Comments By Rob D.

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  • Rob D.
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Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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The TruckingTruth Meet Up Thread

Rob D & Soug D. went to Lambert's for dinner. I think he's got the perfect personality to be a truck driver. And seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. Looking forward to hearing about his journey

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Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

July 29, 2020: Continue driving to Chelsea, Massachusetts

Because we have such a long load, it's just driving today. Again, nothing unusual or special today.

I fell short pushing the limits of my clock today. I had about 59 minutes left on my clock and picked a spot 56 miles away. I would have made it, but the interstate split but didn’t say that I needed to be in the right lane for the interstate exchange. So I have to take about a 5 minute detour, which put me just short of reaching the rest area I had planned.

We switch over and I hit the sleeper after decompressing for a while.

July 30, 2020: Deliver onions; pick up rebar coils.

My trainer finishes the drive to the receiver. With this delivery, I got a little feel of what it's like to be a drive van or reefer driver. And to be honest, you can have it. When we check in they tell us to park by the wall and they’ll come and get us. They also tell us that there’s a $50 unloading fee. I’m sure the perplexed look on my face triggered the following explanation. “Lumber fee.” I’ve heard of those.

After a while they come to get us. Relatively quick unload

I drive out from the receiver, following the GPS. As I’m rolling along, I see a “Truck Detour” sign. Okay, I’ll play your little detour game (remember California). As I follow the detour, the streets become increasingly narrow and lined with parked cars. At one intersection, I cleared the curb, but not the parked car near the corner. So I have to pull left to straighten out the trailer; right toward some cars coming from the other lane. They accommodate me by backing up. That is until they have too many cars behind them to back up. There are two lanes coming the other way, so, after the right lane clears out, the cars in front of me can clear out and I can finish my turn. About a half mile after this I see a sign that says “End Detour.” WTF? Now I’m in a solidly residential area; narrow streets lined with parked cars. I follow the GPS which takes me back to my starting point of the detour. I ignore the “Truck Detour” sign and the “Trucks No Right Turn” sign. I make the right turn because the entrance to the interstate is like ¼ mile away and I can see no low bridges or other obstacles that would inhibit me. Plus, I figure it can’t be any worse than where the detour took me.

We’re headed to Nucor to pick up rebar coils. We get there about 18:00 and we’re back on the road in about an hour. Our receiver is only about 400 miles away so I make it there on my clock. A little feel of what it would be like to 1) deliver a load, 2) pick up another, and 3) make it to the next one all on my 14 hour clock. And another nice night’s sleep in a stationary truck.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Road to Trucking

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If I am wrong forgive me please but I suspect you name is perhaps Todd?

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That was my first thought, but the tracker location was different.

Not quite over the top enough for Todd. Sounds like a real guy.

Luke,

As you can imagine, some trolls comes to this forum. One of whom is a regular annoyance. Entertaining, but still annoying.

I am at Prime, in the TNT phase, flatbed division. I have no regrets choosing to go into trucking and choosing Prime.

Looking forward to hearing about your journey.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Get off the truck

August 1, 2020: Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Republic Missouri.

Just a short drive from Prime's Springfield terminal:

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The rest of the photos:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1UWrdgtndZQY8jYq5

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Prime Inc. PSD Covid Edition

I am at the Millennium Center. In the driver's lounge at the top of the spiral staircase. Come on over and we can figure something out.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Prime Inc. PSD Covid Edition

I'm here in Springfield on a 34-hour reset. My wife is leaving later on today so I'll probably have the afternoon free. Let me know where you are and we can try to hook up. I have a POV with me in long-term parking so we can go anywhere you want.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Bringing a bike on the road

Definitely a mid-roof and the height, even with the bike sticking up, is well under 13'6".

The only concern I would have is that we regularly hit low branches in our travels. I don't think those handle bars would far well being whacked by a limb.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Bringing a bike on the road

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Pretty cool ole' thread you dug up, good sir! Is that your bike? Would that put you over 13'6"? Midroof or condo? I like the set up, keeping the bike as far away from the road grime, as 'possible' besides being in cab.

