Profile For Rob. D.

Rob. D.'s Info

  • Location:
    Ballwin, MO

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 2 months 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:  3 hours, 24 minutes ago

View Topic:

Prime Refrigerated - Springfield, Missouri - Spring 2020

Great summary. I almost feel like I was there.

shocked.png

BTW, happy birthday. I'll tell you in person later.

Its nice to have two of us sharing. But with such a detailed post, I might have to step up my game a little tomorrow. A little friendly competition. Mitchell will be able to beat his chest a little in tomorrow's post.

But I must say. Flatbed Rules!

See you at 13:00

Posted:  6 hours, 1 minute ago

View Topic:

Trucking industry concerned about state licensing agency closings

While you obviously don't want to just kick the can down the road if you don't have to, please see the FMCSA Notice on Expiring CDLs, which includes DOT Medical Certificates:

FMCSA Enforcement Waiver CDLs

Posted:  8 hours, 31 minutes ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Rob, I’m really looking forward to reading about your journey. It will be cool to follow along as you go through it. Prime and Jim Palmer are my top two choices and I hope that by reading this thread that the decision will become easier to make.

I’ve been trying to absorb as much information as I can. Been lurking this website for a while, finally made an account the other day. Many thanks to this wonderful website for having such a plethora or information.

Quick question, I’m looking to start my trucking journey as soon as I finish this semester in college. Should I start applying to places now, or should I wait until it gets closer to the end? There’s about a month and a half left, if that helps.

Best of luck to you! Hope the experience is what you’re looking for. I suppose we will find out soon!

Justin,

I wouldn't start applying yet. With Prime, you application is only good for 30 days. I had to renew my application because of my delay.

The other thing, you will notice from the other posts, is that people can't get their CLP. You will need that before show up for orientation at Prime. So you should check the status of that in your state.

Posted:  9 hours, 4 minutes ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Rob, how does it feel to be pulled off the bench and put into the game? We're all excited to see you moving from the thought process into those first real challenges. Go get 'em!

Old School,

It feels great, as you can see from my first day.

I especially appreciate your encouragement, because I recall that you commented how some guys seem to get the breaks. They get their first choice of company, don't get sent home, get a good trainer, and have a good rookie year. A lot different than your experience.

Right now, I feel like one of those guys. At this point, I am focusing on learning as much as I can so I don't get sent home. We have "trainer matching" this morning so I'm hoping that will lead to getting a good trainer.

Rob.

Posted:  9 hours, 15 minutes ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Facilities

The Campus Inn includes the guest rooms, offices, cafe, driver lounge, and classrooms. So we were here all day for everything. They give you a floor plan map so that you can find your way around. The guest rooms are basic, a little dated, but well maintained and clean. The cafe is your basic institutional cafe space. The classrooms are about the same; nothing fancy but, well maintained and clean.

With the COVID-19 guidelines, it’s like being in an episode of the Twilight Zone. They have signs everywhere for “social distancing.” In the cafe, they have only one chair per four person table and the shelf table along the wall has the chairs spaced out 6 feet apart. They have put “x”s on the floor with painter’s tape 6 feet apart leading from the door to the server line. The classrooms also have the chairs spaced out 6 feet apart and limit the people in the room to ten. Talking to our welcome instructor, she said that they have spaced out the orientation classes. Instead of everyone showing up at the same time, they have groups at different time. I mentioned we had about 11 people for the flatbed agility test. The evaluator made two people stay in the hallway.

Thoughts

Overall, so far so good, but it has only been one day. I have already picked up on the “Prime family” perspective from everyone with whom I have interacted. Everyone has been professional and polite, even with some of the people who may not last that long. I’ve gotten the perspective that the people who work for Prime are pretty content. But it’s not a cult like feel that you get with some places where you have a dynamic person that everyone just “loves.” In just the first day, some people have shared some of their frustrating experiences with the company, but not in a “I hate my job,” type of attitude. Rather, just kinda matter of fact. The ladies in the cafe commented about how they have to hand out the cups from behind the counter now. But again, just matter of fact, not really complaining. Speaking of the lunch ladies, you get a meal card for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a limit of how much you can buy for each meal. If you have money available after you order, they’ll say “you’ve got another $1.25, is there anything else you want?”

BTW, Mitchell is in my orientation class. Although this might be “my” training diary, Mitchell please feel free to add, comment, express a different opinion, or correct me if I got anything wrong.

Humor

One of the CBT’s I watched emphasized having a good sense of humor to manage stress. To take things in stride and maybe approach your frustrations with a sense of humor rather than letting it eat away at you.

So even before I watched that CBT, when I sat in the cafe this morning for coffee, looking at the “x”s on the floor, memories of basic training came flooding back. I don’t know how many times I heard “******* to belly button!,” especially in the chow hall line. And I thought about how the DI’s would have fun with “social distancing.”

“Recruit, what the hell do you think those ‘x’s on the floor are for?”

“Social distancing, 6 feet apart ,Drill Instructor.”

“Then why are you closer than 6 feet to Jones? Drop and give me twenty!”

