Comments By Rob S.

https://cdn.truckingtruth.com/avatars/0655827001511446182-40277.jpg avatar
  • Rob S.
  • Joined:
  • 4 years, 2 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 466

Page 2 of 24

Previous Page
Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  10 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Walmart

I did a few Walmart loads for Swift in Colorado. I used a Swift trailer with swinging doors. I'm not contradicting Gtown, just suggesting that your load might have some variables. The vast majority of Walmart folks I dealt with as a driver were very helpful too. Enjoy your day.

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Weird Work Assignment

I had a similar experience once. A planner wanted my empty but didn't have a load for me. I politely asked my DM if she wanted me to give up my trailer without a pre plan to get rolling again. She was pretty unhappy with that planner. I kept my trailer and kept rolling. I wouldn't refuse the order or start freelancing but sometimes a respectful request for clarification is appropriate.

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Keep a journal and a map

I'd like to strongly recommend that folks keep a journal or diary of the adventure of trucking. I went to school in my late 40's. For me, like many, this was not just a career change but the fulfillment of a childhood dream. That's when I bought my first modern phone too. One of the things I did right was to download an app for keeping a journal.

Another tactic, (learned from this site), is to use Google to recon every pick up and delivery. I'd save the address as I did my trip planning. On most runs I'd also map this out in my road atlas with a dry erase marker.

The third thing is a large (3'x4') laminated map of the United States with the interstates on it. When I came home every month or so I'd trace my trips on the large map with a sharpie.

So now I'm a local driver and don't have the adventure of travelling new roads every day. However, one of my most treasured trinkets is the map on my wall that shows all the roads I traveled in my 13 months of living like a Gypsy. I read through my old diary, look at the map and think back to my first time through Indianapolis. I planned so well but didn't know that I would be ejected from the company drop yard so I spent the night on the shoulder in a bad (to me) neighborhood curled up with a tire thumper. Or being assigned the mission of re-powering a load from another driver. His tractor broke down and I had to finish the delivery. He's a great guy and we've stayed in touch ever since. Oh, the good times...

So here's my advice/suggestion/recommendation. Keep a diary, make a map. When time fades the memories, the pictures will tell a fine story.

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

80 hour tanker class

I pull double tanks. I doubt I would notice 400 pounds. Companies that hire right out of school seem like a better way to get the proper training.

Posted:  11 months ago

View Topic:

Turning radius for truck with 53' trailer (U-Turn)

I second the notion of waiting on the big purchase until your course is more stable. Also, do you really need a u-turn? Can you back in off the street or road in front? If it looks tight now, it probably won't after you're on the road doing it a couple times a day. Then you'll only need a parking pad the size of a Pilot parking space. Maybe a little wider in front. The larger base rock would only need to be under the tire tracks.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

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:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  11 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  11 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

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 year ago

View Topic:

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 year ago

View Topic:

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 year ago

View Topic:

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 year ago

View Topic:

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 year ago

View Topic:

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 year ago

View Topic:

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 year ago

View Topic:

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.

Page 2 of 24

Previous Page
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