Newbie Looking For Some Guidance

Topic 9451 | Page 1

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Michael C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everybody, I've been looking into joining the trucking industry and had things set to go to Roehl's CDL school. However, I've had some family things to take care of and I won't be able to go to Roehl's school until at least September. With the family issues requiring me to stay near home until Sept would it be best if I just went to a local school to get my CDL?

Is there a list of accepted schools for Roehl? I've tried asking my employment specialist at Roehl but she pretty much all but refused to give me any information on it, other than to come talk to her when I am available to go to their school.

My next question is would it be better to start off in a Van/Reefer or go straight to flatbed? A lot of people that I have spoken with says flatbed is generally the best paying, but most challenging, would it be a bit much for a new driver?

Lastly, this site is amazing, I've learned A LOT from just cruising the forum and the training program on here is excellent, my brain hurts from grinding out some of the sections on there LOL.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Michael C.'s Comment
member avatar

I forgot to mention, I do have some experience driving class b firetrucks and semi's without a trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
With the family issues requiring me to stay near home until Sept would it be best if I just went to a local school to get my CDL?

I wouldn't say it's best, but it's certainly an option. I don't know what the obligation is, and you certainly don't have to say, but keep in mind that the schooling will be pretty exhausting. The days are usually 10 hour days with homework to boot. It's stressful, super challenging, and just simply exhausting. So if the obligations require a lot of your time and energy you might be better off taking care of things at home and then going to Roehl's Training Program in September.

Is there a list of accepted schools for Roehl?

Only Roehl can tell you that unfortunately. I am unaware of a publicly available list of schools that companies will accept. You can speak with the schools in your area and ask them if Roehl hires their students but don't trust them completely without verifying it with Roehl.

My next question is would it be better to start off in a Van/Reefer or go straight to flatbed? A lot of people that I have spoken with says flatbed is generally the best paying, but most challenging, would it be a bit much for a new driver?

Flatbed doesn't pay a whole lot more than other forms of trucking overall. Basically if you have a strong work ethic and you're safe and reliable you're going to make good money in any form of trucking. I never pulled a flatbed OTR because I personally didn't feel the extra work and risk was worth the pay. But ask almost any flatbed driver and they'll tell you they wouldn't even consider doing anything else. So it's a very personal choice.

There is no doubt it's more risky, takes more knowledge, requires doing more work, and adds to the stress and challenges a new driver will face regardless of the type of freight you pull. I would personally rather see someone at least get a few months of experience in a dry van or refrigerated gig before moving on to flatbed but I wouldn't say that you should avoid it altogether straight out of school. It's pretty much like everything else in trucking - it's a calculated risk.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Michael C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply Brett, I'm going to try and contact someone at Roehl besides my ES and see if I can get a definitive answer on whether or not the school is accepted. I think I will do as you suggested and start off with van or reefer to get more comfortable driving a big rig. Especially if the pay isn't a drastic difference then no since starting off with too much too quickly and end up in trouble.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Gary J.'s Comment
member avatar

Michael, I've put off going to CDL school this last winter and spring. I too to had obligations I needed to address. I used that time though to do extensive research on Truck Driving as a career. Lots of what I learned stemmed from this site. I leave for Roehl CDL School this coming Sunday. Granted, I'm not looking forward to being away from my wife and children for an entire month, but the reason I waited was to get everything I needed in order at home first to make an easier and smoother transition into this profession. This way I can dedicate myself fully to the training that is required without worrying about other things. Best of luck to you!

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.
Michael C.'s Comment
member avatar

This site is amazing for sure, I've learned more about truck driving from this site then I have anywhere else combined. I'm glad I came across the site, chalk another win up for google. I always say I can either google and find something or look on youtube LOL.

I may do the same and just keep studying all of the materials and save school for when I can focus 110% on it after my situation is taken care of. Best of luck to you at the Roehl school, I've heard many great things about it.

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