Profile For Rob S.

Rob S.'s Info

  • Location:
    OR

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 3 months ago

Rob S.'s Bio

Started with Swift as OTR. It's a fine company. Drove a yard goat at a distribution center for them for a few months too. Now I drive local food grade tanker for a different company.

Rob S.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  5 days, 3 hours ago

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Help! How is anyone supposed to 'accurately" read an Air Pressure gauge like this one?

Hi all. I passed all the DMV tests!dancing-dog.gifdancing-banana.gif

This is all that matters. Congratulations. The next thing that matters is don't hit anything.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Pro's Of Companies With Lots Of Terminals?

Terminals are ok but not great. I wouldn't let that influence your calculations when choosing a company. Repairs are not necessarily faster or better at a terminal. Parking can be just as tight and crowded. There is better security although you still need to lock your doors. Personally, I prefer a truckstop. I'm only going to be there for 10 hours anyway.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Cleaning Supplies

Paper towels. Windex or 409 in a spray bottle. Fabreeze for the bedding. Baby wipes for the driver. pine tree air fresheners for the cabinets. I taped a bottle of hand sanitizer to the gear shift so I could use it as soon as I got in the cab, just in case. Bleach wipes are handy too, I kept these where I could use them from the ground outside my door such as during a messy drop and hook. When you stock up at Walmart, double and triple bag everything. Or just take as many plastic bags as they let you have. Those bags fit over the passenger seat armrest and should be thrown out every evening at a minimum.

I miss being able to clean my truck. I slip-seat in day cabs now so every shift is a new adventure in germ warfare.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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How does the typical job interview go?

The best driving school in the world is just up the road from you. The Swift Academy in Lewiston, ID. That's where I went, that's how I know they're the best :) . Lodging was included. Swift had a great program for veterans. I'm sure those things are still true. If you're serious about this, cut to the chase. Study the High Road Program, call some recruiters and get after it. Your posts are entertaining but they aren't helping you move forward.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Tips for keeping the truck clean?

No shoes in the sleeper. An old paint brush works for a broom. Paper towels and 409 on the shelves and floors every few days. Fabreeze on the bedding daily. Pine tree air freshener hangs next to the laundry bag. Empty the trash at least once a day. Never hit the bunk with a stinky cab.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Atlas

I highly recommend a small magnifying glass. I don't need it very often, but grateful that I keep one for the times I've needed it. Pick one up at a Walmart or any truck stop for under 5 bucks. Who needs that gargantuan large print monstrosity lol.

When I was outfitting my first truck I thought I was soooo smart because I bought a magnifying glass. A couple weeks later I'm at a Love's waiting for a shower and I notice they sell magnifying glasses. Hmm, I guess I'm not the only blind ox hitched to this wagon.

smile.gif

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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New Driving Looking Local Home Daily. Options?

Local jobs are frequently very long hours with a two to four day break then long hours again. There isn't much adventure compared to OTR. My gig is usually four 13-15 hour nights then four nights off. I pick up and deliver to the same places every night. It's kinda the opposite of OTR adventure. I'm not telling you what the right decision is. But if adventure is what you want most from trucking local might not cut it.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Turning Down Loads

I had been doing short runs around SoCal for a couple weeks. i took every load I could make on time and counter offered on the rest. I finally got an escape to Phoenix. I dropped my trailer and bobtailed to a truckstop to wait for my next load. I was pretty frazzled from several over night drives and frustrated by the shorthaul miles. The Qualcomm chimed with a load to SoCal. Nuts! I needed a catnap to clear my head, then I'd maybe call and respectfully discuss this situation.

A few minutes later my phone rings. It's a Phoenix planner. He wants me to pick up a load at the Phoenix terminal and take it four miles. It was a thorn in his side because it was already late. He told me the customer might reject it and force a reschedule but asked me to try. I said yes then I asked him if there was anything he could do to move me farther from California for awhile. He said if I would do this for him he would find something.

I tried, the customer said no, turn around and take it back to the terminal. When I returned I called the planner and told him. By now I was mentally prepared to respectfully make my case for a little better load offer just in case he left me hanging. He said thanks for trying and came through with a stack of loads that took me from Pheonix to Houston to Arkansas and points East. Along the way I got to bobtail about 500 miles to pickup a brand new trailer from the factory too.

Some lessons;

1. Don't argue with planners/managers/dispatchers, (or anyone else really). Their jobs are tough enough. They aren't the enemy, they're business partners.

2. Avoid making decisions when tired. Sometimes you need to but avoid it if you can. That 10 minute rest was enough to clear my mind before I even started mapping out what I wanted to talk about with my DM.

3. Patience. I did my job as they asked me to and waited for the better loads to come. The better loads DID come and I never had to have any awkward conversations.

Posted:  1 month ago

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What are the longest lasting working gloves?

