Profile For Robert B. (The Dragon) yes, I breathe fire and other sideshow tricks

Robert B. (The Dragon) yes, I breathe fire and other sideshow tricks's Info

  • Location:
    MN

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years ago

Robert B. (The Dragon) yes, I breathe fire and other sideshow tricks's Bio

Grain hauler at Foltz trucking

Robert B. (The Dragon) yes, I breathe fire and other sideshow tricks's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 7

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Posted:  7 hours, 8 minutes ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

Pre loaded trailer? If so go buy a piece of 1” pvc about 7 feet long. Cut a notch in one end so you can push straps between that third and 4th tier. It’ll give you much better securement.

Posted:  15 hours, 56 minutes ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

One chain per stake pocket or spool. Personally, I never liked going around stake pockets of I didn’t have to. Those plates you see mount in tracks on the trailers. They’re normally referred to as J plates or J hooks. Your angles don’t have to be that tight but the closer the better.

Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

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Here’s a couple photos for you. The top one being one of mine. You can see how tight I kept everything, pulling directly down into the trailer as to never give a coil an inch. I’d rather destroy that dunnage pulling down into it, than to have the potential for the coil to roll.

The second photo is how to get yourself killed. That was a driver at a facility I loaded at multiple times a week. Myself and another driver saw this, stopped him and helped him fix it before bad things could happen.

I’ve hauled all sorts of open deck loads but have a bunch of experience with steel, coils and heavy haul doing machinery and equipment.

Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

I don’t do open deck work anymore but let me see if I have more photos I can dig up demonstrating it.

Posted:  2 days, 17 hours ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

Hey Chief, great question. Those particular trailers were specifically built for heavier applications. 4 axle trailers with the main beams rated at 60 tons. The real limitations were on the securement devices and equipment itself. The chains were rated for 11,300, the binders rated at 12k and the J plates were rated for 11,500. I always shot for close to 100% when hauling coils just to play it safe but bad things can still happen no matter how well we prepare. The one thing I always kept in the back of my head was that I knew I followed my plan and did each coil the same way every time. Oh and I only used 2 chains on each coil. At 20’ length, it was long enough to break the chain and still have enough slack to qualify as 2 independent securement out of one chain. The angles are very important. Every steel and coil hauler I met all said the same thing, keep them tight and keep them inside the dimension of the coil when possible. That way, the coil, no matter the size, can’t get any leverage on movement and it all stays nice and tight. Coils aren’t something to be afraid of, you just have to respect them and treat them nice.

Posted:  4 days, 8 hours ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

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This photo gives a little better idea. I used 4 - 1/2” chains on each coil. 2 right across the middle at very little angle and one pulling to the rear with another pulling forward. The key is keeping those angles very shallow so you’re forcing everything down into the bed and not allowing the coil to get any momentum.

Posted:  4 days, 8 hours ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

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Victor. As a guy who has hauled coils, many of them and very heavy (those two were 84k combined), I can tell you that you’re not going to use a bulkhead. Chaining coils is all about doing it properly and consistently and respecting that load for the potential hazards it poses. A bulkhead made of a few 4x4’s isn’t going to stop a coil if it gets loose, not much will.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Good bye Western Express, Hello Randys Contracting and Melton Truck Lines

How many times can you beat a dead horse? Who knows, he’s still counting.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Western Express as a company?

Victor, you say you want to be a fighter pilot? Let me tell you a story about a fighter pilot named Colonel Donn Yates. He was a young man obsessed with becoming a fighter jockey and back in the 80’s when Top Gun came out, he went at it full afterburners. He mastered his craft through discipline and master of his own destiny. He went on to join the Air Force, fly countless hours of missions in an F15 to make his way through the ranks to become a wing commander at Lakenheath AFB England and recently retired after 25 years as the 4th Fighter wing commander at Seymour Johnson AFB. You might ask my interest in him and it’s because he was a friend and class mate in high school. Let me tell you, he never made excuses, always owed up to his mistakes and had a focus of perfection like nothing you’ve ever seen. Now I hate to rain on your parade but if being a fighter pilot truly is your goal, your current attitude and continued effort to deflect any responsibility will find you nothing but failure. You’ll be a washout because you don’t have the drive or the character and focus required of such a position. It’s time to do some real soul searching.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Western Express as a company?

I wouldn’t say western express is a bad company but one thing I have noticed in the last couple years is the condition of many of their vehicles and a lack of equipment for some of their flatbed drivers. The tornado that completely wiped out their home terminal definitely hurt them and I’m wondering if they’re still dealing with the recovery from such a disaster. Before I left open deck work, there were several occasions where I helped out western drivers with securement and even gave or purchased bungees for drivers who simply didn’t have enough on hand to properly pin down the tarps. The claim was that what they had was all they were issued but it’s hard to say if that was true but when you talk to a few of them and they all tell the same tale, I attributed it to still recovering and running as tightly as possible while they got back on track. It still comes down to what a driver makes of their given situation and you have to pay attention to the mindset of the drivers vs the company itself.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Developing preferences for warm weather

OMG. I’ll stop my wimpy whining.

