Profile For Greg H.

Greg H.'s Info

  • Location:
    TX

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 3 months ago

Greg H.'s Bio

I'm an experienced driver, not with loads of experience, but never the less, I do have experience. I went to school in 1993 and worked for almost a year with JB Hunt. So, I think this qualifies me as being experienced. ha ha, anyway. But, I'll put ' Considering a Career ', because it's been such a long time since I've driven.

I actually have around 23 years experience as a driver, but mostly limited to 4 wheels. Actually, 2 years of this was either driving a bucket truck for a tree trimming company or for another local company I drove for, driving a box truck. I really wasn't aware that you had to have a Class A to drive one of the longer box trucks. I think it has something to do with it having air brakes. Dun't know, didn't ask.... I don't think the company honestly knew.

So, I drove for Pony Express, yes the faithful ole Pony Express for 4 years, 3 years part time, and 1 year full time. Then I decided on the truck driving career. My dad also worked for Pony Express, full time. He pretty much got me my first driving job... which started my career in driving. And then we both ended up working for the same company again. Pony Express shut it's doors some years ago... In Irving Texas anyway....

The truck driving career only lasted around a year or so. I can't really pin point any one reason why I stopped driving over the road. I had a lot going on at the time. I lived in a Christian Ministry for a year and a half back when I was 21, and became highly involved in Ministry work. Not that I traveled a whole lot, even though I did go to Mexico a couple of times, staying there for around a month once. My involvement with Christianity/God grew and it led me to Trucking. I guess God wanted me to see the country side (That and the fact that I came home and got a job and the guy told me he hired me because I had experience driving over the road. He figured I could handle the route he hired me for). ha ha And then I came back home to pursue other things, a music career and furtherance in Ministry work. And one thing has led to another, and now here I am.....

Anyway, I've found myself in a little bit of a bind here lately financially, and only see it growing worse over time. So, I set out researching the trucking industry, and came across trucking truth. We didn't have all the luxuries of the internet back in the early 90's. I need to go to school because I let my Class A go a few years ago. Don't ask me why, I don't have a good answer to the question. Maybe I do need to go back to school. I'd love to learn everything over again, and anything new. Then there are the school cost, bills in the mean time, and of course the cost of living on the road. Sooo, I'm still researching my options.... And yes, I'm aware of free training from certain companies, but that's for companies I may or may not be interested in.

Mmm, well, I guess I covered the fact that I've been driving for a living for around 23 years. It's been interesting to say the least. I just can't shake the desire to drive the big rig. It's in my blood I think. I was good at it. I wasn't great at it, but good at least.

I don't believe I have anything else to add... this all about sums it up, the past 29 years of my life.... besides the fact that I worked mostly in restaurants before age 21. I didn't attend college, even though I did graduate from High School.

Ok, I'm done...

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Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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PRIME INC has CHANGED! Working for Prime is HORRIBLE now.

I understand completely where you're coming from but, you might want to tone it down a bit.

My training was only supposed to last 3 to 4 weeks, it lasted 7. 15 days of it was spent in a hotel room in Jurupa Valley, CA (Ontario) going back and forth from the terminal because, they simply did not have trainers available in that area. At least, smoking trainers anyway. I vape....

My Driver Coordinator was very kind about the whole deal and made sure I got paid the whopping $500 a week. I'm being sarcastic because I'd come from a low income job before getting back into trucking. Well, it paid ok but, work dwindled along with my pay... Soooo, anyway..... $500 was a treat to me. Even while I was with a trainer, regardless if the truck broke down, or for whatever reason, my $500 a week income was secure. I got paid. It wasn't my fault btw, getting stuck in Jurupa Valley for 15 days. Long story... another day.

I mentor/train now, and students are always in such a hurry to get anywhere. Slow it down a bit y'all and learn.

Students be asking me, 'how long do we PreTrip?'. And I'm sitting there thinking, 'you lazy a**'. I grin and reply, 'as long as it takes'.

I get laid over with a student, and they're like, 'we don't have a load yet?'. And I'm like, 'if you're looking for something to do, I have a small broom and dust pan, you could clean out the truck'. And they look at me like it's beneath them.

Honestly, I think there is only one student that I wasn't really glad to see get off of my truck.

And, from my knowledge, it cost Swift, the company I'm working for now, $6000 to train each trainee.

