Roehl Training For New Driver With CDL

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Nate_K's Comment
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Day 7 of 8 complete. I am so ready for tomorrow to be over.

Today was a lot of videos on equipment and power points on company policies.

I took a tour of the terminal. Saw the maintaince bay, drivers lounge, and where I track down my fleet manager if I wanna face to face.

Got onto the Roehl employee Web portal and got some hands on time with the truck pc system.

Today was a long day but very informative.

Tomorrow is hire day.

I will do all my hiring paperwork, get my access cards, meet my fleet manager, and whatever other surprises they throw at me.

Hoping I also find out if my trainer will be picking me up at the house or if I am gonna have to drive to the terminal one more time.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Dwight's Comment
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Good that things are going well for you. The more I read about Roehl the more I become interested in them. I take it you are doing a refresher course with them? I've been out of driving for quite a few years and want to come back. Thanks for sharing and keep posting about your experience. Take care.

Nate_K's Comment
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I take it you are doing a refresher course with them? I've been out of driving for quite a few years and want to come back.

I already have a cdl but no driving experience.

I do know one guy in the current cdl class said he already had his cdl but hasn't driven in years or never drove semi (can't remember for sure) so it might be worth calling and asking with your situation.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Nate_K's Comment
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8 of 8 DONE!

Well I started my morning filling out a ton of paperwork.

I got my ID badge, access card, fuel card, bunch of reference materials, and set up my company voicemail.

Did some more videos and power points on company policies.

I met my fleet manager and we decided the midwest regional was not gonna be a good fit so I switched to the 7/4, 7/3 schedule which is actually what I was gonna do originally.

A lot of idle time today but so glad orientation is done.

I leave with my trainer Wednesday morning so tomorrow I will do a orientation recap which will give better details on the experience.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

8 of 8 DONE!

Well I started my morning filling out a ton of paperwork.

I got my ID badge, access card, fuel card, bunch of reference materials, and set up my company voicemail.

Did some more videos and power points on company policies.

I met my fleet manager and we decided the midwest regional was not gonna be a good fit so I switched to the 7/4, 7/3 schedule which is actually what I was gonna do originally.

A lot of idle time today but so glad orientation is done.

I leave with my trainer Wednesday morning so tomorrow I will do a orientation recap which will give better details on the experience.

Congratulations! Once you have the fuel card and your driver number, it's your game to win now.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Nate_K's Comment
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Orientation overview.

So Roehl orientation starts on Monday morning and goes 8 straight days to the following Monday. It starts at 7am and gets out at 5pm daily. Lunch is from 11:30 to 12:30 and is provided. Each day you pick your lunch item and your choose 1 item out of 3 salad options, 3 cold sandwich options, or 3 wrap choices. In all honesty I didn't really enjoy the lunch options but appreciated that it was provided and I didn't have to pay for a lunch each day.

The big emphasis with the Roehl orientation is that they want you to understand their way of doing things.

Roehl preaches the Safe 7

-Slow Down -Stay Back -Know whats happening -Yield to Others -Expect the Expected -Prepare to Drive -Reduce the Risk

Basically it was pushed hard to "slow down" and I really got the feeling that Roehl truely puts safety as #1.

Another thing Roehl really pushes is "Progressive Shifting"

In CDL school (not Roehl's) we were taught to upshift at 1500rpm's and down shift at 1000rpm's. Roehl wants you to start upshifting at about 600rpm's and with each gear you increase the rpm's before next shift. Honestly it was hard for me to get into that habit and I am still not great at it. But practice makes perfect.

Honestly I do not think orientation should of taken 8 days. I seemed to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for further instruction. Now this very well could of been because I was the only student and the course is designed for more than 1 person. Also I caught on very fast with trip planning and didn't seem to have many questions which didn't help any. It was obvious the instructor was trying to buy time and I felt his pain.

I didn't stay in the hotel so I have no feedback on the hotel or the dinner situation at the hotel.

**** Please listen****

If you are going to be attending training at Marshfield anytime between November and March realize this is winter in Wisconsin. There is going to be snow and ice. Roehl will give you ice cleats to wear over your boots. If you are not used to snow and ice please wear the cleats. On Saturday a guy who is from Rhode Island and currently lives in Illinois slipped on the ice and ended up missing 2 days of training. It is not worth the risk. Wear the cleats!

