(Newbie) I Have Chosen Roehl For My CDL School. Please Chime In On My Rationale

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Jeff H.'s Comment
member avatar

I spent a lot of time looking into CDL schools I am changing careers at 47. I was considering Roehl, CRST, Swift, Celadon, PAM, Prime and XPO

XPO - school was not in house and many changes going on with the merger, decide to see how it would shake out. PAM - Did not like the forced team drive and their newbie pay was slightly lower.

I like the idea that Swift is big and has a lot of freight (heard about the cameras not digging that camera stuff) Many negative posts, many positive posts.

Prime, I couldn't get anyone on the phone, got in the phone tree 3 times for 15+ minutes. I gave up trying to speak to a human.

So I was left with CRST, Roehl Celadon. CRST starting pay seemed a tad lower than the other two but for me it was about what Roehl had to offer. Decided mid size private company would be better starting out for me, heard good stuff about their staff, equipment home time, pay and most importantly the training and the way they respect their drivers. That is what made me choose them. I came from corporate life and I am tried of having that sort of culture where I work. I want to work hard and be paid fairly with a company I may be able to grow with.

Overall, this was a really hard decision. I have a feeling that there are many great trucking outfits that offer training that I never considered because I never heard of them. I also think that working for Roehl for 15 months will give me a good picture of how they are and how I work with them.

OK fellas, please fact check me and give me your thoughts and insight. I value and respect your opinions.

Thank you in advance.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I'm a little late to the game here but I'll throw in some stuff for ya. First of all Roehl is an excellent company and would be a great place to work. Here's some insights into your thought process:

I have a feeling that there are many great trucking outfits that offer training that I never considered because I never heard of them

We have companies that offer training and several pages of information about each one here:

Paid CDL Training Programs

XPO is not on the list yet but we're working on it now. We had trouble getting in touch with them at first.

heard good stuff about their staff....and the way they respect their drivers

All of the major carriers have a good staff and respect their drivers. And yet all of them will have a few bad apples in the bunch. That's not really a criteria for selecting a company when comparing the majors.

Prime, I couldn't get anyone on the phone, got in the phone tree 3 times for 15+ minutes. I gave up trying to speak to a human.

I would certainly not want to rule out a company because it took a little longer to get in touch with a recruiter. Prime is famously difficult to get in touch with but it helps quite a bit if you already have an application in with them. They are certainly one of the best companies out there with one of the highest starting pay rates in the industry so you might consider revisiting this.

cided mid size private company would be better starting out for me

Whether they would be considered a mid-major or super-major or mini-major makes no difference whatsoever. There is no "sweet spot" when it comes to the size of a company. All of the major carriers that offer training can be a great place to get started. The size of their fleet won't matter. They're all in the upper 1% when it comes to the size of their fleets.

When choosing a company to get started with you really want to focus on the type of freight you want to haul and how often you'd like to get home. That right there will whittle down your list. Then apply to all of the companies on your list and see who is willing to offer you an opportunity. It's likely not all of them will. That will further whittle down your list and make the choice much easier.

We have tons of great information that will teach you how to choose a company:

Again, Roehl is a great company so there's no reason not to start there but the same applies to the others on the list. Don't rule out Roehl, but also don't rule out the other companies for reasons that will have no effect whatsoever on your happiness and success like the exact size of their fleet, how long it took to get in touch with a recruiter, and how friendly you think their staff might be.

Hope this helps!

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.

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.

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not one of the "fellas", but here's my two cents. Roehl has a good reputation, but their no pet policy eliminated them from my list. If you get your CDL through them and are based out of Marshfield WI, you may be sent to school at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI. If so, be assured that it is a top notch education. That is where I went for my CDL, and it was excellent. My course was 10 weeks, Roehl may be more accelerated.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

Most of the starting companies are the same. It is only a matter of time before Roehl gets cameras as well. I am with Swift right now and most of the reviews you read are from people who expect the world when they barely know anything about the industry. As you will find with this forum we are here to debunk what is said and to help people starting. Roehl is a good company and you will get a good start from them. Do a year with them and your opportunities will grow like crazy! Good luck!

Jeff H.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not one of the "fellas", but here's my two cents. Roehl has a good reputation, but their no pet policy eliminated them from my list. If you get your CDL through them and are based out of Marshfield WI, you may be sent to school at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI. If so, be assured that it is a top notch education. That is where I went for my CDL, and it was excellent. My course was 10 weeks, Roehl may be more accelerated.

Thanks for the insight Deb, I do see on their website Roehl allows pets. http://www.roehl.jobs/experience/pet-friendly-truck-driving-jobs

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Jeff H.'s Comment
member avatar

Most of the starting companies are the same. It is only a matter of time before Roehl gets cameras as well. I am with Swift right now and most of the reviews you read are from people who expect the world when they barely know anything about the industry. As you will find with this forum we are here to debunk what is said and to help people starting. Roehl is a good company and you will get a good start from them. Do a year with them and your opportunities will grow like crazy! Good luck!

Thanks Devan, I kinda figured that cameras are on the way once one does it everyone else will follow...sadly. I like the idea of not having to worries about can I get a load, I know with Swift I would always have access to some kind of run. I also found the recruiter to be a nice guy with a lot of information. Definitely they communicate with folks looking to get their CDL I did not feel neglected at all.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Jeff sweats it out:

Overall, this was a really hard decision.

The decision is hard because the choices are similar. Most people start out thinking the choice is easier, like between going to Texas Roadhouse or Denny's. They both get the job done (feed you) but one of them has peanuts.

People start with that perception, but the choice is more like Denny's or Applebee's. So close! So they don't know what to do.

You did the right thing, and looked deeper into your candidate companies: pay rate, pets, company size, and found just the right niche for yourself.

There's my critique of your rationale. You did smart. Four bananas: dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Tim F.'s Comment
member avatar

Jeff..I don't know much about the other companies you listed. I went through Roehls CDL program in the mothership (Marshfield). It was at the time an excellerated program. In 2-1/2 weeks, I had my CDL. Don't worry, I had plenty of seat time and was tested by a third party. I've been driving for Roehl since on a dedicated account. I wanted that so I would remain closer to my family on the east coast. Roehl is a great company not only to start with, but continue your career. I like your choice, but I'm biased. Good luck! Welcome to The Power of Red!!

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Roehl is a fine company with great well maintained equipment. The ONLY reason i didn't choose them as my first employer was that in my area, it's all slip seating and not always the same truck. I love my creature comforts and it would have been a real hassle for me to move in and out of a truck weekly. Of course it's not that way everywhere.

Best of luck on your excellent choice.

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.

Ukieboy's Comment
member avatar

I've been doing my due diligence and if I go with a company that trains, I'll probably end up with Roehl. I like what I've read so far and Roehl has several pluses that I'm looking for in a company, one of which being they go to Canada.

Jeff H.'s Comment
member avatar

Jeff sweats it out:

double-quotes-start.png

Overall, this was a really hard decision.

double-quotes-end.png

The decision is hard because the choices are similar. Most people start out thinking the choice is easier, like between going to Texas Roadhouse or Denny's. They both get the job done (feed you) but one of them has peanuts.

People start with that perception, but the choice is more like Denny's or Applebee's. So close! So they don't know what to do.

You did the right thing, and looked deeper into your candidate companies: pay rate, pets, company size, and found just the right niche for yourself.

There's my critique of your rationale. You did smart. Four bananas: dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Thanks Errol!

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