Profile For David K.

David K.'s Info

  • Location:
    Houston, TX

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

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  • Joined Us:
    2 months, 3 weeks ago

David K.'s Bio

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Posted:  1 week ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

July 28 -- Starting Phase 3.

Thanks, Christopher P. That's very helpful. Yesterday, I finished Phase 2 and passed the Driver Safety Exam (DSE). The DSE was no joke. I was under the impression that the driving test was simply a formality, but in my experience, the exam included several potential fail points, including a king pin hookup that looked OK, but was not completely closed, even though it looked closed. Some of the turns were tricky. My DSE test did allow for the use of a GPS navigation device, which I otherwise would rely upon heavily, so I was not comfortable relying solely upon street signs. I came into the test thinking that backing into a parking space would be the most difficult part of the test, but I managed to do that with only one pullup. The driving and pre-trip inspection were actually more difficult than the backing because they were designed to test drivers with unusual conditions.

The 19 days of driving in Phase 2 was an intensive learning experience, not only as to the fundamentals of driving and parking a truck and trailer, but also the details of entering and receiving information in the digital tracking system. Interacting with people at shipping and receiving was a little intimidating, at times, because some people are simply rude, or angry, or tired, or otherwise not eager to interact with drivers.

But I got through it, and now I am waiting on my truck so that I can begin Phase 3.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

July 16--In Phase 2, the trainee's progress depends, for one, upon the trainer's methods of training. Fortunately, I have been with the same trainer during the entire time, and I am progressing through the program quickly. Other trainees end up driving with two or more trainers in Phase 2, which can slow down completion.

My typical day starts off at about 4:00 a.m. and finishes at about 9:30 p.m., but I am only driving about seven hours per day. My trainer is driving about the same amount. We spend more time than I expected waiting at shippers and receivers. In the next day or two, I will start the solo driving part of Phase 2. That means that the trainer will still be in the truck, but not providing as much instruction as in the early part of Phase 2. I will be expected to complete all the tasks of a company driver without help.

My understanding is that 30 days is the maximum amount of time that a driver can spend in Phase 2. After that, the driver either progresses on to Phase 3, which is solo driving, or the driver is dismissed from the company.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

July 2, 2021 Today, I finally received a start date, July 6th, for Phase 2 of the GYCDL training. In Phase 2, I will be driving with a driver trainer, and the trainer will not be team driving with me, as occurs at some companies. Instead, the trainer will be teaching me the basics of driving in the Roehl van fleet while we deliver 19 loads. For the last 5 loads, I must be able to complete pick up and delivery on my own. After that, I must be able to pass Roehl's driving test.

Although I had to wait more than two weeks after Phase 1 to start with Phase 2, I will have an excellent trainer who has more than 2 million safe driving miles of driving experience. Waiting for a trainer of that caliber should be well worth the wait.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Parking problems

Before I received my Class A, I had a Class B for a few months. I took the Class B test in a straight truck. For me, the most important piece of information that I used for parking was that the rear tandems or wheels are a pivot point; that is, the truck is going to turn around with the tandems when backing. Further, the radius of your turn when backing is going to depend, a lot, upon the length of your wheel base or the distance between the front tires and the rear tires. Finally, I was mindful of the tail behind the tandems. If the tail goes out of bounds on the test, you are going to get penalized for that. I spent some time backing and parking in an empty parking lot, with the help of my trainer, until I felt confident that I could pass the test.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Thanks Anne, PackRat, and Old School.

Ryker, (1) your cpm will depend upon which fleet you are driving with and your experience level, so your recruiter will know that better than me. The cpm varies a lot.

(2) As for personal conveyance, I have not heard much about that, but I believe that personal conveyance would be quite limited because I never heard the trainers talk about that as a way of solving a problem. Every foot that the truck moves is recorded and requires some explanation. If you live within 50 miles of a Roehl terminal or drop lot, I know that you are required to leave your truck there, not at home, during your home time.

(3) After Phase 1, Roehl provides transportation, except for short distances near your home. You might have to find your own way to a truck stop or terminal in order to meet your Phase 2 trainer.

(4) Yes, Roehl has three different groups: the GYCDL group (no license), the inexperienced group (license, but no experience), and the experienced group. Roehl provides a different level of orientation and training for each of those three groups. Those groups are separated at the beginning of the first day.

(5) The trainers will help you find someone to give you a ride if you ask for help. No one is going to stop you from using Uber, but that would be an expensive option. When I looked into using Uber in Conley, a one-way trip from the hotel to the terminal was $25 and up. The drive from the hotel to the terminal takes about 20 minutes, and a lot of that is down a highway.

