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

Topic 29854 | Page 5

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Davy A.'s Comment
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Good stuff!!!

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

I found myself saying that over and over.

I was too tired yesterday to get day 4 covered, so here is days 4 and 5.

Day 4 was a mix of backing on the range and simulator work. This time we changed up which "docks" we were pulling into and added offsets as well. Two important learning moments happened for me. One was that as mentioned above, think of an arc, not hard angles. There is some unlearning for me going on, Ive spent many years working with very finite hard angles so changing perceptions helps. The other moment was realizing that the trailer doesnt move real-time. In other words start turning which ever direction about 5 to 10 feet before the tandems are there. It let me just relax and follow the trailer into the hole rather than fighting with it so much. It was a very productive day and I figured that hopefully I would use those ah ha moments during our evaluation on Day 5. I was too tired to practice in the evening, so I went to bed.

Day 5, conclusion of Top Gun training.

In the morning we split between the simulator and testing on the range. A quick note on the simulator, for some reason the right turns and city driving seems to be configured to make us do jug handle turns and wont take points off for it. However they are against company policy and were taught to button hook or go straight and turn late. I dont know if its possible to reconfigure the sims so they are more in line with how we are expected to drive, but I chose to force it, while I could eventually get the truck through the course without hitting anything, the sim had a coronary about lane departures and everything else. Just an observation.

The range test went excellent, it wasnt so much a test, our instructor wanted to see how we were able to put the methods and process in use. I had a great run, felt comfortable and was able to put the trailer where it needed to go safely with minimal amounts of fuss. After completing that, our instructor placed two pylons out at a hole between to real trailers on the yard and had us do a sight side 45 back into the hole. There was a light post on our blind side out a bit too that had to be avoided. Some of us did better than others, but we all got it safely in the hole. For me personally, my setup was off, but I recognized it was off and was eventually able to get it reset up better after a couple of tries. My overthinking came back with a vengeance, but nothing too bad. Each point that the instructor gave me direction was where I was planning to goal and adjust, so it tells me im on a good path with it. It was interesting, definitely out of my comfort zone, and very useful to do.

Overall, Top Gun was a very beneficial experience and I think it really helped prepare us for being out with our trainer and get a lot of backing experience in a very condensed time period. Im exhausted, back home in CO for a few days and then out with my trainer after that.

My review from my instructor and feedback for my trainer is "Driver is very safe, he is eager to learn. He asks great questions, he was very safe while on the Top Gun Close Quarters course. He shows great skills and leadership qualities. Driver needs to not overthink his abilities, he knows the skills but will second guess himself. Encourage driver to do what he has learned, he will be a great safe and productive driver."

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".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
John's Comment
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Congratulations on making it through Top Gun...excited for your next step!

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations Davy!

Reality sets in now. You will begin actually doing the job as you go out with a trainer. Hang in there - It's a special job, and it takes special people to do it. You are doing a great job so far, just keep up the progress. I am confident you will come out on top.

G-Town's Comment
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Well done Davy!

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks again, your guys experience and advice is beyond value.

Quick update,

Went in to the terminal , met my DDM and DM so I could get to know them and them me as well as find out info on my trainer etc. We talked for a good long while. I told them Im flexible on when we start, they appreciated that. Sounds like my trainer will be wrapped up until early next week and then we start (mon-tues). DDM thanked me for the communication and for being flexible, said it made her job a lot easier.

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.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Messaged DDM at 0700. Trainer will be in town now on Weds. I said I can make that work and volunteered for anything like moving trailers around the yard or going out with their local trainer, that would gain me experience or help benefit in anyway. She said thanks, but they were good. So Weds it is. My instructors at Top Gun said to get on the road with training as soon as possible so as not to loose what we did there. In the meantime, Im watching instruction videos in our portal and using american truck simulator for backing practice. Ive got two 36" monitors, its somewhat like the simulators we had at training. I looked into to renting a truck and trailer to just go practice backing somewhere just to stay fresh but thought better of it as it would be risky, plus it would be a cost that I just cant really justify.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Deep breath. Enjoy the break. You’ll be up to your eyeballs soon enough!

Good luck and safe travels.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Deep breath. Enjoy the break. You’ll be up to your eyeballs soon enough!

Good luck and safe travels.

Thanks. Have been in my head obviously, feeling like I was slacking, guessing it's probably normal. And just excited to get started.

John's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like that's all it is, you are eager to get going as you said.

I have been communicating with Knight, waiting to see cardiologist so he can clear me, so I can get my DOT physical...so I can get my CDL permit.

Had a heart attack in 2016, but I need to have a recent echocardiogram for my DOT...clearance won't be an issue - as of last checkup Dr says I am 100%. It is up to me to maintain it.

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Deep breath. Enjoy the break. You’ll be up to your eyeballs soon enough!

Good luck and safe travels.

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks. Have been in my head obviously, feeling like I was slacking, guessing it's probably normal. And just excited to get started.

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.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like that's all it is, you are eager to get going as you said.

I have been communicating with Knight, waiting to see cardiologist so he can clear me, so I can get my DOT physical...so I can get my CDL permit.

Had a heart attack in 2016, but I need to have a recent echocardiogram for my DOT...clearance won't be an issue - as of last checkup Dr says I am 100%. It is up to me to maintain it.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Deep breath. Enjoy the break. You’ll be up to your eyeballs soon enough!

Good luck and safe travels.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks. Have been in my head obviously, feeling like I was slacking, guessing it's probably normal. And just excited to get started.

double-quotes-end.png

Awesome, Hopefully you get it. Ive been really pleased with what I have seen from Knight so far. My trainer called, I head out today at about 2 or 3 pm to Cheyenne and then on to Billings. Hes swinging by the Denver terminal to pick me up and off we go.

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.

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.

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