Roehl Transport--Get Your Cdl Program

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David K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Anne, PackRat, and Old School.

Ryker, (1) your cpm will depend upon which fleet you are driving with and your experience level, so your recruiter will know that better than me. The cpm varies a lot.

(2) As for personal conveyance, I have not heard much about that, but I believe that personal conveyance would be quite limited because I never heard the trainers talk about that as a way of solving a problem. Every foot that the truck moves is recorded and requires some explanation. If you live within 50 miles of a Roehl terminal or drop lot, I know that you are required to leave your truck there, not at home, during your home time.

(3) After Phase 1, Roehl provides transportation, except for short distances near your home. You might have to find your own way to a truck stop or terminal in order to meet your Phase 2 trainer.

(4) Yes, Roehl has three different groups: the GYCDL group (no license), the inexperienced group (license, but no experience), and the experienced group. Roehl provides a different level of orientation and training for each of those three groups. Those groups are separated at the beginning of the first day.

(5) The trainers will help you find someone to give you a ride if you ask for help. No one is going to stop you from using Uber, but that would be an expensive option. When I looked into using Uber in Conley, a one-way trip from the hotel to the terminal was $25 and up. The drive from the hotel to the terminal takes about 20 minutes, and a lot of that is down a highway.

(6) The orientation information sheet explains that trainees will share a room with another person, but you can get your own room for about $30 extra per night. When I was there in Conley, everyone had their own room without having to pay extra, but that may not happen if the training slots are full when you get there.

Hope that helps.

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.

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.

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.
Ryker 's Comment
member avatar

David, thanks this is a big help and I greatly appreciate it! And dang, in that case Uber definitely won’t be an option

I hope all is going well for you, and that your trainer is a person you get along with and feel comfortable with. I’m looking forward to getting started at Roehl and to what awaits

David K.'s Comment
member avatar

July 2, 2021 Today, I finally received a start date, July 6th, for Phase 2 of the GYCDL training. In Phase 2, I will be driving with a driver trainer, and the trainer will not be team driving with me, as occurs at some companies. Instead, the trainer will be teaching me the basics of driving in the Roehl van fleet while we deliver 19 loads. For the last 5 loads, I must be able to complete pick up and delivery on my own. After that, I must be able to pass Roehl's driving test.

Although I had to wait more than two weeks after Phase 1 to start with Phase 2, I will have an excellent trainer who has more than 2 million safe driving miles of driving experience. Waiting for a trainer of that caliber should be well worth the wait.

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.
David K.'s Comment
member avatar

July 16--In Phase 2, the trainee's progress depends, for one, upon the trainer's methods of training. Fortunately, I have been with the same trainer during the entire time, and I am progressing through the program quickly. Other trainees end up driving with two or more trainers in Phase 2, which can slow down completion.

My typical day starts off at about 4:00 a.m. and finishes at about 9:30 p.m., but I am only driving about seven hours per day. My trainer is driving about the same amount. We spend more time than I expected waiting at shippers and receivers. In the next day or two, I will start the solo driving part of Phase 2. That means that the trainer will still be in the truck, but not providing as much instruction as in the early part of Phase 2. I will be expected to complete all the tasks of a company driver without help.

My understanding is that 30 days is the maximum amount of time that a driver can spend in Phase 2. After that, the driver either progresses on to Phase 3, which is solo driving, or the driver is dismissed from the company.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

Other trainees end up driving with two or more trainers in Phase 2, which can slow down completion.

I had two trainers, the second was a local driver, and I am very glad to have been placed in his truck, even for a few days, because I learned a different way of driving.

Christopher P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello guys.

I am a driver for Roehl Transport. I went through their GYCDL program back in December of 2019. I've done about everything with them from reefer , dry van , flatbed, stepdeck , and curtainside. I've been a lease operator with them since October 2020 and I would say overall it's a decent company.

Congrats on completing your training phase. The over the road training phase can be quite tough for a lot of students. I was lucky to have the same trainer throughout my entire phase with somebody that has been with Roehl for over 9 years and we came just shy of him reaching his 1 million miles before I went solo. But, I've heard the stories from other drivers that didn't have quite the same experience. Lots of trainers now a days here have very minimal experience, most even less than I have. And a lot just want the money and put the student in the driver seat for 11 hours a day but don't really go over much of anything else with them. Once they go solo, they realize how ill-prepared they are and end up quitting sadly.

My best piece of advice is to get to know other drivers and make friends with people here and communicate regularly with them. There's quite a few Roehl Facebook groups you can join that are full of active members as well. And just don't give up. Take your time and worry about improving your skill sets. Driving and backing has almost nothing to do with your success. Proper trip planning and time management matters more than how many times you have to pull up to back into a spot.

Do your due diligence before you start turning those wheels. Your trainer may go over this briefly but they don' really train you properly because it's time consuming and they only care about the money.

