First Year Solo. Knight Flatbed

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TwoSides11's Comment
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I'm very very curious about what they will pay you guys compared to us. There's now a few Conestogas and flatbeds regularly parked at my terminal , Denver. I haven't heard anything about it though and don't know why they're there.

Last I knew, only Gulfport and PA did flatbed? Maybe OS would know.

I'm definitely curious though. BTW, how bad does wind effect the Conestoga and regular flatbed?

Davy, I have no problem saying what the new CPM for us is, not to brag about it, just for documentation. This is a journal but I know other people read this and I'm not sure if talking about pay is frowned on in here....

About the wind, I meant to chime in on your posts about the wind and ask questions myself. From my experience the Conestogas aren't as bad as the Vans. I do notice it but not as severe, maybe the spread axle gives it more stability??

As for the regular flatbeds I don't notice the wind against the trailer. Even with tall loads I haven't felt a major difference. Again, could be the spreads, idk, just guessing... But I haven't hauled anything over 13'6 so maybe OS or Chief could say if it does or not....

The wind mostly effects the tractor. I have been pushed out of lane a few times in Indiana. Those were scary moments lol. But I never felt like I was going to get blown over in a flatbed, I can't say the same for Vans. I feel like I'm going to tip over whether it's windy or not....

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Made it to Brooksville, FL Monday afternoon and completed the drop at 13:20. There wasn't a specific appointment time, just had to deliver on Monday before 23:59. I gave myself a time of 13:00 and was satisfied I came close. The ride down was nice. A different scenery and surprisingly not a lot of traffic, as it was Memorial weekend... When I go to drop the trailer I do a horrible back. It was a very tight spot and it took me a long time to get it in. Managed to bump a trailer twice in the process. No damage or marks left but bumping a trailer is never good. Finally, after what seemed like an hour and multiple resets I get it in and leave.

I arrive at the terminal in Lakeland and was excited to get into my new truck. Honestly I just couldn't wait to get out of that crappy truck I drove down there. Moved all my stuff, again! and settled in my brand spanking new truck. When I was finally done moving I took a shower, ate and had a good night's sleep. Didn't get a chance to really look at the specs of the truck because after the drop and moving in I was tired. Also it was hot as Hades!!!

Woke up Tuesday morning and inspected the truck. It's super clean, as it should be and everything is the same as the 2019 International except this has a auto start/stop button and a sleeper auto climate function. I will have to read the manual to learn how they work. Other than that it's the same truck....

Then I received my load assignment. A live load in Ocala, FL going to Statesville, NC. And a preplan from High point, NC to Secaucus, NJ. That's two Van runs. Now I know they have to keep me working as they route me back up but I'm kinda done with this dry van stuff. I really don't feel comfortable pulling Vans. Also it's Tuesday and my home time is this weekend. The Ocala drop is scheduled for Wednesday and then I have to go deliver in North Jersey from NC. It's going to be close....

Now onto the day I had. When I left the consignee in Brooksville yesterday, I bobtailed to the terminal. Why? #1 I always bobtail back when I do Van runs, noone ever told me different and #2 I was going to switch trucks. So when I arrived at the shipper in Ocala the next day with no trailer for a live load..... yea, somewhat of a problem. The lady at the shipping office looked at me and asked where was my trailer? This is a live load and we don't store Knight trailers here... Unless you want it loaded on your 5th wheel lol. I found that funny and responded, will it fit? I have straps.

Now I'm a little annoyed because I was not told it would be a live load. I go back to the truck and call my DM , he doesn't answer as usual and I'm rerouted to my terminal manager. I tell him what was going on and I hear my DM in the background saying "He bobtailed? Why would he do that? Who told him to do that?" The terminal manager begins to ask me why I bobtailed but then stops himself and says he will find an empty for me. I'm glad he did because it really didn't matter at that point on why I did. I need an empty and explaining why I bobtailed wouldn't solve anything.

Half hr later my DM messages me on where to get a empty, back in Brooksville an hr away. So I drive an hr there, pick up a empty, drive a hr back and wait for 2hrs until I'm done getting loaded. That was fun.... Nowhere in the load assignment does it say it's a live load and my DM never called or messaged me on what empty I picked up. My preplan to NJ says driver may be expected to help unload so I'm pretty sure that is a live unload. Not looking forward to that at all....

