Stay With Roehl? Or Go Elsewhere???

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Giff's Comment
member avatar

I looked into a dedicated account, and even tried it briefly. It doesn't provide the variety that OTR does. The variety is important to me.

Have you tried to do a dedicated account?

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Giff's Comment
member avatar

I appreciate all the great feedback. I will be moving to a new Fleet (Driver) Manager in a few days. My current FM is moving into a new role. I will be having a conf call with him, my new FM, and my new FM's boss. Seems like a perfect time to share with them how I'm feeling about my time with Roehl so far (very positive), and what my goals are.

I've gotten positive feedback from my FM in my time working with him. I haven't had a missed appointment since my first month. I almost always get to the shipper early and I'm often able to get loaded/pick up the trailer ahead of schedule. I've had some weeks where I've done over 3000, but that's been unusual.

I will be asking for their help in achieving the goals listed below. I want their feedback on how feasible these goals are. If they say, for example, "We're simply not going to be able to get you out west, or up into Canada. Roehl just doesn't have the routes there.", that will be a deal-breaker for me. I wouldn't be upset with Roehl, but that will be a clear indicator I need to look elsewhere.

Goals 1. Increase my avg miles per week to 2700 by end of January. 2. Ensure I have a clear understanding of anything I need to do to grow my CPM (it's all performance-based). 3. Travel the 48 states and Canada. 4. Ensure I have a clear understanding of anything I need to do to facilitate prompt payment of detention time.

I'll let you know how that conversation goes.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Fm:

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I appreciate all the great feedback. I will be moving to a new Fleet (Driver) Manager in a few days. My current FM is moving into a new role. I will be having a conf call with him, my new FM, and my new FM's boss. Seems like a perfect time to share with them how I'm feeling about my time with Roehl so far (very positive), and what my goals are.

I've gotten positive feedback from my FM in my time working with him. I haven't had a missed appointment since my first month. I almost always get to the shipper early and I'm often able to get loaded/pick up the trailer ahead of schedule. I've had some weeks where I've done over 3000, but that's been unusual.

I will be asking for their help in achieving the goals listed below. I want their feedback on how feasible these goals are. If they say, for example, "We're simply not going to be able to get you out west, or up into Canada. Roehl just doesn't have the routes there.", that will be a deal-breaker for me. I wouldn't be upset with Roehl, but that will be a clear indicator I need to look elsewhere.

Goals 1. Increase my avg miles per week to 2700 by end of January. 2. Ensure I have a clear understanding of anything I need to do to grow my CPM (it's all performance-based). 3. Travel the 48 states and Canada. 4. Ensure I have a clear understanding of anything I need to do to facilitate prompt payment of detention time.

I'll let you know how that conversation goes.

Good luck!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Fm:

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.

Giff's Comment
member avatar

Met my new Fleet Manager (via phone) yesterday. Had a good talk, and I shared my goals with him. When I told him that I have been averaging 2100 weekly (in National OTR), he said "Oh. We need to increase that" before I was even able to mention my goal of getting miles up to at least 2500-2600 weekly. He said my goal is "definitely feasible" Nice. :-)

I also asked about getting out west. He told me about some routes going west and said we could do that. Also nice! A very good conversation. I'm staying with Roehl for at least the near future.

While waiting for the call with my new FM the last few days, I had been browsing looking at other large carriers. A couple of pros about Roehl to add to my list of pros/cons above: Roehl allows inverters (they'll sell you a 1500 watt inverter and install it), and my Cascadia has the Park Smart technology. This provides heating/cooling to the bunk area without having to run the truck (similar to an APU). I was surprised at home many larger carriers don't allow one or both of these in their trucks. They sure make my life easier.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Fm:

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.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Great job! It's often times sooo much easier to work within your current company than it is to leave for greener pastures and start over again from the bottom. Sometimes you simply need to make your goals clear to your dispatcher or operations manager. Other times you'll find a different division would be a better fit.

These large carriers have a ton of opportunities available, and many of them are unknown to most of their drivers. They don't advertise premium divisions, ya know what I mean? Most drivers in the best divisions are hand picked or find out about these divisions after being with the company for a while.

But even in your case, you're simply moving to a new dispatcher and hopefully you'll see much better miles almost immediately. You may have to be a little patient during the unpredictable holiday season but I'd bet they'll keep you running pretty good.

