CRST - Training Adventures In Cedar Rapids

Topic 22473 | Page 16

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G-Town's Comment
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Good for you Jeremy! Exciting stuff. Continued safe travels.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Well, it's late Tuesday night here on the border of Illinois and Indiana. I meant to post last night but I was just so tired I crawled in the bunk and it was all over with.

I think we spent the night in Nebraska last night. After another 500+ miles yesterday it's just hard to remember.

I ran 643 today and once again I'm beat. We're scheduled to hit Maryland sometime tomorrow if we run hard again. And I hope we do. That would give me coast to coast, in four days, with 2,000+ miles behind me. Pretty good numbers for everything on a first run.

Luckily we missed any part of the DOT blitz, so far. Hopefully we miss them for the next two days as well.

I apologize for the drop-off in actually useful info, but there's just not much informative I can share right now. What I'm learning right now is just sort of a rite if passage that each person has to experience on their own. Learning what it actually takes and cost (much more than financial cost) to be an over-the-road trucker.

I'm starting to understand why this life isn't for everyone. But I'm adapting slowly and wifey is sticking it out with me (lots of long talks and preparing before I even left really helped us.)

I did spend a long amount of time staring out of my new office window today and (once again) feeling overwhelming gratitude for the TT community that helped get me here.


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.

Old School's Comment
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I love the excitement!

Jeremy, I'm still excited about everyday I spend out here. Congratulations on getting this next phase started.

Don's Comment
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Jeremy: Hppy to hear you are out with your trainer! Good luck!

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Made it to Maryland late last night. Road construction in three states slowed up our progress in a huge way!

Well, killing almost two hours of my clock just going up and down these $%#& mountains in Maryland didn't help anything, either. I-68 sucks and I will go just about anywhere to avoid that again.

And apparently we have a load going back to California today. So, back to the left coast I go. I'm gonna have some serious drive-time coming outta this training phase!

Time to roll...

Take care, everyone -and keep counting your blessings!

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
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Safe travels young Jedi...

I too am on the left coast atm.....enjoying the superb scenery and plenty of those '$%#& mountains' as you put it!! lol😜

Personally, I love the challenge and Snoqualmie and Donner passes are very beautiful! (in good weather! lol) Enjoy every keeps the job fun!




Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Well, in a strange enough turn of events, my Lead Driver and I have parted ways here in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. So, I'm currently sitting in the lobby of a local motel waiting for payment confirmation to come through so I can stay here a few days.

My driver manager at CRST said they'll keep me here, which is just up the street from one of our terminals, until he can get me a new Lead for training.

That's pretty generous of them. As for me and the guy that was just teaching me... Well, things just were not working out. I'll leave it at that. But I will say that I enjoyed learning what I could from him.

Which is something about driving and living with a trainer. (I think Old School did a great article on that not too long ago.) I've talked to people whom complained that their trainer made them do everything. And every time I'm mystified by that complaint...

What do you mean the trainer is not your buddy? Surely you two are starting off on equal footing, the same amount of knowledge and experience, right? And of course the title of trainer is just a misnomer for something more familiar, like an old friend or a road tripping buddy.

Myself... I had to do the fuel and wash the windows at every truck stop. Why? Because that's my damn job at the moment! Learn how to use the cards, learn how to top off the tanks, start a habit of cleaning the windows while I'm there, etc. These are all things I will have to do later on, so it's a pretty good idea I learn the process and habits now.

Oh wow, I had to do almost all of the driving! No $#&%, genius. With my vast experience of two weeks at CDL school I can't imagine why they want me to do a bunch of driving with an experienced driver guiding me. No, no, it should all be equal. Not like I'm new at this or anything.

Can you believe I have to deal with all the paperwork and office people at the places we pick-up or drop-off at? Well, someone should believe it, because that's how things get shipped, that's what keeps trucks rolling, and that's how we get paid. So, yeah, it's probably a good idea for me learn how various things work between the people who drive and the people who ship/receive.

Okay, none of those things have anything to do with why I'm getting a new trainer. But I was thinking about all those silly complaints I've heard from other people before. And every time I did something related to one of those complaints, I just chuckled to myself.

It's training, so of course we're supposed to do everything. A newly minted CDL does not mean we finally reached the top of the mountain... It's more like that CDL is the equivalent of professional climbing gear that may (just may) allow us to safely begin climbing the mountain known as trucking.

Bah, just a random rant, I suppose. I just wanted to add an update and make sure everyone knows my head is still in the right place. And if this confirmation ever comes through, I might get to sleep in something tonight that doesn't have a steering wheel just a few feet away!


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.


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.

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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Army 's Comment
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Wow, I am surprised to say the least...hopefully, you are not waiting to terribly long for another trainer... Hope you get a good nights rest, and wish you the best.


Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Wow! So much has happened in such a short amount if time...

I left the hotel I was at because I had a roommate that had been sitting there for some days already waiting on a lead driver and he was unhappy with that, to say the least. Plus, he was having girlfriend problems , arguing on the phone with her constantly.

I didn't need any more negativity surrounding me at that point, so I called wifey and she drove a few hours from Ohio over to Pennsylvania to grab me. That was Thursday night.

I went home, got some sleep, did laundry, and got to reset and recharge. And early Friday morning I called my DM to update him on the situation. About an hour later my DM calls and says he has a lead driver for me. He orders me a rental car and has me drive down to Charleston, West Virginia to meet up with him.

So, drove down here yesterday. I've talked with the new Lead and there seems to be alot I can learn from this guy. I told him about some past experiences so far and he was disappointed to hear that I missed out on so many learning opportunities. And so far he's asked what seem like all the right questions and said all the right things.

So, I might have a good trainer we this time around. I especially liked the fact that of he catches on my phone just once in the drivers seat he will fail me on the spot. I like that policy and that attitude. It seems indicative of other safety related habits or policies. So, yeah, I think I got a good one this time!

We're headed to South Carolina to grab a load and then off to Arizona to drop it off. Should be a great leaening experience.

Take care everyone!


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.


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.
Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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Did he tell you of that policy or did you actually do that? I imagine it's the former.

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