Central Refrigerated Vs CRST

Topic 438 | Page 1

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Chris's Comment
member avatar

Hi Guys,

I'm new to this forum and the trucking world. I have been looking into some company sponsored training. I have two companies that have told me they would train me and give me a job after training. The recruiters are telling me different stories so I just kind of want to see if anyone has experience with either Central or CRST?

I am leaning towards Central just because I think I would prefer being a solo driver. They also pay a bit more. CRST told me that Central pays more because they don't offer as many miles. Of course I don't know if that's true or just them trying to persuade me.

I would like to find a good company to spend some time with but I know as a new driver just getting that experience is most important.

Another thing I like about Central is they let you take the truck home. I don't know how that works at CRST. I'm assuming you just leave your personal car at the terminal and then drive home from there.

Can anyone here share your experiences with either Central or CRST? Thanks so much. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity. I have always wanted to be a truck driver and am finally taking the leap.

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Chris! I am currently a driver for Central. Going on my 4th month now.

I was also debating between CRST and Central when I was considering trucking. I chose Central because they are a better fit for me. That's what you need to do, choose a company that is a good fit for you. Ignore the bad things people say about certain companies. I personally preferred Central because the pay is fair, the home time is fair for me, and I do not want to team up. Teaming up with a trainer for a month was hell, I wouldn't be able to stand it again.

As for home time. I go home and park my truck wherever I want to. If its for a few days I keep the trailer too! The miles aren't bad like the recruiter said. Last week I got 2400 miles, this week only 1100 miles. That's trucking, it's always different. We are at the mercy of the freight. As for equipment, I'm very happy with Central about that too. I got a 2012 Black Freightliner Cascadia with only 150,000 miles on it. We have 4 big terminals so its always possible to head to one for repairs or anything else.

However, what I don't like is that a lot of our drivers are from the west coast. So it's a pain in the A to get routed home to CA. But that's not Centrals fault. We run Reefer , so you will have to get used to managing three fuel tanks (tractor, trailer, def) as well as listening to the sound of the reefer at night.

Overall, I am very happy with my decision. In the end, it boils down to your attitude and the relationship between you and your DM/load planner that makes the difference. I hope I helped, if you have anymore questions about Central feel free to contact me.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Chris's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Daniel,

Did you go through the training at Central to get your cdl? If so how was it? I'm really leaning towards Central. I was just a little leary because it seemed so easy. You know what they say if it sounds to good to be true it usually is. I filled out application and was literally offered free training and a job within 10 minutes. I have been applying at several other companies for about a month now.

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.
Hiram E.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree about finding the right fit for you...

I was very wary of the team concept. ..I like being alone or with family. I talked with a few current team drivers about how they liked it. The biggest and best advice I got from that was to find your partner during school or orientation. ..you will have more of an opportunity to determine if you want to spend a LOT of time with him/her. My co-driver fight like an old married couple but we get over it pretty quick and continue to work for our common good.

Yes with CRST you can take the truck home. They only want to know where it is and that it is secure.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Daniel,

Did you go through the training at Central to get your cdl? If so how was it? I'm really leaning towards Central. I was just a little leary because it seemed so easy. You know what they say if it sounds to good to be true it usually is. I filled out application and was literally offered free training and a job within 10 minutes. I have been applying at several other companies for about a month now.

I did go through their training. It's fast, very very fast paced. In a bad way. You will take your driving skills test and you won't feel ready for it at all. The "DMV" testers are Central employees so they want you to pass, huge advantage. You'll go out on the road with a trainer for a month which will teach you only the basics and then you'll be thrown to the wolves by yourself - that's when you really learn everything the hard way.

It's a pretty simple process; classroom ~ yard training ~ license testing ~ 1 month with a trainer ~ solo!

But it'll probably be the toughest thing you've ever gone through. The classroom was 12 hours a day, 4 days in a row. The yard training was grueling because of the pretrips. And let's just say, being forced into a random dudes truck (size of a walk in closet) for 1 month and seeing each other each minute of everyday was beyond difficult for me.

I logged my entire training on TT's old forum. Ill find it and link it to you.

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.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

I've been driving for Central for roughly 18 months now. I went through their training, but unlike the vast majority of drivers who did, I didn't do it at the terminal. They just happened to have a satellite training location near where I live, which was pretty ideal. My training was a bit longer because of that, but from what I understand it's the same core program, just not quite as rushed.

As far as miles goes, you'll get miles, as long as you don't show yourself to be a bum who refuses loads or can't make appointments. Sure there will be some weeks that are a bit slower than others, that's just the nature of the beast. You might get stuck in an area with little freight, or end up getting a string of short runs from time to time. But those short hops can add up in a hurry, and sometimes your checks will look better for having a bunch of shorter loads than one or two long loads. It all kind of evens out in the end.

The big thing to remember, wherever you land, is to communicate with your fleet manager A LOT. Any time you have anything you think might be important to say, say it. Even if it turns out to be a non-issue, it's a good habit to get into for when something critical does arise. It also gives you a good reputation for staying in touch and keeping them informed. Companies tend to think drivers are hiding something if they're not communicative, and unfortunately there's probably a lot of truth to that.

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.

Fleet 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Special K, aka Kathy's Comment
member avatar

Is there a way to get to the old forum? @ Daniel, I would very much like to read your post about your training.

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