Profile For Irish Mike

Irish Mike's Info

  • Location:
    N. Charleston, SC

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 4 months ago

Irish Mike's Bio

A middle-aged rookie truck driver; I have my CDL and am completing my OTR training with Roehl.

Irish Mike's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  3 years ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

My first week on the road is under my belt.

An online 'friend' asked "How was your first week on the road?"

I said "educational ... and exhausting 😄"

Another 'friend' asked, "Also fun?"

My reply is pasted here as an update:

I don't know that "fun" would be accurate ;)

after all, it was hard work ... but definitely a week of "firsts"

first night/first week of sleeping in a truck

first time showering at a truck stop

first week or driving a truck (hundreds of miles a day)

and probably a dozen other little "firsts"

(like the 4 or 5 "firsts" just in this sentence: receiving and delivering [multiple products] to warehouses and receiving bills-of-lading)

I'm getting better, (more confident,) at the truck driving part;

keeping the truck centered in the lane, applying the engine brake efficiently, passing efficiently, operating the many little unique controls properly, trusting the truck's built-in controls, etc etc

learning about the paperwork, the computer log, and route & time planning, about trucker etiquette and protocol ... in both driving and socially. Also, getting to know, and gaining even more respect, for my trainer and truckers generally. Etc, etc, etc ;)

Posted:  3 years ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer


(Ed on backing, "Stop thinking, just move. If the trailer's going the right direction, fine; if not -- fix it. There's no thinking required!")


THIS!! I love this! ... I'm going to think of this quote tomorrow when I'm working on my 90 again.

I hope it helps ... and it's pretty much the same thing my trainer says: "I see where you're screwing up on your backing, you slow down or stop. If you stop - you're thinking, and screwing up. Keep it moving, adjust as you're moving."

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

Oh, all the arrangements have been made and I will begin driving with my OTR-trainer Monday 10/28.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

Irish Mike I am REALLY proud of you ...

Thanks! Really, thanks a lot.

(Though "knocking it out of the park" is a little over-the-top: I'm competent, and getting more confident. ;)

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

Oh, all arrangements have been made, and I will start driving with my OTR trainer on Monday.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

So have you found a company to hire you?

Roehl hired me and trained me.

Unless I really screw up [& get screamed at by Ed] and get fired, (perish the thought,) I plan on sticking with them for at least the 15-month contract I committed to when I was hired, probably longer.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

The nearest town would be Hebron, if you've heard of that. Not many have.

Yeah, I've heard of it ... in passing ... my half-sister lived in Glenn Falls, and our whole family gathered at Lake George in summer.

Nice to make your acquaintance ;)

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

Thanks for the encouragement, Turtle, PackRat & Blair ;-)

(Turtle, where you at? I was born in Schenectady, my cousins lived near Thatcher's Park ... beautiful country up in those hills.)


Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

My Journey with Roehl Transport a start to a better Career

... I’ve decided I’ll call Kesha on Monday morning ...

Hah, hah, Kesha was my recruiter ... she's really nice. I was in your position just a few months ago.

As others have said, the physical is not that bad, and you're half my age, so you should be fine and would probably know of any possible trouble areas already (blood pressure, diabetes, heart rate ...).

You sound like you've studied well for the permit test ... I mainly did practice tests online, and my instructor said he had just done practice tests. If you can routinely pass online practice tests you can pass the actual tests.

Good luck on the physical and the permit test.

Don't know if you'd be headed to Wisconsin or Georgia, but when you get there, get to know your truck. Re-write the pre-trip info they give you into a logical order; if possible, record (with your phone) the instructor (or another student) when he demonstrates the pre-trip. (Take pictures if that's helpful.) Then listen to the recording, walk around a truck, recite it, visualize each part, understand why you're inspecting each part (brake hoses--safety; steering linkage--safety; power steering pump--safety...)

