• Report: #628630

Complaint Review: CRST Van Expedited, Inc.

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  • Submitted: Tue, August 03, 2010
  • Updated: Sat, March 31, 2012

  • Reported By: S B — Fort Worth Texas United States of America
CRST Van Expedited, Inc.
3930 16th Ave. SW Cedar Rapids, Iowa United States of America

CRST Van Expedited, Inc. Truck Company's Scamming Interest Cedar Rapids, Iowa

*Consumer Comment: CRST/CREngland

*Consumer Comment: So right about CRengland

*General Comment: Sorry

*General Comment: Sorry for your problems.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: CRST

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At the beginning of this year, I went looking for work since I just recently moved back to my in-law's house.  I have put in several applications everywhere, and no one was hiring.  Everyone was on a "hiring freeze." 

Anyway, I started checking into other possibilities, and found a truck company that was hiring.  However, the representative of that company said that they could not hire me unless I went to a truck driving school, (paid for out of my own pocket).  On this note, I started checking around for a school that took other payment arrangements, and happened to have found one that did.  However, the catch was this:  I had to either get the local workforce commission to either pay for the school since I had just recently moved ("dislocated worker") or sign a contract for a truck company stating that I would work for them for so many months in exchange for the company paying for the schooling/training.  Well, after having seen so many people go for the same thing that I was, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get the "dislocated worker" help from the local workforce commission.  So the only other alternative that I had was to take the contract option. 

There were 3 companies to work for, each having a different contract with different sets of rules/regulations, payment schedules, and more.  The shortest contract term available was with a particular truck company, CRST Van Expedited, Inc.  The contract with them was an 8-month contract.  According to the contract, as long as I worked as a company driver, the company would have paid back $3, 950.00 (for the school), by pulling out of my check $40.00 each pay period (which was weekly) "until the entire sum advanced by CRST for the payment of such expense items are paid in full" (C-1 Truck Driving School/CRST Contract page 3 of 4). 

However, "if during the initial 8-month term of my employment either a> I breach the 'Driver Employment Contract' or b> my employment is terminated for due cause, then I will owe and immediately must pay to CRST the following sum: $3, 950.00, plus any advancement by CRST on my behalf for my DOT physical and drug screen, etc, that I have not yet repaid via deductions from weekly pay pursuant to this section, PLUS interest commencing as of the first day of employment under the 'Driver Employment Contract' at a rate equal to the lesser of 1.5% per month or the maximum rate permitted by applicable federal and state usury" (C-1 Truck Driving School/CRST Contract page 3 of 4). This, I didn't think was bad, so I had agreed, and signed the contract so that I could begin working. 

Well, everything started went good while I was in school training.  Once I got to the CRST yard in Oklahoma City, OK, things went down hill the first time.  I could not pass their "physical test" which consisted of climbing into a half-opened trailer with only your hands and feet (three-point system).  I could not do this for I was not built up like a guy.  (I am a big woman.)  No one at the school told me about this new regime that the company was passing onto everyone, so I was no where near prepared for it.  Least to say, I was sent home with no pay due to the above mentioned. 

Once I told the training school of what happened, the director could not believe his ears.  We immediately began a rigorous work-out for me in order to pass the "physical test."  It took me two weeks to build up for that, and during this time, I was still sitting at home without any income coming in.  (That much hurt!)  Once everyone thought that I was ready, I was sent back up to Oklahoma City, Ok to the CRST yard to repeat the orientation.  I passed everything the second time.

