Knight Squire CDL Training Program My Experience and Tips

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by subjecttrucking, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. subjecttrucking

    subjecttrucking Bobtail Member

    Apr 8, 2014
    I am about to start my 2nd week on the classroom/training range. this is my 3rd week here. 1st week is orientation.
    This is the program email i got when i got invited to orientation

    Congratulations! This is your official invite to our Knight Transportation CDL School and Squire training program. We are excited you have chosen to take your first career steps into the trucking industry with Knight Transportation! Below is a list of information about the program as well as your orientation details.

    Orientation Date: Monday, July 21[SUP]st[/SUP] , 2014
    Time: Monday through Friday 7:30 am-5:00pm

    Indianapolis terminal: 3702 W. Minnesota St., Indianapolis, IN 46241
    **Expectation for Potential CDL Students**
    Be professional at all times!!...Consider the training program a job interview to become an over-the-road driver.
    Keep in mind this is a job, this is not a hobby or a vacation tour around the country. We take our program VERY SERIOUS!!

    NOTE: Please see attached Expectations Agreement, Roand andRange Rules, and Promissory Note these documents are for you to review and will be provided to you in class for signing.

    This link is required paperwork that will need to be completed prior to coming to orientation. If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email.

    For this link, you will be completing all of your pre-hire paperwork. For each document, you must do the following steps in order to have the forms fully submitted:

    1. Click Fill out Form
    2. Fill out all necessary information.
    3. Sign your name in the box using the mouse.
    4. Click Save Signature
    5. Click View Completed Form
    6. Scroll to the top of the page and click Save Completed Document
    7. Click on the grey button to proceed to the next document.

    What to bring to Training?
    ü $100 money order (due on 1[SUP]st[/SUP] day of orientation)
    ü Social Security Card
    ü CDL-A permit
    ü Driver’s License
    ü Valid DOT Physical (If you have one)
    ü Voided check-For Direct Deposit
    ü Money for Dinner
    ü Pillows and Bedding to go over the road
    ü Blue/Black Ink Pen
    ü If you were self Employed: Proof via W-2 or Social Security printout
    ü If you were in the Military: DD214 (honorable discharge paperwork)
    ü At least 2 weeks’ worth of clothing and toiletries (casual dress-there will be a laundry facility at hotel)

    ** Each morning, make sure to be in the hotel lobby by 7:00 am in order to be at orientation by 7:30am. **
    Squire CDL Training Program
    Knight Transportation’s Northeast region is dedicated to our Indianapolis terminal as the prime location for our Squire CDL training program. The schooling is approximately four weeks long, including one week for orientation, and then three weeks of schooling.
    Orienation Daily Breakdown: Day 1:Hair & Urine Drug Test. Physicals. Day 2: Safety Videos, Paperwork. Day 3-5:Paperwork.

    CDL Weekly Breakdown: Week 1: Driver Orientation
    Week 2:Classroom/Training Range (where you will work to learn your skills for driving)
    Week 3:1 week OTR (over the road) with a trainer

    Week 4:1 week local routes (Indianapolis area) with a trainer or second week OTR depending on progress
    Week 5: Go back to home state and take skills/pre-trip test to obtain CDL-A license
    Week 6-9: OTR with a trainer to learn how to become an over the road driver
    **After completion of the training with your trainer, you will be required to run a total of 30, 000 safe miles to complete the program. **

    I hope this answers all your questions in a clear way. If you are confused about anything or want to ask additional questions feel free to call or email me!
    Congratulations and welcome to the Knight Transportation family!!

    NE Squire Recruiter/Driver Development
    **Disclaimer: Orientation is only an invitation for you to visit our company and see if you would still be interested in working for us as well as an opportunity for us to get to know you. It is not an offer of employment. Only those applicants who meet all of our qualifications which include passing our drug tests and our physical as well as meeting all qualifications through our Safety department will be offered a driving position from Knight at the end of orientation. **

    Ok i will start from the beginning
    Filling out for program You have to fill out for program online or call and they will help you from there.
    First you will have to fill out the online paper work following the link, just go ahead and fill them all out if you don't you will just do it at orientation.

    The Bus
    Then you will be invited to orientation and you will get bus ticket info in an email, get ticket early because you might not know where the bus station is at and if you wait until the day you leave to find it you might miss the bus.
    On the day you leave don't forget to check your bags it's $15 dollars for all bags combined and they will give you bag tags but make sure you have your own bag tags with your info on it. You can carry on a bag with you, i brought on my backpack with my laptop and electronics in it. When you get to your stop they will just toss the bags from under the bus on to the street so make sure the delicate stuff is protected. DO NOT DRINK A LOT OF WATER OR LIQUIDS ON THE BUS or you will have to pee a lot, the bus vibrations just makes it run right through you. There was a restroom on the bus so use it if you have to or hold it. I don't know if there will be a restroom at one of the stops you will make along the way and also you might not have time to us it.

