Failed My Backing...is This The End?

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Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

“the rest I gave up because I had difficulty resetting after being told to reset, nobody had ever had me set my self up during practice and I'd never reset before.“

EVERYTHING in truck driving (in my opinion) is about the setup. Backing, getting through an intersection, getting the miles you want and even getting the job you want. I believe this is the most overlooked factor in any situation.

If this job is a good fit, I wish you the best. But please remember; the best (like Old School) at anything make it look easy. He won’t tell you it’s easy, he’ll tell you the truth.

Great success usually comes with great challenges. It’s up to US to rise to, and overcome, those challenges.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joseph I.'s Comment
member avatar

I went to a paid school in my area for CDL training the school was also certified to do the CDL testing and they stated they would not let you test until they were certain you would pass each test even if you had to keep practicing all week long. I know it is not like the company schools but I liked the approach.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
EVERYTHING in truck driving (in my opinion) is about the setup. Backing, getting through an intersection, getting the miles you want and even getting the job you want. I believe this is the most overlooked factor in any situation.

I love that statement Steve! It's very true, and extremely insightful.

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

With all that said, I was under the impression that if you didn’t pass testing then you weren’t under the contract....I could be wrong

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay it's been a while since I have been here. Callie S, sorry to hear about your problems with crst and backing. I actually graduate from CRST's Hawkeye school last August. My total time spent backing starting from training to going through testing was roughly 2.5 hours. Two hours training and about thirty minutes to testing and passing So now Callie S after reading that your probably second guessing yourself, wondering why I able to learn it so quickly and pass? I did so because I am a certified awesome super Trucker!!! Callie S if anyone tells you that they are are certified awesome super Trucker, run away very quickly, because the only thing that person is, is a certified idiot. I originally went through CR. England's CDL program and failed because of I could not do the backing. The class I arrive with had 40 students, plus another 5 who arrived the week prior but because various logistical issues they got put on hold. The first day of backing training was a Friday, your also supposed to get training on either Saturday or Sunday. For the day you were not scheduled for training , you could go over to the remedial training course to practice. By the time we got to the backing course our class size was about 30. The instructor I was with had twenty students. Eventually the number grew to twenty five. Twenty five students, one truck, one instructor. The scene was total and complete chaos. First you had the eye candy ladies prancing around in their short shorts and skinny jeans and a size two small shirt flirting with everyone, looking for their next baby daddy (no offense ladies). You had your joker's, the people who wants to be everyone's buddy, was lead to the formation of the "cool club" and rounding out the list are the people who are in love with there own voices. I think I waited nearly two hours before I got to do the straight back. I failed because I didn't understand the mechanics involved, how to adjust, add in the screaming instructor, and people pointing and shouting , it was a mess. Four or five weeks later I tested for the final time. Normally CR England will give 3 or 4 chances to pass backing. Because I stuck with it and was at the backing range every day, I got 5th chance. I failed because according to the tester I had encroach on some white line. Several Students and instructors where standing near by and saw the position of the trailer upon my finishing the final backing maneuver. I got out check, I was in the box, everything looked good. I got thumbs up from the instructors and the students who watched me. I was on cloud nine, until I started to get back in the truck, at which point I got a bad feeling. I was then told about the encroachment which I was later told no one saw, even if I hadn't encroach according to the tester I had lost two many points due to pull ups. Something else that was question. However because of the Seniority of the tester, his relationship with the director and connections within the company, any challenges were pointless. I was absolutely devastated, I was an emotional wreck. I allowed myself maybe an half hour or so of self pity. Then I was mad, I was so mad and I had passed all the stages of anger one could go through and arrived back at a stage of extremely strange and rather disturbing sense of calmness. My first instinct was to arrange a very personal encounter between the tester and a road cone. However I focused my attention on the backing, to me this was a personal assault on my being, it was something I couldn't let go. What did I do? I started calling other trucking companies, I forget how many I called and got rejected before CRST decided to give me a chance. Callie S if this truly something you want to do, then first have faith, second refused to give up! Callie, the hardest thing about this job is the backing, it takes a extremely long time to get good at and experience drivers those worth their weight in gold will tell even they have bad days when it comes to backing still, after five, ten even twenty years years of doing this job. Do not give up!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

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EVERYTHING in truck driving (in my opinion) is about the setup. Backing, getting through an intersection, getting the miles you want and even getting the job you want. I believe this is the most overlooked factor in any situation.

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I love that statement Steve! It's very true, and extremely insightful.

Yes, yes, YES! Spot on, 100% agree with this!

Callie S.'s Comment
member avatar

I tried every single day, I showed improvement. I asked for backing chances. I came into this knowing it was going to be hard. In fact it was much simpler than I expected. I want to be a truck driver more than anything in my life. I stayed after class to observe and I followed the instructors around listening and asking questions. I also do have a slight learning disability ( even though I have a high IQ). I took notes and asked for other oportunities to practice. It sometimes takes longer for new concepts to click. As for the school, my primary backing instructor was new to the school, he had stated he had not even had his CDL for a full year and had been at the school for approximately 11 days. My first day of backing was 3 days later than the rest of my class because they lost my drug test. The instructor stood in front of the truck pointing left and right and I kept turning the wheel to far...he got frustrated told me to move over and showed me that it was as easy as pulling forward and backing straight back with no hands on the wheel...I told the instructor I wasn't sure how to set the seat or mirrors correctly and was told that didn't matter....it does and did!...I observed the next class and was amazed by the instructors giving them each 3 straight line backing chances the first day and at least a left and right off set each that same day...not all the instructors are the same. Some were awesome others well they needed to learn how to teach. One of the instructors even admitted to padding the amount of time I'd backed and driven so he could have more opportunity to test students. I truly want to learn this. And in fact my last two days I learned how to do all 3 maneuvers but never got to practice them together. CRST is excellent if someone has natural abilities but those of us who need to be truly taught well it's not the best place.