So, woohoo.... 🙂

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Training blues

Uh, :) suggest wet naps or whatever they're called. Wipes... and plenty of changes of clothing. Of course, this only works if you're not to lazy to change your clothes. ha ha

It had been 25 years since I'd driven over the road. I don't even remember what I did back then. My first trainer suggested Wipes, and I was like, oh, cool. It hadn't crossed my mind. And I do bring along plenty of changes of clothing. So, if I do not make it to the laundry often, I will at least not be wearing the same pieces of clothing to often. Oh, lol, and a mess load of socks. I've got so many socks it's pathetic. :)

I also have a large bowl and plenty of water onboard, soap, wash clothes. So, there are ways to stay generally clean, for anyone who is having this problem and needs a solution. A little clean up every now and then is a whole lot better than nothing at all. A little wipe down won't kill you and you'll feel a million bucks better.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Does Swift train you in automatic or standard?

During May-June of last year, I went to Swift Academy, in Corsicana. All were 10 speed manual transmissions.

Other helpful info is that they had 4 certified testers at the academy, that I was aware of. This meaning that we didn't go to the DMV to test. We all tested right there on the property, and took the road test in Corsicana. Even though, you do have to still go to the DMV to get your CLP.

It was rumor that they were no longer going to be able to give the road test in Corsicana but, would rather have to go to a different location picked out by the DMV.

All was setup so that you would not have the automatic only restrictions on your license.

And some trainers do still drive manual transmission trucks. You can request one if you'd prefer to train in a manual truck.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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When did you decide you were an experienced driver?

You made me think. Lol Stop it. :)

I think bottom line, you won't have to ask, you'll know.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Nervous!

I think we all were scared, nervous, whatever word you want to put to it.

I had a little over a years OTR driving experience, and other, when I went to school a year ago. I was still waking on pins and needles though. We all have our reasons I guess. Mine was that it had been 25 years since I'd driven an 18 wheeler. We all have our reasons.

There were a variety of people in our class. Some older and so e younger people. I found it to be comical that the older ones were still scared. I mean, people who have had a life long of experiences but, an 18 wheeler still scared them to death. lol

One of the guys that was going to school had 15 years experience OTR, and he was still nervous about it.

Anyway, we all go through the same process I think. Just go into it with the willingness and desire to learn everything you possibly can. A lot will come over time. It's a process.Youll learn what you need to learn in school to pass your test. And, you'll learn what you need to learn while out with a company trainer to work for that particular company. And, you'll also learn basic road knowledge while out with a trainer.

Anyway, yeh, it's a process. Take it one step at a time and don't get ahead of yourself. Use a simple rule, speak up if you don't understand something. Don't keep your mouth shut if your not getting it. Ask questions if you need to. Be aggressive but, not annoying.

Be yourself. We had one girl that would get in the truck during backing practice and she'd be all over the place. You could watch her turning turning turning the wheel every which way. We'd be talking with her and she'd say, 'I wish I could do it like you guys'. That's one place where she was making a mistake. She needed to learn,and stop trying to back like us. The instructors would get frustrated with her and walk away because, she wouldn't listen to them and do what she was told. She'd keep on turning turning turning that wheel, trying to be something she hadn't become yet.

Yeh, I've heard that too. It's normally easier for someone to learn to drive a stick in an 18 wheeler that doesn't have any experience with a stick shift.

Good luck!

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Who adds remarks to elogs?

No, wait, I was thinking that PreTrip would be required by law to be remarked but, actually, all they would care about is whether or not you would pass inspection.

Okie dokie then....

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Who adds remarks to elogs?

wth Rubber duck? lol

That's a new one on me. I can understand why you wouldn't have to, per say, put what you're doing, as long as you put yourself Onduty. Even though, I just thought of something. Wouldn't it be required to put, PreTrip because, this is actually required by law. Anything else, I doubt they give a crap about. I mean, maybe they don't want you running out of fuel on the road but, I doubt they give a crap whether you fueled or not. And, they definitely don't care if you pick anything up or not. Hey, that's your paycheck, not there's. All they care about is whether or not you're over weight when you cross their scales, and if you have all of the proper permits.

Sooo, yeh, I can see how some of it is irrelevant to them. But, like I mentioned, what about PreTrip? That one wouldn't make sense not making note of.

I like to dot all my i's and cross all of my t's so, yes, I leave a remark for everything. Definitely doesn't hurt. Definitely would be beneficial to everyone to do so. That way it wouldn't leave anything to question. Last thing anyone wants is to have to spend an hour or two explaining to law enforcement what you've been up to. Not that anyone can remember every little detail.

