Profile For Rob D.

Rob D.'s Info

  • Location:
    Ballwin, MO

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years ago

Rob D.'s Bio

Born in Houston, Texas but grew up in Missouri. All over Missouri. Joined the Marines out of high school and then transferred to active duty Army. After the Army went to college and then to law school. Worked for St. Louis County for 8 years, doing a variety of governmental legal work. After leaving the County, I worked in three private law firms doing real estate development and public incentives. After 22 years in the law practice, I got burnt out. I got tired of the impossible volume of work, the push to generate more business and associated marketing, networking and sales, the unreasonable clients, the office politics, and the general lack of integrity in a profession governed by ethics rules—self-governed I might add.. I am an adventurous person. I have sky-dived, scuba dived, rode several centuries (100 miles in a day) on a bicycle, rode an Ironbutt (1000 miles in a day; non certified) on a motorcycle, completed an Ironman triathlon in 2003, got my EMT license in 2011 (expired now), rode Route 66 on a Harley in 2017 and 5900 miles through the eastern United States and Canada, including the Trans-labrador highway, on a Triumph Tiger 800 in 2019.

I like to travel and prefer trips where I drive. In fact, driving has always been a source of rejuvenation for me. I prefer to be alone. I like to be active, so physical work doesn’t bother me. I like challenges and am pretty resourceful in overcoming obstacles. I analyze everything, probably overanalyze most things, but it serves me well because I am good at figuring out systems.

So after much research for a second career later in life, I decided to make the drastic career change into trucking at the age of 52.

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Posted:  17 hours, 19 minutes ago

View Topic:

Camera's aren't the only way you're monitored

Big Brother is ALWAYS watching: ELD, GPS, traffic cameras, cell phones, tracking devices on the trucks or trailers, dash cams, drones, black helicopters, scale houses, onboard cameras....

Prime trucks also have forward collision.

Posted:  1 day, 13 hours ago

View Topic:

Had my first adventure tarping a load of lumber and re-tarping! Hopefully I'll get the Old School, Turtle, and Rob D " Seal of Approval"

That works for me.

If it keeps the elements off going down the rood its a success.

I had to fix the front corners of my tarp tonight.

It just take time and each load seems to have a new wrinkle.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Rookie Solo Adventures of a Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

Hey Rob you weren't to far from Waco. I wa busy working but had i not been i could have met ya in Hearn.

Maybe next time

Posted:  3 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Thoughtfull.

You broke that down perfectly along the lines I was thinking of doing this with my co driver. But can you explain that 17 hour rule to me a little bit?

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If you adhere to a 14-hour clock, it will be difficult for both drivers to load and unload.

I'm flatbed at Prime and in TNT you run teams. My trainer and I both loaded and unloaded, but we did not adhere to the 14-hour clock.

Typical schedule for flatbed is driver 1 drives 3 hours to shipper. Two hours total turn around time (both drivers on duty while loading). Driver 1 driver 1 finishes his 8 hours of driving, but because driver 2 started his 14 hour clock 10 hours ago (when he was loading), even with the new rule driver 2 only has 7 hours left on his 14 hour clock. Or he would wait two more hours to get his full 14 hour clock back.

Now for the next load you will deliver in the morning, drive up to 4 hours to the next shipper, and then pick up another load. So 2 hours to unload, 4 hours driving, 2 hours to load. If the driver who drove to the receiver, also drove to the next shipper, how much time does the next driver have to drive a shift?

Even if you disregard to the 14-hour clock, and then just load and unload off duty, you will have some BRUTALLY long days. With the new rule I have 17-hour days, and those feel like a vacation compared to the schedule I ran in TNT.

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With the new rule for 8/2 or 7/3 split sleeper birth, the 2 or 3 hour does not count against your 14-hour clock and effectively extends your 14-hour clock. So, if I arrive at a shipper or receiver, but have to wait long enough to where I'm off duty for 2 or 3 hours, I can still maximize my 11 hour clock as follows:

0500: on-duty pretrip and then drive to shipper. At this point my 14-hour clock ends at 1900.

0600: arrive at shipper and wait for 3 hours. Off-duty or sleeper.

0900: load and secure.

1100: Drive.

1630: 30-minute break.

1700: drive

1900: without the 3 hour extension for being off-duty, my 14-hour clocks ends and I have to stop for a 10-hour break. At this point, I've only used 8.5 hours of my 11-hour drive clock. But because of the extension, I can drive until 2200.

2130: My 11-hour drive clock runs out and I stop for the night.

So, with a 3-hour extension, my 14-hour clock becomes a 17-hour clock.

