I'm Going Off To Roehl 'cause I Need To Train!

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Avvatar's Comment
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Yes, that was a really bad Black Sabbath pun. You're welcome.

I've been on here for a while but have recently been active. I've been studying the High Road training materials and have been taking the practice tests with good results. Thanks for providing such a great studying system. Also, I have been reading in the forums (during my breaks from studying) and have taken in A LOT of good advice (and some hilarious posts) from the likes of Rainy D., Turtle, Brett, Bruce K. and especially Old School. I hope I get to shake y'all's hands some day. You've provided a complete geek off the street valuable information and made me feel welcomed.

So I've quit my job and am studying EVERYTHING now. I'll be taking my CDLP tests tomorrow morning. I'm nervous, but only about the endorsement portions. I've slacked on studying those. I have only myself to blame. I suppose I'll be cramming tonight (or not, since I'm posting when I SHOULD BE STUDYING!).

I feel like I've got a pretty good grip on training. I'm prepared. I don't know what to expect, truly, but I know what to prepare for thanks to TT. I'm going into this the same way I went into basic training. Scared, but knowing I'd succeed at all costs. Once I learned the rules, the game was easily played. I'm hoping the same proves true with Roehl's training.

I chose Roehl because they have a good reputation, are a relatively small company, and seem to have some of the best concern for home time in the industry. All of these things are from my limited viewpoint. If I have been misled, PLEASE tell me. Roehl is putting up the training and I'll be giving them 120,000 miles. They estimate that out to 16 months. I've made a personal decision that I'm going to give them 18 months. I prefer round numbers and it's easier to say a year and a half. Also, that will put me in a position to see how they treat me after the schooling is "paid off". You can't really know a company while they own you (if that makes sense).

As long as I pass my tests tomorrow, I plan to be off to Marshfield, Wisconsin (donchya know?) next week. It's farther away than the training in Conley, Georgia and as trainees are responsible for their own trips to schooling, it hurts. The "up side" to this is two-fold:

(rant) NOW, what I'm about to say might be controversial. I apologize if I hurt your feelers, but this is MY opinion, and I like to keep things positive!

Thing the 1st: I will have the opportunity to learn to drive in the winter. To some that's a horrible thing, but I look at it like this: If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. Trial by fire, baby! WOOOO! Seriously, I'd rather learn in the suck. Better to learn in the worst. It makes everything else easy by comparison. This isn't ****y, it's just how I'm wired. I'd rather be trained to handle an 18 wheeled, 40 ton, rolling mechanism of death in winter than, say, learn it on my own while crossing Donner's Pass in February. Again, just my $.02.

B: If I attended training in Conley, Georgia I would be learning on an automatic transmission. This isn't a huge deal for a number of reasons. Old School wrote a great article about it. I know that I'll be in an automatic truck when I make it to solo, so no real skin off my back there, either. But I suppose I like training on a manual for the same reasons listed above. It's more difficult. My first car was a stick. I bought it without ever driving a stick before. Now I drive a manual F150. I like manuals. When I get into my wife's minivan, I'm constantly trying to clutch and shift. Another reason I'm excited about a manual is that I won't have that restriction on my CDL. I know that autos are the future. I accept! But not EVERY company is lining up to buy them. A local company is likely going to have a manual tranny (but hopefully not a tranny manuel) and I'd like to be able to keep my options open. Brett covers this when talking about getting a passenger endorsement as well as everything else you can. (/rant)

Anyway, I just thought I'd start this thing now. It seems to be "what's done" on Trucking Truth. Thanks for following along and for any advice you might have. I'm new to this and honestly respect the opinions of those who have come before. I'm willing to learn if your willing to teach.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's joy or agony!

Eli

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Haha! I had to read this one just because of the "click bait" title! Nice!

Great post, but don't get yourself all sideways thinking the "company owns you." It's not like that at all. The great liberating factor in trucking is simply that you are in control. At first you're just another greenhorn trying to fit in and learn the ropes, but your experiences will slowly begin to transform you into the kind of driver who can get more accomplished and get better results. Hang in there, you'll be driving the "crazy train" before you know it. good-luck.gif

Keep posting your experiences. There will be plenty of people who will enjoy learning from your diary.

PackRat's Comment
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Don’t know how much of Donner Pass you’ll be seeing. Roehl is 95% east of the Mississippi River. Good luck in training school!

Avvatar's Comment
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Haha! I had to read this one just because of the "click bait" title! Nice!

ya don't go with a company called "RAIL" and NOT make that joke! It had to happen!

