Trucking Takes Commitment

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JakeBreak's Comment
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It is that same missing quality in them that makes them consider a one year commitment to a company, as a way of paying them back for their amazing generosity, to be a form of "slave labor."


Maybe it's just my own mentality, or my age, or maybe even a combination of the two, but I just don't get that form of thinking at all. When looking at the grand scheme of things across your whole working life, what's one year? It's a drop in the bucket. So the company who trains you "owns" you for a year. So what? Once that year is over (which happens so fast it'll make your head spin in this industry), your life and your career are your own and you can write your own ticket--assuming you get through that first year clean, that is. And who knows? You might even find you like who you work for and want to stay. Even if you don't, that year of experience opens so many doors it's not even funny, and the options available to you are virtually endless.

I went through company-sponsored training , with the standard contractual obligation to work for the company for a year. I ended up staying for two and a half years. I might even have stayed longer, but things changed drastically and the company became a total stranger compared to what it was, and I moved on to another company, where I've been extremely happy for the past year. That's the beauty of this industry. The opportunities for good experienced drivers are there for the taking. "Surrendering" a year of your working life for that kind of potential is a no-brainer to me.

Or maybe I'm just weird.

Your not wierd i took the self financing option to go to school simply because i didnt find this website until after i started getting everything together but you and OS are perfectly correct i spent 4 yrs at 2 jobs i hated just to pay bills and keep everything going until my fiance saw how much i wanted to do this and she said she was ok with it so im doing it. Im sure i can make it at least a year at whatever company i go with. So im not worried about it if i dont like the first company ill give it a year and move on. According to every experienced driver ive talked to it will take that long to figure out what the heck im doing out there. So i dont mind taking my licks and learning the business.

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.

The Dude's Comment
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Always open this thread if it's made by Old School.

Never open this thread if it's made by your girlfriend.

Bud A.'s Comment
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Always open this thread if it's made by Old School.

Never open this thread if it's made by your girlfriend.

LMAO you reminded me of my favorite Charlie Sheen quote (waaay back in the '80s): "Yeah, I had a girlfriend once, but I got that piano off my back."

Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
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Old School blowing minds yet again :) Great piece and wonderfully put. I think that creativity is definitely necessary and maybe that's what he thought he was doing. Who knows. But like so many people have told me and like Old School reiterated, getting some skin in the game is what makes you appreciate...well everything! From the people who might help you financially, to the long hours in the classroom...and that's just the beginning!


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Babyhog's Comment
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Thank you Old School. I Took this as a positive message for us rookies who sometimes question ourselves yet persevere. Have a great day!

Thanks old school

Magoo's Comment
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Love OS's OP and the responses in the thread.

Fatsquatch, if your weird then I'm nuts. As I continue to figure out where I'm going and how or who I'm getting there with, I've come across Roehl. They are currently in my top list of companies to try and get a pre hire from for a number of reasons. One of my personal favorite reasons is the contract they require from you even if you get a CDL from a school. If I go that route (school) and then sign on with them they will require I stay on for 75k miles for the training they will provide me. I love that.

If a company takes the time to show me the ropes, then I should damn well not have a problem fulfilling an obligation for that training.

Commitment is a great word. It's a shame some don't know what it means.


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.

Jolie R.'s Comment
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Commitment is a great word. It's a shame some don't know what it means.

I am going to say this as nice as I possibly can since you are not driving yet. I left Roehl before I had my year in because an opportunity to get in on a new account with a different company had much better overall benefits to me. As much as I appreciate getting my school and training through them, the bottom line is each and every driver has to look out for themselves and their family. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you are not meeting a companies needs they will part ways with you regardless of how much time you have with them or if you have not fulfilled your year. I will pay Roehl back monthly with interest, until I have repaid what I owe to them and that really is all of the commitment I have. I know this is not the popular opinion on TT and I don't have anything bad to say about Roehl, but it just wasn't a place I wanted to be long term. Others feel differently and we can agree to disagree, but to say someone doesn't know the meaning of commitment because they don't stay at their first company for a year is baloney imho.

Magoo's Comment
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Jolie, my apologies to you and anyone else my comments might have bothered. When I get irritated I don't review what I wrote. Or else I would've noticed I left out a few important points.

While I do believe in what I wrote I also realize I left out an important portion that was in my head.

The commitment encompasses either driving for the specified miles or paying back what is owed. There are many who feel like the poster Old School was talking about. Get it for free and will ***** and moan about having to pay anything back.

Obviously you aren't one of those at all. None of your posts have ever complained about owing Roehl money and you have never complained. Based on your choice and how you handled it I would say you know exactly what commitment means.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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...each and every driver has to look out for themselves and their family....I know this is not the popular opinion on TT and I don't have anything bad to say about Roehl, but it just wasn't a place I wanted to be long term

It's not just about the commitment. It's about your career also. A common scenario would be someone who starts out with a company, works there for three months, leaves for a better opportunity, and within a month or two they get in a fender bender. The company that you were working for fires you for getting in a fender bender in your first 90 days. The company that you quit won't hire you back because you left before the contract was up and then got in a fender bender to boot. And many of the new companies you apply to won't hire you because you're a job hopper, you reneged on your contract, you got in a fender bender, and you have very little experience.

Now what do you do? You've made yourself almost worthless to an decent employers out there. You're way too big of a risk.

Now if you had stayed with the first company and gotten in that same fender bender they would have likely kept you. Why? Because for one they've already invested a lot of time and money training you and they'd like to recoup that money. For two, you have some experience there and hopefully you've shown good potential so they still believe in you.

We had a driver here at TT that worked for Schneider. After eight months he hit a telephone pole and destroyed the truck. The driver was unhurt. Schneider brought him back to the terminal , did some interviews with him, and sent him back out on the road in a brand new truck. His attitude was great, he had done a great job to that point, and the company decided to forgive him and send him back out there. Obviously none of that would have happened if he had just started at Schneider a month before wrecking the truck or had quit Schneider and wrecked someone else's truck right away. He would have been fired immediately and nobody would have been interested in giving him a chance.

This scenario happens every single day out there. Right now there are drivers reading this going, "Wow, that's exactly what happened to me. Wish I could go back and do it differently."

So it isn't just a matter of "Be True To Your School" for those old enough to remember the old Beach Boys song. It's about protecting your career early in the game when you're most vulnerable to having accidents and you have very little experience as leverage for finding a new job.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
James925's Comment
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*mic drop*

Old School that was a great post. Everyone new should read it.

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