First Year Solo. Knight Flatbed

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Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Any update? I've been thinking about you recently.

Same here. Been a bit since we heard from him. Hope all is ok still

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Momma Anne. I appreciate you and Tom. I do hope Ohio is clear and warmer by Monday lol. Didn't feel more comfortable driving the van, everything about it felt weird to me lol. Glad I can still back it with no problems but that didn't do me any good. Just confirms the fact I'm still trying to back the spread axle like tandems.

Davy, I'm still stuck in the habit of backing the skateboard like a van. With the van I look at the back of the trailer, not the axles. That's something that works for me. I'm doing the same thing with the skateboard, looking at the trailer. I was told to look at the pivot point which is between the two axles on the trailer. My eyes start out looking at the middle and back of the trailer to see if my arc is correct, then between the axles for a moment, then get fixated on the tail end of the trailer for the remainder of the back.

I know my eye placement and set up is wrong, I just can't fix it lol. I guess it's muscle memory with the tandems that's keeping me from backing the spreads correctly.

I still think of you, often. We all do. Many of us have emails in our profiles, but as you know; TT as a whole, tries to keep things 'open,' so that others may learn from the mistakes we share.

Sure would love to hear things are still in forward motion, man! If not, and things got too awry, ya know...we don't just kick ya to the curb. So many 'solutions,' within these walls good sir.

~ Momma Anne ~

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".

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Its now May 1st and have been at it for 4 months now. It has been a while since I posted. The reason being this hasn't gone the way I thought it would. Just trying to stay focused and get through this. I'm still at Knight, still doing flatbed, still having difficult days/months lol.

Not sure where to begin but had another incident March 10th, 0662950001651458216.jpg me and those right hand turns smh...

Grandfather passed away March 22nd, a lot of frustrating and annoying days and way too many negative thoughts...

Felt guilty and started second guessing being out on the road when my Grandfather passed. I was in Indiana when my Mom called and told me the news. Didn't get back to the terminal till Thursday afternoon, he passed Tuesday night. What really ****ed me off was my DM asked if I could do a 2 stop run to New Hampshire before going home since I'm already out and will be near the pick up spot. It took a lot of restraint to stay professional in my response to that. Ended up taking the next week off to prepare for the funeral. His passing was a shock because I saw him over that weekend and he seemed fine. He went to the hospital for sortness of breath Saturday night and when I saw him Sunday in the hospital he was normal. Jokes, talking, moving around... the doctors said his heart was weak but he showed no signs other than taking a few deep breathes once in a while.

Now the job itself is ok. I enjoy flatbed, the Knight drivers are cool and we help each other out when we can. I think there are nine skateboarders currently at this terminal. Three drivers left in March and one left last week. One of those three was the guy I followed for my second run. Cool guy who has helped me out a lot.

My frustrations with Knight or I should say with this terminal are with my pay, equipment and training. Back in the beginning of March I asked for more training with backing and was denied. The trailers here are falling apart. The winches are rusted and broken, all of the Conestogas need to be fixed and most of the straps need replacement. My pay check is constantly missing stop pay, tarp pay and mileage pay. Not once in these four months has my check been correct, it's very annoying.

I really doubt I will stay with Knight for a year. I have been thinking heavily about leaving and even acted on it. I called Maverick in the middle of March, explained my situation and about the incident on March 10th. After questioning me about it he says he is not sure if they would accept me because I'm a rookie driver and had an incident recently. He advised me to wait three months, stay incident free and apply again. So now that is exactly what I'm going to do. I put aside the thought of leaving and am focusing on getting better with tarping and driving.

Four months in and a little disappointed in how things are going so far. Still can't back the split axle trailer and I feel like I should be further ahead in my progress then I am so far. I can say for sure that trucking is not at all what I expected it to be. Not that the job is to difficult but rather the solitary nature. Still trying to adjust to it all but it's coming along. Right now I'm on a run to Marysville, MI which is a change from the constant run back and forth to Lafayette, IN. My last load went to Milwaukee and I wonder if this has anything to do with the drivers that quit.

That's all for now and I appreciate you guys checking in on me. Will try and update more frequently.

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.

