Profile For Cowboy

Cowboy's Info

  • Location:
    Leeton, MO

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    Cowboy On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    8 months, 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 CDL and am preparing for Phase 2 training OTR with a Driver Trainer. In the meantime I'm getting ready for a little down time at home with my wife and son.

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

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Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Hooked up with trainer yesterday, 2/19. Went all around Chicago and drove 107 miles to Beaver Dam, WI, where I'm three hrs Into waiting for a live unload and then will go 207 miles to drop n hook in Menomonie, WI.

Posted:  5 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

I don't even have a trainer assigned to me for me to call. All I get from my FTM is "we're working on a plan to get you with a trainer. We'll call you when we have it figured out." Today is just lost income. ☹️ It doesn't make sense that people who finished after me and four others are already assigned trainers.

Good luck to you and stay safe!

Posted:  5 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Monday, 17 Feb 2020

Well, I've been home 11 days now. My wife was notified that we had to vacate the home we've been renting for 5 years by 28 Feb, because the owner's selling it. So, I've spent this past week at home, securing an apartment for my wife, 17 yr old son, and myself. We got moved over the weekend and are getting settled in. All the while, I've been waiting on the call to meet my trainer for my Phase II training. Haven't heard anything yet. I've been told it's not abnormal to wait a week to a week and a half, but it's getting a little frustrating. I need to get on with Phase II for my 19 days so I can get my own truck and start making money. Of the four of us on my training truck, only one of us (the flatbedder) has been assigned a trainer and hit the road. The other three of us are still waiting.

Hope it happens soon. I'll get my last check from GYCDL this Thursday. The check after that will be based on what I work this week, which is nothing so far. Patiently waiting.

Be Safe!

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Sunday, 9 Feb 2020

Made it home about midnight Thursday night. So good to be home for about a week. I made life-long friends at GYCDL, including my instructor, but it was nice to be home. Got my paper-copy CDL on Friday and will contact my Fleet Training Manager on Monday to let her know that I'll be ready to roll out with my Driver Trainer this coming Thursday. Looking forward to really learning the day-to-day operations and the lifestyle now that I'm licensed. I know that I know just enough to be dangerous without a lot of further training and I'm ready for the next phase.

I really appreciate all those who have been following along, including those who did not post but just read along. I can honestly say that I made the right choice, for me, going with Roehl. There are lots of good trucking companies out there, I know. Pick the one that fits what you want and need. For me it is definitely with Roehl and I could see it being my forever company, barring some unforeseen problem or issue. As of now, I love this company, their values, their commitment to safety, their care for drivers and their families, their equipment, their facilities, and definitely their training and continued training. I am a company driver and have a goal of becoming a million-mile safe top tier driver in that capacity.

If you're a family man/woman and are considering this career, please do yourself a favor and include your spouse/significant other in your research and decision making. Make your spouse a part of the team. I am home now and we are going through the process of planning for my absences. My wife has my driver code (and my truck # when I get one) and the proper phone numbers for my FTM in cases of family emergencies. We have synced up calendars so we are on the same page for what's going on and what's coming up. We use WhatsApp, Phone Calls and Duo for my down-time contact (stay off the phone when operating the vehicle). She knows I WILL contact her when I'm down. I check her texts and voice texts when I stop driving to catch up on her day and then respond accordingly.

When you're at work, be at work and have your head in the game. When you're home, be at home and have your head out of the game and with your loved ones. Keep it properly balanced. It's not that hard if you have your loved ones fully informed and educated about the seriousness of your work and the potential dangers of you being distracted. This can be a great, prosperous, fulfilling career if done the right way.

Stay Safe! Cowboy

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Roehl GYCDL Training

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That is Awesome!!! Congrats and welcome to Team Roehl. Look forward to meeting you sometime out on the road.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

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Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Thanks to all.

You got it BigShow, just stay out of your head and drive the truck. Good luck!

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Go Chiefs!!!

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

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Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

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Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

One more thing: I've made life-long friends here that I will keep in touch with. I won't mention their names for privacy reasons, but they know who they are. I believe one of their wives follows this diary and I feel bad that I didn't get to post very much while here. My truck-mates and I all agree that we couldn't have done this without the love, support, confidence and cheerleading of our wives and families back home. This has been the closest thing I've found to the comradery and brotherhood I had in the military (three of the four on my truck and the instructor are all veterans). I really hope to run into these guys at a terminal or truck stop some time down the road.

Stay Safe

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Wow, three weeks have gone by so damn fast. First of all, I apologize for the delay in posting. There's a couple of reasons: 1) the internet sucks here at the hotel except early in the mornings and I never have time in the mornings to get on. 2) this is a fun but intense program and the priorities in the evening are eat, shower, call home, study and then go to bed. There's not much time left for other things. I'm a 50 yr old veteran and this is the hardest thing I've done since basic training.

I'm starting week 4 tomorrow. I passed my CDL test (all four of us on my truck passed). I did a perfect pre-trip and in-cab inspection, perfect air brake test, took 4 out of 12 points on my backing (all on the 90 degree alley dock) and 9 out of 30 on my road test (31 pts is failing on the road). Our truck was the only one out of four trucks to test on week 3, day 5. The others are testing this Tue and Wed. Hope they all pass.

Out of 14 people who started, there are 13 of us left. 1 got fired in week 3 for just not being able to master the skills needed to drive the trucks and he had mentally given up.

Don't do this if you're in doubt that you can finish, or if you are a quitter when things get rough. This takes a high level of commitment, dedication and determination. You will screw up, you will have bad days, you will wonder if it was all worth it sometimes, but those moments are fleeting if you stay focused and press on.

Having said all that, this program is top-notch, the instructors are awesome, the equipment is top-of-the-line (remembering that training trucks are put through hell each week). Roehl just received 300 brand new 2020 Freightliners and Internationals. We've looked at and in both of them and they are NICE. It's very likely we will get one of them after phase 2. They are all automatics :(

By the end of the year, so we were told, Roehl will be training and testing on automatics only. We're the last generation of new drivers that will have an unrestricted CDL and it's industry-wide. I will likely never see a manual again in this or any other "big" company. Oh well.

As for week 4, for those of us who have already passed our CDL, we will do close-quarters backing more like real-world scenarios, and do longer drives out of town and on the major highways. We will stop and back into spots at truck stops and learn more about how operations work in Roehl. We will meet our Fleet Training Managers and be instructed about what to do while we're home getting ready for our Phase 2 Driver Trainer to pick us up or meet us. I'm excited and proud but I'm also exhausted and ready to get home to my wife and son for some down time.

Posted:  7 months 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:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Posted:  7 months ago

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Preparing for a Trucking Career with Roehl

Posted:  7 months 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:  7 months 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:  7 months, 1 week 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:  7 months, 2 weeks 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:  7 months, 2 weeks 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

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