Profile For Cowboy

Cowboy's Info

  • Location:
    Leeton, MO

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:
    Cowboy On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

Cowboy's Bio

Just turned 50. Wife and I are empty-nesters and we want to see the country together (I'll be driving and when allowed, she'll be riding---she wants no part of driving) and get paid doing it. My father and brother were truck drivers and loved it. I've been around it all my life. So, here I am, itching to get on the road and needing to go to CDL school and learn the industry.

I have been doing research on TT for a while now and have decided to go with Roehl. Got my CLP and am waiting to start their GYCDL program in Marshfield, WI on 13 Jan 2020. In the meantime I'm getting ready for the holidays and will be doing the High Road Training on here and following a lot of your training diaries.

Hobbies: Horseback Riding, Fishing, Reading and Watching Old Movies,

Cowboy's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Wed, 14 Jan 2020

Day 3: Started working on the pre-trip in earnest this morning with our assigned training trucks. I have a real good class of 14 people (1 didn't show up) and a great group of guys on my truck. Our instructor is Jordan (He's cool and very good). Then there's Big Jon, 47, from Iowa; John (my roommate), 48, from Georgia; Myself, 50, from Missouri; and Greg, 54, from Indiana. We are all shifting with no problems and our stops, starts and turns are smooth, so we spent a lot of time (1.5 hours each behind the wheel) just driving around the big oval (The Roehl 500) sharing stories and joking and asking the instructor tons of questions about the truck, real world driving and the industry in general.

At the morning break we got a tour of the driver facilities above maintenance. We can come in on the weekend and do our laundry for free in the driver facilities provided we give the fleet drivers precedence since they're only here for a limited amount of time. We all got our MyRoehl App downloaded onto our phones today and got registered. (DO NOT download this app before your instructor has told you to and walked you through the registration, otherwise it causes a ton of IT headaches for both you and the company. I have no clue why, but I do as I'm told, which is the key to success here...do as you're told, when you're told, and how you were told to do it. If you get that down, you'll be fine and will very likely not fail.

To be honest, after a few days in the program, I've come to the conclusion that if you fail here it's because you either (1) didn't take it seriously and put forth 100% effort, or (2) you didn't or wouldn't follow directions and learn from your mistakes and the corrective instructions given with a positive can-do attitude, or (3) you just aren't wired for this kind of job/lifestyle. If either of the first 2 applies to you, then #3 most certainly applies to you.

Fun fact #1 (scary if you fly a lot): Commercial Truck Drivers are more heavily regulated than airline pilots. We learned that day one, hour one. Fun fact #2 (scary if you take on a heavy truck with a personal vehicle): A semi truck carries almost three times as much weight on it's front left wheel as the total weight of the average four-wheel car. Sad Fact: 14 people die every day of the month in a collision with a tractor-trailer rig. Only one of those 14 is the truck driver. You, the professional driver, are carrying the lives of all those on the highway in your hands. Sad Fact: After just a couple of days here, you already have more driving training than most people ever get with just a regular license. In just about two months over the road, a truck driver drives more miles than most average people drive in an entire year.

Sorry for the trivia ramblings. Thought it might provide some food for thought. I'm really enjoying my training here, my classmates and my instructors. I have definitely made the right career choice and chose the right company.

Stay Safe.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Tue, 14 Jan 2020

Days 1 & 2

Day 1: LOTS of paperwork. It reminded me of my first day of basic training LOL. We got key cards and driver ID's. You are not called students at Roehl. You are a trainee, because you are employed with Roehl from day 1. There was a lot of "Housekeeping" items covered on day 1, like the do's and don'ts at work and at the hotel, and expectations of both trainees and instructors. The instructors, by the way, are cool. They are humorous, good-natured, respectful, but completely serious about their trainees succeeding...not just being able to pass the test, but being a successful professional driver. I'm even more convinced that I made the right career move and that I chose the right company to work for. I have nothing bad to say about any of it.

Day 2: More chapters to read and study in the JJ Keller Truck Driving Manual, then we got the class on the Roehl way, the Save Seven, and the values and priorities of the company. After lunch we split into two groups: half went to the simulator to learn shifting and half went to the trucks to start learning the Pre-Trip. The simulator was fun (we had a good instructor) and everybody in my group of 7 did a good job. We switched halfway through the afternoon. When the day was done the instructors said the whole class did well enough in the simulator (nobody needed "special" lessons) that we will all be driving the trucks on the range tomorrow.

It is cold here. High of 30 today, but the rest of the week is gonna be 20's and teens for the highs. I planned well though and have layers so I haven't been too uncomfortable outside so far. Can't wait to be behind the wheel of a real truck tomorrow.

Stay Safe

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Mon 13 Jan 2020 (Training Week 1 Day 1)

Got into Marshfield last night at 1730, an hour later than I planned. Took almost twelve hours, but it was just due to some intermittent icy road conditions in northern Missouri/southern Iowa and having to clean salt off my windows occasionally. Otherwise it was a nice, pretty drive. Wisconsin is a pretty state. My roommate, J. from Georgia had arrived two hours before me. He's two years younger than me and seems to be a nice, laid back guy whom I should have no problems with. He hit it off quick and after buying a box fan from Walmart (for white noise) we were able to get to sleep around 2100 and slept straight through til 0530. Breakfast will be served at 0600 in the restaurant downstairs and then roll call and a shuttle van drive to Roehl at 0630.

