Profile For Rob T.

Rob T.'s Info

  • Location:
    IA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 9 months ago

Rob T.'s Bio

I obtained my CDL August 2017 through 160 Driving Academy in Moline Illinois and began my driving career as a local foodservice driver for Performance Food Group (PFG) out of Des Moines, Iowa. After roughly a year and a half I decided to hang up my 2 wheel dolly and take a job easier on the body. I made the switch to deliver to grocery stores in Iowa and the 7 surrounding states. As of 1/21/22 it'll be 3 years and overall still happy with the change.

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Posted:  4 days, 4 hours ago

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Hurricane Ian

Will DOT generally waive or ease HOS for them to move trailers? ie moving them from Houston to Dallas or Atlanta or something like that with multiple drivers making multiple trips?

No. Their trailers are their problem. HOS are typically only waived for relief loads. If you're hauling a load designated as disaster relief you're subject to normal HOS regulations UNLESS that state, or states you're travelling through have a declaration that states HOS are waived. Once you deliver that load you may need to take a 10 hour break before you can move the truck after delivering. If you're ever exempt from HOS your company will give you guidance on how to document it to avoid issues.

Posted:  6 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

When should you put your foot down?

Rob T,

I started another thread as a response to this thread. As I mentioned in the other thread, when I researched companies outside of Prime, I skipped over any home daily jobs. Specifically, because every time I saw a home daily job posting, I said to myself "and be like Rob T? No thanks."

Of course, I am at a much different point in my life where being home daily for my family doesn't matter as much as it does to you. And to be honest, because you want to be home with your smaller children more, it seems like the only way you can get the best of both worlds is to put your foot down.

In reality for many local jobs your time at home is similiar to what you'd have doing regional. Often times you're so busy cramming everything into your 10 hour break that you don't have the time to really relax until your weekend anyways. I still prefer seeing the family for a few hours every night but I often times need to sacrifice sleep to make time for them on days I work. Once my wife begins working again I'll be able to cut back my hours.

We rebid our schedules for the year in 2 weeks. I plan on trying to get onto a 5 day work week being paid mile/stop instead of the current 4 day schedule and choosing the hourly option. Given the way our routing system has been there are several routes that fall to me that I could make more money than I currently do, and spend more time with the family as I'd work less hours each day. If 2 of the 3 kids are in school all day, wife's busy doing homework having a 3rd day off doesn't really matter since my daughter would rather play by herself lol. There have been days I've ran routes that would pay better mile/stop. For some, 400 or so miles with 6 stops would pay about $450 and I knocked those out in about 10 1/2 hours. We have a bunch of gas stations around the area that you can knock out in 10 hours and it pays over $500. Downside is it's a lift gate trailer and you're trying to get into gas stations while the morning rush tries to get their coffee. 57.3 CPM, $31.97 per stop, and a bunch of other extras including detention after an hour and a half. On the days loads are late we also get paid detention of our normal hourly rate from our dispatch time and not required to start our 14 hour clock. Hourly drivers are required to start their 14 hour clock or they won't be paid when loads are late.

Posted:  6 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

When should you put your foot down?

So the question then is, "What has changed that you are not willing to accept these issues where you have in the past?" I suspect that family is becoming more and more important because of things like your son's flag football.

My boys just started 1st grade and kindergarten. Previously we were able to do stuff during the week but now that both of my boys are in school all day it limits what we can do, and when we can do it. My wife's been a stay at home mom for 7 years and will be graduating from her online degree in the spring. The great pay while also the flexibility by bidding your route daily is what really had me interested in this job. Our wages have increased but not at the same rate as most companies in my area. Never knowing if the warehouse will get you out on time takes away what I felt to be a flexible schedule. We're often not told they're expecting to be 3 hours late until they show up around 7pm when most of us are already in bed. There's quite a few jobs listed in my area that shuttle trailers between their different facilities for less pay but it's scheduled 4a to 12p M-F which may be something I look at once the wife is back in the work force. I enjoy starting my day in the wee hours of the morning so I can get a good 12 to 14 hours and still be home in time to get the kids, or atleast for dinner with my current job.