Details ?!?!? confused.gifthank-you.gifconfused.gif

Anne,

Just saw it at a shipper and remember a discussion on the forum about bringing a bike. So I thought would take a picture to show how at least flatbedder has made it work.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

July 28, 2020:

I took over about mid morning. Nothing really eventful. No off road. No getting stuck. Just rolling east on the Mother Road. I stop for my 30 minute break at Lisa’s Travel Center because their billboard had a picture of tacos. Small truck stop, with a gravel lot, but hardly anyone there and the tacos were good. A little pricey, but worth it.

As usual, I try to pick the furthest point I can make for the exchange. At about 50 miles from the Texas, Oklahoma state line, I stop at a rest stop just to stretch my legs. The picnic areas with charcoal grills in the shape of Texas.

New record mileage day. 680.7 miles in 10 hours 47 minutes.

If you do the math, it doesn’t seem plausible because that’s 63 mph average in a truck that’s governed at 63 mph. (While it says 65 mph on the speedometer, it’s 63 mph real speed.) With simple accelerating and decelerating, the average should be less than the maximum governed speed. Now add in breaks and it would further reduce the average speed. Two factors allowed me to realize an average speed of the maximum governed speed. First, I took only two breaks and they were quick on and offs. Second, and this is the key. I took over driving at the Continental Divide. So heading east from there, I’m generally going down hill. Now while 63 mph is the maximum governed speed, it is not the maximum speed when going downhill. If you leave the cruise control on it will slow down the truck once it gets to a certain speed above the set cruise speed. But if you turn the cruise control off, nothing will automatically slow the truck. So I would let the truck build speed on the numerous downgrades to obtain a better average mph. I would never let the truck get over 75 mph and I would not let it get to a higher speed on any significant curves or if there were traffic. But that part of I-40 has very few curves and traffic was light. So I was able to get probably my best record ever. I can’t see myself even repeating 680 miles in a truck governed at 62.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

July 27, 2020: Deliver Steel load; first onion load.

We get up about 0500 and head out the last 100 miles to the receiver. Traffic is light so we make good time. After we’re unloaded and heading out, get our next load, which is a gravy run going from Kettleman, CA to Chelsea, Mass. 3,200 dispatched miles.

So we head north 200 miles to pick up about 48,000 lbs of onions. The traffic is light through Los Angeles, so we make good time.

There are several trucks waiting when we arrive. Mostly dry van with a few flatbeds. The check in procedure is to call the number on the sign. They send you a text message that has a link to a form you fill out. Then they call you and tell which door to back into. I took a picture of the dock I bumped.

You have to tarp the front and sides of the onion loads, but leave the front and back open so they can “breathe.” I put both steel tarps on top myself (better get used to it now). Climbing up on the onions and walking on them is difficult, as you can imagine. I did crawl on my hands and knees a lot (again I’m not proud). But I got it done.

I head out to finish my 14 hour clock for the day. On the way, I see a sign that says “road closed ahead.” I’m skeptical because at the turn where the detour signs take you another road closed sign has been pulled to the side. The detour signs take me through these narrow two lane farm roads, which does not seem right, but I follow them until I get to a more major road. The detour sign tells me to take right, which would basically take me in a circle right back to the start of the detour. I turn left, because our next connector highway is 5 miles ahead and I don’t see any road closed sign that way.

I am running good on time to make it to our exchange point, until I run into hills. I have to end up pulling over into a closed weigh station for the exchange. After a little while I crawl into the sleeper for the night.

Even with the unloading, untarping, waiting for while to get onions loaded, and strapping and tarping that load, I still managed to squeeze out 440 miles.

After this load, I will have only 3,800 miles left and should be done by the end of next week.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

July 26, 2020: Another day, another two flats.

I wake up in the middle of the night, but we’re not in Palm Springs. We’re about 250 miles away at a Love’s. One of the trailer tires that we just replaced yesterday went flat. And according to my trainer, they can’t work on it until 7:00 in the morning. So we both got to sleep.

I wake up at 7:00 and go to check in at the repair shop. No ticket had been filled out, so I have the shop tech fill out a work order. He says we’re six on the list. Oh well, we got the time.

Another driver “JC” (I’ll explain below how I know his name) comes to check in about his truck and the tech who filled out my ticket says “there’s six people in front of you.” JC yells at the tech that there were five people in front of him last night. So they both start shouting at each other and the tech tells JC to get off the property. JC turns to me and says “didn’t he start yelling at me first.” I tell him this is not my fight, but then try to intervene just to get both of them to call down. But JC storms out.