    Your Stop and hotel pick up
    When you get to your destination you will get your stuff and call the hotel or shuttle number they gave you on the email and tell them you are with knight transportation cdl training program and you are at the bus station. They came and got us in a all white plain van, yes the creepy one, i thought that i was being kidnapped but the van did have windows and they did say they were with knight so i got in. The guy driving was from the hotel and the guy in passenger seat was with knight, be safe and make sure you ask what the van will look like when you call don't just get in any random van. *Also don't be waving your phone around and not paying attention, playing games when you are waiting for shuttle, you will be an easy target to get your phone stolen.*

    You Arrived at hotel
    get your stuff and go in to the hotel, at the desk tell them you are with knight's training program and they will give you a room key.

    The Hotel
    the hotel i stay in is a Quality Inn in Indianapolis Indiana *you might be at a different hotel and terminal in another state it depends where you live* i have my own room no roommate but there are two beds in here so, in the beginning i was worried that a roommate might walk in at any moment, because every Monday they have a new orientation and the new people arrive on Sunday. But i heard from another student they don't have us stay with a roommate but i didn't ask anyone from knight so i don't really know. I have been here 2 weeks going on third this Monday and i still don't have a roommate and a new group of people arrived for the school. I still lock the door don't want to wake up and their is some strange person sleeping in the bed next to me. They do have basic cable and hbo on a fat back tv and they have a small refrigerator and a microwave. When you are at the hotel the doors close really loud or people just slam them really hard so every time it happens you are going to think you are being raided or someone is knocking on your door and it's will get on your nerves and scare you at first and you will keep going to check peephole. you will think it's a person coming in your room or someone to be your roommate every time for a week. you will get use to it but you will still look at door because someone could have took you do not disturb sign and it could be housekeeping. There is a shower, sink and tub, ac and heater. Oh yeah every thing squeaks the chairs and bed.

    Important stuff you should do and know about the hotel

    *check and see if you have a do not disturb sign in your room if you don't, go to the front desk and get one i haven't been in a hotel in a long time and house keeping will come in your room everyday if you don't put it on the door. They may not speak English well just fyi.
    *if you want your bed sheets changed new towels and room cleaned take the do not disturb sign off the door and they will come in and clean it, you won't be there you will be at school but i would do it (take do not disturb sign off the door) before you leave for the school so you can come back to a clean room.*make sure you pack all your stuff up don't leave you valuables or any thing of yours just laying around out in the open when you leave, getting room cleaned or not or leaving the hotel for long time*
    *ever time you leave the room for school in the morning your stuff should be packed and/or secured*
    when you leave you can't lock the door. also *someone might steal your do not disturb sign off your door* and if it's not on the door housekeeping will come in and if your stuff is all out someone could steal it. A cdl instructor assistant for the school had this happened to him someone stole his money and he flipped out on the staff and management and then he was given 2 choices by the company, be an over the road driver(OTR) again or be fired i don't know what he picked but he is not here anymore. *If someone steals from your room contact the knight first then the police, call your recruiter or if you are in training phase the cdl instructor*, the cdl instructor told us this because since we are not paying for the room it has to be handled by knight. *Don't go to the the staff and flip out or they (KNIGHT) will send you home*.
    *quick story, so i was in my room sleeping and i wake up and look at the clock and it's 2am and i hear the guy in the room next to me just yelling "what are you doing in my room" really loud and I'm like did he get a roommate that came in at night or something, no it was the housekeeping person i could hear them saying "sorry sorry". I'm thinking why would a housekeeper needed to come in at 2am to clean a room, the person next to me wasn't even in our school he was just a truck driver.
    Also a student in the school said they had their ipod stolen but he didn't report it. so make sure you pack your stuff up and don't leave any thing laying around when you leave for school.
    *the internet there are two wifi points to connect too at my hotel the open one that is really slow and a secured one that is fast call or go to the front desk and ask for the password for the hotels wifi, it was free for me at the hotel i'm at it should be free at yours too but you have to check.
    *you want your trash taken only i took the entire trash can and set it outside my door to the side and they came and picked it up, if you have big boxes that don't fit fold them up and put then in the can or just set them out side of your door. If you see them out by your door you could just take it to them. if you just take the bag out and set it by the door i don't know if they will just leave new trash bags on the floor for you. You could also take the do not disturb sign off the door and they will knock for you.
    *fresh towels you can take the do not disturb sign off the door when you are there and they will knock and you can tell them you only need fresh towels.
    *food the hotel I'm at has free breakfast only you serve your self and they have a very limited selection. they have a waffle iron and you have to make them your self, i never had a waffle right off the iron before and they are good. every thing else is microwaved heated in the oven prepacked stuff. i you are lucky there will be sausages (the cheap store bought kind), the juice is the cheap stuff you can get for a gallon at any gas station, the eggs are a flat disk shape like at a fast food place but they taste good to me
    -full list -orange juice mango if lucky-water-coffee dark and decaf and coffee stuff cream sugar etc.-milk 2% or skim only- cereal 3 kinds not sure what kind -bread you have to toast -butter- jelly- egg disk- sausages if lucky- waffles you make them- biscuits very small and gravy - syrup - if you are really lucky yopliat yogurt with fruit in it
    i don't drink coffee so i don't know how it is, i haven't had the gravy or cereal. the waffles are what i mainly eat and the eggs and the juice.*note about how to use waffle iron don't over fill it and when you close it you have to filp it then wait for timer to stop*
    There are places you can order from or go to places near by- waffle house, restaurant and pub *DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL YOU WILL BE SENT HOME*, many pizza places to order from, jimmy jones, gas station food, dinner. some of these places are expensive and I'm guessing you are not rich because if you were you would have went to a private cdl school. if you don't have money you will learn to love those free microwaved egg disk and waffles at the hotel. if you do have a little money save it for after orientation and Saturdays and Sundays. *AFTER ORIENTATION THEY WILL NOT PROVIDE FREE LUNCH ANYMORE* they do have free lunch at the terminal on Wednesdays for ALL the drivers students and employees. on Tuesday and Thursday they have a food truck come to the training yard but it's not free, the prices are equal to what you get, $1 for drink, chips or cookies $3 -$8 for food it's a barb q truck.

