Roehl Training August 2014

Topic 4940 | Page 2

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Andy C.'s Comment
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From what i understand, they have a recent contract with Fox Valley Technical School here in Appleton. First day they talked about it, It's fairly new. As for the why's and other details, i really couldn't say... I believe they do still hold the training center in Marshfield...

Andy C.'s Comment
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This is actually fun, the ability to read back, yes even four days ago to see where i was to whether i am now. The days are flying by, feels like one long day. Day 5 is done More city driving, about an hour and a half, maybe 20 miles. Still working on downshifting in time and proper turns. As i mentioned before, 1 curb rub and its a fail. So BE CAREFUL! We worked on 90 degree backing and offset parking. Gotta say, the minute i lose sight of my trailer i do... Freak a lil haha But it's coming. Wrap that trailer around the cone. Get your tractor back in line with your trailer once you cut your wheel, back it into your spot within the boundaries, allowed two pull ups during exam. After your in the spot, pull straight forward and offset park to the right. Sounds easy right? Lol For a city boy who never stepped foot in a truck before five days ago, it's not so bad. Instructor is patient and talked me through my issues and bam, it clicked a lil. Which way to turn to push my trailer instead off letting it guide me. Pretty happy with my progress. Class tomorrow (Saturday) due to Roehl's accelerated program, but no class Monday for labor day. Golden corral right next to hotel is probably going to be my home away from home away from home for the weekend lol Until tomorrow, good luck to you All!

Andy C.'s Comment
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6 days down... As i left my home in buffalo to take the trip to Wisconsin, i had no idea what i was in for. I don't think i would have believed in six short days i would be doing what i did today. Only five guys today, Roehl training schedule only. So we took out five different trucks and 48ft trailers. A course was set up through the yards available to us. Starting by turning left into the Keller track, about a mile and a half long filled with stop signs, dips, railroad signs, curves.... Practiced shifting and downshifting. Out of that, turn left to a straight back/offset backing practice area. Complete, turn left to a 90 degree back practice, follow the path to another 90, smaller setup, then to a third 90. Back on to the Keller and repeat. It was a feel good day, my backing had improved by leaps and bounds. A lot of the fear has leaked away leaving a sort of confidence. I still need a lil work, have to pull up a few times once in a while, but the concepts of "pushing the trailer" and guiding it are starting to sink in. Less than two weeks till i take my road test. I believe i will be just fine when that time comes around. Thanx for reading guys, feel free to ask anything you like or comment lol

Wine Taster's Comment
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Welcome to Roehl! Trust me this is just the beginning. You think you head is spinning now? Wait until you are out there all alone. It is amazing that school really was that long ago for me. It is so much a blur now. After about 6 months, I am finally starting to feel a little relaxed. It is daunting but you will get through it.

If you like sushi, the place beside festival near the hotel is fantastic!

Andy C.'s Comment
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Sushi sounds like a great idea! Luckily, i have a lot to read about life after school ha, Thanks wt It's a daunting but exciting thought.. They say about almost everything, you never stop llearning.. Looking forward to giving my 6 month solo reports ha Keep writing, it is appreciated!

Andy C.'s Comment
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Well, day 7 is in the books... Did a whole lot of driving today. 170 Miles. Just a nice country drive lol Unfortunately i did choke rather badly on one turn...yuck! Embarrassingly, was too focused on my shifting that i neglected my mirror, took a curb, almost a pole.. Stalled the truck in the middle of the turn....Ugly lol But, recoup and much better... Having that puppy up to 65mph was a rush. Long day Tuesday, back at school around four, worked on backing for a couple hours. 90 degree is definitely getting better, but very glad i have two more weeks to practice. Sometimes i feel like a complete idiot behind the wheel, sometimes i feel like I'm on top of the world. Now if the balance would teeter more and more to the latter part of that ha. I'm having the time of my life tho. smile.gif

Andy C.'s Comment
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Today, .... Was just plain fun. Took three different trucks onto a skid pad, one bobtail and two with flatbed trailers. The skid pad is 200 ft wide by 500 ft long, with big ol sprinklers putting water down. we would cruise up at 15 mph up to 18 mph, at times a lil faster, our driving partner would push a button that locks up our rear wheels, and our job was to lead out of the skid. Great learning experience, one truck was purposely put into a full out skid, hammer the breaks and hard turn right. Having that flatbed spinning you around is quite the experience! Hopefully i never feel that again! All the trucks were equipped with a switch that turns off your abs break system. This way we could demonstrate the difference in stopping distance and power. After lunch we moved to cars, again, skids, stopping with and without abs. All in all educational and informative. I would like to have my kids go though the car course. Hmmm... Homemade skid pad at home? Lol We also talked about csa scoring. Interesting... Here's to keeping it at zero


"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.


Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Wine Taster's Comment
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Wow, skid pad. We did not get to do that in training. Roehl has really changed the program quite a bit. Sounds like it is much better. Not that it was bad before....

Andy C.'s Comment
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Wish i could have gotten better pics, but at Fox Valley training, yes, i think some of the training might be more fun, but perhaps the Marshfield school might be more thorough....

Andy C.'s Comment
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With one more day in the books, i have to say, I'm feeling much better. Most of the day was involved with learning paper logs, which we will have to keep track of and submit for the remainder of our time here. Good information to know, even tho most companies like Roehl utilize electronic logs that hold your hand and wipe your butt for you nowadays... Haha j/k wine tasterrofl-3.gif Worked with the green book of regulations and a test (open book of course) regarding some of the regulations. Went over hours of service. Still a lil fuzzy about some of it, but I'm sure my electronic log will take care of most of it for me. And wipe my nose to boot... After lunch went driving again, All city driving, worked on turns, when to and how to use button hook turns, Much improvement with downshifting, much smoother today. Little tips on turns, talked a bit about what will get you points on your cdl road test. Tons of leeway. Only huge issues are impeding traffic and catching curb. Beginning to feel the reality of this career change. Its huge, it's stressful, it's just plain crazy to want to be a truck can and will be chewed up and spit out. But you know what? I'm looking so forward to it and can't wait to join you guys (and girls ha) out there. Drive safe gang!


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.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.


Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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