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Bob Smith & Roehl Transport – Values that Align



For Bob Smith, accountability has been a key value in his success in life. Bob spent 20 years in the U.S. Army, where he drove equipment and eventually worked as a General’s aide. During that time, Bob learned and appreciated the military’s structured lifestyle. He retired as a Sergeant First Class, and he then spent some time volunteering and working with children with disabilities.

After Bob’s father passed away, he asked himself, “Am I really done, or do I have something more to give?” and with that he came out of retirement. As a kid, Bob had thought about being a truck driver, and knowing that he liked structure and being accountable for his decisions, Bob researched trucking companies, ultimately picking Roehl to get his CDL in 2015. Bob noted that the factors that influenced his decision included Roehl’s safety record, the new and well-maintained equipment and the company’s stability that allows him the opportunity to earn a great income. “What Roehl told me they would do, they have done,” he added.

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For Bob, accountability as a professional truck driver shows up in several ways. First, by driving the Roehl Way. “It’s an incredible responsibility, to do your job right, to protect others. I take pride every day knowing I made a difference in people’s lives,” he said.

Second, in his performance. “A person can come to this profession, and if they have self-discipline and a work ethic, the sky’s the limit.” Bob drives in Roehl’s regional Dairyland Fleet, hauling mostly cheese and other frozen products, and it’s a great match for him because he values the accountability and the ability to maximize his time. “I like to stay busy. On the Dairyland Fleet, I can work 13-14 hours a day, haul 2-4 loads a day, drive 450-500 miles a day,” he noted. One way he does that is by staying ahead of schedule. “On the Dairyland Fleet, there’s always another load,” he added.

While Bob gets home every weekend, he noted that operating close to home provides some comfort. He and his wife of nearly 30 years, Meredith, live in Belleville, Wisconsin. Because the Dairyland freight is mostly based in Wisconsin, Bob’s rarely more than 200 miles away from home, and he regularly runs near his hometown even loading about 11 miles away from his house.

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Bob said people might have a misconception about the Dairyland Fleet, which he said gives drivers the potential to run as much as they want to run. “I make a ton of money on this fleet, an embarrassing amount of money.” Roehl pays for many extras other than just miles and Roehl pays practical route mileage – about 5-8% more than the old HHG that many trucking companies still use. “I show people my 75 cents average per mile all the time.” In addition to many other supporting tools to help drivers do their jobs, Roehl offers an average cents per mile summary screen in the My Roehl smartphone app.

Bob shared that he’s also supported by his team in the office. “My fleet managers, Jeff and Jennifer, and my planners, Tyler and Ryan, are great! I cannot give them enough kudos.” A member of the Roehl Honor Program that recognizes his military service, Bob is giving back to the industry by training new drivers, too. “I wanted to do more than teach how to drive a truck. I want to help people get in the position to be successful.” Bob’s advice to his trainees is straightforward and aligns with his values. “Hold yourself accountable, make yourself available, and communicate.”

He continued, “This is a good company. Growing. Profit sharing every year. Rock solid.” Roehl’s been successful for over 55 years. “One of the biggest complaints I hear from drivers from any company is that their manager doesn’t drive a truck. At Roehl, our boss (CEO Rick Roehl) is a driver. He understands where we are coming from. He talks to drivers, takes notes and follows up. He cares about drivers because he’s one of us.” Bob added that Roehl seeks honest feedback because the company wants to know the truth so they can act on it.

Since joining Roehl, Bob has won three straight Driver of the Year Awards, and he’s a member of Roehl’s Driver Advisory Board. He achieved the highest level in the Your Choice Premium Mileage Rate Pay Plan and has not looked back. For an experienced driver considering Roehl, Bob says, “If you want to be a number, go somewhere else. If you want to be treated like family, join Roehl. Hold yourself accountable and buy into the culture. There’s value in the Safe 7, in new equipment, in the maintenance support. I highly recommend anyone, especially those with military experience, come to Roehl. This is THE PLACE.”

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Bob was recently featured in National Truckin Magazine.

With driving careers for all experience levels – from OTR veterans, to a lease purchase program for those who want to own their own business, to paid CDL training for those who are just starting out, Roehl is one of the best-run and safest trucking companies in the nation. Learn more and find a trucking job that meets your needs at www.Roehl.Jobs.

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