CRST - Training Adventures In Cedar Rapids

Topic 22473 | Page 7

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G-Town's Comment
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Most things that break, become damaged or just wear out typically are not subtle...

Take this picture as an example:

0748968001526211734.jpg

Nothing subtle about this...but to find it, you gotta invest the time looking at parts and pieces.

Since I slip seat, in the same truck for a couple of days, then in another one etc., pretrip and post trip are really important. Other than the obvious, I pretripped this truck in the pouring rain at 0-dark-thirty. Had I skipped it this particular day because of lousy weather (and drivers do), this could have caused a major problem.

Post trip inspection is also important...last week on my post walk around, I found a broken drive seal, oil splattered on the tire and suspension parts. The truck was immediately taken out of service, repaired and back in the rotation 12 hours later.

What goes around,...comes around.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Sorry I've been absent and failing to update here. I will add many updates soon. Just have had some very long days the last two days. Much stuff to post, want to get more info up for other people that might consider CRST. It's a really great opportunity and I want to make sure I contribute to the wealtg of info already available. Just some really long days. More to come soon, promise!

Army 's Comment
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Jeremy

I wont highjack your thread man, it got my first prehire and yes it is with CRST.

Small victory

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Schmidtrock's Comment
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I just got caught up with your diary Jeremy. Please keep them coming I am enjoying reading them. I had a false start with my training due to some medical issues the bumped my DOT cert. I'll hopefully have them cleared up in a week or so and be back at it. Keep at it hard brother.

DOT:

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.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

...got my first prehire and yes it is with CRST.

Yes, sir! That's very awesome news!

Small victory

Inches and seconds, brother. Inches and seconds.

----

I had a false start with my training due to some medical issues the bumped my DOT cert. I'll hopefully have them cleared up in a week or so and be back at it.

Minor setback, brother. Keep after it and you'll be back on track in no time. Sometimes the best stuff doesn't come easy, but after the smoke clears it was often worth the fight.

DOT:

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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Bran009's Comment
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I'm really enjoying your diary even though I'm not going to CRST.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Okay, it's late (again) but I've got to post some stuff before these days just all run together. It's been really hard because the last few days I've been up at 5am, in class by 7, out between 6 and 7pm and finally in bed by 10 or 11 after laundry or homework or whatever. I know trucking comes with erratic hours , but just 5 hours sleep a night wears ya down after a few days. And the days have been looooonnnnnggggg.

As they are fond of reminding you, you don't have a job yet. This training is just one long job interview. So, I spend every opportunity busting my hump to to learn, do, or study something at every moment available.

Just today, with Daniel's Pre-Trip Inspection Guide in my hand, I sat in a truck cab and ran through the in-cab test (DOT Style) for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Mind you, I had that much of a gaping hole in my schedule today, but just as an example, because I'm trying not to waste one available moment that I could be learning. I know, i know, most of what I learn or do now will be replaced later with real world stuff. But I'm fortunate to be here now, so I'm doing everything I can to make sure I can get to that real world stuff.

Not even sure where I left off last... Sunday is when we started training down the street with NADTA, the school that CRST uses in Cedar Rapids to train us. There is also CRST training down in Waterloo, Iowa through another school (Hawkeye?) and also in Jacksonville, Florida through a comoany called J-Tech.

So, Sunday I drove a truck around the range for a few minutes, and then around the block, and then practiced one back-up. Monday I drove a truck out on the road, and actually woumd up on the highway. Tuesday I drove a truck out on the road (through downtown Cedar Rapids, no less!) And today I was out again, and on the highway, again.

Seems like lots of drive time, but each time has only been about 30 minutes, and them it was somebody elses turn. There are often 3 or 4 of us at a time in the truck and we just switch positions after our time is up.

We usually spend the morning in the classroom, and after lunch (11-12) we end up going outside to do hands on. Before or after you drive, you could be doing Pre-trip Inspection stuff, backing maneuvers, or getting ready to go out and drive. Plus there's time for self-study, etc. The morning's are generally when the class that started a week before ours is out doing stuff, and then they are in the classroom in the afternoon.

Lots of things are jammed together because you have about 14 days from the issue if your Iowa CDL permit to get your CDL. So, for 14 days the fur is flying!

We are also incorporating into our day something called the Smith System. It is a system of defensive driving techniques designed to raise your awareness while behind the wheel. And from what ive learned, it is a pretty valuable skillset for truckers to have.

This is Wednesday night and I'm scheduled to start taking test for my CDL next Wednesday. I don't feel like I know much of anything right now. But I guess that might change over the next few days. We'll see. Especially since our schedule changes next week. We have Sunday off and then on Monday, we start our new class time at 6:15am, so the days are about to get even longer.

There's a few more things I wanted to cover, but I can't remember what they were and I don't have those notes in my hand, so I'll have to add them later. But, yes, I've taken a few notes specifically for this diary so I wouldn't forget to pass them on. And I'll get them up soon.

Right now, just very tired and need to get some sleep. I have about 5 hours and 5 minutes until my alarm goes off again.

Take care, I'll be back soon!

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.

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.

DOT:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Well, looks lke I'm scheduled for more backing up today. Hoping to do better this time. Have 30 minutes to get it right today. I've taken lots of notes from class and from here and feeling pretty good today!

I had 30 minutes of back-up practice on Tuesday and apparently I didn't pay enough attention to my notes. I completely bonked it. I'm supposed to begin testing in 6 days or so (Wednesday) so I need to get it right this time.

I think I only have one more 30 minute session after today, so today I really need to focus. We get four attempts to pass the CDL test (which seems like a lot, but you can only attempt it once a day, not all in a row) before they send someone home. So I'm hoping to nail it today, which would make my last practice session just that - practice, lol.

It's a gorgeous day, the sun looks great rising in the morning sky, and today is my day!

dancing-dog.gif

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.
Army 's Comment
member avatar

Jeremy

Good luck. Not to talk negatively about the schools process, but it seems like you are getting very limited time behind the wheel. 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there, I feel you would just get settled into the drivers seat, and crapola, your allotted 30 minutes is up.

Hope it went well Chris

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, thankfully we do get plenty of breaks. Usually two before lunch and two in the afternoon. And they are necessary because the classroom stuff can make you really drowsy. Warning: Prepare to drink lots of coffee! rofl-3.gif

Thing is, I don't know how any other school or training operates, so I don't have much to compare it to. I driven forward for a half hour everyday, it's just the backing that seems like less time right now.

But I can't blame the time they give me. It's up to me to learn this stuff. I was only guaranteed a shot, not a time frame. So I just have to apply myself.

Hope thay doesn't sound flippant or careless. Just trying to work within the boundaries of the awesome opportunity I've been given. It's up to me to fail or succeed - and I'm aiming for the top, brother.

Breaks over, gotta run!

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