I worked for CRST for about 2 months before my Co Driver ended up quitting. I went through hell with my trainer who was cutting corners and not doing his job in a professional way, I woke up one time with him backing down the highway because he missed a weigh station. I loved driving but i didn't care for Teams, its almost impossible to keep a regular 24 hour rotating schedule as a Team, let alone to attempt to sleep while the truck is moving, and then having to sleep on a mattress that is shared by 2 different people. When i first came across CRST they seemed to be a beacon of hope, a chance to get into the trucking industry and hold a good job to help take care of my family.
I wasn't prepared for the incredibly miserable experience that I was about to go through. The Cedar Rapids facility is pretty nice, but you still get stuck in a room with complete strangers, so be prepared to keep your stuff locked up, because they will steal anything from food to what ever they can get there hands on. Some people who attempt CRST are more desperate then you are.
I went through the gruling long 3 weeks of trainging, which were spent more on my a*s doing nothing then doing something. Then the 3 day's of orientation was next, which was just the same, you watch a bunch of videos that you pretty much watched in School at kirkwood. Anyways, once you got to this point your hope metter is even higher then the day they told you to get on a bus and come on up.
The schooling and orientation is the glitz and glimmer of there whole company, what comes next is usually horrible and disgusting and at times scarey.
They make it sound like they are concerned with your safety, but yet they don't check on there own trainers, most of these people are horrible, disgusting, and they expect the scared new fresh meat student who just wants to get his own truck to turn the guy in.
I got stuck with some guy who smoked with the windows up and loved to throw soda out the window, and never really cared for cleaning his truck, i watched him snack on a pizza that was stuck in a cubby hole for 3 days one time. He got cigarette ashes every where and he loved to push the boundaries of what he could drive, some times he'd be up for 15 hours straight at a time, and it was possible for our truck because we were in the dedicated group which had no Elogs, just regular paper logs.
Anyways i stuck it out with this disgusting neanderthol because i heard even worse storrys from my fellow peers that attended school with me. Which blew my mind, how do they let these disgusting nasty people teach people the beginnings of driving for the first time, these people who pushed the limit of every DOT regulated law thats out there? He never looked at any mechanical workings of anything that he would hook up to, never checking any lights or tires.
Anyways after my 30 days with that monkey, i got with my Co Driver, by the way there will be few co drivers to choose from, and even fewer if you are in the dedicated group. I got with a decent guy, but he could never get use to the way I drove, for some reason he was always complaining about me stopping and going, i did my best to keep it nice and easy, which at times were pretty smooth for most of the ride, every now and then id have a mess up, but it was enough to wake up my co driver, but thus the same would happened for me when i tried to sleep.
We never got any really good sleep, and at times i had to pull over so that i could get a few quick hours before i decided to go to it again. We did this for about 2 weeks, he was pretty clean and wasn't to bad, but we both decided that we didn't like team driving.
I told him that i could keep going up to the 4th of july, but then he just finally snapped and quit one day he couldn't handle being a team driver anymore.
We still had a load to drop off that i had to insist on him trying to do so that he wouldn't get hit for abandoning the truck.
So i ended up calling up dispatch to ask where to drop him off at and they ended up telling me that he was to be dropped off at morton, and then they made a bad decision, they told me that i could not move the truck again until i found a co driver, and that I was going to have to give up my truck to another team.
Thats when they finally hit my last button, i had a truck and 2 loads to choose from to pick up, but I wasn't authorized to move the truck until i got another CO Driver, they gave us a list, and i called everybody on the list, but no body answered their phone. I ended up getting 1 guy who called back but he still had 20 days left to his training.
This was my breaking point, i couldn't sit around any longer, especailly after being denied my home time to get home with in 2 weeks with my Co Driver, then let alone to sit around trying to get another co driver so that i could go out for another 2 weeks if that were to happen and hope that i could get home with in the 2 weeks with that guy if he didn't quit.
They denied me the chance to make money, the chance to bring in income, and in morton they don't supply you with your own hotel, they make you pull out an advance so that you can pay for it, which i still hadent gotten reimbursed for the advances that i did take out to get to Morton before.
I was about to go crazy, here i was a fully trained driver, and i couldnt drive the thing i was trained to do because I didn't have a Co Driver.
An now here i am wondering where i can get a job next because theirs a no compittion section in the contract that they don't point out to while you sign the contract that they don't give you a coppy of unless you call them up and have them send it to you, but yet they don't tell you anything about it. I didn't read the contract, the only thing they made clear to us when i signed it was that you were gonna have to owe them once you quit, i don't mind owing them, but i can't even get a job to pay them back, because they will ither sue you or the company you get employment at.