Time will tell what happens in the long run. Hopefully things improve as I do really enjoy my job but I'm not willing to budge with my commitment to my family. My wife grew up with her dad never around due to OTR trucking. When I got started she was supportive but worried our kids would grow up how she did.

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

When should you put your foot down?

I'm expected to show up to work on time ready to work.  I fulfill my end, why is it unreasonable to expect the same.  My job is just that.  A job.  At what point do we need to tell our company no, that you aren't going to do something for whatever reason.  I'm all for being a team player and working together but what happens when the favors are one sided.  Other drivers at my company are split on what to think of me and what the older drivers refer to as my "shenanigans".  The younger drivers my age praise me for having the courage to put my foot down.  Our VP retired today after 40 years.  Changes will be coming since they promoted the guy who oversees the warehouse operations despite no transportation background or being able to solve the issues that have plagued the warehouse since I've been with the company.  Nearly all the drivers are upset because running the warehouse he allows them to go home after their 8 hours regardless of how behind they are.  He claims it is to save the overtime cost, meanwhile they're paying alot of drivers a higher OT wage to sit around waiting, and hotel costs for some due to the delay.  It will be very interesting to see what he tries to do when he moves into this position, and how the drivers handle what he tries to change.

I feel I'm easy to work with and often times go out of my way to help others.  However, I will not sacrifice even more of my already limited family time to cover for somebody else due to poor planning on their end if I've told my kids we're going to do something.  Today (saturday) they expected the warehouse to be behind again so they bumped the shorter routes back again.  My 10 hr break would be up around 130am.  That didn't stop me from taking an 11pm route with a 2nd trailer scheduled to be out at 139am.  My supervisor chuckled about it when he seen me and knew exactly what I was doing.  I told him if the warehouse can be 8 hours late somedays and nothing changes why wouldn't it be ok for the driver to choose to make a delivery late.  Brightside is both of my trailers were ready when I clocked in, knocked the day out in 9 hours.  Clocked out at 1030am picked up the family, went to lunch and spent the afternoon apple picking.

As a couple family members deal with their health issues it's more important than ever I'm around as much as possible to support them and take some of the burden off.  There's some mental health stuff going on at home and at times is difficult as we figure out the best treatment plan and how to avoid triggers.

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

When should you put your foot down?

If I'm expected to be ready to work at a certain time they're going to pay me for that.  If they press the issue I have no problem going in to run that route when I choose which would likely be 7 hours later than normal after i get my kids off to school.  If I'm expected to be ok with coming in several hours late why shouldn't it be acceptable to come in late when I choose?  Fast forward to the past couple weeks.  We started shipping frozen out of our warehouse.  Stupid decision in my opinion as we couldn't even handle the volume we had with getting loads out on time.  This has resulted in substantial delays with nearly every day being a minimum of 2 hours late.  Fridays have been the worst so I make sure to stay local.  Last week I was scheduled to do 3 trailers.  Only 2 got done.  I got 13 hours only doing 4 stores and driving 99 miles.  Waited 2 hours on my first trailer, and around 6 hours on my 2nd trailer.  This week I waited 5 hours on my 1st trailer.  Ran that 60 miles and informed dispatch due to the delay I wouldn't be able to do all 3 and for them them figure it out as I'd be back to the yard in 30 minutes.  The other 2 trailers were done so they ended up having someone else that had hours left run my 2nd load.  I ended up taking the 3rd trailer so I did 2 trailers, 5 stops with about 150 miles and made it back with 6 minutes on my 14.  Last Friday I had made plans because I should've been able to knock it out in 9 hours very easily.  Ended up rescheduling for Saturday early afternoon since I'm always done by 10am Saturdays by choice.  When it was time to choose my route they bumped all the shorter days back to leave around 7am (if they're done on time which they werent) and the usual midnight runs back to 3am almost making it a guarantee I'd need to reschedule again.  I asked a dispatcher to bump a 2 stop waterloo (230 miles) run up to 2am because of how I got screwed the previous day.  Instead he transferred me to my manager.  Originally I was told no, to which I told him give me whatever then ill be calling in my absence in a few hours and hung up.  I received a call back asking me what time I wanted it.  I could knock it out and be on my way home in 6 hours after it's finally done so I said 2am to give me wiggle room.  It was 2 hours late and still made it back easily with time to spare.  There were still drivers waiting to be loaded when I got back.  Was it the best way to handle it?  Probably not, but my family comes first.  I'd love to stay here til I retire, but my duty as a husband and father is far more important to me than a job.  I've been a "yes man" at most of my jobs and will often times receive a call from dispatch asking me to do them a favor.  Usually I have no problem, I'll even give them a call when i see something routed stupid (it's not uncommon to see one driver deliver contract freight to a location and leave empty then have another driver go in there to pickup a load).  Last week we had 4 trucks picking up at an egg farm.  Due to something on their end we were being shorted enough that it could fit on 2 trucks.  I called dispatch and they agreed we'd just get the 2 of us loaded full and call the other 2 and let them know don't bother showing up.  Being a difficult worker, or terminal rat isn't what I'm about.  I set boundaries for things important to me.  If me or my company aren't the right fit there's plenty of other trucking jobs that I can get what I desire.  They were begging for drivers to work extra Tuesday this week.  I called and said I'd maybe take a run depending on what they had.  5am load 1 store with a backhaul 260 miles.  Usually I wouldn't do it due to 45 mile commute each way but I ended up running it after telling the dispatcher I'm not starting that late, if you want me to run it it needs to be a 1am.  We had our football game Tuesday night at 6pm and I wasn't going to risk missing it or being late by helping the company out.  Ended up knocking it out and making it back home before lunch.

