Looking To Go With Roehl Or TMC - Couple Of Questions About The Hiring Process.

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Mathiasinthe573's Comment
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Been lurking here for a while - but after finally deciding to take the plunge, I'm posting for the first time.

I've narrowed down my preferred companies to Roehl and TMC - primarily for the quality of training, home time, and company cultures that I've read about.

I don't have my CDL and I'm looking to do the in house programs with one of these companies. I've already got my DOT Medical Card and I'm studying up to get my CLP this week, I'm hoping to speed up the process.

I do have a couple of questions for of you that have experience with either company, while I'm waiting for the holiday weekend to end and talk to a recruiter.

1. How long did it take from applying to getting hired to your first day?

2. I have an 86 in a 70 speeding ticket from 18 months ago and an accident 3 years 8 months ago. In anyone's experience, will these disqualify me from these companies?

3. Any other insight I may not have read on why you'd choose one over the other, if you were in my position?

CDL:

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

The 15+ MPH over ticket will hurt you the most. Have you looked here Trucking Company Reviews and here Company-Sponsored Training Programs? Good luck and keep us posted.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Mathiasinthe573's Comment
member avatar

The 15+ MPH over ticket will hurt you the most. Have you looked here Trucking Company Reviews and here Company-Sponsored Training Programs? Good luck and keep us posted.

Yep. Those have been very helpful in narrowing down my top picks

Overall - I like the paid on day 1 part of Roehl and the varied options for fleets and hometime, but they do have the longer contract to fulfill in return for training.

TMC doesn't pay until you have your CDL - which is rough because my family relies on my income. But - from the drivers I've talked to, they make a little more money, have the nicer equipment, shorter contract, and pretty consistent hometime. Just have to make it 3/4 weeks without an income to start bringing in something.

As far as the ticket - I'm hoping that it being a year and a half old helps. Wish it were older, or not at all. But - can't change the past.

CDL:

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Just be honest with your recruiter about everything.

Mathiasinthe573's Comment
member avatar

Just be honest with your recruiter about everything.

Most definitely - no intentions of hiding anything. Direct and honest. The last thing I need to is to conceal something, get an offer, leave my current job, then find myself without a job because of concealed information. Doesn't do much good.

Hopefully I'll have more info tomorrow when the recruiters are back in the office.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Mathiasinthe573, make your decision based on the long term, not the short term. Don't worry about the length of training, whether you'll get paid during the initial phase of training, or the length of the contract. That's like picking an amusement park based on the experience you'll have getting through the front gate.

Focus on the meat and potatoes stuff:

How often do you want to get home?

What regions of the country do you want to run?

Who has the best pay and benefit package? And by the way, evaluate that over the course of the first year, not just in the beginning, because a lot of companies give big raises throughout that first year. So you might start out at less with one company but ultimately make more in the end with another company that gives more raises and has better benefits.

And we always, always recommend strongly that people stick with their first company for a minimum of one year. So the length of the contract means nothing. Rarely will a driver leave their first company within a few months and find themselves in a better position. Most of the time what seems like greener grass on the other side was simply an illusion. As a brand new driver you really won't understand how things work at these different carriers or in the industry as a whole so you're really not able to make well-informed decisions until you get some time under your belt.

Another reason to stick around is because the company that trained you now has a vested interest in your success. They paid up front to train you so now they really want to see you succeed so they can recoup their investment and run their company successfully. If you leave the company that trained you and go to another company you're now far more expendable than you were before. If this new company drops you it's no loss for them. They'll just pick up another driver the same day.

So it pays in a number of ways to stick with that first company for at least one year.

Go through these materials if you haven't already. This is our "starter kit" you could say. You'll learn all about how the industry works, learn how to choose a school and a company, and prepare yourself for the written exams and life on the road:

CDL:

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Mathiasinthe573's Comment
member avatar

Mathiasinthe573, make your decision based on the long term, not the short term. Don't worry about the length of training, whether you'll get paid during the initial phase of training, or the length of the contract. That's like picking an amusement park based on the experience you'll have getting through the front gate.

Focus on the meat and potatoes stuff:

How often do you want to get home?

What regions of the country do you want to run?

Who has the best pay and benefit package? And by the way, evaluate that over the course of the first year, not just in the beginning, because a lot of companies give big raises throughout that first year. So you might start out at less with one company but ultimately make more in the end with another company that gives more raises and has better benefits.

And we always, always recommend strongly that people stick with their first company for a minimum of one year. So the length of the contract means nothing. Rarely will a driver leave their first company within a few months and find themselves in a better position. Most of the time what seems like greener grass on the other side was simply an illusion. As a brand new driver you really won't understand how things work at these different carriers or in the industry as a whole so you're really not able to make well-informed decisions until you get some time under your belt.

