Knight Transportation, Flatbed

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TwoSides11's Comment
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Day 8. Nov. 25th Woke up at 6am. Didn't get much sleep last night. It's cold and windy on this Thanksgiving morning. Dang TX, I almost got blown across the parking lot trying to walk in the truck stop. While inside I grab water and snacks for the drive, I start walking over to the Dennys side and John stops me and says no, there's no time for that. Trying not to be an A-hole, I ask what am I suppose to eat? He points at these unappealing truck stop breakfast sandwiches...That's a negative good sir... Told him I'm not eating that and he sucks his teeth, shakes his head and walks away. I haven't had a decent breakfast yet and finally get the chance. I go inside and enjoy a French Toast slam! Ate and was back in the truck by 730. Now waiting on John, we don't get going until 9am.

On our way to Harrisonville, Missouri to deliver a 28k lb load of cardboard. My 10hr isn't complete yet so I can't drive. John starts the trip and I go to my bunk and try to get more rest but that was impossible. Almost got thrown out of bed a few times. John drives to about 1130ish then I take over. Driving on US-69 through Oklahoma the landscape is amazing. Wide open fields on both sides and in the distance are hills and blue skies. I'm really taking in the scenery while I'm out here driving. Mother nature is very beautiful.

From 69 north to 44 east to 49 north. I've been driving for 7hrs non-stop and starting to cramp up. I-49 has no truck stops. Nothing, it's like we are driving in the middle of nowhere. It's pitch dark, I'm tired, no truck stops in sight and now my 70hr clock is running out smh. I still need to get out of this truck!! The first sign of civilization is a regular gas station, that will suffice... I tell John I'm pulling in there to stretch for a minute, he is against that but there is no other option at this point.

I get off 49 headed to the gas station and John flips out saying I need to find somewhere to park before my 70 runs out. He is yelling and cursing but I ignore that. I get out, stretch and back on the road within 10mins. I have about 40min on my 70 now. He is repeatedly saying I need to shut it down, but where? There is literally nothing around... I haven't eaten in 12hrs, I'm tired and getting really annoyed from him yelling. While driving he says to get off at exit 157. I saw signs for a Loves at exit 158 but whatever, maybe he knows of another place. I get off at exit 157 and there is nothing in sight, just darkness. I ask what is going on and he says we are going to deliver the load...I'm furiously confused. I now have a little over 10min on my 70. I say, you have been telling me I need to shut it down, why would you direct me to deliver this load? Before he answers I get back on 49 and floor it to the Loves.

On the way he is talking about how I'm messing up his miles and I need to pay attention. Brings up the two missed turns I had and how I don't know anything, at that point I snap. I say this is his fault for not trip planning, I blamed him for those missed turns, called him a horrible trainer for not teaching me anything and all he does is sit there either sleeping or on his phone. He curses me out and says training is over. That's fine with me but I now turn the argument towards him cursing at me. Not once have I ever cursed at him and tell him I don't appreciate that at all. There's no need for it.

Get to Loves truck stop with 2min left on my 70. When I stop to start my backing, John jumps out slams the door and walks away. I found that to be hilarious. I back in the spot needing one pull up. I then call my DM and leave a message of what happened. I calm down, go in and eat and clear my head. What a wild ending to the day. At least I had a good breakfast this morning....

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Bummer to see it go down this way, hopefully you guys can either resolve the issues and continue on. If not, hopefully you can continue on your training with another trainer. You have come all this way, it would be a shame to toss it out the window. If the situation cant be addressed between you and your trainer, go through the DDM at your terminal. If you take responsibility for your parts and communicate openly and honestly, Ive found pretty good results.

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
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Bummer to see it go down this way, hopefully you guys can either resolve the issues and continue on. If not, hopefully you can continue on your training with another trainer. You have come all this way, it would be a shame to toss it out the window. If the situation cant be addressed between you and your trainer, go through the DDM at your terminal. If you take responsibility for your parts and communicate openly and honestly, Ive found pretty good results.

