CRST - Training Adventures In Cedar Rapids

Topic 22473 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
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I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, my usually quick wit failing me - I just had no words. Still don't.

Not everyone will share in your enthusiasm or emotional maturity. Pointless to rationalize with that...

...if you need to ask then you wouldn't understand,... egg roll?

Army 's Comment
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Jeremy

Thanks for the info. Can't wait for your blog. Yeah, I was quoted a CPM because of my veteran status, so that was the reason for me asking if I should get it in writing, but it appears they go over that during in processing. Do great things, and be safe.

Chris

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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Finally, I was talking to one of the other new guys here outside just a bit ago and mentioned that I had been studying for about a month already. I wanted to mention TT to him, but before I could, he cut me off to ask, "You came here to study so why would waste your last month of freedom?"

I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, my usually quick wit failing me - I just had no words. Still don't.

I guess the concept of wanting to work is lost on some people. I would've thought or said "I've studied to GET freedom!"

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Quick update while on break... Passed physical and drug screen this morning. Burgers and chips was lunch provided at the training center here.

Also, there is a training simulator here, just haven't had a chance to ask anyone about it yet.

Covered a lot of material on class this morning from the CDL manual, along with PowerPoint presentations and printouts of those slides.

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL... From everything we've covered this morning, I feel like I'm armed to the teeth with info Thanks to the High Road CDL Training Program here on TT. (Seriously, I recognize and know such of this info already that I almost feel like I've been cheating or something.) High Road Training is awesome and has me feeling really prepared. So grateful for that!

More later...

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Jeremy, only thing I can recommend is:

1. Be on time. 2. Listen to your instructors. 3. Go first if no on else will. 4. Show your instructors you are serious about learning. 5. Do not **** around. There are a couple of students here who act like morons.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Jeremy, only thing I can recommend is:

1. Be on time. 2. Listen to your instructors. 3. Go first if no on else will. 4. Show your instructors you are serious about learning. 5. Do not **** around. There are a couple of students here who act like morons.

On time is hard because I try to arrive 15 minutes early for everything - furst one in, last one out.

The rest I'm trying extremely hard to exemplify. And when we finally get to the trucks, following your example, I will try to be first for everything that I can.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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End of day 1 and I am beat! Long day, lots of information thrown at us today. The instructors at this level will give you what you need, but they don't spoon feed anyone. People around me seem to be quickly figuring out that this is a game for self-starters and independent thinkers. If you can't make yourself study, you're SCREWED because nobody else is going to force you to do it. And you'll find out really quick what a lack of discipline costs!

I understand some of the negative reviews I've seen about this place, as well as why some people just don't make it in trucking. If people aren't told what to do and when to do it, etc., they fall flat because they just run wild and free with no regard for the future, no shred of personal responsibility. They expect to be given this and led to that, and when they're not, when they have to be adults, they fail and blame everyone else.

There are some really good students here with me, people genuinely putting up effort to study and learn. And there are some real asshats here that seem to think this is no-rules high school.

Anyways, covered more from the manual across the afternoon class.

After class, around 4pm, I finally made it over to meet my recruiter face-to-face, something I recommend everyone do if you come through CRST. Until you actually get hired, you're just a trainee. And during that time it's your recruiter who is still your best source of information and help for various things.

This evening, I was slumming around the terminal out back, where regular drivers come through. And I was talking to one driver for a few minutes. Next thing I know, I'm sitting in the driver's seat and he's gladly answering question after question. I don't know what kind of day he's had or why he had free time, so I had to force myself to just thank him and be on my way, else I might ask questions for the next three hours. So selfless of him to humor a newbie for a few minutes today - I'm very grateful!

Well, we should be attempting our first shot at the permit test on Wednesday, so more studying to do!

Sorry things aren't more exciting, but these first few days are pretty dense with paper study so we can get learner permits. After that the real fun will begin. smile.gif

Take care and safe travels!

Terminal:

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.

Nolan's Comment
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Hey Jeremy!

