CRST Specific Questions (and General Team Driving Questions)

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Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
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Hey Jeremy.

Teaming....where to start? Hmmmm.

Well; as ever, Rainy pretty much nailed it!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜€

So, I'll just add my $0.02 worth to hers.

My team mate and I are in exactly the situation you describe. He is a total newbie with only the experience gained during his OTR company training. I have, give or take a little, 9 to 10 years experience; although admittedly, mostly in Europe. Sounds like it could be an almost perfect set up right?

Well; in many ways it is. Chris has the almost boundless enthusiasm and eagerness of most young men and I have a love for the job combined with, hopefully, a little wisdom earned the hard way; by "getting 'er done" through the years.

However; this set up is not without its pitfalls and traps for the unwary.

My experience so far has taught me a bunch of stuff that, frankly, I was unaware that I needed to learn! lol And, in all honesty, most of it has been about myself! I believed that as a former Airline Pilot, well versed in multi-crew operations, I was ideally equipped to 'team drive'. Wow! Talk about Hubris! And thus began my education!....

๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜œ lol

First and foremost, you absolutely must, I repeat, MUST set out each others ideas and expectations with regard to the training/learning situation. I wrote an earlier post on the site about "Where do I draw the line and when do I cross it?"...find it if you can...and was given much sage advice by Rainy, Susan, G-town et al. And boy oh boy, have their words of wisdom ever been proven! lol

I have found out that my much professed love of teaching combined with my tendency to strive for perfection can be a great asset....But, and it's a BIG but....it can also lead to irritation and even even anger on both sides if not combined with equal amounts of understanding and the ability to step back and really analyze any given situation. I have learned rapidly that I can be a real PITA about things that may not really require so much coaching and maybe need a little more relaxed approach in order to facilitate the ever present learning process.

With Brett and all the other Moderators blessings, I would love to write a long article detailing some of our trials and tribulations and how we have dealt with them. Right now I am just back from 10 days off and preparing to hit the road, so have to end this here. Forgive me.

Let me just close for now by saying that, in many ways, teaming is really great...insane mileage....decent pay...lots of laughs along the way. But it definitely comes with some stresses and strains that, if not dealt with professionally and with a degree of humility, will test your character and also your friendship and relationship with your team mate.

If you have any specific questions, I am more than happy to try my best to answer them.

In the mean time, may I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

Be safe.

Cheers,

Simon

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.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Wow,... *like !!!

Simon this is really great information and I think an article is an excellent idea.

Team driving is an important topic and deserves the level of attention you are qualified to provide.

Thanks! Really good stuff GrandPa !!!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

That was fantastic Simon! What a real gem.

With Brett and all the other Moderators blessings, I would love to write a long article detailing some of our trials and tribulations and how we have dealt with them.

Man, would you please??? We would love that. I'd love to publish that kind of information in our blog. Shoot me an email if you have any questions or want to talk over specifics -

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
member avatar

Wow,... *like !!!

Simon this is really great information and I think an article is an excellent idea.

Team driving is an important topic and deserves the level of attention you are qualified to provide.

Thanks! Really good stuff GrandPa !!!

Lol ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ‘

You are more than welcome. I will get to it as soon as I can.

As stated, the biggest learning curve for me has been about myself. It's amazing to me that, at 58 years old, I have learned so much about my own character....many hours in the bunk as Chris drove, pondering my approach to situations and, I guess, life in general.

lol

Hopefully it has made, and will continue to make, me a better person.

I would just like to add that I still love it! ๐Ÿ‘

These young 'uns can learn a lot from us 'Gramps'....... And, importantly...... we can and should learn from them. N'est pas?

Cheers,

Grandpa ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ‘

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
member avatar

That was fantastic Simon! What a real gem.

double-quotes-start.png

With Brett and all the other Moderators blessings, I would love to write a long article detailing some of our trials and tribulations and how we have dealt with them.

double-quotes-end.png

Man, would you please??? We would love that. I'd love to publish that kind of information in our blog. Shoot me an email if you have any questions or want to talk over specifics -

Lord have mercy... I'm blushing!! lol

But, many thanks again. Will get to it asap! And will be in touch about specifics on posting with references to previous blogs etc. ๐Ÿ‘

Cheers.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

First, I think I hijacked the topic from Chris (Retired Army) and have to apologize for that! wtf-2.gif

Second, hoping we can get some CRST folks in here to address some specific things (per the OP's original topic request.)

