Profile For Rob S.

Rob S.'s Info

  • Location:
    OR

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 11 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:  1 month ago

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To Idle Or Not To Idle

I've heard rumors of police ticketing drivers that violate the no-idle laws. I've never heard a first hand account though. I doubt that it would happen unless the officer already had his ticket book out for something else (illegal parking comes to mind).

Posted:  1 month ago

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Don't be "That Guy".

I had a drop and hook at a small business with only a few dock doors. I was backing in before sunrise and there wasn't a lot of light to see by. Next to my door was a box truck that was parked really crooked. I didn't realize how crooked until my third or fourth GOAL. It was an easy dock and I don't normally GOAL that much for such an easy, straight shot. I was having a hard time because my only reference point was this crooked box truck. The moral of the story is, When you're having an unusually hard time, it might be the other guy.

Posted:  1 month ago

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International pro star backing problem

Is it possible that the axles or differentials are locked?

Posted:  1 month ago

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When Murphy Decides to go for a Ride Along

Next time tell Murphy that your company doesn't allow riders. smile.gif

Posted:  1 month ago

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Cb radio

I rarely used mine while OTR. Now that I'm local, I use one even less. I was in Texas once and the weather alert kept going off. There were thunderstorms and heavy, damaging hail nearby. It occurred to me that I had no idea what I would do if 4" hail started crashing through the roof of my fiberglass palace. Instead of worrying or learning the right thing, I turned off the CB. I needed sleep. I would still want a CB if I were OTR. It's not terribly expensive and it's some to listen to on the late night drives.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Pet Peeves about fellow drivers

The truck that gets the tail of his trailer ten feet past your hood, signals, and chops you off. Even better is when you two are the only ones on a four-lane interstate for five miles. Really?

+1 As if the main rule of the universe is to keep right except while passing! Why obey that rule and ignore all the others? (This is why I can't have a death ray mounted on my grill.)

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Need help from the swifties

When you upgrade to solo and get your own keys, you'll be assigned to a DM. You should (hopefully) get a face to face meeting where you'll be able to learn what he or she expects from a rookie. Be honest with your new DM about what you know how to do so there won't be any false expectations. Your DM wants you to be successful, I promise. If you admit you don't know what a mac11 is for she isn't going to send you back through training. DM's know how to get rookies to be successful so use their help. I was in a similar position with my trainer, dedicated route, no trip planning experience, we only used a handful of macros.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Reaching Out - Ascent/Descent

I asked my trainer what speed to descend. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said "the speed limit of course". Is that right? We're loaded at 78k pounds. I thought the posted speed limit was for cars and that my top speed especially at my current weight would be way lower. Is my understanding way off?

You're exactly right. Hopefully your trainer won't be trying to get you to drive faster than your own comfort level through the mountains. I don't think I'd rely on the cruise to control my speed down a mountain at that weight unless I knew the road pretty well. Remember also that Lookout Pass isn't the only steep grade between you and Seattle. I don't think it's even the worst. As you get comfortable with your machine you'll be ready for all of the mountains. You're doing fine.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Reaching Out To The Professional Truck Drivers Here

Since you noticed the ice in the puddle that tells me that you're observant. I think you might know the answers already. There is no magic number at which you suddenly change your driving style. Even if there were, how can we know exactly what the temperature is? The on board thermometer is not exactly made to NASA specs.

You are adjusting your driving to the conditions, that's great, stay alert and you'll be fine.

It sounds like you dealing with a difficult trainer too. It's only for a few weeks. Once you get your own keys you will relax and just do the job. You'll have a blast most of the time. The days that suck will be rare but you'll probably learn a lot from them if you try.

Tip: you can practice backing at any truckstop with painted lines. Go to the back row (away from the supertruckers), turn on your flashers and have at it :)

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Night time lonliness

Being alone has never been a problem for some people. I prefer to be away from humans most of the time. A good radio signal and a crossword puzzle work fine for the hour or so spent in the bunk not sleeping. Think of the adventure of travelling, enjoy the sunset or sunrise in front of you, pat yourself on back for another day of safe driving. These are some of the things I do to stave off depression. As for not being tired, four hours on an LA freeway is exhausting, you WILL be tired. :)

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Interesting video, what are your thoughts?

