CRST and the LIES and "pay"

Discussion in 'CRST' started by SlickerThenOwlSnot, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. SlickerThenOwlSnot

    SlickerThenOwlSnot Bobtail Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Ok people, I am not going day by day, I am just going to give you a run down, take what you want from it.

    Ok, I contacted a recruiter from CRST back in March, and decided to go up there in May. I asked him how much money I should bring with me, he said roughly $500. Cause it would be a few weeks before I got a check, if I got hired. So I get up to Cedar Rapids, to find a disaster of a so called dorm setup. 3 beds to one room, no tv, no anything and they charge $150 for a bed a week, times 3 beds to a room, at 100+ rooms, you do the math. After the first day, I have a sore throat, a cough, and my nose is running constantly, needless to say its not the cleanest place. Now lets get into the process from here out...I'm not going to put EVERYTHING, cause that would take days. I will put pertinent information though, and I will also answer most of the questions I see being asked on this we go.

    Day #1 after arrival at CRST training center: Go to the operations building at 7am, fill out paperwork, get a lecture, then head back over to the training center for your drug test and physical. Dont be in a rush for anything, cause this drug test and physical will take a few hours. (by the way, this is the point where you will find out very quickly that there is nothing fast about CRST AT ALL). Then after thats all done, assuming you pass both tests, you head to Kirkwood (which is the truck driving school) at 530pm to get the rules bashed into your head, then spend 3 hours writing down THEIR pretrip inspection, the way THEY want it, and EXPECT it done...NOT DOT's pre trip...PSST...if you already have you CDL, prior to going to this school/company, you probably wont have to do the pre trip test...I didnt. You'll be at Kirkwood till about 11pm on the first night, writing down THEIR pre trip, and learning the rules from JJ. Oh and by the way, if you need sleep, or get bored easy...dont waste your time. You spend 10+ hours a day sitting around doing nothing, you can only smoke during designated times, and in ONE designated area, if you are caught smoking at any other time/area, its a $25 ticket, and you can be kicked out of school. Each person will be assigned to a "group" and that group will have a set time to be at kirkwood school the next day, they post the "schedules" by the door between 4-6pm everyday. CHECK THE SCHEDULE IT CHANGES DAILY!!!! What I found most amusing about this day you go in at 330pm, and dont get back to the training center till close to midnight, THEN have to be back to kirkwood by 530am. Hence why I said, if you need sleep, or get bored easy, dont waste your time. Oh I forgot to mention, that they provide transportation on a prison bus back and forth to Kirkwood from the CRST training center. Moving on.

    Oh, a little side note about the training center...they have a strict NO ALCOHOL policy, and they mean it. Dont try and outsmart them and bring alcohol into your room, they will find out, trust me. I saw 2 people booted out on the curb for that while I was there. And when I say booted out on the curb...I mean just that. They call the police and have you trespassed from the property, with nothing but what you have in your pockets, and your luggage. No bus ticket, no money, no nothing, your on your own.

    Be prepared for 2+ weeks of boredom, and more boredom at Kirkwood, your lucky to get an hour of drive time, or one on one time with the instructor, the rest of the time your told to "study the pre trip, and wait". Which sit around doing absolutely nothing for approximately 10 hours a day, and if you fall asleep, they can and will throw you out, I saw it happen. The roach coach/lunch truck comes by at 915am everyday, and i have to say, their jumbo pork sandwich is good, expensive but good. If your not there when the lunch truck comes, your doesnt come again. They do have vending machines in the "break room" in the building.

    Oh, keep in mind, they arent giving you a penny for doing any of this, you have to support yourself somehow.

    So, now that school is done, lets move on to orientation and stuff...

    For the time your in Orientation, you will be staying at Howard Johnson Hotel, which is...a dump. After you finish orientation, and till your trainer picks you up, or you get your truck (experienced drivers), they will put you in the Red Roof Inn, which is much nicer. Day one of orientation flys by, the guys are good, and will answer any questions you have. I personally like Brad, hes tall skinny, and funny. The rest of the guys are cool too, but I like Brad the best. You have 3 tests that you MUST pass in orientation before you can even think about being hired. #1. UPS #2. HAZMAT #3. log book. These are open book tests, but you can still fail them, they also allow you to work in groups. When the guys tell you "the ladies will be coming in and calling peoples names" remember news is good news, if you dont hear your name...DONT WORRY, thats GOOD. If they call your name, it means there is a problem with your paperwork, background check, etc. Thats the one time you DONT want to hear your name called. You will not find out if you are hired or not, till the 3rd day of orientation, when you get your ID and comdata card.

    So about 3 days after I finish orientation, and get my id and stuff, my trainer shows up and is pissed. "we arent going anywhere till I get a new truck"...greeeat...more time till I get a check. Well 2 days later he gets his truck number and we go to the yard to look for it, I spot it and its a 2012 Freightliner Cascadia, with 17.7 miles on it, still had the plastic on the seats. Anyway, we get our stuff loaded in the truck and then we get a load from Iowa to Colorado. We get to Colorado and deliver, then pick up a load going to Illinois.