    Leaving Hotel for Orientation day 1
    m-f hotel breakfast starts at 5am-9:30am, sat sun 5:30am-10am you can go down earlier for breakfast and go back to room or stay down there. make sure you are in the lobby before 7am they will leave you, maybe not the first day but don't come down at 7am be down there before maybe 10 before or earlier. make sure you put up your stuff in the room and put the do not disturb sign out on door if you don't want your roomed cleaned. Bring all your paper work and info asked for in the email and $100 money order or cash or whatever. there was a knight van that took us over to the terminal by someone from knight you might want to wait outside or in lobby somewhere you can see out front for the van. There might be other people out there going to the orientation too.

    Orientation Day 1

    For my orientation the regular orientation person was on vacation and someone had to fill in and they didn't know every thing they should do and on top of that something was wrong with normal physicals place so we had to go to a different one that was really slow we just sat and waited most of the day. So they will talk to you about some stuff and had out papers to fill out then the staff will come in and you get to look at the pretty ladies and see your recruiter they didn't say their names which was weird. Hair and drug test So you will do you hair and drug test at the terminal, we had to go in the girls bathroom and there were two pretty ladies, and it's two at a time so you and another person one at the pee table and the other at the hair cutting table. You go in the stall and pee in cup and they listen to you pee cause it's dead silent in there, so hold in that fart with every thing you got. For me they had us waiting so long like 3 hours or more before i tested, i had to pee a lot but i go locked up after i started peeing in the toilet it was so quiet in there but the sound of me peeing filled the room. Also when you go in the stall they tell you not to flush so when you are getting those last drops out they tell you again not to flush so if you can't go when someone talking to you make sure you drink water so you have to go. Then you bring cup out give it to them they test it and pour the rest out. Then it's the hair test they cut the hair off my forearm with the clippers so don't worry they don't cut the hair off your head or beard, but if you don't have hair anywhere else than you have no choice. She did go down the entire length of my arm underneath it so it won't be that noticeable.

    Physicals at the Clinic

    So you will go to the clinic and do physicals a real physical exercise and stuff. You go in fill out the paper work and they call you back height, weight, eyes, another pee test than you go to room get undressed down to under wear and tee shirt you can keep on. Doctor comes in and asks questions then checks eyes, ears and stomach and you touch your toes, squat and than he wants to touch your balls (i hate this part). So he had me lay down on table pull down under wear and cough i was lucky he only looked no touch. Next is the physical exam you go to a back area and there are weights and stuff it's a physical therapy room. So the guy has you do some stretches and bends and arm circles, he tells you to take off your shirt down so he can see your man boobs well he didn't say that but you do take off your shirt. Then he touches your body and ask you if you feel any numbness and does both sides feel the same and you do some bending. Than you stand up and he tries to push down your arms and you have to hold them up then he bends our arms and back into positions you didn't even know you could do.Then you lay on your back and he stretches your legs up to your chest and i recommend you get out all your farts before you get to the clinic than you have to stand with your eyes closed and than on one foot for a minute. Next is the steps you step up and down to the pace of the beeps then you get your heart rate checked and again after you rest then you climb up and down a ladder. After that you lift a box of weights up and down on to a shelf low and high self than he increase the weight it's not that heavy but you will be tired. Then you carry a box of weights 10ft 10 times setting them down and picking them up at the the end and beginning of the 10ft. Then you lift a weight up with extended arm in front of you 2 inches last thing is you pull some weight that are on the floor out to a set distance and that's it. I was tired after i did it, I'm not in great shape i don't exercise anymore like i used to and i don't stretch or run so.

