TruckingTruth logo

Advice on getting back into trucking as a new driver!

Topic 18253 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Tanner M.'s Comment
member avatar

I need some advice as how to get back into trucking as a new driver. Why I had to quit is somewhat unusual. But let me explain.

I originally started out with Roehl Transport with there "Get paid to get your CDL Program". I went through their 4 week program in Phoenix, AZ and had a complete blast there with the instructors. I was the only one in my class after 1 week because my other classmate quit. So I had the instructor all to myself. He complimented me many times that I was a complete natural at it. I caught onto everything very quickly.

I passed my testing and got my CDL 4 weeks later. Then 1 week after getting my CDL I was out with my trainer for 2 weeks. After my 2 weeks was done we got a load back to the terminal. My trainer gave me some last min tips and I said goodbye to my trainer and I went home that night so I could sleep in my own bed since I only lived 30 mins away from the terminal and hadn't showered for 3 days.

Anyway, the day after I got back I was suppose to take the test that Roehl does to determine if I was ready to go out on my own. My trainer was confident that I would do just fine and pass. But the next day came and my sister got into a very bad head on collision with another car and I missed my test due to being in the ER with my sister and family all day. Unfortunately my sister's condition was bad enough that someone had to help her out with certain things at home for while but not bad enough for her to stay in the hospital. My mom and step dad were both working full-time jobs and couldn't afford to take the time off of work to care for her because of bills.

So I had to step up and help her out until she got better. But when I explained what was going on to my fleet manager. He didn't really believe me and was just accusing me of not wanting to do the job which was not true. I loved it. But my sister needed help. Its been a few months and my sister has since gotten better. I am currently working at a retail store so can pay my bills. I'm interested on getting back into trucking.

But not sure how to go about it because I'm worried if I use Roehl as a reference they will tell whatever company I apply to that I quit because I didn't want to do the job. Plus I only have about 5,000 miles driving experience. Any advice anyone could give me would be much appreciated.

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.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Why not call Roehl? You can speak with a recruiter and maybe someone other than your old manager. At least find out how they would respond to reference requests. Also, make a plan for how you might handle a similar family situation in the future. Even if you can rely on friends for a day or two, it gives your employer a chance to work with you.

As a former hiring manager and business owner (not trucking related) your story, by itself, shouldn't prevent you from getting a job. However, if I was considering hiring you, I'd want to know how you might handle the situation differently in the future.

Respectfully, many families deal with what you experienced. Especially military. While there's no easy solution, sometimes we must do difficult things. I hope this helps. Good luck.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

I am going to agree with Steve. My first call would be to Roehl. They have already invested time and money in you. Keep us posted.

good-luck.gif

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm with Steve & TM.

Call Roehl first.

Also, make a plan for how you might handle a similar family situation in the future. Even if you can rely on friends for a day or two, it gives your employer a chance to work with you.

As a former hiring manager and business owner (not trucking related) your story, by itself, shouldn't prevent you from getting a job. However, if I was considering hiring you, I'd want to know how you might handle the situation differently in the future.

Kind of on the fence about this one. I'm not close with my family per se' - but if my brother/sister/kid got in a head-on, and I needed to step up in an emergency, family does come first. It's not like he abandoned a truck under a load, and ran home.

Since he was "disbelieved" by his FM about the situation - perhaps a copy of the accident report as proof. Though lord knows I'd be angry about having prove such a thing - I put the shoe on the other foot, and I can see how the company has probably heard every inventive excuse in the book.

We've heard of instances of family emergencies, where drivers were direct to go to the airport and go home - and a team was sent by the truckstop to retrieve the truck and the load, and bring the truck back to the terminal.

At any rate...

You have your CDL - zero experience - and a few months out of the drivers seat.

You are going to need, at the least - a refresher. At the most - getting on with a company like Prime/etc. - and doing the "Phase II" of their training - teaming with a trainer for 30K miles (+/-). Even if you get back with Roehl, they're going to want to send you back out with a trainer before cutting you loose solo.

Not sure if your "training obligation" to Roehl is going to prevent others from considering hiring you (like companies are reluctant to hire CRST folks because of their contract).

Best of luck. Keep us posted on your progress.

Rick

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Here's my concern Tanner, and hopefully I am wrong. Please provide some clarification and it will help us help you.