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I was told by the director that " no amount of practice would help me"

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according to CRST I'm not under contract with them since they failed to train me effectively.

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Those two statements are really at odds with each other. I'm not sure what really took place here. I'm hearing a lot of blame being put on the poor training, but CRST has been getting all kinds of people trained for years.

When I hear bizarre experiences like this I'm pretty certain something is amiss.

Truck driver training is never what people expect it to be. There is very little time spent behind the wheel before testing. It's fast paced, and it's expected that we learn a lot by observing the others in our course. Personal responsibility is a highly valued trait in this career. The lack of it often shows itself rather quickly in a training situation. Judging just by the comments here, I'm guessing Callie was not prepared for this.

She complains that she wasn't taught to straight line back, and then says...

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Prior to testing I was allowed to straight line a total of 3 times

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That's precisely what I did in truck driving school. Three straight line backs before testing. That's enough to get the concept.

I'm aggravated with myself for even commenting here. I realize I sound harsh. Friends when you sign up to be a truck driver you must get your game face on. This is full blown competition out here. You've got to make yourself stand out. Callie's experience definitely reminds me of Doug's. I never could see any real determination or drive to excel in his comments, and I tried to goad him in that direction.

In training you've got to own it and make something happen. I honestly think that's what the instructors are looking for. They certainly aren't looking for skills, because nobody has them at that point. They are looking to see if you have the personality to persevere and push yourself beyond your comfort levels. That's what new rookie drivers will be doing on a daily basis for the next year. I'm fairly certain this is what was lacking on Callie's part. She wanted to have her hand held, but they wanted to see her show some serious desire to "git 'er done."

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Callie, listen to yourself. You have got tons of excuses.

"They lost my drug test."

"I got started late."

"My instructor was new."

Look, I'm sorry about your disappointment. You sound like Doug. You and he always came back to this line...

I showed improvement.

Would it surprise you if I said it wasn't improvement that they were wanting to see? I think you and Doug were lacking the same thing. It's something my grandpa called "grit." That is a fierce determination to get something done. It's totally different than just saying...

I want to be a truck driver more than anything in my life.

Let me explain it. When Doug had his disappointment at CRST he did nothing but tell others about it. Kind of like you are doing. I kept expecting to hear him say something like, "I've moved on and I'm over at company "X" now - I'm determined to make this happen." He never did that. You seem content to just keep blaming the issues on CRST. That gets you nowhere.

You made this unusual statement for a person who couldn't pass the tests...

I came into this knowing it was going to be hard. In fact it was much simpler than I expected.

Really?

I think you've completely misunderstood what is required to make it in this career, and I'm quite sure that the folks at CRST saw that lack of fortitude. I'm sorry to sound harsh. I went through plenty of disappointment myself when starting this career. I got sent home like you did from three different orientations. I never let even a week go by without getting back in the game. I never blamed anybody. I kept moving forward until I got what I came for.

Get on the phone. Pay your contract if you owe it. Do whatever it takes. Move on girl. That's what will tell me you really want this.

SAP:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I've said many times that the first thing I listen for from someone new to trucking is whether they take 100% responsibility for making this happen for themselves or whether they believe it's everyone else's responsibility to make sure they succeed.

Trucking takes self-reliance, determination, and accountability. There are few jobs on this planet that require as many skills and traits. It takes a special person just to get started in this career, and only a small percentage stick around for long.

If the training was poor, everyone would have failed. Yet a bunch of students in your class are still in the game. They design the training to eliminate those who don't have the right mix of traits and skills for this. Even those who seem to have what it takes often won't last long. It's a tough business. The training programs are more like tryouts for making the team as opposed to a class that nurtures everyone until they succeed. That's why I did this podcast:

Episode 1: The Bootcamp Approach To Trucking

People rarely drop out of trucking because they can't drive the truck. They drop out because they were not prepared mentally or emotionally for such a long and difficult road. Preparation is one key to success in any endeavor, so I want to make sure you go into it with a strong mindset and the right expectations.

Callie, we all face setbacks. It's tough hearing about yours, but it's far from the end of the story if you have the desire to do this. You just have to keep at it, keep moving forward. Take it upon yourself to make this happen. The schools won't nurture you, but they will give you the opportunity to show you're cut out for this. Right now you're playing the blame game; it's a road to nowhere. Drop that thinking and convince yourself that you will make this happen no matter what. Show confidence and fierce determination.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Having just went thru CRST's school ( A.S.D. of Jurupa Valley) class of 57 people ends with 24.... If Callie got cut right from the school she went to so soon, then No she was not under contract YET....That happens the final week in orientations 3rd day.......And is Only effective once you pass the final day at the training facility and pass with your CDL ...

Final week is; Orientation is Mon-Weds. Final test day is Thursday, pass that, then Friday you're off to DMV to turn in papers and wait for your spankin brand new CDL to come in the mail.

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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