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Starting Roehl

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Honey B.'s Comment
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So I will be starting at Roehl on Monday. I am praying I have a better experience there than previously with CDL of GA. I am nervous about the physical test. The lady told me over the phone that they actually test to see if you can squat, push, and pull and then they take your blood pressure. If you fail they send you home. Yikes!

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.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Hello Honey B, have you looked at Roehl Physical Requirements ?

Also

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.
AZCindy.'s Comment
member avatar

How goes it? Where are you training?

I start Roehl 3/20. Just taking my drug/hair/physical exam on Monday so studying for my permit. C

So I will be starting at Roehl on Monday. I am praying I have a better experience there than previously with CDL of GA. I am nervous about the physical test. The lady told me over the phone that they actually test to see if you can squat, push, and pull and then they take your blood pressure. If you fail they send you home. Yikes!

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.
Honey B.'s Comment
member avatar

So I started on 2/13 and had a good experience up until I got into Phase 2 of training. Got paired with a trainer that was like a sweet and sour patch gummy. That was the longest 19 days of my life thus far. Made it through that and passed my DSE. Got into my own truck and had nothing but problem after problem. Not only issues with my truck, but also with my fleet training manager. I decided to sever my ties and move forward with another company.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

So to sum it up, I'd say your experience so far in trucking is that you hate everything and everyone.

You started out contacting Schneider and hated everyone you dealt with:

I had also contacted Schneider but didn't like the experience I had in dealing with the 3 different recruiters or enrollment specialists

Then you went to school at CDL of GA school and hated the school and their trainers:

I will say to anyone who reads this in GA, do not, I repeat do not attend CDL of GA. Terrible. Out of the 5 instructors, 4 of them are old and broken. By broken I mean multiple physical problems that limited their ability to walk. Spent more time ranting and raving about politics and old trucking stories than they did teaching. Let you get out of school early, so you did not get the full hours of training. When it was time to go on the road, the truck was old and raggedy. Broke down so we missed a day of training.

Then you were supposed to work for PAM but I can't tell if you did or not, but you hate them too:

Stay away from Driver's Solution/ Pam Transport.

Then you went to Roehl and didn't like your trainer:

So I started on 2/13 and had a good experience up until I got into Phase 2 of training. Got paired with a trainer that was like a sweet and sour patch gummy. That was the longest 19 days of my life thus far.

Then you got out of training but didn't like your truck nor your dispatcher

Got into my own truck and had nothing but problem after problem. Not only issues with my truck, but also with my fleet training manager.

So other than every recruiter, instructor, school, company, truck, and dispatcher you've had to work with would you say trucking has met your expectations so far?

I'll say this........at least you hate everyone and everything equally. You're consistent. Everyone that deals with you knows exactly what they can expect.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Honey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Can't say that I hate everything and everyone as I never said I hated anything. What I do dislike is being told one thing than have something completely different happen. As a recruiter or enrollment specialist, you are speaking on behalf of that company and the information you give about that company should all be uniform. So if I'm speak to John, Abby, Michael, or Sara, what I'm being told should be all the same. I understand recruiters using tactics to get people in the door but everyone should be on the same page with the information being given. Don't make promises to people that can not be kept in any shape way form or fashion when speaking from one person to the next.

I won't go into any further detail as to my displeasure with each situation as I've already stated my issues with each. As far as my experience with Roehl, it is simple. During my training I was told we would not run as teams with a trainer. That is not what "they" do. The trainer is suppose to be on duty while you drive and offer assistance. I get in the truck with my trainer and it was completely opposite. When he wasn't sleep while I was driving, he had no patience while doing customer check ins. Sometimes he would start out pleasant and then snap and start screaming and hollering over things that I was essentially picking up on my own. Calls to my fleet training manager went unanswered. And when she did call back, I would be driving and she would then speak with my trainer. Didn't help me at all. However, I persisted through the issues with him and finished my trainer. personally he was a good guy, trainer wise not so much.

Then when I got into my own truck, I don't appreciate having my life put on the line for the sake of delivering a load on time. First load assignment and my tractor had bad brakes. Numerous calls to safety and maintenance that basically went keep driving for 1100 miles to another terminal to have them fixed instead of going back the 300 miles to the terminal I came from. My first week solo and I spent 5 out of 7 days down while having my tractor brakes repaired. From two over the road fixes to 2 different terminals. Among other issues with the tractor. Then when I went to my fleet training manager about issues, she would never answer the phone, return a call, or would just simply be out of office. I just want to drive and make some money. Not sit around with a down tractor for most of my Phase 3 training. So after 3 weeks of the back and forth, even after moving up my chain of command as advised, I still got no where. So here I am moving forward because after numerous conversations with management nothing has been resolved and I sat around for another week not being paid, yet again, through no fault of my own. Was told I had a load assignment, never got it. Spoke with the manager of my fleet training manager, 4 days back and forth and was never dispatched. Was given feedback that my complaints about my ftm were not the first. Not my fault the ftm doesn't like to answer the phone or messages. Not my fault the tractor has numerous problems but yet I'm being punished by not being dispatched?!

So no I don't hate everyone and everything. While most people may have pleasant experiences to report on here starting into the trucking industry, mine has not been thus far. I just want to drive and be paid. And I expect if you say your going to do something as a company than it be done.