    We deliver that load to Illinois, and get a load going to PA, we deliver that load to PA, then we get a load to Arizona, we deliver that, then get a load back to PA, then get a load to Illinois. Then comes the Illinois circus....We get a 35 mile load, high value, which means one of us HAS to be with the truck at all times, and we dont deliver for 2 days, RIGHT across the street. Then we get a load to Des Plaines Illinois, I wont even go into that JOKE....what a nightmare....Then we get a load headed south, for hometime. We get a load going from Normal Illinois to Atlanta Georgia, we deliver in atlanta, then get a message on the qualcomm saying that there is a truck in the drop yard waiting for us, with a load going to miami...another high value load. We rush around trying to find this drop yard, at 2am in the middle of the ghetto, and cant find it. Finally we stop at a gas station I go in and ask, the clerks have no idea what I'm talking about. My trainer calls the drop yard phone number, turns out the directions were the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of where we needed to go. We were on the other side of town, from where we should have been, thanks to the qualcomm directions from dispatch. :biggrin_25516: Anyway, we finally get to the yard, then we cant find the truck that we are supposed to relay onto...come to find out the truck isnt even close to atlanta yet, and they wont be for a while, and we both were out of hours now, and couldnt go anywhere, so we were stuck in atlanta, in a drop yard in the middle of the ghetto, with no hours, very little food, and nothing to drink, cause they misled us. We finally get the load and we head back home, and here I sit.

    Will post more as my training continues, provided I dont get fired for posting this...:biggrin_25523::biggrin_25523::biggrin_25523:
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  3. lucky_dog

    lucky_dog Bobtail Member

    Jun 28, 2012
    shreveport, la
    Awesome! Sign me up!! lmao
    FEELTHEWHEEL and Drewski Thank this.
  4. Safari Joe

    Safari Joe Light Load Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Lucky you, I haven't even gotten an answer on passing threw the house or going home for that matter. They just stuck us with a load going to San Antonio,Texas that's hazmat which I don't have the endorsement for.,So the trainer has to do all the driving. Everyday i learn something new with this company -_-
  5. NavigatorWife

    NavigatorWife Road Train Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    Cental West, AL
    One great game plan is to keep things on the truck to drink and eat like an emergency stash, then if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere for a day you won't have to perish. My husband has a refrig, another cooler in case of overflow food, and a microwave; he doesn't like to spend money in truckstops for food all the time; but again some of the students are like "oh boy" I can eat out at a restaurant everyday if I want and don't want to bother buying food at Walmart where it is cheaper.

    I don't ride with him now, but I still do the lookups a lot on addresses since where he works at they seem to not have the right ones sometimes or it is one his roadmaster won't pull up and I have to locate one nearby that they can use,esp in small town with the route numbers still. It is handy having a laptop, I don't know how in the world truckers did it before GPS and mapping on computer was invented, I guess the shippers must have gotten a lot of phone calls. I also use to locate Walmarts, rest areas, truckstops, esp those that aren't a chain that roadmaster has in the program.

    Lack of information seems to be the main thing with dispatch everywhere, esp when it comes to a swapped load; his company has e-tools if you have a computer you can put in the other truck number and locate the other trucks position if you can get the number from dispatch; this is really a help so you can determine how soon they will be at the swap location and plan accordingly; this does not help if you have an idiot who is supposed to be at station A and they are instead at Station B on their 34 and they didn't tell dispatch they were there instead.

    I hope you have better luck in the future. It is something that you either have to live with and get use to or you will have an ulcer worrying about it.
  6. Buni

    Buni Bobtail Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Springfield, Missouri

    Welcome to the world of trucking. It could have been worse, and where are the LIES and pay issues here?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2014
  7. FatDaddy

    FatDaddy Road Train Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    Katy, TX or Swedesboro, NJ
    Aside from the dorm situation, this doesn't sound very horrible to me at all. Sounds fairly normal actually. What's the problem?

    BTW...your trainer should have been more insistant to drop that 2 day 35 mile at a secured drop yard. Where did the load deliver? There is a drop facility in Calumet City and one in Morton...I am guessing you were in one of those areas.
    tjh Thanks this.

    MMM DRIVER Light Load Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Has it gotten any better?
  9. cuzzin it

    cuzzin it Road Train Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Berea, KY
    i went to school for them in 97, good to see things are about the same. i was told 3 different stories about the pay and left before going with trainer because of that. If they had been upfront with the final answer i would of stayed, figuring i had to start somewhere......... Overall Trucking has been good to me:yes2557:
  10. vinsanity

    vinsanity Road Train Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    South Florida

    Did you expect 5 star hotels, catered meals and being shuttled around in a limo?

    Then they keep you running, which is just aweful.

    There are worse places to sit in Atlanta than that drop yard. Your trainer should have taken you to the Pilot...LOL
  11. NavigatorWife

    NavigatorWife Road Train Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    Cental West, AL

    It might have been safer at the drop yard; the last time we were by that Pilot they had the cops out where 2 truckers were fighting over the same parking space. It seems like it has a small lot.
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