I feel like the whole situation could have been avoided. I'm not a confrontational person. I'm the type that will talk about problems rather than argue an fight. That day was a build up of me not expressing my thoughts throughout the week because I didn't want them to turn into an argument. Like the issue with leading us into a dead end country club. I told him what was up ahead and he basically ignored me. Same with the Zonar being logged out, he blamed me and was convinced I was the one who logged it out. He's an arrogant, patronizing, condescending person. Even the way he talks with ppl in the office, not just me. I have been bitting my tongue up until this point. I could have used my words better but the situation got to me.

I was already frustrated with his training methods because my expectations were completely different from what he has shown. I expected a more verbal, hands on type training but he just sits in the passenger seat either sleeping or on his phone. The only time he talks is to give me obvious directions like I never driven a car before. There's no trip planning, he does not do a pre trip walk around and doesn't explain anything to me. When I try to do anything towards trip planning, he stops me and says I know where we are going. I asked him before to let me figure things out on my own like finding the truck entrance to the shipper/receiver. His response was we don't have time for that, I will show you.

I'm definitely not going to let this stop me, I just want to get through training and start a career lol.

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.

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

Definitetly, you can request a different trainer. I can point out though, that many others had similar complaints about my trainer, not talking, on the phone or asleep. He told me that different people got different training from him. I just continually hammered him with questions lol. A lot of times about the history of trucking, stuff like that, it opened him up and helped build a repore

We had a couple times that could have gone sideways. He yelled at me to use my convex on a right hand turn. He said your not looking in it. I thought about it and said, I'm sorry sir, I was using the hood mirror, should I not do that? Is there a reason to use the convex instead? Not trying to be a smart ass, I just don't know.

Totally caught him off guard. He calmed down, quit yelling and explained . 1. Might get a tractor without hood mirrors 2. Better sight line in the convex, safer.

Just food for thought. I don't know though. He let me butcher a few load plans til I got it right lol.

TwoSides11's Comment
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Day 9. Nov 26th I wake up, feeling fine, then go inside to eat. I plan on talking about what happened last night with John. Not to stay on his truck but to clear the air. John walks in a few minutes later, gets his food and sits across the room lol. We get back to the truck and I start to speak but John wants no parts of the conversation. I really don't care and continue talking. He then gets out the truck and walks away. It's now after 7am so i call my DM and explain what happened last night. He asks if we can work it out because he doesn't know when another trainer would be available. I told him I tried but no go. He then apologizes to me which left me confused at first. Apparently John has a bad reputation with training. I was put with John because they are short staffed with trainers and he was in the area. He gets back in the truck and I continue to talk, he says he doesn't want to hear it and demandingly says start driving. I laugh and say no, not until I say what I have to say. I proceed to apologize for my part and we eventually have a conversation. He says he is willing to continue the training smh. I should just end it but it's 19 more days and I'm done.

We leave the Loves to drop off this load which is maybe 2 blocks away. We drop, pick up an empty and head to the KC terminal where the next load is waiting. My 70 is up and I'm running on recaps. He now explains how that works. We arrive at the terminal drop the empty and look for the loaded trailer. We circle the yard 2 times looking for the wrong trailer. John clearly has the wrong trailer number and I try to point that out but he ignores me. Ok, it's cool. Not sure where he got that number from but I see the number on the Zonar and we pass the trailer twice. We end up parking for 30min while he has the load manager look into a number that doesn't exist. Load manager calls him back and gives him the number that's on the Zonar....

I drive as far as Boonville, Missouri because my recaps are running low. Park at a Love's and am here till another 10hrs comes at midnight. Today was only 3hrs driving but after last night I'm not complaining. Tomorrow we will continue the drive to Chicopee, Massachusetts

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.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Day 10. Nov. 27th We leave at 6am. I'm still on recaps and we plan it that I can make it to his terminal in Indy for a break and to pick up the permits for the truck. It's surprising because this is the first time he has done anything close to a pre-trip. I'm guessing he has to now that I'm on limited time. And taking a break their maybe due to the fact he has to get the permits for the truck??.... No complaints, I'll take what I can get.

It's still dark when we leave and I get to see the sunrise. Very pleasant sight to be driving East and watch the sun illuminate the sky. We get to the terminal, I eat, take advantage of the free washers and dryers and relax for about 2hrs. Talked to some of the drivers about their experiences and asked what they thought about the company. Talked with 5 Knight drivers total of being here and no major complaints about the company other than it taking forever to get the trucks maintenance. One guy has been waiting for 6hrs for them to fix a flat on the inside drive tire.

