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

Topic 25099 | Page 7

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EllieMae's Comment
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I just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting your journey!! I've been reading through and you've helped me a lot tone my anxiety and get an idea on what's to come. Pending a hair follicle test that I'm (99.9%) sure will come back positive, I'll be on my way to Roehl to start my own training in about a week. That was my last step I needed.

I've been thinking about pursuing trucking since last year and have done my share of hours of research, seeking out the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel ready to take on a new adventure! Just not ready to learn how to drive a manual and shift gears but I figure it needs to happen sometime anyway. So why not now. I got this!

Anyway, keep posting and keep up the hard work. Day by day man your doing it!!

Pete M.'s Comment
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"hair follicle test positive"?????

I hope you mean negative...

EllieMae's Comment
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"hair follicle test positive"?????

I hope you mean negative...

Yes!! Exactly! Sorry, long day.

Avvatar's Comment
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Ok folks, it's been a VERY long, emotional week. Sorry for not posting up sooner, but 3rd week has been a roller coaster.

So Monday morning we started hauling a flatbed trailer. Split axle and unloaded they back "differently" than a dry van. So we pre-trip and back into the trailer. Finish the pre-trip and get ro

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.
Avvatar's Comment
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?? Rolling. My instructor turns to me and says "we did evaluations and looking at your performance, you aren't making the progress we need to see. I'm going up to bat for you, so you might be doing some training with a different instructor, but it's possible that they'll decide to send you home. I'll let you know when I find out more." So then we headed to the backing range. Up until this news, my backing had been pretty good. Not Monday. Switch to the flatbed and awful news really threw me off. Sigh. Instructor told me to calm down and not worry about backing.

45 minutes later my instructor tells me I'll be driving with "Bob" that afternoon. I meet Bob after lunch. Bob tells me to bobtail the yard a few laps. I do my usual deep clutching and grinding. He pulls me over and asks if I know the mechanics of the transmission. No. I understand the non-synchronized aspect, but not fully. He explained that the clutch brake operates more like a disc brake than an on/off switch. Then he told me that I should glue my heel to the floor and not move my knee. Clutch with your ankle instead.

Armed with this new knowledge and some confidence, I started understanding what was happening and driving much more smoothly. We hooked to a trailer and did a few laps. Much better!!! We went out on the road and did a few laps around the block. I felt much more comfortable! Bob didn't say much, and brought me back into the yard. Pulled next to the instructors area. Bob got out and my instructor came out a few minutes later. Instructor asked if I had my paperwork and access card. At this point I was sure I was going home. He says "don't worry. Bob said I need to take a ride with you."

We get on the road, take a trip around town and head back to the yard. Pull in to the instructor area, and shut down. Instructor looks at me and says "Do you feel better?" yes... "Good. I'm really proud of the leaps and bounds you've made today. If you drive like that for your pre-cdl test i'm sure you'll pass." WOOO!!!

TUESDAY pre-cdl testing. Oh Lord. Long story short, I got 0 points on my pre-trip, 10 points backing (still rusty on flatbed...), and 5 points on the drive. But I hit a curb. Auto-fail... Oh well, I still drove the thing really really well!!! So what I won't test early: still making progress!

WEDNESDAY Pretrip and roll to the backing range. Instructor says "Kevin and you are testing friday." Wait, what? "You scored a five on the drive. You had a whoopsy. You're testing friday." Aced backing that day. My 90's were sexy. WOOOOOOOOooooooooo...!

That catches us up to today. I have gone from worst in the class, might be sent packing, stressed out, and driving poorly to top 4 in our class, testing early, confident, and happy!

We did a pre-cdl test today with our instructor. I got 11 but the truck was cold and I was nervous. Still passing! Still testing Friday!

I'd like to state a personal opinion now. I know that some who read this might be considering which company to choose. This is my opinion of Roehl Transport thus far.

I made the right choice. Small class size and good instructors make for a more personal experience. The fact that they didn't throw me out when they could have, they recognized my willingness and attempts to improve, and they did all they could to ensure my success makes me think very highly of Roehl. I'm so grateful that I'm with this company. I feel like they went above and beyond for me.

I would recommend Roehl to anyone who is looking for good training and small classes.

EllieMae, where will you be training and what is your start date. I think you'll enjoy your time in training. Drinks are not provided with lunch, but the coffee flows freely. Do NOT be nervous about driving a manual transmission!!! I had 20 years driving a manual transmission and it was OBVIOUSLY difficult to break the habits. You'll pick it up in the first week and be smooth shifting by week 2. Stay confident! They shove 25 lbs of info into a 5 lb sack the first week. Concentrate on the J.J. Keller book your first week. 33 chapters. Try to finish 5 chapters each night. It's easy enough. I'll give you the advice my trainer gave me, "get out of your own head! You got this." :)

Have a great day, y'all! Encourage someone today. You never know who needs it. I know I have and I'm thankful for the encouragement I've gotten.


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.


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


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Army 's Comment
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Great Update. I look forward to your post tomorrow.

Avvatar's Comment
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Great Update. I look forward to your post tomorrow.

You and me both!

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Congrats on escaping the not good enough mentality, there is enough pressure without adding to it. Breathe, focus, and just do what you gave learned and practiced.

Avvatar's Comment
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Well everyone, I test today after lunch. My nerves are shot. I think I'm ready, but I'm so nervous!!! If you get the chance, throw a quick prayer my way. Next update will be the final.

Rob T.'s Comment
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You got this. Take a deep breath. One thing that calmed my nerves was making small talk to the examiner when it wouldn't affect me or them from doing the task at hand such as waiting on a stop light. Just pretend it's another test run with an instructor.

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