I did not expect to learn that the bad reputation Knight Transportation has with drivers and others in our industry is well deserved.
I am not angry or bitter, but I am mad at myself for not listening to my wife and quit when all the stupidity began in December 2008. I can be stubborn. I wanted to make it to the end of the 90 day probationary period. [I have written this testimony in the narrative style for the ease of communicating the information].
On 11 March 2009 I was informed that I was not a good fit for Knight by the alleged Safety Rep named David at the Gulfport, MS terminal. He cited that he decided to blame me for an oil pump breaking in December about 2 weeks after the tractor they gave me came out of the shop. If this was a legitimate reason to claim I was not a good fit for Knight, then I would have been told so in December.
I received the tractor the day after the so-called company orientation had concluded. I immediately informed them of the warning indications on the display of the 2006 Volvo 660. It also had missing or bad sensors which the shop manager and personnel stated they planned to order. The shop manager said I should run with it and there would be no problems. I know tractors and trucks. I was wary. However, I had no knowledge of Volvos and Knight Transportation knew that.
For the record, I did not break the oil pump.
I had no indication that there was any trouble at all. The oil level was fine. I had just added a half gallon earlier in the day. The motor stopped running on I-20 eastbound just before the I-285 split on the Westside of Atlanta on the Sunday evening before Christmas 2008. This was the night of record cold temperatures. After nearly freezing to death for 11 hours on the side of the interstate and after 3 days of layover, I was told the motor was toast. Imagine that! Bad maintenance practices caused a motor to burn up. However, I am the class A CDL holder so the company mantra is employed: When in doubt (or to cover your butt), its the drivers fault.
This is NOT A JOKE! THIS IS WHAT THEY DO!!!
The tow tractor driver who eventually rescued me could see I was frozen to the bone. He told me to sit in his tractor. I sat in his cab to warm up (not freeze). My bones did not stop shaking until I was in a motel bed for 5 hours. Matt told me that Knight does not like to pay breakdown pay and he would not authorize it. Then why does Knight talk about their poor paying breakdown pay in their version of an orientation?
A driver who pays attention to what they are told is not a good fit for Knight.
I learned that Knight Transportation does not operate as a properly run trucking company. The maintenance departments dont want to work on tractors from other terminals!!! I found out and also learned from all the senior drivers that the practice of company maintenance personnel is to make it difficult on drivers from other terminals to get routine or preventative maintenance completed at other company terminals. KNIGHT TRANSPORTATION MAINTENANCE FACILITIES do not want to work on tractors from other terminals!? A real trucking company would not do this to their drivers.
I tried to get some minor issues resolved to prevent complications in the future, however, Knight Transportation does not share this proper, common sense belief in regards to the safe operation of a motor vehicle. I believe in preventative maintenance. This has always been a wise attitude to have. However, it is frowned upon by Knight Transportation personnel. On a few occasions I was guilty of trying to obtain 10 minutes of maintenance time to prevent multiple hours of repair later. In my opinion, Knight Transportation is in violation the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (STAA). I guess I am not supposed to bother poorly paid mechanics on their 3 hour coffee break!
A conscientious driver is NOT a good fit for Knight.
So, I ended up doing what everyone else does and finding another way to fix the problems. Many drivers work with someone else who has experience with the minor problem and get it repaired. This is a great way to get a job done and is one of the most time-honored methods of repair in our industry. It saves money and we learn to do more repairs. Knight Transportation probably doesnt care to know that many loads each month are on-time because the drivers do their own minor repair work to keep things moving only to be on layover several days after they safely deliver.
Lets get back to David, the alleged Safety Rep in Gulfport, MS.