    Lunch if you haven't had it before the physicals you will have lunch and *lunch is free for the entire orientation week* there are a few places you might get it from, they may take you to a place or it's ordered in for you at the terminal. My first lunch was from a gas station/convenience store they had a buffet type thing and we had $6 buck that we could use for the meal anything over you have to pay. It was at a gas station but the lunch was good i liked it i got the chicken strips a roll and mac n cheese and any sized drink i got 32oz they had 42oz also the chicken strips were pretty big and you got 3 and a scoop of mac n cheese. It was good and it will fill you up, when i was about to leave for the bus i ate like i wasn't going to eat for a while but they do feed you and you will be full.
    Orientation Day 2

    I filled out some stuff but not all I'm tired of typing this is my Sunday off i will fill out the rest later...maybe
    TruckrWnnaB, Downhill and lcfd15 Thank this.
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  3. TruckrWnnaB

    TruckrWnnaB Bobtail Member

    Jul 3, 2013
  4. subjecttrucking

    subjecttrucking Bobtail Member

    Apr 8, 2014
    I'm back
    If anyone knows how to edit a thread or post let me know.
    *i should have wrote this stuff down earlier it's hard trying to remember what i did on each day it's been awhile*
    *the stuff you do on these days may be in a different order or different day i don't remember exactly but you will do it*
    Orientation Day 2
    You will fill out more paper work online if you haven't done every thing you need. You will listen to people come in and explain stuff about about the papers you get and talk about the company (i can't remember exactly but you will do this stuff either now or the next days) You will watch videos i think it's just a slide show about the Smith System 5 keys to safety and *for people who have their CDL already will have to go out on the road and drive in the van and demonstrate that they know the Smith System and were paying attention* everyone may have to take a written test on it or a test on something so pay attention (i don't remember.) Then you will watch and listen to some more people go over stuff and more slide shows. You will get a packet going over the pay scale, Per Diem, payroll, EFS/fuel card and checks, trip sheet, and a few Qualcoom macros, and detention pay. You can set up direct deposit or your pay will go on your efs/fuel card they give you. You can also choose to get daily pay or weekly pay (after you are hired and on the road as a solo driver) *you get paid $100 for orientation which will show up in account on the next Tuesday or the one after**Also you have to bring your $100 money for the first day of orientation, they will not use the $100 you will get paid for orientation as payment* one guy didn't have the $100 on the first day and they gave him until Friday to get it or he was going to be sent home. Lunch i think it was pasta or pizza they ordered in to the terminal. Also some people needed their work stubs or college transcripts and they had to go to the federal building or somewhere to get it they take you, so bring your college transcript and some work check stubs first and last maybe a w-2 if you have them or know you had problems in the past trying to get work stuff verified. Even though i sent them my transcript before i came they asked me if i had a copy with me and i brought it just in case that happened.

    Orientation Day 3, 4 and 5
    Day 3 If you haven't got or finished all the paper work you need you will be working on that or going to get it. You will also go over your benefits package (eye, dental, 401k and stuff like that) You might go out with someone to go around the city as a class or groups and after you go look at the CDL school (i may have got the day wrong) going around was fun the guy who took us was really funny like a tour guide. Wednesday was pizza or pasta (can't remember) You get you picture taken for your ID badge.*also every Wednesday there is free hamburgers and hot dogs at the terminal for drivers appreciation day at the Indianapolis Indiana terminal, after orientation it's still free and you will go every Wednesday during CDL school for lunch* You might go over more papers while you wait for the results of the drug test to come back and for phoenix the main headquarters to verify your stuff and code you into the system. You might just be doing a lot of nothing just waiting.
    Day 4
    same as day 3. You might get your ID badge and the test results should be back and some people may be already gone or about to be sent home. You might not be coded into the system yet, i was but some people still weren't. Some people may still need get paper work sorted out. Lunch was Chinese i ordered the sweet and sour chicken the sauce was separate on the side it was good some people didn't like or want Chinese and they got jimmy john's instead, i don't eat Chinese food either but what i got was good it was just chicken and rice.