Where were you on the night of, and what were you doing? Hell, I don't know, check my logs. lol

I always thought it was a dot requirement. I think that’s what I was taught in cdl school but recently discovered it’s not required. Or maybe it is and the dot website isn’t up to date.

“Question 23: When the driver’s duty status changes, do §§395.8(c) or 395.8(h)(5) require a description of on-duty not driving activities (“fueling,” “pre-trip,” “loading,” “unloading,”, etc.) in the remarks section in addition to the name of the nearest city, town or village followed by the State abbreviation?

Guidance: No. Many motor carriers require drivers to identify work performed during a change of duty status. Part 395 neither requires nor prohibits this practice.

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Anyone add remarks on the status line on the elogs. On paper we had to log what we was doing under each status change. Do we still need to do this on elogs?

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Yes it is required by DOT.

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Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Hello all! New member here.

Hey! Rick C.,

FFE? I worked for them back in the 90's as well, actually Lisa, a part of FFE. I've got that right don't I? Lisa was affiliated with FFE? Anyway, not important necessarilly. I didn't last near as long as you did though. I left them and went to JBHunt. I worked for them for a year, and believe me, I remember the long nights. 36 hours without sleep. Driving 600 miles on 4 hours sleep. Whew.... lol I think I enjoyed driving at night better back then than I do now though. But, I generally keep everything on day time runs. Even though, I do have to do a little night driving from time to time.

Personally I went paid training this time around, with Swift Transportation, also not necessarilly important.

Good luck!

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Choosing a right CDL school

Perhaps some others can fill you in on some other companies or ways to go about doing this. As for me, I chose OTR, and I highly encourage anyone to do it, if not only but, for a short while. It's great experience.

BUT, if you're completely not into it. Swift Transportation doesn't only train OTR, or you're not away from home for 3 weeks. I have a friend who trained on a Dedicated Walmart, with Swift and he was home pretty regularly because his trainer was as well. I have an ex student of mine who decided OTR wasn't for him and he moved to local deliveries. I believe he's home every night. You'd have to live close to a terminal though to do local.

It's probably going to take a whole lot of research of each company because, I don't know about everyone else here but, I'm not fully knowledgeable of all of the different positions that Swift or any other companies offer.

There are so many different avenues you can take with your CDL. You may have to spend that first year doing something you don't want to do thoug

Anyway, bottom line, you don't have to train OTR.

Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

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How do people survive

Lol, this made me chuckle. Been there, done it.

I had to sell some things, a lot of things, and max out credit cards.

BUT, I have managed to stay afloat the first year. Caught up on some debt. I've maintained my credit. Financed a new vehicle. And invested in home improvement projects. And taken care of misc things.

Btw, the whole first year out here (and now), I maybe bought 3 meals. The rest of what I eat, is what I take with me from home. That and water.

You have to come up with a plan that works for you.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Advice please - started solo and second time this is happening.

I think Rainy probably gave, uh, :) the best, *replies*, here.

My mind wondered a few times reading it all. lol

Don't get in a rut, thinking you have to be a *super trucker*. Just be honest with others, and be honest with yourself.

Personally, I don't handle the split shifts very well. Back in my younger years, I broke every sleep/work law there was probably but, now days, I just preplan a lot. Once you get experience, and learn the in and outs of things, you'll get a whole lot better and efficient at your job. I like day shift personally, but I do sometimes have to run it into the night hours a bit. Just don't think that you have to push yourself. Yes, learn to be productive but, like I mentioned, this will come with experience. I mean, don't push yourself in a bad way. A lot of people are built differently. They can run strange hours but, I still question their health. I'd like to have a sit down with their doctors because, we all know that it is suggested to get anywhere from 7 to 8 hours straight sleep. So, if you're doing something else different, how?

I love Rainy's input because she works how I work. I like staying one step ahead of the game.

Be honest with your DM's. Let them know what's up, and let them know your trying to figure out a work method that works best for you. If you get out here and get all frazzled, you're of no help to anyone. In the meantime, I'd suggest getting the rest that you need. Any dummy knows that if you don't do the miles, noones happy, not even yourself. So, figure out what works and do that.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Talk about nerve wracking

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It truly amazes me how companies scream, 'safety, safety, safety' but, we have to do silly crap like this.

Sooo, that being said, Good Job!

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I'd imagine most times they're just given an address and dont have the time to look each one up. Not every delivery can be to large distribution centers, it's up to us as professional drivers to do what it takes to get it done.

