Roehl Transport - On The Job Training

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Kevin W.'s Comment
member avatar

I have been viewing this website for more than a month. Most of that time was spent learning as much as I can about the trucking industry and company sponsored CDL schools. This is my first post. It is the first time I felt I could contribute something new and informative to those who are interested in company sponsored CDL schools, and more specifically the changes Roehl Transport is making to theirs.

I am looking to start a second career, and I would prefer to go through company sponsored training. Over time, I have narrowed my list to Roehl Transport and Swift Transportation, and I was struggling to choose between the two. That changed today with some new information from Roehl.

Roehl Transport has changed Phase I of its training from a Company Sponsored CDL School into what they are calling On-The-Job Training. It seems that Roehl is quite serious about changing more than how they refer to their company sponsored CDL training. The biggest change is when you are hired and Roehl begins paying you. I was informed that I would be hired at the start of my CDL training and paid an hourly wage ($10/hr) during the training for my CDL. The training will be extended by one week (from 3 weeks to 4 weeks). This extra week should add 30 additional hours of training, most of which is said to be driving time.

Previously Roehl has only covered lodging costs during their CDL school. As a Roehl employee during training, they will cover some additional costs. Roehl will continue to cover lodging costs, and will now cover travel costs and provide meals for this first phase of training. Breakfast will be provided by the hotel, while Roehl will provide lunch and dinner on training days. Monday through Friday are full training days, and Saturday should be a half day of training.

The downside of this added investment by Roehl, and their higher training costs, is the contract requires payment of the entire training cost if you do not fulfill the terms. If you fail to drive 115,000 paid solo miles for Roehl, you will owe them the entire training cost of $5000.

The second phase of training at Roehl, the on the road training with an instructor, seems to be unchanged. After getting your CDL, you will spend up to 15 days on the road with a trainer, during which you will be paid $90 per day.

Roehl was eager to provide this information in writing. The details are covered in an employment contract and a pre-hire letter. Based on these changes to their CDL School/On-The-Job Training, I feel quite confident with starting my truck driving career with Roehl Transport.

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.

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rick Dees's Comment
member avatar

Did someone from Roehl tell you this because I did not see any of this information in their website as of yet. I had my choices narrowed down to Knight or Roehl but it looks like Roehl will be the best fit for me, good luck to you.

Keys man's Comment
member avatar

Roehl is on my short list too but from what I understand you have to sign a contract even if you already have a cdl. If you leave before 6 months you will have to pay 3150 for training. I can under stand this if you go through their school but for someone with a cdl already this seems a bit extreme. I hope this is not the case. I have a call in to my recruiter about this but have not gotten a reply yet. Will update when I find out.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Kevin!

Based on these changes to their CDL School/On-The-Job Training, I feel quite confident with starting my truck driving career with Roehl Transport

I'm not sure what it is about the changes that makes you feel like now Roehl is the one. I mean, they're a great company for sure. But all you talked about was a few basics like the length of their training and the training pay. I mean, you're not going to choose what company you start your career with because they'll pay you $10/hr for a few weeks, right? I mean, McDonald's will do that.

I wouldn't worry too much about the particulars of the schooling. That will be over in a few weeks. What you're looking for is the right company to work for. You should be looking at home time, equipment, types of freight, and opportunities they have in various divisions. Who cares if they pay for your $8 lunch or pay you a McDonald's salary for a few weeks. Focus on finding the best company to work for. All of the various Company-Sponsored Training Programs will do a great job of training you. It's after the training is over that your career begins. You want to make sure you pick a company that suits you well.

Roehl Transport has changed Phase I of its training from a Company Sponsored CDL School into what they are calling On-The-Job Training

Same thing, different wording. That's just marketing.

Remember, you want to focus on the long term. Don't worry about the details of a few weeks of training. It means nothing. Focus on finding the company you want to work for after training is complete.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

DaveDiesel's Comment
member avatar
Remember, you want to focus on the long term. Don't worry about the details of a few weeks of training. It means nothing. Focus on finding the company you want to work for after training is complete.

Brett, I realy like what Roehl has to offer but I'm having a tough time getting past the 15 day over the road training period. It just seems to be very short compared to other companies? Am I over thinking this?

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Brett, I really like what Roehl has to offer but I'm having a tough time getting past the 15 day over the road training period. It just seems to be very short compared to other companies? Am I over thinking this?

That is shorter than most. I think Schneider only does like a week of training on the road. Back when I started in '93 I went out with a trainer for two weeks and they let me go solo and I was glad. Most people went 3-4 weeks but I was ready to get my own truck and do my thing.

