Should I Risk It?

Topic 22795 | Page 1

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Rollin' Stone's Comment
member avatar

I'm currently a codriver for CRST Expedited. I am under their contract for the next 8 months. I've discovered the added variables of having to run teams as my two previous codrivers have either a)put me off route by 400 miles or b)had a medical emergency and left me without a partner. Since this company runs strictly teams, I'm stuck at a terminal until they can find a replacement that can run a 10 speed.

I really want to continue to be a man of my word. Signing that contract, I knew my first year was going to be the toughest and I look forward to that challenge. However, having to sit and wait for 5 days until a codriver can get on my truck is both a)killing my earnings and b)not encouraging me to stick around. The contract I'm under does have a buyout clause that states that another company or I can buyout the contract to release me to be eligible to work for another carrier.

So my questions are these:

Should I stick to my word and try to ride this out and pray they find me a competent, healthy driver to run with until my contract is up?

Should I try to find a company that would take me on as a rookie and buyout my contract.

I realize the grass isn't always greener on the other side and that EVERY company has its cons as well as pros. I just feel like if I was the only driver on the truck, at least if I got let down it was by me and not someone else I have no control over.

Veteran drivers, any advice?

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.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

You need to stick out the contract if possible. You're not going to find many on this site that will advise differently.

Become proactive in your codriver search. Join the different Facebook groups and actively search for a codriver. You will be better off than letting CRST find you a codriver.

Rollin' Stone's Comment
member avatar

That's fair enough. I started searching social media a few days ago with no luck. Like I said, I'd like to be man of my word. They did help me get in here and I feel like I should at least ride it out. Like my father used to tell me as a kid, nothing worth having is going to be easy.

Jason (Driver @ShipEx)'s Comment
member avatar

How much is the buy-out? Just curious. I don’t know much about that company besides some of the same lanes and customers as us. However this is just another curveball in this industry thats filled with them. There are going to be things that are totally out of your control or comfort level,. Are you able to look into compensation/layover pay?

The first year is always the make or break time. If you stick it out for the duration of the contract it will look better on you when you go to another employer. However I have a family and understand totally about people having to survive and the need for money.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Start a dialogue with your driver manager. Ask if there is anything you can do to expedite the process. Ask if there is something you can do in the interim. Most trucking companies will have trailers that need to be shuttled here and there. They may even be able to put you on a few solo runs while you're waiting.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Start a dialogue with your driver manager. Ask if there is anything you can do to expedite the process. Ask if there is something you can do in the interim. Most trucking companies will have trailers that need to be shuttled here and there. They may even be able to put you on a few solo runs while you're waiting.

Kinda, they would let me run solo here and there. But I was always the one left with the truck.

Rollin Stone ,you need to get with your DM and ask for a list of drivers. They always used to give me a list of names and numbers.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Also to answer a few more questions, stick it out. You might be fairly competent but stick the year out and you'll be better armed with more experience. Teach your codrivers stuff and don't expect to keep the next one till the end cause they come and go.

When I started looking and told a few recruiters where I was at the first question they asked was "did you finish your contract?"

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

If you're here in cedar rapids, meet the students who are about to test out, you might meet someone that you'll click with and is determined to stick around. Do the solo runs as much as possible til you find that elusive codriver.

I agree with the others, absolutely stick it out. They're a good company, but stuff happens. It will get better and not honoring your contract would be a huge mistake.. other companies will avoid you because CRST will sue them AND WIN.

Rollin' Stone's Comment
member avatar

If you're here in cedar rapids, meet the students who are about to test out, you might meet someone that you'll click with and is determined to stick around. Do the solo runs as much as possible til you find that elusive codriver.

I agree with the others, absolutely stick it out. They're a good company, but stuff happens. It will get better and not honoring your contract would be a huge mistake.. other companies will avoid you because CRST will sue them AND WIN.

True that Susan! I definitely do not want to get another company in trouble, nor myself. I picked my poison and now I have to drink it. Their contract is iron clad and as stated, I want and need to honor it. Otherwise I'm just back to where I was before I got my CDL. Tomorrow morning when my DM comes in the first thing I'm going to ask about is doing some solo work, be that city work or just short runs shuttling trailers. Most of our trailer shuttles are taken care of by us dropping and empty trailer at a shipper and then hooking up to a loaded and going. So, I'm not exactly sure they'll have anything like that. But, if my DM can get creative, I would bet there are some loads that could be ran solo.

The buyout is $6500. It's ridiculously high, especially for a rookie to come up with. Not worth draining my savings for.

I'm not in Cedar Rapids, but tomorrow I'll also ask about getting a list of trainees coming off trucks this week that have been trained on a 10 speed. At the terminal I'm at, there's just not any guys needing a codriver, nor any students.

I appreciate the ideas, I've been reading these forums for the past year and it's really helped me to get to where I am. I chose this company bc of the drop&hook rate, completely overlooked the team aspect and the variables that can add to an already uncontrollable situation.

I hadn't thought about the layover pay, that is a REALLY good idea! Technically, I am in a state of layover and not by my own choice. So, I don't see why I wouldn't qualify for this.

Again, thank you all for your advice. It really means a lot to get advice that actually makes sense!

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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