Recruit drops and in the process moves closer to Jones.

“You just moved closer dumbass! Mountain climbers!”

Posted:  9 hours, 17 minutes ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

4/8/2020: Orientation First Day

Schedule and Events

7:00 a.m. Welcome and overview of process. We were given packets to fill out yesterday and we were required to complete the Federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Registration, both by this morning. The packet is essentially your application form for you to handwrite again. The instructor inquired whether we had done this and answered questions. Two people have already given signs that they might not make it through the next couple of days. One guy was playing some game on his phone while the instructor was talking and hadn’t filled out the Clearinghouse Registration. We were given an agenda for the next two days that does not really involve a lot other than CBTs (Computer Based Training) which is several hours of videos we need to watch before midnight tomorrow night. Immediately after this we went to the orientation office for file review. This is where they go over your packet that you were supposed to have filled out the day before. My file review went very quickly because I didn’t really have anything to report as far as traffic or criminal history. But during my file review, the guy who had been on his phone came up and asked if my reviewer could show him how to complete the Clearinghouse Registration. She politely but firmly sent him away.

10:00: Brunch before I dug into CBTs.

10:30: Completed as many CBTs as I could before SIM Lab at 13:00.

13:00 SIM Labs: Before we got started, the guy who had been on his phone at 7:00 a.m. was on his phone again. He got called out by the instructor and then smirked at the instructor when the instructor told him to put his phone away. The instructor got perturbed at him and said “don’t smile at me.” Another woman showed up late and was told that being late will jeopardize her career at Prime. I think that she has difficulty with English. The SIM instructor went through a Powerpoint presentation going over the SIMs and driving generally. We completed two simple simulations just to get the feel of the machine. The steering is VERY sensitive and it’s hard to gauge where you are in the lane. The steering wheel vibrates when you cross either the solid white line or the center dashed line. I started using my side view mirrors to stay centered in the lane and then toward the end found a reference point on the “hood” of the truck for my lane position. The main purpose was just to get familiar with the simulators, which I did. So mission accomplished for that.

15:30 more CBTs. I had about a half an hour to kill before the flatbed agility test at 16:00.

16:00 flatbed agility test. There were about 11 of us. We filled out a medical questionnaire about injuries and did some range of motion tests. Then you had to 1) lift a 65 lb barbell on top of your shoulder 2) climb a ladder, 3) carry a crate with 50 lbs 10 feet 4) lift 80 lbs to your waist and hold it, and 5) lift a 65 lb tarp, carry it 5 feet, put it on a bench chest high, take it down, and carry it back. Then we had to kneel, one knee, then two knees, then knee plank, then full plank, then stand back up. No one failed, or even struggled, but most were pretty stout guys.

16:30 early dinner. Went for a walk around the building after dinner just to stretch my legs some.

17:00 CBTs until about 20:30, but did take another walk about 19:00. After completing all but two of the CBTs I got the impression that this is a test and/or lesson in time management. The welcome instructor didn’t tell us how long it takes to complete the CBTs, but did say that if you finish them in 2 hours, you didn’t watch the videos and will have to rewatch them all. She also didn’t put our tour of the Millenium Center tomorrow on the agenda or tell us how long we would be on the tour. But our SIM instructor told us that we needed to wear closed toe and heel shoes for the tour tomorrow and that if we went over on the shuttle with flip-flops, they would send us back on the shuttle to the Campus Inn to get the proper footwear. So that when we get back to the Millenium Center, you will have to find out where your group is in the “two hour” tour. So I’m guessing we will be at the Millenium Center all morning, and maybe even eat lunch at the cafeteria there. We have SIM lab training again tomorrow at 20:00. We had enough time today to get pretty much all of the CBTs done. If you didn’t take advantage of that time, it’s going to be hard to get them all done tomorrow when the day may be filled with other things. The lesson, which I first learned when I had dinner with PJ: if you’ve got the time NOW, use it.

Posted:  10 hours, 2 minutes ago

View Topic:

Driver solutions

Demond,

I have been busy with orientation, but following this thread.

I'm not going to pile on, but I might have some suggestions that might help you.

Did you have your CLP when you got the ticket?

And, to be clear, did you just plead guilty and pay the ticket?

Posted:  1 day, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

Trucking Will Survive This Pandemic

Have the outfits with schools started their orientations yet? Are DMVs open to taking your test?

Laura

My Prime orientation starts tomorrow.

I don't think that the DMVs have opened here in Missouri. However, I did run across this information regarding the waiver of the requirement to have licensed CDL holder in the passenger seat, AFTER, the CLP holder passes the skills test. Thus, as far as Prime goes, I can move on to TNT phase so long as I can pass the skills test. I won't need to get to the DMV before I can start team driving.

FMCSA Waiver for CLP; Licensed Driver in Passenger Seat

Posted:  1 day, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

For those with Prime, Inc or knowledge of company driving.

40 days and Mitchell,

I've checked in, gotten my bearings, and completed the Federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse process.