    *This may be the greatest advice or tip you get from me, if you get Chinese food and you get the plastic container with the lid SAVE IT and bring it back to the hotel you can reuse it. If you don't have a lot of money or don't want to spend a lot, when you go down for breakfast you can get some food and put it in the container to eat it for lunch or save it for when you get back to the hotel for dinner. If you brought a container or lunch box you can use it but there may not be a lot of room for a big container in the mini fridge. Buying lunch and dinner every day will start to be expensive, i was doing that for awhile and it was too much, especially Saturday and Sunday you get free hotel breakfast but you have to pay for your own lunch and dinner. If you eat a lot during breakfast you might can go all day on that one meal or you could bring some back to the room for later as lunch or dinner and you won't be hungry or have to spend all your money. Some people had to get an advance on their training pay because they have bills or are young and don't have a lot of money saved, I'm young but i don't spend all my money because I'm cheap and save it, so don't spend it if you don't have to and remember you will still need to get food when you go on the road with your trainer and once you go solo. When you do you will have that money to buy you a GPS or what ever else you need for the truck*

    Day 4 was my last day of orientation because i was coded into the system i had all my paper work sorted out and done and i passed the drug test, some people who still needed to get stuff done had to go to orientation on Friday Day 5 to finish stuff. So that Friday we were supposed to go to the CDL school but their were some students (not us new people) that needed to go take their CDL test and the instructors were going to be too busy so we got that Friday off, don't expect this to be the same for you.

    1st Week Wrap Saturday and Sunday
    It was good i learned a lot about the company and stuff like they are a debt free company and own all their equipment, they only keep trucks in the fleet for 500,000 miles so they get new ones every 3 to 4 years. They sell those trucks to other companies and when they buy new trucks they buy them straight from the manufacturer and they buy like 5,000 trucks at a time off the line to replace the old 500k mile trucks. The people are nice. Saturday i went down and eat breakfast and brought some back to the room for later, i mostly caught up on the stuff i would watch or do at home and looked up stuff online. I brought my laptop and it has BF4 on it so i played that.

    Their is more i want to write and finish but McAfee just started the weekly full system scan so i will finish later.
    Drewski Thanks this.
  5. subjecttrucking

    subjecttrucking Bobtail Member

    Apr 8, 2014
    The Cdl School
    I'm not going to go over every day by day just what we did and what i thought.

    On Monday we got the the CDL school and it's a big lot that used to be an air port parking lot, the building we are in is small it's like one of those offices you see on a construction site and they have a refillable water tank for the bathroom so if you are wasting the water he will be mad, he said you can use the soap with or with out water. In there we met the two instructors, they went over the rules and told us we would have to sign in every day and sign out a clip board to use. Also there will be a test the 2nd week and you will sigh out a green safety regulations book and read section 395 the hours of service and know it for the test along with remembering the basic stuff about the truck, weight limits, 5 smith system keys and some other stuff it's a 100 question test. Then we watched some videos about trucking, how to avoid accidents and stuff then we watched a video about human trafficking, truck stop prostitutes (some people call them "lot lizards") and how they may be little girls or boys that have been kidnapped and sold to be sex slaves. It really struck a cord with me, think about in your city and the amber alerts you see on the news, some of the kids are never found and they may knock on you truck door someday at some truck stop and ask you for sex. He gave us a little pamphlet called Truckers Against Trafficking and it has a hotline to call if you see a minor working at a truck stop, restaurant, rest area, brothel, strip clubs, private homes etc or you suspect pimp control, call the National Hotline and report your tip (US) 1-888-3737-888 and (Canada) 1-800-222-TIPS also you can report by email: the website is if you want to check it out, you can also watch the video i am talking about on the site.

    After that he told us that we would have a folder and in it we would put our evaluation papers for the day, the paper work is our evaluation sheets that we the students would fill out for each other. So if you and me are doing pre trip you would mark down every thing i said and what i missed on the pre trip eval sheet then we would switch, it's the same for the other stations except you mark the number of pull ups or encroachments (crossed the line or hit a cone) when you go on the road the the instructor will evaluate you. So the evaluations are for the station you are at, there are normally 3 stations
    Learning your Pre Trip, Shifting and Skills
    Station 1 is pre trip, some times there might be another truck to do the air brakes and tug test on, you go over it with your group and evaluate each other
    Station 2 is shifting or road (some times, when you are ready and there is someone to take us) you drive around the lot shifting up and down but he doesn't want you to go over 10mph.
    Station 3 is skills (straight back, offset, parallel and 90 ally dock) First you drive around and pull up through the cones, past them then you stop and straight back up. Next is the offset to the left or right you pull up from the straight back go up to line then you offset back in to the hole to the right or left. Next is parallel you go around and pull up next to it and stop just past the cones, then you back and parallel into the spot. Next is the 90 degree ally dock.
    For the skill you won't move on to the next skill until you demonstrate you can do the earlier skills first.

