Profile For Rob T.

Rob T.'s Info

  • Location:
    IA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 10 months ago

Rob T.'s Bio

I obtained my CDL August 2017 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 currently deliver to grocery stores in Iowa and the 7 surrounding states

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Posted:  7 hours, 12 minutes ago

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I've Been Sick This Week

Happy Thanksgiving Old School, how is your recovery going so far?

Posted:  7 hours, 20 minutes ago

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Advice for a GPS.

I run a much smaller area so I'm familiar with the routes I need for the most part. I usually just run google maps to alert me to any delays and if anybody flags a stretch for something in the road. I also use it in satellite view to look at my destination to know what I'm facing when I arrive. Lately it seems people are intentionally marking a speed trap or debris in the road every 5 miles just to be a jerk.

The problem most drivers run into with GPS is blindly following it and getting into a pickle. It's a helpful tool to alert you to delays and closures due to accidents but it's still best to pull off and cross reference your atlas if you're taken off your planned route.

Posted:  1 day, 4 hours ago

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About to start my first driving job and have never driven a 53 foot trailer before. Any advice?

I learned how to drive with a 53' but my first job for a year and a half was pulling 28's. It took me about a week or 2 to fully have a better idea of how much space I needed for backing. It took about a month for me to have the same confidence backing as I did in a 28'.

Take all the available space, watch your tandems to clear curbs, don't be afraid to take it slow and GOAL. May understands you're fresh out of school. They don't expect you to be perfect.

Posted:  1 day, 4 hours ago

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One on One CDL Training School in Arizona

Gonna start looking into companies that are a good fit for me..

what I'd recommend is use this link to Apply For Paid CDL Training. You'll fill out one application and it will be sent to numerous companies. After you get some offers then look at these Company reviews and ask the recruiter questions to find what fits you best. Far too often people waste alot of time to find the perfect company just to find out that company won't hire them.

Posted:  1 day, 5 hours ago

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Trucking School vs Paid CLD Training: Survivor stats?

Breaks almost over so I'll keep this short. We have a member named Marc Lee that unfortunately doesnt come around much anymore. Marc felt private school was better because you was able to go anywhere he wanted and landed a perfect (to him) gig for Amazon. Within his first couple days he fell climbing out of the truck. He was terminated. He had some unrelated medical stuff he needed to get taken care of so he was out of the seat for a few months. He then went to Schneider, Verihia, and Dutch maid logistics. They felt his backing wasn't where it should be and promptly sent him home. They had nothing invested in him but a bus ticket. Compare that to other members experiences. Kearsey (sorry to pick on you!) Was very open about struggling and it took numerous times to pass her CDL test. They continued to work with her to be able to pass her exam because she went through their program. It's a different company but we've seen the same play out many times with many different companies. I'd be more than happy to elaborate further shortly, backhaul will likely be 2 hour wait.

Posted:  1 day, 5 hours ago

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What's wrong with this picture?

Oooooo I know I know!

That's a crazy weight difference though. I'd say that's quite a bumpy ride. Are you guys normally that heavy for GROSS?

Posted:  1 day, 15 hours ago

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Plans always change in trucking

My biggest piece of advice is look up many different store locations to see exactly what you're getting into with Sprouts. I drive for Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI), which is a subsidiary of the midwest grocery chain Hy-vee. I did a small diary of my experiences you can read here about Delivering to grocery stores. A majority of our stores were built to easily accommodate trucks and even straight back to the dock. We do have a few real tight stores primarily the small town old stores that were built about 90 years ago when the company began business. For the most part most of our loads leave the warehouse between midnight and 2am. This allows us to often times get unloaded in the bigger cities we deliver to before parking lots start filling up. We can also get in and out of the Minneapolis and Kansas City areas or make it to our backhaul before rush hour hits. Anytime we're delayed it makes our job more difficult, but still not too bad. I'm currently waiting to be loaded at the warehouse with a 2 trailer load. Currently its 0140 and my load was supposed to be done by 0130. Supposedly its picked just sitting on the dock waiting to be loaded along with 6 other trucks parked near me. My 2nd trailer has a store I've not been to that's in a mall. Looking at google it doesn't look too bad but it's going to be more difficult now due to increased car traffic and getting there likely after 9am. I also have a backhaul that's FCFS (First Come First Served) that gets crazy around 1030. This delay will result in me sitting for a couple hours rather than about a half hour if I'd be able to make it there before 9am.

Typically our warehouse gets our loads done atleast 30 minutes before our gate time but with Covid and the holidays it's been a rough year for them but they're trying their best. The drivers out of the DC that does produce told me their loads are typically done about 2 hours before they're set to go out. G-town drives for Swift and delivers groceries on a Walmart dedicated account. He has a diary of A day in the life of a Walmart Dedicated driver that may be if interest as well. There's a couple other guys on here that have done walmart dedicated, and Turtle drives for Walmarts private fleet but I can't recall any other diaries of the day to day encounters. In my experience deliveries at the store level usually go off without a hitch and store personnel are happy to see their truck is there. As with any trucking job you'll have terminal rats at the distribution center. I keep conversations to a minimum with most drivers at my company and when I do talk to them it's just common courtesy (good morning, how're you today etc.) Or asking about stops I've not been to. This job is nearly perfect for me and I dont need people that have been here 30 years trying to tell me how terrible the job is. No joke, my first day of training another driver asked if I had a family. He then proceeded to tell me if I love them I need to quit because it'll ruin my marriage. He was an expert on this, he was on his 4th marriage since starting 20 years ago! Something tells me it had little to do with the job....

