Profile For Rob T.

Rob T.'s Info

  • Location:
    IA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 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.

Lately I've had far too much going on to contribute to the forum. If there's anything I can help with feel free to email me rt8908@gmail.com.

Page 1 of 163

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  17 hours, 21 minutes ago

View Topic:

First Load went terribly wrong! Please Help!

We have a member that had limited experience and was ultimately terminated due to not setting their brakes. He ended up getting hired by May Trucking. Its been a while since he stopped by but last I knew he was doing quite well there. They may be worth a look.

Posted:  1 day, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

High hook

I'd say how a high hook is treated is dependent on company policy. I did it once. Our truck yard was real icy and my tires would start spinning when i got under it. Decided to hit it faster but apparently came in at a slight angle and thankfully caused no damage. We happened to have some lumber sitting around so the shag driver grabbed some. Had me lower my air bags, put that on the frame amd reinflated then lowered landing gear. He helped me crank it higher to completely get out of it and I never heard anything about it from my company.

Posted:  1 day, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

An interesting short tale about a truck driver turned real estate man.

Cool story bro.

Hey Rhino how're things going with you?

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Another Round of "Is it legal"

I've gotten out numerous times to move cones. Throw your hazards on and do your thing. Mine typically happen middle of the night though and I just move them backwards or closer to the median so they still serve their purpose. The best course of action is to use all available space and not need to move them but sometimes we misjudge or there just simply isn't enough room.

I recall fresh out of CDL school my trainer jumped out and threw cones off the roadway. Thats going about it the wrong way but I don't see an issue with moving them back a few feet as long as its not exposing a large hazard that they're meant to draw attention to.

I'm not sure if Bruce is being serious when he says

it's better to run over a cone than to impede traffic.

because he jokes around alot, but I disagree with that statement. If you're in a busy parking lot or street do you G.O.A.L. and make others wait? Thats also impeding traffic rather than risk property damage. Even though its just a cone its still somebody else's property that they'll now need to replace ($$) due to your negligence. Just because they may have not placed them correctly to allow adequate room for all vehicles to maneuver doesn't give us the right to damage or destroy others property.

Just my opinion and the way I handle it, you're the captain of your ship and ultimately responsible for the decision you make.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

160 Driving Academy

One other thing I forgot to touch on was when Mark said

I guess the apprehension part is not knowing if you get in a situation with (being polite here) employees that are less then happy and dealing with that could be brutal.

You're going to find that everywhere. You're far more likely to deal with that in a local job than OTR. In my experience the easier/better the job the more whining and bizarre complaints you're going to hear. What I've found to be the easiest way to deal with it is ignore them, or laugh about it. With most local jobs you're going to have the newer drivers slip seating (sharing trucks). Drivers with more seniority are given assigned trucks for when they're working but their off days its likely a newer employee or someone who's truck is out of service will be in that truck. We have a driver that gets real worked up over minor things that now people intentionally take his truck to get him fired up. What drives him crazy is on our ELD Google maps changing the icon from what he prefers (truck) to the car or bus. They also get him riled up by changing the radio from FM1 to FM2 so he thinks somebody changed all his preset stations. Without fail every Monday this driver is complaining about something. Hes always yelling "Jesus christ just get in the F****** truck and drive!!!" He's not the only one. We have numerous drivers that complain about minor things that blow it out of proportion.

The difference between a puppy and a trucker is the puppy quits whining after a while. smile.gif

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

160 Driving Academy

Mark says

There is a company about an hour from me that offers training and you can commute to them daily for your training, but then your locked in for 1 year. It is a union job also which means you must start at the bottom I would think

Are you really wanting to commute that far after you may work 14 (or 16 due to short haul exception) hours? If you end up on a run that regularly is 14 hours that means you'll need to be back to run it again in 10 hours. Hour commute each way now has your break down to 8 hours. Thats also before you factor in winter weather increasing the commute. By the time you eat and shower you're stuck with the difficult decision of spending time with family or getting the most sleep to be fit for duty the next day. Also keep in mind if you're doing linehaul you're almost guaranteed to be working the overnight hours and sleeping during the day. Most local jobs operate on a seniority system regardless if they're union or not. As the new guy you'll end up with what nobody else wanted which may include working on the loading dock rather than driving. Depending on your terminal you could possibly move up seniority quickly or you may sit stationary for a couple years. My company is a bit different than most, but in 2 years 9 months I've moved up maybe 7 spots and they've hired another 32 drivers after me with plans of hiring an additional 20 when our new freezer addition opens early next year.

My situation is different due to me having 3 young kids with a wife that stays home to raise them but ill share it anyways to give you something to think about. I commute 45-50 minutes each way in perfect conditions. To maximize my income I try to get as close to 14 hours every day. By the time I get home, stop at the store if we need anything, eat dinner and shower im left with only a few hours. I usually end up spending some time with the kids playing board games or reading books then I'm off to bed. I don't have a whole lot of time to devote to my wife on the days I work. She's told me numerous times she feels we'd be better if I went OTR/regional because the days I get home after work I'm not really home. I'm too focused on what my next day is going to bring and needing to juggle priorities. Where I'm at we only work a 4 day work week so my off days I make sure we spend time together even if it's just taking a walk around the block.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Pre-trip and HOS

Pretrip is a work task so legally its required to be logged on duty. Many drivers do it off duty then log on duty time afterwards. This allows them to save their 14 hour clock if there's an issue that needs to be addressed before they can safely hit the road (like a flat tire).

