CRST - Training Adventures In Cedar Rapids

Topic 22473 | Page 19

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Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Stuck in Texas since early this morning. Some sort of tropical storm had wind and rain sending every truck in sight scrambling for shelter. Now high winds seem to have us grounded because we have such a light load.

Ran hard yesterday and last night before the weather. They're right when they everything is bigger in Texas. This is only my second Texas-storm (probably not even a blip on the radar for these folks) but it's about as interesting of a storm as I've ever drove in. 😯

I've been getting more backing practice in when we hit random truck stops, but I still need a lot of polish. There's a world of difference in pushing this trailer between those orange cones at school and trying to finesse it between two tricked out Peterbilts in a truck lot, lol. Let the swearing begin!

I've only gotten one docking in the last few weeks because we've mostly had drop & hook jobs. Though, I've become a wiz at using the QualCom and doing TransFlo. 😁

Something to keep in mind if you haven't gotten out of school yet - whenever you get a chance, start grabbing Reward Cards from various truck stops, etc. Places like Loves, TA, and Pilot / Flying J (last two are some company) are what you're going to see and stop at most often. So start collecting those cards soon and start using them when you make purchases at those places. Little purchases won't add up to much, but when you look it fuel in your truck is when you will get the big points. The points will cheapen or make free things like food, drinks, and that all-mighty religious experience the shower! (Trust me, you'll understand later on...)

That's it for now. Hoping for a good weather update soon.

Safe travels to you all!!!!

Just to add AMBest & Sapp Bros to the list of rewards cards to get. Petro is the same as TA. Very good advice Jeremy. Watch the other truckers at the stops & learn different backing techniques from their way of doing it.

Keep up the good work & stay safe.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

wtf.gif

I just spent 10 or 15 minutes writing a long post only to watch it disappear before my eyes!

Some genius put the return key on the android keyboard right above the phones back button. So when I went to start a new paragraph I fat-fingered the bleepin keyboard and went back to the page I was on before. I tried to go forward again but the reply box was now blank. Everything gone.

I'm currently in Iowa, we drove like hell to get here from Maryland, and I'm just far too tired to type all of that again tonight.

My apologies. I'll try again tomorrow.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

You are doing great jeremy!

we hit 50mph winds in amarillo and billboards were breaking off and blowing around. Somebody i know...was like "lets just switch out. i can handle it". we waited about 8 hours for it to die. the freaking wind went all the way from TX to the Dakotas. was nuts.

rofl-1.gif

i was tired and wanted sleep. as you said, sleeping in a rolling truck is not easy and it is much harder for the trainer lol. but we warned you! lol

ill admit i freaked Splitter out with wind in Cali. i should have stopped when i saw a trailer tire lift.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

shocked.png

ill admit i freaked Splitter out with wind in Cali. i should have stopped when i saw a trailer tire lift.

rofl-1.gif

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

wtf.gif

I just spent 10 or 15 minutes writing a long post only to watch it disappear before my eyes!

Some genius put the return key on the android keyboard right above the phones back button. So when I went to start a new paragraph I fat-fingered the bleepin keyboard and went back to the page I was on before. I tried to go forward again but the reply box was now blank. Everything gone.

I'm currently in Iowa, we drove like hell to get here from Maryland, and I'm just far too tired to type all of that again tonight.

My apologies. I'll try again tomorrow.

Hey Jeremy...it's great to read you are doing well. Looking back 4-5 weeks ago, consider your progress and how far you've come. (Same goes for Splitter, Bran, Squirrel,...etc.)

A suggestion...whenever I am posting or replying with anything of substance, say over 100 words, I use the notepad on my phone. I have done the same exact thing you described,...numerous times!

Good luck! Safe travels and remember Driver;

"Watch Your Wagon!"

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

wtf.gif

I just spent 10 or 15 minutes writing a long post only to watch it disappear before my eyes!

Some genius put the return key on the android keyboard right above the phones back button. So when I went to start a new paragraph I fat-fingered the bleepin keyboard and went back to the page I was on before. I tried to go forward again but the reply box was now blank. Everything gone.

I'm currently in Iowa, we drove like hell to get here from Maryland, and I'm just far too tired to type all of that again tonight.

My apologies. I'll try again tomorrow.

double-quotes-end.png

Hey Jeremy...it's great to read you are doing well. Looking back 4-5 weeks ago, consider your progress and how far you've come. (Same goes for Splitter, Bran, Squirrel,...etc.)

A suggestion...whenever I am posting or replying with anything of substance, say over 100 words, I use the notepad on my phone. I have done the same exact thing you described,...numerous times!

Good luck! Safe travels and remember Driver;

"Watch Your Wagon!"

Oops I knew I'd forget someone...sorry. Don too has made great progress.

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.

Don's Comment
member avatar

For a moment, I hought I was the 'red-headed stepchild.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

wtf.gif

I just spent 10 or 15 minutes writing a long post only to watch it disappear before my eyes!

Some genius put the return key on the android keyboard right above the phones back button. So when I went to start a new paragraph I fat-fingered the bleepin keyboard and went back to the page I was on before. I tried to go forward again but the reply box was now blank. Everything gone.