NOTE: The shuttle van only comes on the first day of training, after that you're on your own for transportation. Plan accordingly. My roommate and I both drove our own vehicles and are glad for it. It's 0550 and I need more coffee. Will summarize day one tonight. Stay safe.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Thur, 9 Jan 2020

Three more days and I leave for Wisconsin early Sunday morning. I'm excited it's finally about to be here. My family finally put the flu behind us, just in time, and now we're getting our ducks in a row for my four week absence. I have one more scheduled phone call with my recruiter on Friday just to confirm that we're still a go and then I'll take off Sunday about 6am. It'll be 42 degrees here and 22 degrees in Marshfield. I've got my layers, sock hat, insulated gloves, thermal socks, coveralls and big safety-green winter bomber jacket. Since my pickup is not a 4wd, I'm gonna weight the bed down with un-split logs so I can get better traction in the snow Wisconsin is bound to get throughout January.

I'll be glad to get this started, and so will my wife. We're both tired of just talking and day-dreaming about it. I will do my best to keep this diary daily. I hope it helps whoever might read it.

Let me say, that so far as the pre-hire process goes, I can't find a negative thing to say about Roehl's process. They are thorough, transparent (as far as I can tell so far), professional, courteous and friendly. I look forward to working for them.

Have a great day everyone!

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Thu, 3 Jan 2020

Last day of work on my old job. I still don't feel real good...this flu bug is brutal. Wife has it now.

Anyway, gotta do another urine drug test on Tue, my last one will be past 30 days by the time I get to Marshfield, WI next week, so there's that. Gonna spend this next week spending time with my family and getting things wrapped up here at home before this whole big adventure gets underway. 2020 has to be better than 2019, cuz it wasn't a good year at all here. LOL

I'm ready to get packed and get this show on the road. Looking forward to it, but dreading the Wisconsin winter weather. Oh well, better to learn how to do it in the worst conditions than have to learn it on my own next winter. Happy New Year to everyone...hope it's a great one for all.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Ride along with G-town diary

Delco Dave, and G-Town,

Loved this diary. I remember going out on the road with my dad (O/O for almost ten years). He's been gone since 2016 and I miss him so much, he was my best friend. My brother was an O/O also for a few years until he became disabled. I learned so much about the "Real" daily life of a long-haul trucker from my many trips with both of them.

By the way, both my dad and my brother would tell anyone to NOT be an Owner/Operator and definitely NOT be a Lease/Operator. The simple fact is, according to them, company drivers make just as much money but without the added stress and headaches and with more driver support and resources. (That was just a freebie LOL)

You are very wise to pair up with a good, experienced driver to get some real-world experience, before taking the plunge. Not everyone can do that, for a variety of reasons, but for those who can, I would highly recommend it. I'm flattered that you'll be following my training diary and I will definitely be following along with you as well.

SHOUT OUT to G-Town.....It shows a lot of character and dedication to your industry that you (and others like you, I'm sure) are willing to give of your time and energy, and share your home-on-wheels with a virtual stranger to help them get a leg-up on this career path. You, sir, are the reason I've always told my wife and kids that if you brake down in the middle of nowhere and can't find a cop, flag down a trucker over anybody else. They are professionals, accountable to the law more so than any other drivers on the road, and knowledgeable enough to know what to do, besides the fact many of them have families back at home themselves. I salute you, G-Town, and hope to see you out there on the road one of these days.

Happy New Year to you Both

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Tue, 31 Dec 2019

Well, this is my last week of work at my "Old Job". I've had the flu for the past two days, so stuck at home, sick as a dog and never far away from the toilet. I'm due in Marshfield Wi on 13 Jan, so glad to get this crap out of the way before then. I'm waiting on a call from my recruiter's associate, who will ensure that all the t's are crossed and I's are dotted, then will receive my lodging information. It's about a 9-10 hour drive from my home in Missouri so I will be leaving early on Sunday, Jan 12th. Can't wait, and neither can my wife. We're ready to get this next chapter of our lives under way and to face the new challenges that await.

In the meantime, doing a lot of studying on pre-trip and watching instructional videos on that and backing. I'll have to pass a Missouri CDL skills test so I'll have to parallel park an 18 wheeler. Ouch! Anyway, trying to stay patient and get prepared. Getting ducks in a row here at home as well.

Happy New Year to Everyone and Stay Safe!

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

My Roehl training adventure

This diary has been such a "page-turner" Wild-Bill. Thank you so much for sharing everything about your experience. I have hung on every word. After reading, and re-reading many parts, I am even more confident and determined that I have made the right decision to be a long-haul truck driver and to do it through Roehl's GYCDL program. I won't be able to match yours or Wine Tasters' diaries, but I will carry on your tradition by sharing my experience through a training diary. I'm due to start in Marshfield on 13 Jan. I can't wait and your diary has both made me more excited and more serious about my pre-study.