Just keep talking with dispatch and operations. Keep them on their toes when it comes to getting you the miles. Obviously you have to come through and nail all of your appointments on time when you can do so safely (considering the weather and all). You'll also have to try to get loaded and unloaded ahead of schedule once in a while to turn great miles.

You can take this approach - if you do as well as any driver out there then you deserve as many miles as about any driver out there. You know there are drivers averaging 2,800 - 3,000 per week. If you prove you can handle the miles then you deserve to run as hard as anyone. If you'll do your job at a high level you'll always be able to tell dispatch, "I'm doing my job so keep those miles comin'!" I mean, what are they going to say to that, right? There's no way to justify giving you fewer miles than other drivers.

People make the mistake of thinking that having a CDL makes you valuable. Having a CDL only makes you available. Putting in some time with a company and maintaining an awesome safety and service record is what makes a driver valuable. That's when a company knows they can trust you with more important freight and send you some extra favors and nicer opportunities.

smile.gif

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

dancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gif

I was hoping you would update ;)

Glad everything worked out. Keep trucking along

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Giff. Great story. It's truly amazing the difference a year can make. We constantly emphasize the importance of the first year of employment, the door opens to a wide variety of opportunities including what is available with your existing employer.

Roehl realizes what they have with you as one of their drivers and will work to keep you.

Best of luck for continued success. Safe travels.

Paul W.'s Comment
member avatar

Were you actually told that that they don't have routes into Canada? Because I used to drive for Roehl and I've been into Canada twice. I don't know if they lost the customer or what not but my trainer has gone to Canada a few times. Now the Canada routes are not constant but I think they still have them. I've driven 76000 miles for them. The thing with Roehl is that they are a great company for sure. I've enjoyed my time there but the fact of the matter is that Roehl ' s customers are mostly in the Midwest to the northeast. They really don't have any customers or freight in the west. I'm not getting this from my experience but from the drivers who've been there a while and as well from different FM's. They just don't have any freight in the west.

I appreciate all the great feedback. I will be moving to a new Fleet (Driver) Manager in a few days. My current FM is moving into a new role. I will be having a conf call with him, my new FM, and my new FM's boss. Seems like a perfect time to share with them how I'm feeling about my time with Roehl so far (very positive), and what my goals are.

I've gotten positive feedback from my FM in my time working with him. I haven't had a missed appointment since my first month. I almost always get to the shipper early and I'm often able to get loaded/pick up the trailer ahead of schedule. I've had some weeks where I've done over 3000, but that's been unusual.

I will be asking for their help in achieving the goals listed below. I want their feedback on how feasible these goals are. If they say, for example, "We're simply not going to be able to get you out west, or up into Canada. Roehl just doesn't have the routes there.", that will be a deal-breaker for me. I wouldn't be upset with Roehl, but that will be a clear indicator I need to look elsewhere.

Goals 1. Increase my avg miles per week to 2700 by end of January. 2. Ensure I have a clear understanding of anything I need to do to grow my CPM (it's all performance-based). 3. Travel the 48 states and Canada. 4. Ensure I have a clear understanding of anything I need to do to facilitate prompt payment of detention time.

I'll let you know how that conversation goes.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Fm:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Giff's Comment
member avatar

Status update:

As much as I like Roehl, and they are truly a great company to work for, it has become clear that it will be rare/never to get a load going west of Dallas/Denver. I've discussed this a few times with my Fleet Manager , most recently today. He said we can keep asking the planners, but there just aren't many loads going to the western states. He didn't sound hopeful that it's going to happen.

This is strange, because I spoke with a veteran Roehl driver of many years, and told him I want to get out west and cover all 48 states. He said he had been west a number of times. Maybe times have changed.

So, it's time for me to start a serious search. March will be 1 year at Roehl, and it has been a very good year.

I would ask any veteran driver to reply with the name of any company they know of that allows OTR company drivers, dry van , to cover all 48 states. I'm looking for personal knowledge. Just because a company says they "operate in all 48 states" (which Roehl does) doesn't mean they actually have loads going regularly to all 48 states for OTR company drivers. (Note: I'm not interested in reefer. If I had to sleep with one of those noisy monsters 3 feet from my head, I would go INSANE! I try VERY hard to make sure I'm not parked beside one in a truck stop. I guess I'm very sensitive to noise).

I'm grateful in advance for any feedback/input.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Scratch Prime from the list. Reefer tanker flatbed and intermodal reefer only.

They do go all over though. I have been to all but two...Oregon and south Dakota. And to go to Canada I have yet to meet a solo driver. It seems the experienced teams go there.

Good luck

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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