Another reason to stick around is because the company that trained you now has a vested interest in your success. They paid up front to train you so now they really want to see you succeed so they can recoup their investment and run their company successfully. If you leave the company that trained you and go to another company you're now far more expendable than you were before. If this new company drops you it's no loss for them. They'll just pick up another driver the same day.

So it pays in a number of ways to stick with that first company for at least one year.

Go through these materials if you haven't already. This is our "starter kit" you could say. You'll learn all about how the industry works, learn how to choose a school and a company, and prepare yourself for the written exams and life on the road:

Thanks for wisdom. It is really easy to get caught up in the here and now, but the long term does need to consider.

I'll continue to sleep on it and of course see if my driving record has more influence than my personal preferences. But - considering your advice, I think I'd have to pick TMC right now for the long term pay and home time, even if it's means borrowing money from family to get by until the paychecks start coming in.

I'm hoping to start finding out some info on my preferred carriers tomorrow. I called them all today, but my top picks were closed. Prime, Jim Palmer, and CR England all responded to me today. I didn't have a chance to chat with any of them really. But I'd like to hear from Roehl, TMC, Maverick, Knight, and Witte Bros before the others anyway.

Fingers crossed.

CDL:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Mark B.'s Comment
member avatar

When I joined Roehl, it took about a week from the day I accepted their offer to the day I showed up for training. This was mostly time to get the physical and drug testing done before reporting. I already had my permit.

I can't really speak on their requirements for moving violations, but I can tell you that our recruiters are back to work today (I was at the corporate HQ this morning), if you want to give them a call.

I've always heard good things about TMC, except they don't allow pets. I have a flatbed buddy who turned them down over that. I can also tell you that our pay structures are different (anybody from TMC correct me if I'm wrong). Roehl's pay isn't seniority-based, it is productivity-based with different base cpm rates depending on what type of freight you are hauling (van, reefer , flatbed, curtain, regional , local, dedicated). They do pay increases quarterly and you can come pretty close to topping out after a year, depending on how you run. Many drivers do not like this system, but they also don't read/negotiate their contracts or the company policies. If you learn how to use it, it works roehlly well.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Chad C.'s Comment
member avatar

It should be only a couple of days before you hear back with a yes or no from the recruiter after applying. As far as your actual first day that'll depend on how often the company has orientation (usually weekly), how long it takes them to get your travel arrangements setup, and the availability of trainers. The companies you're looking at should have plenty of trainers and the resources to quickly set your travel arrangements.

The speeding ticket might get you because it's more than 15 mph over which is reckless driving (could be different in the state where fined), but some insurance companies might put you in a higher risk category.

I agree with Brett, focusing on the long term is a wise decision. Also your first year or two will be filled (and I mean overflowing) with plenty of ups, downs, ins, and outs during that time you'll be processing a lot of info, learning as you go. You're potential companies are good, established, and reputable I don't think there's much to worry about there. I've learned that when you pull back and look at the big picture most big companies are compensating their drivers comparably. It's all a trade off for example, more money usually equals older equipment or no health insurance. In the end they all have the same bottom line they just get there differently.

Good luck man!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Mathiasinthe573's Comment
member avatar

I spoke to 7 recruiters today. What a day!

I got to speak to my top 4 of TMC, Maverick, Witte Broa, and Roehl.

None were too phased by my 16 over ticket. It was only a 3 point offense and was 18 months ago. Apparently it could have been worse. My accident was long enough ago, they're not concerned with it either. Those are the only things on my MVR , so they all felt I should be good to go. TMC is requesting a copy of the accident report, which has proven a pain to get, but should have it to them by Thursday at which point they should have everything back to give me a final answer.

Maverick also gave me positive indications - they said I am good to do their Regional Flatbed division first day solo. Downside is that because their recruiting focus is OTR Refrigeratored right now, it could be a couple sessions before I'm off the waitlist and into training. So could be February or March since they run every 4 weeks.

Witte Bros scheduled a phone interview on Thursday evening for me to get the process rolling. They'd like to have me finalized to start training by the end of the month.

Roehl scheduled me a phone interview for Thursday on my lunch hour. They emphasized getting my CLP asap. I'm going to go test in the morning, I've been working on the high road materials and feel pretty good about passing and I've already got a valid USDOT Medical Certificate. Only thing I'd really like to know out of Roehl that I didn't get to ask today (recruiter felt rushed) was about regional division availability and hometime. This is playing a big factor considering the other 3 would be home every weekend.

So - all in all - it's still early, but seems positive so far. No one has outright rejected me based on driving record, and have said they're not worried about it.

I guess we'll know more soon.

Now I need to do some research on Percentage Pay vs mileage with TMC.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

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