Flatbed Drywall Load

Topic 20375 | Page 1

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Bob D.'s Comment
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I'm new, just out of cdl school solo now maybe 3 months flatbedding. I was wondering how long it takes the average joe to unstrap, fold two wallboard tarps and put it all away. I set a stop watch and it took me 45 minutes. This was probably my 15th load of drywall now. I watch other truckers sometimes and they seem like they are securing stuff twice as fast. I don't know why I care about my speed so much. I been unsecured sitting here waiting for an hour now to get unloaded and sometimes I wait 3 hours on top of the unsecurement.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Bob, there's nothing wrong with 45 minutes. Honestly, I think it's very good.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't sweat the stopwatch so much. Timing is subjective.

That being said, maybe it's in your method. I've always been hardwired for efficiency, and approach anything I do in an assembly-line like fashion. No wasted movement. Maximize what you get done and minimize the amount of steps it takes to do it.

45 mins isn't bad though. Some guys spend 45 minutes complaining about this or that before even starting the unload.


Driving While Intoxicated

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree, 45 minutes is good, especially considering how long you've been at it. When I was hauling Lowe's loads and drywall loads regularly, I think it took me about 35-40 minutes to untarp and unstrap and get everything put away. That was after two years of practice.

I always wanted to go faster too, especially in the beginning. You'll get faster and faster with practice.

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't even sweat the timing so much. Just focus on doing a good quality job and I can promise you the more that you do it and the more repetitions you get in then your speed will come naturally. As the others have said I agree 45 minutes is not a bad time at all. You seem to be doing good already.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Turtle wrote:

Some guys spend 45 minutes complaining about this or that before even starting the unload.

Y'all know I am no flatbedder, but I got a serous chuckle out of Turtle's profound statement here. Man oh man, if truer words were ever spoken...

I recall a gentleman, couple of years ago, complaining at the driver's window of the terminal office about the lack of mileage on his recent store runs. He'd been at it for about two weeks, and he was putting on a show about not getting enough miles and difficulty getting into the stores, blah, blah, blah. He failed to realize that the number of stops and multiple dispatches during a shift add to the income potential. So as I usually do, I bypassed the window, entered the planning/dispatch office, pulled my load papers (which I knew the route number because it's on the preplan I receive on the QC), had an available DM dispatch me on the load. Simple...

On my way out, the complaining gentleman was still at the window. So I went about my business, got under my trailer, pre-tripped it, checked the seal, locked it, pumped up the air in the trailer, sent in my macros 1 & 2...pulled out and parked where I usually do near the terminal office to make my last and final pit-stop before departure. It was a tad over 25 minutes since I got my paperwork and was dispatched... As I entered the office, the same guy was now runnin' his mouth because they removed the original load from him and put him on a longer run with a much later dock-out time... I left and was on my way, while he sat in the lounge simmering away not knowing what he did to deserve this...

Turtle's reply reminded me of that driver and his hapless attempt to Fight City hall, without really knowing the whole story. Had he taken a different approach, a professional one and learned and understood with a 200 mile run, he can request a second shorter one...and have a really good day. But it never got to that point, because of his crappy attitude. Never saw him again...

Sorry to hi-jack this...but thought this information supports Turtle's point from a different angle.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Operating While Intoxicated

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep. I get guys complaining all t he time. Just today as driver was complaining about me coming in and grabbing a loaded trailer and he had been there all day.

Clean you take a 12'8" wide load?

No, I don't have permits.

I do. See ya later.

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