CRST Driving Training

Topic 9651 | Page 1

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Rodney G.'s Comment
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I haven't seen too many posting about CRST's driving training.

My wife and I are entering our second week of actual driver's training at CRST's wholly owned North American Driver's Training Academy. (New students attend NADTA after getting their Iowa Class A permit.) Our class has 45 students. There are 2 full classes (approx 90 students) and pieces of prior classes (another 10 or so students) at any one time at the academy. The goal is to start PTI and skills testing after the 14 day waiting period. Most of the instructors have multiple years of on the road driving experience.

The instruction for the PTI is good and there are plenty of opportunities to practice. The theory for meeting the backing requirements is good; however, the actually driver's seat time is very limited. In 8 days at the academy, I have approx 2 hours of backing time, and I have less than 2 hours of driving on the road. The road/backing sessions are split. I have had backing practice time on Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday and Monday (approx 30 minutes each day). I think Saturday I had about 45 minutes.

Today, there were 7 students at one backing station. This was the second day we've had 7 students per station. Most of us had a single 30 minute driving session between 6:30 am to 11:30am. 3 of the students had a second opportunity to practice backing. That was it for the day. The other classes had the range for the afternoon, and no, the students are not allowed to stay for additional training. I'm struggling with the alley dock (90 degree). I know the steps I have to do, it is just I haven't had enough practice time to know where the truck should be before beginning the next move. I'm supposed to start testing on PTI and then backing starting tomorrow or perhaps Wednesday.

If you have some prior experience and can deal with little actual practice driving time, then this is a great school choice.

Christy R.'s Comment
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I have no experience and am considering CRST. Are you in Cedar Rapids?

Rodney G.'s Comment
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Yes, I completed driving testing today and will start orientation tomorrow. The school is good, but in my opinion, there needs to be more practice time for driving (especially backing) before the test.

Christy R.'s Comment
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Yes, I completed driving testing today and will start orientation tomorrow. The school is good, but in my opinion, there needs to be more practice time for driving (especially backing) before the test.

More backing time seems to be a common request theme across all training schools, lol.

So is there access to laundry? A store nearby for snacks etc?

Rodney G.'s Comment
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There are laundry facilities in the each of the 3 CRST buildings and there is a grocery store, CVS and some fast food places within a short walking distance. Overall the training center is okay. It's not a 5 star hotel, but you're coming here for a vacation.

Rodney G.'s Comment
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There are laundry facilities in the each of the 3 CRST buildings and there is a grocery store, CVS rsome fast food places within a short walking distance. Overall the training center is okay. It's not a 5 star hotel, but you're coming here for a vacation.

Sorry, NOT coming here for a vacation.....lol

Christy R.'s Comment
member avatar
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There are laundry facilities in the each of the 3 CRST buildings and there is a grocery store, CVS rsome fast food places within a short walking distance. Overall the training center is okay. It's not a 5 star hotel, but you're coming here for a vacation.

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Sorry, NOT coming here for a vacation.....lol

Got it lol :') Thanks for the info! I keep forgetting to ask my recruiter the simple questions lol

Rodney G.'s Comment
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If I could make a couple of recommedations: start studying for the CDL permit and the pre-trip inspection and get your DOT physical before coming here. The physical will cost you a little more but you'll save at least half a day or more of pain on the first day (giving you a little more time to study for the CDL permit).

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

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.

Christy R.'s Comment
member avatar

If I could make a couple of recommedations: start studying for the CDL permit and the pre-trip inspection and get your DOT physical before coming here. The physical will cost you a little more but you'll save at least half a day or more of pain on the first day (giving you a little more time to study for the CDL permit).

Thanks to the advice here, I already have the manual printed and am waiting on a refund to get my physical. I'm no spring chicken and I don't want to get a few hundred miles from home only to be denied for health reasons. Hoping to start after August 15.

Did I read correctly that your wife also went?? Would love a female perspective! Click on my name to send a private message.

Thank you!!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

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.

Rodney G.'s Comment
member avatar

She's out for the night....long day. We'll see if she can send you a note tomorrow.

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