Haha!!! Yeah, you gotta really enjoy the cold up here. The winds come down out of Canada, down through Montana and don’t stop until they hit Chicago. Even pulling grain hoppers gets to be a challenge at times because although all we do is roll the tarp open and closed, it doesn’t want to cooperate at those temps. The open deck guys wind up leaving out with folded sheets of frozen tarps because rolling them is an absolute pain. There’s a city up northwest of Duluth that does their polar bear challenge on New Year’s Day. A few years back, the wind chill was -65 when they had it and those crazy fools were still out there diving right in.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Developing preferences for warm weather

This is what I woke up to Last Friday morning

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Welcome to my neck of the woods lol. We’ve been under a wind chill advisory for the last 10 days or so with wind chills sticking around -40 and actual temps -20 to -25. My wife said it got up to 1 yesterday which is a heat wave lol. When the wind isn’t blowing, it’s not too terrible so long as you stay covered up by one of the big problems was everyone clamoring to find DEF as many of the pump systems froze up.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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How to handle discrepancy with pay from employer

That’s not entirely true Banks, regarding the week of training. It’s true that Knight doesn’t have the best training program for open deck but In regards to companies who train and do open deck work, they’re the exception. If TwoSides wants to lessen open deck work, he needs to go with a company with an established training program. He’s going to have to suck it up though, pay attention, not let himself get flustered when he has difficulty and stay focused. ATS, TMC, Prime, Maverick and a few others have very good open deck programs with lots of hands on experience but they expect the student to do their part.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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A dream! The ideal trucking company!

As usual, GTown lays it out plain and simple. Let’s also take into account that the vast majority of trucking companies don’t train. The number who do are incredibly small but are the most recognizable because of the massive numbers of equipment, not to mention advertising on billboards, social media and of course the rolling billboards, their trailers. Can a focused driver become extremely successful at those companies? Of course, there’s several outstanding examples of that right here in this forum but that doesn’t work the same for every driver because every driver is different. The company I work for is pretty particular about who they hire and the average age of drivers here is 50 years old. Turnover rate is extremely low and of the 150 drivers on board, probably 30% maybe more have been here 10+ years with a dozen that I know of who have 20 years or more. Does that make this the perfect company? Not for every single person but for a large number who work here, they’re very very happy and comfortable. I know I’m one of those.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Skilled Performance Evaluation Certificate

I completed the process and am still driving. To my benefit, FMCSA took note of my physicals and realized that neither the doctors who performed my DoT physical, nor my orthopedic surgeon made any annotations of restriction so after 4 years, FMCSA released me from a program I shouldn’t have been in to begin with. In your case, what you need to do is gather any surgical records you might have and contact an orthopedic surgeon. Go into their office and explain what you’re needing to have done and show them the paperwork. There’s only about 3500 drivers total who have the waiver so you won’t find many doctors who even know what you’re talking about.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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I PASSED!!!!

Thank you so much! So happy and proud of all the hard work and dedication I put into this. It all paid off! Now to start learning to be a professional at a job and perfecting the skill 💪🏽💪🏽

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That is fantastic! Congratulations!

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Excellent attitude. One of my favorite movie quotes is from a trucking movie but I’ll paraphrase a little here. “Be like a duck, smooth on the surface but paddle like the Devil underneath”. Keep a positive attitude, stay smooth but know that you’re constantly moving forward no matter the effort required. You’re gonna do great.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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I PASSED!!!!

Great news and congratulations!!!!! You’re honestly staring at a good time of year. While it might seem a bit intimidating, winter driving is a required skill and one which needs to be learned early on.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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The importance of three points of contact

Oh geez. I’m sorry to hear this happened but glad to hear you’re on the mend.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Any tips, advice on flatbed and spread axle trailers?

The bases here regarding your questions are all covered very well. The only thing I wanted to comment on was backing, particularly, backing with your axles spread. You want to use much more shallow angles for a couple reasons. One was mentioned already being the pivot point. That front axle is going to drag and sharper angles really work the tires, even to a point of pulling a tire off the bead. The other issue that every open deck driver has come across or witnessed is with that drag on the front axle, the trailer will start to jerk violently and a driver not reacting quickly enough can cause bad things to happen. I personally witnessed a load of John Deere mower decks get toppled in the Gary Indiana yard when I was at ATS.

Florida does offer a permit that you can apply for to run axles open. It’s $110 a year (it was unless the price went up) and that permit gets registered to the truck, regardless of the trailer number, so that’s something to keep in mind also.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Truckers report website?

It all depends on what information you’re searching for. Technical information about trucks or cb radios, good restaurants and places to park, it’s great. If you’re looking for information about companies, run like hell because it’s nothing but doom and gloom.

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