The new truck is umm. I can say I'm not impressed. The adaptive cruise control makes it so I can't pass anyone. It reads out 500ft ahead and if a car or truck is going 60mph it reads it and drops me from 65 to 60 while I'm 500ft back. That is going to get real annoying. In order to pass someone going 60mph I would have to jump over to the left lane and creep by them starting at such a huge gap. Im not the type of driver to get into a snail race and shut down the whole left lane, so right now Im unable to pass anyone until I figure out a solution on not impeding the left or middle lanes. I can't over ride it with the pedal and keep my speed because when in cruise control, if I touch the pedal it automatically drops my speed from 65 to 63mph. I need to find a way around that quickly. But other than that it rides smooth and the steering is tight. Plus it has that new truck smell which is cool...

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Any shop can reset the truck and apply the update that should cure the 63 issue, give you 2mph pass smart on a double tap and adjust your temp for idle to 32/68.

On your preplans, at least for dry van. It should say Driver Load Driver Unload in the message.

N = live B = Bobtail S = Swap (drop n hook) D = Drop W = Window. Usually is a drop and hook but sometimes a live.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Davy. I will remember that for the next time I do a Van run. I was never informed about the meaning of those different letters.

When I looked back at that load assignment it did have a "N" next to "Driver Load, Driver Unload" but I thought that meant no smh lol. For Flatbed, when there is a "N" next to "Driver Load, Driver Unload" it means no tarping required. A "Y" means the load needs to be tarped...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Davy. I will remember that for the next time I do a Van run. I was never informed about the meaning of those different letters.

When I looked back at that load assignment it did have a "N" next to "Driver Load, Driver Unload" but I thought that meant no smh lol. For Flatbed, when there is a "N" next to "Driver Load, Driver Unload" it means no tarping required. A "Y" means the load needs to be tarped...

Dangit, hun!!!

I've been following ALL of your journeys, and MAN. . . It's almost like Jerry Reed!

I'm just trying to lighten the mood. In so many WAYS you weren't properly instructed; it hurts my head, too.

Are you back to your flats/ spread axle? When I drove w/Tom for Saunders back in the day, I wasn't keen on the flatbed (hauled concrete/jersey barriers) at ALL. So, when my CDLP expired...it was winter; no 'tanks.' I never went through with it. I'll start over 'someday,' when this dang R/Cuff heals up!

Have never pulled a dry van (myself) either; can't see !!!! Haha!!

Hang in, man. You sure have, THUS far!!

~ Anne (& Tom!) ~

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Finishing off the week. I ended up leaving the shipper in Ocala a little after 1700 Tuesday. My clock was shot but ended up making it to Savanah GA for the night. Arrived in Statesville Wednesday afternoon, made the drop and took an empty out this time... Now making my way to High point, NC. I was rushing to get on the road so I didn't do a thorough trip plan like I usually do, which was a mistake. I glanced at the route before leaving and it looked simple enough so I just drove, ended up getting turned around somehow, missed the exit and passed the place twice smh.

Finally found the place and it was a dirt lot with a little shack in front surrounded by trees. I checked in and had to drop the empty in another dirt lot down the street and come back for the loaded trailer. I look at the load assignment again and see it was suppose to be delivered yesterday. It's a live unload so I'm not sure if it needs to be rescheduled or not. I message my DM and after waiting 30mins with no response I call the consignee. They said it needs to be rescheduled if it was a live unload and do not unload after 1530. I then call my DM, no answer so I get rerouted to my TM. I tell him what's going on and he tells me to wait so they can figure it out. Seemed like an hr goes by and I get a message from my DM saying they changed it to a drop and hook. So off I go to Secaucus, NJ.

I'm tired and getting a little frustrated driving up to NJ. I realize I'm driving like a ass so I shut it down early near South Hill, VA to regroup and get an early start Thursday. Woke up Thursday and started my drive around 6am. I Immediately ran into traffic starting the day. The worst was in Richmond, it was a parking lot, the DC and Baltimore area was stop and go throughout and Delaware wasn't any better. I was stuck in traffic from Richmond, VA to Swedesboro, NJ. That's when I finally broke and shut it down. I feel like nothing was accomplished that day. I planned to make it to the consignee that day but traffic had other plans.

Friday morning I tell myself to chill out and get this delivered. I start my day at 6am. Get around Deptford, NJ and traffic again. It gets progressively worse the farther north into Jersey. A trip that should have taken nomore than 2hrs took about 3. Arrived there around 9 and it was a headache checking in. Dropped that load and went down the street to pick up an empty. Another headache, they wouldn't let me leave the place with an empty and it took 2hrs for my DM to send me to a place 10min away for an empty. While driving to get that empty my DM calls and asks if I can go retrieve a trailer that was dropped on the side of the road in Carteret, NJ. When we hang up he then sends me a load from Bridgeport, NJ to Lexington, KY. I pulled over and messaged him if he forgot that it was my hometime this weekend. He asks if I can pick it up and T call it at the yard.