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.

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

Hello TwoSides11, it is really great to hear from you!

I can't fault you for being frustrated. I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time. I know you are not being overly dramatic. I have heard several complaints about your terminal from both drivers and managers. There seems to be some problems there and they still don't seem to have the right kind of manager in place to correct what's going on. I hope for your sake it improves.

Let's talk about some of the statements you make. This one really stands out as bizarre to me...

Not once in these four months has my check been correct, it's very annoying.

I have worked for Knight for almost nine years now. I have only ever found one mistake on my paycheck. They remedied it immediately on the next pay day after I brought it to their attention. From my experience I can tell you something that you may already be aware of. If your paycheck is constantly messed up it is because of your driver manager. He is responsible for putting things like tarp pay and stop pay in for the payroll department. You also mentioned your mileage being wrong. That is just weird. You are dispatched so many miles and the payroll department gets that from your dispatched load. That shouldn't be getting messed up. I can understand the other things being wrong if your driver manager is less than stellar, and I have heard from several others that yours is a mess. I simply do not understand how your mileage pay is getting messed up.

You are suffering from typical newbie troubles for the most part. Each of us understands your frustration about having a death in the family. That is one of the difficulties of trucking. You can't always be home when you want or when you need. It is frustrating to no end at critical times. I remember when my mom died. She had been living with my wife and I for a good many years. My brother decided to have her over to his house for a few weeks and she died while over there. I got a call from one of my sisters saying all my siblings had gathered together around her bed and she was asking for me. She wanted to know why I wasn't there. I was over 2,000 miles away at the time. I got back quickly. In fact Knight dead-headed me all the way home just so I could get there. I was late, so she had passed already, but Knight tried hard to help. So, this is not some company that treats people badly when they have a death in the family. You did well to remain professional when they asked you to deliver another load, but I think here again this is indicative of the shortcomings of your driver manager. I am sorry you are dealing with that type of manager.

Here's the statement from you that tells it all...

I can say for sure that trucking is not at all what I expected it to be. Not that the job is to difficult but rather the solitary nature. Still trying to adjust to it all

I have spent a great deal of time trying to explain to people that one of the biggest things that keeps people from succeeding at trucking is their false expectations. Trucking is not easy. You say the job is not too difficult, but you sound extremely frustrated with it. You blame your terminal and your lack of training and you give a lot of examples like payroll being off and you go into a lot of comments about the trailers. I never experience these kind of issues. Sure I come across a trailer now and then that needs repairs. I write it up and they tell me to take it to a shop for repairs. It is not hard to get a trailer sent to a shop. But... complaining about rusty winches and things like that is really unreasonable. I always carry WD-40 on my truck. Winches are out in the weather all the time. They get rusty and cantankerous when they have straps left on them in the weather. A few squirts of WD-40 or some PB Blaster will set them free and easy to work with.

My real point with the WD-40 is deeper than just getting your winches going good. You are responsible for a lot of things out here. As a professional driver you learn how to make this job work for you. When I first started this job I would call my driver manager after each load and make sure he and I were on the same page about the stop pay and the tarp pay. You ought to try that some time and see if it helps. Remember you are responsible for a lot of things out here. You always want to make sure your pay is correct. If it helps to touch base with your driver manager on it then do it.

Continued...

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

You are obviously a smart guy. I just think you need to be a little more proactive. Changing companies will not alleviate any of the problems you are experiencing due to false expectations. Trucking is pretty much the same wherever you work. You have got to be the captain of your ship and make sure it is working for you. Changing companies will help with the fact that your driver manager is not very good, but you could do that by changing to a different terminal or just having a good professional sit down with both your terminal manager and your driver manager at the same time. I don't know if Howard can help you or not. I know him and I am not sure he is up to the challenge, but it sure wouldn't hurt to try to have them both sit down and hear your issues. I think that is one of the best ways to resolve issues in this business. Talk them over with the right people. If you only talk to your driver manager, then nobody else understands the depth of the problems going on. If you get the terminal manager involved too, then you have tapped into the chain of command. He has to get involved or risk getting called out. Communicate these things with your terminal manager strictly by email. Don't call them on the phone. I am giving you some really valuable advice here that will either get you fired or resolve your problems. Communicate by email. NO PHONE CALLS. Is that clear?

