Profile For Rob D.

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    Considering A Career

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  • Joined Us:
    2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Posted:  21 hours, 54 minutes ago

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First week...are all companies schedules this tight?

Bruce: Thanks.

Marc Lee: I completely agree that the experienced drivers know WAY MORE than me. I'm just trying to apply what I've learned so far from Old School, Turtle, G-Town, Rainy, and others.

I only continue to comment because Brett takes the position that the dialogue on the forums, even from people like Professor X, prove useful for new drivers.

Posted:  22 hours, 16 minutes ago

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Yo Rainy


Based on my stalking, you might be rolling through St. Louis this weekend. Maybe midday Sunday?

Let me know if you'll have any time for a lunch or a cup of coffee.


Posted:  22 hours, 31 minutes ago

View Topic:

First week...are all companies schedules this tight?



I am glad that Brett allows people like me to make comments and try to contribute to the conversation. I have learned so much already this website through the articles and forum.

My target date for starting school is next spring, so I have a lot of time to learn more.

With regard to stopping for messages, I did not intend to suggest that he need to stop for each one, except the last one where Quarky might be running out of time. And that might be better handled with a call.

As you point out. I am not even in school yet, so there are so many things I don't know.

Posted:  1 day ago

View Topic:

First week...are all companies schedules this tight?

Quirky B,

I know I am not in school yet, but your post made me think about how I would handle the situation as a new driver, based on two things I have learned on this form: 1) establish a good relationship with your FM and 2) show that you can perform. Bruce's point about communication relates to point 1.

Many have provided suggestions as to how you can make this schedule. You've got 808 miles and 28 hours to get there. You will need a 10 hour break in between. So you can plan a trip that lets you try to make the appointment but at the same time keep your FM informed of your progress as follows.

Message your FM "808 miles in 28 hours. Tight schedule. I'll keep you posted"

Right after pickup message your FM "rolling. Update you tonight."

See how many miles you can get in the first day. If you can cover 550 miles the first day, you've made good progress.

At the end of the day message your FM "550 down 258 to go in 6 hours. Looking good."

When you are rolling the next day message your FM, "rolling. Let you know if I encounter problems."

If you start running behind the next day, message your FM as soon as you think you have problems. If you going to be an hour late, let him or her know so she can let the customer know. Surely they all must realize this is a tight load. If your company has to tell the customer its going to be an hour late, at least they can tell them in advance.

My thoughts would be that your FM will learn these things about you:

1. You don't refuse tight loads.

a. I don't know if you are forced dispatch.

2. You will let him or her know if you have concerns making the appointment, but with a positive "can do" attitude.

a. This also lets your FM know that you recognize the tight schedule and have a plan to get there on time.

b. The detail in the message allows your FM to just look at your message without going back to look at the load assignments.

3. You will keep your FM updated with substantive information in an efficient way.

a. Reading all of messages above and replying with "Thanks" should take your FM about 1 minute total.

b. A 2 minute phone call would double the amount of time that your FM spends communicating with drivers.

c. With 100 drivers, that's an extra hour and 40 minutes per day.

4. If you make the appointment, he or she knows you can perform.

Good luck. I am really interested to hear the outcome of this load.

Posted:  2 days, 13 hours ago

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First bump in the road

I have a mental saying when I get distracted from the task at hand: "What am I doing RIGHT NOW." It forces me to refocus on the task at hand and think about what I need to do.

Posted:  2 days, 18 hours ago

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Am I crazy to quit $58k per year job to become a trucker?

Reality check.

Exactly: just because the planets aligned for a hard driven rookie driver, doesn't create a reasonable expectation.

I'm planning for the lower end: $45,000. If I make $60,000 I would be happier than pigs in ***t.

Posted:  2 days, 19 hours ago

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Am I crazy to quit $58k per year job to become a trucker?

Solo posts show a very hard driven young man:


Sun: 2h 21min Mon: 3h 52min Tue: 4h 14min Wed: 2h 5min Thur: 1h 54min (first time trying to sleep in a moving truck during my 10) Fri: 2h 57min

Miles drove: 3391 (was dispatched for my first load last Wed night for this past Monday morning delivery)

Total out-of-route miles: 31 (or 4%)

Total Rev to the truck: $6632.70

Apparently, these numbers are not what TMC sees for first week rookies, and in fact...I received a call from a West area VP yesterday morning that advised me that these aren't numbers they see from the first week through week 4 rookies. That whatever my trainer and I figured out, I need to keep doing it.

33% pay

1st out of 40 drivers under my Fleet Manager 2nd out of 328 drivers under my Safety Mgr 13th out of 1398 drivers in my Divison (presumably that means linehaul) 19th out of 2189 drivers in the Fleet

Posted:  3 days, 13 hours ago

View Topic:

Road test

Congrats. Great to see the new guys making the grade.


Posted:  3 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Trying To Deal With My Driver Manager


Thanks. This is very helpful. I've got a lot to learn.

Posted:  3 days, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

Am I crazy to quit $58k per year job to become a trucker?


I don't know that I can accomplish 100% on time performance. I won't know until I try.

My point was that it is possible to accomplish 100% on time performance, because some on here have done it. You have done it.

Trucking is incredibly competitive. Burn that into your cerebral firmware.