Companies are aware of the circumstances out here. They've heard it a million times from drivers over the years.

That's why I said, Good Job! because yes, we do definitely have to all exercise proffesionalism out here.

Be safe...

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Talk about nerve wracking

It truly amazes me how companies scream, 'safety, safety, safety' but, we have to do silly crap like this.

Sooo, that being said, Good Job!

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Packing for swift duffle or suitcase ?

One of my students brought 5 large duffles, a sleeping bag and pillow. Their stuff literally covered the when top bunk. They had the nerve to complain about the lack of space I'd provided for them. I gave them a cabinet space and room in both my refrigerator and the onboard refrigerator (that's right, I have two, lol), and I also let them store drinks in my personal ice cooler.

Ok, that was just an example of what not to do, or bring. 5 large duffles, waayyy to much stuff. I mean, come on, the whole top bunk. And they weighed a ton each.

Any student of mine will never go without water. I will not provide for them but, I will make sure that they at least survive the trip.

I'd prepare to sleep with your stuff. I just measured, never have b4. The top bunk is approx. 2 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet. And, unless you are a very large person, or very tall, you can put stuff at the foot of, and sides of the bed space.

One of my students would take their stuff down and put it in the passengers seat while they slept. This was fine. They were a rather large person.

Hey, we don't live in a perfect world. Even though I do believe that trainers should provide a little space, they will not always do so. And, I personally only provide so much space. One reason is because, I have no idea how long you will be on my truck. 2 days, 2 weeks, who knows, I've had both. If I provide all of this extra space for you, then it takes away from space I could have used for myself. I'd have to purchase more stuff out on the road.

So, prepare for the worst case scenario and only bring what you can fit into that 2 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet space, including yourself.

Regards....

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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What really irritates you?

Yep, yep, yep and that too.

I'm sure whoever watches my Driver Cam footage is having a chuckle.

If I had my way about it, 99.9 % of the drivers on the road today would lose their licenses. Seriously..... Well, ok, 99%....

I've been trying to calm myself over the past few months, and figure that they are just simply under educated drivers, and knuckleheads to boot. But, fact is, they can really suck at driving sometimes. And, sometimes they can simply be complete Assh****.

I hate towns that don't accommodate for truck drivers, AT ALL. They build and structure things in just a way that makes it impossible to stop anywhere. You're welcome, btw, for all the crap we bring to you. I understand that some drivers abuse the privilege but, still. You can drive for awhile b4 finding a place to stop sometimes. I don't like it....

People in charge that let the power go to their heads. I'll point no fingers.

If there are paper towels in the restrooms, and hand soap, I'll grab them and scrub the seat down b4 using it.

I don't believe this has been mentioned but, the as*hats that pull to far forward in rest areas making it impossible to get out. Well, without climbing a curb.

These new trucks that govern our lives and figure that they know best for what is the correct comfort zone for truck drivers.

Super Truckers, you've met a few. Full of themselves.

Traffic that slows down to 15 mph, when the accident is on the opposite side of the hwy, across a concrete barrier to boot.

Whew maybe someone else will fill in some more blanks.

Oh, me, for getting so irritated. 😁

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Game: What Excites You Now That You Drive?

Probably the first thing that comes to mind is making a fresh pot, or a couple of cups, of coffee after each day.

I love a long deserted hwy, with plenty of places to pull off and stop. I was just on one today, US 90 and US 285 coming up out of Del Rio, Tx headed to I-10 W (Fort Stockton). Pretty smooth, and flat, and straight, for the most part. I really tend to hate the winding, hilly East.

I love finding a place to park in the evening. And, depending upon where you are, you can be more grateful in some areas throughout the US. If it's late that is. I love finding a place that is secluded, and quiet. I really tend to shy away from truck stops, even though they can be inviting at times. Hey, a place to park, is a place to park. And we all said, amen.... lol

I don't share others enthusiasm where it concerns backing. Even though I can tend to back quite well, when I'm not having a bad day, I tend to seek the less opposing spots to park in. You guys/gals enjoy, lol....

I love watching Movies, and TV shows in the evening while eating a meal. And, the new Smart TV I just bought helps with that experience, lol. My last, or first, truck with Swift didn't have a mount or place for a TV. So, that's really cool. And, I love being able to run the sound through the trucks stereo system. Both trucks have nice sound.

Mmmm, free laundry at Swift terminals. And showers to I guess.

