CRST Specific Questions (and General Team Driving Questions)

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Army 's Comment
member avatar

Good Morning

After reading Brett's book yesterday I have a couple of questions.

Not being in the industry, and hearing how so many run good miles, how many top drivers do we all think have HOS violations? And secondly, is the penalty if you get caught worth it. (like I was over my hours by 45 mins, but I got the load delivered, but I got a HOS violation and that was $____ dollars in fines) I am not asking for specific readers to say, "Yes I violate the rules" so please don't necessarily think that. I just read all over about running 3500 miles, and such. Reason I ask is maybe I am naïve, here but: if you drive 64 MPH, for 8 hrs, (traffic depending minus breaks etc) you should be able to go about 500 miles. multiple that by 8 days, you have the "miles" but are the issues with irregular delivery and wait times that force drivers to bend the rules?

Also, hypothetically lets say you just got inspected by DOT and you passed, do you feel as if you can have HOS violation because the chance of you have another inspection is less in the next 8 days? I want to be clear, when I start driving, I was to do the best I can, and if I have to bend the rules to do that, well then I look at it as, adult decisions can result in adult consequences.

CRST Specific

Do the FM's or Dispatchers do the load planning or does CRST have load planners and the dispatchers go with what they are given?

Approximately how many drivers do each dispatchers have?

Do you need cpm in any kind of pre-hire letter since the recruiter told me what to expect via text?

Team Driving Specially

What do you feel is the benefit to TEAM driving?

What do you feel the a draw back to TEAM driving? (please don't say space in the truck, I feel like that is a given)

If you have TEAM driven, would you go solo, knowing what you know about driving as a TEAM?

I appreciate the feedback.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dispatcher:

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.

Fm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

HOS is not usually a concern with a team because someone always has hours. that makes it very easy to not violate.

In almost 3 years i have been pulled over for a random and had my logs reviewed once.

my logs department told me new drivers usually get about 5 in the first 6 mos as they are learning trip planning and time management. Most violate because they assumed truck stops would have empty spaces...they dont after dark. and some are much larger than others so higher chances of finding a space in Petro with 400 spaces than pilot with 60. it takes time for a rookie to find "go to" parking that always has open spaces. as you get the hang of it, violations are unlikely.

as far as teaming...its not just physical space. it is personal space. you cant argue with your wife on the phone without the other hearing and sometimes jumping in the conversation. when the team mates argue, you cant get off the truck to cool off. same sex team mates even use the same rest room so there is no escape even that way. it is much worse when the other person reorganizes because this is work and you need to know where your stuff is.

the truck is almost always rolling, so.trying to sleep while.boucing around can be tough. you need to ask to stop the truck for restroom breaks as if you are in grade school. Feeling sick with diarrhea? not only does the other person know, but you cant just park near a bathroom for a 10 hr break like you can solo.

driving is not always equal. it is totally possible for one person to do 400 miles a day and one to do 600 but you both get paid the same. resentment can build if one is doing more work.

you basically have a lot.more freedom.solo and as i posted in another thread, i can make the same solo as teaming so there is no pay increase as many people expect.

the pros:

easy trip.planning; someone to take over if you are not well or tired; someome to help guide you in tough backing areas; rookies get comfort knowing someone else is there to help problem solve.

i prefer solo but i enjoy teaching and training. TnT here is teaming. so i do both, solo and teams when i want to.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Rainy

Thank you for taking the time to post a lengthy response. I am not dead set on team versus solo, just exploring my options. I would really like the personal space, and freedom, plus my number 1 choice has a liberal pet policy, so there are pro's and con's for both, I just have to decide what fits me best. Than you again.

Be safe Chris

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Pets are another issue. allergies, hair and even more space being taken up by pet food, litter boxes and bags of litter...having to stop to walk the dog.

you ha e to make sure ypu have a teammate that lobes animals and an animal who likes your teammate lol

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Rainy.....

LOL...I won't attempt to do both...either or....I am only so strong..

:)

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, glad you asked this because I didn't even consider some of the things that Rainy mentioned!

Here is some more thoughts (just what I've read) that affected my choices thus far...

