TMC Or Roehl

Topic 8841 | Page 1

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Truck Drivin' Lawyer (TDL's Comment
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Any current drivers for either TMC or Roehl out there? I would be interested in your opinion on either company.

I am considering going with one or the other. I do all flatbed work with my current company, straight trucks and semis, but I just got my Class A in February and not through an accredited school. I was trained by drivers where I work, and tested with a private agency. I am 56, excellent driving record, have been driving trucks off and on since I was 18.

Most places, including Roehl, want me to go through their school, then commit for a minimum one year or pay a $5,000 penalty. TMC seems willing to give me a shot if I can prove 3 months of Class A driving. Thoughts?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Here's my thoughts. Staying at your current company for one year from the time you've obtained your Class A may do more for you than you realize. You didn't really explain why you want to leave, but if you stay there for one year that will serve as a deterrent for the need of a training certificate from a traditional driving school. It will also establish a safety record, and some genuine experience. You didn't give us a whole lot of information, but if your current job is not running into several different states, you may still have to go through a time period with a trainer once you switch to an over the road carrier like TMC, or Roehl.

There are probably some places that will give you a shot if you have three months experience in a Class A truck, but I would think most of them will want to see a training certificate.

Both TMC and Roehl are good solid companies. We've had drivers come through here that have gone into both of them.

If I were you, and I wanted to switch to an over the road flat-bed carrier, then I would find someone who provides training like Roehl, and go through their training program. It will only help improve you. Find somewhere and stay there for a good solid year of safe driving, then you will have opened up for yourself a real door of opportunity. Prime offers paid training for CDL holders at 700 bucks a week. I think with the rates they are paying their flat-bed drivers you should be able to make around a thousand bucks a week if you are a go-getter. You can find information on them at this link to Company-Sponsored Training . Also if you use the search bar at the top of this page you can find a ton of information in the forums on them also, or just about any other topic or company. That search bar searches out information exclusively on this web site.

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.

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.

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.

Truck Drivin' Lawyer (TDL's Comment
member avatar

Here's my thoughts...

Thanks for the thoughts. I am thinking of leaving my current company for three reasons:

First, I don't get much drive time. They only have three semis, and they have two full-time semi drivers and one who splits his time between straight trucks and semis. I either end up driving the straight truck (usually a 24 foot flatbed with a Moffett/Spider), once in a while a semi, or I'm working in the warehouse (which I do NOT like).

Second reason is pay. I make an hourly rate of $17/hr with overtime ($680/wk), and I had to fight for that - I started one year ago at $16/hr.

Third reason is the work is seasonal. Things slow down a lot during winter, and it is hard to get hours. Some guys get laid off or cut back to 32/week.

I don't mind being over the road. My wife and I are both in our fifties and we have no kids. So if I can get a significant pay bump and drive more, it's worth it to me. I know a school would be good for me, and I am leaning toward Roehl. They are in-state (Marshfield, WI), so they have a lot of routes to choose from locally. They have a trailer drop yard right here in MKE. And they have multiple divisions: dry van , flatbed, curtainside, and refrigerated. While I don't mind doing flatbed work (I've been doing it for a year now), it's always nice to have options.

So that's where I'm at.

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.

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.

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.

James R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey i work for tmc, what kindof questions do you have specifically.

Truck Drivin' Lawyer (TDL's Comment
member avatar

Hey i work for tmc, what kindof questions do you have specifically.

I have a bunch, but let's start with the basics:

How long have you been driving, and how long with TMC? What do you like about the company compared to other companies? Do you know whether they have a terminal or drop yard in or near Milwaukee (it is hard to tell from their site)? Would I have to go to Des Moines for training? How is the pay/miles?

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.

James R.'s Comment
member avatar

Tmc is my first driving job. I've talked to many people at other companies and verified some reasons that i picked tmc to begin with.

First is they are absolutely eager to keep the equipment in top condition. If there's any problem they will pass you right to a terminal and get it fixed.

Second, Tmc, and at least my fleet manager , treat their drivers with a great degree of respect as long as you're doing your job. They're also very prioritized around safety. For example, i've never been asked to drive overnight after having sat all day at a shipper , i just go to sleep and drive the next day. They understand how taxing and risky it is to do things like that. In fact i work a 7 to 9 shift almost every day with very few exceptions of staying up a little later and they have never once even mentioned that fact much less complained about it.

Third, The performance based percentage pay allowed me to make competitive pay pretty early into my time, even as a brand new driver. I currently average 3900 a week(based on past 13 weeks) revenue to the truck and earn 28% of that. So i'm very happy with my earnings, but keep in mind the last time i went home was christmas so even though i take it easy on the work days, i get longer weekends runs to make up for it. As for the work, i have had to sit maybe 2 times since i started, and on one occasion they reimbursed me handsomly for the time. Since it's percentage sometimes you'll get runs that pay almost nothing, other times you'll get loads that once delivered have given you your income for an entire week, even if it was a 3 day drive. The average works out like i said above though, and i'm perfectly fine with that.

I did research on all of those factors and decided tmc was for me, and came here to find out they're all very true and tmc is a very true to it's word company. I can't, however, speak about whether other companies are not so reliable other than what i've been told since this is my first driving job.

We have a terminals in; gaston, sc des moines, ia joplin, mo indy, IN

As for the training, you'll most likely have to go to des moines. If you're accepted as an experienced driver it will be 1 week at the des moines terminal and 2 weeks~ with a trainer. If accepted as someone that needs full training it will be 2 weeks at des moines and 5 with a trainer, however their are no fees associated with the training, you'll be paid something like 500 dollars a week for the training and trainer time.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

FWIW, I used to work for Roehl (dry van), but know one driver who started with Roehl in flatbed and, after a year or so, went to TMC, then back to Roehl after only a couple of months. I don't know the details other than that he preferred the way Roehl operates.

Also, you may want to check with Melton (used to require only 3 months experience) and Maverick (as long as you have a CDLA, they don't care whether you went to a school or not - also, as far as I know, they only run truck with automatic transmissions).

Good luck to ya!

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.
Truck Drivin' Lawyer (TDL's Comment
member avatar

FWIW, I used to work for Roehl (dry van), but know one driver who started with Roehl in flatbed and, after a year or so, went to TMC, then back to Roehl after only a couple of months. I don't know the details other than that he preferred the way Roehl operates.

Also, you may want to check with Melton (used to require only 3 months experience) and Maverick (as long as you have a CDLA, they don't care whether you went to a school or not - also, as far as I know, they only run truck with automatic transmissions).

Good luck to ya!

Thanks, and also thanks to James R. for the very thorough info on TMC.

I also talked to a recruiter at Prime today. Prime also sounds like a great company to work for.

As of right now I am leaning toward Roehl. They are in-state: Their headquarters and training facility are in Marshfield, WI, which is about three hours from Milwaukee. They have a terminal in Appleton, which is even closer. And they have a trailer drop yard on the south side of Milwaukee, about 20 minutes from where I live. Being in-state, they have a lot of options for routes. And from everything I have read they are good to their drivers and safety is a priority.

But I do appreciate all of the great feedback. This is a very cool site. I'll let you know how things turn 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.

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.

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.
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