CRST Exit Oppurtunities???

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Doug C.'s Comment
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Rainy, what you describe sounds a might confusing to the likes of me and no doubt other newcomers to the field. But I 'm sure it all falls into place as one obtains experience and comes to understand how the business works. I can't wait until I have that understanding. This reminds me of learning to play an instrument, and how much time and commitment it takes to make beautiful music. But in the same way, although different, there is a type of beauty to this transportation world. At least that's how it looks to me.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Rainy, what you describe sounds a might confusing to the likes of me and no doubt other newcomers to the field. But I 'm sure it all falls into place as one obtains experience and comes to understand how the business works. I can't wait until I have that understanding. This reminds me of learning to play an instrument, and how much time and commitment it takes to make beautiful music. But in the same way, although different, there is a type of beauty to this transportation world. At least that's how it looks to me.

I'm not ashamed to admit, Doug, it's still confusing to me and I've been driving for over a year. A big plus is having a great trainer who helps explain these things to you. Another is asking questions and learning from the drivers on this forum. When I first went solo, I hardly ever visited this site...my mistake. I should have been here asking questions all the time. I probably should have made it part of my routine to check in at least once a day and read what everyone was saying. More recently, TT has become part of my routine. Whether or not I'm engaged in the conversations I still learn a lot reading what other people have to say. It looks like you're not going to have to worry about that though. I see you here often. Good for you! Great music analogy...

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

One thing you have to understand about trucking is that there are a ton of drivers who will never figure out how to perform at the highest levels no matter how long they drive. That applies to any business, sport, or hobby that's difficult and complex. There are going to be a lot of people who do it for a very long time but never become very good at it. Maybe they're just not cut out for it. Maybe the don't have the work ethic. Maybe they're too insecure to evaluate themselves objectively, understand their weaknesses, and improve themselves.

Just because you've done something for a long time doesn't mean you're any good at it, nor does it make that person's advice desirable. Having a high level of success and sustaining it over a long period of time is what makes someone the type of mentor you want.

Smart C, you're making two classic blunders that we see all the time; you're taking advice from the wrong people and you're worried about the quality of the company instead of preparing yourself to be the best you can be. This is so common I did a podcast about both of them:

Episode 18: Stop The Fear And Doubt, Focus On Your Own Success

Episode 19: You're Getting Career Advice From The Wrong People

The really, really bad news is that the people who go into trucking with your approach usually wind up on a bus home and out of the business in very short order. They never figure out the most basic premise: any top tier driver can make top wage and be treated exceptionally well at any of the major carriers. The key is that you have to learn What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver.

All of the major carriers are the elite carriers in this nation. They all have massive amounts of freight and top notch equipment, they're all well run, they all have a ton of money behind them, and they all have everything a driver needs to make top wage in this industry. The question isn't whether or not these major carriers are good enough for you. The question is whether or not you're good enough to make it in this industry. If you can't make top wage at a major carrier you're not going to make it anywhere.

You could take any of the moderators and top tier drivers we have here in this forum, send them to CRST, and within two months they'd all be at the top of their dispatcher's boards turning the most miles and making the most money. You could, in fact, send them to any of the major carriers and the same thing would happen. These are top notch professionals who know how to get the job done safely and consistently at the highest level. They can take their craft anywhere and be highly successful.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true for lousy performers and this industry is full of them. They're always miserable and it's never their fault. They're constantly blaming, complaining, and criticizing. They change companies constantly and never settle with a company for long because they keep believing they're doing everything right and the companies they're working for are lousy companies. They never come to realize they're the ones who are underperforming, and there is no company that's going to give a lousy performer top miles and top pay.

The other unfortunate part about many of these underperformers is that they're always on a mission to publicly validate themselves by making everyone around them look bad. So they blame their company, blame the government, blame the industry, and any other innocent bystanders that happen to be in the crosshairs of their indiscriminate bashing.

Find people who are happy and successful at the highest level consistently and follow their advice. Don't listen to fools who can't figure this stuff out, and believe me, this industry is full of them. I mean, think about it........do you really think people who are miserable and have failed to achieve high levels of success are going to be the ones to lead you to happiness and success? How would that make sense?

And do you really think any of the major carriers got where they are in a hyper-competitive industry without having enough freight to utilize their trucks efficiently?

Dispatcher:

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Rainy, what you describe sounds a might confusing to the likes of me and no doubt other newcomers to the field. But I 'm sure it all falls into place as one obtains experience and comes to understand how the business works. I can't wait until I have that understanding. This reminds me of learning to play an instrument, and how much time and commitment it takes to make beautiful music. But in the same way, although different, there is a type of beauty to this transportation world. At least that's how it looks to me.

This is indeed a great analogy. Some people give up after a few lessons and some graduate from Juilliard.

My version of Juilliard is to learn the freight routes, and get the dispatchers to like me. Drivers use the phrase "just a number", but are they treating dispatch as "just an operator"?

I have met and regularly joke with each dispatcher on my fleet. When they like you and you go.out for surgery and you come back and get "Where the heck you been?" Its a great sign. But they get excited when you do the same to them.

Because of this relationship i can say "Hey, Im near Port Allen and there is a load here to NJ for 1500 miles. Can you hook me up?" I can roll into the terminal and pick a load to Phoenix and i know my FM is going to turn me back around to head east. This is the kinda of stuff that can rack you up awesome miles.

One time i was supposed to go to the terminal for APU service and they had me pick up a 1600 mile load to drop at the terminal. it was a way to get me into the shop. But 1600 miles? I told dispatch my APU could wait and I would run it to the receiver. By my choosing to run it, night dispatch didnt have to take the time to assign it to a new truck. I lessened their work load and got me miles. Plus, it was almost 1600 miles back to the terminal to get the APU fixed after. That week I had 3300+ miles.

