Profile For Rob T.

Rob T.'s Info

  • Location:
    IA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 4 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.

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Posted:  1 day, 6 hours ago

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Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

I try to take a spur of the moment day trip somewhere atleast once a month with the family. Its a great way to unwind from a busy week and spend quality time together since that time is limited on days I work. Today we went to a pretty cool former blue clay mine that was active for nearly 100 years near Mason City. They even had the kilns still onsite to make the brick and tile. Long ago Iowa was under the ocean and ended up leaving seashells and fossils from over 365 million years ago. I'd guess it was about 50 feet down to the bottom where we found a majority of the shells. Unfortunately it is not truck friendly and clear lake truck stops are about 30 minutes away.

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0577436001620862741.jpg There had to be literally thousands of shells everywhere that the county encouraged you to take what found. We had a wonderful day but the best part was seeing the kids excitement as they found so many "fossils", although every single rock we walked by they said was one rofl-1.gif

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Posted:  1 day, 7 hours ago

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Husband fired for something he didn’t do.

How long has he been driving? What company, and what policy do they think he broke? How can you prove he didnt?

His best bet is to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs and see if anyone hires him. It'll be difficult to get hired depending on the circumstances but someone will likely give him a shot. A company not willing to give me a chance to explain or prove the event in question is not one id want to stay at.

Posted:  2 days, 4 hours ago

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Mom of 3 under 5

In addition to what Laura said its just not feasible. Regardless of company policy its likely illegal as you won't have enough restraints to protect yourselves and them if an accident were to occur.

I have 5 and 4 year old boys, and a 2 year old girl. We live in a house that between both levels is about 2400 sq ft with a yard that's half an acre. Even that isn't enough some days. You're talking about putting 5 people into something the size of a walk in closet.

How would you keep them entertained? How would you get the needed rest if they're back there in the bunk too? How about potty breaks every 30 minutes (atleast for my kids on road trips)? They're running a business. They expect you to drive up to 11 hours a day and get loads delivered on time. If you team drive your truck will rarely stop. Many drivers struggle with hygiene and maintaining a healthy weight. Eating healthy on the road is more difficult than just grabbing something from the truckstop but your (and your kids) waist line will suffer.

I think this is a bad idea, and would honestly be surprised if CPS didn't feel that it constituted child neglect if they found out about it.

Posted:  2 days, 12 hours ago

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Being fired for safety violation

First thing to do is start following company policies. If they expect you to wear your seat belt at all times then either do it or deal with the repercussions. If there was an issue with the seat belt did you report it so it could get fixed? There's a reason seatbelts are supposed to go across your chest as well. Regardless of how safe of a driver you are its always possible you'll get tangled up in someone else's mess. Roehl doesn't want to have a claim against them because you went through the windshield.

What exactly is LCQ? I'm not sure why you'd be let go over your backing if you were doing it safely and getting it done. Can you elaborate?

I'd suggest you use this link to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs. Its possible you'll be sent out with a trainer at some companies.

Good luck, please let us know how it turns out.

Posted:  5 days, 20 hours ago

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My cooler broke down, lost my food

Is doing an online order and having it delivered an option? Whether it be for groceries or a decent meal there are lots of delivery services in many cities that you can have nearly anything brought to you.

Hang in there Moe. Things will get better. Its very possible that OTR isn't the right fit for you. Just put in a year or so and find something that fits with your lifestyle.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

Seen this bad boy at the Kwik Star in Story City IA I-35 MM 124 this morning pulling somewhere around a 45 foot trailer. At that rate just go buy an actual rig!

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Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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In today's episode of "what makes people look down on truck drivers"

Plan your trip and have contingency plans in case plan A falls short.

Rather than criticize this driver lets use it as a learning experience. Truth be told i think Big Scott is full of it so say he always parks in a spot. I can almost guarantee there have been times he's had to get creative whether it was poor planning, or more likely weather shutdowns or being held far too long at a shipper/receiver. Almost every driver has. If he's been fortunate to always be in a legal parking spot after a few years out there thats amazing and I'm glad he's found a way that works for him.

