CRST - Training Adventures In Cedar Rapids

Topic 22473 | Page 5

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Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Continued from above..

At this point, you again need to return to the building where our classroom has been and find an instructor or else...

We found out today that they're pretty serious about this. We went to a mandatory roll-call today in the classroom. One person that had got his temp permit yesterday and did NOT find an instructor yesterday to show his new permit to was escorted back to the training center to get his stuff and shuttled to the bus station about 20 minutes later!

These instructors are all experienced truckers and good at teaching. Sometimes they are also jokers and comedians that keep boring classes much more interesting. But one thing they are not is tolerant of bull****. I don't know why they have the rules or processes in place that they do. But i do know they are VERY serious about enforcing them. When they tell you to do or NOT do something, they mean it!

Now, I'm sure some things are safety related, etc. And maybe some of it is preparing you now to follow directions closely later on when safety is VERY important, like when dealing with or being around big rigs. Whatever! They don't have cruel or unreasonable rules, but they are strict about the few that are carved in stone. If you come here and want to stay here, follow the rules.

Anyway, found an instructor, showed my permit, she copied the number off of it, and sent me on my way. And I'm pretty much free until Friday at 1pm, when it is mandatory attendance for a briefing on our next phase of training.

Up next we are starting the process of the famous PTI, or Pre-Trip Inspection. I don't know much else about the process, but I'm sure they will fill us in tomorrow.

I believe they are using the remaining time from yesterday through tomorrow to keep working with the people who haven't passed the permit test yet. But those folks are quickly running out of time. Not sure when, but at some point they either have to pass or look for a way home.

Well, I think it will be a fun next week if we ever get it started. But also a long one. There is a service dor my father-in-law tomorrow (back in Ohio) and I chose being here training over being there for that. I think he would more than understand, he'd want me here gitting 'er done. Plus, my wife and mother-in-law are both coming out here next weekend, so it's going to be a long week waiting for next weekend to get here!

Finally, when it comes to team driving at CRST, after your time with a training driver (called a lead driver here) you either come up with a person you want to team up with (and that wants to team with you) or they will give you a co-driver to team up with.

Now, if you know anything about team driving, then you know what big deal finding the right person cam be. And, against all odds, I think I might have found someone that I'm pretty compatible with. No truth about team driving is ever told until two people are on the road together for awhile. But I think I found someone that be awesome to try this out with. And he thinks it's worth a shot as well. So, if all goes well, we'll put in our request soon and if approved we'll be given our own truck together once we get back from training with a lead driver.

Lead driver is generally training you for about 28 days or 10,000 miles - whichever happens first. Then you're back here and sent out to team drive. Now there's not much choice you get in finding a lead unless both you and the lead ask the right people, but I've heard it can be done if you both ask.

My only advice there is maybe reauest not to be trained by someone who is leasing a truck, but rather a regular company driver. I've got nothing against lease guys personally. But it does seem that they have an agenda that maybe some others don't have in the form of that mandatory truck payment. Yes, I know an endless debate could ensue perpetually over company drivers also having an agenda to get a paycheck, etc., etc. But I suck at debating, so I'll just stop giving advice instead!

Okay, we'll see what tomorrow brings...

Take care and be well, everyone!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Congratulations on passing the first step of your journey, Jeremy.

Thanks brother! Small thing, but it still seems so monumental, lol.

They are both in automatics because they have no clue how to shift...

Ouch! Probably shouldn't mention that CRST has went to all automatic trucks now for its main fleet... Some of the companies they own (Pegasus, Malone, etc.) are still manual. But they've been replacing most of their regular fleet trucks with brand new auomatics.

Don't think any less of me now, lol.

Don's Comment
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No, I did not mean to belittle companies that only use automatics. CFI is phasing in to all autos. My point was about the two truck drivers who thought they were going to show we minions how to drive are so bad, they cannot pass their evals in manual trucks, (nor their backing skills) so they are being trained in autos only. Just like your classmates attitudes will come nak to nite them later, no doubt.

double-quotes-start.png

Congratulations on passing the first step of your journey, Jeremy.

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks brother! Small thing, but it still seems so monumental, lol.

double-quotes-start.png

They are both in automatics because they have no clue how to shift...

double-quotes-end.png

Ouch! Probably shouldn't mention that CRST has went to all automatic trucks now for its main fleet... Some of the companies they own (Pegasus, Malone, etc.) are still manual. But they've been replacing most of their regular fleet trucks with brand new auomatics.

Don't think any less of me now, lol.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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So are you going to be training in an automatic?

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

No, I did not mean to belittle companies that only use automatics....

Didn't take it that way at all, brother. My response there was a bad attempt at light humor. So much going on and brain so saturated with details that I can't always express my thoughts as clear as I'd like.

Oh, hey, as for the class clowns etc., only about 30% of our class have passed the permit test so far. And that's out of a ridiculous class size that was around 120 back on Monday. We're down to around 50 people now for various reasons, and less than 30 of us have our permits right now.

Seems those clowns have a way of sorting themselves out, after all. smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

So are you going to be training in an automatic?

Yes, we sure are. They used to have different programs at different locations, and if you requested it, you could go to another location to learn either manual or automatic. However, now that they are phasing out manuals across the company, the chance to train on one with CRST is getting slimmer by the day.

Having never driven manual in a truck (or any truck of this size, at least) I'm not sure of exactly what I'm missing out on - other than a more developed skill set (never a bad thing to have,) The vets around here who have lived on manuals would know what I'm missing better than I would.

Retired Army (soon)'s Comment
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Jeremy

That attrition rate is huge....I would like to think that the training in an automatic as one less thing you need to focus on when testing, but like others have pointed out, the license will have down that you are not allowed to drive manuals, but in time, that might be less of an issue.

Have a great safe weekend

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

I would like to think that the training in an automatic as one less thing you need to focus on when testing, but like others have pointed out, the license will have down that you are not allowed to drive manuals, but in time, that might be less of an issue.

Yes, sir. I agree that it is one less thing to learn. And to be honest about that, it allows me to focus more on being safer.

Having never driven anything like this before there is just so much to learn and be aware of. Not having to be aware of RPM's and MPH in relation to shifting frees up more attention for my mirrors and what's in front of me. I guess I just don't feel confident in - well, let me amend that... I feel more confident with one less thing to learn right now because there really is so much to learn if you want to be both safe and productive.

Conversely, I can drive a manual in a four wheeled automobile safely without any thought at all. And then there's people like Don who learn it right off the starting line and will be a safe driver anyway.

So, it does seem a little paradoxical to me. And, as you mentioned, there is that restriction issue. But all-in-all, I'm pretty comfortable with starting on an automatic truck. Besides, that seems to just be the way cards fell for my current training cycle. Who knows what else I'll get to learn later?

Take care and have a great weekend, sir!

Don's Comment
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"Don who learn it right off the starting line and will be a safe driver anyway."

Huh? rofl-3.gifrofl-3.gif

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Well, I'm assuming you'll be a safe driver. If not, come join the "can't find my left foot" club and train automatics with us! dancing.gif

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