Oh, lol, yeh, green lights on the EZ Pass is always cool. Who else hates Texas weigh stations. Follow Road Signs. Meh..... :) Even though, they are open few and far between. Except for border patrol areas. Hey, who loves those, lol. I always feel like I just went through a microwave, with all of the things pointing at you.

I do miss doing stuff at home. I love getting projects done when I go home for home time. I love eating a real meal, and cooking one, and turning my phone off, or the ringer all the way down. And, I enjoy also driving my personal vehicle. I love ordering an 18 inch Bruno's Combo Pizza, for those who live in the Tyler, Tx area.

Okie dokie.... I guess that about sums it up. I love the desert. Don't know why, like in NM. Weird.... Love trees to but, the open country appeals to me.

And, I love a long walk in the evening.

Ok, that's enough, Next.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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New Swift Driver Wanting to Switch

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I personally like the Counter button. Someone has already mentioned it. Of course, I'm probably a little more picky than some people. I'll counter until I get one that I feel comfortable with. I've rejected a few too. I usually never hear anything about it. You have to remember that the times you're originally given are computer generated, and they usually do not include enough *actual* time to pick up and deliver. So, yeh, you really need to use your own good judgment.

A good preplan will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

I'll get out a pen and pad and sit there and right down everything if I have to. This will include time to fuel, scale, take a 30 minute break, traffic (California can sometimes mean adding an extra 2 hours), and so forth and so on. Anything you need, write it down, figure it up, and then counter a load with your own times. Forget the computer generated times.

Getting in a hurry, or thinking that you *have to* will only get you into trouble.

Be a good and safe driver. Keep a strong head on your shoulders

And remember, no one knows everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.

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Greg, is it true that the practical miles that most companies use to estimate trips and pay is about 10% less than actual miles? If so, do you add about 10% to the mileage of a run when planning?

No, it's not 10%. You can't go by percentages. It's zip code to zip code. And yes, it can get off sometimes. And, sometimes you have to call your DL and ask, 'what's up boss, with this mileage'. For example, one load I had only showed 30 miles for Empty Miles, and in actuality it was 150 miles. So, yes, I wanted to get payed for a few more miles than 30. lol

So, yes, unless you are familiar with where you are or where you are going, you need to double check mileage from point A to point B. When you pull up directions on the Qualcomms Navigation system it will give you correct mileage to your destination. Just check and make sure it matches your dispatch information. It shouldn't be off by much. Usually you can figure it being off by ohhhh 5 to 20 miles. I usually start questioning it at around 50, ha ha or when there is a serious noticeable difference.

Sorry for the late response. Busy busy busy busy here lately.

When I was at the Academy one of the instructors said something that is very true. "We're not training you to just be Truck drivers but, Managers." You have to be on top of things yourself, and not rely on anyone else. Get help from others, yes, but, you need to be able to manage your own time out here.

Posted:  6 months ago

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New Swift Driver Wanting to Switch

I personally like the Counter button. Someone has already mentioned it. Of course, I'm probably a little more picky than some people. I'll counter until I get one that I feel comfortable with. I've rejected a few too. I usually never hear anything about it. You have to remember that the times you're originally given are computer generated, and they usually do not include enough *actual* time to pick up and deliver. So, yeh, you really need to use your own good judgment.

A good preplan will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

I'll get out a pen and pad and sit there and right down everything if I have to. This will include time to fuel, scale, take a 30 minute break, traffic (California can sometimes mean adding an extra 2 hours), and so forth and so on. Anything you need, write it down, figure it up, and then counter a load with your own times. Forget the computer generated times.

Getting in a hurry, or thinking that you *have to* will only get you into trouble.

Be a good and safe driver. Keep a strong head on your shoulders

And remember, no one knows everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.

Posted:  6 months ago

View Topic:

If coming to Swift Denver

I would rather have a 5cpm increase in pay. I rarely use the showers at Terminals. I'm with Gladhand, I prefer to avoid them. I wonder if they finished the renovation at Jurupa. I think they hired " Two Men and a Shovel Construction" to do that one!

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Yeh, they finished it... Looking pretty good. A friend of mine that runs reefer said that they have already graffitied the stalls though. I didn't notice myself. He had been there the day before.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

If coming to Swift Denver

Isn't there a Walmart within rock throwing distance, or maybe I'm thinking of a different terminal? Take a left out of the terminal, curve/turn left and Walmart is off to the right, past the dirt lot. At least for a restroom. Maybe even parking but, they do say not to park in the dirt parking lot next to Walmart.

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