Terminal:

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Honey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett please advise am I expecting too much from this industry?! I see a lot of people on here have great experiences starting out. I feel like I'm getting the short end of the stick. I am by no means giving up, I just want to drive. I even wondered if I was just expecting too much so I asked a few drivers before I made my decision to leave, some have been driving for about 3 to 5 years. Others were coming out of training like myself. the reviews I got were mixed. So asking someone with a lot more experience in the industry am I making a big deal out of small things and this is essentially to be expected no matter where I go? Or am I right to expect something as getting my tractor fixed in a timely manner and to be dispatched timely when I'm told the assignment is there?

Tim F.'s Comment
member avatar

Honey B. Not sure what happened at Roehl, but, you just left one of the better companies in the industry. There are going to be bumps in the road, promises made and not kept. My concern is that you are now establishing a pattern of bailing on companies once things go bad. At some point your going to have to stick it out and prove yourself. The reward is better pay, better equipment and a successful career. Good luck.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, sorry I took so long to get back with you on this.

While most people may have pleasant experiences to report on here starting into the trucking industry, mine has not been thus far.

Actually, that's not true at all of most people. Most people have a long list of hardships and broken promises and unexpected challenges they pushed through, especially their first few months. We've had tons of people wind up in rather lousy equipment that was abandoned out on the road, had really high mileage, and wound up in the shop once a week or more. They didn't get their home time when they were told they would, they had maniacal trainers that screamed and berated them regularly, and some had trainers that wouldn't let them get a shower more than once a week.

Training in this industry can be an awful experience if you get a lousy trainer. That's pretty common, unfortunately. I've felt for a very long time that a few simple changes to the way training is done would help tremendously, but it's still being done the same way it was 30+ years ago.

Even once you get out of training it's common to hear drivers getting terrible miles for a while. Not always, but it's not uncommon. They get stuck in regions they don't like being in with short runs and long delays in between.

It really takes about 3 - 6 months before things often start mellowing out a bit. And honestly, the problems new drivers face are maybe half the company's fault, half their own fault, but often times they don't realize it because they're new to this game and they don't know how it's played just yet. Plus, no one worries too much about a driver until they've proven they have what it takes to make it out there and that they're going to stick around for a while. This industry is loaded with drivers that jump ship at the drop of a dime. It's an extremely expensive problem that companies face and they'll normally assume new drivers won't be around long until it's proven otherwise. Tim F really nailed this point in his response above.

I don't think you're expecting too much of this industry, but I think you were expecting too much too soon. We always tell everyone to stick with that first company for a minimum of one year and for very good reason. It's because there is going to be a prolonged period of time where you're trying to prove yourself, you're getting the rookie treatment, your miles aren't great, your equipment isn't great, and you're probably going to want to quit a hundred times in those first few months.

But the problem is you won't get the great miles, great equipment, nice pay raises, special attention from dispatch, and access to the better freight and more elite divisions within a company until you've been there for a little while, at least 6 - 12 months minimum. You have to push through the crappy part before you get to the good part.

Go easy on making demands with your company, especially in those first few months. You really want to emphasize to them that you're going to stick around, you're anxious to get more miles, and you're happy to do whatever it takes to prove you're going to be a safe, productive professional. You just have to ride out the difficulties and be persistent about wanting more miles, but patient about getting them.

I think someday you'll look back on this and think, "I probably should have just chilled out a little bit and went with the flow for a while." Everyone loves a driver who is eager to work hard. Everyone. But when you're brand new you're not ready for the workload the more experienced drivers can handle. You don't have the time management skills, the road savvy, or the driving skills just yet. That takes some time to develop. It's tough when you're brand new because you don't know how little you know at this point. Again, you'll look back and think, "Oh my God I had no idea what I was doing! I thought I did, but wow, I really didn't." We all feel the same way after getting some time out there.

I don't know what company you're with but if it's one of the majors then stick it out for a while and prove yourself. Learn your trade, and just go with the flow. A driver that gets along well with the office personnel and has a proven track record of safe, reliable performance will do very well and be treated well. It never gets easy, and you'll always have to keep pushing dispatch for more miles. Lobbying for freight is part of the job. Not demanding freight, but letting dispatch know you're eager for more. Just be persistent about it, but professional and patient at the same time. It'll come.

Keep us updated, will you? Go to the general section of this forum with any problems you come across or any situations you're unsure of. We're always happy to help you understand what's going on and how you should handle it. I hate hearing about problems after a driver has made a major career move. We want to help you work through the problems so you can keep that seniority at the company you're with and earn the great miles, great equipment, and access to the elite divisions that the proven professionals get.

Best of luck to ya and I hope we hear back from you! smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

The number one thing I have learned here is that one's own attitude towards situations will dictate how they deal with things. I am not saying you did anything worng. I don't know you and wasn't there. What I have seen in training and new drivers I have met, is not enough people start with research here. Reading training diaries lets one see first hand accounts of things they have overcome. Most companies start new drivers out in older equipment. Sometimes it takes awhile to work the bugs out. My trainer has shared with me his horror stories of going through CR Emgland's training. He stuck it out and has been with CFI for about 5 years now. When he started it was Conway. When XPO bought them all the good went to bad. He stuck it out. Now it's CFI again and things are improving. If you keep jumping ship you will eventually be shooting yourself in the foot. Everyone here is told to stick with their first company for at least one year. That is so important to be successful in this industry. In life when we encounter problems we need to look at ourselves and see how we contribute to our own problems. We have all, at somepoint in our lives, moved mountains to get where we are now. I would suggest, you plan on sticking with your next company that one years, no matter what. In trucking, your success or failure is ultimately in your own hands more than any other job. Good luck.

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