The other poor excuse he cited as his reason I was not a good fit for Knight was because I idled the tractor when it was 34 degrees and lower outside and / or inside the cab of my well maintained Volvo. Knight tractors will NOT idle until the outside temperature is 34 degrees. If a human being is cold at night or is sweating from heat, they dont sleep well or at all. Since Knight hires human beings to work as drivers, they must hire robots to be managers. They are confused as to why we humans require heat or cool air to regulate our body temperature. (Typically, robots can operate from minus 20 degrees to plus 120 degrees Fahrenheit). If this was a legitimate reason to claim I was not a good fit for Knight, then I would have been told so in December.
Human beings are not a good fit for Knight.
Knight drivers are constantly informed via telephone or QualComm satellite that they will be terminated if they idle the tractor to stop from freezing or to prevent heat stroke. I admit it. I AM GUILTY! I chose to burn a few gallons of fuel to save my life. I must be punished! If I was dumb enough to not do the normal thing and idle the tractor, I would be dead or in the hospital. Knight is the kind of company that would send my widow a bill for supposedly having the interior professionally cleaned (by the under paid Knight Transportation maintenance personnel).
David also tossed in a BS item that also is untrue. I was not a good fit for Knight for allegedly having a late load. My dispatcher in Gulfport, MS named Matt was intent on getting home for the weekend and did not pay attention to our conversation. I first informed him that I had been on duty this particular since 6 AM that morning and only had 4 hours left to work. I eventually received the load information a little after closing time in Gulfport, MS.
Matt sent me another BS message claiming he wanted to confirm my ability to deliver the load. He never asked on the phone, but needed to cover his butt. All he told me was to go to the shipper and he would send the load information while I was en route. Since Matt sent the load information well after I left, there were no safe places to exit the interstate. I responded as soon as I joined in a long line of tractors trying to get their loads and get out of the Atlanta metro area late on a Friday afternoon. Matt was NOT at the terminal to receive my response which would cause him to stay and reschedule the delivery. He left after sending a supposedly important message!!! If this was a legitimate reason to claim I was not a good fit for Knight, then I would have been told so in December.
Knight Transportation drivers forbidden to pull over to the side of the road to read any messages.
Apparently, drivers must remind dispatchers of basic mathematics. 6 AM + 14 hours = 8PM. (It seems they have not been told about the new 14 hour rule)! Matts claim to fame is he likes to use the QualComm system to refer to conversations which NEVER took place via the telephone. It would seem that more fraudulent information is transmitted via satellite than by telephone each day.
ITS AGAINST KNIGHT COMPANY POLICY TO DO THE RIGHT (NORMAL) THING.
Remember the Knight Transportation mantra: When in doubt (or to cover your butt), its the drivers fault.
An honest person is not a good fit for Knight.
Knight owes me for 3 layovers in Atlanta, GA in December 2008 and another 14 layovers from January March 2009 for a total of 17 layovers and for the 11 hours I nearly froze to death on I-20. The most common practice at KNIGHT TRANSPORTATION is their failure to pay drivers earned layovers (a measly $48 per day), breakdown pay (only $5 per hour, up to $100), unloading pay and any other pay not related to the load.
Knight Transportation also owes me pay for 2 loads: the 3rd one (from December 200 and the last one (from March 2009). Load numbers: 6839491 and 6961727.
The total amount of earned pay Knight owes me for my 17 layovers and load pay is about $1,000.
All new drivers get the feeling working at Knight Transportation will not be pleasant during the orientation. This is where they give us answers to quizzes just handed out. Then they collect the quizzes and give drivers another quiz to fill in the answers. This continues for 3 days! This is how they claim new drivers should know about something they cant remember. They feign interest in our welfare and provide absolutely NO TRAINING. Orientation at Knight Transportation is nothing more than company policies and politics. Period.
No actual education exists about any subject. Actual subjects in an actual orientation would include basic maintenance of the company tractors, trailers and other equipment used in performing the possible duties as a driver for the company. Company policies and politics normally take about an hour to cover, not 3 days! Paperwork for a driver to receive their non-load pay (detention, layover, breakdown, etc.) is among a list of many items to be taught at a trucking company. (No paperwork exists to get drivers paid at Knight Transportation for non-load pay)!!! Their earned pay simply vaporizes!