Thank you so much for sharing your journey! Can't wait for the next update! good-luck.gif

Rainy D.'s Comment
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Glad to hear all this Jeremy.

One thing you will learn is that many many drivers are not only willing, but are very enthusiastic about helping new drivers. there is very much a "pay it forward" culture in trucking. often i hear drivers say someone helped them in the beginning so they help newbies now. its true for me. so never feel uncomfortable accepting or asking for help. an experienced driver knows when to go hahaha. many will even offer their phone numbers...if they do take it. you jist never know when you will need it.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Day 2, 3 ??? Well, Tuesday, how about that?

This morning was pretty much wrapping up reviews from the CDL manual. Quick lunch (chicken patty sandwiches and a bag of chips, I think...) I walked over to Arby's and splurged $7 on a couple roast beef sandwiches. Not necessary when there's free food right here, but I just felt great today, so I spent a few bucks on myself.

Which brings up something else to mention about CRST Training center in Cedar Rapids. There are a whole lot of stores and restaurants within a few hundred feet of the training center. Well, fast food more than restaurants, but it can provide a nice variety and you can still even eat somewhat healthy if you pay attention to what you're buying and doing. Also, with a gas station almost across the street, and a CVS and a Walgreens almost across the street, you can find pretty much anything might need or might forget.

For example, I just strolled over and grabbed an air freshener today from CVS for the room I share with two other people. The room has an nice big air conditioner/heater combo built into the outside wall, just under the big picture window. Works wonderfully. But... The Windows don't open, so after a long day in 80 degree weather, well, socks and work boots from three men can get to be a bit much. But two minutes across the street and problem solved!

If those stores aren't enough, there are plenty of others and even a big ol' shopping center about ten to fifteen minutes away on foot.

And finally, CRST provides a free shuttle service to Wal-Mart on Tuesday evenings and on Saturday afternoons. So, if you need practically anything else (within reason) you can eventually get it.

Of course, the trucker I met last night later took two guys from here to Wal-Mart in his personal vehicle. That was very awesome of him to do. Just like Rainy said, I suppose - paying it forward. Very awesome!

Also, for the washing and drying machines they have here on site, it's $1 to wash and $1 to dry. Cheaper than back at my apartment!

And I found out a little more about the simulator today. We'll be starting our practice on that before we get into actual trucks. Probably next week or so. Maybe not a big deal, but as an avid gamer and a big geek, it seems like Christmas to me!!!

So, getting back to today... This afternoon we took practice exams for the temporary permit test we're taking tomorrow. I did pretty good, way above passing scores on all three areas - General knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicles.

There's a total of 95 questions and we have 90 minutes in which to get it done. If we only pass one section, we get to try the other two Thursday, Friday, and can keep on trying again Saturday and Sunday if need be.

However, if after four days you still can't pass it, then you will be asked to leave. If you go home and pass the temp permit on your own, they will let you come back here after six weeks and resume training where you left off... Which I guess means you'll start PTI, etc., as if you had never even left.

Also, as we start doing testing for our temp permits tomorrow, we have like 100 people testing, so we have to do it in 3 or 4 groups. That should provide a little more study time for some people. But the groups have already been randomly pre-selected, so those who need more study time may not be the ones who get it. We'll see.

We have basically only had two instructors so far. One has been absolutely 100% awesome all the time. She has a great sense of humor and really knows her stuff. The other really knows his stuff, but can be a real chooch sometimes. BUT... They are both working their butts off to prepare us for tomorrow's exams and more. They like what they do and they're good at it, a very nice set of attributes to find in instructors. I feel very fortunate to be here!

And on that note, I must get back to studying for tomorrow. I flew through the practice stuff today with passing grades, but I can't get complacent now or I may fall flat on my face tomorrow.

Also, I apologize if these updates seem drab or mundane. I'm just hoping to fill in a few gaps for anybody else that considers CRST for training. Sometimes it's just nice to know a few things beforehand. Others did it for me when I read their CRST diaries, so here's me trying to help the next person.

Take care and be well. More updates soon!

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

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