If this upset you so much did you go knock on their door and ask them to move? Most drivers understand if they park creative they may get a knock and are understanding. Looks like there's still plenty of spots open to me and this is just pointless nitpicking other drivers actions. Calling their company over this is laughable in my opinion. I've only made a couple calls in my 3 years driving. One a mega driver wasn't maintaining lane control doing 10 over in an active construction zone with just cones separating us from where they were working. I emailed their safety department with facts (time/date, speed, and where the construction was, along with the posted limit) as well as what my trucks sensor picked them up at. All that information is easy to verify with the logs we use, as well as a 511 website showing construction. There are far worse things that negatively impact the image in this industry than this. You're out there to drive a truck. If you see something extreme by all means report it. There are many people that are on the roads that shouldn't be. Whats far more aggrevating is the trucks lined up half a mile down the interstate feet away from 70 mph traffic because the rest stop was full. You can allow yourself to get worked up over minor relatively issues or you can just drive your own truck and keep the BP down. If this upset you then remain calm and knock on his door as a professional and ask him to move if he's blocking the only available spots.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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What a long week!

I figured I'd share my experiences i had with the last 4 days I worked to show that being local/home daily isn't necessarily better than being OTR.

Saturday I clocked in at 10pm for a 4 store run to Southern Minnesota. Total miles was only about 450 so I thought I'd get about 11 to 12 hours and take it easy. Turns out my 3rd store doesn't arrive until 5am so I had to wait nearly 3 hours. Clocked out at 14 hours.

Sunday I figured I'd try again to get an easy day by clocking in at 1am. Pretty easy, run an empty trailer the 160ish miles out to Davenport and load up at our flower subsidiary out there and deliver to 3 stores in SE Iowa, about 450 miles. I was delayed getting loaded due to other drivers picking up and despite only having 4 pallets total it still turned into a 14 hour day.

Monday i figured I'd take a 3 trailer load totaling 300 miles with 6 stores and 2 backhauls and clocked in at midnight. I made it back to the yard with 6 minutes to spare, got 14 1/2 plus an hour break I didn't take.

Tuesday my oldest had his first t-ball practice at 445pm. Unfortunately I have only 5 choices for routes and most were 4am starts. I luckily(?) Took a midnight 360 miles to 2 stores in Davenport with a pickup at Heinz/Kraft in Muscatine IA. Relatively easy it'd ensure I get home with plenty of time. That is until I sat for 5 1/2 hours waiting on my load. I kept dispatch informed and they told me stay as long as possible without staying out overnight. Everytime I called shipping (3 times) I kept being told they're waiting for a loader to free up meanwhile I watched many trucks leave. I called dispatch at around noon and asked to confirm I was free to leave empty. Ended up being 15 1/2 hours plus hour break I didn't take by using my 16 hour rule. Fortunately I made it home at 420 and we were able to walk down the street to practice.

In the last 4 days I've maxed my clock and had to clock in shortly after my 10 hour break was up. Its 45 minutes one way to commute. It can very easily eat up your 10 off and limit the amount of time you have for seeing your family. Not every home daily is this way but I don't want anyone having the wrong idea of having much more time at home than if you do OTR or regional.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Eye Candy

Seen this beauty delivering to our DC just now.

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Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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XPO Local LTL For New CDL Grads?

Colin, others will correct me if I'm wrong, I think in that area most of those companies are union. If that's the case, you may have to wait some amount of time before you can get the better routes.

With local at an overwhelming majority of the companies seniority is king regardless if you're union or not. Some companies rebid routes and/or trucks every 6 months to a year. I recall Bobcat saying he got a great run just to have it taken by someone with higher seniority when they rebid. That presents an additional challenge because you're unable to plan too far in advance around bid time because you don't know if you're gonna get stuck with a route that you didn't want, not to mention possibly making less money due to less miles. At my job we bid routes daily. Each company handles it differently but the 2 places I've worked at (1 union 1 not) they go through seniority to schedule your first 2 vacation weeks. If you have additional vacation you bid that after everyone has taken their 2 weeks. After that its first come first serve.

Unfortunately with many local companies top tier drivers don't reap the rewards of doing so in the same way an OTR driver does.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Is my class A still any use?

If I were you I'd keep it. Its an inexpensive thing to have that may open up doors down the road. Later on in life you may decide to try OTR again and it'd be far easier to just find a refresher course than having to go through the entire school process again. We've had many members over the years let their CDL downgrade and now have to start from square one. Also some industries may view it as an asset even if driving isn't your typical job. Just having the option to throw you into a truck on occasion may give you a leg up over other candidates.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Just want to let you know I am hanging in there

Keep up the great work Moe!