Continued....

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

When should you put your foot down?

Ive been meaning to type this up for a couple weeks but I've been extremely busy. It ended up being alot longer than I expected, when I seen it'd take 3 posts to submit I figured I'd better cut myself off. In addition to the issues I've mentioned elsewhere going on at our household right now my son also talked me into coaching his 1st/2nd grade flag football team.  Between practices, games, work and all of my other commitments I'm beat.  I enjoy it and it means alot to my son, but i can't wait for our last game on the 4th.

Moe and Bill M have recently experienced challenges getting home on time.  One thing you'll often see talked about here on Trucking Truth is how important it is to take the good with the bad when it comes to freight.  In the trucking industry many companies have trouble getting a driver home at the correct time.  Often times it leaves a driver rushing (possibly being unsafe), and frustrated when it appears they won't be home on time, or needing to reschedule important appointments.  It also can reek havoc with your family if they were expecting you to be home by a certain time/day.  Dispatching freight has a science behind it and I would hate to do it.  But when is it acceptable for a driver to flat out tell their dispatcher no and not need to worry about their job security or getting crummy loads to "punish" them for turning the load down?  Dispatchers jobs are to move freight.  They're responsible for alot of drivers and it's possible they overlooked your hometime request.  You may also have a newer dispatcher that doesn't understand how important home time is because they get to go home every night and be with their family.  Sometimes you may get dispatched on a load that takes you away from home but they're planning on having you swap with another driver that will take it the rest of the way.  Talking to your dispatcher in a professional way free of swearing or any other disrespectful language will often times give you the better picture of what's really going on.  It will also give you an opportunity for everyone to be on the same page regarding priorities for both you and the company.