After the tension settles, I ask the tech, very meekly, what the general ETA is for our work to be done. He pauses and then says “you know what, you’re now third on the list.” At this point my trainer comes asking about the status, I tell him we’re third on the list and then he turns to the tech with the same posture that JC had. I tell my trainer to relax because I had found out why there is a backlog. The overnight tech just quit in the middle of the shift. So my trainer calms downs.

I go to the convenience store to get coffee and breakfast tacos. On the way back, I see JC and ask him if “they made up.” He says, “yeah we’re all good.” When I walk into the repair shop, the tech that had moved us up on the list is shuffling work orders. When he sees me, he says “pull your truck into the first bay. The two guys ahead of you didn’t answer when I call.”

So I go get my trainer to pull the truck into the bay. As he’s backing into the bay, the tire next to the flat tire blows. The noise brings JC out of the repair and he stands next to me watching my trainer back the truck into the bay. We strike up a conversation, and as I mentioned before, you don’t have to go to terminals to find terminal rats. Although, despite being a hothead, JC seemed to be pretty level headed.

JC drives flatbed for Malone Trucking, which is CRST’s flatbed division. Malone Trucking does not team like CRST. JC runs solo. Below is more detail on the conversation with JC.

Now that we have two flats, we need to send in a new Road Assist for approval.

I sit there and update my journal while waiting for the truck to get fixed. A couple of polite nudges, spurred the tech to check the Love’s Shop Connect for the work authorization from Prime. As I sit there writing my journal and thinking about what JC said with CRST looking at your record, I begin to feel sorry for my trainer. Just within the time that I’ve been on the truck, several of these incidents would be a basis for Prime to fire him (cancel his lease operator contract). I didn’t even bother to relay the information that JC gave me about Malone Trucking because I don’t think he would be considered with his record.

Before long the trailer is done and we’re on our way to Palm Springs where we will spend the night before delivering in the morning.

Ribeye steaks, grilled asparagus, and sweet potato for dinner.

Sidenote on JC.

JC started with Prime, but “they did me wrong.” JC has a felony conviction, having spent time in prison. From what I gathered from JC, he didn’t fully disclose his prison record on his first employment application, but he did disclose it on the second paper application. In fact, he said they discussed, in detail, his prison record in the file review interview. They didn’t send him home at this point, but rather hired him, issued him a truck, then fired him after he had been out on the road for a while. JC believes that Prime hired him and kept him on “just long enough to get the money for hiring felons.” Don’t know if it’s true or not. I’m just relaying what he said.

JC is a lease operator with Malone Trucking. According to him, after the CRST Expedited trucks are taken out of service, they send them (or some of them) to the flatbed division. As a result you are getting a truck with 500,000 miles, but your lease payment is only $395 per week, as compared to Prime’s lease payments which are around $1,000 per week. With a little simple math, assuming a 4 years of leasing for a new truck and then leasing a used truck, they’re collecting almost $280,000 on a truck in 6 years. JC said that CRST also has a purchase option and CRST will help you with the down payment. With CRST, you get 75% of the line haul and you pick your own loads from three available load boards. CRST, Schneider (I think I remember that right, and DAT) You still have an FM, but they simply assign the load to your truck. JC said that Malone wants at least 6 months flatbed experience and they will look at your record. He further qualified his comments by saying “if you are interested, research it.”

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

July 25, 2020: Driving toward Long Beach; Moe Bandy Parody warranted.

I take over driving about 0230 and drive through to El Paso, Texas. Shortly after my trainer takes over, we have a flat on the trailer. Both TAs we called were busy, so we go to this independent repair shop that is less than 5 miles away.