But this is when driving solo.

The brutally long days you will encounter as a team are as follows. Let's say that your stick to a 12-hour shift. One driver starts at 0600 and his shift ends at 1800. The other driver has a shift from 1800 to 0600.

The "night" driver, drives through the night to arrive at the shipper at 0600. Let's say you get unloaded right way. Total turn around time is 2 hours. The "day" driver drives to the next shipper, getting there about 11:00. Let's say total turn around time is again 2 hours. Now you're at 1300. The night driver has had maybe 3 hours in the sleeper (the 3 hours his co-driver drove). Then 5 hours again from 1300 to 1800. The "night" driver hasn't been off-duty or in the sleeper long enough to drive. Okay, fine, you say that the "day" driver can until 2000, because his clock started at 0600, right? And the night driver can get 8 hours in the sleeper, right? Well, guess what? First, you can begin to see where how this planned schedule begins to shift, even with a good scenario. Before you know it, you sleep schedule is all messed up.

In addition, this a pretty tame scenario. While in TNT, there where several times where I drove through the night, delivered in the morning, tried to get a couple of hours of sleep, then unloaded in the afternoon (late), slept two hours, then drove through the night. So, I had two complete drive shifts, a load, and unload, all on 4 hours of sleep.

Posted:  3 days, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

Thoughtfull.

If you adhere to a 14-hour clock, it will be difficult for both drivers to load and unload.

I'm flatbed at Prime and in TNT you run teams. My trainer and I both loaded and unloaded, but we did not adhere to the 14-hour clock.

Typical schedule for flatbed is driver 1 drives 3 hours to shipper. Two hours total turn around time (both drivers on duty while loading). Driver 1 driver 1 finishes his 8 hours of driving, but because driver 2 started his 14 hour clock 10 hours ago (when he was loading), even with the new rule driver 2 only has 7 hours left on his 14 hour clock. Or he would wait two more hours to get his full 14 hour clock back.

Now for the next load you will deliver in the morning, drive up to 4 hours to the next shipper, and then pick up another load. So 2 hours to unload, 4 hours driving, 2 hours to load. If the driver who drove to the receiver, also drove to the next shipper, how much time does the next driver have to drive a shift?

Even if you disregard to the 14-hour clock, and then just load and unload off duty, you will have some BRUTALLY long days. With the new rule I have 17-hour days, and those feel like a vacation compared to the schedule I ran in TNT.

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

View Topic:

Get off the truck

Camp Hearne WWII POW Camp Edition; February 2021

I have to give credit to Turtle for recommending a geocache, that led me to this adventure.

About 1 1/2 miles west of the Love's in Hearne, Texas lies Camp Hearne, which is a 720 acre WWII POW camp, built in 1942 and held up to 5,000 POWs, mostly Germans.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/gwCBmxq9ZURbhzqY8

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Posted:  4 days ago

View Topic:

Rookie Solo Adventures of a Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

02/21/2021 update conclusion

After this, I get my most challenging tarp job to date. It’s electrical cable trays, that are sharp aluminum, but the load was tall enough that I needed two lumber tarps and one black steel tarp. Because my tarps were not really rolled up, they were pretty unwieldy. The preloaded trailer had a space next to it, so I ended up backing my empty trailer right next to it to use as a platform. The lumber tarps were not that bad, but the black steel tarp was difficult. I ended up using bungees to hold it up and then climb on top of the load to pull it up. A video of me tarping the load would served well for one of these industrial safety videos of what NOT to do. Not only is the aluminum slick by nature, but it was covered with snow, and I’m up there on top pulling up this 70 lb tarp. It took a long time, but I got it done.

Drove to the Oak Grove 70, near Kansas City for the night, which drive across I-70 had its own challenges. The drive lanes on I-70 were shiny, but I couldn’t tell whether it was liquid or ice. The many cars that had slid off into the ditch, plus the eastbound driver, who came on the CB saying “east bound MM 157, black ice, black ice, slow down, slow down,” made me think that shiny road conditions were ice. But I made it, and as Turtle would say “But I didn’t die!”

These cable trays are going to South Dakota, just across the Iowa state line. Most of the day Thursday driving, and in fact, I debated whether I wanted to deliver that Thursday or Friday morning. I was, and still am, sore from rolling frozen tarps followed by throwing those same frozen tarps over the cable trays. I ended up delivering that Thursday. It was at the end of the shift, so I had about 5 helpers unload, which was a welcome relief.

