Profile For Kevin W.

Kevin W.'s Info

  • Location:
    Charlottesville, VA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 1 month ago

Kevin W.'s Bio

I started by driving career by attending Roehl Transport's company sponsored CDL program in Marshfield WI (May 2015). I started out as a national OTR driver pulling both flatbed and curtainside for Roehl.

I am currently pulling a dry van for Roehl on a 7/7 schedule (based out of Richmond VA).

Driving is my third career. Previously I served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat engineer, and I spent just over a decade examining patents for the U.S. Patent & Trademark office.

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Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Transportation Services Index: Health Of The Trucking Industry

I find it interesting that driver pay had a peak in 2009. That peak occurred at about the same time that freight hit its low point on the first chart. That has me wondering. It seems that more freight does not mean more pay, it seems may be more of an inverse relationship. Then again it could be a coincidence with outside factors playing a part.

I would have expected the drivers to be averaging less pay when there was low freight volume in 2009. Did a lot of drivers leave the industry during that time?

I am also wondering if the trend of using per diem is affecting driver pay. Driver pay has clearly been declining. Is overall driver compensation down relative to inflation, or are there factors like per diem having a substantial affect on the numbers? Are electronic logs playing a part in lowing average driver pay? Is enforcement limiting the miles a diver can average, and therefore lowing pay?

Brett's graphs present more questions than answers for me.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Starting at Roehl this month

I start CDL school/training with Roehl Transport on Monday (May 18th). I plan on doing just what Old School and Jeffry T. have advised within this thread...learn and persevere.

I have found a lot of positive comments about Roehl Transport here TruckingTruth, and from other sources. It is important to me to start begin my career with a company, like Roehl Transport, that focuses heavily on training and has an outstanding safety record. It seem like the first year will be a major learning experience with some serious challenges no matter where I start. I want to learn all that I can and operate safely while I learn.

The most consistent criticism I have found about Roehl is that they are a 'good starter company', and once you get some experience there may be some higher paying companies. Since I am just starting out, I did not see those criticisms as being a major negative.

Jeffry T. did touch on one concern I have, which was Roehl seems to have a rather short period of time with a trainer. They have extended the CDL school from 3 weeks to 4 weeks, but the time with a one on one trainer remains only "up to 15 days". That seems like a short amount of time to learn what I imagine is a lot of information before going solo. There is an additional phase of training when you first go solo where they assign you to a fleet training manager. I wonder how helpful and effective that is as a new solo driver.

Good Luck, Mallory! I hope we both made a good decision when we chose Roehl.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

DOT Physical & Medications

I have lived in Virginia a vast majority of my life, and I was not aware of our 'Nazis hiding along the interstate' problem until today.

Ironically, so far the only discrimination I have experienced within the trucking industry has been due to the fact that I reside in Virginia. It seems that several of the Company sponsored CDL schools I researched will not hire from Virginia. Perhaps those companies knew the Old Dominion was a haven for Nazis... or maybe we have a reputation for being bad drivers. It feels wrong that I am bothered more by the latter option.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Anybody have one of these?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002C8HR9A/ref=pd_aw_fbt__la_img_2?refRID=19X72V13QPK8PXF1S752

Yes, I own and have used a Wonder Wash at home. It works surprisingly well to clean small loads of laundry. I used it regularly for about 6 months while I was renovating my townhouse.

I would have several concerns for using it on the road. First, it works best with warm water, and it uses several gallons of water to wash and rinse the clothes. Next, I would be concerned about drying the clothes after the wash. There is no spin cycle to start drying the clothes. The clothes come out fully saturated, and the saturated clothes will take a long time to air dry. And finally, I believe the size of it would make it a bit awkward to store in a truck. There is no way to break it down into small, easy to store pieces.

I would recommend it for use at home, or in an RV, or car camping. I am not sure I would recommend it for trucking.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Roehl's Florida Fly & Drive Fleet

Oh, BOO... I see they don't allow pets. That is a huge negative in my book. :(

Roehl has a video on their YouTube page announcing they will soon be changing their pet policy. It seems that they will allowing some pets in the near future. I found the video because I am interested in Roehl and I have considered taking my dog with me once I get some experience. My dog, Eliza, weighs right at the 60 pound weight limit that Roehl seems to be setting for dogs.

Of course this topic is regarding their Fly & Drive fleet, and I am not sure how that works with their new pet policies.

Roehl Transport - Pet Policy Update

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Roehl Transport - On The Job Training

I'm not sure what it is about the changes that makes you feel like now Roehl is the one. I mean, they're a great company for sure. But all you talked about was a few basics like the length of their training and the training pay. I mean, you're not going to choose what company you start your career with because they'll pay you $10/hr for a few weeks, right? I mean, McDonald's will do that.