That is how you get to the root of these problems and get them fixed.

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.

Driver Manager:

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

Great to hear from you. Sorry for the loss of your grandfather. I lost a very close friend a bit ago. When I was attending services for him, My temporary DM put a load on me that would have meant leaving. I just bit my tongue, and didn't talk to him until I was calm enough to handle it. I had told him no, I was on home time for personal matters the day before. What really angered me was that he actively dispatched me on the load even though I declined it. I called my terminal manager and calmly explained it to her. She apologized profusely and put me with a different DM. I've met the first one and we still work together occasionally on Weekends but he has a much better understanding of how to get me to take a load now.

I couldn't begin to augment anything OS said. Hopefully you hang in there and things work out. Seeing your level of perseverance through adversity is inspiring. On the pay end of it, I've had zero errors with knight, but like OS said, I communicate with my DM extensively and all my requests for layover pay, extra miles, etc are done in writing as well as my home time requests.

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.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Its now May 1st and have been at it for 4 months now. It has been a while since I posted. The reason being this hasn't gone the way I thought it would. Just trying to stay focused and get through this. I'm still at Knight, still doing flatbed, still having difficult days/months lol.

Not sure where to begin but had another incident March 10th, 0662950001651458216.jpg me and those right hand turns smh...

Grandfather passed away March 22nd, a lot of frustrating and annoying days and way too many negative thoughts...

Felt guilty and started second guessing being out on the road when my Grandfather passed. I was in Indiana when my Mom called and told me the news. Didn't get back to the terminal till Thursday afternoon, he passed Tuesday night. What really ****ed me off was my DM asked if I could do a 2 stop run to New Hampshire before going home since I'm already out and will be near the pick up spot. It took a lot of restraint to stay professional in my response to that. Ended up taking the next week off to prepare for the funeral. His passing was a shock because I saw him over that weekend and he seemed fine. He went to the hospital for sortness of breath Saturday night and when I saw him Sunday in the hospital he was normal. Jokes, talking, moving around... the doctors said his heart was weak but he showed no signs other than taking a few deep breathes once in a while.

Now the job itself is ok. I enjoy flatbed, the Knight drivers are cool and we help each other out when we can. I think there are nine skateboarders currently at this terminal. Three drivers left in March and one left last week. One of those three was the guy I followed for my second run. Cool guy who has helped me out a lot.

My frustrations with Knight or I should say with this terminal are with my pay, equipment and training. Back in the beginning of March I asked for more training with backing and was denied. The trailers here are falling apart. The winches are rusted and broken, all of the Conestogas need to be fixed and most of the straps need replacement. My pay check is constantly missing stop pay, tarp pay and mileage pay. Not once in these four months has my check been correct, it's very annoying.

I really doubt I will stay with Knight for a year. I have been thinking heavily about leaving and even acted on it. I called Maverick in the middle of March, explained my situation and about the incident on March 10th. After questioning me about it he says he is not sure if they would accept me because I'm a rookie driver and had an incident recently. He advised me to wait three months, stay incident free and apply again. So now that is exactly what I'm going to do. I put aside the thought of leaving and am focusing on getting better with tarping and driving.

Four months in and a little disappointed in how things are going so far. Still can't back the split axle trailer and I feel like I should be further ahead in my progress then I am so far. I can say for sure that trucking is not at all what I expected it to be. Not that the job is to difficult but rather the solitary nature. Still trying to adjust to it all but it's coming along. Right now I'm on a run to Marysville, MI which is a change from the constant run back and forth to Lafayette, IN. My last load went to Milwaukee and I wonder if this has anything to do with the drivers that quit.

That's all for now and I appreciate you guys checking in on me. Will try and update more frequently.

TwoSides,

Thanks for stopping back, per my request, or those of the others.

I'm sorry to see/read about another 'incident'/issue. Wish I could say Tom didn't have any in his first year; I'd be a 'lie' if I did.

