Well first off I decided to post this particular review under the "favorite trucking company" post because I wanted to keep it positive.I'm neither here nor there when it comes to being opinionated so take whatever you want from this thread but if you don't like what you read please don't sit there and try and tell me how i "should" feel about the situation,it is what it is.
If you're money hungry chances are CRST isn't for you,but if you are tired of recruiters and trainers lying to you CRST is the way to go.From the very first day I had Kyle as mine he was a hell of a nice guy,and he told me the entire truth about all company policies and they were not lying about the mileage for company drivers or their lease/purchase program.
I showed up in Cedar Rapids,IA on Sunday January 3rd.Orientation started on the 4th,it ended on the 7th.The main terminal can be down right dirty sometimes,the rooms are student maintained so basically if you get a sloppy roommate,you're screwed.The showers aren't that bad but they ain't great either,you just have to watch which shower you're getting into.A word of advice,when you walk into the guys shower the first one on your left is a handicap shower with a bench in the shower itself a small word of advice:
DO NOT SIT ON IT ,I DON'T CARE IF BOTH YOUR LEGS ARE BROKEN!!!
There are 3 beds to a room,one closet no tv's and no microwaves.There's a shuttle that will run you to walmart to pick up whatever you need but I'm telling you right now,if you buy anything to put in that fridge in the common area,better break the sharpie out and label because people WILL eat your food.The logo store is expensive as all hell,the only things you should ever buy there are the map,fridge and microwave.You can pay the company back in installments of about 50 bucks a week.It will suffice until you get enough of a paycheck to buy a better one at walmart.
Orientation is like most others in the business,long grueling,god aweful boring and always has at least one idiot asking what seems to be some of the dumbest questions just for the sake of making everybody else stay there longer.They do not pay you for the 4 days you're sitting there.Be sure to keep enough money with you to help avoid advances whenever possible.They do require hazmat (apparently,however I have heard of quite a few company drivers that have never had it).
after you're done with orientation they send you to a howard johnson hotel to wait on your trainer.This time I chose somebody in my class to room with as he was a pretty nice guy overall.This was much cleaner than the terminal and the people are pretty nice,there were only two beds to a room there and a small tv,still no fridge but ###### at least we had room service that kept a mighty clean shower!!! The only problem I really had at this place is you had to call dispatch every day to get a room voucher and trying to get them to fax it over was like pulling teeth.I don't know what they were doing in that office but I had to wait #### near 45 minutes for it to come through every time.
I finally got on my trainers truck on the 14th.They bussed me down from cedar rapids to their oklahoma city terminal....made me want to go back to cedar rapids.The trainer was a hell of a nice guy and I lucked out by him being owner-op.No new york,no hazmat.Granted my miles have been a little low but the wealth of knowledge I obtained from him more than made up for it hell the guy even taught me how to float without ##### up the transmission(against company policy for students).His truck was already fitted with a fridge and microwave so I had no problems financially with food.It's usually company policy that for the first 5 days the trainer stays up with the student during the entire shift,but I showed him I could drive and we have been "teams" since the 2nd day I got on his truck.We have been doing nothing but undercutting each other (in a friendly manner of course) and buying each other lunch since.He's not like most o/o trainers that try and make you buy crap for the truck hell he actually gave me some cash here and there when I couldn't get an advance.He went through the lease/purchase program TWICE has his own IC authority on one truck and has been training me on the pitfalls of the program and how to succeed by choosing the right runs so you can actually make it seeing as how they pay 70% and that was only because I asked him to,there was absolutely no pressure from dispatch or the orientation trainers like most other companies that I COULD mention....Since I've been on his truck this month I have helped put about $5,500 in profit from this truck alone since jan 14th and it's now feb 10.We have had our differences however he has always treated me like an adult since I have been on this truck and we have settled them as so.
Our dispatcher is fantastic,she's always given him loads that pull a profit and she doesn't even try to give something he doesn't take but she's never screwed us either.She's very polite and knows how to take a joke,she's not your "run of the mill idiot",she was driving a truck for 31 years before dispatching,she knows what its about just as a tip if you ever get a message over the qualcomm asking "for a little favor",do it.Chances are she's got a problem on the loadboard and needs your help clearing it,almost every time after finishing the "favor" runs my trainer got a load almost evey time paying at least $2.50 a mile sometimes more.This is truly a "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" company.
Well now that we're on our way back to oklahoma as I've finished training and will be waiting on a truck there,I'll be sure to post more as I go along.Any other questions feel free to post them here and I'll try my best to find an answer.
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thats funny, i was lied to left and right by recruiters, one of my fleet managers, and several people who give speeches in orientation.
They even said in orientation that werners paperless logs dont let you log line 2 while youre at a shipper/consignee and that it just shuts the truck down in the middle of the road when you run out of hours
Randy, head of safety, was cool though.
I also stayed at super 8. The one without the pool. Howard johnson? I wish! I stayed at one of those for truck drivin school.
Also, usually hazmat is not hauled during training. Most trainees dont have the endorsement.
no they don't have hazmat,i don't however there were many company drivers i spoke to passed 4 months in the fleet that didn't even have theirs.i guess it's all in who you speak to.I'm not going to say there aren't liars in the company but I was never lied to.Guess I just got lucky.Just out of curiosity what did they lie to you about?
Glad you liked it. I'm in the middle of training now. I did my orientation in OK city. We were put up in a motel. I'll do my report after training is over.
Orientation is no big deal as long as you are honest up front.
Btw...we've hauled a bunch of hazmat. My trainer say that is unusual thouugh.
hey, i forgot to mention.....you do realize there are three sets of showers in the cedar rapids terminal, right? There's the little drivers lounge between the safety building and the old roach motel (they built a new hotel though, who knows what it looks like now), with like one shower in the bathrooms, the building attached to the shop has showers in the bathroom, and the main terminal building has the same thing.
eh...well since i have been here the passed six month's my point of view on the company has certainly changed.my co driver quit about 2 weeks ago and haven't made a dime.they approved me to go solo but then the POS truck broke down.the passed 5 months its been in the shop about 4 times.what a bunch of crap.ive only been running maybe 2000 miles a week and that's with a co driver,and hazmat end.this all started right as soon as i hit the .31cpm mark.
I hear ya. Mine just quit on me but I found another co-driver. Just got back to the truck he abandoned. Left me stuck in Kentucky for 10 days. Can't blame the company for that though. I can blame them for not calling me and telling me the truck had been towed. Worthless weekend dispatch.
All in all it's been OK. If I get on the other guy's truck I will have a new FM. Current one is alright but I think the new one will be better.
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