Drivers probably earn millions of dollars in unpaid income each year which are never accounted for properly. Therefore, no Federal Income Tax is withheld. Pretty slick operation, dont you think?
It is the consensus of the drivers and former drivers of Knight Transportation that the underlying issue is centered on money, what else? There are two main points: long haul pay and insurance benefits.
Before I started to work with Knight Transportation, the company lowered the pay rate from $.38/mile to $.36/mile. In January 2009, the company again lowered the rate to $.33/mile. Knight Transportation also likes to rid themselves of higher paid drivers to save on insurance benefits. They know my wife has a few medical issues and I know they didnt want to potentially pay for any bills. Although I cant prove it, it is common knowledge after drivers get out into the system.
My benefits (which I qualified for after 90 days of employment), would have started on 1 April 2009. I heard the same problem or similar repeated by many drivers from other terminals. It is one of the main reasons they quit working for Knight Transportation. The other reasons are: not being paid for all their layovers, not being paid for detention, not being paid for breakdowns and other reasons. Do you see a money pattern here? By using any available justification as a reason to get rid of someone at a higher pay rate, Knight Transportation will save the few extra pennies per mile and medical admin cost to add to their reputation as a Fortune 200 Company.
This must be how Knight Transportation is able to maintain their all important status as a Fortune 200 Company.
For the record, I never quit and David the Safety Rep never said I was fired. David simply stated that in his opinion, I was not a good fit for Knight and he stopped talking. They just took my load from me and would not give me another one.
My 93 days of hell working for a wonderful company is an experience I could have done without.
Do not work for knight transportation!!!
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Wow! What can I say? I guess it would be "welcome to the terrible position of being an OTR driver at a large company".
I honestly don't know how you or anyone else could work for these types of companies. The evidence of how drivers are treated are spelled out in the bad company forums for all to see. Yet so many still flock to those companies thinking that it will be different for them. It's not ever going to be! Can you imagine the amount of posts on here if all drivers knew of this site? I don't know if the servers could handle it.
You did your time and found out what is was like. I hope you eventually find the right company for your needs. Do yourself a favor and stay away from any company that advertises in truckstop magazines. It will do you a world of good. Good luck to you.
From day 1 you were given the shaft and a poorly running Volva. -Getting a crappy truck is fairly typical for starting drivers with the bigs.
With pay, idle dropping and them not paying you -makes you wonder how long they were expecting you to just eat it. But many drivers will be eating it in 2009, x2-3 for the fleecers.
Many truckers will try to force themselves thru that first year (pay off schooling, trucker pride etc) no matter what. -and I give them credit because most do not make it thru that first year. (about 70 (2 classes of ~35) went thru our school and maybe 2? are still with the company after 2+ yrs. I figured about 5 after that first year. The rate of attrition in this industry is very high!!budroanne Thanks this.
###### fails to mention knight has bunk heaters in all the trucks ###### fails to mention he probably didn't watch his oil pressure gauge and no knight does not have idle cutoff in their trucks I worked there for 3 months i had good benefits oh yes ####### they have a graduated pay scale .33 to 38 per mile depending on the load. Now why did I quit? well I wanted to be an owner op but they suspended their lease program because of slow freight period.....good god seems pretty responsible to me and by the way ###### i would still be there if i wanted to stay a company driver.Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
You don not mention that most of the bunk heaters don't work! I always watch my oil pressure guage. Knight DOES HAVE IDLE CUT-OFF!! The tractor only idles for 5 minutes, then turn off. If you got a tractor that will idle, do not tell them!! The sensors in the engine compartment were bad and they never replaced them.
[FONT="]I don't know why you would even consider saying anything nice about "Red Swift" when most everyone knows they are a horrible company! Unfortunately, I did not know about this forum. If I had, I would NEVER have went to work for "Red Swift."
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