I have read so much info on here about people being dropped from school. So my question is simple.
Is there anything I need to know or prepare for in order to ensure that I make it thru and get my CDL?
I'm sure the program I am using might help answer those questions.
I signed on with CRST on their 8 month contract. I know that isnt the best idea, but for me personally it was about my only option to get my foot in the door and start gaining that valuable experience. You gotta start somewhere, and no matter where you start you are gonna work your way up as you gain seat time and experience. So I choose to start with them now vs wait another year and look for a similar program with another company who is going to treat me much the same in regards to pay scale anyway. Yea a questionable method of getting into the business, but for me the fastest route possible made it an easy choice.
But given CRST training program anything special I should know? I will be attending school in Kentucky, 3 week course then 28 days with a trainer. Normal teams after that. My concern is that if only 1/3 of those who start the classes actually graduate how cau I help make sure I am part of that 1/3?
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I dont have the post count to return the PM so I hope it is ok to respond here?
I am going to leave out names to prevent any possible rule infractions.
So this info is speaking to a specific person lol the rest of ya will likely have no idea what I am talking about sorry.
The direct cost of school with CRST is nothing. They do require a $50 money order for processing (of what I am not sure) and you cover your own food for 3 weeks. They suggested to me that I bring $250-300. The cost of the school is then basically repaid by milage pay reduction. They pay you less per mile for the first 6 months. It was .26 for 30-90 days and .28 for 90-180 then you move to .33 after 6 months. From what I see new drivers make less anyway so I'm not sure it's really a bad deal. If you leave during that 8 months the school aparently comes after you for re-paying that loan. But as long as you stay for at least 8 months you are clear.
I cant do a lot of updating while in school. I dont want to take a laptop knowing there will be 50 or so guys starting and half them wont have the money to get home when they get kicked out. I just dont feel good about that lol But I can answer anything (that I have the answers for) before I go and some when I get back which will be apprx Aug 29th.
Be honest and upfront about your background before you start so they don't send you home. Don't drink or do drugs while you are training. Show up on time for class. Make sure that you can pass your DOT physical before you go. Those seem to be the main reasons that people are sent home. Be prepared for the whole lifestyle change.
Lots of people leave because they are just plain scared of driving that big a truck.
Also lots of the romance wears off a couple days into the school. Lots more but its hot here and I cant be expected to think!!!LOL
I do agree, some good advise so far. I hadnt thought about the DMV so thanks for that tip. I will be at Maerican Driving Academy. 40 hours of classromo time. I assume thats the test prep time. Then 60 hours of range training. Another assumption is that would be basically parking lot driving? and finally 60 hours of raod driving. I leave Monday (Aug 6th) for this.
I considered taking my laptop for something to do on the weekends. But I'm not sure I want to risk it being stolen. Any thoughts on that? My concern is if the failure rate is that high that someone might be low on money to get home and tempted to hit up the local pawn shop with my laptop.
DOT Phsycal wise my only real concern is the eye exam. I know you have to test 20/40 or better. I am considered legally blind in one eye, but in all honesty I can pass that 20/40 mark. Yea I have a nice headache after lol but I can do it. In fact the last several DL renewals they dont even require I use glasses anymore. My good eye has gotten strong enough to help compensate some. I shouldnt worry about it lol that might make me fail the blood pressure test. I know I can pass it so I should just relax and enjoy it. Easier said than done tho.
Otherwise they know my background. They already pulled all that stuff, criminal history and driving record. My issue there was a 4 yr old DWI but they cleared it already. So I should be fine there.
thats ok Baack. That wasnt really personal, I just left the name out so the person I was talking too didnt feel put on the spot.
I gotta ask this one tho. How does anyone get to school and then realize they are scared of a big truck? Have they never seen one before? I'm not saying you are wrong I just find that funny!
Its a big responsibility to drive a large truck and trailer.
Its wide and long. You only get a foot on either side, so no mistakes.
The fun of "I will see the world" starts to wear off.
Then its the family thing.
Also I shouldn't say it but they get crap for wannabee drivers. For many
its their last shot and should not be driving.
Breathing is not enough to be a truck driver.
So if you don't fit into any of these categories then you have about 20% chance of making it for more than a year.
Just my two cents.
I did box trucks for a little while with a salvage food store in central Texas. I was also the warehouse foreman, which worked out well since I had a staff of exactly 1 lol. So I can understand what you mean. I know it's certainly not for everyone. And yes I will miss my wife and kids. But to tel you the truth I loved being in that truck. I used to ride with my uncle when he drove for JB years ago. I loved it! I havent done it for so long because of the family. But there comes a time, both personally and professionally, where a person has to make that leap and chase that dream ya know? My kids are older now, my marriage is stable enough to handle it and I feel great about my opportunity.
I hope this doesnt come accross as being rude, I dont mean it to sound that way at all. Truth is I appreciate the input more than you know. I simply mean to say that I think (hope) I know what I am getting into here and to be honest I have never been more excited about going to work.
I know what you say is true. The romance will wear off. It always does no matter how much we dont want it too. But soon my kids will be spread all over the country in various colleges. What better way to be able to see them more often? At that time my wife can go out with me as a team. Truthfully that is my long term goal. I have a lot of work ahead of me to make that goal a reality. But I really am looking forward to it.
Work wise. I have owned my own auto repair shop/convience store. I put in a minimum of 15 hours a day 7 days a week then. Yes I loved what I was doing so that helped. But now I am that excited about something again. It's been over 10 years since I have felt this. I just want to minimize my risks of failure ya know?
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