If you have a pretty good trainer that really focuses on teaching you all he can and you ask a lot of questions then I would say two weeks is enough. A lot of companies make the training a month or longer but most of the time you're just running team where the trainer is asleep anyhow. I don't think the programs with longer training times are really using it very efficiently. They're not packing in a month's worth of hardcore training. They pack in a week or two worth and the rest is just running team really.

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.

Kevin W.'s Comment
member avatar

Did someone from Roehl tell you this because I did not see any of this information in their website as of yet. I had my choices narrowed down to Knight or Roehl but it looks like Roehl will be the best fit for me, good luck to you.

Yes, I spoke with two different recruiters at Roehl about these changes. I also received the information in writing. The Roehl recruiters seemed excited and said they had been working on getting these changes approved for a while. The approval recently went through. As for their website, I can only assume it will take them some time to make updates.

Kevin W.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not sure what it is about the changes that makes you feel like now Roehl is the one. I mean, they're a great company for sure. But all you talked about was a few basics like the length of their training and the training pay. I mean, you're not going to choose what company you start your career with because they'll pay you $10/hr for a few weeks, right? I mean, McDonald's will do that.

I wouldn't worry too much about the particulars of the schooling. That will be over in a few weeks. What you're looking for is the right company to work for. You should be looking at home time, equipment, types of freight, and opportunities they have in various divisions. Who cares if they pay for your $8 lunch or pay you a McDonald's salary for a few weeks. Focus on finding the best company to work for. All of the various Company-Sponsored Training Programs will do a great job of training you. It's after the training is over that your career begins. You want to make sure you pick a company that suits you well.

Brett,

I appreciate your advice. I enjoy this website and have found it invaluable in learning about the opportunities in trucking.

I agree school/training is temporary and should not be "the" deciding factor in selecting a company. My previous career and background is in engineering. I have likely over analyzed this decision. In my research, I have been looking at training, hometime, benefits, equipment (maintenance), types of freight, locations and the variety of opportunities available within the companies. I am completely new to the trucking industry, so there is some uncertainty about what I really want long term.

I want to do CDL training through a company sponsored school. I want to start out OTR national. I want to seem more of the country. I really like the idea of a larger company for many of the reasons you listed in your article on considering a larger company. I want physical support and structure. And I do not mind being a number. I have decided I want to start out driving a flatbed. I like the added physical challenge and variety that comes with a flatbed.

Knight is the only company I have eliminated based on CDL school. They will not hire me out of Virginia to go to their CDL school. There is a lot that I like about their company.

I was looking at Swift because they are a massive company with lots of opportunities, good pay, good benefits, lots of locations, and what seemed to be a solid training program. I used them as the company to compare others against, and it allowed me to eliminate a lot of companies.

I was originally attracted to Roehl based on their interesting hometime options. Being home more often, and having more options of how I choose to do that, is more important to me than how much I make per year. The more I looked into Roehl, the more I liked about them. The most consistent criticism of them that I can find is they manage you closely and they are better for new drivers.

I want to find the best fit for me to learn this job. It is my plan to work hard and learn as much as I can for at least a full year, and then re-evaluate my situation and my opportunities through more experienced eyes. I would like to be with a company that offers lots opportunities, because no matter how well I choose initially, my choices may change significantly with experience. Ultimately the best opportunity may be with a different company after I gain experience and knowledge.

Brett, thanks again for your advice. I welcome any insight you have to offer, as well as that of any others on this forum.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

DaveDiesel's Comment
member avatar
A lot of companies make the training a month or longer but most of the time you're just running team where the trainer is asleep anyhow. I don't think the programs with longer training times are really using it very efficiently. They're not packing in a month's worth of hardcore training. They pack in a week or two worth and the rest is just running team really.

Ok Brett...that makes sense. Thanks for the guidance.

ATXJEHU's Comment
member avatar

As to the Phase 2 OTR with a Trainer for up to 15 days - it's mainly to get you acquainted with life on the road, not so much to teach you to drive. They know before Phase 2 that you can drive the rig safely. Phase 2 acquaints you with dealing with shippers/receivers, doing fuel stops, crossing weigh stations, proper real life trip planning, backing, etc. I was OTR for Roehl with a Trainer for 12 days before testing out to begin solo driving. It is enough time, just barely however. You will definitely be stressed during your first 30 days or so as a solo driver. Good luck!

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.

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.

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