Determine what your ETA is and send it in ASAP. Don't accept a load and drive your day out then realize at 6PM you aren't going to make the 8AM appointment in the morning you confirmed before. 9/10 times they are still going to send you anyways knowing that you are late, but if you confirmed beforehand that you would make it, they can't get you detention pay. And if you're late in dry van or reefer, be prepared to sit for hours in a dock if you're late. Please advice that most FMs don't communicate with you very well on these things either. But just so you know, the ETAs sent through the workflow are computer generated. They only factor in driving time and may seem impossible to make. But if it states anything such as "Can arrive as early as:" it's typically a window. Picking up a pre-loaded at a shipper with a "Can arrive as early as 10:00" for example means the shipper agreed to have the load ready by 10:00. Sometimes it's ready way before that and there's no problem arriving earlier than that, other times you'll arrive and it's not ready and you're stuck waiting. Other times they may have no empty trailers to start with and it turns into a live load. Either way, try to get there as soon as you can. For cons, basically the same thing. "Can arrive as early as" typically means it's a window to drop, or first come first serve for live unloads. Most of our drop and hooks at big distribution centers such as Walmart, Lowes, Target, etc. are 24/7 on that date. Determine your ETA and send in a message for your shipper and cons ETA before you start that workflow. Or in the confirmation at least, select "No, I cannot make this load as scheduled." and enter your own ETA. They'll get an alert and correct the ETA. But if you don't do this, skim through it to get rolling, then realize later you aren't making it on time, you're likely not going to get any detention pay and they may take points off your scorecard for being late as well.

The ETT (estimated travel time) on the co-pilot is usually a lot longer than it actually takes to get there if you run at 65mph on interstates most of the route, but I typically add an hour or two just to be safe and calculate my ETA that way. Or taking the miles and dividing by 50 then adding in your 10 hour break generally works as well. I usually assume 10 hours of driving instead of 11 though to give me adequate time to find parking. I typically break my day into 150-200 mile segments. Find a place to stop for my safety checks, bathroom break, and get back on the road. Don't burn yourself out trying to drive 8 hours straight to make a computer generated ETA.

Also read the workflow information. In some instances, they have no location for the cons, especially in flatbed, and will send you routing to the city center of the destination. Don't be like most drivers and not read this and just follow the GPS to the city center of somewhere then realize you're lost and SOL.

Just some advice I thought I'd share with you as it's something that's very important but not gone over with in training. I struggled my first couple months solo and wanted to quit so bad. But then I got the hand of how dispatching works and it's not so bad now. Once you get issued a truck, you will able to join "The Original Roehl Driver's Club" on Facebook if you'd like and introduce yourself. Lots of good people there including quite a few million milers here at 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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Over The Road:

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Interstate:

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

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.

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.

Stepdeck:

A stepdeck , also referred to as "dropdeck", is a type of flatbed trailer that has one built in step to the deck to provide the capabilities of loading higher dimensional freight on the lower deck.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David K.'s Comment
member avatar

July 28 -- Starting Phase 3.

Thanks, Christopher P. That's very helpful. Yesterday, I finished Phase 2 and passed the Driver Safety Exam (DSE). The DSE was no joke. I was under the impression that the driving test was simply a formality, but in my experience, the exam included several potential fail points, including a king pin hookup that looked OK, but was not completely closed, even though it looked closed. Some of the turns were tricky. My DSE test did allow for the use of a GPS navigation device, which I otherwise would rely upon heavily, so I was not comfortable relying solely upon street signs. I came into the test thinking that backing into a parking space would be the most difficult part of the test, but I managed to do that with only one pullup. The driving and pre-trip inspection were actually more difficult than the backing because they were designed to test drivers with unusual conditions.

The 19 days of driving in Phase 2 was an intensive learning experience, not only as to the fundamentals of driving and parking a truck and trailer, but also the details of entering and receiving information in the digital tracking system. Interacting with people at shipping and receiving was a little intimidating, at times, because some people are simply rude, or angry, or tired, or otherwise not eager to interact with drivers.

But I got through it, and now I am waiting on my truck so that I can begin Phase 3.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

penn99's Comment
member avatar

Hello guys.

I am a driver for Roehl Transport. I went through their GYCDL program back in December of 2019. I've done about everything with them from reefer , dry van , flatbed, stepdeck , and curtainside. I've been a lease operator with them since October 2020 and I would say overall it's a decent company.

. . .

Just some advice I thought I'd share with you as it's something that's very important but not gone over with in training. I struggled my first couple months solo and wanted to quit so bad. But then I got the hand of how dispatching works and it's not so bad now. Once you get issued a truck, you will able to join "The Original Roehl Driver's Club" on Facebook if you'd like and introduce yourself. Lots of good people there including quite a few million milers here at Roehl.

Great info, Christopher. Thank you for sharing.

July 28 -- Starting Phase 3.

Thanks, Christopher P. That's very helpful. Yesterday, I finished Phase 2 and passed the Driver Safety Exam (DSE). The DSE was no joke. I was under the impression that the driving test was simply a formality, but in my experience, the exam included several potential fail points, including a king pin hookup that looked OK, but was not completely closed, even though it looked closed. Some of the turns were tricky. My DSE test did allow for the use of a GPS navigation device, which I otherwise would rely upon heavily, so I was not comfortable relying solely upon street signs. I came into the test thinking that backing into a parking space would be the most difficult part of the test, but I managed to do that with only one pullup. The driving and pre-trip inspection were actually more difficult than the backing because they were designed to test drivers with unusual conditions.

The 19 days of driving in Phase 2 was an intensive learning experience, not only as to the fundamentals of driving and parking a truck and trailer, but also the details of entering and receiving information in the digital tracking system. Interacting with people at shipping and receiving was a little intimidating, at times, because some people are simply rude, or angry, or tired, or otherwise not eager to interact with drivers.

But I got through it, and now I am waiting on my truck so that I can begin Phase 3.

Also great info, David. And also... thank you for sharing.

I am now starting Phase 2 with Roehl... I am excited to get going tomorrow... but was not fully aware of what you described regarding DSE. Good stuff to know!!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Stepdeck:

A stepdeck , also referred to as "dropdeck", is a type of flatbed trailer that has one built in step to the deck to provide the capabilities of loading higher dimensional freight on the lower deck.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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