0200 and they're starting to load me. Feel free to create another thread with more questions you have regarding retail deliveries. You'll be surprised how many drivers have done deliveries and may offer some insight to it. Mainly around the holidays, but some companies will have OTR drivers fill in temporarily on dedicated accounts to accommodate the customers needs. Some people love delivering to stores others hate it. The good thing of starting with Schneider is if you fall into the category of not liking it you can always go OTR.

Posted:  1 day, 21 hours ago

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CDL school update, I'm officially a commerical driver

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Great job!

Posted:  2 days, 3 hours ago

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One on One CDL Training School in Arizona

Using the internet is a very valuable way to gain insight but it's also bad at the same time if that makes sense. I've looked at a few different trucking forums and this is the only one I've found that truly helps newcomers know what to expect.

Its human nature that many people don't want to make themselves look bad or highlight their flaws. You'll see it quite often here somebody comes in looking for advice but refuses to fully admit what truly happened. For example we may be told you were fired for a minor accident. After some discussion it comes to light what really happened is you were texting and driving and rear ended another vehicle. I've made my fair share of mistakes and I'm more than willing to discuss them to help others avoid them and so I would potentially get ideas how to avoid it again. If you jump right in to O/O not only will you have the stress and exhaustion of a new driver but also the business side. It's quite common for a rookie driver to hit some thing their first year. Learn the business driving a company truck atleast a year then re evaluate. We have many members here making atleast $70k a year with excellent benefits, paid time off and they even get paid if their truck is in the shop. If you own your truck and can't get into the dealership for a week you have no revenue coming in while still paying payment/insurance etc. On top of hotel bills. As it was stated insurance costs are through the roof.

Trucking isn't like a normal job. Many drivers never hear anything from their dispatcher except what the next load assignment is. The driver is told where to be by what time and then left alone to do it. Most drivers that are former business owners liken it to still being self employed while taking advantage of the perks employees of large companies get.

Posted:  2 days, 6 hours ago

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Second Chance Driver - Two Job Offers

Do PTL. They're a large established company with plenty of freight and national accounts for fuel and breakdowns. If a company is new they're likely small and may not have the money to keep their equipment in acceptable condition.

Posted:  2 days, 6 hours ago

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Plans always change in trucking

No. My employer offers 3 different pay options. I'm able to do my normal hourly wage which I believe is around $23.50 and OT after 40. The other hourly option is a flat 30 per hour for all hours (except holidays, hours worked are paid at time and a half) because I'm scheduled to work sundays. We also have a mile/stop option but the routes available when I bid would have me making less on that. The guys that are on mile/stop tend to do small stores so they're taking off only a couple pallets and are there for only 20 minutes. Stop pay goes up with tenure but mile pay stays the same. Current rate for me is 50 CPM and $32.23 per stop. In nearly 2 years there has been only a couple times I'd make more like that. If I took the OT option 66 hours is around the break even point for the flat rate. On the $30 flat rate I should hit about $101k this year including bonuses.

Posted:  2 days, 18 hours ago

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Plans always change in trucking

Had another interesting day. Last night we had plans so I took a route that started late (for me) to be out the gate by 0300 so I could get a little sleep. About 6pm I received a message that due such high volume going out (20% increase from last year) they were projecting loads to be 4 to 6 hours late and call before coming in to check the status. My first thought was great, now I won't see the family tomorrow. Woke up at 0200 and was told they were finishing picking it so I got dressed and got in about 0300. Load was ready at 0359, heck yeah I'll be home for dinner! The day went great getting my 2 stores off then I went to my backhaul to be told it is now 1100 and my appt was 0800 so itll be a while as I'm a work-in due to the route starting 3 hours later than normal. The route typically leaves around midnight or 0100 but due to how many loads they bumped many loads back a few hours. Ended up leaving the backhaul after 3 hours knowing i wouldn't be seeing the kids tonight as they'd be in bed. This load was 3rd party direct deliver to another business on my way back. Sat there nearly 2 hours to be unloaded. I made it back with 2 minutes left on my 16 hour clock (using my 16 hr rule) and 13 minutes left on my 70. We're currently taking advantage of the HOS Exemption due to Covid but this load didn't qualify due to it not being our product, and the exemption covers emergency restocking of shelves or grocery distribution, or our return trip to the DC empty among other things. Store shelves aren't as barren as March but still bad enough we're using the exemption again after 2 months following normal HOS rules. Although my 70 shows its depleted but a majority of my days don't count against my 70 due to the exemption but my employer has us still using our ELD and just making a note on there about the exemption.

