Roehl Driver Training From Start To End.....

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Jim M.'s Comment
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Congratulations WT!! Reading your recount is like listening to "play-by-play"!! Awesome indeed.

Best of luck on Phase Two!

Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 13 of training: (Saturday)

Today was a pretty was a pretty easy day. We had to be in the classroom by 0645. It was all classroom time. We covered HOS of service which I already have a grasp on thanks to the High Road training. We covered security. We covered skids and proper steps to get out of skids. Road conditions, cargo securement, bills of lading and other paperwork. We had to do some hour of service exercises. Really just a bunch of powerpoint presentations that I already knew because of the of doing the High Road training on here. It was hard staying awake during it all. Someone in a room on the hall was fighting pretty much all night. They would scream and yell and slam doors and you thought it was over. Then two or three hours later they would start again. It went on and off all night. We told Scott, the instructor. He said we should let recruiting know. He said he did not think they were supposed to give those rooms out to anybody except Roehl people.

So, now back at the hotel, doing some homework. Doing laundry. Just dropped some pork chops in the crock pot for dinner tonight. Going to get this homework done and then make my way back to the hot tub. If you have not noticed, I have spent most of my evenings sitting in the hot tub. On the weeknights, usually I am all alone in the pool area. I did most of my reading and homework sitting in the hot tub. You have got to find ways to relax and ease your mind when here. It is so fast paced if you don't stop and relax a bit, you will go insane. It has been a great week. I made it through my test. This coming week, we will be driving loaded flatbed trailers so we can learn the differences between a loaded trailer and unloaded. Also, we get to haul a flatbed because that is what we will be pulling most of the time when we are on the road.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 14 of training: (Sunday)

Today is a day off. No class. No driving. A little bit of homework to complete. I got my laundry done yesterday. So, I can just chill all day. Going to hit the hot tub at some point. I may even go find a movie to catch if something good is playing. I am so much more relaxed this weekend compared to last weekend. The pressure of passing that test is gone. I am really looking forward to this week. The pressure is off a bit so I think the driving will be a bit easier. Also, we get to do the flatbed stuff which is going to be fun.

Oldschool, if you are reading this thread, your post drove me to be a flatbedder. Your work ethic and professionalism impressed me. Now, I got to learn to tarp stuff so that it is all pretty so you will be impressed when I drive by.good-luck-2.gif

PJ's Comment
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That's great my friend. You'll have an extra couple of days at the end I believe. It will be cargo securement over at Gary. I'm sittin here right now. I ran out of hours. But gives me a chance to relax after running on snow and ice most of last week. I'm so looking forward to spring and beyond. I'll be outta here tomorrow heading toward home. I'm glad your enjoying your experience.

Wine Taster's Comment
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Thanks PJ. Yeah, we leave here Friday and go to Gary, IN for flatbed school for the weekend. Then I will get to head home as well. Thanks for all the help. I got your email. I will give ya a call soon.

Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 15 of training: (Monday)

The day started a little different. Bill and I had to be at DMV at 0700 to get our full CDL - A. I was surprised that the DMV here would not honor my passenger endorsement. They said I would have to test in a bus or something. Hopefully, when I get back to NC, they will give it back without having to re-test.

Once we got to class, Mike and Bill had the pre trip done. Bill got through DMV much faster because he is a WI resident already. I stopped by the front office and gave them a copy of my new license. Then I was first up driving. We drove some highway miles and actually got the truck up to speed for more than a couple of miles. I drove for an hour or two. We hit a small truck stop. Bill started driving. We were cruising and started approaching a railroad. I looked down at a book. When I looked up, the lights at the crossing were flashing. I said, "Train!" About the time the wheels were hitting the tracks. Kevin looked up and was like GO!. We got across the tracks fine. Bill was a little freaked out. The way the tracks were set it was a little hard to see way down the tracks. He had not seen the train in the distance. The lights started just as we hit the tracks so it was not really that close. Still it was a bit scary.

We got back to the yard and took a lunch break. After lunch, Mike drove for a couple of hours. It was snowing pretty hard while he drove. Well, it was snowing hard to me. The rest of these northern guys thought it was funny. We stopped again and I was back up to drive. It stopped snowing. I saw two snowflakes on the way back. The guys said, "Lookout it is a NC whiteout!" both times we saw a flake.

We got back to the yard and Kevin took us out on the range to show us how to do a 45 degree back. It was completely different with the split tandems of the flatbed. Then we called it a day.

It was so relaxing to have to worry about a test. I still missed some gears and made some mistakes but overall, I did O.K. Kevin said all three of us are doing fine. Three more days and hopefully I get a job offer from Roehl.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 15 of training: (Tuesday)

Today started out a little different. We did our pre trip inspections. A few instructors were delayed for a meeting, or personal business or something. Our instructor Kevin was asked to watch over some other students in the other truck. So, this morning we hit the range for some backing practice. Kevin had gone over 45 degree backing with us yesterday. As I mentioned before, we are pulling a flatbed with split tandems. Kevin was helping some of the guys and girls on the backing stations for the test. He told us to get set up and do some 45 degree backs. Bill, Mike and I all took turns backing into the space. Kevin was watching us and the others as we did maneuvers. Mike, Bill and I all have our CDL - A's now so we are kind of on auto pilot for a lot of things now. Kevin says he is "refining our skills." We spent a couple of hours on the range. It really is different trying to get the flatbed trailer into a tight space without ripping the axle off. It is a good thing we are on gravel for these exercises and not asphalt.

