Beginning Company Sponsored Training With Roehl

Topic 1775 | Page 1

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PJ's Comment
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I just got my class start date. Next Monday Nov 4 in Marshfield Wi. This entire process has moved very fast. I leave home for class on Saturday the 2nd so I can take my time getting there. I would hate to mess up my driving record with a ticket or worse yet a crash. Luckily I have had all you folks educating me so when they said Monday my response was "yes ma'am". I already have everything in order so it's no big deal. I'm very excited right now and I'll keep studying right up till I leave. Roehl doesn't provide transportation so I will take my own pickup. It's 1100 miles from front door to front door, which isn't too bad. I'll be sure post how everything goes. Thanks to everyone here I think I'm ready to do thisthank-you.gif

Richard O.'s Comment
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Great news. I really like what I have heard and read about Roehl. I look forward to hearing of your experiences.

Brian's Comment
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I hear Roehl is a good company. You'll have nice accommodations during the training period. Just remember it's an interview while you're there.

Also, since you drove up there, you'll be able to get supplies. I think the Roehl yard from your hotel is about 10 minutes away.

PJ's Comment
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The hotel they put you up in they actually own I found out. From the website it looks very nice. Thanks for tip about it being a interview. I will be sure to remember that one. They have a list of dont's they already sent me that covers both the training facility as well as the hotel. They are very specific about always being professional. Yes they do not provide transportation at all. They also do not cover the cost of the hotel or food. They do have an excellent rate for the hotel though. I kinda like the idea having my own vehicle with me for just that reason. If I want to run to Walmart or the grocery store I can. They did cover the start time of class being 7 am. I'm a morning person anyway so that works well for me.

Richard I'll cover everything I can on here as it goes.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Best of luck to ya PJ! Look forward to following along with ya!



Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
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Hi ya'll. Just got to Marshfield and checked into the hotel. I'm going to unpack and get some much needed rest for tomorrow. First day of class. The hotel is pretty nice from what I can see at this point. They have been doing some remodeling and a few touches still need doing but not bad at all. There is everything shopping wise you would want very close, as well as food. They have a restrauant attached to the hotel. Think I'll give it a try and see what it's like. The training center is a few miles away, but 2 turns and your there. Very easy to find.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Awesome! First day of class is probably going to be paperwork coming out of your ears but hopefully soon they'll move on to more interesting things


Brian's Comment
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Hopefully things are going well today! I'll have you know that my western Wisconsin side is potentially getting 4-7 inches of snow tomorrow. You may be getting some that way too!

PJ's Comment
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Day 1:

Arrived for class at center with my coffee in hand at 0645. Start time was 0700. Room was already set up by the instructors and seats assigned by them. Training materials, nice thick book( J.J. Keller's Tractor-Trailer driver training manual)name tag, gate card, etc.

I quickly noticied only 4 name tags. Hummm class is set at 6. Kim came by to take us 1 by 1 to a office to complete out paper work and collect any monies owed. Instructors collected ID's to photocopy. Double checked permits and DOT Physical cards. Handed out a copy of our actual physical paperwork and told us we had to have them in the truck with us at all times. Went over the various paperwork, class schedule etc.

Went and took our DOT drug test. Returned to classroom. Instructors went over basic building info, exits, do not go areas etc. Split us into 2 groups and had us report to the parking area at 1000 hrs. Tammy from here is in my class and we ended up being partners. What a surprise that was.

Immediately started working on pretrip inspections on our assigned truck, instructor lead.

1200 broke for lunch.

1245 back at truck. Tammy and I had been told to start practicing our pretrip inspection if the instructor was not there. So we did. He showed up about the time we finished the right side of the engine compartment and just watched and listened. After about 10 minutes he said things were looking good and offered a few words of wisdom regarding the test and said he was ready to get in the truck. So we did. He went over the controls inside and discussed the in cab pretrip then we headed for the range.

He drove down the range and made a couple left turns and shifted up and down a few times explaining what and why he was doing things a certain way. Then stopped and said ok lets see what you guys got. He got out of the drivers seat and told me to get behind the wheel. Damn I gotta admit I was nervous as could be. But I figured I had just watched him, so just get to it. I took off and made a few shifts and I discovered the shifting wasn't near as bad as I had thought it would be. I ground a few times, but nothing serious. The down shifting was a little tricker remembering to hit the throttle after putting in neutral, but within a few laps around I was actually doing it and somewhat smoothly. The left turns went pretty well also. But of course we had plenty of room. I got to where I was consistently putting the rear tires within 2-2 1/2 feet of the curb. Then Tammy got behind the wheel. She did very similar to me and all in all we thought we had done fairly well, considering our experience level. Tammy asked Bob, our instructor his opinion of the day and he said he was extremely pleased.

We switched back and forth a couple times then parked the truck. We unhooked the trailer, completed our post trip inspection and parked the tractor.

1645 class over and sent home with the kind reminder the homework is due first thing in the morning. Chapters 1-7 of that little bitty book.

P.S. Weather was chilly, but wind was blowing, it started raining, and likely to snow within the next couple days.

Our assigned instructors are Brian and Bob. Brian has been with Roehl 30 years and worked in every division they have. Been an instructor for more years than he cared to admit. Bob has been with Roehl just over 6 years and an instructor for 3 years.

We are driving an older Freightliner Columbia. We saw a lot of new trucks all over the place. Roehl has recently took delivery of approx. 600 new International ProStars and are in the process of getting them on the road.

I got 2 more chapters to finish so all we have for tonight.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


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.


Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
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Day 2:

0645 met at the truck and went through the pretrip. Went a little smoother this morning than yesterday. We are practicing it twice a day to get it down.

Loaded up and coupled to our trailer. Range practice review from yesterday for a short period of time. Left turns, and shifting up and down.

Bob, (instructor) all of a sudden pointed to an area along the backside of the range. He told me to pull down to the far end and stop. I did. Then he told me to start backing straight until he told me to stop. I started and went just as slow as that truck would go. I backed and backed and backed. It seemed like forever. I was able to keep it pretty straight and he just sat there in silence. Then after I got just about back to the other end he said stop. I stopped and he said ok, back in the drive lane. I asked him about the backing. He said you did it straight, no more to say, great job. and we went the other direction, making right turns.

I had difficulty judging the distance in the mirror transitions, but was able to do it, with a few wide turns. I was being pretty consistent with 3 1/2-4 1/2 feet off the apex. He told me those were passing for the cdl , but he felt I could do better. I kept working on it and got better with practice. I did cut one too close and ran over the edge of a cone. First one I have hit (so far). I'm sure there are more in my immediate future.

My partner had similar issues and worked through them as well today.

As far as the day went Bob was again very pleased with the performance we made.

While in the truck we also graded our homework from last night. All is well there, thanks to the high road program!!!!

More homework tonight to grade tomorrow from the manual.

The weather is very interesting. It's been in the low 40's during the day with rain off and on and this morning we had dense fog. I was the lucky one to drive in it.

Tomorrow morning first thing is another pretrip, hookup, review of right turns, and then if our drug test results come in tomorrow afternoon we hit the streets.

Everything is very fast paced and the days are long. With only 2 students to 1 instructor you are always busy doing something. But I am loving it. It is a great challenge.


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.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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