I have taken this to heart very much. And this is probably one of the things that gives me concern: will I be able to perform at the level you and the others have achieved?

The reason why I compared my current job to baseball, is because my current job involves a competition where there is only one winner. And when there is a only one winner, that means there is also a loser. And just like with baseball, while its theoretically possible to win every game, no team has ever done it.

Again, I am not trying to diminish how difficult it is to achieve 100% on time performance. I only hope that I have what it takes to do it.

Well you can easily make about $45,000 your first year in trucking, so last year your salary must have been in the $200,000 range if you paid $45k in taxes.

Brett: I really hesitated to make that statement, because I'm sure that people will truly think I'm crazy if they did the math. But in the interest of fully disclosure, my hope would be to make $60,000 my first year. Redo the math, and I'm sure this will be Exhibit A for my mental commitment.

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

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Am I crazy to quit $58k per year job to become a trucker?

The top slide is your day at your present job. The bottom slide is your day as a trucker!

For me there the bottom slide also represents my current job. The difference between my current job and trucking involves the percentage that you can reach the goal. My current job is competitive in the same way that professional sports is competitive. 50% win percentage in baseball is good; the all-time record is 76%. Over .300 batting average is great; over .400 for a season puts in you in the record books. Yet management and the fans expect a "winning team" and home runs or on base at every at bat.

There are many in this forum who have 100% on time performance. I would rather work hard and reach my goal 100% of the time than spend hours in the batting cage so that I can strike out 2 out of 3 times.

As far as if you are crazy to take a pay cut. While my profile says "considering a career" that will most likely change to "preparing for school" in August and I will most likely start CDL school next spring. My long term plan involves saving enough money offset my reduced income for my rookie year of trucking. To give you an idea of the pay cut I would take, I hope to make as much money in my rookie year as the taxes I paid last year.

Posted:  3 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Trying To Deal With My Driver Manager

First, the thought of going months without speaking to my FM makes me even more committed to pursue trucking.

Second, how does a FM or DM determine early which drivers have top tier driver capability? Do they "test" the rookie drivers to see how they handle tough loads? On another thread, someone's first load was 620 miles in 24 hours. The driver did a great job managing time, but pushed his 14 hour clock to the limit. Did this DM want to see how the rookie could handle it?

Also, Old School had commented in another thread that your DM will begin to see HOS patterns in drivers. I understand this to mean that a DM will only give a driver load he thinks he or she can handle. So is the key to perform well early with the "tests" so that they DM gives you plenty of miles?

Considering the above, I assume that Silver's DM has made him a low priority because of past performance. Given that the DMs are very busy and assuming that Silver wants to improve his performance, how does he show that he is improving his performance if his DM has neither the time or motivation to get him more miles? In other words, how does Silver get the chance to show his top tier driver capabilities if he only gets "easy" loads?

Posted:  4 days, 22 hours ago

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Has any one heard from Donna?

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Got my first raise and a safety letter


2 1/2 cents per mile raise in encouraging for a wanna be like me.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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The Road Less Traveled; Governed Truck Speed

As a follow up to Brett's e-mail about traveling and sight seeing as a trucker, how often do you plan routes that take sides road and avoid the Interstate to get a difference flavor for the same route, enjoy the scenery, stop at certain sights, or avoid the Interstate traffic?

In addition to Brett's e-mail, my drive Wednesday from St. Louis to Springfield got me thinking about this. I limited myself to 62 mph (Prime's governed speed) and learned that managing traffic is whole different ballgame if you can't go above 62. I also realized that you don't get a whole lot of benefit of the Interstate speed limit if you are limited to 8 miles below the posted speed limit.

Also, are there specific roads that are you favorites?

I know G-Town likes the roads in the Northeast.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Preventable Accidents

The accident isn’t reported to my MVR , DAC , or CSA reports.

But is your employment with your prior company reported on your DAC?

If so, then neglecting to name the company on your application to a new company, would most likely get you rejected because you failed to name your prior company.

And even if you "pull the wool over their eyes" and they don't immediately find out that you worked for the prior company, they have a reason to fire you at anytime, because you lied on your application.

I don't see the lie working out well for you in the long run under any scenario.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Finally back to work

Glad to hear you're back Bruce and glad to hear you still enjoy driving.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Failed drug test, never done drugs.

So my take away from this is:

Roy B did have drugs in his system, which is why he tested positive.

Only about 2-4% of the time does a false positive happen. So in theory, 2 to 4 people out of 100 could have a false positive.

However, if you do have false positive, they do a second test to confirm.

If don't have drugs in your system, but you test positive twice in row (only 2-4% chance), you are extremely unlucky.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

I'm Back From My Trip


Before you drive off into a Northeastern sunset, can you record and upload an audio file with the warning "Watch Your Wagon!" I plan to somehow rig it so that if I turn my wheel so far, it triggers that audio file.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

OO/LO vs. Company Driver

When I was younger, I had a guy ask me for directions to a hotel that I knew didn't exist. After arguing with him for a while, I gave him directions that send him on a wild goose chase.

Old School, maybe you should adopt the same approach. Maybe even tell a little white lie that you were once an O/O, but gave it up because you just couldn't spend all the money you made.

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