CRST Van Expedited promises you the world to get you to Cedar Rapids, you get nothing. The recruiter you speak with will tell you about the great pay, the awesome benefits, and the atmosphere to expect, don't believe them. The truth is, after you get on the bus, they get paid.
I arrived in Cedar Rapids, IA from Atlanta GA in July of 2011. From the time I got there everything seemed okay, got an assigned room and was told to report for orientation the next morning at 8am, that's when everything started going downhill. The great pay they promised, 22CPM. the solo driving they also promised? Teams only. The only thing they told the truth about was they brought you to Iowa.
That afternoon, they got us our CDL books and told us to study for the next 3 days and they would take us to the DMV on Friday to get our permits, which I passed with flying colors. Who wouldn't with nothing to do for 3 days but read the manual right? Then, they put you in Kirkwood, a local community college for your training. My class had 115 students enter Kirkwood at the start of the second week. What they don't tell you, is it's an accelerated course with students dropped daily and it's supposed to be a 12 week course in 2 weeks. So here's how it works: You drive for maybe 30-45 mins. per day, but you have to log a certain amount of hours. How do you get these hours you ask? Make you stand outside in the 100 degree Iowa heat and pre-trip, basically pointing at parts with a broken stick. After the "training" was over my class was down to 15 students! 100 people cut in 12 days. Then after all this they check your background and MVR report. We lost another 7. So out of the 115 students, we had 7 to sign a contract. Great pass/fail ratio eh?
After I signed my contract, I waited around for 2 days before they gave me a rental car and told me to drive to Ohio to meet my co-driver. He was a somewhat knowledgeable driver, but had a short attention span and couldn't see well at night. So me, with about 4 hours of actual driving was stuck doing all of the night driving while he slept. The first month I was out, I drove maybe 12 days total. We'd take a load and then sit for 4 days. If you get stuck with an O/O, this is going to happen. Coming back his truck broke and we sat at home for the next 15 days, no layover pay for the 11 days we should have been driving. The only good part of this, was I received my CDL and am now with a very very good company, Knight Truck based out of Atlanta.
I would NOT recommend this company to anyone, for any reason. They lie at every step, and don't pay you anything at all. I was literally driving to eat for 2 months. Oh, and another thing if you do decide to go with this company, if you flunk out of the school, or get cut during the hiring orientation, you find your own way home, or you take one of the WEEKLY trips to the HOMELESS SHELTER where they drop you off and say "good luck" I know this because I drove the shuttle to one for extra cash before I left.
There are other companies that give what they offer to get your CDL. Such as Prime and CR England. I would highly recommend one of those.