As soon as I sent my arrival, I got a preplanned load going from Boone, Iowa to College Station, Texas (near Houston). It’s another tarped load, which I didn’t appreciate. I ended up getting most of the way there that Thursday night and then got there about 0830 Friday morning. To my pleasant surprise, got loaded indoors and the forklift operator put my tarps on. In fact, he said “the highest we’ll let you go is the deck.” So, all I needed to do was straps and bungees. I roll a good ways after that, stopping in Oklahoma, hoping for a shower. Unfortunately, because of the ice storm, no shower that night.

Saturday, I drove most of the way to my 90: I’m about 30 miles away. Got the truck washed on the way and went to Walmart in Denton, Texas, to stock up on groceries. After arriving at the Love’s in Hearne, Texas, I cleaned the inside of the truck, cooked fish and shrimp in curry sauce, and took a welcomed shower late last night. It’s 60 degrees right now and the high today is 69. I had chicken and waffles at Penny’s Diner and will go find a geocache here shortly.

6-month solo numbers:

Dispatched miles: 64,309. Gross pay: $34,823.

Posted:  4 days ago

View Topic:

Rookie Solo Adventures of a Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

2/21/2021 update continued:

My next load picked up right next to Mt. Rushmore. While waiting to get loaded, I looked on the map to see if there were some truck-friendly road I could take to get a picture, but looking at the satellite view it appears that it is really tucked away and you need to take these windy park roads to get to where you can see. Plus, it was pretty late by the time I got rolling. I had a step deck and the load was tall enough, and long enough that I needed all four of my tarps. So, needless to say, it took some time to secure.

Now this load was going to Chester, Illinois, the home of Popeye, so St. Louis was right on the way. I ended up taking an extended 34-hour reset. I got there Saturday night late and parked close enough to my house to where I could walk home. Spent Saturday and Sunday night at home. Because the APU was not running long enough to charge the batteries, I would drop by during the day and run the truck for a while to keep the batteries charged. It snowed Sunday, and then more snow was forecast for Monday. And my delivery required me to drive two-lane roads in Missouri or Illinois. Monday morning, the Illinois road conditions report showed snow all the way to my delivery. I had scheduled home time for the coming weekend, so, I sent a proposal to my FM: I take my home time now, deliver Wednesday, and then cancel my weekend home time. When he finally got a hold of the receiver, I got a message “Wednesday delivery ok. 90 says roads are terrible.” So, I get another couple of days at home, which I did end up going “back to work early.”

On Tuesday, I took the truck to the St. Louis Thermoking repair shop to have it checked out. I have my wife take me to the truck, which after several attempts, won’t start. The batteries are dead. So, I end up jumping it with my Jeep Wrangler. After letting it charge from the Jeep for about 30 minutes, it cranked right over. Drove it downtown and got the APU fixed. So, now I’m good with 1) APU, including charging the batteries, and 2) bunk heater running all night without any shutdown. I end up driving to the Ozora Truck Stop down I-55 that Tuesday to get closer to my 90.

The next morning, I drive to my 90, who tells me that this load is supposed to go to their other store about 30 miles away. After communication with my FM, I get there and get unloaded, which was difficult because frozen tarps don’t really roll up as much as fold up.

Posted:  4 days ago

View Topic:

Rookie Solo Adventures of a Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

2/21/2021 update; frozen tundra edition.

I’m back in the truck after some semi-unplanned home time, as I’ll explain below, and in Hearne, Texas on another 34-hour reset. This week I reached the 6-month solo benchmark. I will post my numbers at the end of this update.

Drove from Salt Lake City through Idaho to Umatilla, Oregon where I stayed at a mom-and-pop truck stop. It was cold and snowy, which seems to be the national weather pattern lately.

Finished the drive the drive next morning to Kent and Auburn, Washington. I had washed the truck, but the snow/slush on Snoqualmie pass pretty much undid that. This time of year, with the weather we’ve had, it just doesn’t seem worth it to wash the truck. Two-stop load in the Tacoma, Washington area. Delivered my first load and got to see, for the first time, the load. Long aluminum beams with lots of sharp corners. Took a while to unload, because they have to pick these off piece by piece and make sure that they aren’t taking items for the second stop. My second stop was 7 miles away and before I tarped the load again, I called to ask if I could roll with just the plastic. “I can’t make that call,” said the guy at the 90. So, full resecure and retarp to drive 7 miles.

Got to the 90, and apparently, there were two orders, going to different places, but only one bill of lading. Took a while to “sort that out.” Finally get unloaded and get my next load.

