How Bad Will I Screw Myself?

Topic 23528 | Page 1

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David M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll keep this as short as possible but I want to give you the full picture.

I'm currently a CRST driver with about 6 weeks OTR experience (yes weeks). I fully planned on staying here for a year (contract is 10 months) and then going flatbed and solo. Now I find myself in the situation where my co-driver has quit and I can't find a new one. My DM has sent me a list of names, I've called them all and no luck. Some have quit, some have codrivers now. I have a brand new Freightliner in my driveway collecting dust. I have not run a load in over a week.

I want to just jump ship but I know I should do my first year and finish my contract (but I need to be running and pay bills). I've put in an ap with Melton. I think I can get on there and be happy but I want somebody to give me a sanity check please.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not familiar with CRST's driver policies, but I believe they are 100% team, correct? So you'll need that partner before you can drive. Your DM should be able to update you with a new list.

Also, doesn't CRST have a non-compete clause in their training contract? In that case if you bail out, you'll be totally screwed because no other company will hire you until you pay off the school tuition.

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.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Errol. CRST will prevent you from getting hired until they are paid in full. Check with your DM. Since you are sitting to no fault of your own there may be some kind of pay he can give you. Can he give you some solo loads until you find a new co-driver? CRST has a vested interest in your success. Don't give up so fast. I know it is very difficult right now. However, by figuring this out will pay off in so many more ways then quitting. Good luck.

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.
David M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice guys. It's what I expected but I needed to hear it anyway. Yes I'm sure CRST has a no compete clause but I can pay off the school if I need to. No, no solo runs, I've tried. They parked me at a loves for 4 days (350 miles from home) before they would even let me deadhead to the house. I'm just frustrated, I love my job and can't get out and do it. I know CRST has a bad rep but they've been fair and honest with me since day 1 and I hate to leave them but I need to get back to work.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice guys. It's what I expected but I needed to hear it anyway. Yes I'm sure CRST has a no compete clause but I can pay off the school if I need to. No, no solo runs, I've tried. They parked me at a loves for 4 days (350 miles from home) before they would even let me deadhead to the house. I'm just frustrated, I love my job and can't get out and do it. I know CRST has a bad rep but they've been fair and honest with me since day 1 and I hate to leave them but I need to get back to work.

Frankly I find it strange they won’t do more to get you a Co driver. Surely they have students coming out of training.

As far as a non compete, legally they are rarely enforceable, but I am willing to bet companies honor them amongst themselves. It protects all of them, and also if they think you won’t honor an agreement they probably don’t want you to work for them anyway. But in your case you are willing, you just can’t.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Search CRST contract in the bar and you wil find a bunch of threads about this. CRST is very serious about it and i recall PAM is the only one willing to take their drivers.

they battled in court over it i believe. someone correct me.if im wrong?

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Search CRST contract in the bar and you wil find a bunch of threads about this. CRST is very serious about it and i recall PAM is the only one willing to take their drivers.

they battled in court over it i believe. someone correct me.if im wrong?

Yes, they sued the hiring company because the employee didn’t repay the tuition.

They can’t stop you from working for another company as long as you pay the money back.

These contracts are not a simple non compete, which are rarely enforceable, but more a finance contract. Once that is entered into the equation it becomes enforceable.

That is why you will see companies offering to pay your contract off to come work for them. Basically you are transferring the loan to the new company.

But I wonder how CRST not providing him a team member enters into it. I would think there would be something in the contract about their responsibility to provide a co drover, if they only run teams. If not, it’s a pretty one sided contract.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

As big scott said, they should be paying by the day for downtime. If my truck is down or there is no truck for me i get layover pay. it should.be the same.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

One of the most critical parts of a successful trucking career is the ability to communicate with your company and work through situations together. At most jobs, workers are just handed their share of the work and things are pretty routine.

In trucking, nothing is ever routine. The freight is random, the weather is random, and so many things are in a constant state of flux like the management of your trucking company, the software they use to distribute freight to drivers, the customers they gain and lose, and a million other things.

We regularly watch new drivers become flustered as soon as a situation crops up, they overreact, and often either quit their job or become disgruntled with the company. Just like you're doing now. You said you were going to stick with them for a year, and you even signed a contract for probably 8 months, and here we are only 6 weeks into this and already you're talking about quitting.

You have to be committed to working through situations like this because they're going to happen throughout your career. They happen to everyone. You do not have a reasonable option of quitting every time things aren't going smoothly. CRST forked out the money, people, and equipment it took to train you. They put up the money so you could have a career, and a few weeks into it you're ready to bail on them?

What if I were to talk to the people who trained you? How smoothly did everything go? Don't you think they showed an awful lot of patience and commitment to you by paying for your training and waiting for you to figure things out? Not to mention, you're still brand new. You have no Earthly idea what you're doing out there, but you're so new you don't even realize that. Wait until you've been in this industry for a couple of years and look back on these days. Like all of us, you're going to be horribly embarrassed by how little you knew in the beginning. We all feel that way.

If you want to have a long, successful career making top dollar then you have to learn to work through situations like this with your company. The Top Tier Drivers at any company have proven themselves, put in the time and effort to earn respect, and developed good relationships within their company. If you'll learn to do that you'll have an awesome career. If you jump ship everytime things don't go smoothly you're never going to get anywhere in this business, and a ton of drivers do that. It's appalling how many drivers change companies two or three times a year because they simply don't understand what it takes to be successful in this industry.

Do not give yourself the option of quitting. Keep making phone calls and talking to anyone you can at your company that may be able to help you work through this. Before you know it this will be a distance memory, barely a blip on the radar screen.

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.
David M.'s Comment
member avatar

They paid layover while I was sitting at Love's and then finally let me deadhead home by myself. So I'm on hometime now and no pay.

As far as the tuition goes and my contract, I'll pay it. I don't want to owe anyone anything. I hate not keeping my word on the 8 months but I do need a paycheck. They ran me great during training and when I had a co-driver at 7000+ miles a week for the truck. I have no hard feelings towards them I just can't afford to sit around.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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