CRST - Training Adventures In Cedar Rapids

Topic 22473 | Page 6

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Jeremy C.'s Comment
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I dunno... Day 6? It's Friday and it's been another long one. And also a pretty awesome one!

Got some detailed info about life after getting your permit here. We had an orientation today for NADTA, which is the official school of CRST in Cedar Rapids. I guess it's a contracted service. Apparently there is a different school that teaches for CRST down in Waterloo, Iowa, and yet another for their training in Jacksonville, Florida. Not sure how many more there are, but NADTA has the highest and best safety record of all of them.

So, our next phase of training begins on Sunday at NADTA's campus, which is only about 2 blocks away from the CRST Training center where we will still remain as guests. CRST has shuttles that leave here at various times throughout the day to take people back and forth to various places. And one of those places is NADTA....

Huh! Spent so long typing that last few sentences that I forgot where I was going with that. Anyway, we start around 7am on Sunday. Classes run almost all week here. Saturday is the only true off day. And this next phase will encompass a mixture of things. PTI (or pre-trip inspection) procedures is part of the focus, as is a defensive driving course known as the Smith System. Also, too, we might begin driving practice at some point, but I'm still not sure when. Someday.

Anyway, I can't really afford to wait for class to get started on PTI, so I was out back in the terminal yard early this morning doing what PTI I could outside of the cab and without opening any hoods. It was a little chilly outside... 0594478001526100715.jpg And then after orientation this afternoon I took my printed version of Daniel's Pre-Trip Inspection guide back out to do some more. But lo and behold I found a trucker willing to pop a hood and give me everything but the in-cab rundown. So awesome!

And about an hour later he did it for someone else, so I got to witness the whole thing again. Now I can easily name about 10 or 12 of the things under the hood that need checked, right on down the side, and around - pretty much the whole truck and trailer, plus all of the coupling, etc.

Now, naming and pointing to parts is one thing, but repeating the proper phrasing is proving tougher than naming all the parts. I really predicted it would've been the opposite way for me, but I was wrong.

I also found out that we CAN get trained on manual transmission here at a later date. If we wait six months, we can request to come back for manual and they will route us here through Cedar Rapids for a two day course (at no cost to us) that will get the automatic-only restriction removed from our license.

I also found out more about the CRST terminal in Carlisle, Pa., which is kinda important because I'm hoping to get routed through there at some point so my nephew can check out the truck. Not sure how to get my other nephew near the truck unless I'm just lucky enough to get routed through Ohio with some time to spare. Just hope they both get to check it out sometime.

Well, tomorrow is a special day back home for my family and a service for someone that made it possible for me to be here instead of at that service. Thanks dad!

0834804001526102487.jpg

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Great update. I am still considering CRST so I appreciate all the detail. Family is so important, that's a good photo.

Best Wishes.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Jeremy

Great update. I am still considering CRST so I appreciate all the detail. Family is so important, that's a good photo.

Best Wishes.

Thank you, sir. There's probably lots of stuff that I'm missing or forgetting, but I've been trying to get as many details as possible in. Theres just so muxh information and experience to digest in such a short amount of time.

However, the current discipline and organization of your lifestyle will undoubtedly have you well prepared for the experience.

Have a great weekend, Chris!

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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How to learn your pre-trip inspection good-luck.gif

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.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

How to learn your pre-trip inspection good-luck.gif

Thanks Yuuyo! It was fun (and cold) trying to do it this morning. Going back out to do some more on my own in a few minutes. Might get some more tips from the video. Thanks!

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.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Saturday night and not much to report....

Well, today has been a pretty quiet and simple day. I got to talk with a few more drivers today and gained some more tips and insight. Did 10 rounds of pre-trip this morning (outside of the cab) and another five rounds this afternoon. Still have yet to find someone to let me in their cab long enough for me to do anything PTI related in the cab. But most of the drivers I encounter are just coming off the road or about to head out, so timing is a huge issue with that.

Also, while I can almost name every damn part on a tractor or trailer by now, I'm not doing as well remembering the "not cracked, bent, or broken" phrases that apply to each item. They're coming to me slowly, but I really want to nail this as soon as possible.

Which is why I can't understand some people around me!!! They put a bunch of people on the bus today for not performing and not putting up any effort. It's pretty much our one day off here and some people have spent the day running all over doing trivial things - fighting over the pool table, yelling at the television, etc. Some of us have been putting in study and work. Some of us are really grinding away at it. And some others seem to be volunteering for the next greyhound ticket.

There's really only one way to make money in the long run... Be safe and be reliable. And in order to be proficient in those I need to learn all I can and then practice what I've learned for the rest of my career. And the learning starts with the basics. Which us why I'm trying like hell to get this well ingrained now.

To each their own, I guess. The ones who put in the work are the same ones acing every test, learning what we need, and getting ready for the future while everyone else seems to be getting ready for the weekend. I don't understand it, but hey, whatever.

We're all blessed to be here. All we have to do is apply ourselves and learn and we're practically guaranteed a well paying job, a transferable skill, and a chance at a great life - ALL THAT JUST FOR LEARNING. Seems like a pretty small price for such a huge return, but some people just don't want it... Leaves me completely mystified.

Well, we start our first class with NADTA tomorrow morning and I'm really looking forward to it. Lots of great stuff on the schedule.

Hope everyone is having a safe and happy weekend!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Army 's Comment
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Sounds like your doing well. Wonder how many will end up in class for tomorrow am.

PackRat's Comment
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Attitude makes the difference. Some will make it better for themselves, while some will go back home and settle for something less. Don't be "A Settler".

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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I remember watching a video on PTI that said "everything metal is 'not cracked bent or broken'. Everything rubber is 'not bent broken or frayed' " or something along those lines.

I don't exactly remember now, but something like that I should when I start to learn PTI for real.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Sounds like your doing well. Wonder how many will end up in class for tomorrow am.

That may prove to be another part of the selection process. The head instructor told us on Friday that if you miss just one day during the first week or 4 hours cumulative throughout the next two weeks, your time here will be short. 0700 comes awfully early on a Sunday... Let's see who didn't believe him. shocked.png

Attitude makes the difference. Some will make it better for themselves, while some will go back home and settle for something less. Don't be "A Settler".

Here, here, good sir! I often tell people, "Choose your attitude, not the other way around." And when I do they often look at me like I just stepped off a spaceship. But, these are probably the very same people who wonder why life happens to them instead of for them.

I remember watching a video on PTI that said "everything metal is 'not cracked bent or broken'. Everything rubber is 'not bent broken or frayed' " or something along those lines.

I don't exactly remember now, but something like that I should when I start to learn PTI for real.

Yuuyo, there are lots of videos out there on this topic - Some better than others. But I'm what some "expert" somewhere out there labeled as a kinesthetic learner, meaning I learn better by doing than by reading or watching.

But, I will say that Daniel's Pre-Trip Inspection guide was a God-send. So thankful I printed that out and brought it with me!

So, at Houston Community College there will be PTI instruction. And it's mostly the same everywhere, with just a few small differences. For us, the differences are mostly in the way we phrase things during the inspection and the order we do them in. And it's the particular phrasing they want here that I'm still trying to get used to. You'll see it, too, and get used to it, too.

smile.gif

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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