(6) The orientation information sheet explains that trainees will share a room with another person, but you can get your own room for about $30 extra per night. When I was there in Conley, everyone had their own room without having to pay extra, but that may not happen if the training slots are full when you get there.

Hope that helps.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 3--June 18th. Success! All five of the people in our group passed the CDL driving test. Tomorrow, we have a half of training; then, we travel home for three to eight days. Once we have our CDLs from our home state, Roehl will schedule our Phase 2 driver training. In Phase 2, we deliver nineteen loads under the supervision of a driver trainer in the truck, and the last five loads must be completed on our own, with limited help from the trainer. In Phase 3, we are solo driving.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 3--June 17th. Today three people in our group drove to TN to take their CDL tests. We heard back that two of them passed, but we have not heard back about the third person, as I write this note. The fourth person and I will test tomorrow. We spent the morning practicing the backing maneuvers a couple of times. I managed to successfully perform those without losing any points, so I am fairly confident about testing successfully on Friday.

The group in Week 2 lost another trainee, so they are down from six to only three.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 3--June 16. Thanks Anne.

In the morning, we drove the truck south of Atlanta, primarily practicing tight turns, but getting some highway driving in, also. In the afternoon, we spent some time on the driving simulator, mainly driving through construction zones. Early tomorrow, the first truck in our group will drive to Chattanooga, TN, for their CDL test. They are leaving at about 2:30 a.m. They will have three trainees from our group testing. On Friday, I and another trainee will make the same trip to TN for our CDL tests. I believe that Roehl has, at least, a 95% pass rate on the CDL, so the pressure is on to perform successfully.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 3 --June 15th. We spent about an hour on pre-trip in the morning; then, we practiced backing the rest of the day. The trainers were grading were grading our backing, and I passed every attempt. However, I remain very inconsistent with my straight line backing. Sometimes, I do well, but at other times I have to make a pullup or two. On the last attempt, I ran over three cones during the straight line back. That was the first time that I ever had hit a cone, but because I lost only one point on the offset and alley dock, I still passed that last set of backing maneuvers. I believe that only one person in our group is not passing the backing maneuvers. We are scheduled to test on Thursday and Friday. I'm in the Friday group.

Our group, in week 3, still has five trainees. The group in week 2 lost two trainees, so they are down to four. The new group in week 1 started with only three trainees .

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 3, June 14: Today, we spent a lot of time on pre-trip inspections, and we did some driving around Atlanta. My instructor told me that he was confident that I would pass the CDL test on Friday. I believe that Tuesday will be crunch day because we are going to spend all day Tuesday on the backing maneuvers. Consistently performing those maneuvers well will be necessary to proceed on to testing day.

On Saturday, June 12, we had a half-day of in-class instruction on trip planning.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 2, Friday, June 11th. In the morning, we practiced the in-cab part of the pre-trip, including the complete air leak test. After that, we spent the rest of the day working on the alley dock backing maneuver. The instructors gradually reduced their level of involvement in training, and in the end, they were only correcting our mistakes, when we made them. Most of our group was progressively improving on the alley back procedure. I am on-pace with the skills development schedule.

The two guys who were in their third week, the group that is one week ahead of us, tested today. Both of them passed and received their CDL. Our group is the second-week group, now. So next week, we move to the third-week group, and we will have a few days to continue training before we take the CDL test at the end of next week. We started with six people in our group. We are down to five. Before test day, we could be down to four or fewer. Although, I hope that all five of us will continue on successfully.

As long as I can remain on pace with the skills development expectations, I think that I will be in a good position to pass the test. At this stage in the training, any regression in skills development would be difficult to overcome, so everyday I must be able to demonstrate that I can retain what I have learned and further demonstrate some improvement upon that. The Roehl GYCDL program is a fast-paced program. The first day of class is only 17 days from the last day of testing. For our group, today, was ten days from the first day, but that first day seems like a long time ago. In seven days, I will test, which I expect will seem like a long time from today.

Over the weekend, I intend to have the pre-trip fully memorized. Next week, I expect to continue development of my backing and driving skills, taking each day as new challenge, and not taking prior days' success as a reason to relax.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 2, Thursday, June 10th. This morning, we practiced our pre-trip inspection; then, we spent a few hours driving through an industrial area with many difficult turns. Some of those turns would have been near impossible for me, or any novice driver, without guidance from the instructor.

