RDTC starting school January 28th

Discussion in 'Roehl' started by goblue, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. bamamac

    bamamac Medium Load Member

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    How much work did you put in at the secrument class at Gary Ind?
     
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  3. goblue

    goblue Road Train Member

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    Called into Driver Line this morning and had my first discussion with a DM/FM, advised to call back when I get my CDL switched over to Mich, hopefully that all works out well tomorrow morning. Might be out with a trainer as soon as Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday, certainly appears that it will be soon. The sooner the better for me, I want to stay in the groove. I have a scheduled call this afternoon with benefits dept and plan to call the lady who sent the email to all of us last week just to check in. Was on hold for a few minutes on the drivers line after speaking with an operator, music on hold was duran duran....how cool is that.

    To Bamamac....technoroom is our only classmate who went flatbed and had the securement training, I can't answer your question.
     
  4. TexasPhoenix

    TexasPhoenix Medium Load Member

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    Glad to hear that they are moving fast. Might want to start a new thread when you get on your trainers truck so we don't loose you in a long topic. Don't get use to Duran Duran. Music changes daily. lol
     
  5. technoroom

    technoroom Heavy Load Member

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    Yep, I wasn't disagreeing you with guys. If I'd had my GPS turned on I would have known I had already passed the place and was going too far south. After going a few blocks I fired up the GPS and knew what the deal was. It would have taken me who knows how long to find the place (in the dark, middle of the night, burned-out sign) if I didn't have the GPS. That was actually a good lesson.
     
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  6. technoroom

    technoroom Heavy Load Member

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    The securement class runs a day and a half. The first day (Saturday) starts at 1300 and goes until about 1800 and was all classroom, going over "general cargo securement" sections of the book Practical Cargo Securement which they give you (which I had already read, plus the FMCSR sections available on the Internet -- a little prep ahead of time definitely helped during the lectures). When I arrived at 1300 I found that the other guys in the class were in their sixth day of their eight-day Orientation phase and had been pulling flatbed trailers around all the previous week. The instructors were surprised that I didn't do even a bit of that up at RDTC, but I asked them questions during breaks and learned some about what you need to do differently on a spread-axle flatbed vs. a van when turning and backing.

    Second day started at 0700 and went until 1730. First part of the day was more classroom, going over the "special commodities" sections of the book -- the special rules for securing logs, dressed lumber, metal coils, concrete pipe, intermodal containers, autos, heavy equipment and machinery, crushed cars, and boulders. Roehl hauls a lot of dressed lumber and metal coils so we spent a bit more time on those products. About 1430 we went outside to where they had three flatbed trailers set up with various commodities placed on them, already secured (these trailers were what the guys in the class had been pulling around the previous week). We donned hardhats and safety vests and commenced to "take apart" the securement already on the loads, then put the securement back on (with a break in-between so we could move to a different trailer and not re-secure what we had just unsecured). There were various kinds of pipes, concrete blocks, metal coils in various orientations (eye-to-the-sky, "suicide" and "homicide/shotgun", which was entertaining to learn why they are called that -- nobody actually calls them "eyes vertical," "eyes crosswise" or "eyes lengthwise" even though that's how the cargo securement book refers to them). We used straps or chains as appropriate for the commodity. I'd done some of this kind of stuff before on my own and it was pretty cool/fun to do it "for real" with BIG/HEAVY stuff (some of the coils we will haul are almost 50,000 pounds).

    Slinging those chains around and climbing up and down from the trailer was an excellent workout and I knew again that this is for me.

    We then spent a little time learning how to maneuver the two sizes of tarps (steel, lumber) -- moving, unfolding, and folding. We didn't have time to actually tarp the loads but the instructors told us a bunch of tips and techniques. By then it was 1730 and getting dark.

    I was excused at 1730; the other guys in the class (people who already had their CDL before coming to Roehl and were in the eight-day orientation) had a general hazmat quiz to take that I had already taken while up at RDTC in Marshfield. Then they had one more day of orientation class on Monday (today).
     
  7. rangerroy

    rangerroy Bobtail Member

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    So what will you do know go with a trainer and for how long? Will you be able to take your truck home just cureous about policy.the posts from you guys is very informative especially the flatbed part.any comments about getting your cdl before the school or better to get it their and differance.
     
  8. technoroom

    technoroom Heavy Load Member

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    The next step after either RDTC or orientation is to go out for 11-14 days (typical) with a trainer.

    RDTC is the CDL school, for people who don't already have a CDL from somewhere else. If you do have a CDL (either from a different school, or you had worked for a different company already), you go through Roehl Orientation which is either 8 days (typically for those who just got their CDL but have no experience out on the road yet, or people with limited experience, or people who haven't driven a commercial vehicle in awhile) or I've also heard some mention a 3-day Orientation for those with substantial experience out on the road already. If you go to RDTC, the first two weeks prepare you for taking the CDL road test on the Friday of the 2nd week, and the third week is similar to what you'd learn in the 8-day Roehl Orientation. Practically speaking, you'll end up in basically the same spot no matter whether you get your CDL through RDTC, or get it somewhere else and then go through the 8-day Orientation. I will mention that RDTC's tuition is substantially lower than many other CDL schools and it's a high-quality school (read previous posts in this thread for what several of us said about the school).

    The policy on taking your truck home is that you can do so only if you live more than 50 miles from the nearest Roehl drop yard or terminal, unless specifically approved by your Fleet Manager. In my case, I live about 65 miles away from the nearest drop yard in Newport, MN (just east of St. Paul, along highway US 10/61) so while theoretically I could take the truck home, I am still going to park it at the St. Paul drop yard -- I live in a residential area of Rochester and there aren't really any good places around Rochester to park it. If you do take it home, you need to have a suitable place to park the truck and trailer (of course) and you also have to be able to plug in the engine heater to 120V power during the winter months, or be able to periodically start the engine to charge the batteries. (Terminals and many drop yards have suitable power outlets in the tractor parking areas for this purpose.) Assuming you live in St. Paul as your profile indicates, you would definitely park the truck at the St. Paul / Newport drop yard, which has the 120V power outlets in the tractor area.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
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  9. Bayle

    Bayle Road Train Member

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    It's actually in St. Paul Park, not Newport.
     
  10. Skeezar

    Skeezar Bobtail Member

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    How were your experiences at Roehl?
     
  11. goblue

    goblue Road Train Member

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    Grand Prairie, Texas
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    If you read the entire thread you should get a good idea of how RDTC works out. In my experience everything so far has met or exceeded my expectations. My one issue would be that I wish we could have had more time behind the wheel. This is really no fault of RDTC more so that we had some bad weather during our training period, welcome to Marshfield in winter. On a better note all of us have driven the tractor trailer on snow/ice so at least we did get that experience. Our group is now in phase 2, we have a new thread started that says phase 3, it will all blend in soon.
     
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