Profile For Dean R.

Dean R.'s Info

  • Location:
    Macomb, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 4 months ago

Dean R.'s Bio

Former Active Duty Marine. I hold a B.S., M.S., and MBA from Illinois. Spent 26 years in IT before retiring early. First two years of retirement were spent remodeling my home. When my son decided to apply to some private colleges I decided to go back to work.

I graduated from the 280-hour CDL course at John Wood Community College in Quincy, IL.

Currently I work for Schneider as a Walmart Dedicated driver out of Sterling, IL.

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Posted:  2 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Force of habit

I'm on a 5ish day fishing trip with my father, was driving pulling the boat in the left lane saw the sign for a scale and started to move over for it. Also I was planted in the right lane behind of a bunch of trucks and my dad asked I plan on following them all day or can we pass them. I'm just so used to hanging out in the right lane it became 2nd nature.

rofl-3.gif rofl-2.gif

I tended to reach for the parking brake in my Highlander after 5 days out. Also took wide turns causing Mrs. Roberts to snicker. Worst of all once trying to squeeze the diesel nozzle in my gas filler.

Posted:  3 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Schneider really going to hourly pay?

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Now that I'm an employee again I can see some truth to the hourly pay. I am working a dedicated account and I would be grateful to receive pay while spending so much time waiting to be docked and unloaded. I may only drive 6 hours a day ut spend hours on the docks.

- Dean

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How about detention pay? Are you on top of that?

I haven't heard yet. More information is to be sent out to the fleet at any time. But I'll be on it when it comes out.

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

View Topic:

Schneider really going to hourly pay?

Now that I'm an employee again I can see some truth to the hourly pay. I am working a dedicated account and I would be grateful to receive pay while spending so much time waiting to be docked and unloaded. I may only drive 6 hours a day ut spend hours on the docks.

- Dean

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

View Topic:

Return to the Pumpkin Patch (Schneider)

I would push them to help you out on transportation to get your truck. I’ve had to pick up two so far and they rented me cars for both.

Did you ask your DBL about parking closer to home? My first DBL let me park the truck at my house. When I transferred I had to start parking at a local truck stop because I didn’t have room at home for the trailer but it’s still only about 20m from home.

I thought most of the Walmart dedicated guys slip seat?

Thanks. I'll ask what they can do to help me out.

I plan to park at the Walmart near my house. It's a 5 minute drive.

The only slip-seaters I know are jet setters. When I was on the account previously tractors were assigned.

- Dean

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

View Topic:

Return to the Pumpkin Patch (Schneider)

Dean, was Brett your class instructor? Great teacher, very intelligent although he talks about 3 times faster than I can process information. If you’re still in GB, tell him Bruce says hi.

Alas I was in Gary, IN. Steven (Brendt?) was my instructor for the class of one.

Never been to GB. Hope to go someday and get a photo of my rig and I at Lambeau Field.

- Dean

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

View Topic:

Return to the Pumpkin Patch (Schneider)

Haya, Dean; well at least you graduated with 'honors!'

You 'could' always join my guy (and Don) at FAB, LoL..

(Oh wait, then you'd have to drive a day cab, and get on PackRat's bad side, haha!)rofl-3.gif

Does UBER go that far?!?!? Greyhound ?!??! confused.gif

Always something, man! Let us know.

Best wishes !!!

~ Anne ~

Thanks Anne! I'll work something out. I'm hoping to go to Sterling IL and catch a ride with another driver going towards the OC in Gary. We do deliver to the Walmart stores close by.

I'm all for day cabs when delivering to the stores in Cook County (Chicago proper). Those stores were made for 40' straight trucks, not 72 footers!

Dean

Posted:  5 days, 1 hour ago

View Topic:

Return to the Pumpkin Patch (Schneider)

Days 3 and 4 went by pretty fast, even after the DOT Physical fiasco. Day 3 was a final backing and road test followed by simulations and a few classes. Day 4 was two final tests, one each on HOS and tablet Workflow.