I'm going to give you an example of how I handle my business when work starts to interfere too much with home life.  Make your own choice if you follow my suit as the outcome may differ based on your company or even your management team.  I'm a driver that reports to our terminal daily so I have the luxury of seeing my family every night and also calling in if I deem it necessary, something an OTR driver unfortunately doesn't have.  I also call a number for dispatch and will talk to any of the 5 guys that work dispatch depending on the day.  3 are great at their job and solve problems on the fly, the other 2 are worthless in my opinion.  I've  called in 3 times when I wasn't sick in my nearly 4 years so it isn't something I make a habit of.  In June I missed 4 days of work due to being sick but had a doctors note excusing it.  Last year around October my company started a new routing program that was a complete disaster.  Nothing but problems for the drivers and the warehouse.   It wasn't uncommon for the system to crash and leave the drivers waiting several hours for their loads.  After nearly 3 months of dealing with it I was sick of it, and about a week before Christmas I went home after waiting 5 hours on my load.  It was 2 stops to southern MN roughly 500 miles.  It would've resulted in being out overnight and i made plans with my family.  I'd gone into the dispatch office and told them to give me an attendance point because I'm going home.  A couple days passed and I received a call from our VP wanting to discuss what happened.  We talked for a while and I aired my frustrations the biggest being the job now interfering with my family life to where I wasn't willing to budge.  Trucking no matter how you slice it often times takes you away from your family than it would for most jobs in other industries.  It's a sacrifice we make to provide for our families.  1 thing I made clear with my VP was that if this job continues to interfere in the same negative way even though I'm relatively happy with the company I'm going to choose my family every time and find something that suits us better.  He completely understood, and im not sure if it's related or not but for the next month I didn't need to wait more than 30 minutes on my load being done even when those that were supposed to leave an hour before me still waited.  We bid our routes daily based on seniority.  It gives me more control over what my day looks like.  It also allows me to start making plans for the following day after work.  Since then we've had sporadic days they're a couple hours late due to staffing and although not ideal its understandable.  The biggest problem is those days they ask us to stay home until we get a call or text saying the load is ready.  I go into work and get paid from the minute I was originally dispatched. Many other drivers are to this point as well.

Continued...

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Getting the job done even when you don't want to or don't think it can be done!

Way to get it done Bill. Glad it worked out for you.

I completely agree with you Bobcat. I've actually been wanting to write up a thread about this exact thing for a few days but I've been quite busy. I'll try to post it later today/tonight if I have time in a new thread to not hijack bills post. I just finished an early day to take the kids apple picking and have a fun family day. Far too often we tend to focus on being a team player. I completely agree that is one step to becoming your dispatchers go to person and maximizing your income. However we also can't lose sight on there being more to our life (especially family) than just moving freight and taking your time off when it's convenient for the company.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Which company to go with for not as experienced driver

Did you move the truck while over your hours? Did you PC to the shipper? Did you run without being logged in? Did you accept the ELD edits? Well I'd say you allowed that behavior. I refuse to run over my hours especially if my company was telling me to do it. Why have you chosen to go with smaller companies? Mega carriers get alot of unnecessary flak online but I guarantee whoever was telling you to break the law wouldn't be employed anymore at a mega carrier.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

Kearsey wrote an excellent article a couple years back about how she's Not just a number. How is that possible when she drives for a company with 9,500 drivers according to FMCSA SNAPSHOT? Because she performs her job well and takes time to grow those relationships. As far as safety concerns I'm guessing those worries are in regards to inclement weather such as snow and ice especially. Well rest assured that regardless of your company you won't be forced to drive if its unsafe. Don't believe me? Read this thread about Winter weather. You'll notice that although we drive for different companies we're still encouraged (and sometimes forced) to shutdown.

I wouldn't want to drive for a small company that claims to treat me like family. Family and business very rarely work well together. I'm not OTR, and am paid hourly so that may be why I feel different than others. I don't give a damn if I'm just a number. As long as I'm left alone to do my job I'm happy. I can go weeks without talking to any office staff (aside from daily call asking what route I'm running the next day) and I actually enjoy that. The company knows I can do my job as expected and that if I have any issues there are a dozen people there I can call to get whatever issue handled. I prefer to fly under the radar. I go to work to work not socialize. I'll make small talk and be courteous and professional but I don't go out of my way to grow relationships. This may be me just getting ornery as I get older (I'll be 33 this year!) But I got into trucking to be left alone to do my job with little supervision. Some may interpret my personality as being stuck up and I don't care. I'm there to make money and provide for my family. Unless it adds money to my paycheck (like growing a rapport with your dispatcher) I'm not interested.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

X100 the truth is that most trucking companies operate the same way. The number of people working for said company do not matter when you get to be that big. You will likely deal with only the same handful of people. Do not fall into this trap of good or bad companies. What you feel are negatives I may view as positives. We all have different things we value when it comes to finding a trucking job. Hometime may be very important to me, but to another they may be more focused on how much they earn per mile since they plan to live in the truck. This is why we feel applying everywhere and then narrowing it down to those that extend an offer is the best approach.