I was well on my way to becoming a truck driver, or at least so I thought.  The company had assigned a company trainer to train me as a company driver.  Well, I was shown the basics of being a truck driver, but I wasn't shown everything.  My next co-driver had to show me a whole lot more in order to make it.  I reported this to the company about my trainer, and how my co-driver had to make up the difference.  The company didn't do a single thing.  I lasted about 2 weeks with that driver, and ended up getting another one.  This driver didn't have to teach me hardly anything other than I had to keep pushing myself on driving if we wanted to make the unrealistic company deadlines.  One example of an unrealistic deadline is:  a person picks up a load from a company in New Hampshire with a gross vehicle total weight of about 77, 549 pounds at 07:00am Monday.  CRST wanted to have the load delivered to the same company branch in Washington within 36 hours, (non-stop).  Another example would be any loads out of Oklahoma City, Ok to Los Angeles, CA were to be delivered within 24 hours, (non-stop).  With deadlines like these, driving on thick ice and snow up in the mountains was very dangerous and reckless.  My co-driver and I had to drive over 40mph just to keep up with the deadline in conditions like that.  Least to say, my co-driver and I ended up splitting up because of my views like that.

I was sent home again without any income coming in because by this time, I was told that my husband had entered into the same contract as I have, and would be released soon.  He came home, enjoyed his time off with me, and we headed back to the CRST truck yard in Oklahoma City, OK as a team. 

Everything went fine for the longest time, until about June.  Before my husband and I had went back out for our term in June, we had completed an expensive process in order for us to have the haz-mat endorsement put onto our license since CRST required most/all drivers to have it.  It came to our surprise to see the company let us sit more times than usual after we have told them about the "haz-mat" expenses.  We were not happy at all about the "sitting" part because of the fact that we had no other income coming in so that we could make it on out on the road.  Second, we were told by several people who work for CRST that the company had so much freight, the company didn't have enough drivers to move it all.  We kept wondering "what are we going to do to make it out here," and "where on earth is all of the freight??"

With those questions in mind, "sitting" (not making any money) quite frequently, having problems at home, my husband and I had resigned from our positions as truck drivers at the beginning of July.  As a "punishment," CRST had kept our last two checks (each) in order to pay the remaining balance (of which they should have been paying on ever since we started our employment with the company.  More on this later.)  We couldn't stand all of the bull that CRST was trying to give us.  Of course, it wasn't only the "sitting" and no freight, but most of my checks were paying for the tolls and any necessities, (example:  expensive load locks *2, some parking fees, etc), that we needed in order to get freight from one place to the other.  I always had to fight in order to get my money back for these even though I have sent in the receipts for everything like I was trained to do.  Like right now, I am still waiting on CRST to pay me back for the toll fee that I had to pay in Pennsylvania.  We felt like we shouldn't have to ask for our money back, nor should we have been charged extra for asking for toll money in advance.

Anyway, after a while at home, I was finally able to check our pay check stubs online and download them to my "personal space."  It was at this time that I have noticed that CRST has not been doing what they have stated in the contract that my husband and I have signed.  They haven't been withdrawing the $40.00 per pay period in order to pay back the school ever since we started our employment with them.  When I had brought this up to my husband, and all of our family tree, no one could believe what they were hearing.  CRST had breached their own contract before my husband and I had resigned.  Therefore, once I had proven the facts, everyone, including me, felt like we should not have to:  pay back the full amount, should lawfully get each of our two checks back, and my toll fee that I had to pay out of my own pocket.  Also, we both feel like it shouldn't be right for CRST to report the "imagined" amount left owing to the training school on each of our credit report.

To add more scandalistic schemes to the plot, here recently, CRST has contacted my husband and me about wanting the payment up front or for us to come back to work for them until our 8-month term is up.  Since CRST hasn't been withdrawing the $40.00 out of each our checks to pay the school back, what are they going to do when our term is up (that is if we were to go back to work for them)??  Are they going to keep all that we make at the end of the term in order to get all of their money back?  Another thing, as I have mentioned before about the company wanting the payment upfront, the recent letter from CRST has stated that either my husband and I pay the remaining balance up front, or to make payments with a 18% interest rate on top of the payments.

"...plus interest commencing as of the first day of employment under the 'Driver Employment Contract' at a rate equal to the lesser of 1.5% per month or the maximum rate permitted by applicable federal and state usury laws" (C-1 Truck Driving School/CRST Contract page 3 of 4).

