Profile For Robert J.

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    1 year, 11 months ago

Robert J.'s Bio

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Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Always have an exit strategy

Whoever named that store had a sense of humor.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Backup trailer camera's

Backup cameras on any vehicle are great. Just like a car, what if someone is walking behind your trailer while you are backing up and you can't see him?

I'm sure thousands of toddlers' lives have been saved by backup cameras on cars. It certainly can't hurt to put them on trucks.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

There are a lot of IT people going into trucking. That's interesting.

I've worked in corporate offices that were full of Indians over here on H1b visas, working in IT. I remember there was a 60 minutes segment about American IT workers training their replacements from overseas, then being fired right afterwards.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Swift In Cab Camera

This is a great country. You are free to leave at anytime and go work somewhere else if you don't like what your employer is doing. Likewise, your employer is free to get rid of you if they don't like something you are doing. Complaining about things doesn't help though.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Nasty shower

It just looks like some mildew. I'd wear shower shoes in a public shower to avoid athlete's foot. When I opened this thread, I was expecting to see something along the lines of feces being smeared everywhere.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Well, I'm not a trucker yet, but I'll go ahead and respond to this thread as if I were one.

I'm currently an auditor and have been both a tax accountant and a bookkeeper.

My main reason for wanting to make the change, quite frankly, is that I'm getting very tired of office politics. I'm surrounded by childish gossipers and backstabbers, and dealing with the bad attitudes in the office for 8 hours a day has gotten old.

That said, I LOVE driving long distances BY MYSELF. I also have no family, not much of a social life, and wouldn't mind being gone all the time. A laptop and some good music would be all I need for company.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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New Career at 50?

Yes, Chuck, little kids like you can drive a big truck too! If you are 50 now, I was in high school when you were born. I switched careers three years ago and doing fine.

Here are some recent pictures of two of the Grownups on the forum.

Here are some links that may answer some of your questions and suppositions (The High Road program will almost guarantee that you pass the CDL written test.):

Wow, you look pretty darned young for a guy in his 60s! In fact, you look like you're in high school now. What kinds of vitamins are you taking?

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Well...

Got a 3 month physical card due to high blood pressure. It was 157 over 90. They got me on medication now, but I have a worry.

I'll have to call my dm tomorrow and see if they will still let me run on a 3 month card or if I will have to straighten it out before. Hoping it wont set me back at all. Being younger has me perplexed by this high blood pressure, but I do have a family history of hypertension. Man this has me worried and stressed..

Do you also test your BP on your own? Mine shoots up to 150-160 in the doctor's office, but stays in the 130s at home.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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To the races

Yeah, there are all sorts of idiots on the roads.

I've seen several close calls with people passing on 2-lane rural highways. I don't even do it unless the person in front of me is driving incredibly slowly, like going 30, the road is straight, and I can't see anyone coming in the opposite direction. It is just too risky to try and judge the distance of someone heading towards you.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Why does anyone drive OTR if LTL pays so much more?

Thanks for the replies.

Also, I love the supportive community here. It's great!

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Why does anyone drive OTR if LTL pays so much more?

Serious question. I've been reading that most LTL drivers are unionized and make 70k-80k per year vs. 30k-40k per year for OTR drivers, and that LTL drivers get motel rooms rather having to sleep behind the cab of the truck. I've also read that turnover is very low for LTL, whereas it is astronomical for OTR.

Why does anyone drive OTR then? It seems like both jobs require the same things - a clean MVR, a CDL, and maybe some endorsements.

There has to be a reason why so many drive OTR instead. What are the big downsides of driving LTL?

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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How often do you interact with your dispatcher and boss in person?

From what I've read, it seems like you just talk to them on the phone and by messaging through Qualcomm? Is that correct?

I imagine that's kind of strange not ever seeing them in person, or do you? Is it kind of a Wizard of Oz thing where you don't really know who the man is behind the curtain?

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Dealing with Impatient Drivers

It comes with the job, would always have impatient people like that when I would leave certain Wal-Mart stores in El Paso. They always have them near a damn off ramp so leaving the store especially the ones right along i10 could be a pain. This would often lead to honks and being flipped off, which is quite funny being that i just brought the groceries to the store they just shopped at.

G town made a good point of being aware of them as well as expecting them to do something stupid. Had a person drive around me on a single left turn in Houston. As long as you expect it you will be ok.

Another thing is a saying Errol taught me, drive your own road. Those damn people should have left before you did. Not your fault that busy intersection doesn't have better signage to help you cross. As long as you keep your cool, you already won.

I've lived in Houston all of my life. We have absolutely horrible drivers. Some of them act like they are driving in the Grand Theft Auto games.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Never be lazy, always check tires

The same thing happened to the right rear tire in my 4-wheeler, a long tear like someone took a knife to it.

When I took it to the tire shop, I was told that I'm very fortunate the tire didn't come apart and that it is very dangerous to drive on.

I can imagine the consequences would be 1000x worse for a tire to fail on a big truck.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Dealing with Impatient Drivers

I was sitting at an intersection this afternoon with my left turn signal on, and I had to wait for a couple of minutes for a break in traffic as it was right after work and there was a long line of cars going straight. Anyway, there was an idiot in an SUV behind me who kept laying down on his horn. I suppose he wanted me to get T-boned. There was no way I could cut out in front of the oncoming cars without getting hit. I also saw his hood bounce a few times, so I was afraid he would push me out into the intersection. Of course when I eventually was able to turn, he swerved around me and sped off.

What are some good techniques to not let impatient drivers like that get to you?

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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What should I do if a company does not pay?

I have never worked for a large company in my life that had problems paying its employees.

In my experience, that is only an issue with small companies.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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I've noticed that the biggest "con" people have for trucking is that you are away from home for weeks

It’s a tarp from his flatbed and being that it’s snowing, wind and wet it’s going to weigh about two hundred pounds. Fun fun

200 pounds?! He must have the strength of He-Man. What a tough dude!

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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I've noticed that the biggest "con" people have for trucking is that you are away from home for weeks

Thanks, Old School.

BTW, what are you lifting up in your picture?

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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I've noticed that the biggest "con" people have for trucking is that you are away from home for weeks

Thanks, Errol. So I take it that being self-motivated, content with one's own company, and having a thick skin are really the keys to success. I can handle that.

As far as getting PO'ed at a dispatcher, I've dealt with a number of people in my professional life who have problems with their managers. 90%+ of the time, they are the problem because they aren't doing their job properly or they are slacking. I see it all the time. That is more of a "work" thing than a "trucking" thing. Some people just can't admit that they are lazy bums with bad attitudes.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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1 year accident free

Thanks, G-Town. What I wrote is what I live by every day when I'm driving my car, and it certainly will be in an 18-wheeler.

I hope I didn't come across as scolding the OP, as that was not my intention. It was more of a general message for everyone, and discussion about accidents made me bring it up.

I'll look through Gladhand's posting history in a bit. I'm always up for learning from others' struggles and challenges. It builds character and makes you a man if you face your problems head on and don't quit.

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