You may hear negatives about the mega carriers more because there are more drivers. It's just a numbers game. Scott loves CFI, a few people here have gone there and has a totally different experience and left shortly after. Much of it comes down to your attitude and willingness to get things done. Your dispatcher also affects you. If you have a new dispatcher it will take time for them to learn the ropes and how you run to get the loads that can maximize your hours which involves building trust that you'll get a load there when you say you will so they can have another waiting to be picked up by you shortly after you deliver your current load. Trucking requires you being able to problem solve on your own and get your job done with no supervision. Many experienced drivers liken driving (even as a company driver) to being a business owner. At the end of the day most of your success is dependent on you doing your job correctly and most efficiently.

I am interested in this mega carrier trap you mention. As Gtown pointed out the things mentioned aren't any different from the other carriers out there. Safety is always number one with any reputable company. Swift (for example, since they're the largest) hasn't grown to the size they are by running wild. If they encouraged, or even tolerated, unsafe behavior DOT would have shut them down by now. There's a reason they constantly get the bypass and don't need to pull off to scale. You may get a dispatcher that tells you to do something that you shouldn't. All it takes is a message to safety. Safety is taken extremely serious everywhere. Swift ends up online alot for stupid mistakes. They also employ alot more entry level drivers that make typical rookie mistakes you see at other carriers. It's a numbers game. Just throwing a number out if 10% of new drivers do something foolish Swift having 15,000 drivers compared to CFI only having 2,500 of course you'll see swift doing something foolish more often. Individual behavior is at fault, not the company that's driving the truck. The smaller the company you get into the more likely you'll run into sketchy stuff. Fed Ex Ground contractors and 1099 companies out of the Chicago area come to mind.

If CFI matches most of what you're looking for jump at it. My point is everything you read is hardly any different than other carriers. My question for Scott would be what separates CFI from other companies? What amenities or benefits does CFI offer to drivers that warrant the lower pay in comparison to other carriers? If the company cares about you so much why pay you less than you could get elsewhere?

You may have more options to park due to Heartland deal but how often is that going to affect you? Are you going to drive out of route or shutdown with alot of time remaining on your clock? Most companies have Terminals or drop yards across the country that you can utilize for parking, Trucker Path app is also very helpful for finding parking.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Well crapolla, got a ticket for missing a scale

I know that you are human, too. Every one of us has those days when things get to us that shouldn't. Finger under the dash with a nice smile as a driver passes does no one harm and probably feels oddly satisfying

I never said I wasn't. BUT I also know how to behave professionally and not throw a tantrum like a child because I didn't get my way. Before your time here i was issued a ticket for something I did that would've cost me my CDL a minimum of 60 days. I actually called myself in for it and didn't blame anybody but myself. Know what happened? I was treated with nothing but respect from the deputy and ultimately got it dismissed. If I'm unhappy or disagree with something I will discuss it in a professional manner. Sure sometimes it doesn't change the result but getting angry and swearing at someone isn't going to make them more eager to help you. What purpose does flipping them off serve, even if they don't see it? Chances are after this short encounter you'll never deal with them again, or it'll atleast be a while. I chuckle when I see others get so worked up so easily. If you're so miserable you need to let something relatively minor ruin your entire day I feel bad for you.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Misdemeanor probation trucking school

How old is your speeding ticket? Surprises me to hear most carriers are ok with it. You can use this link to Apply For Paid CDL Training. If you're accepted you're almost guaranteed a job if you pass the test. Be 100% truthful on your application because if you lie they will find out and send you home regardless of how significant of a lie. Fill out that one app and it'll be sent to several companies.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Well crapolla, got a ticket for missing a scale

Next time use the middle finger under the dashboard maneuver. You probably made the scale cop’s day by letting it get to you, but if you flip them off under the dash they won’t know they got to you

Or.....just take responsibility that you F'd up. He's doing his job just like we are. Do you appreciate being treated poorly by anybody? Do you really think the cop is in the wrong for enforcing a violation?

