CRST Questions

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Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

So, I avoided asking the recruiter specific training questions because, well, he's a recruiter and he's going to tell me many things (some of which may not be accurate or up to date or whatever.)

Figured I'd either find someone here from CRST or find out these things when I get there. Luckily, CRST is well represented here!

So...

  • How long before testing for CLP?
  • How much actual "truck time" is there on the range?
  • Is there any opportunity to practice after-hours or on weekends?
  • Are there still manual transmissions available or has everything went automatic?
  • Embarassing question, but what if you fail your CDL test first time out?
  • Do company trucks have APU's in them? If not, what is the company policy on this?

These aren't deal-breakers, or even decision-makers, mostly just curioisty at this point. Headed to CRST to see what happens on May 7th!

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Let me see what I can do to help ya out here:

First of all, I am going to be answering these questions based upon the school I went through that CRST owns called NADTA (North American Driver Training Academy).

How long before testing for CLP?

You will begin testing for your CLP on the 3rd day in school, so get to studyin that High Road CDL Training Program.

How much actual "truck time" is there on the range?

Depends on how many people are in your class. You will get ample time on the range. NADTA will make sure of that. If not let a member of the school management know and they will address your concerns.

Is there any opportunity to practice after-hours or on weekends?

NADTA has opportunities if you are struggling for what they call remedials which happens after hours and on Sundays.

Are there still manual transmissions available or has everything went automatic?

As of 2 classes after me they are now testing ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY on AUTOMATICS. So unfortunately if you do go through NADTA, you WILL have the E Restriction on your CDL which is "No Manual Transmission CMV". I went through NADTA from June to July 2017. If you are wanting to test in a manual, then you will need to go through one of the other schools that they do not own and they contract out to. If you need info on that contact a recruiter. This is a link to my diary if you want any more information on NADTA or want to read up on my personal experience:

CRST Expedited Trucking School And Training Program Cedar Rapids, IA. A (re) Training Diary By Millionmiler24

Embarassing question, but what if you fail your CDL test first time out?

First of all, don't be embarrassed to ask this question, its perfectly valid. They will allow you to retest as long as you show improvement each time you retest. They want to see you succeed and they care about your success.

Do company trucks have APU's in them? If not, what is the company policy on this?

Unfortunately our trucks are not equipped with APU's and if you need info on the policy on this (if there is one) Contact a recruiter.

I sure hope I was of a good help to ya here and if you are still considerin CRST, we would be glad to have ya. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask me on this thread and I will do what I can to assist ya. I am always glad to be of service and to help out any way I can. Helpin others is my mission in life. CRST has done so much for me and I feel my contract should be 10 years instead of 10 months because they truly are the best to work for, especially if you want to team.

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Forgot to sub to this thread.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, sir! I appreciate the answers.

I'll be heading over to Cedar Rapids exactly 21 days from today.

Training on the automatics instead of manual is just fine for me. It's an opportunity to train and get going and that's what's most important to me. Also, I'm very glad to hear that the remedial sessions exist. Whether I need them or not, I welcome any opportunity to get as much wheel time as I can. Not due to insecurity, but rather just the realization that I've never done this before so I'll take any chance to learn.

And thank you for the diary link. I really look forward to some good reading later tonight.

I am always glad to be of service and to help out any way I can. Helpin others is my mission in life.

Powerful words I can both relate to and truly appreciate. Really look forward to meeting ya.

Cold War Surplus's Comment
member avatar

CRST actually uses several schools to train drivers. The two main schools are located at their terminals in Riverside, CA and Cedar Rapids, IA. You're closer to the school in Cedar Rapids so you will go there UNLESS you are a veteran of the armed forced. CRST (and Stevens Transport) sends veterans to Careers World Wide in Keenesburg, CO for an accelerated training program. CRST also uses several feeder schools throughout the southern states. These drivers go through orientation at the CRST terminal in Oklahoma City, OK. My answers will vary slightly from millionmiler24's because I attended the school in Keenesburg.