After lunch, we practiced backing. I was able to complete the maneuvers well enough to put me back on pace with the program. The instructor told me that I had made great improvement. So I was glad to have finished the day with success. Tomorrow, however, will be another day with new challenges to meet. I am scheduled to take the CDL test on Friday, June 18th, but if at any time, between now and then, the instructor believes that I am not prepared to pass the test, he can cancel my test.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Week 2, Wednesday, June 9th. Today, our group practiced pre-trips and backing. The trainers switched up the backing so that we were backing from a different direction through a different set of cones. I managed to pull that off successfully, initially, but at the end of the day, I was making three pull-ups simply for a straight back, when I was not doing any pull-ups before that. My problem may be simply a matter of overthinking the change-up. However, if I cannot get back on pace tomorrow, my career at Roehl likely will be a short one. They will not tolerate much backwards movement in skills development.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

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Roehl fired one person in another group because he was not able to consistently perform the backing maneuvers.

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David, don't you think that is an odd reason to fire a person in training? Who gave you that information? Did that come directly from some of Roehl's personnel? If you only heard it from some other students, I don't recommend repeating it.

Old School, yes, it is true that I do know for certain the reason that Roehl decided to fire that person, but I talked with that person, his trainer, the other people in his group, and other trainers, and without exception, all of them discussed backing as the problem. He had a day or two of extra training and that was it. He was trying, but he was not improving fast enough. And yes, we are only a few days into the program, but that's all the time that we have to demonstrate our capacity to learn to drive heavy-duty trucks, as novice drivers. If Roehl does not believe that a trainee has a very high probability of passing the CDL driving test after less than three weeks of training, then that trainee will not be allowed to take the test as a Roehl employee. One trainer that I spoke with explained that everyone that he sent to test passed the test. That is a 100% pass rate. And one of the reasons for that success rate, according to the trainer, is that people who cannot demonstrate the capacity to pass the test are not allowed to take the test as a Roehl employee.

And yes, we all have different levels of fear of being fired in the first couple of weeks. We see it happen. The best novice driver in our group is taking vacation time from his previous employer and has not officially left that job, just in case the Roehl job does not work out (his explanation, not mine).

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Thanks, Anne. Week 2, June 7-8. This week, we are alternating between one day of road driving and one day of backing. One person in our group quit, so now we are down to five. Roehl fired one person in another group because he was not able to consistently perform the backing maneuvers.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Days 4 & 5 June 4-5 In the morning of June 4th, we started driving on city streets and practicing turns. In the afternoon, we went back to backing. On Saturday, we had a half day of in-class instructions. I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday working through about 40 videos that we were assigned to watch.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Day 3 -- June 3 We spent the entire morning going over the pre-trip inspection. After lunch, we started to practice straight backing.

Yesterday, somebody in another group was sent home for failing a drug test. All six of the people in my GYCDL group received clearance, today, to proceed with on-the-road training.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Day 2 -- June 2 Full day of in-class training, mostly about safe driving. We started training on the pre-trip inspection during the last hour.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

Day 1 -- June 1 Roehl sent a van to pick up the GYCDL group from the hotel. Six of us are in this week's class. Today was the only day that Roehl will provide transportation to and from the hotel. After today, we must provide our own transportation. I think everyone, but me, brought their own vehicle, so I will be getting a ride from one of my classmates.

After arriving at the training center, we filled out a few forms; then, all of us, except one, were driven to take another drug test. For me, that was the third drug test in two weeks for Roehl. When we returned to the training center, we took the physical capacity test. I was concerned about that test because the test preparation videos that Roehl sent us included some crouching and duck walk maneuvers that I would have had difficulty performing. The actual test included none of that. Instead, we were asked to perform the basic functions required of any truck driver, such as lifting and closing the front hood, opening and closing the cargo trailer, lowering and raising the landing gear, and checking to make sure that the king pin is locked into the fifth wheel. The last maneuver was what I anticipated would be difficult for me, so I brought a pair of knee pads so that I could get down low enough to check the locking mechanism. Everyone in our group passed the physical capacity test.

After the drug test and the physical capacity test, we completed our I-9 forms, and Roehl issued our Driver Code and Log ID. At that point, we became Roehl employees. For rest of the day, we learned about completing physical logs and the basic regulations for drivers. We were issued a considerable amount of homework, including memorization of the pre-trip inspection. Roehl expects us to take the CDL exam in two weeks, so we will be busy preparing every day.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Roehl Transport--Get your cdl program

PS: to my above, darn me .... did you figure out your 'drop lot' dilemma?

Thanks!

~ Anne ~

Yes and no. With the help of people on this website, I found a few places where I could park, but I do not know, yet, whether Roehl will allow me to park in those places while I am on home time.

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