Gross finds direction en route to becoming MPW CDL Operator

Donald Gross was a different man five years ago.

That’s when Gross sought work at MPW’s branch located at AK Steel’s Middletown (Ohio) mill. Motivated to find steady work by a recent, drastic change in his life, Gross began his MPW career as a Technician in February of 2013.

“Five years ago, my daughter, Callie, was born and I knew I had to turn my life around,” Gross said.

Lacking a driver’s license, Gross, a Middletown native, rode a bicycle to the mill every work day for the next year and was never late.

Gradually, Gross improved his life personally and professionally. He purchased a home, quit smoking cigarettes and completed the legal procedures necessary to reinstate his license.

Near the end of 2017, Gross was identified as a candidate for MPW’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program, which funds training for MPW employees. Gross passed his CDL test in December and was promoted to CDL-A Operator.

“MPW has given me the opportunity to advance and gain more responsibilities,” said Gross. “I’ve just showed up and worked hard.”

Don Gross

MPW DOT Trainer Aaron Thompson said Gross has adapted well during his career transition.

“Don has demonstrated great dedication to MPW and interest in developing his career,” Thompson said. “He’s a successful example of how we want the CDL Program to operate.”

Gross said the progress has been tough, but definitely worth the effort.

“I still work in Middletown for [MPW Operations Manager] Kevin Hoffer and [MPW Branch Manager] Stuart Aldridge,” Gross said. “I’m willing to go wherever they need me. I’ve really learned appreciation for vehicles. Driving is a privilege.”

Gross said he’s grateful for the opportunity and he recommends MPW’s CDL Program to anyone who thinks they might want to be a driver.

MPW’s CDL Program at a Glance

The goal of the CDL program is to train internal candidates in order to reduce hiring costs, lower turnover rates and increase productivity. MPW covers the costs associated with the training, but expects applicants who complete this program to continue their employment with the company for at least one year after passing the CDL Skills Test.

Corporate DOT provides candidates with training packets upon request from the candidate’s manager. Applicants should then report to an MPW-approved clinic for a DOT physical, study the first four sections of the packet, obtain the CDL permit through their local BMV and schedule Hands-On Training with Corporate DOT.

MPW training for commercial drivers lasts two weeks (weekdays only) for a minimum of eight hours per day and involves the following subjects:
● Pre-Trip Inspections
● Backing Skills
● On-the-Road Driving Skills
● Hours of Service/Logbooks
● FMCSR (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations)
● Driver Fitness
● Defensive Driving
● CSA (Compliance Safety Accountability)

After candidates complete the Hands-On Training, Corporate DOT will schedule the CDL Skills Test with a local BMV (non-Ohio employee) or Roadmaster in Columbus (Ohio employees).

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