Preparing For A Trucking Career With Roehl

Topic 27153 | Page 1

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Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

I'm a young, healthy 50 year old Receiving Manager who wants to drive a big rig again. I was an OTR company driver for Potashnick Tranport, Inc, out of Sikeston, MO back in 2007-08. I drove dry van for right at one year and loved everything about it except missing my kids' activities. They were elementary school age. They are grown now. The wife and I are empty-nesters who want some adventure and a good living. As soon as it is authorized, Tam will be joining me on the road full-time. Before anyone encourages us, I can tell you that she absolutely does not want anything to do with driving a big rig. But she really wants to ride with me and see the country as we go. I've already been OTR for a year so I could thoroughly prepare her for the realities of trucking and not the romanticized BS. We both know what we're getting into and we're ready for it. We are both so burnt out on the "9-5" punch-a-clock work life.

Anyway, I've been researching this for months now and have decided to attempt to get on with Roehl through their paid GYCDL program. I will contact a recruiter right after the holidays and get started on the process of being in their CDL school hopefully in June. Meanwhile, I have a lot of preparation to do. I need to save quite a bit of money up so that we can live within budget while I'm in the school and training, and to have a little set back for those critical first months of getting my "road legs" under me. I will also be doing the High Road Training program on here. I'm quite sure things have changed over the past 11-12 years. I'm going to pursue my schooling and training as if I've never driven before. (Funny thing is I swore I'd never have to double-clutch again LOL).

I've been reading several of the Training Diaries, especially the ones at Roehl. I really enjoyed and learned a lot from Wine Taster's diary. I will attempt to do the same, including my months of preparation for going to school. That part may be a little boring to some, but I can tell you from age and experience that preparation, for anything, is more than half the battle to winning the war.

As for now, 4 Dec 2019, I'm unloading trucks as a Receiving/Warehouse Manager (I'd rather haul it than unload and take care of it), and getting ready for the holidays.

By the way, Brett Aquila, this is the most awesome site for truckers and their families. Thank you from all of us. The more I read the more I see that while a lot has changed (Regulations, technology, etc) a lot still remains the same. I, and my wife, can't wait to get back out there.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Cowboy,

I noticed that you are in the Warrensburg area. I lived there when I was younger. Are you from that area?

Rob.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you've got a great idea and are planning financially to help lessen the burden starting out. One thing is you mentioned :

I will contact a recruiter right after the holidays and get started on the process of being in their CDL school hopefully in June.

Don't be surprised if you dont hear too much from recruiters. They need to prioritize their time and if they see you're still 6 months out you may not get any type of response quickly. You will also need to fill out an application when the time gets closer and they usually need a current application on file (within the past 30 days). Good luck, it definitely sounds like you're going about this the right way

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.
Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Hey Rob D.

No, I'm not originally from here. I've lived here and worked in Warrensburg for about five years. Love this area of Missouri. I'm from the extreme southeast part of MO--the "Bootheel" in a little town called Charleston, about 45 min due south of Cape Girardeau.

Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info Rob T. I had not thought of that. Between getting the permit, DOT physical, Hazmat and a passport, I was kinda wanting to know from the Roehl recruiter how much of that I needed to get done prior to being at the CDL school (besides the CLP of course). Anyway, I guess I might just wait until later, like Apr or May, when I plan to take my permit tests.

Question: How long after applying to Roehl could one expect to wait to actually start the GYCDL program?

Thanks

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

DOT:

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.

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.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar
I'm from the extreme southeast part of MO--the "Bootheel" in a little town called Charleston, about 45 min due south of Cape Girardeau.

So then you know the local pronunciations of Cairo, New Madrid, and Hayti then?

Ever work around the cotton-fields?

Nice to see another Missourian on the forum. My step-father was from Warrensburg and actually drove OTR in the 70's. I spent a couple of week with one summer when I was 15.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I drove through all those places this morning from West Memphis, AR to Keokuk, IA.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

I'm from the extreme southeast part of MO--the "Bootheel" in a little town called Charleston, about 45 min due south of Cape Girardeau.

double-quotes-end.png

So then you know the local pronunciations of Cairo, New Madrid, and Hayti then?

Ever work around the cotton-fields?

Nice to see another Missourian on the forum. My step-father was from Warrensburg and actually drove OTR in the 70's. I spent a couple of week with one summer when I was 15.

Yes, sir: Cairo: Cay-roh New Madrid: New Mad-rid Hayti: Hay-tie

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.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on your decision. Having a plan for the finances is absolutely the right start. To answer some of your questions, My recruiter said none of those things (passport, Hazmat , Doubles/triples TWIC etc) were required before starting with Roehl. However, all of those things would help with load availability. Since getting more loads is the name of the game I decided to get the endorsements and TWIC before starting. Not required though. I think I'm the only one in my class with all of them. The only thing they need is the CLP. You don't want to do that too far out though. They expire in 6 months. I studied with the High Road training program and the CLP written exams were a breeze.

Roehl will pay for and schedule your DOT physical & Drug tests. You will need the DOT physical prior to testing for the CLP. You will need to take the General Knowledge, Air Brake & Combination vehicle tests.

As for timing, The start a new class every week. If there's class availability, you could theoretically apply on a Monday and report to training the following Monday especially if you're open to traveling to any of the training terminals. You would need to be ready to do your Physical and take the CLP test quickly though. My guess is 2-3 weeks is pretty typical.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

DOT:

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Wild-Bill, you said "To answer some of your questions, My recruiter said none of those things (passport, Hazmat , Doubles/triples TWIC etc) were required before starting with Roehl. "

Did you mean to say "Were NOT required"? Just curious. The rest of your statement made it sound like you meant to say they were not.

Thanks for the info about everything. That's why I love TT, you can get clarification about so many things from people who have been there or are there right now. Much appreciated. I knew that six months would be needed to get all the information I needed, money saved, and ducks in a row.

I really appreciate your input and your diary. Hope to see you out there in the coming years.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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