    So every day you will be put in a group and someone will be the team leader for that group and have the key for the day and your usually grouped with people from your same state or who have a similar brake test for the CDL test. Then you will go to the station that is on the schedule that he makes and we should rotate to another station every 45 minutes. We would keep switching until break time then we would start again and break when it's lunch time.
    CDL School Lunch Time
    If brought some food with you there is a full sized fridge you can put your stuff in and there is a microwave. If you drove to the school your self you can go out to get lunch, if you don't have a car you could ask to go with someone who has a car, if not you will stay at the school. There is no place you can walk to get food near the school.
    Free Food Wednesday at the Terminal every Wednesday there is free food at the terminal for driver appreciation day it's hot dogs, hamburgers and chips normally. They will take you over there in the shuttle or in the car of the instructor, some times the people who brought cars will take people with them over. The shuttle takes forever to come sometimes so instead of waiting forever that's what we would do.
    Barbeque Food Truck the food truck is mainly soul food, it comes to the CDL school on Thursdays and some times Friday if he calls. It has shredded chicken or pork, half chickens, ribs, mac and cheese turkey legs, hamburgers, greens etc. I usually got the chicken mac which is shredded chicken and mac n cheese on top with mixed sweet and spicy sauce, it's taste good to me, i also got the hamburger once but the bbq sauce they put on it makes the bread a soggy mess. They have pop or soda and ice tea or water, chips and cookies * the cookies on the truck are a dollar for one pack but at the gas station across from the hotel i found them 2 for a dollar, you can save some money if you get some stuff from the gas station* Also where I'm from at the gas station or any corner store the cheap honey buns and pastries are 2 for a dollar but here in Indy they are $1.32 or something for one and other stuff was more expensive than i was used to.

    After lunch you go back out and continue to practice your stuff until next break then back out to finish the day. At the end of the day make sure you put all your papers in your folder and sign the clipboard back in, then you will have to wait for the hotel shuttle to come which might be awhile, my first day the shuttle took an hour to come and pick us up and take us back to the hotel. The days after the instructor took us back sometimes.

    MY Thoughts on The School
    at the Indy terminal
    Things could be better, mostly it's the other students teaching you stuff and your like OK at first because you don't know any thing and your learning. It's sort of like in grade school and the teacher photo copied something with words on it over and over and it continued to degrade in quality until everyone had a faded out piece of paper but in some some areas the teacher would fill stuff in with a marker so you could see it clearly but the rest of the copy is still pretty blurry, that's how it felt. The evaluation sheets weren't really explained to us well on how to fill them out, you have to ask another student how to do it. In the beginning when evaluating other students pre trips you won't know where stuff is on the paper and you will be too focused on that instead of listening to them do the pre trip. Most pre trip stuff you will learn off the paper and from other students, sometimes the instructor will come and tell you something about the pre trip or have a student do one in front of the entire group and he might point out some stuff, but when i was there he had to do something else and couldn't finish so he told a previous student that already graduated from the class to finish it. Most of the time the instructor is at the skills area watching people back up or in the office working, some times he may get in the truck with us and show us how to do it or guide us through it from the outside side. He will blow the whistle and you will have to get out and look where your at and he will tell you what you need to do to fix it and which way to turn.

    Week 1 CDL School Wrap
    After the first week i was very very overwhelmed and stressed thinking that i was never going to learn all this stuff in time and i would be sent home. Every time i did the pre trip i had to use the paper to remember stuff. My shifting was not good i was coasting (driving the vehicle when not in a gear) and popping the clutch up a lot and the truck would jump and shake like crazy also braking hard. I only did skills one or three times in that week, i think, just straight line backing. This weekend i didn't play the game the whole time i looked up stuff and videos about the pre tip and what does some of the parts do and what are they called, which was hard for me to find. You can find plenty of stuff where people are just saying the names but i wanted to know what they did so i could learn and remember it better, i was just saying that this part is called that, and this is that, but i didn't know what it did and why. So after my first week i was stressed out.This weekend is when i first wrote this thread and when i thought they let the other instructor quit or go over the road he was gone for awhile, but he came back the 2nd week. This weekend i looked up how to do offsets and parallels online.