CLP testing occurs before dawn on Wednesday. Your entire class will load up into a van, drive to the DMV office in Denver and wait in the parking lot for the DMV to open at 8. The DMV employees know you're coming - a new class shows up at that office every Wednesday.

Week 1 your class will split up into trucks with usually 4-5 students in a truck. You will rotate with one student driving the truck forward and back in a straight line and the others sitting in the sleeper berth watching and waiting for their turn.

Week 2 is a lot like week 1 only now you drive the truck forward into a road parallel to the one it started out at, then back into the new lane, then pull forward into the first lane and back to your starting position.

Week 3 you will work on alley backing in the morning and after lunch you will take the truck out on the road with an instructor. You'll take it on the freeways and stop in small towns and rest areas.

CWW is still using trucks with manual transmissions.

If you don't make it through on your first attempt they will work with you and give you every opportunity to improve. You basically get a dedicated truck and instructor to work with you to get you test ready.

CRST doesn't have APU's. You will get power from an inverter and optimized idle. You may purchase an inverter at your own expense (1,500 watts max). You can buy one at the truck stop using your points. It must be installed by a CRST tech at a terminal. There is a small fee for this but once you have paid the fee once you can have inverters installed or removed as many times as you want for no additional charge.

Your inverter will draw power from the battery while the truck is parked. When the battery gets low the the optimized idle will start the truck automatically and recharge the battery then shut the truck off.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Jeremy, about the APUs. you really only use them when parked and team trucks do not stay parked for long.

and failing the test...i just submitted an article about failing to Brett, so be on the lookout for it. lol

basically, companies will give you the extra help.to pass because most people cant even pass the drug and background tests. if you made it that far, they dont want to lose you. and once you have the CDL , no one cares how you did it.

good luck

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

CRST doesn't have APU's. You will get power from an inverter and optimized idle. You may purchase an inverter at your own expense (1,500 watts max). You can buy one at the truck stop using your points. It must be installed by a CRST tech at a terminal. There is a small fee for this but once you have paid the fee once you can have inverters installed or removed as many times as you want for no additional charge.

Your inverter will draw power from the battery while the truck is parked. When the battery gets low the the optimized idle will start the truck automatically and recharge the battery then shut the truck off.

More great answers, thank you Cold War. (Great name, BTW. My favorite era of history.)

I don't mind paying a small fee just to have some extra convenience. I suspect it will mostly depend on whom I team up with and if they are already have a truck of their own or if we start fresh. But I've done a bit of research into making a rig as safe and comofrtable as you can simply becasue it can make sleep and down-time just a bit easier. So, hopefully I team up with the right person.

Jeremy, about the APUs. you really only use them when parked and team trucks do not stay parked for long.

and failing the test...i just submitted an article about failing to Brett, so be on the lookout for it. lol

basically, companies will give you the extra help.to pass because most people cant even pass the drug and background tests. if you made it that far, they dont want to lose you. and once you have the CDL , no one cares how you did it.

Agreed, from what I've read I don't expect to be parked very often. My curiosity with APU's , inverters, etc., is simply about making the small space I'll be sharing as comfortable and convenient as possible. Anything that adds comfort might take away just a little bit of stress or hardship. And anything that might make my teammate and I more effective is certainly worth pursuing.

I don't plan on failing (and often don't believe in it) but here I have to admit it's a slim possibility just because I've never done this before. So, it seems prudent to ask. And for that, I'll be on the lookout for that article! :-)

As for passing the drug test or background checks... I got nothing. You all have probably seen far more than me when it comes to people believing they can game the system or sneak something by or who knows what they are thinking. People amaze me with either the amount of effort they will put in to not working or the lengths they will go to attempting to be far smarter than they really are.

Once I have my CDL... Yeah, it probably sounds cheesy, but I can't wait to say those words!

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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