About To Start CRST CDL Training In Jacksonville, Any Advice Would Be Appreciated.

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Errol V.'s Comment
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Junior, team drivers can make a bit more than OTR solo drivers. Here is the bullet you'll be biting into:

Go stand in your bathroom or a walk-in closet. Your living area will be smaller than this. You and your partner will be sharing the same bunk & mattress, since you cannot sleep in the upper while the truck is moving. (You can roll & unroll sleeping bags, maybe.)

You and your partner will be physically arms' length apart most of the time. Your cab will have a heavy privacy curtain between the driving seats and the bunk. You both need to agree on stops for restroom, showers, shopping and meals. The are other kinds of eating arrangements, of course.

I don't mean that team driving is "hell on wheels" by any means. Many teams work out great. But these are some of the realities of living in a small can with another person.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Sambo's Comment
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KNIGHT KNIGHT KNIGHT!!!!! What?? Just sayin'.....



I applied to Knight, and talked to their recruiter, but they had no school close to me. I would have had to go Arizona. Then I would have to deal with Florida DMV to transfer the CDL-A to Florida, and if you know anything about Florida Man, you know what a PIA that could be.

If you think I am in err, please let me know, I have until Monday to change it up.

Nah, you're not in error, I'm just a knight driver, so I toot the company horn. There are a lot of great company's out there, and any of them will be fine


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.


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.


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.

Susan D. 's Comment
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To help out for space, we use the upper bunk for storage as well as cabinets and under the lower bunk. We removed the upper mattress and the lip on the front edge of the bunk keeps things from falling off. We also have our refrigerator up there well secured. Space bags for off season clothing helps conserve space too.

Of course there may be a few times because of appointment times, etc, that you both may be in the sleeper/watching tv at the same time, so you may not care to have that extra storage, but we make it work. A twin gets a little too cozy for 2 so in that case we have our heads at opposite ends of the bunk.. it just works a little better since weve rendered our upper bunk unusable to gain extra storage.

Yes living on a truck with another person gets crowded. The extra weight of a 2nd driver and their gear is always a consideration regarding the max weight we can legally haul as well.

dirtrocker's Comment
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I'm just starting my 5th month with CRST. I have no complaints about them. I'm getting good miles and home on time and I get to take the truck 200 miles home. The team thing is not terrible. But IS the only reason I will be leaving as soon as my contract is up. Probably going to prime flat bed.

Auggie69's Comment
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I am a late comer to the career, 48. Have a wife and 4 kids (two in college, and two in there teens). I know it will be hard for the next year, but I am sick and tired of being laid off in the technology world. You know, build something and then sales screws the pooch so the company has to close up, stuff. So I decided to pursue trucking. I researched all the options, but I need company sponsored, so... My final choices were P.A.M., Cypress, and CRST. Cypress was more regional (South East), so I thought I would not get good driving experience in the long run. So that brought it down to PAM and CRST. CRST edged out because of the technology packages in their trucks. I know I will make a little less than at PAM, but I think I will be ok.

Anyone have any advice for me during school, orientation, and co-driving? I would really appreciate it.

In Jacksonville, Fall comes much earlier than St Cloud :)


Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Junior's Comment
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Update: CRST Jacksonville (JTech)

Week one done. Passed General, Combo, and Airbrakes. Yipeee Did straight line forward and back.

So far a good experience.

Looking forward to week 2.

Bad Bob's Comment
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Hello Junior: I just dropped in here after months of not doing so because I have been so busy that I just haven't done it. Anyway, I was living in Jacksonville when I decided that enough was enough, with having my wages go down instead of up, and went back into truck driving after a 20 year gap.

I went through school at NTI at Green Cove Springs, Florida. I highly recommend them. I don't recommend Road Master for reasons you can find elsewhere. I now am working at May Trucking Company out of Pensacola Fl. I have been with them for 6 months and I am happy with them. To be sure, everyday is not wonderful because this is a hard job. But guess what, truck driving pays really well because you earn your pay. Don't expect it to be easy. Just grit your teeth and keep going and you'll do just fine. I am earning about twice what me and my wife were earning together and I have enabled her to retire. She's going to come out with me full time in April. Life is good.

About teaming, I am just not comfortable with living in close quarters with anybody but my wife so that was never an option for me. During training I just put up with the trainer and he put up with me and we got past it.

I do know of one company that puts their drivers straight out of school into their own truck alone after orientation. That's Watkins Shepard. I can't personally tell you how good they are because I haven't worked for them. But I have talked to a few of their drivers on the road and they are happy with them.

Anyway, this is a good profession where you can make great money. You can make great money because it is not easy. Some days are wonderful. I've seem some truly awesome scenery that reminds me of just how beautiful this country is. My wife Judi was with me this last time when we were seeing herds of deer migrating south in Montana. You gotta keep your eyes open because there were herds in the road. We also saw some stunning landscapes in Utah between Las Vegas and Denver that I never even knew were there. You'll see things that the people back home only read about or see on the travel channel.

Again, this is not an easy profession but saying that, the longer you're in it the easier it gets. Everything gets easier with repetition.

Good Luck. I'm sure you'll do great. Bad Bob


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.

Shiva's Comment
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I just have a question for you. Are you aware that you will be a team driver at CRST? That is a very tough way to get this whole thing started off right. At least in my opinion it would be.


Hey Old School,

Why do you think it would be a hard way to start out my career in teams? I thought it would be good to start. Mind you, teams is definitely not what I want in the long run. I actually have my eyes on Raven, or Knight solo in the long run. Maybe even OO.

But that's why I am asking you guys for advice, I am very green!

It's tight quarters in the truck. Living with someone for 10-12 months is tough. Especially if you and your co driver have very little in common. Heck, living with my trainer for 6 weeks was very rough. I almost quit. I recommend Millie transport, Roehl, heck even Prime

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