Roehl's Jill Roehm featured in National Truckin' Magazine
For Jill Roehm, getting into trucking was a complete 180° change from where she had been. And it is her process-driven background that has helped her excel as an experienced professional truck driver with Roehl Transport.
“I was really unhappy in my career, and I had recently lost my job,” she remembered. “It was actually (her then girlfriend, now wife) Sarah’s dad, Dewey (a trucking company owner himself), who joked, ‘Well, can you drive a truck?’”
Jill didn’t see why not. In fact, “I thought I could be good at it,” she said in her thoughtful way.
So Jill, an engineering major, did her research and found Roehl’s paid on-the-job CDL training program. She even asked Dewey if Roehl was a good trucking company. As it turns out, Dewey had met the Roehl family, and he had a great impression of the company.
Jill got her CDL in 2016, and adjusting to life on the road – cooking, parking, trip-planning, missing family and friends – was a hard transition, she said. Between six months and a year on the job though, things started to get easier for Jill. “My confidence built. I knew I was doing the right things, and everything got better,” she added. “To be able to go from unemployed, to getting paid training, and with Roehl’s pay plan, I was able to move up so quickly – nobody could match that,” she said.
“I learned to schedule things and now it’s actually easier to plan things,” she commented. A resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Jill’s located close to two Roehl Terminals (Iron Mountain & Appleton, Wisconsin), and she takes advantage of Roehl’s flexible home time. As a national fleet driver in Roehl’s Van Division, she typically works 11 days, then is home 3 days. “I’m usually home on Fridays. If I want to be home more, I’ll stay out longer so I can. I have faith in my teammates to get me home,” she shared.
For the last two years, Jill has also been a certified truck driver trainer. “I knew that when I was confident in my skills, I wanted to help others develop the skills they need to be successful,” she said.
One of Roehl’s values is Driver Success, providing solutions to help drivers meet professional and personal goals, and that is another aspect Jill enjoys as a member of Roehl’s Driver Advisory Group, “It’s nice to have your voice be heard, and these meetings are important as we progress in the industry,” she stated. And, Jill’s seen suggestions materialize, including her own for trailer sweepouts at Roehl terminals. “I said it and shortly thereafter, they were there.”
The Driver Advisory Group encompasses drivers and other teammates, including CEO Rick Roehl, who maintains his CDL and still hauls loads to stay close to the work drivers do. “Once I talked to Rick, I thought it was great that he still drives. He sees what we see and what we are dealing with. He leads by experience, and it’s really amazing,” she articulated.
It’s that leadership, built on a strong foundation of values, that resonates with so many drivers. One of North America’s safest trucking companies, Roehl’s cornerstone value is Safety. “I absolutely believe we live our values. I’ve never had anyone try to get me to drive if I don’t feel safe. Having the support from my fleet managers, they trust me to make good decisions and they support the decisions I make,” Jill said. She continued, “Our values and our team – it doesn’t matter who you are. Rick Roehl or Jill Roehm. What matters is how we’re going to come together to be a safe, reliable carrier.
While Roehl has had a reputation as a starter company, it’s also a destination for experienced truck drivers. In addition to pay, equipment and home time, Jill notes that there is a lot of growth potential with different fleets and divisions (Roehl offers flatbed and refrigerated options), local, home time plus fleets and non-driving jobs, too. As for other job opportunities Jill said, “I politely decline other offers.”
“I’m a pretty happy employee…I found someplace I like and fits where I live…it works out really well. Roehl is a perfect company for me,” she concluded.