Dry Van OTR Training Knight Transportation

Topic 33772 | Page 1

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Cassidy W.'s Comment
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My name is Cassidy and I was recently hired with my Transportation located in Portland. I had decided to do OTR Drive van on the lower 48. I was hired on the 5th of December of 2023. My phone contact with my driver coordinator of the terminal there in portland. I'm still not even in a truck yet and that's the issue. I've been in contact with him several times and the only answer that I've been getting is that we've been working on it. Yes this is my first trucking career but I know something doesn't feel right about it right now. I understand that the holidays have just passed and that most of the trainers have taken off for holiday. There was one other person in orientation with me and he's been in a truck since about 2-3 weeks ago. The driver coordinator I spoke with said that there's somebody else in front of me who is going to be in a truck coming up this Monday. It takes about 4 weeks of training which I understand but they are either waiting for a female trainer or a local driver to train me for otr. The issue is now I'm getting the runaround saying that it'll be another month before I'm in a truck. I'm staying in contact with him I'm trying to get some information but the only information that is released to me is we're doing our best I'm sorry this isn't the answer that you want to hear but you'll be in a truck soon enough. I try and tell them that I'm eager to get into the truck and that I need to be able to pay my bills however it feels like I'm not going anywhere. It even came down to one of the topics of me being flown out to another terminal so I can be trained. However if I'm flown out to another terminal I won't be able to carry all of my stuff that I need with me for my truck. I'm not entirely sure what to do and I want to do OTR lower 48 for personal reasons and personal gain. I'm not entirely sure how often this is that new hire ons get the runaround and the whole waiting. Just seems a little far-fetched. Any other company around here doesn't do lower 48 without having at least 6 months of experience and I do not want to leave Knight Transportation. Looking for advice please one trucker to another.

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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Down at the bottom of your post you say you hired on with Knight Transportation. Knight is a fine company, I suggest you hold on to that. It's not stated, but I gather from your comments (" they are either waiting for a female trainer or a local driver ") that you are a woman. ("Cassidy" is a first name that can go either way M/F, and I don't want to guess wrong.). Knight is respecting that. But you can tell the training scheduler that you don't mind the gender of your instructor. Should any problem come up, that training scheduler is just a phone call away, and you can find a private place to make that call.

That "6 months experience" thing means that other company wants you to have already completed any rookie driver training (and it's very important to have a trainer working with you for the first several weeks.) Call the scheduler back Monday and tell them it's more important to get rolling than to matching you and a trainer.

(Note: also, this "Training Diaries" section here is truly for training diaries and a place to record your experience. This particular kind of question would be better in the main "General Category". That's why you haven't heard from any one else yet.)

Bush Country's Comment
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However if I'm flown out to another terminal I won't be able to carry all of my stuff that I need with me for my truck.

Everything you need to take in your trainer's truck should fit in a carry-on, or, at most a small carry-on and small checked bag. Here's a picture of the bag I took in my Knight trainer's truck (12" ruler for scale):

0586813001705420937.jpg

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I missed that "flown out" stuff in Cassidy's original post. Chances are slim a plane trip would happen, but it is a possibility. Imagine you are going to stay in a hotel. You pack enough clothes and other essentials for a week or so. (Remember it's still winter - bring a heavy jacket & gloves for those trips to Spokane & Green Bay.)

Your trainer should be willing to stop in at Walmart or such for things like food and expendables you run out of. I used a military duffel bag (about the capacity of a 36" suitcase). Bedding like a sleeping bag (See Bush's Best photo above). Handy hint: sleeper bunks are linen size XLT - "Long Twin".

Hang in there, don't walk out on Knight!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you for the replies. Yes I'm a female. I did express to the terminal scheduler that gender wouldn't be an issue with me but they politely shot that down. I was told I would receive information from them today so I reached out early this morning. He told me in text message that he didn't know anything yet, that he'll find out if there's an opening for Monday later this afternoon. I messaged him around 4:30 and I've not received a reply.

Also the duffle bag I have packed and it's about the same size so thank you for relieving that stressful thought of not being able to take everything. I'm doing my best to keep calm and level headed and I'm doing my best to keep in contact with them every two to three days. Someone I know said I should try and get in contact with hr but I'm not entirely sure if that would solve anything, more or less cause issues.

I'm still waiting getting the run around of yes we have someone to it fell through.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Cassidy is waiting as fast as she can:

I'm doing my best to keep in contact with them every two to three days.

That's how you do it. Some years ago I got a great job that many people also wanted, but I kept on with my contact just this way. Don't waste your time with HR - you have all the hiring boxes checked with them, it's now just a matter of scheduling.

Knight runs a great company - in fact they own Swift. (Don't believe all the jokes about Swift - they didn't get big by messing with their drivers.) Get it to the point where your Knight scheduler answers your phone call with "Hi, Cass!"

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on getting hired with Knight. A couple things, many decisions are terminal specific. Meaning each of our terminals are independently operated, almost like its own business. It sounds like they are working to get you placed with a trainer as best they can. There are many valid reasons to go with a female trainer for you.

I'm assuming that you went through Squire school (Knights school). If thats the case, One option may be to go down to SLC and do the Top Gun program. I'd highly recommend it if you haven't. Also, it will give you the option of shortening your training to two weeks if you successfully graduate. I would recommend asking your DDM about it.

Abundant communication and patience play a huge role in success with Knight. I've had very positive interaction with the Portland terminal, they've bent over backwards to get me loads there.

I ended up waiting a month to get the specific trainer that my terminal manager wanted for me. I was impatient as well, but I'm glad I waited. She knew what I needed in a trainer. I had no clue. It was very much worth the wait.

There is a lot of opportunities at Knight, it will take time for you to realize them though. There are many things about the industry and about driving that you will learn but don't yet know. Have some trust in that your terminal knows what it is doing. Also, as far as I understand, with the ice storms and weather, Portland has had its hands full.

As was said, if you need to go to another terminal to pick up a trainer, you can easily fly with what you will bring on the truck. I can't stress enough to be polite and non demanding in your communication on it.

My experience with Knight is that they have bent over backwards to accommodate me from day one.

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.
Cassidy W.'s Comment
member avatar

So I was able to get in contact with him again and he said that there's no openings until 2 weeks from Monday so that puts it at February 5th. I know that they're a good company. I mean I know I've got the job because they hired me and I got my first paycheck however every trucker nose sitting at home not in a truck means you're not getting paid. I think that's the part that's driving me insane is because of the fact that I'm home and not in a truck and it's been 2 months. At least now I have a date supposedly because what he said was there's a possible opening on February 5th. Even though I have a date, I'm still going to keep in contact. Don't want them to think that I lost interest you know? Anyway, thank you Errol!!!!!!

-Cassie

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Again, I'd recommend asking if they would send you down to Top Gun for a week. You will get paid while you're there (it's training pay), you will live on the truck for the week, so no lodging costs, and they will cover the flights and travel to and from.

In addition, it's really valuable experience backing and close quarters maneuvering.

Why not make some money and learn while you're waiting?

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