Western Express As A Company?

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IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

I do not recommend you go to Knight for flatbed as an inexperienced CDL-A holder. I am also an inexperienced driver, 2 months in. I'm currently there now for flatbed at the Carlisle pa terminal. I'm not trashing the company but Knight is brand new to flatbed and will not offer you the proper training you will need. All inexperienced drivers should avoid Knight flatbed division!!

I was thinking about calling Western Express also. Along with Maverick and P&S.

Go and get some sleep. Your advice has been given after a frustrating day from the sounds of it on another post and when a person is tired everything looks gloomy.

I know nothing about Knight's flatbed division, but I would be hard-pressed to believe that they are not experienced at training students. Knight has been around for a long time. It doesn't matter if they are new to flatbed, they wouldn't start a new program without in depth research to get it going and they would find skilled instructors. You really should stick with Knight, especially if you have a contract with them. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence and you can definitely get a reputation as a job hopper.

This advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

Laura

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.

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.

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

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar
I'm not trashing the company but Knight is brand new to flatbed and will not offer you the proper training you will need. All inexperienced drivers should avoid Knight flatbed division!!

Bwahahaha, I'm not bashing them...but....my 2 months experience is enough to tell you they suck and ALL prospective drivers should avoid them like the plague.

Am I the only one that sees a problem with this? I doubt it.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hmmmm!

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Bwahahaha, I'm not bashing them...but....my 2 months experience is enough to tell you they suck and ALL prospective drivers should avoid them like the plague.

Am I the only one that sees a problem with this? I doubt it.

I didn't say they suck... Yes in my 2 months at Knight I can say that all inexperienced drivers should avoid their flatbed division. I'm currently in it now, just finished up my 2nd week solo. So I do know what I'm talking about. You probably see a problem with my statement because I'm a stupid rookie driver. That I must not know what I'm talking about. I have no shame in saying that I know nothing about the trucking business but I do have a brain and 2 eyes to see what is going on here.

My training at Knight was 4 weeks in a dry van. After completion they threw me into flatbed giving me training at one stop with a driver. A quick run down on how to strap a load, tarp a load and fold 3 tarps. Didn't even have training on driving a spread axle trailer, something I have never driven before and found out it is different than tandem axles. I then had to deliver that load myself. I asked my DM when I would meet back up with that driver and he said I wouldn't be. I told my DM I needed more training and he sounded surprised and asked me if I really needed more training, of course I do! He then had me out with another driver again for only one run. This time I didn't have to deliver the load myself he was with me. But after we delivered that load I was sent out by myself again to do a run.

0678847001641660419.jpg This is the load I'm currently on. I had no idea of how to strap this. I asked the dock workers and even called the 2nd driver I was with for help. I ended up strapping it incorrectly and drove 45min until something told me to pull over into a Loves. Fortunately for me a driver at that Loves helped me and gave me some tips.

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.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

TwoSides... you are completely out of line with this.

So much of what you wrote is untrue, conjecture; no substance. Knight is not new to the flatbed world and certainly not new to supporting inexperienced drivers.

You’ve got two weeks of solo experience with them. That’s it, you are in no position to dissuade someone from considering them as a viable employer of inexperienced drivers.

I’m hoping OldSchool will check-in on this...in the mean time TwoSides; please share what you know and have experienced providing details and not just a passing shot at your company.

double-quotes-start.png

Knight may be another company to look into, considering your location. 

double-quotes-end.png

I do not recommend you go to Knight for flatbed as an inexperienced CDL-A holder. I am also an inexperienced driver, 2 months in. I'm currently there now for flatbed at the Carlisle pa terminal. I'm not trashing the company but Knight is brand new to flatbed and will not offer you the proper training you will need. All inexperienced drivers should avoid Knight flatbed division!!

I was thinking about calling Western Express also. Along with Maverick and P&S.

double-quotes-start.png

You may want to check out TMC.

double-quotes-end.png

I agree. TMC is strictly flatbed and the training is A plus. They are very strict and it is an interview process with them. They are looking for the best of the best. I was sent home from orientation back in October but will apply again with them in the future.

Good luck in your search...

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.

