Roehl 2018 Training: My Blog, By Professor X

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Professor X's Comment
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Day 24 - A Day to Enjoy

Today was truly unique and well worth all the hard work over the past three+ weeks ^,^ Myself and the two others who passed their CDL exam yesterday were put into our own truck for the day. Instead of the typical Freightliners we have been using, we were given an International to tool around and practice some different techniques. It was a bit nicer and roomier than what we were accustomed to. Sadly, it was also just getting out of the shop, so it brought our day to an end about 20 minutes early. No big deal, ultimately ^,^

We worked on 45 degree backings and truck stop pull-throughs. We practiced more shifting around the yard and watched as others were given their shot to earn their CDL, too. I will get back to those others shortly, but I would just like to wrap up how things went in the truck with all those who passed.

Just the three of us with an instructor (not my usual one). We had a blast ^,^ What was even better, I learned some of the things we worked on today from my former instructor, so I was able to reapply share those skills with my colleagues. The instructor with us even got behind the wheel and showed off ^,^ In the afternoon, we took off on a long ride and just enjoyed being out on the road for a bit. We stopped at a couple truck stops, joked around, and discussed the business.

Just before we returned, during my drive, the engine light came on. Maybe 10 miles from the yard, we jumped off the next exit, and brought it back home. Docked our trailer, parked the tractor, then stopped by the mechanics to place a service call on the truck. We still did our post-trip and helped out, or hung out, for the last 30 minutes. My original instructor gave me an extra side duty to make sure the testing rig would be post-tripped and prepped for tomorrow.

Gotta say... it was an honor to have him throw that responsibility to me ^,^

I mentioned that I would talk about the others who were testing. I will not go into details, but it was a rough day for those who tested. One person passed... That was about it. I think most, if not all, will get another shot. However, I cannot say for certain, as it is none of my business. I hope the best for all of them, regardless. I know that if they get another shot, they will have to stay another week, or so.

More testing tomorrow for the final four who have yet to do so, and it will be load securement class for the rest who passed, and maybe those who are getting a second chance. Like I said, it was a good day. A well earned reprieve ^,^

Will continue posting until I am completely done with the Get Your CDL with Roehl course.

-Professor X

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Professor X's Comment
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I also want to thank all of you who took a moment to send a congratulations ^,^

Additionally, thank you to those who have been reading ^,^ I am very happy to share with others, as it helped me in advance of all of this. I hope it offers the same to those who are looking at their options. If you would like to talk more directly about Roehl, just let me know. If you couldn't tell already, I am pretty open to discussion ^,^

Again, thank you all for reading!

-Professor X

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif Oh WOW!!! Congratulations!!

dancing-banana.gif

Professor X's Comment
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Day 25 - Indoors

Pretty boring, yet productive, day. We sat inside all day - awesome to be in from the cold - and worked on load securement.

That's it. Tomorrow, we go outside to work more on load securement. Should have much more to add, beyond just sitting in a classroom >,<

Really have nothing else to say... Officially the shortest post ^,^

Oh, one last thing. Tomorrow is supposed to be my last day, and I will be doing a post for that day, then a final synopsis when I grab a hotel on my way back to Arizona from Wisconsin.

-Professor X

Professor X's Comment
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Wow! 3 Weeks, 4 Days Ago...

That was the last time I updated this blog. So much has transpired since then, maybe I should update what has happened ^,^

Currently, I am sitting in my truck. That's right, the truck issued to me by Roehl! I was not expecting everything to move as quickly as it did. However, by making myself available and not turning down any opportunities that came my way, I feel that I made all the right moves and have gotten my career going.

The last thing I spoke about was the classroom session that was indoors all day. The next day (Day 26, the final day), we went to the practice area where we were able to do some mock load securement. There was an old spindle for coiled steel on a flatbed, as well as some other products we ship regularly. I think that they had received those real products from loads that were a bust. Really doesn't matter, we were able to get some faux-authentic practice in. We learned a few different techniques for tossing straps, and we were given challenges to complete the best possible load securement using the required minimum. We also learned about the various tools at our disposal, as well as tools we could invest in for ourselves.

The day ended with a final exam (scored a 90% and finished nearly 30 minutes before anyone else - I am a nerd at heart). Then, it was me racing out the door to check out of the hotel as soon as possible. Not because I wanted to get out of there (... mostly ^,^), but rather, I was trying to beat a storm that was coming in. Thankfully, I got ahead of it - or rather, below it - and rested up in Des Moines before making my way back to Arizona. We were asked by the instructors to get our printed CDL as soon as possible and submit it to Safety. They wanted to get us with a trainer as quickly as possible with the upcoming holiday. Typically, it takes about a week to get setup with a trainer and they tend to give 6-7 days off after the CDL program.

I wasted no time and arrived in the Phoenix area Sunday night. The very next morning, I stood outside the doors to the BMV and patiently waited for them to open. Once they did, I waited my turn (it was NOT busy, which was really strange). I sat down with one of the workers, and about 10 minutes later, walked out with my paper copy of my CDL! The hard plastic version would be sent to me a few days later.

Once I left, I sat in my car and took photos to send to Safety at Roehl. I called shortly after to check to make sure I did it right. Nobody answered, so I left a voicemail...

About 15 minutes later, I get a phone call from Wisconsin...

"Hey, we just received your CDL. We really appreciate that you did this so quickly. You are the first one from your start week to submit it. Could you possibly start your training tomorrow?"

"... Wait, whaaaa? Um, yes! Of course. I was expecting to spend this week just relaxing, but would be happy to get the ball rolling!"

I had setup an AirBNB for the week, but managed to get it cancelled and refunded (kudos to AirBNB ^,^). I pulled everything together and prepped my bags. I visited with some friends, briefly, then arrived Tuesday morning at the Roehl terminal in Phoenix. I met up with my trainer around 11am, after which we hit the highway for my first trip OTR.

Here is the irony... I am doing the exact same delivery (slightly different product) that I did when I was in training ^,^ Guess the shipper and consignee are regular customers ^,^

If there are some of you that have read this who would like to hear about some of my experience with the trainer, please let me know. I will share as much as possible in a different thread (I can't disclose everything, I really like working for Roehl ^,^). Other than that, I hope this accomplishes what I had set out to do nealry 2 months ago. I will check back from time to time to see if any new comments have been left. I will respond to all who have questions and give you the best possible answers I can ^,^

Thank all of you for taking the time to read!

Sincerely, Professor X

(Yes... that will be my CB handle)

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.

CB Handle:

This is the nickname people use on the CB

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

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.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Bmv:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pete M.'s Comment
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Professor X, I have followed your thread with interest and will enjoy reading about your further driving adventures. So, YES! continue to write about your experience.

G-Town's Comment
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Welcome back Professor X. Seasons Greetings.

Glad to read about your positive progression and success.

Good luck and be safe!

PacMan's Comment
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Professor X,

Congrats on completing training and becoming a solo driver. I for one would love to read about your experiences with your trainer. Thank you for coming back to update us all that were following your transition. Stay safe and try to keep that left door closed.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Gar H.'s Comment
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I too would like to hear how things are going after school, I am looking into driving and what is to be expected and possible. So much negativity in the web has left my wife very unsure if this is a good idea. We are considering team driving after school but I am not sure if she will follow through with the idea and start school with me or not.

G-Town's Comment
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So much negativity in the web has left my wife very unsure if this is a good idea. We are considering team driving after school but I am not sure if she will follow through with the idea and start school with me or not.

Gar, please have your wife read this article from the Trucking Truth Blog:

Web of Lies and Misinformation

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