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

Topic 29854 | Page 4

Page 4 of 8 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am going to be applying for Knight soon. I had never heard of the Top Gun portion...I like the concept.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

OK, forgive me...I am confused. What is "Top Gun" training? You have your CDL - I assumed the next step would be actual OTR Training.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Top Gun is a new training program that Knight has. Its a week long, 10 hours a day. Its concentrated training much more in depth on parking, backing , ELD, city driving, precision driving, shippers, EFS card, lumpers, and more. We will sleep at night in the Trucks on the lot. There is a course description in the photos a couple replies back. Its both simulators and driving, and range time. As far as I understand, there is a 60 % reduction in accidents and backing incidents between CDL grads who have taken the program compared to those that havent. If you go through the program, you only do two weeks with a trainer OTR, (more if you desire) and then go on to 30k miles solo under the guidance of a DDM prior to moving out of the Squire program and becoming a Knight driving associate. I asked my recruiter today if there is a road test between training and the 30k solo and or at the end of the solo. He said he doesnt believe so, but there are requirements that do need to be met along the way. In addition to the training, we have a ton of training assignments to complete through the portal from the looks of it.

During school, we could see the Top Gun guys doing backing and exercises at the other end of the range often. They looked like they were doing a variety of different types of backs and parking, not just standard stuff. Also in AZ, we only test on straight back, offset, and parallel, and only to one side (drivers for offset, blind side for parallel). So we come out of school without knowing how to do 90 and 45 alley docks or have gotten experience parking and just get a quick run through on other stuff.

double-quotes-end.png

Ask your recruiter about it for sure. I liked the idea of it, seemed like a very logical step to take, and I like the fact that its concentrated learning. I dont know that I would have the opportunity to practice backing and parking nearly as much as going out with a trainer directly. I know that we dont recommend companies here I think specifically. The experience that Ive had with Knight so far has been very professional, high quality and far exceeded my expectations. I really dont have any complaints to speak of, but again, I think our attitudes and actions ultimately determine our success. I did see on the pad and in training that closed mouths dont get fed at times. I watched a classmate struggle with some of the backing, but I also didnt see him ask for help. Anything that I struggled with, I asked for input and help with. I also continually checked my progress by asking questions like "Did that appear better than the previous attempt?" or "I cant quite feel if Im progressing in this, are you seeing progress and if not, what I can do to remedy it?" Most of the time I seldom needed to ask, the instructors continually check for understanding and application, then adjust teaching to it.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations

Thanks. I feel almost like I know less than when I started school, or rather maybe I can actually see that there is so much more I need to learn, that the CDL is just the start? Its daunting and humbling. Is that typical? I have a million and one questions going through my head, after watching a round of guys wash out that were on this form, I want to ensure that I dont as much as I can. Any input on moving into the training phase and resources on here I should be looking at? Would be greatly appreciated. Once again, thank you guys and gals here.

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
Thanks. I feel almost like I know less than when I started school, or rather maybe I can actually see that there is so much more I need to learn, that the CDL is just the start? Its daunting and humbling. Is that typical? I have a million and one questions going through my head, after watching a round of guys wash out that were on this form, I want to ensure that I dont as much as I can. Any input on moving into the training phase and resources on here I should be looking at? Would be greatly appreciated. Once again, thank you guys and gals here.

Davy, You are really doing well. Your feelings expressed are good solid indicators that you are getting it. I felt like I was totally unprepared when I was given my own truck and allowed to go solo. There is just a lot of responsibility to this career. Most new entry level drivers don't get that. Unfortunately, we truck drivers have given the impression that we are a bunch of boneheads who can't seem to get a job doing something meaningful. This is a very challenging career. You have gotten a close up view of how people easily wash out of this when their goal is right in sight. It happens all the time. We talk a lot about commitment in here. This is a job that requires it. I am proud of the way you have been cautious and careful with your approach. You are going to make a great truck driver.

Let me just warn you about one thing. It takes a good while to establish yourself as a good solid driver who is trusted and depended on. Just keep plugging away at being safe, easy to work with, and always on time. Those three things will mean a lot to your future career as a driver. Here's an article you might appreciate.

A Truck Driving School Commencement Speech

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I read and re read that, profoundly makes sense to me. Thank you.

Training, Top Gun, Day 1.

Very intense pace, different than school, different objectives. Ill try to keep it concise because its a new program. I was told that Swift is also going to be using this program as well as Knight will be expanding it to more terminals.

training starts 0600, moved from 0700. Class room meet and talk about week objectives and course, over all schedule and purpose. 1rst day, simulator training on various backing and introduction, then out to the pad to apply simulator performance to real truck. Pad consisted of straight back to a dock, no cones, focusing on goals and awareness both front and back. Then to 45 degree to dock, again goals and awareness, 1 cone and line, blind side. Tomorrow is driver side, no reference points, using goals and our own references, dock complexity added. among other items.

