule, fear of loss of personal freedom. Solution: Set multiple alarm clocks out of reach with varied times between 0440 and 0500, sufficient to reach school start time of 0600 for 4 to 6 weeks prior to start of school. Go to bed at or before (nod of head to air leakage test) 2100, even if I do not sleep at all. Do not deviate from schedule at all, do not take naps until 2100 no matter how tired I am. Successful results. Have been on time every day to school and am now in the habit of waking up at 0445 even without alarm.

I dont like leaving anything to chance with even the simple things. I repeated this process with any items that I was struggling with and even those I wasnt in school. Pre trip has come easy for me, but I had to figure out why. One of my classmates asked me how I remembered everything on the truck and about it.

It took me a week to find out. It came to me today as I was helping him. I love big trucks, everything about the truck, I like the symmetry of the lines, the parts working in conjunction fascinate me. Its easy to remember something you have very positive feelings about. things like Air brakes fascinate me, (Maybe Im a weirdo) but they make sense to me. We stood looking at the truck and trailer for a moment. I stated "Look at it for a second, its a bad ass truck and trailer..." He nodded his head and said yep, I love driving this. Notwithstanding, I practiced, watched videos, and acted as If I couldn't remember any of it, Just in case.

Anyhow, enough of my rambling.

Morning was spent driving, Got out on Interstate 10 briefly, felt great. City streets felt great, Turns are about 80 percent of where I would like them to be at, still a bit rough, but accurately judging things. Fundamentals coming along nicely.

Afternoon was spent on the pad practicing parking maneuvers. I feel at 100 percent of where I want to be on this. I can ascertain where the trailer will go, when its not going to line up for desired trajectory and target location and adjust it accordingly. We rotated amongst two of us on one truck and the other student who is struggling is still working with a few instructors on one truck. I am still tremendously enjoying every bit of school and really get to treasure my time driving. I know school is not the real world but its been like a vacation being able to learn and explore in a controlled area.

I have one week left until I test for my CDL , I feel confident yet not over confident if that makes sense. I do have a gaggle of things that I want in shape before I test and I feel secure in getting that done.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I enjoy following along with your detailed posts, but one thing I may offer concerning your sleep is cut back on all that caffeine.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Davy this is really good. Enjoyed reading it! You are really doing great.

Be safe.

Im trying. Thank you for all the support and advice. You guys really do a huge service to those of us making changes in our lives.

I enjoy following along with your detailed posts, but one thing I may offer concerning your sleep is cut back on all that caffeine.

Thanks, as said with all you in here, Your guys experience and support is beyond value. I have been thinking about the caffeine intake too. I read that this morning, Cut it back to one cup of mud, also cut back daily intake. I rarely drink soda during the day, and I cut off drinking anymore coffee past the morning already. I got a little bit of a headache today from reducing intake, but Ill keep plugging along at it.

Week 2 Day 4

Another enjoyable day, passed my evaluation test for pre trip, all I had to do was retake the air brakes, went quick. Stumbled on one sentence but my instructor sort of coaxed the right phrase out. Worked on the truck, we actually checked all the tires, found a rear tandem at 23 psi, filled that, checked for leaks and talked while the sun came up.

Spend the rest of the day in class, as 3rd week students were on the pad testing. Went over adverse weather, scales, regulations, Smartdrive system, paper logs, ELD, Zonar, HOS , and company portals and apps and a few other things. I was really grateful for all the information and training materials here, because it really does a good job of preparing us. Particularly when we got to discussing dash cams and the smart drive system. The numbers are astonishing, 80 percent of collisions were found to be the fault of the passenger vehicle drivers, not the truck driver. The threads and information here, your guys hard won experience, benefit me coming into it.

After reading this morning's stuff with one of the ex members here, it got me to thinking that I really dont want to pull a Eugene down the road. Im just going to concentrate on doing the best I can and keep in mind that this is a process. Im not going to learn what I need to learn in a day, month or even a year, If im lucky, Ill learn bits and pieces. A lot of what I see seems to reinforce that ultimately, Im responsible for my career and my decisions with it and It will come in time if Im doing the best I can. I have no idea how backing in the real world will go for me, All I can do is follow instructions, learn and apply myself and keep my attitude Properly mounted and secure, not cracked damaged or bent out of shape. I can also take advantage of opportunities like the training program after school, its a week of concentrating on real world backing in a fairly controlled environment. I can also continue to take advantage of the opportunity I have to access the information and support here.

Onward and upward.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Week 2 Day 5.

Am, Pounded less coffee this morning, no head aches. Fridays we are off at noon. We spent a bit of time getting to pick our instructors brains on stuff. We went through the process of sliding the 5th wheel platform. It was interesting, and more than a little bit grabby, the school trucks dont really get much for moving those parts. We did eventually get the pins to lock back in place. After that we (my fellow student did a round of maneuvers practice. I was next on deck when my instructors came out and told me to shut it down.

I knew I haven't done anything off and my paperwork and all is in order, so I wasn't worried. They informed me "Congratulations, you have been selected for the first random UA. Since we are actually employees, its common. Since I don't ingest substances, I never sweat UA's. I replied "Excellent, I know ill pass at least one exam while here!" We laughed, I went in, took the test, obviously passed. And we went out driving.

We both wanted to work on our city driving and turns, so we did. I was sort of excited and too keyed up, ran over a curb on my first corner. Settled down, relaxed and was able to gauge effectively after that. I felt a lot better on my corners afterwards. We have an evaluation for our road test on monday. I feel okay about it, just need to remember to stay relaxed follow protocols.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Happy Easter all.

Misses came in for the weekend, was good to spend some time with her. Went to the musical instruments museum in Phoenix, fascinating place, some really cool instruments in there.

Big Covid scare at the office and terminal , Someone was either diagnosed or worried about it in the building where our class is. So we got a group text over the weekend that classes and pad work, driving is closed on monday and we needed to get tested for covid and send in our results. Went an immediately tested, came back negative, sent results in.

Little bummed about not being able to come in Monday, as I test this week and my road evaluation was scheduled for Monday. I feel very confident in Pre Trip and Backing, just would like to have the same level of confidence on my city turns, particularly Right Hand turns. Its an automatic fail if we cut it too tight and put the tandems on the curb. To date in learning, I've had that happen a total of 3 times, none on my lefts. Id rather err on the side of going a tad wide, but not so wide that a 4 wheeler is left enough room to try to sneak up the inside. I feel like I'm decent at gauging it and having accurate turn in markers most of the time, but Id like it all the time. I don't like leaving things to chance, anything that has a higher probability factor than zero, will eventually happen. As usual, im probably over thinking it as well.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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