At the end of the day its your logs that you're certifying as being a true reflection of your activities. With that being said there are numerous ways drivers bend the rules to maximize their earnings.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

LTL/Doubles Question

Thanks, Rob.

Actually idk if I should thank you. Bc you inadvertently won the argument for my brother...Who knows nothing about trucking by the way😥

wtf-2.gif rofl-3.gif

sorry.gif

No doubt its alot of daycabs but there's a decent amount of sleepers too. I wonder if its based on what area of the country you're in. I seen an OD leaving the des moines hub today but only other time I recall seeing OD is down in FL/GA. I also forgot to mention YRC. They stick out because their sleepers actually look road worthy unlike the rest of their equipment. rofl-1.gif.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

LTL/Doubles Question

I rarely see OD with a sleeper. I see FedEx ground, Tforce (formerly UPS Freight) and Estes quite a bit pulling doubles with sleepers. Million miler drives for CRST and is on an XPO dedicated lane from Des Moines out to the west coast (Sacramento maybe?) In a sleeper.

Side question for the LTL guys. I've noticed sometimes a trailer will have plastic hanging outside the door. I haven't really paid too much attention to it but atleast the last one I seen was a placard load. Is the plastic supposed to help prevent static electricity from igniting or what purpose does the plastic serve?

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

160 Driving Academy

I graduated from 160 driving academy in Moline Illinois 4 years ago. I was hired by PFG as a driver apprentice and they put me through there.

They advertise tuition free because a company is sponsoring you. When you enroll they'll send your information to the carriers they work with. More than likely you'll be given different options for pricing. If you self pay 4 years ago it was something like $4,000, if you sign a contract to be sponsored (zero out of pocket) the amount will be different for each company if you quit. I recall a classmate had an offer for USA Truck but they'd require him to repay them $11,000 if he didn't stay a year. There were a couple guys sponsored by Swift and Schneider that also had their hotel paid for as they lived a couple hours away.

I was quite happy with my experience at 160 but your overall experience will vary mainly due to your instructor. I actually received a phone call last week seeking former students wanting to be instructors. Im happy where I'm at and unfortunately the openings were out in Chicagoland. I also don't think I'd have the patience. As I get older (ill be 32!) I find that I enjoy just doing my own thing. I'm more than happy to jump out and help someone in need but I'd also feel that I failed my students/trainee if they're struggling.

If you want more info about 160 I could layout the way we did things. Personally I'd suggest Apply For Paid CDL Training and see who offers you a spot.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Anybody know of Monson & Sons trucking?

Got a neighbor/friend thats looking to change companies and he's interested in Hirschbach and Monson & Sons. He's pretty leery about Hirschbach due to billboards advertising their top drivers gross $280k a year (obviously O/O before expenses) due to selling false hopes. He's a firm believer in not misleading people and feels that's messed up to advertise that on the same board they're saying they offer CDL training.

Biggest things that interest him about Monson is a smaller company (160 drivers) and long nose Pete's with a stick for all company drivers. Only info I can really provide is what I've found on FMCSA snapshot and their online reviews surprisingly aren't terrible.

Tried getting him on where I'm at but the monotony is a big turn off for him. Anybody got info on this carrier out of Britt IA?

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

I'd much rather stay on the interstate all day but today I spent a majority of my day driving 2 lane State and U.S. highways and going thru small towns. Sometimes you find the most random stuff, like the Biden Corn Maze in New Hampton IA north of Waterloo. I laughed far too hard at this than I should have.

0173051001633042084.jpg

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Considering a Career in Trucking

Your biggest obstacles will be not having your basic drivers license for atleast a year, no work history, and your age.

Companies need to know you know how to safely operate something as simple as a car before allowing you to drive something much bigger. Trucking is a very demanding career and they need to know you're not going to quit when it gets tough.

Your age is an issue as to travel across state lines in a CMV you must be 21 (although there is legislation or a trial to allow 18 year Olds to do so). Also many insurance companies require 23 or older.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

After 3 months, I’m quitting

Thanks for all the advice. However, I’ve decided to hang it up. I seem to be only getting worse. I spent 35 mins trying to back a few days ago to a door and I only ended up in a worse spot than when I started. I have to say it was fun while it lasted. Best of luck to all you guys out there!