Yes, it's on the p/u to merge, so he's technically at fault. However, being the professional driver, would you rather be right or avoid the headache of the accident ? Swallow your pride, let the idiot in, and continue on with your trip.

But let's get real for a min. If you're in a city with real traffic, you have more than just that pick up to look at. (I'm not saying that you shouldn't have your head on a swivel)

This, exactly. Also, I would rather spend all day down shifting and braking for amateur drivers than spend five minutes with the safety department.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Never be lazy, always check tires

Good for you on checking those tires! We can't depend on a new trailer being perfect. I once did a drop and swap where the trailer I was picking up was nearly new. As I did a quick walk around in the dark I found all four outside tires were not just flat but the beads were loose so the auto-inflators wouldn't work. When the repairman showed up we found a leak in a fifth tire. He said the valve stems were assembled incorrectly which caused the failure. It cost me a few hours of waiting but I got a nice trailer with new tires out of the deal.

Posted:  6 months ago

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Milk Hauling

Welcome back. I also started with Swift/Central. Switched to a local gig hauling milk from farm to creamery. We use double tanker sets though and our pay is hourly.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Say What?

The guy has probably been driving for 40 years, this is his payback for all the stupid **** these CA drivers have done to him over the years.

Go trucker!

This was my first reaction. Yeah I know, we're supposed to be professional. But who hasn't dreamed of just letting the 4 wheeler do whatever dumb thing it's going to and letting it drag? As soon as it happened he might have figured his career was over anyway so what the heck.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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New job

I just switched to smooth bore tankers a couple months ago. The surge is real but it's usually not bad. It just takes time to get used to being pushed forward and pulled back.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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The Local Thread

I started with Swift. I went to their school. Because I'm a veteran they required only 13 months of me in order to pay for the schooling. After OTR I drove a yard goat (hostler) at a distribution center. It was a Target DC but Swift had the hostling contract. That lasted four months while I found the local job I have now. I do farm pick-up of raw milk. We use double trailers and haul from farms to creameries. Gross weights are frequently over 100k, 105,500 is legal here. Hours per day can range from 5 to 15. We work 5 on 3 off so we get plenty of work and a long weekend. Home every night and the pay is about 15% more than hostling. While at orientation I met drivers with a vast range of experience. Some were fresh out of school, others had 25 years behind the wheel.

I hear some co-workers bashing Swift and the other giants. Then they tell me all their horror stories about when they learned to drive OTR. When I tell them about the equipment, (my Swift tractor had 70k miles when I got it), the chain policy, (Swift says don't chain except to get off the road), and the support, (Qualcomm is light years ahead of the system we use), their tune changes a little.

Local is a lot different from OTR, but now that I've done OTR, local is a breeze. I'm not sure it would be easy if I hadn't already spent a year learning and making all those mistakes :)

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Seeking Pros & Cons of Swift Driving School

I started with Swift too. My experience was similar to Tractorman's. The exception is miles, I usually had enough miles to keep me happy, sometimes too many. I left Swift because I needed to leave OTR. They always treated me right, (except for one idiot planner but that will happen anywhere).

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Game: GPS gaffes

I was escaping from Hoboken when she said I was out of route. I looked at the screen and it showed that I was in the water a few miles south of JFK airport.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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SWIFT bronze, silver, gold mileage increase

Have you talked this over with your DM? I was Platinum from about my second month as a solo driver until a preventable accident, then Gold after that. I didn't do anything special to achieve that status though. I just drove where I was asked to drive.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Eye Candy

Digging through the family archives today. This is my Grandpa. About 1945-1950 we think. Probably in NW Washington.vintage black and white 1950's log truck and driver

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