It seems from the way you presented the chain of events, that you just didn't show up for the test, and then contacted them several days or weeks later about the whole scenario. Is that how it went down? Because that seems to support your fleet manager's feelings on the matter, and it also seems to support your willingness to just move on to somewhere else, even though you clearly expressed you enjoyed your time at Roehl.

Can you be a little more specific as to how your communications with them were timed? Communication is an all important factor in this business, and I fear you may have misjudged how important it was that you contact them immediately when you realized you had an emergency on your hands that was going to require change to your schedule.

We've had so many reports of Roehl responding positively to family emergencies in this forum, even drivers being flown home at the company's expense to get something taken care of, that your story seems to be leaving something critical out.

I'm not trying to start a dust up, I just would appreciate some clarification as to the particulars of the timing of your communications with them.

Other than that, I agree with the others. Why would you not want to go back to the place that helped you in the first place, and surely you had some sort of contractual agreement with them, didn't you?

Fleet Manager:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
when I explained what was going on to my fleet manager. He didn't really believe me and was just accusing me of not wanting to do the job which was not true

That's not surprising knowing how many people quit trucking in the beginning. But it seems like a quick photo of your sister in her condition or the car itself would have remedied any doubts anyone might have had. Then of course there are police reports and the like for any doubters.

Fleet Manager:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Tanner, I read your story, and when I got to

But the next day came and my sister got into a very bad head on collision with another car and I missed my test due to being in the ER with my sister and family all day.

I missed where you called Roehl to let them know about your family emergency. I also don't see where you called them to arrange to come back for your tests at a later date. If you have a cell phone, these calls do not take long at all.

The idea of updating people who expect to see you is not limited to trucking. A no-show without a phone call has an even taller hill to climb when you need to get back to where you stopped.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

I agree with the rest and have one comment. If you loved Roehl, why not see if they will take you back. Maybe you did things in the wrong order with Roehl. However, you were a little messed up with worry about your sister. I would be in the same situation if something like that happened to one of my brothers, parents or wife. So call your recruiter at Roehl, explain the story and that you would still love to be driving for Roehl. As stated in another reply, they have invested time and money into you. You owe them. Why wouldn't they want to make money off you? Good luck.

Tanner M.'s Comment
member avatar

No. I contacted Roehl that same day it happened. I talked to another fleet manager and explained what happened. But my actual fleet manager didn't get back to me until 3 days later due to being out of state at the time. I think he was doing some training or had a meeting at another terminal.

Here's my concern Tanner, and hopefully I am wrong. Please provide some clarification and it will help us help you.

It seems from the way you presented the chain of events, that you just didn't show up for the test, and then contacted them several days or weeks later about the whole scenario. Is that how it went down? Because that seems to support your fleet manager's feelings on the matter, and it also seems to support your willingness to just move on to somewhere else, even though you clearly expressed you enjoyed your time at Roehl.

Can you be a little more specific as to how your communications with them were timed? Communication is an all important factor in this business, and I fear you may have misjudged how important it was that you contact them immediately when you realized you had an emergency on your hands that was going to require change to your schedule.

We've had so many reports of Roehl responding positively to family emergencies in this forum, even drivers being flown home at the company's expense to get something taken care of, that your story seems to be leaving something critical out.

I'm not trying to start a dust up, I just would appreciate some clarification as to the particulars of the timing of your communications with them.

Other than that, I agree with the others. Why would you not want to go back to the place that helped you in the first place, and surely you had some sort of contractual agreement with them, didn't you?

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Tanner M.'s Comment
member avatar

I did call that same day it happened. But my fleet manger was out of state at another terminal at the time. So I talked to an another fleet manger and he sent an email to mine to call me right away. He got back to me about 3 days later.

Tanner, I read your story, and when I got to

double-quotes-start.png

But the next day came and my sister got into a very bad head on collision with another car and I missed my test due to being in the ER with my sister and family all day.

double-quotes-end.png

I missed where you called Roehl to let them know about your family emergency. I also don't see where you called them to arrange to come back for your tests at a later date. If you have a cell phone, these calls do not take long at all.

The idea of updating people who expect to see you is not limited to trucking. A no-show without a phone call has an even taller hill to climb when you need to get back to where you stopped.

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.

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel

Need help? We have instructions for sharing photos from photo sharing sites



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com/images/header.jpg
Submit
Cancel

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More