Great post, but don't get yourself all sideways thinking the "company owns you."

I chewed that over before I typed it for just this reason. No, they don't "own" you, but while under contract to them for 120,000 miles (so they get their value out of training), I will be in "debt" to them. The Bible has quite a few things to say about those who owe a debt. I simply meant that by staying beyond the required time, I'll be able to see the company with fresh eyes. Without the veil of a contract clouding either side's opinions.

Keep posting your experiences. There will be plenty of people who will enjoy learning from your diary.

I hope so! I intend to be as informative and impartial as possible while maintaining a smattering of charming wit.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?!?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Avvatar's Comment
member avatar

Don’t know how much of Donner Pass you’ll be seeing. Roehl is 95% east of the Mississippi River. Good luck in training school!

Drat. I have a whole lot of family and friends in the PacNW. I didn't know that about Roehl, though. Thanks for the info, PackRat. Since you're here, I hope your recovery continues to amaze everyone, including yourself! Also, I gotta ask about the truck in your avatar. That thing is GORGEOUS! Yours?

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

You are off to great start. Stay positive and you will succeed.

and the "own" line was wrong. Didnt you read my articles??? lol I knew by month two in training what my company was like. Don't be surprised if by the end of the first year you don't decide to stay. Most of us are very happy where we are and a few left then returned to our original company.

Crazy....cause thats how it gooooooeeesss... oh wait. are we showing our age?

I have decided to turn 30 this year. So this song is before my time..but somehow i kmow it.

rofl-1.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Avvatar's Comment
member avatar

...the "own" line was wrong. Didn't you read my articles???

Not ALL of them. I was getting a little worried about ending up in the mystical spell-caster's dungeon of DOOOOOOM. Really though, I figured I'd get lit up over that line. But you are correct. They do not OWN their drivers but there is a debt owed and that changes perception. If you lent me $4,000 I'd treat you differently and I'd be willing to wager that you'd treat me differently at least until that debt was paid. This for me is simply my personal rationale for completing the contract. Not to mention the myriad of other reasons given on this site.

... wait. are we showing our age?

This is the internet, I might be a 13 year old girl from China. Or I could be a 75 year old Grandfather from Caracas. Or a 38 year old veteran in Louisiana. Or a 21 year old disabled aunt in Kansas. I'm not showing anyone anything online for less than the $15 monthly subscription fee that guy told me to charge when he gave me the webcam.

I have decided to turn 30 this year. So this song is before my time..but somehow I know it.

oh. I guess we ARE showing our age. shoot. Ok, I'll be 39 in a few days. But that's the last freebie y'all get!!! PS, can I decide to turn 30, too? It was a good year for me.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Don’t know how much of Donner Pass you’ll be seeing. Roehl is 95% east of the Mississippi River. Good luck in training school!

double-quotes-end.png

Drat. I have a whole lot of family and friends in the PacNW. I didn't know that about Roehl, though. Thanks for the info, PackRat. Since you're here, I hope your recovery continues to amaze everyone, including yourself! Also, I gotta ask about the truck in your avatar. That thing is GORGEOUS! Yours?

Nope. Thanks though. It’s a early 50s twin sticks Mack wrecker that pulled up beside me at a truck stop in Illinois (?) Wish I had gotten out and taken better pictures. Don’t see too many on the road these days that are older than me.

Avvatar's Comment
member avatar

There's something amazing about old things that are still being USED like that. I like old vehicles. They're just sexy! But I hate trailer queens. nothing worse than seeing a BEAUTIFUL, meticulously cared for car being pushed off a trailer with kid gloves. If you're not going to drive it, give it away. To me, preferably.

oh, by the way, guys. I passed my tests and have my CLP!!! WOOOOO!!!!!! I just sent off copies of my permit to my recruiter, Elizabeth. I'm waiting on a call back to get scheduled for class.

I'd really like to take a moment to be serious. Just one, I promise. I want to thank all of you who make Trucking Truth possible. Everyone, really. the High Road training course is a FANTASTIC tool. It really drives the information home and repetition is helpful without being annoying. I'm so thankful that I had The High Road course to study. The forums here are a wonderful grab bag of information. you can find anything you need in these tomes.

Really. Thank you all so much. I couldn't have done it without you.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Avvatar's Comment
member avatar

Just got off the phone with my recruiter. I'm scheduled to begin schooling on April 22nd. However, if there's an opening anywhere before then, I'm the first call. I'm trying to get this going ASAP. I'm excited!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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