Roehl Transport's New Training Contract Is It Fair?

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Ruminator's Comment
member avatar

Here's my take on Roehl's $3,130 "cost of job training" contract which is insulting. This is a contract that covers their costs of training me. It's for $3,150 and new drivers have to drive 75,000 miles. I'm set up for their orientation for a regional job and I am a new driver. I have my CDL already from somewhere else other than Roehl. I have signed this contract and sent it in already and I must admit I did not read it correctly because they had tuition reimbursement($150/Mth) and Longevity(Sign-on) bonus(1,500) also listed on the same page so i initially thought that those were basically what I would be paying back if I don't complete the 75,000 miles,

But it isn't. This CONTRACT is for separate thing a $3,130 amount you owe the company if you quit or don't maintain your driving or physical qualifications. They call it a SJSTP Safety Job Skills Training Program

This SJSTP contract is for 75,000 miles It starts when you start driving solo and not before during training, because you got to drive 1 paid mile at least to initiate the miles part of the contract. During Training if you leave you do not have to pay anything.

So lets say you drive for about 4 months and you want to quit for whatever reason. you have driven approx 42,000 miles(2500 a week) At this point you will owe Roehl -- $3,130 for SJSTP....... $600 in Tuition(4 months@&150)..... $1,500 Longevity bonus(sign-on) this money is advanced to you in 5 payments and is totally paid by 4 month mark.

That's a whopping $5,230 you owe. Unless you banked your tuition and bonus money which most of us probably won't; you're on the hook for it all.

Now the Tuition Reimbursement plan and Longevity Bonus is certainly reasonable to have to pay back, I'm not complaining about that, but I included it to show all money that will be owed should you breach the Contract.

I do have an issue with this SJSTP contract. The reason I paid out of pocket for my CDL instead of going to a Mega-carriers in-house CDL training is because I did not want to be held to that company for a year or more. And, I also figured if I went that route then the carrier can sort of "have their way" with me. Would I be treated fairly knowing that I'm not going anywhere because of my financial obligations to them.

So me, someone who got their CDL elsewhere, that has to sign a similar "training" contract Non-CDL related is ridiculous This is for costs associated with basic OJT (On the Job Training) All employees no matter what degree or education you have do OJT to learn the company ways of doing things. Has anyone had an employer ask for their training money back? Probably Not. Its unheard of.

There's a high turnover in Trucking. I get it. Drivers get a few months experience and leave to greener pastures. So if a company is losing money in new hire training and they are looking to reduce that cost. First look to why they are leaving your company, look at who they leaving you for, also ask your current employees what are the negatives about your own company that might cause someone to jump ship. If it's the Pay, then you raise Pay. If its poor benefits then you look to add more value to them, if its the equipment then you look to improve your trucks, if it's poor miles then look to improve that by changing your freight system. or Whatever.

You DON'T get to reduce your training costs and fix a high turnover rate by putting people on the hook for the money if they don't meet the 75,000 miles. As a company you should have a good enough character and integrity in that you are offering an adequate atmosphere to keep employees. If you don't, then people will leave and not just the bad ones, you lose the good ones too.

With Roehl, you start off at measly .32 cpm so right there, the company knows that this is an industry low starting pay. not the worst but poor. so instead of increasing that to say .36-.40 range which is still not great and still a little on the low side but would be acceptable. Roehl as a company decides to implement this SJSTP Contract. So what the Company appears to be saying is this "You want to quit early, fine, Go, we don't care. Now give us our 3k." and not to mention if you're get fired. Because they also mention not meeting "driver and physical qualifications" which sounds like something that you can be fired for in which allows the company to demand payment to this contract.

Also, one last thing. How soon do you think you will achieve 75,000 contract miles. OVR 6 months (3k miles weekly) Regional 8 moths (2,500 miles weekly) Think again, you start driving and find your getting 500 or more, less miles than what the recruiter has told you. You are now not only unhappy with your pay but you now have added at least 2 more months to that contract and now you can't leave without financial penalties

Now I don't know about getting your CDL thru Roehl if there is a repayment of School...AND the SJSTP if service miles are not met.

What do you guys think?

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.

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.

Dm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Nate_K's Comment
member avatar

So don't go to orientation.

You have other options.

I was reluctant to sign the contract also but decided Roehl was the best fit for me of all the companies I talked too. So 75,000 miles seems fair since another company will want to see at least a year of driving anyways.

I go solo Monday and very happy with my choice.

RebelliousVamp 's Comment
member avatar

I'm thinking who ever you sign on with, if they have a similar policy regarding reimbursement, why not just take the tuition reimbursement money, the bonus money, etc. put it asides and don't touch/spend it until you have fulfilled your contract. The money doesn't exist until you're released from said contract. In the event something happen, just take the money and give it back. It's not coming out of your pockets.

