Another Reason CRST Is Awesome

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Jeremy C.'s Comment
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This should probably be in my diary section, but with dissatisfied and angry people posting negative reviews all over the web... Well, I'm just trying to even the playing field, I suppose.

So, yesterday I took a backing test and to any onlookers it may have appeared as if I were making a complete mockery of things. It was really bad.

I had some interesting feelings about the whole thing afterwards, but the most extreme was self-contempt. I was so mad at myself and so disappointed in my performance. And I was convinced (still am) that I had nobody to blame except me.

I'm surrounded by people who seem to believe that everything that they struggle with or fail at is part of some BS conspiracy or due to some inadequacy in instruction, etc. Apparently these trucking schools exist just to take advantage of people.

So, let's just put some of that rest (once again) with some CRST examples...

Yesterday, about an hour after failing my exam, I walked from the training center back up the street to the area where we practice with the trucks. I didn't actually have a plan, but I was determined to seek some advice or find something to help me through this next test attempt (which is later today.)

Lo and behold, I run into one of our instructors coming out the door with some free time because someone else didn't show up for something. I explained what my trouble was and asked for his advice. He replied that he could show me better than he could tell me and invited me out to the range toward an empty truck. And I proceeded to get almost an hour of 1-on-1 instruction (right through his scheduled break time) in backing maneuvers. Wow! That was awesome!

I hung around the driving area a little while afterwards, watching other people do their practice or their testing, just to observe more things. And as the end of the day drew near, I noticed a small group forming up in one corner of the yard. So, I went to see what was going on.

Turns out there is an instructor who volunteers her time every other week, and sometimes once a week, to run a remedial backing class for people really struggling with backing up. We were out there from about 6 pm to 9 pm last night.

Now, I didn't get to practice backing up because there is a sign up list they use and I wasn't on the list. Only fair to give time to the people that signed up first. So, I hung around just in case and observed everything while out there.

Well, we ran out of time and I didn't get any truck time. But I still think it was so cool that she stood in the hot sun all day training people and, at the end of the day, she stood there an extra three hours just to help people!

My final example is not related to driving, but rather permit testing. I had two roommates that were having trouble with their permit tests. One was studying his butt off and the other was not. The one that was not studying found himself on the bus home by the weekend (along with many others.) But the one who was really trying was given almost an entire extra week of testing and study help simply because he was trying!

Okay, long post just to say that personal choices and personal accountability seem to carry people a hell of a lot farther than laziness and the expectation that you are owed something. And if you are struggling in an area, ask yourself what you have done to find the extra help all around you.

On multiple occasions now I've personally witnessed or been part of experiences where CRST has gone above and beyond to help people get through. So, the next time you see a negative review about a school (ANY SCHOOL) maybe stop for a moment and wonder who is posting that deluge of dissatisfaction and ask yourself about what's not being said.

(By the way, I havent taken my backing test yet for today, and have no idea how it will go. But if it goes poorly, I cannot say it was because nobody was willing to help me!)

- - -

There are numerous articles and posts here on this site that address the issue pf negative reviews and the many things you read online about trucking schools and companies. However, I am typing this on my phone right now and searching for those one by one is a real pain with this small screen and keyboard. Hopefully someone else will come along and post some of those links below for anyone that finds this post in the future.



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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve L.'s Comment
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Keep your head up! I believe in you. Take all that positive experience into today, focus and know you’ll do this.


JT's Comment
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Well said Jeremy. Let us know how the test turns out.

Old School's Comment
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Excellent post, excellent attitude, and excellent insight!

Well done Jeremy, you're on your way to being a dang good truck driver!

Now, let's get that truck backed in there!


G-Town's Comment
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That's a fantastic post Jeremy. Deserving consideration as your first blog article.

Good luck on your test today.

Colin K.'s Comment
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Good luck on your test, Jeremy, and thank you for sharing your insights. Please keep us posted.

Best Regards, Colin K.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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One of the best post I've read... You are exactly right Jeremy. I too have struggled terribly with everything but the straight line. We started testing yesterday at our community college, and I failed epically. I felt depressed humiliated and extremely angry with myself that I just couldn't get it. I was literally up at 3 in the morning couldn't get back to sleep wondering if I would ever pass. Some of the others in class that failed their backing made excuses and none of them were their fault. Someone else was to blame... They didn't give enough time on the Range, the instructors didn't explain it correctly, etc. etc. You get to know the people you're in class with and I really like them as people but I had to get away from them because negative attitudes and excuses start to affect you. Got to the school early today and one of the guys that had to retest also even though he's a great driver failed his backing test because he blew his horn too early and wasn't back far enough. We talked about the people that made excuses and how we are sick of listening to them... He took one of the model trucks and a couple of pamphlets and showed me how he does things. I've read about this before on here, but I've never tried it. I'll be danged... It sunk in. He kept telling me take your time, get the bend in your truck then use little angles to work it in. I absolutely nailed the 90!!! He went before I did, of course he did his backs perfectly, and went and did his driving test. While he was on his driving test, I was doing the skills backing test.... I absolutely aced it. Then it was off to the road test...and nailed it. Guess who was waiting for me when I came back to the yard?? I swear he was as happy for me as I was happy... He didn't have to wait around for me, and he said I heard you "nailed it." HIGH FIVES and fist bumps!!!! If you have to play with the model truck to figure this out, do it. And it is great that instructors go out of their way like the ones that helped you Jeremy and others that have problems grasping it. But it's also great when a fellow student is willing to take the time to help you and then celebrate your success.

I got my 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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
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Jeremy, you arent alone. Even after training, i was afraid to upgrade to solo because of backing. Prime had two different instructors work in the freezing cold snow all day then help me at night. now.i can back and impress guys around

companies WANT you to succeed so they can make money with you!

keep up the great attitude

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Well, I passed my backing test today. And while I might have been behind the wheel, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to one particular instructor who got me on the right path!

I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the community here at TT for the advice and support (and the great tools on this site) that got me this far.

You gals and guys are completely awesome and I wish more people stopped in to find that out. Bigger is not always better, but I sure wish more people knew just how great it is here.

Many thanks to all of you for dealing with my rants and the posts I made while my head was up my backside. I don't associate with too many people in real life, and outside of school, you all are the only truckers I associate with. So I really do owe thanks for all the knowledge, advice, and reality checks!

Thank you all so very much!

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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Congrats!!! Road test next?

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