I've become a fan of Bellingham Wonder Grip gloves. The ones I use are fleece-lined, so they're great in winter. They're nitrile-coated on both sides, so they're waterproof, double dipped for durability, and very grippy. Theyre fantastic for chaining up, because your hands stay warm and dry while you're wrestling with cold, wet, slippery metal, and they'll last upwards of 9 months before you get any tears in the rubber. I usually get mine at a workwear store near my house for around $7 a pair.

I bought 2 pair of these for handling the cold, wet hoses we use for loading milk. They're really keep my hands warm and provide lots of grip on the 3" hose. Trouble is they're such nice gloves I hate to get them dirty :)

Posted:  1 month ago

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Found terminal rat

It's good that you can spot them and keep your distance.

This wasn't a terminal but a truck stop restaurant (Iron Skillet maybe). It's about 6am, normal collection of drivers at separate tables. Driver at the next table is facing me and his phone rings. He puts on his headset and starts a loud argument with his dispatcher.

I've already driven XXX miles in XXX hours and now I'm taking a break. And there's no way I can make the next load on time, blah, blah, blah. Reschedule this, pay me that. You better get your stuff together or I'll quit.

After he hung up on them he started talking to me. I smiled and got out of there quick. As soon as I got to my truck I called my DM and thanked her for helping me learn the trade and get the miles.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Just When You Think You've Seen It All...

I-10 near Indio, CA. Clear weather, easy traffic, everything moving along. Pickup passing me on the left moving about 70mph. When he's right next to me I look in the mirror and see his rear tire blow out. He over-corrected and started rolling. His mess never touched me so I kept rolling. I've wondered sometimes if I should have stopped to at least be a witness for him.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Just When You Think You've Seen It All...

One fine afternoon I was cruising along the turnpike westbound through Gary, IN. I'm clipping along at 60, just kinda maintaining my spot in the herd, and out of nowhere like it was fired out of a cannon comes this can hauler in the hammer lane. He had to be doing at least 80. But that wasn't the real eye-opener. His chassis had not one, not two, not even three, but EIGHT blown tires. There was not a single actual tire left under that can. And no matter how many guys got on the radio to advise him of the situation, he just kept romping along, throwing sparks and bits of rubber allwhere.

I must have seen his cousin. I was leaving Chicagoland on 80 and up ahead I see a can hauler with his flashers on. He was going about 60mph. It takes me awhile to reach him since I'm going 62.5 or so. Then I see the reason he was only going 60. One set of tires was missing, both rear passenger tires and wheels were gone. He knew about it and slowed down accordingly. I guess if I put my hazards on I can do anything, right?

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Fit for trucking

If you haven't made any purchases yet I suggest you hold off awhile. For the few weeks that you're with a trainer you will have neither space nor time for anything except learning. For the first several months of solo driving you can still expect to be pretty tired at the end of a day. My main fitness technique was to control my calories and salt. Stay away from the junk foods.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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A fun little exercise for the rookies.

Yeks. How common is that nightmare can we expect?

The first several runs all SEEM like this. After a while it's just a little variation on the theme. G O A L. Take your time. Enjoy the ride.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Switching Companies

That's a question for the recruiter at the new company. Each company has its own policy. Even if both companies use the same equipment it may be configured differently. In the best case scenario you should be prepared for multiple tests and a week with a trainer.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Dyslexia

I can't think of anything a driver does that would be a deal breaker for you. In any job there will be written communication. Drivers do more reading than writing. If you've come this far in life, you must be able to function well enough. I don't have any direct knowledge about dyslexia so I hope I'm not steering you wrong.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Am I concerned over nothing?

The short answer is yes, you're stressing over nothing. A better answer is that if you remain focused on your job you'll be fine. If someone gave you the keys to their truck, they think you'll be fine too. Don't try to keep up with traffic going down hills until you're confidence grows. You can only go too fast once. There are lots of posts about mountain driving if you need help with shifting. How did you get to Colorado without driving in mountains?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Tanker specific for new driver

You already have some tanker experience so you understand that the load will try to kill you. If Prime is willing to train you, I think they will ensure that lesson is reinforced before they turn you loose solo. Accept what they teach and follow their practices and you should be fine. To me, reefers have two big drawbacks, lumpers and that extra engine right next to my bed.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Wrong way driver

Check this out! 0139082001533851556.jpg

2 signs that read "Legal Hold" and a chain from the door post to ? But the front tire holds air so everythings good, let's roll!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Proper Loading on Sealed Loads?

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Yeah... Probably worrying early about low-risk situations. But I do understand that the priorities of those filling the trailer and mine as the person ultimately responsible (once I get there anyway), will not always align. I SO hate being responsible for things which are clearly beyond my control...

You're doing fine. You seem to understand that as a driver you will be responsible for everything that ever happened to anybody whether or not the driver had anything to do with the actual issue at hand. Also, baby steps. Get the CDL. Pass through training to get your own set of keys, then enjoy the scenery. I know those seem to be opposing views and I know it kinda sucks. but it's really cool to be rolling down the road on your own.

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