Ok so now I drive down to south Jersey in heavy traffic to pick up the load. I get there around 1800 and as I'm pulling in I see a sign saying theybare open M-F, 7am to 1500.... At this point I just shake my head. The place is completely empty but I see a few Knight trailers in the bay doors. I disconnected from the empty I had and hook up to the trailer in the door. I pull it out a little hoping that they left the paper work and seal inside the trailer so u can take it. I look inside and the trailer is empty. All that's in there is a load bar lol. I send a txt to my DM cell phone asking him what should I do. Can I leave or do I have to wait till morning? He tells me to leave.

I'm upset that I came to a place that was closed and the trailer not being loaded. I expressed this through txt to my DM and told him we need to talk. I'm not happy with the lack of communication, my pay always being wrong and I feel like he is being deceitful. Before I assume he is that way and blatantly lying to me I think it is best to get a clear understanding on a few things.

This week was stressful, maybe due to me overreacting to some things but I am glad I'm home so I can relax and get my thoughts together....

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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.

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.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar
This week was stressful, maybe due to me overreacting to some things but I am glad I'm home so I can relax and get my thoughts together....

I am glad for you as WELL, good sir! Regrouping is (usually) a great thing; fresh minds, clean heart, et al.

HOWEVER, read in the 'sign of the times' thread (in General) how TOM'S vacay week ended, at 0930 !!!

Always something, man. Always.

I hope things get more 'normal' for you, upon your return to work, good sir.

~ Anne ~

ps: Hope you kept that load lock/bar, haha! (We've got a cache, too!)

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

 

Hope you kept that load lock/bar, haha! (We've got a cache, too!)

Lol I have no use for that load bar Momma Anne. I left it where it was.

Forgot to show pics of the new tractor...

0993747001654551867.jpg This is Isabel. She doesn't look right hooked up to a Van lol

0832254001654552025.jpg For some reason this truck feels like it's lacking in power. It looses speed on the slightest incline...

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Nice looking tractor. I have a hunch that it needs to be updated and reset, they are programmed to cut throttle going down hill and will keep it cut til 63 or 62 going back up hill, periodically they get out of whack and just not apply throttle for a while. Fortunately for me, Edna gets a bit hyper and will pull 66 to 68 up hill a fair amount of the time if not too heavy.

In regards to your DM , if he's your regular flatbed guy, he may not have a lot of experience with dry van. That could lead to some issues.

On your end, the pre plan and load assignments you get are vital to examine and communicate on as soon as you can. Everything is based off them. When you first got that preplan, if you had looked at the pickup date and time, then delivery date and time, you could have spotted that you were given a load with no way to make the delivery. Then you could communicate that, and possibly attempt to deliver and probably justify getting some layover pay if they're closed when you arrive.

It gives your DM ammo to cover both your butts if you communicate issues quickly. Same thing with empties. I just got through searching for one, sent to a wrong place, etc. I call back after hours, document it and I'll probably get paid for sleeping tonight if I choose to. Because I justify my time. I've found that they have no problem paying for extras if it's justified and documented.

There is a lot of chaos and disorganization in dry van , but it gives you the opportunity to manage yourself and your time with impunity. It can be very profitable and if you're fluid and take charge of your path, it works out well. It all starts with your load assignments. It's not uncommon for me to have 3 or 4 loads on me at one time so it's crucial to run them smoothly and communicate early and often.

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.

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
Nice looking tractor. I have a hunch that it needs to be updated and reset, they are programmed to cut throttle going down hill and will keep it cut til 63 or 62 going back up hill, periodically they get out of whack and just not apply throttle for a while.

Davy, that is exactly what this truck is doing. Going down hill the engine brake comes on at 67 mph which is annoying. I enjoyed applying the engine brake myself with the old truck. It made me feel like I was in control, now I'm not. Did a trip to Indiana, driving the same roads as my other truck and going up hill this thing crawls. I'm doing 30-35 mph up the same hills my old truck did doing 45-50 mph up. Identical weight and roads.

Talked to a tech at the shop about adjusting the radar and overriding the cruise control braking 500 ft out with the pedal. He said the new trucks come like that and they can't do anything about it. I don't believe him, only because of what you said and another driver here said the same as you. So I will talk to the shop manager when I get back to see if it can be updated or reset. For now I'm just dealing with it and adjusting to the way it drives.

Isabel does have the pass smart feature with the double tap of the accelerator which is pretty cool. Realized it has a limited duration time and can only be used a few times per day.... Found that out the hard way trying to pass 4 trucks in a row and got stuck in the hammer lane oops lol.

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