Other the red STOP signs reminding of the pandemic and a prohibition of having more than 10 people in a room, I haven't seen any prohibitions against congregating.

Let me know if you guys want to meet up.

Rob.

Posted:  2 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

For those with Prime, Inc or knowledge of company driving.

40 days issues an open invitation:

If anyone else here at Prime terminal hit me up.

I plan to be at the Campus Inn no later than 4:00 p.m.

However, before I take you up on your offer to meet up, I plan to read through anything that they give me when I check in. If there is something that says "thou shall NOT be within 6 feet of any Prime drivers other than your trainer," I'm not getting sent home even before I start orientation.

Rob.

Posted:  2 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Help

Demond,

Please give us more information regarding the ticket:

When and where did you get this ticket? You said before you got your CDL, but was it before you applied to Pam?

Was it on your MVR before you applied to Pam and did you disclose it?

What state is your license?

Basically, I am trying to figure out how you got hired by Pam, went through training, upgraded, and then Pam found the ticket on your MVR.

Rob.

Posted:  2 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Can somebody help me😫

You should repost this in the general discussions part of the forum rather than the diaries section.

Did you get this ticket before you applied to PAM and what was the outcome of the ticket?

When did you get this ticket?

Was it on your MVR before you applied and did you disclose it?

Where do you live?

Posted:  2 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

This a Marc"The 100k miles Champ" Lee Fan Club By Cornelius. A

Marc,

I start orientation Wednesday. Driving to Prime in Springfield tomorrow morning.

Looking forward to it.

Rob.

Posted:  3 days ago

View Topic:

For those with Prime, Inc or knowledge of company driving.

Mitchell,

Just spoke with my recruiter who confirmed that we are still on for orientation Wednesday.

She also mentioned that each driver will have their own motel room and that they will limit group sizes to no more than 10 people in a room.

Enjoy your drive from Louisiana and I look forward to meeting you at orientation on Wednesday.

Rob.

Posted:  3 days ago

View Topic:

NYC? 5 stops by 2pm? Challenge accepted!

Think you could do this now?

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

View Topic:

This a Marc"The 100k miles Champ" Lee Fan Club By Cornelius. A

Marc,

Any update on training?

Rob.

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

View Topic:

I finally cracked the 3,000 mile barrier!

Congrats!

dancing.gif

Posted:  3 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

For those with Prime, Inc or knowledge of company driving.

Mitchell,

Welcome to the forum.

I am also leaving Tuesday for Wednesday orientation with Prime in Springfield. Although, I don't know if you are from Missouri and going to orientation in Springfield, but our Governor issued a state-wide "stay-at-home" order Friday. I don't know if that will change anything with regard to the Springfield orientation. I plan to call my recruiter Monday to touch base and make sure that the orientations have not been further postponed.

Rob.

Posted:  4 days, 4 hours ago

View Topic:

What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

Interesting article and now proof that the any death is being lumped as corona

CDC guidance for corona

“COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death. Certifiers should include as much detail as possible based on their knowledge of the case, medical records, laboratory testing, etc. If the decedent had other chronic conditions such as COPD or asthma that may have also contributed, these conditions can be reported in Part II. (See attached Guidance for Certifying COVID-19 Deaths)”

Politicians and the media are simply inflating the numbers, and lying to us ( my comment would be “ as usual”)

Keep rolling, I hope to be there with you as soon as the DMV opens and I can get rolling too.

This also further explains the high mortality rate in Italy:

The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

But:

On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity - many had two or thre

Telegraph Article on Italy's Mortality Rate from COVID-19

I'm waiting, with great anticipation, for Brett's revelation as to the real agenda behind this global panic.

Posted:  4 days, 9 hours ago

View Topic:

Is it a good time to start trucking right now, with the whole corona thing happening?

A little lightheartedness for this thread:

0300975001586081034.jpg

I completely agree with Brett.

I will also add that while I have had delays in starting my new career, I remain committed to pursue trucking as my new career, for the reasons that Brett mentioned.

While everything is shut down right now, I believe that other business sectors will get hit harder later on and certain ones will have a really hard time. In real estate lately, there has been a lot of new construction in higher end apartments. There was already some concern about over expansion in that market and absorption rates. Higher end apartments don't involve long term leases, generally a year. My daughter's apartment complex in Mission, Kansas, has already offered a rent concession. If she paid rent by April 3, they are going to give her a free month's rent. I suspect that business sector will get hit very hard during a recession and many of those new developments will fail, similar to the subprime meltdown. I also think that new single family homes will suffer as well, until the economy ramps back up.

However, I see trucking, and specifically flatbed as better able to weather the storm. A Prime driver told me that Prime flatbed drivers are hauling materials for these temporary medical facilities. And while construction may slow down, from my understanding, flatbed hauls a lot of raw material that is used in many different industries, such as steel and aluminum. And even if things get really bad, and a lot of manufacturing slows down, both parties have already talked about a major infrastructure bill, which is going to require transportation of materials used in construction.

All in, despite my frustrations with the delays, I actually feel more optimistic that this a good time to get into trucking.

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