It Just Got Real

Topic 28336 | Page 1

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Dazbone's Comment
member avatar

First I would like to thank everyone for the content and straight advice given on this site, your honesty and knowledge is invaluable. After 30 years in the print industry I have decided to make a change become a truck driver. I have taken my DOT physical and passed my CLP , I am now looking for CDL training. I applied to my first choice of trucking companies (ROEHL) and they contacted me today with a preliminary offering of 41.5 cpm driving refer. 14 days out with 2 off. I was looking more into dry van as it seems to get more consistent miles with less wait time. I am looking for your collective opinions and advice to help me make the best decision. I am in no hurry to jump on the first offer. I am sure I have left out some important information so please ask and I will do my best to answer. Thanks again guys!

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.

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.

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.

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome!!!

Why was Roehl your first choice??

They are a good company and have great training, so does alot of companies. Think about what is important to you and find a company that best fits your needs. I am a Roehl grad myself. You can talk to the recruiter about their various divisions.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I worked there, too.

Roehl has dry, reefer , and flatbed. Lots of different areas within these three platforms, too.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Dazbone's Comment
member avatar

I met a couple of their drivers where I work and they liked Roehl and seemed like good guys. The paid CDL training seems like a good idea. Schneider, Prime and Swift on also on the list. I am prepared to earn my stripes and extended time on the road in the first couple years is not a problem. I have a phone interview with Roehl 7/1, I will ask again if there are openings for dry van. My 3 kids are in or just graduating college. In the long run 5 years plus, I may like to be dedicated or local. 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.

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.
JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

Roehl is a great company to start out with. I worked for them for 2 years before I went local, and I would go back except for the stupid cameras. They will do a good job of keeping you rolling if that's what you want. I would say the biggest problem with the wait times was mainly when i would show up early. A silver tongue will only get you so far lol, some places are booked solid and will only take you at your appt time. You will learn those places tho and be able to schedule your way around them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks JakeBreak! I am sure you remember just how stressful this decision is. One of the many things I consistently see on this site is that you make your own opportunities and when you own up to and take responsibilities for your own actions you will succeed. Do you miss any aspect of OTR?

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.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

I miss all of it lol. Driving is the first job I've had where I actually want to go to work. You do make your own opportunities out there, to an extent, and reporting when you screw up is the most important lesson anyone can learn. They aren't going to fire you for tearing a mudflap off because you backed up too far n caught it on a curb, but they will drop your safety score if you don't call n have it taken care of. The reason I said that the opportunity is yours to make to an extent is because when I was there I went through 5 different fleet managers. I had a couple that were great, kept me rolling and earning and a few that had issues with stuff. A good FM will find you a preplan that will keep you rolling through the weekend and some just don't. I don't know if it was just because they were new too and didn't know how the system worked very well or not. But i worked through it and by the time I left, I had planners calling me to see if I could make something work. They did a very good job at keeping me rolling and making money.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Dazbone's Comment
member avatar

I am heading to Appleton Wisc. Monday 8/31 to begin my training with Roehl. I cannot express how much help this site has given me and I will do my best to pay it forward. I am pretty old school and expect to earn my way, there are no short cuts in life. I will be training on an automatic, running refrigerated national fleet. I have read so much from every forum that it got me thinking, what would you guys and gals like me to report on? Maybe something that has not been covered as much ? Again Thanks!

Dan F.'s Comment
member avatar

As someone who has worked at roehl As dry van and then went to another company and did refer for four more years, I would say make sure they allow you to switch to dry van if you don’t like reefer.

You are absolutely right about the long wait times for unloading and loading. This will eat into your pay severely.

If they are to pay for your training then you need to do about 15 months to satisfy the commitment.

First I would like to thank everyone for the content and straight advice given on this site, your honesty and knowledge is invaluable. After 30 years in the print industry I have decided to make a change become a truck driver. I have taken my DOT physical and passed my CLP , I am now looking for CDL training. I applied to my first choice of trucking companies (ROEHL) and they contacted me today with a preliminary offering of 41.5 cpm driving refer. 14 days out with 2 off. I was looking more into dry van as it seems to get more consistent miles with less wait time. I am looking for your collective opinions and advice to help me make the best decision. I am in no hurry to jump on the first offer. I am sure I have left out some important information so please ask and I will do my best to answer. Thanks again guys!

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.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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