I can't begin to offer the feedback you've gotten above; I'll just keep sending you the best 'JuJu' I can, man. Please try to hang in. There were SO many tough days for my guy starting out, I lost track. Doesn't matter what's 'behind' the tractor; it's all just tough. . . . you get such awesome advice up in here.

People care, as shown above. Keep us (and the fellow Knight drivers, especially!) in the loop....

Best always, loss of more words.

~ Momma Anne ~

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.

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.

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.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

PIs: Dang me; I hit submit before my 'ps' albeit, preview.... I'm so sorry about your grandpa. Tom literally missed the passing/services for his own BROTHER (the middle one, Daniel...) while OTR. I did what I could, on his behalf. I'm so sorry.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Old School, always a pleasure to see your comments Sir. I understand and take into consideration that I'm going through rookie headaches. I have thought about changing terminals but the reason above all for leaving is that I see no growth for me here. Eventually I would like to get into heavy haul and also would like to experience every aspect of the flatbed world, chains, binders, etc. Knight cannot provide that.

Howard is a good guy. I have talked to him about my pay issues but he said talk to my DM. His exact words were "I know nothing about flatbed. Talk to Sean, I don't want to step on anyone's toes..." I realize I cannot go to Howard for anything concerning flatbed. I asked Sean, my DM , about 2 months in why am I always missing tarp and stop pay? He said because payroll isn't processing it. I called payroll and they said because my DM isn't putting it through lol. I talked to other drivers and they confirmed that Sean is constantly leaving it out of the checks but not as frequent as mine. I even called Ashley and Sean did not like that at all. Every Monday I send Sean a message saying I'm missing this and that from my check. It has come to the point that I only look at my pay stub Sunday night because I don't want to be frustrated while driving. If I would have posted this a month ago I wouldn't have made so many phone calls. From here on out I will send messages and emails concerning my pay discrepancies.

About my mileage pay, let me clarify. On 4 different occasions I didn't get paid for a run. Including this recent check. Not that the mileage was wrong but he left out an entire trip from my check. My apologies for the misunderstanding. His BS answer to that was, "It didn't make the cut off time for payroll" Ok, if that's true, how did I get paid for the runs I completed after?? And on the topic of mileage, how is an empty run not the same miles as a loaded run? If I do 560 miles loaded how is it only 549 empty coming back??? That is absurd!!!

Thank you for understanding and realizing I'm not trying to bash this company or the terminal. I could tell from day 1 this terminal had issues. I mentioned that to Melissa, my orientation instructor and road tester, and she told me I had a good eye and shook her head lol. She has now moved back to driving Vans because she said it's a mess in there.

Now about the trailers, I'm not expecting them to be brand spanking new. I understand they get beat up and endure a lot of wear and tear. My issues with the winches being rusted are a little picky. I'm more concerned about the straps, tires and not being able to slide the axle. The glad hands are bent, loose and on one trailer the emergency glad hand is upside down. Also majority of the trailers are past due on inspection and service. Yes, I do bring this up to my DM. I have talked to the drivers as well. They told me some of the trailers have been like that for years....

I sent these pics to my DM a few weeks ago 0988609001651623976.jpg 0313030001651624100.jpg Told him majority of the straps on these trailers need to be replaced. It's not just one trailer, it's like that on all of them. His reply to that was "Straps are expensive. We can't replace them, yall need to take better care of them" Didn't expect him to say they won't replace the straps, that are meant to keep the load on the truck, because they are too expensive.... Also spent 2 extra hours at Cressona waiting for a Loves guy to come and replace a bald tire on this trailer I have.

I can share more pics and go on and on about the trailers but I don't want to turn this diary into that. This place was a nice start to get my feet wet but I cannot waste time staying here for a year.

Well I'm done with my rant now lol. Thank you for reading. I will continue to update as I journey onward, hopefully in a more positive fashion.

And my frustrations are not with flatbed, even though it can be tough but more so with the terminal.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Davy, thanks Momma Anne. Being on the road is tough. Not being there for family is something I'm not accustomed to. We are close as a family and the guilt from his passing hit me hard, still am not completely over it but I know what he would have said to me.

Keep sending that "JuJu" Momma Anne lol. It is much appreciated!

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