I guess I was the honor grad since I was the only one in the experienced class. rofl-3.gif

I called the Walmart dedicated manager and received some disheartening news. They no longer keep spare tractors onsite so I have to find a ride to Gary, IN (3.75 hours) to get a tractor. My wife can't drive that far and my son is back in Iowa City. No rental cars. I would HATE to make a 7.5 hour round trip every week to commute, and there's no way I'm going to leave my car in Gary IN for months at a time. shocked.png

I'm thinking of changing my assignment back to regional to avoid the long trips to work.

- Dean

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Return to the Pumpkin Patch (Schneider)

Day two started out with a bang and ended with headache. So much for an easy "welcome back."

Left the OC at 2 pm for the hotel. An hour later get a frantic call to get a DOT physical before 5pm. What? The company sent me for a physical last week that I had to pay for. $121 and a three-hour round trip. Same company that the Gary OC uses for physicals - Concentra. Apparently I was supposed to take a physical yesterday, but I already had one. Ordered by the big HQ in Green Bay no less. "A rehire has to pay for their own physical." Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Why would an OC deny a physical ordered by the HQ? Lord only knows.

I seriously thought about going home. Holy mackerel! Two DOT physicals from the same company in 6 days and I'm out five hours of my time and $120. Needless to say I bombed the blood pressure test the the first time. Half-hour later and I was back to normal. I might not get my skill test completed tomorrow since the OC won't clear me until the state of IL gets the newest med certificate entered.

I called Green Bay asking for my $120 back. A VP is going to call me tomorrow after they talk to the OC.

- Dean (trying NOT to get my blood boiling again)

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Schneider really going to hourly pay?

The folks I talked with at the Schneider OC in Gary IN thought it was for local hourly-paid drivers only. $25 per hours starting.

Developing story...

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Return to the Pumpkin Patch (Schneider)

Thank you for the well-wishes!

Started rehire orientation this morning. I'm the only one in the class. Looks like I have a trainer to myself. Lots of time to rebuild the skill set the next four days.

Day 1 was pretty routine. Urine and hair follicle test, paperwork and more paperwork, lots of computer trainings. Tomorrow will be a few administrative items and a road test and yard practice. Like the same for Wednesday and Thursday.

The worst part was trying to get comfortable in the hotel. Bed is so soft I think Im going to sink to the floor.

Stay safe out there.

Dean

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Time to jump in the deep end

Well folks, I did it! I ACED ALL 3 Parts!! And I have my start date, May 31st in Marshfield Wisconsin. I'd like to thank everyone involved in the creation of the High Road Training program of all the great information that helped me pass the tests, for everyone's support and words of encouragement and well wishes, and now it's time for my own training diary to pay it forward to anyone who has concerns, thoughts, and to keep everyone apprised of what I'm up to. I can't say thank you enough to everyone on here, I am in your debt.

Congrats! dancing-banana.gif

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Return to the Pumpkin Patch (Schneider)

I'm starting the process of rejoining Schneider. Tomorrow I will be off to the Pumpkin Patch in Gary, Indiana, for orientation (re-orientation)?

I'll be joining another driver I attended orientation with in January of 2021. We're going to be the "recaps" (or "retreads") in class from Monday thru Thursday. And then we will both be going back to Walmart Dedicated in Sterling, IL. I decided to take a night position this time. Perhaps the Chicago roads will be less crowded? There's some hope. No commute since I can park at the Walmart in my little town of Macomb. They will give me a run to Galesburg, Peoria, Springfield, or Quincy on my home day.

Starting to pack my things for the four day class. Flashlight, gloves, etc. Good thing is I already have the items I need in a tote so I won't need to search. I knew I would go back so I kept things organized.

I will need to do some classwork, tablet work, and take a driving test after road training. If I don't hit anything, drive well, and make my turns and back into the hole I'll graduate again. That's the abbreviated version. I'm sure I'll be tested on more.

On to the Great Pumpkin patch!

- Dean

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Time to jump in the deep end

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Congrats! I'm on my way back in after a stay at home.

Good luck!

