Preparing For A Trucking Career With Roehl

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Army 's Comment
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Good Luck, keep us posted.

Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Army.

Just looked at Wil-Trans site and over the past 24 hours it now redirects you to their new site, as does Jim Palmer, it is now wilsonlogisitics.com. On that site it now states that you have to acquire your CLP from homestate and a DOT Physical prior to showing up for day one of training. No biggie to me, but apparently Jim Palmer and Wil-Trans are now, together called Wilson Logistics, as one trucking company. It also states that their starting mileage pay is .44 CPM

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Sat, 14 Dec, 2019

Well, as with most things in life, things change rapidly. Wilson Logistics could not put me in their program because I could not verify my two years of self-employment as a hay-farmer (did cash only business and didn't file taxes as a business). So, I could only show the last two years of verifiable employment. No biggie and I respect Wilson Logistics for their standards. Anyway, I'm back to my original plan of going with Roehl.

My Roehl recruiter, Ryan, is really good and patient. I just happened to have a vacation day on Friday so after a lengthy phone interview with Roehl on Thursday, I drove an hour to Kansas City and got my DOT Med Card and did a urine and hair follicle drug test. I then drove back to Warrensburg, MO and passed all three of my test for the CLP. The permit costs $42.50 in Missouri, so I'll have to wait till next Friday (Payday) to go pay and get my permit. Everything else is done and I am tentatively scheduled to start the GYCDL in Marshfield, WI on Jan 13.

I will be assigned to the National Fleet (Dry-van) OTR , which is what I wanted. The cool thing is Ryan had me upload my DDForm 214 (Military Documents) so that my assigned truck (assuming I pass and do well with my training) once I go Solo will have a nice Honors Program decal on the sides for veterans. Nice touch.

FYI: Information on TT and other places is a little outdated, as the starting mileage pay for GYCDL solo drivers is now 36.5 CPM; 42 CPM for flatbed.

So, now I'm spending some quality time with my wife this weekend without having to study for those written tests (first weekend in a month). I'll be giving my two-week notice next Friday (a little early because my supervisor's going on vacation and I don't want him to be blind-sided when he comes back after the New year). My wife is excited as well---she's my best cheerleader and really lets me know how supportive and proud of me she is. Can't ask for more.

One last word about how things don't always work out as planned, but somehow work out better: With Roehl, I will be a paid employee on day one of training and I will run National Fleet, out 11-14 days (under normal circumstances) and home for three days. Wilson Logistics would have me out 21 days and home for 3-4 days. I believe Roehl will be a better fit for my wife and I after all.

That's it for now. Stay safe.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

BigShow3915's Comment
member avatar

I am to start the q3th in Gary. Good luck!

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on taking the plunge. It's unfortunate that you had to push up your agenda, but I'm sure it will work out. You'll love the training in Marshfield. The training is top notch. I don't have experience with any other trucking companies, but so far everyone I've met has been very friendly. If you run into Andy, Tell him I said he sounds like Yukon Cornelius.

Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Will do, Wild-Bill. Thanks for the info on Marshfield. I really look forward to it, except for the weather LOL. Sounds like you're about to test and, no doubt, pass with flying colors. I'm rooting for you, man and hope to see you out there on the road somewhere in the not-so-distant future.

Brandon Kitts's Comment
member avatar

Roehl is a good program. Just got home after completing their GYCDL program in Gary. Just listen to the instructors and you should do fine. They have a very high pass rate for CDL. Good luck!

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

Sat, 21 Dec, 2019

Brandon, thanks for the info and encouragement. I can't wait.

Passed my CLP tests last Friday, but didn't have the $42 to pay for the Permit until yesterday. Uploaded the permit, spoke with Roehl recruiter, Ryan, and now have my signed Roehl Employment Offer letter in hand. I will start the GYCDL training 13 Jan 2020. I will be assigned to the Dry Van Division in the National Fleet, 36.5 CPM (Just what I wanted). Ryan has been an amazing recruiter, walking me through each step of my pre-hire process. He explained everything in detail and answered all of my questions, to the best of his knowledge, and he was honest about telling me what things he didn't know or was unsure of. I had lots of questions and follow-up questions, but he was really patient and forthcoming with answers. My Employment Offer letter outlined nearly everything we had already discussed, and there were no surprises, except a couple of good ones. I hope to get to meet him and thank him in person while I'm in Marshfield.

For Christmas, my wife is helping me pick out and buy my supplies for school (heavy winter coat, clothing layers, duffel bag and such). She is super supportive. She doesn't like my job, or income, any more than I do and we both look forward to seeing the country together in the future when I'm authorized to have her riding with me. We know lots of couples who have recently become "Empty Nesters" and they're depressed and wondering what to do without the kids around and whether their marriage will last, and we're like "Good Grief". Tam and I are embracing and looking forward to this phase in our life. We've raised our kids well, they are serving in the military or working good jobs and raising kids of their own and doing fine. We are both 50 and feeling like 30 again. We're in good health and believe in living and experiencing life, not just reading about it or watching it on TV.

As a veteran, I've been around the world and seen just enough of this great country to know there's a whole world to explore out there and my wife and I look forward to seeing and experiencing new sights and things as we go. We're old enough to be patient with the training phases and the learning curve the next year will bring (and beyond that) and experienced enough to know how to adapt, improvise and overcome those unexpected challenges that always seem to crop-up. We're old pros at making plans in pencil and then erasing and rewriting them as we go. The key to our success is simply that we always face it together and come out stronger on the other side.

Anyway, sorry so long and rambling. Merry Christmas to everyone, especially those who may be stuck out on the road this holiday. God bless and stay safe.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Cowboy, thanks for your service!

I agree that Roehl is a great choice. The training is about as good as it gets. I know you’ve been reading along with my diary, so, you’re prepared for the highs and lows. I know by your comments that you’re a fighter and will push through to get it done.

If you’re looking for gear for the trip. I’d recommend a high visibility winter coat like this. The instructors all have one and about half the students in my class including myself ended up buying one (early Christmas present in my case). Size it large enough to go over your layers. You have to wear a something high-vis in the yard. They’ll provide you a vest if you need but the coat is much nicer.

0780120001576983817.jpg

Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Wild-Bill,

Thanks for your thanks.

I have indeed followed your diary, hanging on every word. Thank you for sharing the whole, sometimes brutal, experience. I'm emotionally and even physically exhausted from your last week's posts. Even my wife noticed how much better my mood got after I read that you passed that test after all. I've never taken a CDL test, but I've tested for a lot of other things before and it's funny how much your training kicks in and takes over when it's for real and not a "practice" test. I've had those feelings before, so that's how I knew you'd pull it out when the chips were down. You, my friend, are a truck driver, a professional, and I look forward to buying you a cup of coffee somewhere out on the road in the future.

What division and fleet will you be in?

Take care, enjoy your home time and keep in touch.

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.
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