We leave and get as far as London, Ohio at a Pilot for the night. Getting more recap hrs after midnight. Might take us 2 more days to get to Massachusetts...

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.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

These 10 days on the road has been cool so far. I got to see a lot of places and seen some beautiful landscapes. Much respect to those that do OTR driving. I've only done 10 days and I'm already wanting to get out of this truck. I miss home, my family and my bed!! That is a hard lifestyle to adapt to. Not only that, it's expensive! I have spent almost $300 dollars on just food, showers and laundry. Definitely have to review my spending habits to cut down cost.

I have been getting frustrated internally with my trainer. It could be that my expectations coming in is not what he has shown so far. I was expecting a verbal, hands on approach to training but all he does is sit in the passenger seat sleeping or on his phone. Tells me nothing about the truck but has plenty to say about where strip clubs are located near certain truck stops in different states smh. I really don't care for that info. He's not telling me what I'm doing good or doing wrong. I take it since he is saying nothing that I must be doing a decent job. When I ask questions he either tells me to look it up or gives me vague answers. Example is the use of the jakes, "when your going to fast put it on high"... I'm on YouTube every night getting most of my info and they say to use them before you start going down the hill. Even post on TT say that. I ask him how to use the manuel option and he says look it up. Im the type of person that feels comfortable when I have majority of the info needed before starting a specific task, doing things on the fly was never my strong suit. I tend to be overly cautious when preforming like that. Not like I'm not learning anything while I'm out here. Driving alone is teaching me some valuable lessons. I'm getting the feel for the truck and the different weight that I'm pulling is a lesson in its own.

Talking with him about his work history a few red flags came up. In his 20yrs of driving he has been with 10 companies, 9 of which he has been fired from, Knight is his 10th. Has even been suspended from Knight for a year once. I'm not trying to talk down on my trainer at all, just giving an update on my experience. I still feel uncomfortable with driving. Other Knight drivers told me that will go away and I will gain knowledge through experience. My worst fear is having an accident in my first year of driving. Its basically winter and I am uneasy with starting my career possibly, more likely, driving in snowy/icey conditions. Being late for appointments and getting lost is also a concern of mine.

I am having fun out here. Still nervous about the first day I'm solo but I see how I am going to do things and hopefully all will work out. Very excited about trucking and only wish I started sooner. It's all good though, I'm right where I need to be.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I am having fun out here. Still nervous about the first day I'm solo but I see how I am going to do things and hopefully all will work out. Very excited about trucking and only wish I started sooner. It's all good though, I'm right where I need to be.

Don't let the nerves get to you about your first day solo.

If your trainer is currently in passenger seat, sleeping or playing on his phone...you are basically already solo. It sounds to me like you are already doing well, getting experience...the only difference is when you officially go solo, there won't be someone in the passenger seat taking up space.

Just remember that- and remind me of that when I am in your shoes...lol

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Why are you spending money on showers? If your trainer is using a truck stop chain rewards card at each stop for fuel, shower credits for both the driver and co-driver are free with 50 to 60 gallons of diesel purchased. He didn't tell you about this?

If you don't have your own cards yet, ask for one at the major stops: Loves, Pilot, Sapp Bros., Speedway, Sheetz, Husky, Holiday Stop. For a TA/Petro card, you need to apply online. All these cards are free.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

What packrat said. You should have your efs card by now. Set up your login on it, you should be fueling on your card by now, not your trainers. Most of the time, your fuel solution will be pilot or loves, with an occasional TA. Part of the training requirements are that the trainee has to be able to do all the messages, paperwork and routing by himself in I think the second week in. Part of that includes fueling.

I have a Knight daily procedures list and a fueling procedure list from my trainer. It helped me a lot in the beginning.

Also, your expenditures will be able to be cut down a lot once you are in your own truck.

Reach out to people here as well as you DDM and DM in terms of weather. My first winter too. I'm not hesitant to shut it down before something bad happens.

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.
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