Comments By Andy H. aka AZ Scooby

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Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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How much home drama should I share with my otr trucker?

Hi Jana, I know how stressful being away from home can be. I'm only on my first week in school and already feel it. I talk to my wife every day and she lets me know how much harder it is being the only one at home to watch our 1 year old baby. But we're gonna do this and we're gonna make it work. Anyways, first off I obviously don't know your husband or anything about him. I don't know how he handles stress or the gets angry easily or not. I think this is a decision you'll have to make on your own. I believe in communication between spouses. And I personally would want to know what my wife is doing and if she's having any problems at home. But at the same time, it could be a distraction if it were a serious enough problem. Maybe try weighing the pros and cons of either. Pros: If I tell him I will keep an honest and open line of communication. Now that he's informed we can come up with a possible solution together......and so on. Cons: If I tell him it could cause a major distraction in his training.....

Come up with as many as you can and weigh the options. Hope that helps just a little bit. Best of luck to you and your husband. Keep positive and remember we're all here to help.

Scooby

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Flatbed agility test, what does it entail?

I found the link to Roehls agility test:

The pre-work screening reflects the physical demands typically associated with a Roehl Transport driver position.

Hope this helps!!

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Frustrated Trainee

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Just an FYI on my list of recruiter questions looking at Roehl, they only have a 2 week window with the trainer and per the recruiter they do NOT Team drive, it is in fact set that time for the trainer to observe and mentor you during that time.

Good Luck!!

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Just a word of warning, my brother went with Roehl out of a private school as his first company and found out the hard way that two weeks with a trainer is not enough by a long shot. He lasted three weeks with them before landing a job with fedex.

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Hmmm. I have a friend in town here that went through Roehl's school and was out on his own after just 9 days with the trainer. He drives regional van and intermodal and seems pretty happy. Guess this is really an individual process.

What issues did your brother run into that made him leave if I can ask?

Thanks!

Roehl must be doing something right. They've received awards for 3 years in a row as being the safest large trucking company in America. I don't think they got that from just throwing their new drivers out there without having the confidence in their training and abilities. It's up to every new driver to take in as much as they can regardless of the amount of time with a trainer, and to use that knowledge to be a safe and successful driver. No one's going to be a pro after their training time regardless if it's 2 weeks or 2 months. Just learn to make smart decisions. Take your time and don't try to be a 3000 mile per week driver right off the bat. If it takes you 20 GOALs to back up into a spot then so be it. At least you did it safely. The rest will come with time and practice. So I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about the amount of time with a trainer. Use what time you have to ask every possible question you can think of and learn as much as you can. Because no matter how long you have a trainer with you, it won't seem long enough when you're all alone for those first few months.

Well at least that's my take on it as I have yet to get to that stage. I start my schooling on Mon for 3 weeks and then head to Roehl hopefully the following week. I never would've gotten to this point without TT. Greatest bunch of truckers out there!!!

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Flatbed agility test, what does it entail?

I think it was Schneider's web page that shows a video of their agility test if you want to check it out. It's very similar to the one my Roehl recruiter sent to me.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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One and done.

Actually, I am dying to get into my own truck and going solo. Being ex Navy, I have done my share of room mates and bunk mates on the bunk beds.

When I got married, I said my wife was going to be the only one I ever shared my "bedroom" with.

Well. It ain't so right now. rofl-3.gif

But as the old saying goes, this too shall pass.

I like people. And have been in the people business most of my life. But that as a whole, I am done with. The public as a whloe are idiots. We see it everyday out there on the road. Try dealing with that face to face, everyday. Day in and day out. Hundreds of times a day. wtf.gif

I want my privacy and solitude. rofl-1.gif

At least till my best friend hops on board.

Keep it safe out there. Joe S

Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm so tired of dealing with idiots on a daily basis. It'll be nice having some peace and quiet for awhile.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Sciatic nerve problems in left leg

Charles, first of all, WELCOME to TT, and we are glad to have you !!! Now, about that back pain..... Do you carry your wallet in your back pockets !!! If so, having it in EITHER back pocket can cause inflammation,spasms,hot knives going down the legs, etc. Unless you have injured your back recently, I'd bet its your wallet. To help with the healing, any type of hot pack, be it the stick on Thermo packs, or just a heating pad at home, will help take the selling out, which will stop the sciatic pain. Try that....and if it doesn't help...then its off to the bone cracker for you !!!! Good Luck !!