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Downshifting a 10 speed

The school i went to also didn't have us use the clutch downshifting. We just placed our foot on the pedal to give the illusion we were clutching as floating gears isn't allowed during the state test. Upshifting we clutched. Are you required to downshift to the lower gears? I don't want to give you information that conflicts what your instructor is teaching you. However, for the Iowa test we started from a stop in 4th gear and came to a stop in 6th gear. It made it much easier not needing to find the sweet spot when just a matter of a couple mph was all that changed between 2nd and 3rd. Keep in mind the higher the gear you start in the chances of stalling the truck also go up.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Truck Stops - I hate them already 🤣

I just read your other post about being hourly. Unloading while off duty is beneficial to conserving your clock but if they track your pay by the time on your 70 clock you'll get unloaded quicker but your paycheck may be lower. In your instance you may be better off making them wait a couple hours to finish your break, unless you're trying to make it home a little earlier.

Creeping and unloading while off duty is far more beneficial to somebody paid CPM.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Truck Stops - I hate them already 🤣

Don’t want to be parked outside and tell them- I have to sit for an hour or two before I can move to unload

Its your logbook and its ultimately your responsibility. BUT many drivers will creep (under 5mph) to the unload area if they're onsite. This allows them to unload while off duty and start with a fresh clock when they're done unloading. Legally moving the truck/checking in is supposed to be on duty and/or Yard Move however thats one way that many drivers will maximize their earning potential. You could also use a split sleeper berth if needed.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Pallet Number on Reefers

I've never been able to put 30 pallets on a trailer...unless they're double-stacked.

Many times you're not able to do 30 due to total gross or distribution. The warehouse that we ran 30 in at was pre-made sandwiches you buy from gas stations or vending machines. 30 pallets there only came out to around 32k pounds. Also it depends on how wide your trailer is. I recall a couple times the trailer wasn't wide enough to get both sideways, but that was primarily rented/leased trailers for whatever reason were only 96 inches wide rather than the standard 102.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Got sick tonight

It could be worse, Moe. I'm glad you're feeling better. I'm sure it was just your nerves.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Any Hispanic/Latino OTR truck drivers out here?

From what I, as a white male, have seen race is really not an issue out on the road. Unfortunately you'll hear a bit of racism and disgusting comments on the CB but those same drivers just like to hide behind their radios. We call em radio rambos. Thankfully they get our of range quickly.. You'll deal with some people that cause problems because of your race but that can be said for everything else in life.

Unless you're blocking the scale or taking your break in the fuel island you'll find everyone just minds their own business for the most part.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Pallet Number on Reefers

From my warehouse days these apply to a 53'

24 ran straight in

25 one side straight in, other side all sideways (the way our warehouse loads all trucks)

28 entire load chimney blocked (alternate which is turned sideways)

30 ALL pallets sideways.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Wait.....and wait some more....

Trucking requires alot of patience. Sometimes a shipper or receiver takes forever and it eats away at your clock. Some days the problem is on both ends. Today was one of those days. I recently changed my work schedule so I work Tuesdays now. The downside is I only have 4 guys below me on Tuesdays and it really limits the options I have for routes. Everything left I estimated would be about an 8 hour day with the exception of a run to Springfield Illinois that I couldn't take due to it leaving by 11pm and not having any hours back until 230am. It was also a 680 mile run and I aim for about 400 a day. Anyways, I figured since I wouldn't get hours I'd sleep in and take a 6am run picking up contracted load from a cold storage facility in Des Moines and run it roughly 100 miles SE, come back empty and drop and hook from another one of our sister companies In town and take to our yard. 3 stops and 193 miles total. Sat at my pickup for 4 hours. Drove 2 hours away just to sit for 3 more hours to unload. The problem is they didn't unload me. Turns out the shipper loaded the wrong product! Of the 45k full load they took off 1 pallet that was there's. All the paperwork on my end was correct and they open/close doors from the inside and seal it so there was no way to compare the bills to the load. Dispatch asked if id be able to take it back to the shipper but they'd be closed by the time I got back in town so I dropped it at our yard and someone will run it there tomorrow. What I expected to be a measley 8-10 hour day ended up being 13 1/2. Thankfully I'm hourly so it made no difference to me if I had to sit and wait but this very easily could ruin someone's day if they're paid mileage. I will also get paid $32 and change for the Drop/Hook I was unable to do because I had to run the trailer back to the yard and would run out of hours as I had to use my 16 hour extension on Saturday for another quite eventful day. Thats truckin for ya! If I get this run again I'm taking a sleeper.

If you're paid by the mile how would your company handle this situation as far as your compensation?

Side note I watched a guy go off the gravel while backing in at the receiver and dig his steer tire into the grass/hillside. He was trying to get out but was just digging himself in deeper. ALWAYS stay on a hard surface!

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