Joseph D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey man, I was feeling this way a couple months ago when I signed my Roehl contract. Let me tell you though, I have had nothing but good experiences with Roehl so far. I also came to the company with my cdl already. They will teach you much much more. The 7 days orientation goes by real quick and like I said they will teach you some key maneuvers and how to be a safe driver. This is my 4th week solo, I'm on track for 10,000 miles this month. I'm on a dedicated regional account in the Midwest. They show great respect to their drivers and never ask you to drive in a condition your not comfortable with. As far as the major carriers go they are your best bet. Feel free to message me with any questions.

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.

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.

>>--HuntinDoug-->'s Comment
member avatar

I signed up with Roehl to get my CDL through them. I get my physical & drug test on Fri. Leave for WI on Feb 1st. A big part of my decision was based on Hrynn's post about last years pay breakdown, and Joeseph D's posts about the company. I could have got my CDL locally, but I feel that there program is better overall for me. My contract seems simple. Drive for 120K miles, and owe nothing. Start at .42/mile with pay raises every 3 months... easy peasy.

You are going to get out what you put into it. To be honest, it almost sounds like you expect them to screw you over somehow. If you already feel cheated, or uneasy, or vulnerable, or whatever. Then don't go.

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.
Dan B.'s Comment
member avatar

There are a few comments here that seem to confuse training for a CDL …. with Orientation, which IMHO is much closer to what Ruminator is implying he needs.

I totally understand the need for someone with zero experience to need to be trained in all aspects of driving a rig. That training justifies a cost to be paid to Roehl if the trainee bolts for the door. But if someone walks through the door with a CDL and all the company needs to do is train them on company specific procedures, that is Orientation, not CDL training, and that expense really need to be carried by the company.

I have been unable to get any info out of Roehl as to what the total cost of their program is to train someone who needs the full CDL training. TT has a cost of $2,800 listed, but if they are now demanding $3,150 from drivers that already have a CDL, I’m sure their cost to train raw recruits is substantially higher. So far, I have been unable to get any information out of Roehl as to the full cost of their CDL program.

Roehl was at the absolute top of my list both for CDL training and possibly driving for, but they have moved down a few notches as a result of practices like this. And although they still sound like a decent company to drive for, since I am unable to get any info out of them at all regarding training, I don’t even have a choice but to remove Roehl from consideration.

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.
RebelliousVamp 's Comment
member avatar

I signed up with Roehl to get my CDL through them. I get my physical & drug test on Fri. Leave for WI on Feb 1st. A big part of my decision was based on Hrynn's post about last years pay breakdown, and Joeseph D's posts about the company. I could have got my CDL locally, but I feel that there program is better overall for me. My contract seems simple. Drive for 120K miles, and owe nothing. Start at .42/mile with pay raises every 3 months... easy peasy.

You are going to get out what you put into it. To be honest, it almost sounds like you expect them to screw you over somehow. If you already feel cheated, or uneasy, or vulnerable, or whatever. Then don't go.

.42 cpm?? I will also have my CDL when I get there, and the recruiter told me .32 cpm , which is low. What kind of truck/load you'll be driving?

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

Dude...

First of all, I have to say you're going into this whole thing with the absolute wrong attitude. You haven't even started yet, and you're already complaining and making demands and saying how YOU think the company should operate! You're a rookie! Not even that, you're BELOW a rookie!

I have signed this contract and sent it in already and I must admit I did not read it correctly...

Who's fault was that exactly? It seems Roehl laid it all out clearly for you to read, analyze, and either agree to their terms or not. By signing, you agreed. I assume you did not sign under duress. Now it's time for you to live up to that commitment.

So lets say you drive for about 4 months and you want to quit for whatever reason.

And in this hypothetical scenario, why are you quitting after only 4 months? The accepted wisdom is to stick with your first company for AT LEAST a year. Quitting before that is just asking for headaches down the line. If you sign a contract, you should man up and honor it.

The reason I paid out of pocket for my CDL instead of going to a Mega-carriers in-house CDL training is because I did not want to be held to that company for a year or more.

It seems you wouldn't be held to Roehl for a year anyway. As you said, it's more like 6 or 8 months max. So what's the problem? That's like a drop in the bucket of your whole career.

Argh..... Sorry for being grumpy, I just woke up... But this post seems like nothing but premature complaining and whining to me. I'm sure some of the moderators will be able to explain it in more detail, and with a gentler attitude...

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.

Dm:

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

You'll pay just over $7200 at Knight. I'd say you got a bargain.

RebelliousVamp 's Comment
member avatar

If everything goes well at my first company, I don't see why I'd want to switch before at least a year mark. Looks bad on your "resume"! And if I'm happy with my pay, my employer, my truck, etc. then I'll just stay with them!

Unless something goes really wrong....there's no reason to quit before a year. Might as well shoot yourself in the foot right now.

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