One of the best things about these diaries is that my wife and I read them together, so she gets a "feel" for what to expect of my time there, rather than just taking my word for it. She too has a strengthened respect and admiration for our countries truck drivers (last of the cowboys), and is excited for this new chapter in our lives as well.

Can't wait to read about your Phase 2 training. God bless and Happy New Year!

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Thanks for the info on fuel gloves, G-Town. Great Advice!

Merry Christmas to All!

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

G-Town,

Thanks for the info. That's what I needed to hear. I'll be doing dry-van so it sounds perfect. Between you, Wild-Bill, and the instructors at Roehl, Marshfield, Wi (so I hear), I'm sold. Just ordered a large one from Amazon for about $38. Much appreciated and it will be perfect for after training too.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Cowboy, thanks for your service!

I agree that Roehl is a great choice. The training is about as good as it gets. I know you’ve been reading along with my diary, so, you’re prepared for the highs and lows. I know by your comments that you’re a fighter and will push through to get it done.

If you’re looking for gear for the trip. I’d recommend a high visibility winter coat like this. The instructors all have one and about half the students in my class including myself ended up buying one (early Christmas present in my case). Size it large enough to go over your layers. You have to wear a something high-vis in the yard. They’ll provide you a vest if you need but the coat is much nicer.

0780120001576983817.jpg

Wild-Bill, Are these coats pretty warm? It's hard to tell from the picture how thick and heavy they might be. Thanks, Cowboy

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

A few more photos:

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Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

A few more photos....a little bored watching the ballgame.

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Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Just posting some photos here so they'll be added to my gallery.

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Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Uploading Photos to TT

I want to upload photos to my TT Profile. I have an Avatar photo, which I want to keep. The only option I'm given on the "Update Profile" page is to upload a new Avatar Photo. It replaces the one I want to keep, but it doesn't add photos to my My Photos like I see on most everybody else's profiles. I've tried emailing photo attachments to photos@photos.truckingtruth.com (doesn't work). How do you guys get photos on your profile page?

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

My Roehl training adventure

Awesome!!!! Knew you could do it, Driver.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Wild-Bill,

Thanks for your thanks.

I have indeed followed your diary, hanging on every word. Thank you for sharing the whole, sometimes brutal, experience. I'm emotionally and even physically exhausted from your last week's posts. Even my wife noticed how much better my mood got after I read that you passed that test after all. I've never taken a CDL test, but I've tested for a lot of other things before and it's funny how much your training kicks in and takes over when it's for real and not a "practice" test. I've had those feelings before, so that's how I knew you'd pull it out when the chips were down. You, my friend, are a truck driver, a professional, and I look forward to buying you a cup of coffee somewhere out on the road in the future.

What division and fleet will you be in?

Take care, enjoy your home time and keep in touch.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Sat, 21 Dec, 2019

Brandon, thanks for the info and encouragement. I can't wait.

Passed my CLP tests last Friday, but didn't have the $42 to pay for the Permit until yesterday. Uploaded the permit, spoke with Roehl recruiter, Ryan, and now have my signed Roehl Employment Offer letter in hand. I will start the GYCDL training 13 Jan 2020. I will be assigned to the Dry Van Division in the National Fleet, 36.5 CPM (Just what I wanted). Ryan has been an amazing recruiter, walking me through each step of my pre-hire process. He explained everything in detail and answered all of my questions, to the best of his knowledge, and he was honest about telling me what things he didn't know or was unsure of. I had lots of questions and follow-up questions, but he was really patient and forthcoming with answers. My Employment Offer letter outlined nearly everything we had already discussed, and there were no surprises, except a couple of good ones. I hope to get to meet him and thank him in person while I'm in Marshfield.

For Christmas, my wife is helping me pick out and buy my supplies for school (heavy winter coat, clothing layers, duffel bag and such). She is super supportive. She doesn't like my job, or income, any more than I do and we both look forward to seeing the country together in the future when I'm authorized to have her riding with me. We know lots of couples who have recently become "Empty Nesters" and they're depressed and wondering what to do without the kids around and whether their marriage will last, and we're like "Good Grief". Tam and I are embracing and looking forward to this phase in our life. We've raised our kids well, they are serving in the military or working good jobs and raising kids of their own and doing fine. We are both 50 and feeling like 30 again. We're in good health and believe in living and experiencing life, not just reading about it or watching it on TV.

As a veteran, I've been around the world and seen just enough of this great country to know there's a whole world to explore out there and my wife and I look forward to seeing and experiencing new sights and things as we go. We're old enough to be patient with the training phases and the learning curve the next year will bring (and beyond that) and experienced enough to know how to adapt, improvise and overcome those unexpected challenges that always seem to crop-up. We're old pros at making plans in pencil and then erasing and rewriting them as we go. The key to our success is simply that we always face it together and come out stronger on the other side.

Anyway, sorry so long and rambling. Merry Christmas to everyone, especially those who may be stuck out on the road this holiday. God bless and stay safe.

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