Third, Simon, your insights and information are very awesome (and very welcome!) I went and found the Where To Draw The Line post that you referenced and found some more great advice in there.

Fourth, I personally look forward to a teaming article when you find the time to write it up.

Fifth, hopefully within a few weeks I may be able to contribute to this topic (from a newbies perspective) and maybe give other newbies more to consider if they think about team driving.

Finally, WOW, I hope this thread stays alive because I've gotten quite a bit from it over the last few days. Many thanks to all! thank-you.gif

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Jeremy

Haha, no worries, I am getting information regardless of where the thread goes.....I don't reply or post to all the responses, but I have been following them. I do look forward to you Team perspective once you get started.

Thanks Chris

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Schmidtrock's Comment
member avatar

With Brett and all the other Moderators blessings, I would love to write a long article detailing some of our trials and tribulations and how we have dealt with them.

I for one will certainly look forward to your article. Another 'gramps' here starting my re-learning process on Monday. My brother and I are considering teaming up in the near future. I've bBeen off the road for eight years and opted to do another full round of CDL school then on-boarding with Schneider. My previous attempt at this life was with another, ahem, 'carrier' and let's just say my memories and experiences weren't so swift. :-) By the way hello everybody! My account looks brand new but I've been a lurker for years now. Thank you Brett for this awesome resource. Using the High Road now to prepare for next week. Alot is coming back to my old brain thankfully.

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.
Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Honestly I don't recall rather my DM was planning loads or if they came from a planner. And here's why, by the time I felt like I had any position to ask for "special" loads my DM was already looking out for me. And it seemed he and I knew that I was there to run.

I made that happen by talking to him even when a codriver was demanding to go home, I let him know that I would go home when it was convenient. Shortly after that I had a different codriver and it seemed my loads were from CA to NJ most of the time.

I did get one codriver that I got along pretty well with. The only downfall was he liked to park in the fuel island for hours at a time and I would wake up to someone pounding on the door wanting to know when the truck was going to move.

However we got to where if needed I could sit in the passenger seat and coach him into a dock blindside backing without him ever seeing where he was going... I wouldn't attempt that now but looking back that was pretty amazing.

Aside from all that. Rainey was spot on, from one person running more miles and things getting a bit heated to being a total newbie when you go solo. When it comes to HOS pay attention because when your teaming you should have about the same hours and then need to shutdown around the same time... when your solo it's alot different. And yes you can do a "rolling reset"

I think my time with CRST was valuable and a great way to get a foot in the door of trucking.I also fit in the column of would never team again after having gone solo. But I also wouldn't change having teamed in the beginning.

And just for a bit of humor, I had a codriver near the end of my time whom had completed his contract obligations. "Had been driving for 10-11 months" who I on several occasions came out of the sleeper to get him back in a gear cause he couldn't shift consistently... His moto was "Back up till you hit something" no... I'm not joking. But he had about 30 years on me and I have a respect your elders complex.

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.
millionmiler24 (CRST Amba'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 naรฏve, 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.

I am answerin these as best as I can however I am very tired as I write this so please forgive me in advance:

CRST has their own load planners. I don't know the average number of drivers per driver manager. Not sure of any cpm letters. Recruiters should email you your pre hire info and if I remember correctly once you are in orientation you should receive a copy of the payscale which at that time you can ask your recruiter about it. Best advice I can give is don't focus on what your cpm rate is goin to be. I you have what it takes to be a Top Tier Driver then you will make great money no matter your cpm rate as long as you stay a COMPANY driver. Do NOT lease or become an owner operator. You will wreck yourself financially if you do. For the EXTREME few that are successful you will only make roughly $30 more a week. All the extra work and headaches that go into bein a LO or OO are NOT worth it. The end doesn't justify the means.

As far as team drivin: obvious benefit is a spotter and extra set of eyes in the truck if you need it.

Only drawback is very little privacy or you time when truck is shut down for any reason.

I would never drive solo again. I prefer to have a co driver at all times. That's why or one of the main reasons anyway that I LOVE CRST.

As far as the HOS questions on here, ask the safety director, someone in the elog department or ask your DM. They could probably get you a better answer on that.

I hope I covered everything ya needed here. Sorry I am not more helpful here.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

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.

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.

Driver Manager:

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 companyโ€™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.

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 companyโ€™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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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