Okay, with all of this in mind, Iowa has an interest rate of 12% maximum while in Texas, a judge in a civil case had charged a person with 18% interest rate.  Also, in Texas, every case that goes to court dealing with interest rate is rated on a case by case situation.  The judge makes the rulings on the amount at which the interest rate may be set at. 

Also, if CRST is trying to pursue my husband and I under the Texas guidelines, then we feel like we are entitled to getting our two checks back (each) since it is a State law stating similar to this:  "...Texas has a payday statute which requires employers to pay wages owed within 6 days for a terminated employee, and by the next scheduled pay period for employees who leave the company.  If an employee is not paid on a scheduled payday, the employer is required to pay the employee on another business day on the employee's request.  Wage claims must be filed with the Texas Workforce Commission within 180 days after the wages became due for payment" (Steven Eugene Clark at http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/under-tx-employment-law-can-employer-withhold-payc-7038.html posted:  over 2 years ago).

My husband and I are in search of a lawyer as we speak to help us with this case.  (The wronged will be punished by law while the right will walk proudly, standing by law and order.)

(Personally, if I knew what kind of mess that I was getting into when I was needing a job, I wouldn't have signed up with CRST Van Expedited, Inc, or any other truck companies for I have been told that all of them are like this one.)


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/03/2010 01:13 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/CRST-Van-Expedited-Inc/Cedar-Rapids-Iowa-52406/CRST-Van-Expedited-Inc-Truck-Companys-Scamming-Interest-Cedar-Rapids-Iowa-628630. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

CRST/CREngland

AUTHOR: berrydroidcafe - ()

First thing. I don't know how a complaint on CRST turned into a rant about CRE. So I'll tackle both. Presently, I am returning to CRST to (hopefully) complete the contract I signed, which (of course) now I totally regret. The original poster is correct. I had an owner operator as a lead driver so we didn't sit that long. The couple days in Miami was great though, since it was during the winter. 

Once the training period was over, we sat more that we ran. The Co-Driver whined and complained CONSTANTLY, the Driver Manager was uncooperative to say the least. It seemed that they (CRST) at one time didn't have a clue, the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing, and was so dis-organized it isn't funny. The ONLY positive thing I can say about CRST, the Lead Driver I had was totally awesome. As a person and a trainer. 

As far as the rant against CRE is concerned. As always, ones mileage will vary. I got my start with CRE, as a Lease Operator/Phase 2 trainer. Now I have no ideas how things are ran now and so forth, but I made a LOT of money when I was with CRE. Could have made a LOT more if I kept a second seat on the truck, but that was the great thing about it, I didn't HAVE to have a second seat like CRST where you can basically become a solo driver as a Owner-Op. I had left to be with my wife and daughter outside the country for 18 months. Yes, I made that much money. I do regret not staying and tried to go back when I got back in the country but I jumped on the first thing that came along, and boy did I screw up! I even met a guy who came from CRE to CRST. Wow! For some reason, dude thinks he'll make more money with CRST. I seriously doubt it. 
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#2 Consumer Comment

So right about CRengland

AUTHOR: Truckerbuttgal - (United States of America)

 Everything I have read about CRengland is right.. The truckers MAKE no money unless your guaranteed over 3-4,000 miles to even make  a slight pay..

    My boyfriend got lucky and had a decent driver Trainer.  Also so far is DM seems Ok. I will not give a thumps up yet. because  even after the 30 days of driving he did not get to come home. He was told 3 weeks. when he put in for the  3rd week -got denied. it was to short of  notice he was told..Then he tried for later date it got approved.

   However those days approved we pushed out till later in the week . He had to pick up a load and drop it off  to another company 4 hours away then Sat there for hours  till he got to come home. Needless to say his days he requested off got pushed out  He did get them after being there for 2. 5 months

   But his DM has not really let him sit much.He just doesnt get the miles there fore with the Outrageous , scrupulous Fees they take out he makes next to nothing.. first 2 weeks solo driving he owed in.. almost $600.00 but then he had a good check which could have been  $2,000 net.. but had to  pay that $600.00 back in.. Then the next week it was less then $70.00  this week Now he owes in. He had less then 1300 miles tho. He didn't get to turn a trip in by their required time I think it was he did not get to be near a truck stop to do this. So  that will be on the next pay. Hopefully this will be better.. But My thing is the FEES.. Besides this school getting government grants for the students they rake in and train.