Rough cut lumber going to Hill City, South Dakota. No tarp though. There was a driver in front of me securing who asked me about his trailer air bags, which had yet to inflate. I explained that he just needed to wait until the pressure builds up in the tanks. I also helped him secure his load because he was in the loading spot, so I was not going to get loaded with him there. Got loaded, secured and made it to the other side of Snoqualmie before shutting down. All in, a pretty good day of over 200 miles driving to the receiver, two drops, including a full resecure and retarp, pick up another load, and then get about 180 miles away from the Washington coast. Wednesday was all day driving across I-90, Washington, Montana, and Idaho. Mainly, the road surface was clear, with varying degrees of snow cover: full lane, narrow lane, or just tire tracks that were clear. A couple of mountain passes that called for slow and easy. One in particular was packed snow/ice covered and the dry paved speed limit was 25 mph. Crept down that one.

Next day was mostly the same, except I experienced some “draft snow” whiteouts. Started driving in the dark and the winds had blown snow across the road, which didn’t really affect traction, but did affect visibility. When another truck passed me, it created a cone of “draft snow” behind it causing zero visibility. The first couple of times I kinda freaked out, because I couldn’t see the road. But then I developed a strategy to deal with this draft snow whiteout. As soon as the passing truck got to the driver rear corner of my trailer, I put on my flashers, slowed WAY down, and then found reference points on the side of the road to be able to know where I am in the road when the draft snow whiteout hit me. During this time, I saw two trucks in the ditch, which I assume that they had the same problem but weren’t able to find the road. Once the sun came up, it got easier to see through the whiteout and also to use the side of the road reference points. I had messaged my FM later in the day saying that I would still get to the delivery, but it would be later. Essentially taking the whole day. I got an immediate response “if the roads are bad shutdown.” This was the same day at the Ft. Worth pile up, which included a Prime flatbed. I assured my FM that roads were fine now, but that the delay was earlier in the day. Got to the receiver, delivered, and got message from my FM: “get some rest.” Went to a nearby truck stop and settled in. I had to idle the truck all night because my APU and bunk heater were not working properly.

Posted:  4 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Thoughtfull.

Heard and understood sir. I’m actually going to team up with another driver as soon as my training is done. Having someone else out here to help me out if I’m ever in a position we’re I’m stuck or can’t figure it out would be invaluable. Plus the money couldn’t hurt.

Having just listened to the audio - book Catch-22 your reasoning makes as much sense as much of the satirical reasoning in that book.

For example Milo bought eggs at 7¢ an egg and then sold them at 5¢ an egg but makes a profit because of the "syndicate."

Posted:  4 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Photos, oddball things

Found out why Texas couldn't deal with the snow and ice:

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Posted:  4 days, 4 hours ago

View Topic:

Where’s everyone at what’s you 20 how’s the weather??

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Posted:  5 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Record Texas Cold and A Few Other Things

If the attitudes as displayed here toward some OPs are anything like the real world then I would have to venture to say there is virtually no more morale in this particular vocational field. Maybe there is greater morale in the airline industry or carpentry trade. I dunno.

Todd

At least in the "real world" the idiots at the truck stops are actually out here doing the job. So, they are entitled to some modicum of respect.

Those who troll forums in a pathetic effort to feel like they are part of the trucking community don't deserve even the scant respect reserved for worst moron at a last chance trucking company.

Posted:  6 days, 14 hours ago

View Topic:

Gps

I use the Garmin 785. It connects to my phone for real-time traffic and weather.

It does have glitches where it wants to take me around the block.

Making my delivery today it was a little bit disconcerting to hear it say " turn left on the unpaved road." But it was taking me to the right place.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

First day solo snow storm coming :(

Welcome to the forum, trucking and flatbed.

Because you posted about weather and although Turtle gave you some good solid advice I must warn you. When you encounter adverse weather in the future, especially ice, DON'T ask Turtle for alternate routes!

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Backing @ Specialty Mineral Inc

Yes

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Is this your shipper?

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Looks like lots of room to maneuver.

What am I missing?

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Backing @ Specialty Mineral Inc

Is this your shipper?

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Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Cool Places to take a break (with truck parking)

Conoco Tower Station Shamrock, Texas.

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It's Texas so just park anywhere.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Any Federal Law for Right on Red?

Big J says:

The FMCSA explicitly stated that it is legal to "yield" for a right on red. The FMCSA does not require a "stop" for right on red.

Cite to an official FMCSA regulation or guidance letter.

If you can't all readers should disregard this statement.

Also cite to any state law that says yielding at a red light is the default rule.

Rob

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting with Pride Transport SLC on 15 Feb 2021 ask away!

I have always kept the medical receipt and my card and the long form with me on the trucks. I store it in the permits binder.

Ditto!

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