Once the other instructors were back, we hit the road. Mike drove first and we did some interstate driving. Kevin stressed the importance of proper following distance. Bill drove and he did well. Just a note, if a sign says right lane is ending and the instructor ask what lane you should be in and you are in the right lane, don't say I will just stay here. Not that anybody did that but I am just saying if that happens, move to the left lane. Time for lunch.

After lunch, I was up to drive. I did really well early on, shifting was good and I was just cruising some major roadways. Then Kevin took me down into a really tight area. The road is narrow and there are cars, and side streets and lights. Just a lot of stuff to pay attention to. Bill had already driven this stretch today as well. I made a few mistakes but we made it through. Any day on the road you do not crush a car, turck, van, person, etc. is a good day. I had a bad patch where my shifting got stupid but I settled in after it. Mike got a chance to drive throught the narrow streets after we stopped at a truckstop to take a leak.

We headed back to the yard and unhooked the trailer. We did out post trip inspection and then called it a day.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jim M.'s Comment
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Thanks for the update! It sounds like things are going real well for you, how much more training time is there?

Wine Taster's Comment
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Thanks for the update! It sounds like things are going real well for you, how much more training time is there?

The Phase 1 training is three weeks. Phase 2 training is 13 days with a trainer OTR. The trainer does not drive. You are dispatched solo and do all the work. The trainer is there to help you learn the qualcomm and navigating and paperwork and all the other wonderful things we will be doing. He or she also helps refine your skills you learned in Phase 1. Phase 3, you are have a fleet coach. They oversee everything you do. You have your own truck. They are there to help you on anything. Once they feel you are ready, you are released.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Day 16 of training: (Wednesday)

We started the same as everyday. Up at 0500. On the range by 0615. Week one was 0645, week two 0630, and week three 0615. As usual, we do our pre trip. It goes pretty quick because each of the three of us take a section of the truck and get it done. Teamwork! Guess what? It snowed again. What a surprise! We got all the things done and hooked up to the flatbed and pre tripped again. Then we hit the road.

Today, we were driving a lot longer without switching. We had been told to bring our lunch with us because we were not going back to the yard for lunch today. I drove for the first 2 or 2 and half hours. My shifting was going very well. We did some interstate driving until we hit Wasau, WI. Then I was told to follow route 51. It takes a lot of turns to stay on route 51 so you have to really pay attention. Kevin did help on some spots that were really tricky. A lot of the time, he just sat and watched us drive. I did well until one spot I let my RPM's drop too low before downshifting and I could not get the truck in gear. I stopped and got it in gear. It was really frustrating. Kevin razzed me a bit but then I settled back in and did fine. We hit a truck stop and Bill drove for a about an hour. We stopped at a Roehl dropyard. Kevin said that if we get offered a job on friday, we would pick up loads here with flatbeds a lot. He showed us how some of the day to day operations worked for truckers. Things like if we had to drop a trapped trailer, we would have to resupply our traps, chains, etc from the supply spot. Mike drove for about an hour and of course, he was always perfect. He has been the superstar of our truck. He slipped up today a little and tried to go right on red. Kevin razzed him a bit but we razzed him harder because he finally made a mistake. LOL!

I guess now is a good time to introduce everybody to "Big Daddy Shotgun Blast". (or BDSB for short) BDSB served in the army for 20+ years. He did 4 tours in Iraq. He is a true hero of our country and deserves our gratitude and respect. The story of how BDSB became his nickname is probably not appropriate to be typed here. So if you ever here a guy on the CB saying "Big Daddy Shotgun Blast coming at ya!", you will all know it is Mike.

Know for the second introduction, Bill. (A.K.A. cotton ball) Well, we gave Bill the nickname of cotton ball because of today. We were told at the end of class today to go to the clinic to get the hair follicle test done. Well, Mike goes in while Bill and I wait. We had all been talking about the test and Bill said that his wife hates body hair. So, we were all laughing and joking. Well, we did not know, they need hairs that are at least 1 and 1/2 inches long and they must get enough hair to be the size of a cotton ball. Bill was like, "I don't have that much hair." Mike and I finished giving our hair samples. It took about 10 - 15 minutes for both of us. Then Bill went in. Well, Mike and I had to stay to see what had happened. We were sitting in the car laughing so hard I was crying. After about 20 minutes, Bill finally comes out. We waited because we had to know where the hair came from. It came from his arm BTW. Anyway, all jokes aside, Bill was a Marine and served his country as well. He served overseas as well. He deserves our respect and gratitude as well.

O.K. for the last introduction, I give you me.... A.K.A "lug nut" "stall master" "sonar" "no leaks detected" "buttons" "minivan" and probably some I have missed. Yes, out of the three of us I have made the most mistakes. It has been a fun ride. Class is almost over and I have learned so much. I have to thank The Wisconsin CDL training center, Roehl, Kevin, Scott, Dale, Brian, and all the other instructors for all the help and the opportunity. They do a great job. I , also, have to thank Mike and Bill for keeping me calm. They encouraged me and helped me more than they know. They razzed me a lot too but I gave it back as best I could. I am just not a witty person. Anyway, thanks guys!

The rest of the day after lunch was pretty much the same, we drove, we talked about safety, driving, and procedures. We got back to the yard and unhooked the trailer and did our post trip. Then we headed to the clinic for the hair follicle test. Only a couple of days remain. Then we are all three off to Gary, IN for some flatbed securement training. After that we will start Phase 2 training. I will keep posting all the adventures of Phase 2 and 3 as I get to them.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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