Overall I am happy with orientation and feel it was organized and very informative. They pass along a lot of information and you will be smart to bring a large notebook for notes and for scrap paper doing trip planning.

They will give you a 2016 Trucker Road Atlas and a Truck Stop Guide Book. You will also receive a few other reference books to keep as well.

**SIDE NOTE**

If you have any questions write them down when you think of them. Too often I would think of questions either while driving home or while at home and couldn't remember them to save my life the next day.

I head out with my trainer Wednesday morning and will try to keep this updated as much as possible while on the road.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Nate_K's Comment
member avatar

Day 1 with trainer.

Trainer picked me up this morning at Marshfield terminal and after hunting down a empty reefer we headed off to our pick up about an hour away.

Trainer drove to the pick up since we were behind schedule.

Picked up our load of cheese and headed for Ohio. I drove the rest of the day. Got to drive Chicago with rush hour. I have driven through Chicago many times during rush hour but in the rig it is different.

We stopped in Gary at the Roehl terminal for the night.

Gary terminal has a small restaurant in it which was pretty cool.

Trainer seemed happy I packed light and he had 1 cabinet for me to put my stuff. I chose to fill the cabinet with my food and I will leave my clothes in my bag on my bunk.

0430 departure so I am off to bed.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Nate_K's Comment
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Day 2 with trainer.

Early start today. Was up before 4 expecting to roll out nice and early.

Ended up leaving about an hour later than planned but regardless I ran out of hours at our drop off so trainer had to run rest of day to get us back on schedule.

Headed back to Wisconsin for a 8pm delivery and hoping the roads aren't too horible tomorrow.

Over all things are going good. Felt the pressure today and am starting to make mental notes of things I will be doing differently once I am in my own truck.

Curious what our next load is gonna be. Curious if we will pick up tomorrow night after our drop or the next day.

**benefit of running reefer is dual purpose. We dropped off cheese and picked up metal shavings.

***so far we have been experiencing fast loading (less than 2 hours) and our only drop so far was a drop and hook.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Nate_K's Comment
member avatar

Day 3 with trainer.

Got to sleep in today and it was needed.

Hit the road about 7:30 and made it to out drop off about 2 hours early. Rained all day.

Got a pretrip to Atlanta so we will escape the cold snow filled Wisconsin forecast.

One thing I have noticed is that we don't seem to have enough hours to make our stops on time. Not sure if they are just giving us crazy short windows or if time is just being mismanaged. Trainer has had to drive yesterday and today because I run out of time. Now he isn't running 8-10 hours, seems to be 3-4 just to get us within range but it is still kinda puzzling to me.

Farmerbob1's Comment
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Day 3 with trainer.

Got to sleep in today and it was needed.

Hit the road about 7:30 and made it to out drop off about 2 hours early. Rained all day.

Got a pretrip to Atlanta so we will escape the cold snow filled Wisconsin forecast.

One thing I have noticed is that we don't seem to have enough hours to make our stops on time. Not sure if they are just giving us crazy short windows or if time is just being mismanaged. Trainer has had to drive yesterday and today because I run out of time. Now he isn't running 8-10 hours, seems to be 3-4 just to get us within range but it is still kinda puzzling to me.

Perhaps it is intentional. They want you to drive your maximum hours, and then the trainer do some driving too - that way the company gets more miles out of your truck, and neither of you violate any laws. Essentially team-light.

It might not even be the company. Remember that any trainer is probably mostly wanting to train people for the extra money. If they can get even MORE miles after you are done driving, they might actually be requesting their dispatcher give them the runs that are impossible to complete only in your own driving time. That way you get maximum training drive time, and they get some extra money.

Either way, I can't imagine there being any problem with it as long as the two of you get along and the loads are getting to where they need to be when they need to be there.

A last idea that just popped into my head. If both you and your trainer are both getting the pay for the miles you both drive, it may also be the company trying to show you how team driving might work. I hear there's good money in it if you can find a team driver that you can deal with.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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