Long story short I left the house at 0215 and didn't get home until 19 hours later at 2100 (9pm). Grabbed dinner on the way home, kids were already in bed, jumped in the shower and find my wife already asleep. I was going to work extra tomorrow but they didnt have any routes that could be bumped back late enough for me so I'll be off tomorrow.

Downsides are not seeing the family today and being out literally all day and the long day prevented me from working extra tomorrow.

Brightside is I have a steady job and ended up making $560 today.

Posted:  2 days, 19 hours ago

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Alcohol and hair testing

They're looking for drugs. That includes illegal and certain prescription drugs such as pain killers. You'll be asked about alcohol consumption at your physical to ensure you dont have a drinking problem but thats about it.

I'll just throw this out there because it relates to alcohol. Nearly every company has a ZERO tolerance policy whether youre at the hotel they paid for or having a cold beer with dinner while on the road. Get caught doing it and you're out of a job. The legal limit of a CDL holder is .04. If you have even a trace on your breath the DOT can shut you down for 24 hours and your company will know why, likely making you unemployed. Drug and alcohol tests are now recorded in the clearinghouse database so all future employers will have access to your past results as a driver. In the 2 years I've been employed at my local job I've been random drug tested 3 times and given a breath test (along with all drivers than showed up within that 30 minutes) for alcohol. There have been people sent home for drinking while at paid training. Prime for instance has people watching you early all the time including people that clean your room at the hotel looking for empty cans or people at the bar. I can't remember who it was but somebody said a group of newly licensed drivers went out after they all passed their CDL test to have a couple beers and were immediately terminated. Companies don't play around when it comes to drugs or alcohol. Save the alcohol for when you're at home for a couple days. I'm home nearly every day and only have a couple beers if I'm off a minimum of 24 hours after my last one. The general rule is 8 hours from bottle to throttle but that obviously is affected by what, and how much you drank.

Long story short they're just looking for drugs in your system typically over the last 6 months. If there's any possible chance of failing WAIT. A failed drug test will prevent you from getting a chance to enjoy this rewarding career/lifestyle.

Posted:  2 days, 19 hours ago

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After getting CDL from Prime inc ?

Has he asked the recruiter? I can't say with 100% certainty this is how Prime does it but other companies immediately send them out with their trainer (TNT for Prime) and get a load passing through somewhere in TX with enough time to swing by the DMV. The test results are uploaded into a database that may take a couple days for TX to get the results from Missouri (or where ever he takes it). I'm not sure how Covid has affected this as most states require appointments. Currently in Iowa we're booked out about a month and a half.

Somebody with first hand knowledge of this should be in later tonight or early in the morning to better assist you. The recruiter would definitely have the most up to date information on this. If you guys do reach out to them please let us know what they say so we can better assist others with the same question.

Posted:  2 days, 21 hours ago

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Learning another language

ROFLMAO~!! Which word 'WAS' wrong ?!?! The 'suck' or the 'knee' part ?!?

I'm going to guess knee.....I could see Kearsey stealing the quote from G.I. Jane when Demi Moore tells them to suck her D*** rofl-2.gif

Posted:  3 days ago

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Driving the western 11

I normally get all lined up for the dock, or drop spot, then slide the tandems to the rear.

As long as these are back before you bump the dock, that's all that matters.

I typically do as Packrat as well, Even if they won't allow you through until tandems are back. When you get through slide them back up if you need to just don't forget to put them back!

Posted:  3 days, 5 hours ago

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CDC releases lates COVID-19 guidelines for truckers

Im so over this "craps"

rofl-1.gifrofl-1.gifrofl-1.gif it's quite Ironic they're trying to stop the spread of Covid but won't allow us inside to wash hands. Instead we're given a porta potty if we're lucky that without fail never has a portable hand washing station or sanitizer.

Posted:  3 days, 5 hours ago

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Wait is over Finally at Prime PSD training

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Awesome job! What you experienced with your backing is an added benefit of getting your CDL through Prime. By being out there delivering loads while learning to handle that vehicle you're picking up on much more you don't get in private school. At a private school we were given written instruction how to perform each back. If you missed a step or were off a tad it wouldn't work right. By delivering loads you were docking at all sorts of angles and knew exactly what to do to fix the problem if your setup was off.

Awesome job. Is your PSD trainer going to also be your TNT?

Posted:  3 days, 9 hours ago

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Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

Spotted this at a Unilever DC I visited yesterday in Edwardsville, IL.

I guess that pine tree learned it's lesson!

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rofl-1.gif

I'd love to hear the story behind that. My first thought was he probably forgot to set the brakes but based on the angle of the tires I'd assume that's not the case

Posted:  3 days, 9 hours ago

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Driving the western 11

What issues are you having with your QC? I'm sure we have quite a few drivers here who are familiar with that system. Also, you should have a "cheat sheet" that shows how to do everything with it which is actually a DOT requirement.

For me I always would forget something such as putting in the trip number. What I ended up doing that helped me was creating a list of everything I needed to do before leaving. Do it all the same way everytime and it's much easier to remember.

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