Kevin have you considered using your CDL for other employment? A big advantage of a CDL is there is so many jobs out there that require a CDL. Garbage collection, snow removal (if applicable) dump trucks, mixer trucks and much much more.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Team driving starting up

Welcome to Trucking Truth! Many of your questions can be answered taking advantage of these links

Every company operates differently but when you're ready use this link to Apply For Paid CDL Training. After you guys receive some offers then figure out what would work best for you. I'm not sure of programs that will allow you to train together but I do know C.R. England has some 3 bunk trucks that could accommodate that. Personally I wouldn't base my decision on something like training together as its such a short time in the grand scheme of things. You may also benefit more by going with different trainers to see different ways of accomplishing the same goal.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Returning to USA after 3 years abroad - will any companies hire me? I’m a former OTR driver who’s looking for work.

Have you used this link to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs? Fill out one application and it'll be sent to many companies. Did you keep your CDL active, including DOT exams Many? Many companies will likely require you take a refresher course at a minimum if you still have an active CDL.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Paths To Making GOOD money as a truck driver?

Sid you just proved Old Schools point quite well, the false belief you need to own your own truck to make more money. I'm only working a 4 day week and I'll be flirting with $100k this year AND I've only spent 1 day/night away from home in the last year and a half.

0666522001632918867.jpg this is thru 39 weeks this year. Ill be getting my next quarterly bonus in a couple weeks which averages 10% of quarterly earnings, as well as another $800 bonus in December.

Last year W2 I worked probably 6 months on a 5 day week doing shorter days, the other 6 on a 4 day working longer days. This is my last paycheck last year

0300178001632919265.jpg

Last year I made an even $30 /hr with the only OT pay for working holidays. I switched over to hourly pay WITH overtime this year and make $27 / hr with OT after 40. I make more in a week this way if I work 52 hours or more. Let's not forget the other benefits a W2 employee gets such as vacation time (4 weeks my 1st full year), 401k match (50% of first 7%), 100% HSA match up to $1,000 and the typical medical/dental.

And your claim to pay 17k a year in taxes I find laughable. Granted, I have 3 kids and we're a 1 income household i had $7749 federal, $5844 social security, $1344 Medicare and $4667 State (Iowa) taxes withheld. I received a refund of $6500 federal and owed $34 to state.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Paths To Making GOOD money as a truck driver?

There's so many things that affect your income in trucking its hard to say for certain. As an OTR driver the CPM matter somewhat but most of it comes down to how efficient you are with your hours of service to maximize how much of your 70 is spent driving rather than logged on duty. This could mean parking at shippers/receivers for your 10 hour break so you could hypothetically get loaded/unloaded while logged off duty. It could also mean taking advantage of the split sleeper berth to minimize time spent in rush hour traffic.

With hourly jobs its all about the amount of time spent on the clock and what your pay rate is, as well as if you're paid overtime after 40. For those that didn't know trucking companies aren't required to pay overtime wages in this industry. I made just over $100,000 as a home daily driver delivering to grocery stores and 3rd party LTL freight. I do have to unload my own truck at the stores but its all electric pallet jack and putting it in coolers. This year I believe ill barely squeak by that on a 4 day work week (most days rolling in with minutes to spare on my 14).

Whats your current experience level? If you're just kinda kicking the tires around take it one step at a time and dedicate your first year to learning. After that then focus on where you can make the most money while also satisfying your other desires such as hometime, benefits etc.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Distracted driving

I wanted to share a situation I got myself into today to show that distracted driving is not just an issue that rookies face. Today I was talking to another driver on the phone and got myself in a bit of a predicament. I always run GPS even though I know where I'm going most of the time for traffic information. I lost focus and turned down the road just before the one I actually needed to come upon the road being closed.

0882022001630973354.jpg I came off US 71 and hooked the first right towards the Quarry rather than going to 87th to deliver flowers to where the pin is. After I turned down there GPS told me just continue south until I made my way back to US 71 then try again (lol). It turns out at the Rock Quarry the roads closed. Being labor day it was padlocked shut so turning in and turning around wasn't an option. I had 2 choices. Back up a little over half a mile or attempt a U-turn on this 2 lane road with no shoulder (atleast til back towards main road). I opted to back up and do a small S to ensure nobody was behind me while still going relatively straight. Meanwhile there's truck traffic on US 71 and multiple drivers are quoting bonehead Truckers so maybe I'll end up on that?? Anyways, I tuned them out and backed the .6 miles back to the main road and thankfully there was no traffic but I also had a turn lane I had to myself. So I backed down Hickman then backed onto blue river using the designated turn lane while paying attention to all the traffic although there wasn't much.

0006774001630973735.jpg

Had i attempted a U-turn this would have ended very differently. I share this to show that even experienced drivers make mistakes. What matters is how you resolve the problem. This is also a reason many trainers don't want trainees using their phone while driving because it is distracting even with hands free.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Veriha honest review

I just read all of it, kind of scared me away from them. Awe well...try and find another company I guess.

What is it that scared you away? Veriha has many drivers that have been with them long term. Unfortunately Marc didn't make the cut with them but he had many other issues going on that didn't help. If I'm not mistaken he was about a year out of CDL school with basically no experience. The same fears you now have about this company you'll have about other companies too. There is so much trash online that its hard to tell whats true and whats real. Even the good reviews are sometimes hard to believe as there are some people that say their company is perfect so they can snag referral bonuses.

Page 1 of 163

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More