    Week 2 CDL School Wrap
    Week 2 you do the same stuff pre trip, brake test, and skills and eval paper work. I was not as stressed as the first week but still a little stressed because i wasn't doing good on the skills . I could do the pre trip and not look at the paper as much only when i needed to. I still felt like i wasn't going to learn every thing in time, and i was a little frustrated that i wasn't learning quick enough and my backing wasn't as good as i wanted. I did the offset and parallel and i over steered a lot and couldn't get it in the hole. I also went out on the road for the first time with an instructor that came down from Joliet because the other guy was gone and he taught me how to shift in one day, one day, I'm not saying i didn't learn stuff before but i wasn't learning as much as i needed from the person i needed to learn it from. So i went out on the road and i was doing good shifting in the right ranges until i had to stop at lights and drive again, i stalled the truck a bunch of times, a lot, while trying to take off. Truck is stopped in the middle of the street, and every time i tried to go it stalled, the lights changed 3 times before i got it going and i stalled it some more down the road and almost caused an accident. What i was doing wrong was holding down the brake while i popped off the clutch to fast. I didn't know about this stuff we only stayed in the lower 4 gears in the training yard so i didn't know what the gear speeds were so i would try to take off in a high gear and it would stall too. I went out two other time with a different instructor and those two times i was better no stalls, maybe 1 time. Next week i was sent to the Joliet terminal.

    Week 3 Going to Joliet Illinois Terminal
    Packing So you have to pack all your stuff *make sure you triple check the room to see if you forgot any thing* So i had to get the make sure you get paper copy of the directions to Joliet from them because you will have to drive your self in the company car and it's 3 hours away. I checked out of the room and put my stuff in the car. You might be driving with someone else that is going up there with you so you both can drive half each.*If you are going to use you phones gps to get there make sure you have a car charge because the battery will not last all the way there* You have the car so you can stop and get one if you need to. While i was driving i stopped to get something to eat and ate it, then i drove the rest of the way there. The directions they give you go to the terminal not the hotel so make sure you gets some ones number before you leave so you can call. The hotel is just down the street anyway, it's a Comfort Inn hotel.
    Arrived at the Hotel In Joliet Illinois I thought it was going to be like the other one but no this hotel is MUCH NICER. I walked in the entrance and at first i thought that i might be at a resort or something it looked so nice. I check in and i noticed carpet looks much nicer here, i get in the elevator and go up to the third floor, i enter my room and there is a wood floor at the entrance and carpet where the beds are, the room looked good it really felt like i was being taken care of. They also have a flat screen TV, no fat back. I look at the carpet again the carpet is what makes this place look so fancy and the color scheme, the beds are well made and i checked the sheets too and they were clean. It's more modern than the other hotel and i felt like i was a wealthy business man who goes on company paid work trips to set up new business firms or something, it felt good. The pool area is much nicer to it's surround by wood and the water is clear blue not blue yellow green like the other hotel.

    i will write more later
    Drewski and Downhill Thank this.
  6. mrandrelindsey

    mrandrelindsey Light Load Member

    Oct 30, 2012
    Are you from Illinois ?
  7. subjecttrucking

    subjecttrucking Bobtail Member

    Apr 8, 2014
    Ok I'm back I'm going to try and make it short and sweet
    Breakfast at Joliet Terminal much much better you will be sausage almost every day they have every thing the other hotel in Indy but they have more stuff yogurt (it's activia the stuff definitely makes you regular, it's an accumulative affect eat one a day or two and it will smooth every thing out in no time ), fruit, English muffins, muffins (blue berry) , honey buns (frosted and non frosted), the waffle mix they use here is a let down it's not the same as Indy, they come out always soggy and under cooked no matter how long you leave it in the iron.
    The Joliet hotel is all around better than Indy.

    Training at Joliet

    It's way better, ever one gets a chance to work on their backing one or two at a time one after the other. They are in a real working terminal so you will be backing in next to other trailers and driving through a fuel island. Don't hit any thing at the fuel island make sure you are straight when you enter also don't hit any trailers or trucks. There is no reason you should because you should always get out and look, is what they will tell you. You also get to go out on the road with an instructor. But here they really like to ######## and play around, a lot of joking cursing and name calling some of it may be really offensive to some people. When they do teach you something it's really good help and advice. Here they will go over a pre trip with you on the entire tuck and tell you about a lot of stuff they didn't tell you in Indy and show you how stuff works on the truck.

    They are closing this terminal and moving every thing and every one to Indy. Hopefully it will help to improve the Indy training yard.

    Taking My CDL Test
    So i drove down with an instructor to my home state where i got my CDL permit to take the test. You will do the same thing when you go test, if you don't already have your license.
    I Passed :biggrin_25519: the test BTW.

    Going Out with a Trainer
    Knight doesn't let people have refrigerators in the trucks for some reason, maybe because they sell them after a few years. So your trainer may have a plug in cooler or a cooler they fill with ice. All the stuff you brought with you will have to be up in the bed with you, YES every thing, there is very little room in the truck. The bed is OK and not hard as a rock. You will fit in the bed just stack your stuff up at the foot of the bed. Make sure you sleep with your head on the side where the fan is (if there is one) all the heat rises and it can be a couple degrees hotter than seat level.