   My understanding is that its around $5,000 per student. Then they take this Variable Mileage payment out for which goes  >>>BACK<<<< to CR england to pay and i quote from their  news letter "To partial cover the truck (OK Where does this show on settlment  it goes to the truck??) then aquistion fo Freight and heres the kicker     SUPPORT STAFFING AND OTHER BUSINESS EXSPENSES"  Hmm.. if these drivers are paying for  staffing and business expenses. Shouldn't this be a tax deduction of some kind???     They are paying for other staff but NOT Making Pay to support their loved ones at home.

 I read so many people complain of losing things.. Sad but probably true. I work I cannot affort to NOT work since he does not make much. 

   Is there any other O/O or L/O  who can share with us the fees from other companies that are taken out of settlement?? Do you too have to pay back into the company for these expenses and NOT have it Showed as to what your exactly paying for on settlement checks? Does your company take out of Freight to pay for  staffing and other business exspenses and  Partial cover truck?  we all know CR is making a MINT .. lining their pockets with gold. Its bad enough they have coming out of settlement  every expense that quote ' Goes back to the truck" but no  explaination of how or where  it goes back.. 

  General Lease Reserve and  TRuck Investment fund But i no way see any of the Variable mileage fee going into this.   License and permits are they really over  $2,000 year?  any Insite from others even out of CR is good.  the only way you make money is if your truck is paid off but even then that could be 3-5  years or longer.. By then most lost everything

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#3 General Comment

Sorry

AUTHOR: MartyMarsh - (United States of America)

   I didn't look at the date,I see this is an old post,but I would be interested in how you made out.
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#4 General Comment

Sorry for your problems.

AUTHOR: MartyMarsh - (United States of America)

   Welcome to big riggin,I've been in this business for 39 years, you folks got hooked up with one of the baddest of the bad.What is real comical about this,CRST and CR England the 2 worst companies out there for screwing drivers,they both have someone on the board of the American Trucking Association,so your dealing with fine upstanding citizens.I have never heard anything good about either one of them.

   I could not tell you if you have any legal grounds to go after them,you might be just throwing your money away.You have to remember these clowns have been doing this for a long time and I'm sure they have heard plenty threats about lawyers.The only positive advise I could give you is,educate yourself with the internet.There are so many sites that you can go and ask questions and alot of the old timers will be glad to give you the right answers.

   I wish you folks the best and God Bless.

   (((ROR redacted)))                   Marty


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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

CRST

AUTHOR: Greg Pence - (USA)

I'm a former trainer and driver for CRST your story is staus quo. Most of the drives are not online or this thread would be full. The common thing I have seen in your report is how they rip off drivers for the TOLLS. I wonder if DOT can do anything about it. You should call DOT and call Iowa state police, dont go into your contract tell them about the 36hrs non stop and made u drive fast in ice and snow, like u stated tell them about the safety issues. I know they are bad about tires and they tell drivers to dump tires if they are changed. I had to fight with dispatch I had a tire changed and dipatch would not pay to dispose of old tire. I called and ask what they wanted me to do he told me to toss it I said it was illegal after about 20min arguement and he treaten to take me off my next load and I would sit I paid myself at the TA truck stop. Its sad how CRST takes advantage of people I know a local recruiter for a different company hired 2 ex employees, he said CRST slammed both of them said one abandon load and he said they both turned out good and he just confirms the date from CRST I guess they are getting a reputation for negitive reporting. Keep your log books and apply for a different company and just tell them how they sat u with no pay. I had been there for a year and in one month I sat 15days out of 30 and 10 was at one truck stop in NY I counted 15 CRST trucks there. Don't take this as a failure or personal CRST does this to everyone go apply to a small local company Dallas has a ton of driving jobs
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