Training With Dry Van Even Though I Applied For Flatbed. Is That Normal?

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TwoSides11's Comment
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Hello Drivers. I am starting my training with Knight on Thursday. I want to share all the information so you guys can give me your best opinion of the situation.

I went to the Carlisle terminal earlier today to pick up my badge, fuel card and training papers. Met the DM in person and told me he is working on getting me a trainer. I've only spoken with him twice over the phone since completion of orientation on Nov 3rd. I called him Nov. 9th for an update and he called me Nov.12th asking to come in today. ((I mention that to ask if its normal for a new driver to reach out to the DM first?? I would assume he would have reached out first, maybe I'm wrong?? Any thoughts on that?))

So on my way home, the DM called me and said he had a trainer coming through but he is based in Indiana, the driver has a drop in pa and would be close by the Carlisle terminal Thursday morning. Spoke with the driver that would be training me and found out he does dry van. The DM didn't mention that I would be training in dry van but he did tell me he was having trouble finding trainers. Not sure if it was just for me or in general.

Now my question, is that normal to pair me with a dry van driver when I applied for flatbed? I assume I would have to do another training session with a flatbed driver since that is what I applied for. Apparently there isn't enough trainers so should I wait for a flatbed trainer to become available or start Thursday? I'm planning on starting Thursday but if there is a reason I should wait please let me know. I am also going to call tomorrow and ask them the process with that. Being trained in dry van but wanting to do flatbed.

Also when I met the DM he seemed very uninterested in speaking with me. I was introduced to him by the lady that did orientation. There was no eye contact and he was standing with his side to me looking around the room. His first words were, working on a trainer, then proceeds to turn his back and walk away. Melissa, the orientation instructor stops him and asks if he had anything for me. He says oh yea, and handed me papers for the trainer to fill out. And no he wasn't busy. He was sitting in the terminal managers office laughing with him when we walked up. Idk maybe I'm looking to deep into it. Maybe that's just his personality. The communication just seems off between us and I just met him.

Thanks for reading, didn't mean for this post to be so long. Stay safe out there yall

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

It sounds very odd to me, too, because there is such a difference between platforms. If it were me I would get hold of your DM , then specifically ask what would the follow-on flatbed specific training entail, and when. If you get any other vague answers, ask to speak with the terminal manager for more options.

If you're positive you want flatbed, don't settle for some answer like, "well, try this for awhile and we'll try and get you someone after the holidays."

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.
TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for responding PackRat. I knew that seemed off. I don't know if they are pushing me with this guy for my benefit or the benefit of the company. I am very anxious to get started but I don't want to get stuck doing dry van and I feel like that would be the case in this situation. But I will call them and ask first and cancel the training if he cannot give me a straight answer.

As for talking with the terminal manager, I don't want to be "that guy" before I even get started. I saw a post on here saying to make it work with the DM before going over his head. Not sure how the DM would feel about that but I also don't want to do something I didn't apply for. Thanks again and I will update after I give them a call.

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.

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.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Knight doesn’t have a very large flatbed fleet so getting a flatbed trainer is probably very difficult to get. Pack rat also mentioned the holidays which throws another wrench in the mix. In regards to your DM , he could have been a bit more personable but don’t read into it too much. He goes through hundreds of drivers a year and until he gets to know you, will probably focus more on business than personal.

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.
TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for responding Robert. The terminal manager did tell me their flatbed fleet needed help and they were trying to grow. He was even excited that I applied for the flatbed division. The thing with the DM is the communication. I understand that I'm new and he's not sure if I will stay long enough to get on a personal level with. It's more of him not being communicative. The vague answers he gave me left me with more questions. I'm not a real social person but when business or work is involved I expect communication to be a priority. Im assuming that's his personality rather than him being rude. Thanks again and stay safe on the roads

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.
TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Called my DM and asked him to explain the process to me. He told me I would do my driving training with dry van for 28 days then shadow a flatbed driver for a week or so. I'm fine with that and feel more comfortable now knowing what is happening. It seemed weird to train with dry van, especially with no explanation from my DM that after the 28 days, I would then transfer solo and shadow a flatbed driver. I mentioned to him that I'm new to the trucking world in whole and might need a little more in depth details to understand the different lingo being said. Looking forward to starting this new journey. Drive safe out there yall, see ya soon

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Explain his definition of "shadow another flatbed driver."

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Explain his definition of "shadow another flatbed driver."

Lol now you see what I mean. He told me shadow like I knew what that was...

It's following behind another flatbed driver in my own truck going to the same stops and he will teach me how to tarp and strap a load.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for responding Robert. The terminal manager did tell me their flatbed fleet needed help and they were trying to grow. He was even excited that I applied for the flatbed division. The thing with the DM is the communication. I understand that I'm new and he's not sure if I will stay long enough to get on a personal level with. It's more of him not being communicative. The vague answers he gave me left me with more questions. I'm not a real social person but when business or work is involved I expect communication to be a priority. Im assuming that's his personality rather than him being rude. Thanks again and stay safe on the roads

One thing I think about when I hear people say that they feel a person is being standoffish is whether or not such people are in some way contributing to the person being standoffish. I am not saying that your DM failing to communicate effectively is your fault. It is a fair question to ask if you might be able to do something to help improve the communication. One reason this came to mind in reading your post is that you mentioned that you are not a real social person. If you have not already, it might be worthwhile to think through your interactions with your DM and be as analytical of yourself to see if there are ways that you can improve your own communication. Ultimately, there is only one thing that you can control in this situation and that is your own thoughts, behavior, etc. Do your best in communicating with your DM and things should work out sufficiently. No different than any other industry, trucking is a matter of people communicating with people. It sounds like you have done well in making yourself highly desired by choosing to work in a division for a company that desires to expand that division.

I wish you the best and look forward to reading about your future success.

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.

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.

Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Explain his definition of "shadow another flatbed driver."

double-quotes-end.png

Lol now you see what I mean. He told me shadow like I knew what that was...

It's following behind another flatbed driver in my own truck going to the same stops and he will teach me how to tarp and strap a load.

Will you be paid your normal CPM as a solo driver while shadowing or is it still training rate of pay? Have you asked this question?

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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