I'm current here and didn't find much on the site when I was researching.
Here's pros and cons:
*cross country drop/hook loads all the time. If I get a load under 2000 miles it's rare. Plus 95% of the loads are drop/hook with open window appointments.
*No load no problem. Should crst not have a load available for you they allow you to book a load through a broker.
You paid the same way (percentage) on the broker load as doing a CRST load.
In other words they want you to service their customers but if no work should be available they allow you to find your own work so you don't have to sit.
*They really do care about safety. Everyday they send out weather updates across the fleet. Also if weather is bad like snow/ice bad they will send out message shut down alerts to trucks in the region.
If you are coming up on bad weather they will let you down and tell you to shut down. This goes for the entire fleet.
This is the first company I worked for that does this, other companies say do the best you can and you make your own decisions. CRST cares more drivers are safe in bad weather over all else.
* Turning down loads. I turn down loads that go into bad weather or have low pay and there is no punishment. As long as I explain with valid reason why I don't want the load they understand and send me another one.
* You can make money. As long as you're motivated to work if you don't clear at least $3000 after costs there's a problem.
If that sounds like a lot to you remember the truck has two drivers available to bring Revenue to the truck, you and the student. The loads are long and easy and paid on percentage. First few days you are really hands on helping student and making sure they are safe but after that you should be able to get more rest and be able to run the truck hard if you want.
* You and student are not stuck. If student is not safe or you're not getting along etc let crst know and they will assign you somebody else. Same goes for student.
They are very easy going about this policy.
* fees. I understand there's overhead in a lease, especially when lease from a carrier but a couple items piss me off.
.15 mile maintenance deduction. Every mile the truck moves .15 mile is deducted and you will never see that money again.
If you drove 6000 miles in a week $900 of your check goes pooof! Bye!
Their logic is that .15 a mile goes towards in house warranty payment on the truck. So anything goes wrong at all it is covered but you pay an arm and leg for it.
My problem is it's an absurd about of money you never will see again.
If CRST feels .15 a mile is "safe to cover everything" fine but have that money, MY money put into a escrow account and deduct when needed. That was when lease is up or if I quit whatever money that isn't used for the truck is returned to me.
If I go 200,000 in a year and then decide to quit but truck only used $15,000 of the $30,000 I paid towards maintenance the other $15,000 should be returned me.
That is fair but that doesn't happen here.
There's no money down, no credit check and they make it easy to get in and out of a truck but you will pay for it.
Obviously if you own your own truck and lease it on you do whatever you want as far as maintenance goes.
* Student fees. CRST charges you a fee when a student is in your truck. Yes you heard that right you have to pay CRST in order to have a student in your truck to train.
.12 of every mile the truck the moves with a student in the truck you are deducted.
I don't even see how they get away with this legally but they do. You are paying crst to train. However the benefit is you can bring more revenue to the truck obviously with 2 drivers instead of just you.
*Winter. As said earlier all loads are long and cross country meaning no regional! In winter times that means crossing high elevations often where it seems it nearly always be snowing and obviously very cold. So I found myself turning down loads often in the winter just trying to avoid really bad weather where I'd end up sitting or having to route myself around bad weather adding hundreds of miles on to the trip. That's just part of picture when most all loads are cross country.
Some general information.
Each student you're with 3-4 weeks.
Loads pay 70% of revenue and 98% of fuel surcharge.
Trucks lease you pick between stick or auto $450-$500 a week. Fixed costs for everything like insurance, plates, trick etc around $900 a week.
You can take off time whenever you want as an IC but logically it's easier in between students.
Example of a week
6,000 miles x $1.45 (after crst cut) = $8,700
Maintenance and student fee $1,620
Fixed costs $900.
= $3780 to you after costs.
What you do is up to you... You push yourself you can do more miles. Rate per mile can be a little bit lower or higher over a week but nothing too drastic.
Even though CRST gets you with the fees the numbers at the end of everything are good in my opinion at least when compared to other company lease programs where you are solo.
Lease trainer at CRST. The details
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Example of a real week, using OP's numbers, cuz student needs to be trained first before you can run team.
3000 miles x $1.45 = $4,350
Maintenance and student fee $810
Fixed costs $900
= $1440 to you after costs
Can make more as a company trainer and take none of the high risks that the OP is.truckdriver31 Thanks this.
6000 miles is not a lot with two logs and cross country drop and hook loads.
There is a company policy not to sleep during first 3 days with student. Even with that you still can get more than 11 hours of driving in for the truck and be up with the student.
That is implying 430 miles a day.
Even in training with student the first few days where I am up with student can easily drive around 12 hours between two drivers 700-800 miles and have truck shut down 8-10 hours.
That's roughly 5000 miles over 7 days purely running that style.
Once student and I are more comfortable the truck can run more.
Plus these are 2000+ mile drop/hook loads. Easy miles.
If I was earning peanuts I would not be here, came here as an experienced driver.kwan2323 Thanks this.
Your student is learning very little droning down the interstate. You need to do backing practice. Lots of backing practice. And then some more. Then there's proper pretrip, route planning, chaining, etc, etc, etc. There's no way you're fitting all that in turning 5,000 mile weeks. You aren't training. You're teaming. Your student is nothing other than a money monkey.
I train. Been training for years. I drive none of it. He does everything till he has it down. For four weeks per student. That's training.Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
It all can be done if you have a good work ethic.
If you look at the dozens of guys who have posted their end of year numbers you will find an average total cost per mile of .95 to 1.10.
I know it costs my mega company about 85 cpm to move the truck down the road (before driver pay).
So how can you do it for .60/mile?
As to "training " - you are not training him. First you said 6,000 miles a week. Then you droppes it to 5k when training was brought up. If you are out of the bunk helping the student during your 10, you are violating the HOS. If you are not watching your guy, how can you give him feedback? I'm sure you are teaching him some stuff, but is he ready to back into a truckstop after 2000 by himself?
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