  • Due to less HOS restrictions on the truck, the truck is almost always rolling. This means many miles (and sights) available. This can also mean that teams might be given more time-sensitive (distance intensive) deliveries. Sometimes this even means grabbing extra loads (rescuing loads) from other people who ran out of time do to weather, poor planning, or other exigent circumstances.
  • On the other hand, when there's down time, you are stuck sharing a space with someone and maybe not far you can go to get away for a few minutes (such as stuck waiting for load/unload.) You may be trying to sleep when your teammeate thinks it's a great time to yell on the phone or watch a loud movie.
  • For me, having a teammate with even just a few months experience at least has potential for me to possibly learn just a little more that I'd otherwise have to learn on my own. No guarantees, but at least it's possible.
  • On the other hand, I might get stuck with someone unsafe and arrogant, which would make sleep almost impossible until I could get reassigned.
  • The person I team up with might know some of the routes (or even destinations) we are headed for, saving us time in both planning and arrival.
  • And I've just recently read that there is the possiblity of waking up in strange places after your teammate has just parked the truck somewhere and walked away after deciding OTR trucking just wasn't for them.

There are those things, and there's more. But the very bottom line for me was reading over and over that the first year was so important (for both learning on the job and for employer experience) that when I learned I'd be facing a ten-month contract... Well, the two just seem to go hand-in-hand for me. At worst, my teammate could kill us both. But barring that event, the next worse is that spend I ten months learning how many bad drivers are at my company.

However, for me, the upsides of opportunity (right now) seem to far outweigh all but the worst case scenario. Plus, if I'm fortunate enough for my teaming experience to hit ten months, then I may have other choices available - keep on teaming, go solo, go local, etc., whatever seems good at that time. But if I start off solo, my choices may be more narrowed simply by experiences - I don't think there are many solo's out there that would years later ever consider teaming now.

Of course, there's an exception to those solo's who choose to teach, because they choose sharing their skills over their privacy, etc. And the possibility that I could qualify to go for instructor training after six months is kind of appealing to me. Because if I get so annoyed at the quality of drivers I get paired with, well, then I have an opportunity to help people become better drivers rather than just complain about it.

Obviously everyone's experiences are both subjective and circumstantial. But I'm keeping my hopes high and I have a tendency to find the best I can in almost any situtation, so teaming seemed like a really good opportunity for me.

Rainy's input was awesome! Hopefully we can get some more trainer/team drivers to post in this thread, though my decision is pretty much made, more intel to work with is always useful.

OTR:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

"at worst my teammate would kill.us both"

rofl-3.gif

YES!!! that is the worst. And it is hard trying to sleep with someone you dont trust driving.

in a manual...omg..you can get thrown on the floor with a bad shifting driver lol

heres another thing to consider though...and i have seen folks do it....staying team but not paying attention then feeling like a rookie when you go solo.

i know several people who did so great teaming with their trainer they stayed a team. However, teaming prevented them from learning truck stops to park, managing their HOS and trip planning. so after a year or more of teaming, a couple of my friends feel like newbies and constantly call me asking for parking and trip palnning tips. Plus, the one driver was the lead seat who always made the decisions...where to stop, how or when to get repairs etc.

soooo....while teaming, be sure to consciously be aware of parking and truck stops wven if you dont stay there. make lists of large ones with green availibity on trucker path. ask youself "if i was solo, what time would i leave for this load, or how long would it take me to get there". make sure you do some of the repairs or understand what neess fixing and what doesnt.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for more Rainy!

In my ideal truck teaming experience, I almost (by omission) have created the very complacency you've just described being possible. My striving not to eff things up has me seeking security that apparently just doesn't (or shouldn't) exist. Your emphasis on taking care to learn everything (just in case) is a welcome wake-up call.

Chris is probably going to be well suited to this approach already. But what I failed to mention was my fear of the steep learning curve as an individual. But you sort of made me put that front and center now, because even with the ideal teammate, I'm still going to have learn everything as if I were on my own and I'm just there to lend my teammate a hand.

Thanks for the reality check, Rainy!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jeremy try to keep something in mind. If your is running 22-23 hours out of 24, the amount of time you and your teammate are available to each other for help is a very low percentage of time.

Your number one priority when your teammate is driving is rest. Same for him when you are driving. You'll know real fast if you are able to sleep while the beasts hunts for traction on bumpy, rolling and circuitous roads and highways. I am one of the masses who was unable to get consistent rest when so was team training.

By the way; beige is your color Bro....seamless cups, nice touch... LOL.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

By the way; beige is your color Bro....seamless cups, nice touch... LOL.

smile.gif

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