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

Topic 29854 | Page 8

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Old School's Comment
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Hey John, I wish all the best for you at the cardiologist. Let me also assure you that Knight is a great company to work for. I've been driving for them for many years. I have always been treated like a professional. They have a unique management system that I think works really well for their drivers. Each terminal is somewhat autonomous. They each have to pull their own weight. I am out of the Gulfport, MS terminal and my experience has been wonderful.

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.

John's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Old School,

Knight has a terminal about 5 miles away from my house in Tulsa - so that is a definite positive for me. Others that were on my list, don't have a terminal within 100 miles of home. It made me look a little deeper into Knight, and it definitely seems like it is a good choice.

Hey John, I wish all the best for you at the cardiologist. Let me also assure you that Knight is a great company to work for. I've been driving for them for many years. I have always been treated like a professional. They have a unique management system that I think works really well for their drivers. Each terminal is somewhat autonomous. They each have to pull their own weight. I am out of the Gulfport, MS terminal and my experience has been wonderful.

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.

John's Comment
member avatar

Just to add, I was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi about 30 years ago (wow. I just realized that was almostTHIRTY years ago!)

Thanks Old School,

Knight has a terminal about 5 miles away from my house in Tulsa - so that is a definite positive for me. Others that were on my list, don't have a terminal within 100 miles of home. It made me look a little deeper into Knight, and it definitely seems like it is a good choice.

double-quotes-start.png

Hey John, I wish all the best for you at the cardiologist. Let me also assure you that Knight is a great company to work for. I've been driving for them for many years. I have always been treated like a professional. They have a unique management system that I think works really well for their drivers. Each terminal is somewhat autonomous. They each have to pull their own weight. I am out of the Gulfport, MS terminal and my experience has been wonderful.

double-quotes-end.png

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I definitely echo what Old School has said. I have found Knight to be great to work for and a very positive experience so far. Denver is my home terminal and they seem to be very easy going and professional.

Day 11

Rough morning, I woke up and tried using a soda for a coffee substitute, not a good idea. I have reactive hypoglycemia. Its a lot like what happens when you give a kid sugar. They get wired for a bit and then crash. Pretty much like the opposite of diabetes. I wont go too low, but low enough that its uncomfortable. On top of that, I didnt get much for sleep, and the local bug population decided to party hard. Anyhow, I made a lot of little mistakes, nothing major, missed an exit, cut a few corners too tight, others too wide and generally didnt have my normal wits about me, Again nothing too bad, had to do some exploring at the shippers as well.

Not that the mistakes are anything to loose a hat over, but I have a tendency to be too hard on myself and go really slow through things as well as back slide a bit on skills when Im flustered. As I develop over time, those skills will be automatic muscle memory, but that takes time. Onward and upward.

The shipper informed us that our load wasnt scheduled and they would fit us in. We waited just shy of two hours and they gave us a dock. I backed it in, wasnt the prettiest back in the world but I was far less abrupt and had more confidence, so I was ok with it. It also was a valuable learning moment for gauging trailer to hole relationship. I thought I overshot the hole on setup and adjusted accordingly which it turned out I undershot a little bit. I was able to fix it and got it reasonably in place enough to load. So progress not perfection. When I was nervous before, I was braking so hard and early that I couldnt get a bead on how the trailer was tracking, its getting much better.

I went inside and counted the pallets and learned about load placement in the trailer, we did single double all the way back til the last 10 feet of trailer or so. It worked out perfectly, when we scaled out, the drives and tandems were evenly matched, 33060 each. Were at just a hair over 78k, and will be hitting the mountains of CO and Utah, so its going to be a good learning experience for me. So far ive done will on hills, but I havent had a whole lot of them yet.

Took off north, drove through morning Houston traffic, pales in comparison to LA, Im pretty comfortable with city traffic for some odd reason. I have no idea why. Drove through some really heavy rain and wind courtesy of a couple strong cells. I felt comfortable with that too, I reduced speed for lack of viability and stopping distance. with a full load, the truck was fine in the wind. I took us up to 287 north and switched drivers as I only had a few hours left on my 14 hour clock from burning a lot of it off waiting and dealing with various stuff today. Doc drove a while and we shut it down for the night at a flying J. I had a really good back with no harsh movements and just kind of zen placed it right in the hole because the pavement was wet and lots of puddles, I had no lines. I was happy with that.

One last tidbit, I spoke with my DDM today, she asked if I was ready to go solo. I told for the most part yes, but I still dont feel comfortable in some areas, but really I would rely on my trainers assessment. Doc acted as I thought he would, he said that I need to make the decision lol. I thought about it a lot. Two weeks is a very short time of training. Granted, I had the week of Top Gun. but I would like to cultivate some more experience and make sure that I start my career off solidly. I proposed the idea of me taking a few days off while Doc is on vacation and then doing one or two more weeks of training after that. He was open to that. Im sure my DDM will, she said if I felt like I needed more, they would be happy to give me it. I will see how I feel after the end of this load. I feel like im ready about 65 to 75 percent of the time, Id like to see that higher. Its not about the money, If I have to take a week off to make sure Im solid, its worth far more than a weeks training pay to me.

So in the end, the day started rough, but had some really good experience and lessons for me it, and it finished well.

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.

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".

