My Roehl (Gary) Experience Early 2017

Topic 18536 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
MB007's Comment
member avatar

Day#1 Got to keep it short. But suffice it to say, me and my two classmates were thoroughly impressed with the professionalism of our trainer and the Gary terminal. The simulator was excellent and we learned all about the company's ethics and their emphasis on safety. I have a roommate at the hotel and was lucky to have one with many things in common with me. The Best Western room has a refrigerator and microwave. I am able to save alot of money by bringing my own food and preparing. I also am a bit lucky in that I have a car. The breakfast is free. The lunch at the terminal is free.

That terminal has a decent variety of food. Not as healthy as I prefer, but for most people that is fine. They have rooms to sleep, free laundry and relaxing chairs. Their facilities are state of the art and relatively new and clean. We are employees in training. We are being paid about $500 weekly and no obligation to pay back if we stay on for 15 months. This is an excellent deal.

We did well on the simulators and will get to drive a truck tomorrow. Took many notes and have been practicing shifting quite a bit. Stalled alot, but we need more practice. Gotta finish studying the textbook and get to sleep.

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.

Joshua J.'s Comment
member avatar

Exciting!!!! I'll definitely be following your journey, as for the saving money on food, I highly recommend a trip up to the local big box store and picking up something like a cheap George foreman or an electric kettle, itll let cook a few more things than the microwave and they can go in the truck when youre done with the hotel.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

MB007's Comment
member avatar

Exciting!!!! I'll definitely be following your journey, as for the saving money on food, I highly recommend a trip up to the local big box store and picking up something like a cheap George foreman or an electric kettle, itll let cook a few more things than the microwave and they can go in the truck when youre done with the hotel.

Great advice.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

MB007's Comment
member avatar

Day#2 I'm on lunch break. Spent the morning learning and practicing right and left turns on the simulator. Instructor snuck some smoking brakes, engine blow out and intoxication hazards on me. My first corner turned was on the curb. Told me "imagine a baby sitting there" and never do that again. Problem fixed. Next we will spend "class" outside on the truck coupling and uncoupling. Then we might get to drive around the lot with bobtail. Proof that this company cares about new hires: Last night they called our room to see if we needed anything from the local Walmart and shuttle would pick us up. Although it doesn't mean much, as someone that grew up in the Atari age, I am impressed that they keep arcade games in the cafeteria. I've already blown a few dollars on quarters playing The Walking Dead pinball game. Back to studying and practicing double clutch shifting in the air.

Tip: Bring a backpack with notepad. Be organized. Have all your handouts and be caught studying. Also bring all the supplies they recommend--and more. Have your steel toe boots, gloves (I bought 2 different kinds). I also brought a flashlight. Be ready for sever weather changes (especially if you're in Gary like us). Don't be late. Be early for everything. Keep your space clean and organized. Push in your chair. Think of it like a military. They like order and neatness along with safe behavior.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Eric H.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome. I'm up here at Appleton training. I'm like you, this company is top notch. Hope everything goes well with ya!!

MB007's Comment
member avatar

Awesome. I'm up here at Appleton training. I'm like you, this company is top notch. Hope everything goes well with ya!!

Thank you sir! We drove a bobtail around the course all day. I feel like I climbed a mountain. Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Very difficult.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

MB007's Comment
member avatar

Day #3 Drove the bobtail around the course. Rough muddy path. No lanes. Stalled a couple times. Lots of driving, frustrations, joy. This job requires intense practice and self-discipline. Keeping my head clear and not beating myself up seems to be my biggest impediment. So much pressure on myself to perform is not good.

This is my first week. It feels like three weeks. Don't apply for this job if you cannot study. You really can't do this intense Get Your CDL program "part time." You'll be tired at the end of the day. Eat, study, sleep. I've been sticking to my exercise routine thanks to the Best Western's exercise room. Eating well has been a challenge. But it is not impossible. Roehl put us in a good hotel, just 10 minutes away from the terminal. My 2 classmates are incredibly good at this and friendly. We have much in common. Our trainer is easygoing and straightforward. He also has a great sense of humor and pushes us when we need it. He's a former Marine and not a whiner.

I am beginning to understand when veteran truckers say "you get what you put in" for this.

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

MB007's Comment
member avatar

More Day #3. Forgot to mention that was yesterday. TODAY, I hooked up a trailer and drove it across the lot. Made turns. Sweated alot. Stalled twice. On lunch break now. But gotta go back out and practice pretrip inspections and more driving. More shifting, turning. Got to get better.

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.

MB007's Comment
member avatar

Day #4 Focused pre-trip inspection sessions on our training truck. The Roehl pre-trip is not as long as I expected. But the trainers expect us to memorize it. Our trainer assigned me Driver's Side Fuel Area and Rear of Cabin. My partners have the other parts. After tomorrow, we will rotate out of our sections and do the next one. Need to finish memorizing tonight. Although he only wants us to be at least 30% correct, I'm shooting for 100%. There will be no margin for error with the Air Brake Test, so I want to get this Pre-trip stuff out of the way in my mind so I can focus on that Air Brake Test.

We spent the rest of the day driving around a slightly hilly industrial park in Portage, Indiana. All three of us were sweating and nervous. This was our first day on a public road with traffic. My daily practice of "pretend shifting" started to pay off. Seems I get spooked out with grinding the gears and stalling. So I decided it was going to happen and I'll get through it. I stalled once because I simply forgot to click the high gear switch when I was stopped at an intersection and tried to move out in three (but it was actuall gear eight). All three of us turned with our trailer well. No curb run-overs. Had to enter today and previous days in our logbooks.

I never felt more confident about driving this giant steel machine. But I am humbled as well. It can destroy anyone or anything in a split second. Although not as heavy as a locomotive, the need for safety is nothing to scoff at. I consider myself lucky in that I have partners with whom I have alot in common. I'm the oldest one there--older than the trainer. When I graduated high school he was in third grade. He calls me his "undercover boss" and tells his co-workers to "be careful" what they say around me so I don't write him up. rofl-3.gif

One student in the class before us was fired today. Not sure exactly why, but we often saw her in the simulator room. I broke my high score on pinball in the cafeteria during lunch. Called home to tell my wife: A drove a real truck on a real road today. She was very happy. I consider myself very fortunate to be training at Roehl. $500/week salary to be trained and get a CDL for free is still somewhat unbelievable. Yet, I am here. I'm not taking it for granted.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

MB007's Comment
member avatar

Week 1 Day #5 At lunch break. I recited the Driver Fuel Area and Back of Cab and Tractor sections almost 100%. We each have our part and will switch soon so we can know the entire trip. On the range, we focused on straight backing. The instructor said we did very well are ahead of he expected. After lunch, we're going to do offset backing. If we do well on it and have time, maybe we'll do parallel parking.

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More