I forgot about the wallet. That was the first thing my chiropractor mentioned. I've been carrying it in my front pocket ever since. The other she recommended was sleeping with a pillow between your legs if you sleep on your side like I do. It helps to align your spine. I actually can't sleep without one now.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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CDL licensing

That right there is the sort of advice I'm looking for -- the only problem is cost. Private schooling seemed the way to go, but, for example, how do most people balance working full time in a pre-trucking job while also attending training, let alone while being able to afford these crazy-high tuition costs? Any suggestions, insights?

I'm not sure what schools you have available in your area, but as an example, the 2 schools near me offer weekend and evening classes just for that reason. Another thing to consider when choosing a private school is pick a few that you would be in your ability to attend. Then call around to some of the trucking companies that you're interested in and see if they will hire graduates from A, B or C schools. The companies that I applied to have a list of PREFERRED schools. And of all the schools in Phoenix that train for a CDL, there was only ONE that all of those companies hire from. So guess which one I'm going to. It pays to take your time and do the right research. Some companies don't care but some do. Hope that helps!! Good luck and ask all the questions you want. There's plenty of great people on here with a ton of knowledge to pass around.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Sciatic nerve problems in left leg

Welcome to the forum, Charles. I had sciatica for a couple of years. Not as a truck driver though. It's not an easy thing to get rid of. In my case I found a very good chiropractor that specialized in a different technique than your regular chiropractor. She did very small adjustments starting with 3 times per week and then slowly tapered off from there. I've been 6 years pain free now. Now I know that will not be possible in your case since you're OTR. I would at least try to coordinate your days off with appts to a chiropractor and get adjustments when you can. Another thing that may offer some relief is a portable battery operated electric muscle stimulator. They sell them at Walgreens for around $60-$70. This will help to relieve some pressure from your muscles being too tight. Biofreeze is another thing you can put on your back to reduce swelling. It comes in a roll on for easy application.

As a side note, I've tried other things like going to a back doctor and getting meds but they just mask the underlying problem. Most regular docs will say surgery is the only way. I heard that from 3 different doctors. I even talked with folks that had surgery and every one of them said that if given the choice again, they would not have done the surgery. It either didn't relieve the pain or made it worse. Now I know everyone is different and your problem may be caused by something completely different from mine. But I would seriously give a chiropractor a shot. Oh and ibuprofen did wonders. It worked even better than the scripts in my case.

Hope this somewhat helps you. Good luck and get that taken care of. I know how painful it can be.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Companies that do NOT require you go into other countries?

My Roehl recruiter said there are opportunities to go into Canada and only mentioned a passport if I wanted to earn additional pay. It isn't mandatory. But some companies DO require it. Just ask the companies that you talk to. There are plenty out there that would love to have you.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Its been a year!

Congrats Daniel. It's always cool to see someone your age being a responsible and upstanding person. You seem very mature. Keep up the good work and I hope to meet you someday as well.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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TWIC and other Endorsements

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My Roehl recruiter told me to get one. She even sent me an email with all of the info on getting it. She basically told me that I will make more money if I have hazmat, passport and twic so I'm getting all of them.

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I'm going with Roehl as well. :D

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When are you going. I'm going to school here, then I should be in orientation on Oct 14.

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I'm going to school here at Trainco around the end of October. I was going to go to their school in WI but they said I could go to Trainco, which is about a 15 min drive from my house.

I guess I'll be there first. I'll be sure sure to post my experiences with them.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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TWIC and other Endorsements

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My Roehl recruiter told me to get one. She even sent me an email with all of the info on getting it. She basically told me that I will make more money if I have hazmat, passport and twic so I'm getting all of them.

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I'm going with Roehl as well. :D

When are you going. I'm going to school here, then I should be in orientation on Oct 14.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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TWIC and other Endorsements

My Roehl recruiter told me to get one. She even sent me an email with all of the info on getting it. She basically told me that I will make more money if I have hazmat, passport and twic so I'm getting all of them.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Distress factor of living with a trainer?

I have yet to get to this point but like many on this forum have said, just stick it out. It may seem like an eternity while you're with the trainer but in reality it is just a drop in the bucket compared to the years you'll hopefully be on your own. You just gotta suck it up, learn as much as you can, and at the end of those 6 weeks you'll be a new and better person for it. Even your trainer was once in your shoes. So don't worry too much about it.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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What determines...

I was told with Roehl that I would be bringing the truck home under load during my home time. Luckily I'm on 2 acres, so I have plenty of room.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Let the journey begin

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But with my determination and willpower, I WILL get my cdl and get the job that I want. I don't care if I have Hitler's cousin as a trainer. I will do whatever it takes to make this happen.