    MY Trainer Experience
    I hated every other second in the truck with him, i wanted to get a new trainer but since i was being stupid as f!@k i didn't and stuck it out. DO NOT BE DUMB LIKE I WAS WHEN YOU GET A TRAINER THAT DOESN'T TEACH YOU OR YOU DON'T SMOKE AND THEY DO OR YOU BOTH DON'T GET ALONG, ASK FOR A NEW TRAINER IMMEDIATELY! DON'T BE SCARED LIKE I WAS. THINKING YOU WILL GET IN TROUBLE OR FIRED DON'T SUFFER LIKE I DID, EVEN IF THEY FIRE YOU AND SEND YOU HOME YOU CAN ALWAYS GO TO ANOTHER COMPANY, THEY CAN TAKE YOUR JOB BUT THEY CANNOT TAKE THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS YOU HAVE GAINED, DON'T LET THEM MAKE YOU HATE THE JOB. In the beginning i was excited to learn but after two days i was not enjoying my self or the job anymore, he didn't really want to teach me anything, usually when he did it was when he got mad because i didn't know something, messed up or asked a question, he didn't like when i asked questions so i kept them to a minimum, he was very dismissive. He wanted me to know every thing but not, because if you explained something or said/did something different from what he wanted or thinks you should know even tough you are new and he asked you, why you did that, he would get upset. He did teach me some good stuff but he is not a good trainer or teacher at all. I didn't even do the basic stuff like per trips or trip planning he wants you to just remember his route by heart and you better get it by the third time you drive because he doesn't want you to ask him where to go, but if you are about to go the wrong way he will get mad and tell you. He kept trying to intimidate me saying he was going to send me back to the terminal and they were going to fire me, every week. Some of these people are control freaks, some just want the money, some just want to feel powerful and some just won't like you. The guy i was with was an older guy middle aged. There really needs to be some trainer reporting system and a list of things the trainer is supposed to teach instead of each just letting them do their own thing. Dispatch or diver manager will take there word over yours almost all the time, there needs to be balance of power checks in the system. Maybe an app or website the company has and you can send daily trainer reports go to a separate department that just monitors trainer performance preferably an outside agency, it reduces the chances of the trainers and their supervisors from being buddy buddy. How you supposed to report problems to the trainers friend. Also i didn't get any weekly check ins asking how i was doing. I was not happy at all with my trainer experience.
  8. tracyq144

    tracyq144 Heavy Load Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    First of all, I am glad to see you back reporting your experience. You have a unique style and it is very entertaining, at least for this older driver.

    However, I wonder if you don't have unrealistic expectations? This is not college or trade school, this is what we used to call OJT (on the job training). It's not an academic setting, it's trying to get you into a position where you can make money for the company!Now, in doing this, you will also make money for yourself, but you have to make an effort learn this stuff not just by what your trainer says or does, but by observing everyone else, and by pushing yourself to stretch your boundaries.

    Trucking is, and has always been, a hard job. Not so much, really, getting the truck down the road but all the other stuff you have to deal with, usually with no help but your own brains and fortitude. So you don't like your trainer, or think he/she is not right for you? Suck it up, learn from him what you can and always remember how you could do it better. Do what you have to do to get qualified to drive solo, and then, my friend, you will really learn what trucking is all about. :biggrin_25525:

    I hope you haven't given up, and keep posting even if you go someplace else or even give it up.
  9. FuzzFace2

    FuzzFace2 Medium Load Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    Angier, N.C.
    Tracy, I agree with some of what you said but not all of it.

    Yes maybe he did expected too much and I am going to say it is hard work being a good driver.
    But to say suck it up and deal with the trainer I think was wrong.
    Remember when you were back in school you had some teachers that were good and others that were not. It is the same with trainers some are good at it and some should never be a trainer.
    Now we did only hear one side but I think if you ask a teacher/trainer a question they should not give you crap about it. Now just like teachers/trainers students can be just as bad and give them crap too and after being told many times about something they still don’t get it can push people over the edge.

    I think it was a combination of not a good trainer (he should have been able to deal with anything a student does/asks) and clash of personalities.
    Dave ----
  10. Sean_Memphis

    Sean_Memphis Light Load Member

    Oct 9, 2014
    Memphis, TN
    I was just accepted to Knight. I'm still weighing my options. Great thread!
  11. Downhill

    Downhill Bobtail Member

    Oct 14, 2014
    Excellent write-up and play-by-play description of your experience! I won't be going to Knight but I still had to read your posts...too good!!
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