The Younger Folks probably don’t even know Moe Bandy, let alone his popular song “Here I am I’m Drunk Again.” Well, the appropriate parody would be “Here I am I’m Stuck Again.” My trainer misses the turn for the repair shop, and you guessed, pulls another u-turn. For those familiar with desert dirt/sand, it looks real hard but as soon as you put pressure on it, it collapses under weight. So, when my trainer felt dirt shifting under the weight of the truck, he gunned it which did two things. First, it pushed the steer tires further into the sand. Second, he dug a nice hole with the drive tires. Now we’re stuck. And the trailer is crosswise over the paved road forcing cars to go on the soft shoulder to go around it. My trainer puts cones out on the road

My trainer’s plan is to unhook from the trailer, rehook with the tractor, then drive further off road to get back on the paved road. He says, “see this dirt is solid.” I push on it with my shoe and show him how it collapses under any weight. Plus, when we try to pull the fifth wheel release, no dice. My plan is to dig away the berms that have formed in front of the driver tires then pull slowly through the dirt back onto the road. We don’t have a shovel, but a plastic bucket, which I start using to dig out the dirt. A hispanic guy in a pickup brings me a shovel, I start digging away. Meanwhile, a guy with a Ram 3500 stops and offers to pull us out. As I’m talking to my trainer, the guy who gave me the shovel grabs the shovel from me and continues to dig the dirt away from the drive tires. My trainer gets a chain out to hook to the deer guard and the hitch of the Ram 3500.

I tell my trainer to let me drive while the Ram 3500 pulls on the deer guard because I have experience off road driving (i.e. slow and steady to maintain traction). With the Ram 3500 pulling and me slow and steady on the pedal, we pull right back on to the paved road. I get out of the cab as the Ram 3500 is unhooking the chain from his bumper and I tell him “you earned your man card today. We’re running about 77,000 lbs.” He says this is the first time. I don’t know exactly how much force he actually applied. While his truck has a lot of horsepower, I don’t know if it’s got the torque to pull a truck with our weight.

We get to the independent truck repair place and get the two tires fixed and then we’re on our way. No more drama for today.

I hit the sleeper, expecting to wake up in Palm Springs where we had planned to stop short of Long Beach and then drive the last 100 miles Monday morning.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

July 24, 2020: Steel load; Baby Coil; Layover in Mobile.

I wake up just as my trainer is checking into the massive industrial complex where we pick up our steel load. The complex is so large that the GPS has the internal streets mapped. The shipping building is similar to where we had delivered the our first load of aluminum in Florida; product is separated into bays and you line up in the bay where the your product is stored. They did have the large building crane, but they used a regular forklift to load us with 10 steel sheets and one baby coil.

The shipper is about 50 miles from Mobile, so my trainer goes there for a couple of hours to see his wife. He drops me off at a Cracker Barrel, where I have my breakfast. After he picks me up we head out.

Even though my trainer had drove to Calvert and Mobile, he drive the first shift because he had been on personal conveyance.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Prime Inc. PSD Covid Edition

Great job.

Keep the faith through TNT.

Looking forward to hearing about your adventure.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Papa Pigs Zainy Rookie Solo Adventures

Welcome to the finger wagged club.

Although mine was more disconcerting for me than it was for safety

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Bringing a bike on the road

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Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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New Article Now On TruckingTruth: Truckers And Guns

Who in Creation is "Todd"?

Your signature denial Todd.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Gps

So the betterment of my career run reefer (which is my real first choice) Learn and get experience, then if I am personally comfortable go tanker? I'm open for advise not meaning to ask dumb questions, just want to pick your guys brain alittle. It's just i read there is lots of good tanker frieght in my area. But I know tanker is a whole diffrent monster than other divisions, having to do with dealing with the shift in weight while maneuvering.

My two cents.

If freight volume is a factor flatbed is always higher industry wide and you have more freight variety. We're hauling onions right now.

But I think you will have enough to haul no matter what you haul.

Plus, flatbedders are cooler than other drivers, except PJ, who drives a long nose Pete named Gunsmoke.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Gps

Prime uses Navigo.

The good is that your dispatch locations including fuel stops will be programmed once you accept the load.

The bad is when the Qualcomm crashes, which is does frequently, you lose GPS also.

Plus Navigo generally takes you a longer route.

I like Garmin for some of its features like " up ahead." It will find truck stops on your route rather than Google that searches a raduis.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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My last week pulling Dry Van; and what a week it was.

I backed into the door at 7:30 P.M. and they didn't start loading me till 2:30 A.M and didn't finish till 6:30 A.M. I did a 10 hour reset sitting on the door.

Don't expect this in Flatbed.

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