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Andy, I'm liking what I see here! That's exactly what it took for me to get into the job I wanted. Determination and persistence are your best friends when first trying to get started in this. Hang in there, it won't be hard at all for you to pay that loan back once you get started working. In flat-bedding if you are willing to work hard you can make more than the average driver - actually that's probably true in all truck driving jobs, I just know from my experience in flat-bedding that it's true.

When you first get started going solo it's going to seem like you're a little slow at the load securement and tarping work and it can be a little frustrating, but you will soon develop your own style and method for getting it done. Remember that having a great attitude, and being responsible and timely with your first loads will go along way toward building a good solid relationship with your dispatcher. That relationship will be the most crucial thing in this crazy lifestyle that helps you be successful. Any time a dispatcher has a driver on his board that doesn't bother him with trivial phone calls, and consistently gets his job done and works out his own problems without having to be babysat day in and day out he notices and counts on that driver in ways that he never would an average driver. If you continue to prove yourself, it benefits that dispatcher and they will keep you in mind for the good stuff when it comes around. I know you're just getting started with school, but that's the time when you want to learn to keep that good attitude shining through, because during school and your first month with a trainer they will give you plenty of chances to show what kind of character you're made of.

Best of luck to ya! I'll definitely be following along on your progress so keep us posted on how things are going. And if you need a little help with something be sure and ask us.

Thanks for the support, Old School. I have no doubt that I'll succeed at being a truck driver. I am a very hard worker and actually prefer hard work over easy jobs. I understand there are going to be some bad days and days where I'll probably want to throw my trainer out of the truck. But I know it's all only temporary in the scheme of things. I don't think I would have made the plunge and gotten this far without TT to be honest. The people on here and the info you all have given has been the determining factor in my decisions to continue with this pursuit of a long time dream of mine. I've had trucking in the back of my mind for about 15 years now. I think it's time to make that dream a reality.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Let the journey begin

Well I finally made the leap today. I was originally set to go with Knight on the 23rd. It wasn't what I really wanted but seemed like the best option at the time. Company paid school, paid training and all that good stuff. Even had a Western Regional position. Everything was good right? Well I thought so until I put a budget down on paper and figured out what I would be making. Even if I got 2500 miles per week based on their pay scale, I would barely be breaking even. I would have the added expenses of having to leave the truck at their yard during home time and driving almost 2 hours home and back. My Jeep gets about 14 miles to the gallon. Ouch!!

So since I had a while before starting Knights school, I decided to do some more research on the companies that I had originally wanted to go with. The first 2 being Roehl and Schneider. I know I want to be a flatbed driver. Both of these companies offer that. Knight doesn't. The pay to start with these companies is more than I would make with Knight after a year. Knight starts out at 27cpm and after a year I'd be at 30cpm. Roehl starts out at 33cpm and at the end of the year I could be at 39-41cpm. Rhoel Western Regional drivers average 2000-2200 miles per week. About the same as Knight. So the pay will be significantly more doing what I really want to do anyways.

In order to make my dream come to fruition, I had to take out a loan with my horrible credit rating and am paying interest through the wazoo. I had to do this because I was denied for a school loan. But with my determination and willpower, I WILL get my cdl and get the job that I want. I don't care if I have Hitler's cousin as a trainer. I will do whatever it takes to make this happen. I have already been background checked and offered a trip to Roehl pending me getting my cdl. I also have an application with Schneider but have been playing phone tag with the recruiter. She stated she was very excited to talk with me, so I assume they liked my app. I plan on having additional companies to fall back on just in case.

So I went down to Phx and paid for school. Got my schedule. Going to be staying at a friends house about 15 minutes away so no hotel expenses. Also talked to my Roehl recruiter and should be set to go to WI around Oct 16 for their orientation. I can't wait. The suspense is killing me. Oh well. Gives me more time to finish studying up on Hazmat, Logbook, Weights and Measures and pre-trip.

Roehl, here I come!!!!!

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Day One is tomorrrow!!!

This is going to be the first thing that I discuss with my doc on my next appt. I've had borderline high blood pressure at times but it has always been normal during my checkups. So I know mine spikes during stress. Hopefully he'll agree to get me some low dose meds just for this reason. I can't afford to be sent home. Not getting paid while going to school or the first week of orientation is gonna be stressful enough. Let alone if I had to get sent home for an additional 3 or more weeks.

Anyways, good luck, Geo. Don't let this setback get to you. You'll make it.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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List of Questions to ask a Recruiter

Cool. I was trying to get remember where this was, too.

Thanks, TTM

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Dash Cam

I've heard good things about the Go Pros. Multiple mounting options and you can get a screen to see what your recording.

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