I'm currently in Iowa, we drove like hell to get here from Maryland, and I'm just far too tired to type all of that again tonight.

My apologies. I'll try again tomorrow.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Hey Jeremy...it's great to read you are doing well. Looking back 4-5 weeks ago, consider your progress and how far you've come. (Same goes for Splitter, Bran, Squirrel,...etc.)

A suggestion...whenever I am posting or replying with anything of substance, say over 100 words, I use the notepad on my phone. I have done the same exact thing you described,...numerous times!

Good luck! Safe travels and remember Driver;

"Watch Your Wagon!"

double-quotes-end.png

Oops I knew I'd forget someone...sorry. Don too has made great progress.

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.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Jeremy

Since you are bored sitting in the truck, watching flies mate..lol....

How do you like CRST and the concept of team driving? I know you don't completely have the grasp of team driving since you are with your trainer, just overall, in general....

To me, seems like a whole lot of men, in a confined space, crap galore, and all that....

Safe Travels Man.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Jeremy

Since you are bored sitting in the truck, watching flies mate..lol....

How do you like CRST and the concept of team driving? I know you don't completely have the grasp of team driving since you are with your trainer, just overall, in general....

To me, seems like a whole lot of men, in a confined space, crap galore, and all that....

Safe Travels Man.

Well, Chris, it all started when I was a small child and my father refused to take me to the circus... Wait! Wrong question! Okay, hang on...

Team driving.

Well, first the company question... CRST is a huge company. And as such, it sometimes runs as a huge company. The right hand and the left hand don't always know what the other is doing. In other words, some times (administratively) things or information can move slow or even turn out with contradicting results. But the company as a whole has a surprisingly great structure, and if you can stand team driving, there is some awesome potential here. Also, there's the potential for more autonomy than I've read/heard about at some other companies. (I don't want to start listing things just because I hope not to start a contest with anyone else from another company.) But I personally see some serious potential here.

They take care of their drivers and they take care of their equipment.

As for team driving, that is an acquired thing. But its not as crowded as it may seem at first.

First off, you will most often be in the drivers seat (up front by yourself) or in the rack sleeping (in back by yourself.) And with the very thick (canvas, burlap, leather, whatever) curtain pulled closed, you are basically in an isolated, soundproof, climate-controlled zone - by yourself.

Second, you usually aren't going to have a lot of belongings on the truck simply because you don't need them. I'm sure there are people who have tons of crap, but most people I've talked to so far usually end up keeping more cleaning supplies on their truck than personal belongings. Ya just don't need a lot to do this job, and no matter how ya start out, it seems that for almost everyone doing this, sooner or later, your life becomes all about the job - whether due to financial motivation, a sense of duty, or just lacking interest in much else. It really is a lifestyle. (Also, in a Freightliner Cascadia, there is so much damn room! They look deceptively small from the outside.)

Now, who you team with also has a lot to do with how the experience will be (obviously.) But it seems that when even just a few things click between two people, those few things can be just enough to make everything else bearable. I've met teams who are just waiting for one to commit a felonious act against the other one. And I've met teams you would never guess could make it with each other, yet they run hard, safe, and make boatloads of money every week!

Team driving allows for what certain companies can honestly call Expedited shipping. Meaning we can get it there at least twice as fast as anyone else. Twice now in the last few weeks I've run between California and Maryland (that's coast-to-coast for anyone not well-versed in geography) and both trips were around four days or so. A single driver just can't (legally) come close to that.

And because we are able to make time-sensitive runs over great distances, obviously we get better mileage pay and longer-mileage runs than most other dry-van drivers.

As for having someone around all the time, that can have its advantages, too. An extra set of eyes to help with that terribly difficult trailer back-up at 3am in poor lighting. Or a fresh set of ears to help you work out a problem with paperwork or some other logistical issue. And many other things that can help you run and operate more efficiently.

I can see where people would shirk at the idea of teaming. But it's not quite as crowded as some think it is. And it depends more on mindset than space, I guess. If you want to run with a partner who thinks like you and cares little about anything beyond making lots of money... Or was a big appeal of this job the opportunity to (mostly) live and work alone?

For myself, I like running hard toward goals, I like narrow schedules and time-sensitive obligations. I'm no good in occupations that get the job done whenever it's done. Not to imply that solo-driving is any less pressured or regimented than teams. But we do by our nature often have more interesting schedules (in my opinion) than solo drivers.

So, I guess it comes down to goals and mindset. Team driving obviously isn't for everyone. But, then again, neither is trucking.

As for myself, its acceptable for now, and should be awesome soon when me and Shawn (my co-driver and my long lost brother from another mother, lol) finally get our truck.

Hope that sheds some light on things. I know it wasn't really a comprehensive answer, but I didn't want to offer a long response that nobody would read.

Thanks for your service to our great nation, Chris. Look forward to seeing ya out here on the roadways soon. Safe travels, brother!

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.

TWIC:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Jeremy

Thanks for the reply. So did you meet shawn at school? I would think that would be the best place to try and find a driving partner.

Safe Travels Chris

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