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

IMO you're ready to solo now.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I agree with PackRat. You can do it. There's gonna be times it will be rough - that is to be expected. You will be surprised at how much you will learn by going solo. It is surprising how putting yourself out there as a solo driver will draw out all your own shortcomings, but that is the point of gaining a mastery of something. You recognize your deficiencies and you are forced to correct them.

You are going to love it being solo. There will be a few times you will be praying to God, "What do I do now?" You will certainly miss having "Doc" right their with you, but you can handle it.

Stay the course Davy, and keep us informed if you can. Be mindful of that hypoglycemia - your diet and eating times will be critical for your success at this. Best of luck to ya! We are all very proud of your progress!

John's Comment
member avatar

If your trainer believes you are ready, it may just be time to take the training wheels off. I believe that no matter when you take them off, you are going to have some moments where you doubt yourself, and are forced to think through situations...and through that, you will get your confidence. It sounds like that's what you actually need - the confidence to know you can do it without 'Doc' a couple of feet away.

When you are pondering your next step, whether to jump into solo now, or wait another week or two...ask yourself what you are hoping to gain in that extra week or two. Is it confidence & comfort? Or is it knowledge? If it is confidence & comfort, chances are you won't achieve that until you are on your own. I am not in your shoes obviously, I haven't even started, I am still preparing. But I believe by reading your posts, that you are ready - that you have learned pretty much everything you can from your trainer - now you just need to dive in.

I only say this because you sound like me, in the past when I was a trainee for any job - when asked if I am ready - I would almost always say I could use a few more days or whatever, because I was just not confident in myself...I knew the job, I knew what to do...but I lacked the confidence in myself. Honestly, when I am in your current shoes, I will probably do the same thing...question my confidence. After you take a few days off - if you are going to continue with training, I would limit it to one week if possible. At the end of every day, ask yourself if you could have completed the day without 'Doc' right there. Chances are - you will answer yes every day.

You got this.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys. My gut level instinct seems to serve me pretty well. Its telling me its time as well.

Day 12.

Had a productive day. Ran solid from the start. Was much more decisive and took command of situations where I would pause. Getting in the habit of doing recon on available parking spots in a truck stop before I get off the road. Drove through a variety of road construction, single lane, snafus with tight clearances, didnt phase me at all, in fact started really enjoying the drive and felt most of the day to be at one with the truck. Drove through really thick fog in NM on 40. I dropped speed to match my visibility, I think all my parks today were just pull throughs, but a couple of em I had to back it up and adjust, I was able to do it smoothly without drama and no pressure on myself.

Bizarre event of the day. Outside of Albuquerque NM on 40, couldnt figure out why the 4 wheeler in front of me was jerking on the brakes. Until I swerved around him...Guy on a scooter, doing about 35 max. Looked like the movie Dumb and Dumber. Ran my 11 hour clock down to 19 minutes and swapped over. pulled over into a parking lot in Shiprock NM. We made it up to Green River UT, Ill drive the rest of the way in to the receiver. Should be pretty hilly, One last thing we want to get tuned up and experience in.

My trip back to Denver should be interesting, I suspect we will take 70 to 25, so I can get experience on vail pass and floyd hill. Also, its a two stop sams club run. Stop one is downtown Denver, but at least its at 0430, so I wont have to deal with traffic. Second stop is close to my house in Aurora. City traffic doesnt bother me too much, but Ive been through the area in Denver where its at, the roads are tight and traffic is a nightmare there.

Also found out that Doc is my tester, its unusual but Ive gotten a lot of things like that along the way. I dont think so much its a formal test, as normal, probably more of a rolling cumulative results. Him and I both know that I generally have the skills and aptitude, its just knocking down fears one by one, which I have been doing. When Im backing I have a little routine that I start with, just tell myself to relax, breathe. Lay off the brake pedal, and go easy on the steering wheel. Seems to be producing results. I have to walk away from the OCD nature to make sure everything is perfectly straight with the lines, its almost comical. Sometimes in the hole relatively straight is just fine. Or as I was told, were not taking a tape measure and level to examine your parking job.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 13.

Well, I finished training today. I will get my truck early next week. My final test so to speak was how I would handle mountain driving, I did fine although I didnt consider them too bad. I selected 50 to 55 for my target range and kept it in there on 4 to 6 percent grades. Some area were a bit slower as they were 45 mph turns. Was loaded at 78k, I felt comfortable and kept it in control. This was on US6/191 between I70 north to Odgen/15.

We had a conference call with my DDM and trainer and I while I was driving there lol. We all feel its time for me to go solo (me the least out of the three of us lol) Our plan is to pick up a load from the P and G plant where we are dropping, on the way back out, Ill get dropped at our SLC yard, grab a rental and head back to Denver. Take the weekend off and grab the new to me truck. All we have currently our Internationals, So Ill pick one of those and start with my very own first load next week.

I still have a long way to go, do my best to keep a great attitude and make things work. I will continually be seeking advice here and still from my trainer too. I have had incredible experiences sprinkled with very good luck so far. I couldnt have gotten to this point without your guys help and guidance on this site as well as the folks at Knight who have helped me out so much. I think the training wheels come off which is scary to me but is just on to another phase of learning.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Good Luck Davy!

We will help you all we can. Please keep us posted, and don't be shy. There are no dumb questions. We may give a dumb answer now and then, but there are no dumb questions.

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