I asked about Knight intermodal in another section of TTR and didn't get much of a response, so I'll ask it again here. Can any one give me some insight into working for this division of Knight. I'm thinking of going to their school to get my CDL I gave up a few years back. I'm not really interested in going OTR after all these years, and after looking at my various options this seems like it would be a good fit. Truth is I don't know what I don't know so any tips or advice about port work or working for Knight would be be welcomed.Flamers and hi-jackers not so much.
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Well that's three of us all kind of in the same boat, looking for info but not getting much in the way of feedback. I know there are plenty of folks on here that aren't particularly fond of Knight, but at this stage of the game they might be my best opportunity to re-enter the industry.DRAGON64 Thanks this.
Glad you didn't start with a "they suck" response. I guess my 1st question would be what makes them better or worse than any other mega fleet? I haven't had anyone respond to the question about port/ inter-modal work. I am mostly interested in that particular part of the Knight system.
Please excuse the long winded response but I want to give as much context as I can incase anyone else has this question and needs a more in-depth answer.
Short of it.
Driver Managers / Dispatchers had there power gutted
The long of it.
Your dispatcher used to be the one to grab and assign you loads off the board. You used to be able to have a few options and if lacking in miles this would help as he could grab something with some distance.
Dispatching was replaced with a computer algorithm to plan loads out and if it failed to plan you on a load the "Planners" would step in and give you a load. The planners had no communication with the driver (It was planned that way) Knight even went as far as to move them out of the Phx terminal to the corp offices where no one could talk to them. The communication was thur email between the planner and your DM (Driver manager) and if the planner felt that there was a more "Important" load that needed to go somewhere you were SOL regardless of what DM or you felt.
What this caused was kind of chaos as getting home become a horrid chore and you could be left sitting for days in some areas due to the computer not planning you or the planner having a "important" load that they wanted you to take regardless that you would have to sit 2 days to wait on it.
Knight got a month worth of macy's loads that paid Knight a little over 1100$ per load round trip to go 150 miles. The problem with these loads they were live load and live unload, so you would pick it up one day then sit until the next day to get it unloaded. They would keep drivers on this getting no more then 150 miles per round trip and the PHX terminal would not plan trucks on anything else. We had one of our drivers stuck down there for 12 days doing these. Everytime we tried to pull him out the response was these loads pay us $$$$ i'm not losing a truck to haul them. That driver got screwed out of his hometime and stuck doing this for almost 2 weeks.
Knight's goal on both Refeer and the Trans side is 2250-2500 miles per week per driver. The system is tuned this way so if you some how hit this goal (which was rare) the system would back you off onto smaller loads and dedicated the longer runs to lower mile drivers. Your DM could do nothing fix this please refer to above.
Knight as of this year has got 80% of its fleet with Driver camera's. These cams only face outwards but they are mic'ed they record 1-2 min of data per activation. 1 min before the event up and 1 min after, this can extend depending on the activation.
The cam's them self are no so bad, Knight did not opt for the inner facing ones (as of yet) the problem with them is the events they record. Knight has what they call coaching events.
Stopping to hard, accelerate to fast, cornering, sliding, speeding, stop lights, stop signs, rocking (truck side to side or bumping a dock to hard). These are all events Knight will call you to find out why you did what you did and how you can improve your self based on what was seen on the cam.
Termination events on cam.
U-turns, Cali rolling thur a stop sign, lane departure, tailgating, speed over 70, Bendix activation (Radar on the front of the truck) and Accidents. The U-turn one is a big one with them, the cam is set up to detect a u-turn and then sends it back to HQ the next day this one has a 90% term rate.
This is the communication device in the truck, its a tablet and detachable. You do your pretrip among other things on this device. There is Zonar tags all thur out the truck that need to be scanned and then on the tlr every day for pretrip. If you miss a pretrip on the zonar you will get a call from safety and if "missed" enough it can lead to termination
The back end, the part of Zonar that people don't see. This one records everything, more then Qualcomm, Peoplenet could ever dream of. It records everything form how hard you press the accel peddle to how you shift and take hills. It is a mountain of data they get from every truck and then the system scores and keeps track of the driver. They had not started to yet before I left but this was also to be moved into coaching events any driver with low scores would be given a chance to improve.
As for the rest they are really no different then any other mega company, they do have terminals, they do expect you to fuel at them when close, they do have fuel solutions you must follow. The terminals are adequate expect for a few and normally always a safe place to park.
Depending on the terminal you get the staff you will either love or hate. My terminal was like a giant family we all cared what was going on with one and other and knew each and other by name. Then the bigger ones like Phx just end up being a cess pool of where everyone is a number and your DM is lucky to last a few months in his position.
I don't have alot of experience with Knight and this side of things, just what I have heard from staff and drivers. The main complaint there was pay, you sit for way to long at the port waiting to get your load that you end up wasting most of your day there.
I don't know the pay structure there it used to be different then the rest. I know they no longer pay you for sitting at the port and that driver turn over in the port division has gotten pretty bad. Some places are better then others, I'm told Seattle sucks where phx - LA is better. especially if you live in the PHX, LA (Los Angeles) area.
Becareful here, if its one thing I have heard a million times is they flat out lie to you, especially the ones from Knight. Recruiters at Knight are scored on drivers that they bring in and how many and consistently they do. There job is at stake if they dont keep a quota. This has lead just like anywhere to alot of what they spout off as being false.
The other thing with Knight recruiters is they use a metric, so if you talk to them one day then cant get ahold of them the next day then you did not fit into the metric they are looking for. Alot of them are very good at telling who they can get thur the hiring possess and who they cant. They have no problem ignoring those they think might be a issue and moving onto another application.
In closing, a good way to look at Knight is its all about Quantity not Quality. They will scrape the bottom of the barrel until there is no more barrel if it will get them just a few more butts in the seat. Policy at Knight is made with this in mind and rules are set for the lowest common denominator. Is Knight a total crap hole ? Answer is No but alot of recent changes and policy's are steering the ship that direction.
Sorry this post was so long, just trying to give you a view of different things there so you can compare to where ever else you are looking.Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
Reason for edit: ZOMFG I need to learn to proof read.
Man, Im glad I got out when I did! With all that monitoring wouldn't have made my 5 yrs with them but fired early for a "legal" u-turn, altho safely delivered on-time freight with them all that time---no tkts or accidents!
One of the good things about OTR trucking was having the "illusion" of being on one's own and the feeling of being independently as one on their own, ergo self employed by self planning and without a big brother umbilical cord!! Again, the illusion!
I could see it coming with the coming of elogs & the Qcom which helped the co. but usually was little help to the driver (often incorrect directions)!
They are going to be chewing thru drivers with their scheme and the trucking schools are going to be rich due to the need for drivers, new drivers with short careers as they get terminated en mass.......
Thank you both for your feedback and opinions I'm thinking the whole industry is moving towards more driver oversight and regulation often times brought on by their own actions. The incident with the Knight driver who drove full speed through an accident scene striking a person and the company attempt to cover it up is still fresh in my mind. I'm reaching retirement age and the short hop port work LA to PHX seems like something I could handle without being gone 14-21 days at a time. With the minimum wage going up in both AZ and CA. I'm interested in how they will handle detention, breakdown and layover. Or maybe I should ask how is that handled now?
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