I wouldn't worry too much about the particulars of the schooling. That will be over in a few weeks. What you're looking for is the right company to work for. You should be looking at home time, equipment, types of freight, and opportunities they have in various divisions. Who cares if they pay for your $8 lunch or pay you a McDonald's salary for a few weeks. Focus on finding the best company to work for. All of the various Company-Sponsored Training Programs will do a great job of training you. It's after the training is over that your career begins. You want to make sure you pick a company that suits you well.

Brett,

I appreciate your advice. I enjoy this website and have found it invaluable in learning about the opportunities in trucking.

I agree school/training is temporary and should not be "the" deciding factor in selecting a company. My previous career and background is in engineering. I have likely over analyzed this decision. In my research, I have been looking at training, hometime, benefits, equipment (maintenance), types of freight, locations and the variety of opportunities available within the companies. I am completely new to the trucking industry, so there is some uncertainty about what I really want long term.

I want to do CDL training through a company sponsored school. I want to start out OTR national. I want to seem more of the country. I really like the idea of a larger company for many of the reasons you listed in your article on considering a larger company. I want physical support and structure. And I do not mind being a number. I have decided I want to start out driving a flatbed. I like the added physical challenge and variety that comes with a flatbed.

Knight is the only company I have eliminated based on CDL school. They will not hire me out of Virginia to go to their CDL school. There is a lot that I like about their company.

I was looking at Swift because they are a massive company with lots of opportunities, good pay, good benefits, lots of locations, and what seemed to be a solid training program. I used them as the company to compare others against, and it allowed me to eliminate a lot of companies.

I was originally attracted to Roehl based on their interesting hometime options. Being home more often, and having more options of how I choose to do that, is more important to me than how much I make per year. The more I looked into Roehl, the more I liked about them. The most consistent criticism of them that I can find is they manage you closely and they are better for new drivers.

I want to find the best fit for me to learn this job. It is my plan to work hard and learn as much as I can for at least a full year, and then re-evaluate my situation and my opportunities through more experienced eyes. I would like to be with a company that offers lots opportunities, because no matter how well I choose initially, my choices may change significantly with experience. Ultimately the best opportunity may be with a different company after I gain experience and knowledge.

Brett, thanks again for your advice. I welcome any insight you have to offer, as well as that of any others on this forum.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Roehl Transport - On The Job Training

Did someone from Roehl tell you this because I did not see any of this information in their website as of yet. I had my choices narrowed down to Knight or Roehl but it looks like Roehl will be the best fit for me, good luck to you.

Yes, I spoke with two different recruiters at Roehl about these changes. I also received the information in writing. The Roehl recruiters seemed excited and said they had been working on getting these changes approved for a while. The approval recently went through. As for their website, I can only assume it will take them some time to make updates.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Roehl Transport - On The Job Training

I have been viewing this website for more than a month. Most of that time was spent learning as much as I can about the trucking industry and company sponsored CDL schools. This is my first post. It is the first time I felt I could contribute something new and informative to those who are interested in company sponsored CDL schools, and more specifically the changes Roehl Transport is making to theirs.

I am looking to start a second career, and I would prefer to go through company sponsored training. Over time, I have narrowed my list to Roehl Transport and Swift Transportation, and I was struggling to choose between the two. That changed today with some new information from Roehl.

Roehl Transport has changed Phase I of its training from a Company Sponsored CDL School into what they are calling On-The-Job Training. It seems that Roehl is quite serious about changing more than how they refer to their company sponsored CDL training. The biggest change is when you are hired and Roehl begins paying you. I was informed that I would be hired at the start of my CDL training and paid an hourly wage ($10/hr) during the training for my CDL. The training will be extended by one week (from 3 weeks to 4 weeks). This extra week should add 30 additional hours of training, most of which is said to be driving time.

Previously Roehl has only covered lodging costs during their CDL school. As a Roehl employee during training, they will cover some additional costs. Roehl will continue to cover lodging costs, and will now cover travel costs and provide meals for this first phase of training. Breakfast will be provided by the hotel, while Roehl will provide lunch and dinner on training days. Monday through Friday are full training days, and Saturday should be a half day of training.

The downside of this added investment by Roehl, and their higher training costs, is the contract requires payment of the entire training cost if you do not fulfill the terms. If you fail to drive 115,000 paid solo miles for Roehl, you will owe them the entire training cost of $5000.

The second phase of training at Roehl, the on the road training with an instructor, seems to be unchanged. After getting your CDL, you will spend up to 15 days on the road with a trainer, during which you will be paid $90 per day.

Roehl was eager to provide this information in writing. The details are covered in an employment contract and a pre-hire letter. Based on these changes to their CDL School/On-The-Job Training, I feel quite confident with starting my truck driving career with Roehl Transport.

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