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.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah, ok. TwoSides to every story. You said it yourself,

You probably see a problem with my statement because I'm a stupid rookie driver. That I must not know what I'm talking about. I have no shame in saying that I know nothing about the trucking business

No, I don't think you're a stupid rookie, just an inexperienced rookie that, as you yourself said, KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THE TRUCKING BUSINESS. You are in absolutely no position to say who should or should not go to any company. You self admittedly KNOW NOTHING yet you think your 2 weeks solo driving makes you an expert on company quality. You are just taking a cheap shot at a very successful company because you can't hack it or haven't learned enough to get by. Stop trusting your brain and your own two eyes, they are all letting you down. You're forgetting we all have a brain, two eyes, can read and have experience, therefore I will chose to believe Knights side of the story, I'm sure their explanation will be entirely different than yours.

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.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Twosides:

I have been busy running, but wanted to follow up on your struggles with securement. I even took some pictures for you to illustrate a point.

But first, take a deep breath and focus on your situation as opposed to making blanket statements about Knight based on your limited experience.

The general advice on Trucking Truth for years has been that many people don't survive their first year because 1) often the training is inadequate and 2) the learning curve is steep. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your frustrations stem from those two things.

This general advice becomes magnified in flatbed because you have to add in securement. Did you download the securement guidelines to your phone? You also posted a picture of you current load. A quick internet search and I found a 5 minute video of the exact load that you have.

Aluminum Ingot/billet securement

You don't even need to watch the entire video to see the part of the video where he shows how he has it secured.

Turtle, who did flatbed at Prime before going to Walmart, has a saying "you'll figure it."

Trust me, I understand your frustration with the lack of training, but if you're going to stay with flatbed, you need to embrace Turtle's saying. As I posted in the other thread about the load that collapsed on me, you are going to have many challenging loads. You're going to need to "figure it out." That's why I emphasized looking in your mirrors, doing load checks, and fixing problems as they arise.

The pictures below are a load that I just delivered up to Minnesota. When I picked up the load, the forklift operator cautioned me about putting straps in the middle of the wood frame that you see in the picture. My life experience already told me that the weakest part of the wood frame is the middle. So, with these loads, I always put my straps on the corners which are stronger. But to be quite frank, that entire frame is weak and substantially worthless for good securement. The wind pulled the strap at the rear off even before my first load check.

But, as you can see in the second picture, I had looked at how the equipment was bolted to the wood frame. It has a long, strong metal piece that is bolted to the lower part of the frame. I "figured it out" by threading a strap over that metal frame which that one strap probably provided much more securement than the two straps over the outside of the wood frame.

0490040001641664178.jpg

0586825001641664105.jpg

I have never hauled these before. I had no one to train me how to do it. When I asked the forklift operator if I could put a strap over that frame, his response was "sure." He didn't have a clue. But I "figured it out."

And you are even going to get some bad advice. I had hauled some caterpillar engines. See the picture in the links below. The prevailing wisdom, even amongst many flatbedders at Prime, is to secure the wood frame rather than the engine. In the pictures in the link, there are anchor points underneath the plastic covering. The forklift operator at Caterpillar showed them to me. But the flatbedders on the Prime flatbed forum were all adamant that you just secure the wood frame, which has no WLL rating and the bolts securing the frame to the wood will rip out in a heartbeat. But that the was the consensus among the Prime flatbedders.

Flatbed Variety Caterpillar Engines

It's your decision. Are you going to figure it out, or focus on the fact that you got zero training and as a result are frustrated by the steep learning curve.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar
I know nothing about Knight's flatbed division, but I would be hard-pressed to believe that they are not experienced at training students. Knight has been around for a long time. It doesn't matter if they are new to flatbed, they wouldn't start a new program without in depth research to get it going and they would find skilled instructors

Just saying, instead of trying to discredit me and my experience, try and find out if what I'm saying is truthful. I know for you experienced drivers it is hard to believe what a rookie is saying. That rookies are dumb and don't know what they are talking about.

Knight, at my terminal , doesn't have any flatbed trainers, that is why I had to do my training with a dry van guy. My DM thought one stop was enough training for me in flatbed. While I was in my driver training I was told by my DDM that after completion I would then follow a flatbed driver for a week of training. That has not happened at all. I had to ask my DM for another trainer after the first run.