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Speeding ticket

I received a speeding ticket. The officer said he caught me going 85 in a 65 zone ? I already have my CDL and a job. What should I do? I’m thinking about getting an attorney? Any suggestions , should I report it to my job right away or what not?

Absolutely you need an attorney. Were you doing 85 in a 65? What is your company policy regarding tickets/accidents? Most require you to report either within 24 hours.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CB radio

That all seems like common sense, to me. But, that's my perspective. Great to have an itemized list of things to consider. For myself, I decided to get the radio for weather information and road conditions, so I won't be spending much time in conversation.

It really is common sense. There are still days you'll run into people having a conversation but most days it's quiet. You'll find that although there's alot of immature idiots on the CB at times if you ignore them for a couple minutes they'll shut up. Although there was one day in a backup he couldn't have been too far from me and every 30 seconds kept whispering he ain't wearin any panties. I've also heard stories of people getting on the radio and telling mega drivers that they're reporting them to their company for texting/driving, not maintaining lane or any other unsafe behavior, unless that driver pulls over and gives them money (usually $100) regardless if it's true or not. Had some knucklehead driver going off on a racist rant one early morning. After he was done I just happened to pass him and he said he has dashcam video of said incident (him running mouth) that he was submitting to my company so they can see the kind of people they're hiring. He also said to pull over at the next exit and $300 can make it go away. I laughed at him and kept trucking.

Let people run their mouth if they choose. Getting involved in an argument on the CB is pointless and won't solve anything.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Best route to take to be a local driver in South Florida?

LTL would be a wonderful thing to get into but it's highly unlikely given your area. You can really only run north out of your area which really limits how many drivers are needed. When i lived in St Pete 5 years ago the LTLs wanted a minimum of 3 years experience. Sysco has started helping people get their CDL atleast in Palmetto (across the skyway from St Pete). Not sure of the details, but that's very physical labor not many can handle.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Are Authorities held responsible if improper maintenance of roadside greenery contributes to an accident?

You don't seriously consider possibly destroying a bridge and a sign to be the same do you? The insurance company will handle everything from getting it inspected to ensuring they're not being overcharged. This is what your employer pays insurance to handle. If the owner doesn't have enough coverage to handle the expenses that's on him. He was willing to gamble with lower coverages for a cheaper premium. It's part of doing business. I'd feel bad if my employer went bankrupt due to my actions. I wouldn't waste time trying to fix their problem though. We're not lawyers and do not have all the evidence/claim info in front of us.

I think you're grasping for straws because there's more to the story than you're letting on. We're still waiting for the location this occured. If you can't figure out uploading screenshots just share the town and highway it occured.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Are Authorities held responsible if improper maintenance of roadside greenery contributes to an accident?

Were you driving too fast that you were unable to see the sign? From what I'm gathering the sign that should be posted is "narrow bridge". Where is this bridge located?

Either way you hit the bridge. How can you say if there was structural damage? Is the bridge currently closed to all vehicles? Regardless, if you're a company driver and reported it you've done your job. If you're a lease op let your insurance company handle it.

If your carrier doesn't have sufficient insurance that's not your problem.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

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Seen this dog waiting for security to check him in at my yard a couple days ago. I've seen quite a few different breeds in trucks but this is the first St Bernard.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Truck Stop Follies and Assorted Stupidity

I've contemplated getting a hammock for the daycab. We have a wooden storage box between the seats though so we can lay across that and nap if we desire. Lately the backhauls that used to be good for getting in a 2 to 3 hour nap and gotten their crap together and getting us out within an hour. Heck, I haven't even been taking my breaks too much lately. Kids started school up and I really enjoy picking them up. Plus wife started online courses so getting home allows her to do more school work while I entertain them and keep them quiet, or atleast try to...

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