Groups alternated between simulator and online learning modules on safety, regulations, company policies, and a varitety of subjects. We have a lot of modules to go through, so plenty of homework

Tomorrows schedule will be full as well, with the exception of we will do the pad and truck work in the morning and then go computer and simulator in the afternoon, the heat is very significant in Phoenix, so hydration and driver fatigue is something to consider.

We are staying in trucks on the lot, we are allowed unlimited idling while in training this week. We were given a ton of freebies, I opted to get a pillow and light blanket from wally world as the sleeping bag seemed a little extreme for the temps down here.

Im tired, but not too tired, excited for what tomorrow will bring. Trying to keep an analytical thought process on backing, while having faith in the process. There is a temptation to be critical of myself, rather than use this as the learning opportunity it is. Two big take aways that I had for today were getting the trailer straight on a pull up and resuming rather than pulling up further than needed and overthinking it. The second was to get a feel for where the trailer is at, its difficult to put into words but it seems like there isnt always a consistent hard reference point in the real world, its kind of a feel thing, Im learning to adapt to that.

Fascinating stuff, but there is a much more real feeling in this week. Like, time to put the back into it, were going to be on the road with a trainer next week. I want to be as prepared as possible and have done the best possible job I can of learning and retaining knowledge for it.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Davy,

I'm still following, as well! (FWIW...) :)

Sounds like you are doing amazingly well; how quickly you've progressed! I can relate to that 'tired' but not 'too' tired statement; it's hard to sleep with that good ole' adrenaline still carrying on within.

Quick question: Did you have any 'motion sickness' issues with the simulator(s?) This is a subject that always piques my antlers; just asking for my own lil' fears. . . I don't get carsick OR seasick, so .... ?!?!?

Thanks for all your updates; and keep on keeping on, man. Love the 'Top Gun' phrase; seems apropos!

~ Anne ~

thank-you-2.gif good-luck.gif good-luck.gif thank-you-2.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

John H.'s Comment
member avatar

I am still following too! Keep it up!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks to all.

Im up way past my bed time, had to complete all the electronic homework, like 50 assignments.

Im sorry in advance for the short post. No, I personally didn't get motion sickness, but some did, we had one girl drop output it wasn't motion sickness, rather too much stimulus . One of the guys got motion sickness when he first was doing it. I game a lot, and used American truck simulator with two 36" monitors for a while to practice backing and city driving on for a month or two before school. I found it to be very similar to the simulators and very useful for developing habits of checking mirrors, reference points and learning what inputs do to the trailer. The one thing I dislike about the simulator is that its timed. Real world, Im taking all the time I need, with as many goals as I need.

Day 2, top gun training

work on the pad was blind side and sight side 45s to tight docks, no reference points. Sight side 90 with only one reference point. Simulator was getting into obstacle courses for various parking moves. What we do on the simulators we will do on the pad.

The big huge take away today though was that it was much more about finding principles and solutions rather than proficiency at a specific maneuver. Specifically identifying where I needed to guide my tandems to pivot around, and what path my trailer was going to go if I did that, and learning to gauge if the parts I cant see are going to hit something before they hit it, to goal, look and adjust. It was a really positive experience. So far I have not hit anything, have been learning how to assess things so I dont. Slow and steady, and I dont let anything pressure me.

Any how, I'm off to bed, up at the usual time.

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".

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Top Gun training. Day 3

Turned out that I didn't need to do all the modules on the computer, but I took the shotgun approach. I ended up getting about two hours of sleep, the fatigue definitely effected my decisions today with backing. Definitely a good learning lesson. We spent the morning rotating through 90s and 45s blind and sight side. No reference points. The point of it isn't to perfect the maneuvers rather to get a sense of the size of our vehicles, how to fix things when we don't line up, how to adjust and most importantly goals and safety, not hit people and objects, other vehicles. I want a long sustainable career in this industry and the foundation of it I think lies in this, Ill get out 50 million times and look if I need to, I dont have the ability to judge yet with very much precision just where the trailer will go, perhaps in time, but I actually really like getting out and looking and seeing whats going on as well as the exercise.

I knew I wasn't performing optimally but at the end of the day, the instructor gave us the keys to the simulators, the truck on the range and the lab room, so we were able to practice if we wanted to. I ate some food, relaxed for a bit and then went out and practiced backing. It helped a lot. Also getting tired enough to stop overthinking and micromanaging every move. Instead I just try what I thought would track the trailer and tandems to where I wanted them then goal and adjust accordingly. As I've read so many times on this site, quit overthinking and relax. While I have a long ways to go to put the puzzle pieces together, At least they are in focus and i can see where they will fit together down the road.

Since I finished all my homework for the week (all in one night lol) I was able to capitalize on even more range time which also help. I kind of thought that might be the case, and it was worth being dragged out today. I kind of looked at it as route planning for the days, since it will free me up for even more range and simulator time for the rest of the week.

I really wish I could just go directly with a trainer from here but I have a lot of changes going on in life that I have to take care of too, so once training is done on Friday, I fly back to Denver, and then go out with the Trainer on Weds or Thursday.

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".

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Good stuff!!!

When backing... think “arc”, not hard angles.

Page 4 of 8 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More