So i take great offense at the "incompetent dispatcher" comments. Good dispatchers "approve" what the driver needs and asks for. Good drivers make life easy for dispatch, therefore things get "approved". If dispatch is incompetent, it is usually because lazy drivers sit and wait for answers.

I do not do that. I tell them what i am doing and go. "Heading to TA for DOT inspection and trailer repair". "Take me.off this load, taking trailer into terminal for new wire harness". "Im near customer x, y, z.... please check out loads there for me". Most times it works because I am making things easy for them. Dispatchers love drivers who dont need guidance, who they dont have to babysit, and can make decisions.

I can think of only one time last year when i didnt get 10/4 as a response. Most times it works great.

Dispatch pays close attention as to how we run our trucks. Good drivers pay close attention to dispatchers to learn what they want and expect, then they exceed those expectations.

I thought I was just doing my job when I messaged an ETA. My FM had a really bad day. He messaged back, "You exceed my daily expectations. Its a joy to have you on the fleet". I was still only months in, but that message stuck in my head.

So which driver do you want to be? The one who makes life easy for dispatch while racking up miles, or tge one moaning and not making money?

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.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

Fm:

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.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Dispatchers love drivers who dont need guidance, who they dont have to babysit, and can make decisions.

That statement is so true, yet only a very small number of drivers ever "get it." The drivers who make these comments about incompetent dispatchers and companies who don't know how to keep their drivers busy are almost always killing every opportunity they have for success. All they want to do is "drive the truck!" Well, this job requires much more than driving skills. We try our best to teach these things, but there's a constant chorus of the malcontents blowing smoke and putting their incompetence on display.

Smart C, we completely understand how easy it is to fall for all the B.S. that's out there. We don't fall for it, and we constantly refute it in here. We've all had some real success out here. Make sure and listen to those podcasts Brett linked up for ya. You'll be glad you did.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

RealDiehl, thanks for replying. It's always good to know you're not alone. If it wasn't for this website I would totally feel like I was about to crawl out on a limb all by myself. It's nice to know there is company on that limb. Thanks again. Good luck to you in all your driving endeavors.

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy, I enjoy reading your post and comments. There is no doubt that you are a graduate of the Juilliard school of trucking. If I'm given the opportunity to enter to this world, and as I criss cross the highways and byways of this beautiful nation I will be consulting you and everyone here for help. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights and opinions. I like how you are not afraid to speak your mind and call a spade a spade. That's just what's needed. You may even need to get after me like that sometimes. Because there are times the ol' bug of negitivity can bite. I hope that Smart can see his way clear to make some changes and join us. I believe he has the ability to do well if he chooses to commit and carry through with the things that are required to prosper.

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.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Doug, there will be days in training when you want to give up. I had days of crying and punching the steering wheel. My trainee had a bad night last night and was yelling and was frustrated saying he was going to quit. He didnt mean it, but it was the emotion at the time. When all is said and done, you are alone out here once solo. Punching that steering wheel wont get it done. It is do or die. Are you a winner or a loser? If the negativity is not kept in its proper place, it breeds and the person quits before they ever realized their true potential. And make no mistake, most people quit before the end of the first year. It has everything to do with decision ability, attitude and personal responsibility and very little to do with the company.

I have written a few articles recounting my stupid mistakes and predictaments to show that you are never alone on that limb. Learn from my mistakes.

When people want to debate which company is better, they fail to realize there is so much more to training and growing as a driver than what truck you drive or freight you pull. Get that year in then make an informed decision about your company based on your own experience. Not on the "telephone game" of "i heard this from a driver whose best friends cousin..."

We could come to blows on this forum as to which company is better because any of us experienced drivers could go anywhere. So if CRST is so bad, why would Millionmiler stay? He is obviously paying his bills, which means the earlier comments are BS. This is true for any company you name.

In the words of the great Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try". Those who "do not" find it easier to bash a company than accept their own failures.

And.. yes..i promise i will get on your case if you need it and will pump you up and encourage you too.

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Rainy. I believe I will be able to make it through. I gave given this a lot of thought and it's something I really want in my life. Thanks again.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

I was thinking on this topic. Thinking about Brett’s football analogy and thinking about my own situation.

I love my Dispatcher , I am kept running. Stuff does happen out here. I can think of only a couple times I have complained and expressed my disproval at a situation. Every time, I was compensated for lost time. There is another driver in the company that absolutely hated our dispatcher. I was thinking on what makes us different. This gentleman has some funny ideas about how things work. My conclusion is that even if you can perform at a high level there is a social context to this as well. Just like those high performing pro athletes, if they are a headache to deal with, they are not going to be playing on the field despite their ability. Kim, my Dispatcher, has told me several times over the last couple years that she is thankful for the way I communicate with her. The one time I was really ticked off at a situation, I didn’t attack her over it.

The situation was I was out and my birthday was coming up, Kim and the load planner for the region I was in, we’re going to try and get me home for my birthday and a 34. The load they put me on wasn’t ready. I spent that weekend, my birthday, and a 34+ waiting for this load to be ready. I never did get a chance to get thru the house. By the time the load was ready I just had to run it, to make it on time. When I talked to my Dispatcher on Monday all I told her was that I was highly upset at what happened. That the next time something like this comes up, just keep me running. Don’t worry about trying to get me home. She got me 1000 bonus miles to my quarterly bonus and $250 on my paycheck.

Dispatcher:

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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