Just because they have been around for a long time doesn't mean they are qualified to start a flatbed division. When I was in orientation in November there was another guy applying for flatbed also. Last Monday I asked how he was doing and he already quit. So I am the first one in that terminal going through the flatbed training. I have talked with 5 flatbed drivers from my terminal and they all came from another company and got trained elsewhere before coming to Knight. That is what I recommend inexperienced drivers do. Not to stay away from Knight, but to look for a different company for flatbed. I'm not discrediting Knight as a whole, just that the flatbed training needs improvement.

If my explanation still doesn't suffice because I'm a rookie that knows nothing, I urge you to ask Old School his thoughts. Maybe I need a reputable reference so what I say can hold more weight. Also I have a diary I'm writing and you can read that for more knowledge on my experience so far.

Stay safe on the road also.

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.

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

TwoSides... you are completely out of line with this.

So much of what you wrote is untrue, conjecture; no substance. Knight is not new to the flatbed world and certainly not new to supporting inexperienced drivers.

You’ve got two weeks of solo experience with them. That’s it, you are in no position to dissuade someone from considering them as a viable employer of inexperienced drivers.

I’m hoping OldSchool will check-in on this...in the mean time TwoSides; please share what you know and have experienced providing details and not just a passing shot at your company.

G-town, I see that there is no substance in the post I wrote. But that doesn't make it untrue. I do have a diary I'm writing that explains more of what I'm going through. I was told by the recruiter, my terminal manager and orientation instructor that Knight is new to flatbed, what their definition of new is idk. Could be 2 months doing flatbed or 5yrs. But that is what I was told.

From my understanding since I'm a rookie, Im not qualified to share my experiences from this company with others? That is all I'm doing is sharing my experiences and in no way taking a shot at Knight. Every Knight driver I talked to has said they love working there. That the only problem is getting the trucks out the shop fast enough to get rolling again. I'm posting my experience with Knight from my terminal. I have said nothing bad about Knight as a company. I am grateful that Knight has allowed me to start my career with them. All I can do is share what I know so far, which isn't much and share my experience but it seems that yall are taking it like I'm speaking negative about the company.

If I can help other inexperienced drivers avoid a headache situation that I'm going through then why shouldn't I? If you are an experienced flatbed driver like Old School that is different. But inexperienced drivers in my experience will have trouble in the flatbed division at my 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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Okay...

Then please only share your experience. The good, the bad and the in-between. Allow the reader to draw their own conclusion. IMO? You have a great opportunity with Knight. If you adjust your attitude, you could become their model/benchmark for flatbed trainees.

As an FYI??? No company can adequate train and prepare you for running solo.

Thank you for writing a well thought reply.

double-quotes-start.png

TwoSides... you are completely out of line with this.

So much of what you wrote is untrue, conjecture; no substance. Knight is not new to the flatbed world and certainly not new to supporting inexperienced drivers.

You’ve got two weeks of solo experience with them. That’s it, you are in no position to dissuade someone from considering them as a viable employer of inexperienced drivers.

I’m hoping OldSchool will check-in on this...in the mean time TwoSides; please share what you know and have experienced providing details and not just a passing shot at your company.

double-quotes-end.png

G-town, I see that there is no substance in the post I wrote. But that doesn't make it untrue. I do have a diary I'm writing that explains more of what I'm going through. I was told by the recruiter, my terminal manager and orientation instructor that Knight is new to flatbed, what their definition of new is idk. Could be 2 months doing flatbed or 5yrs. But that is what I was told.

From my understanding since I'm a rookie, Im not qualified to share my experiences from this company with others? That is all I'm doing is sharing my experiences and in no way taking a shot at Knight. Every Knight driver I talked to has said they love working there. That the only problem is getting the trucks out the shop fast enough to get rolling again. I'm posting my experience with Knight from my terminal. I have said nothing bad about Knight as a company. I am grateful that Knight has allowed me to start my career with them. All I can do is share what I know so far, which isn't much and share my experience but it seems that yall are taking it like I'm speaking negative about the company.

If I can help other inexperienced drivers avoid a headache situation that I'm going through then why shouldn't I? If you are an experienced flatbed driver like Old School that is different. But inexperienced drivers in my experience will have trouble in the flatbed division at my 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.

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.

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