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Are you back out there, Dean? What took you away ?!?!? :(

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My thing is that in order to take the written exam, I have to fill out the forms, including my papers (medical, birth certificate, etc) pay the fees, then wait for an appointment card to be mailed back to me. I can't just walk in, hand over my stuff and sit for the test. Craziness, just craziness.

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Awaiting your success story as well, man!

~ Anne ~

Hi Anne! I'm heading back to Schneider next Monday. I spent some time at home with an ill family member. I'll be going back to nights at Walmart Dedicated at .60/mile plus accessorial pay. Cook and Lake County (Chicago) are easier to deal with at night.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Time to jump in the deep end

Congrats! I'm on my way back in after a stay at home.

Good luck!

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Weird/Interesting Loads

Mushrooms. Straight from a mushroom farm. Piles of straw and rotting who-knows-what everywhere. Smelled almost as bad as a Purina Pet Food factory. I got to look inside for a moment. Nothing but mushrooms and a wet basement-type odor.

After I dropped off a reefer load at a Sam's Club I left for the mushroom farm. Literally had to turn left down a windy country road at the big rock on the corner. Very dark. Could hardly see even with the brights on. I'll never forget the smell.

But the odor of egg farms was worse.

-Dean

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Why did you get started in trucking, and what were your biggest concerns?

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I'd love to see everyone share two things with the group:

1) Why did you decide to become a truck driver? What did you hope to get from it?

2) What were your biggest doubts, fears, and uncertainties?

We have such a wide variety of personalities, lifestyles, and philosophies in this industry. I'd love to hear what you guys thought about trucking before you began your career, or what you think about trucking now if you're getting ready to begin your career.

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My biggest doubt was being able to handle being away from home more than few days at a time. It was difficult at first, but being able to FaceTime with my wife and son I was okay. I would say my biggest fear was backing in tight spaces. But after weeks and months of practice I figured it out. A couple of the Walmart stores I delivered to in Cook and Lake County (Chicago) were very tight and required blind sides. Those stores were made for big trucks.

Oops. What I meant to write was the old Walmart stores in Cook and Lake County were NOT made for big trucks. They were made for day cabs and pup trailers. It's a lot different when you have a sleeper cab and a 55 foot reefer.

- Dean

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Why did you get started in trucking, and what were your biggest concerns?

I'd love to see everyone share two things with the group:

1) Why did you decide to become a truck driver? What did you hope to get from it?

2) What were your biggest doubts, fears, and uncertainties?

We have such a wide variety of personalities, lifestyles, and philosophies in this industry. I'd love to hear what you guys thought about trucking before you began your career, or what you think about trucking now if you're getting ready to begin your career.

After 6 years of service in the USMC, 6 years of college, and 25 years of IT, I needed a change. I had always wanted to learn how to drive a semi. I drove a HEMTT for a while in the service, but I wanted more.

My biggest doubt was being able to handle being away from home more than few days at a time. It was difficult at first, but being able to FaceTime with my wife and son I was okay. I would say my biggest fear was backing in tight spaces. But after weeks and months of practice I figured it out. A couple of the Walmart stores I delivered to in Cook and Lake County (Chicago) were very tight and required blind sides. Those stores were made for big trucks.

Before my career I knew a little about trucking. My stepbrother just completed his 30th year. My Uncle and a cousin both drove for Dot Foods.

I'm going back to Schneider in 2 weeks. Back to Walmart dedicated. One of the best perks is being able to park behind my local Walmart on off days - - no commuting.

-Dean

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Tips to staying alert while driving

This article was recently posted on the Slice of Orange Blog

Stay Alert While Driving

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Why do you stay driving for your company?

I'm on my way back to Schneider after extended time at home to care for a family member. Whether I go back to Walmart Dedicated (Tues thru Sat) or Edwardsville, IL. Regional (Mon thru Fri, maybe Sat am) I'll be in good company. Never had a commute - always parked at my local Walmart store. Both the Walmart DC and Edwardsville OC are more than two hours away from my home.

Loved the orientation and on-boarding. The people I worked with at both locations were honest and upfront. Never had an issue with adjusting my days at home when I asked. They understood why I need to be home for an extended period and were grateful when I reached out to get back in the saddle.

Dean

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