It's a lot of info coming at you fast, it's a boot camp, but stay focussed and determined and it will fly by. Good luck.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand; waiting for OTR trainer

I just completed my tumultuous and fast-paced four weeks of training at Roehl, where I tested out and have my CDL. There I briefly meet my Training Fleet Manager and then I drove home and now I will wait about a week and should be hooked up with my over-the-road trainer.

Those four weeks at Roehl will never be forgotten, it was quite overwhelming. I'm a very quiet person and approach new people and new situations cautiously, assessing the situation before committing to my strategy. Meeting other students, new instructors, the PRE-trip information and routine, getting to know the truck, the trailer, first-time tractor/trailer driving, first-time tractor/trailer backing, plus the new location and new environment, had me visibly disorientated.

Two weeks into the program, after I haltingly ran through the brake-tests with my instructor in the cab and the two other students standing outside the truck, my instructor took that moment to address my clearly perceivable nervousness. "You've got to just bark these procedures out with confidence, like you know them, like you know what you're doing!" This, from Ed, a six-foot-four black instructor to this skinny little white dude.

I replied, "I know the procedures, I know I can complete the backing, it's the social pressure that makes me nervous, it's you sitting there that makes me nervous. I'm thinking, 'what are you thinking?' ... But just verbally addressing this is helpful to me."

"Who gives a **** what I'm thinking, you'll never see me again, unless you really **** up, of course. What about testing out, there will be an examiner sitting next to you, you've known me for two weeks, get over it. I suggest that you have these brake tests memorized, that you know them so well that you could recite them in your sleep. As far as what I'm thinking, I'm just thinking, 'does Mike really know this?' Just show me you know this and we'll get along fine."

We got out of the truck and joined the other two students next to the truck. Nobody commented on the extra four or five minutes of discussion that took place in the cab after the brake-tests. Ed and I never spoke of those few minutes in the cab on that cool dawn morning in October, but they changed the second half of my training,

I was sufficiently acclimated to the other students, to the truck, to the environment, to the routine and to my responsibilities, and after the "Who gives a **** what I'm thinking" moment me and Ed got along just fine, all the cards were on the table now, all I had to do was show him I knew what I was doing. OK, I can do that! ;)

So I just learned everything, the pre-trip, the backing, taking curves, (With Ed's "Steer straight, turn late, and don't hit the damn curb," echoing in the back of my mind.) I just learned everything until it was like taking a shower, no thinking required. (Ed on backing, "Stop thinking, just move. If the trailer's going the right direction, fine; if not -- fix it. There's no thinking required!")

The examiner who tested me out was about my height, and sure, I was a little nervous, but I literally knew this **** and wasn't just trying to remember stuff. Talking to another student later, I said, "That was easy, that was a friendly little white guy ... compared to a hulking black guy cussing and yelling orders at me?"

So yeah, training was tumultuous, but testing out? No thinking required. Thanks Ed. smile.gif

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Off to ROEHL I go!!!

Good job Chris, and congrats.

Thanks for this thread. As others have said, us newbies and prospective truckers appreciate all the info.

Good luck.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:


This bothers me because TMC told me no 3 times. They wouldn't tell me why, but they did. I applied every 6 months for 18 months and the OP just blew off such a great opportunity. ....

Hi y'all,

My name is Mike, and I've been lurking here for a while.

This recent comment here caught my attention from the main page and got me to read this whole thread.

I've recently gotten my permit and I received a conditional offer from Roehl, but I too got a "No, but you can try again later," from TMC ...

So, on top of everything else in this thread, that comment is interesting.

I love Brett's podcast, and respect his wisdom and his articles here on this website, but I had to chuckle when he thought yankees was about sports, because, as I currently live in Charleston, SC, I too had picked up on the racist tone that was being referred too by OP. (Though I used to live in Boston, and at Fenway the crowd would often break into chants of "Yankees Suck" when the boys in pinstripes were in town, and boys there is not meant to be racist, though maybe still a bit demeaning, 'cause I'm a Sox fan, and really, the "Yankees Suck" ;)

This (lengthy) thread has been extremely informative and educational!!

Thanks to EVERYBODY for all your thoughts and comments along the way!

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