My Journey Back To Trucking And My Experience So Far For CRST

Topic 20487 | Page 1

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Ryle's Comment
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After coming back to the trucking industry after a 7 year hiatus i will share my experience so far...

**disclaimer** (i will do my best to give an unbiased opinion and just what i've experienced so far-and offer a little advice)

I decided to make my journey back too (re)obtaining my CDL in may of this year. After several months of deciding which company and which training program to go through i chose to go with CRST. I heard good and bad about many company's and decided CRST was what would work best for me. They only have a 10 month contract even though ill likely stay my year, to reach my goal of going local for Ryder doing Toyota runs. Crst sent me to Continental Truck driving school out of Dallas, TX. I took the greyhound and got to the hotel. I stayed at the Magnusun Hotel in Desoto Texas. This hotel has its good and bad, The staff was very friendly friendly and accommodating to most anything we needed. The main area of the hotel did not have AC working, but it was clean and the pool was maintained daily. The ice machine didn't work except on the first floor, but the staff always was ready to get some ice from the restaurant. The rooms were clean, and the rooms i stayed were always kept cool(68-72). The beds were comfortable, but the TV's were dish and a lot of channels didn't come in clear(food channel and comedy central were all i needed). They had a great all you can eat breakfast that was provided. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, grits and fried potatoes. They had an omelet bar with all the fixings they made for you, a juice bar, pastries and excellent service. Over all the hotel was good and was a nice stay. They even gave us dinner on the 4th of July which was a nice treat while we studied.. They also have a shuttle to Wal-mart twice a day for whatever we needed(though times you would have to wait awhile to get picked up). Additionally they picked us up a couple times from a Chili's down the road. Continental school was not what i expected but small classes made up for the space. We started with 26 students ended with 5, if trucking was easy anyone could do it. The instructors were all exemplary and would do everything they could to help us succeed as long as we worked hard. Classroom time was fast paced and those who focused passed all permit tests first try. Those who didn't take it seriously didn't make it. (Btw do not spend your evenings drinking you will fail and WILL get kicked out of school and left finding your own way home).. Now we had it a bit rough on the range as they had a trailer that was remodeled and had AC, water, fridge, and a place to get out of the heat, but it was being moved till they day i left. So 108 degree heat index made it rough while waiting to practice backing. But trucking isnt for those who expect to be pampered. And those who arent focused on the bigger picture wont last. Even though it was hot we had a good time and were cheering each other on and giving each other a hard time when one of us screwed up, while laughing the whole time. the 5 of us who were focused on getting through all passed our CDL first try. All in all it was worth EVERY DAMN MINUTE and all the Ramein noodles we ate lol... Now i had to wait 2 weeks to show up to CRST training in Oklahoma due to my roommate passing away, but after all that was squared away took a greyhound. They have us put up in a nice Ramada with a hot breakfast and the first day is a lot of the standard paperwork and various tests. more to come later on this experience.....

***my personal opinion now ----Please don't turn this into a rant about a contract or any of that, you signed up and you are not an experienced truck driver till you put in the time. No other job will pay you what you can make till you do your time, at most jobs your first 6 months are conditional!!!!! Additionally you personal issues with alcohol or pot don't bother! i don't want to be on the road with you.. I unfortunately had to report my roommate here at the hotel for smoking weed in the bathroom which is stupid.. I know as a former/returned driver is....YOU PROTECT YOUR CDL NO MATTER WHAT......

More in a few days.....

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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