Report: #782599

Complaint Review: Advance School of Driving

  • Submitted: Wed, September 28, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, February 01, 2013
  • Reported By: 9baller — Westminster California United States of America
  • Advance School of Driving
    13946 Jurupa Avenue
    Fontana, California
    United States of America

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Like many others on here, I thought that a career as a trucker would be good money for something I'm already good at: driving.

Advance School of Driving is the California training arm of CRST. They have a large yard with plenty of trucks and lots of students.

Bring your binoculars!

First day of training, all students wait outside the motel office for the shuttle. "Be there by 4AM or get left!" they tell us.
At 4:15 the shuttle arrives and we pile in for the trip to the yard. At the yard, all 37 of us are herded into a trailer large enough for 30 max, so we're sitting in the aisles (fire hazard) or on the floor.

This is where the binoculars come in handy.
After our ID's are taken to be photo-copied, we watch an orientation video. If you're at the front, you can see the crappy picture on the TWENTY-FIVE INCH TV.
If you're in the back or the middle, take a nap.
I was near the front and still had to strain to see the picture; turned out it was a VHS tape that they had used for a year!

Down to business: "these are the questions the DMV will ask. These are the answers. You have two days to memorize them".

After getting my permit for air brakes and hazmat, I was ready to train.
The training trucks, while a pretty red & white, are between 35 and 40 years old!

One instructor takes a truck and FIVE students out. That makes the instructor in the left seat, a student in the hot seat, and four others crammed into the back of a very small cab.

And the fun begins.
I've driven a stick all my life, and had to unlearn all those years to adapt to double-clutching, but I got it pretty fast.

Too fast.

We had students in my group that had never used a clutch in their life, so the students who know what they're doing (yours truly) sit in the back jammed between other students while the truck shudders, gears grind, and we all suffer.
In 6 days of training, I logged maybe EIGHT HOURS of wheel time, all because the school is packing students in as fast as they can and don't have enough trucks.

Driver training consists of driving circles around four blocks in an industrial complex. Over and over and over.
Freeway training consists of getting on an on-ramp, driving to the next off-ramp, and getting off.

Remember I mentioned DOT?
On the 4th day of "driving", the yard full of trucks was useless: DOT had set up a tent 200 yards from the Advance gate and was stopping every single Advance truck they saw.
In one day, our training fleet went from 5 trucks to 1! Four trucks were red-flagged, leaving only one road-worthy truck for ALL the trainees.

They also give you a photo-copied booklet that teaches you everything about how to pass the DMV skills test.

IF you can read it!
The "book" was written by someone with bad grammar who never heard of a spell-checker.
It referred to illustrations that either weren't there or were so dsrk as to be useless, contradicted itself on matters of technique, and was generally unusable.
I'm a writer, and offered to edit the book for them. "Just email me a copy and I'll do it tonight" I told them.
Turns out they don't have a copy to send, so they just keep on making copies of the same messed-up crap year after year.

I finally told the "Director of Operations" that I was leaving, that they didn't have the training facilities they had promised and were unable to fulfill their end of our contract. He apologized, and told me that they would not be billing CRST for the training I had received.
To his credit, I never got a bill.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/28/2011 04:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

I Went to ASD in Fall 2011

AUTHOR: Rotcataergeht - (United States of America)

I went to ASD for the training n got my CLASS A lic in October 2011! The training was very good. I really like being there. Pay attention and youll learn faster! Charlie wasnt that friendly tho. I still dont know why ppl are complaing about ASD. Advice for Those who wanted FREE training... Go to unemployment office and apply for WIA. They will cover your expenses. - Mr. Chow lol
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#2 General Comment

The TRUTH about ASD

AUTHOR: ValleyxLyfe - (United States of America)

I can see theres alot of half truths being thrown back and forth about this school. I normally don't post comments, opinions and editorials online but given that I've attended ASD and don't have bias I figure I'd add my two cents.

I attended asd last year through contract with the major carrier CRST. I won't lie, it is most definately a crash course. We started the class with 40 people, but by day three that number was cut in half. You have three days to learn and pass all written tests, including hazmat. For somebody like me with zero truck or mechanical experience it proved to be quite a challenge. Still, I passed while others around me kept dropping out. By the end of the first week there were only about 13-16 of us originals. Week two consisted of driving the trucks. Again, I was behind the rest of the class because I'd never driven stick or backed any sort of trailer in my entire life. I sucked, bad, but I kept at it and did the best I could. I got made fun of by an instructor for running over a cone. I have thick skin so I wasn't trippin but I thought it was pretty unprofessional. At the end of week two I was still slightly behind, so they arranged for me to have a saturday class with two other struggling students. The trainer they put me with on saturday was awesome. I learned more in that full day than I did the week prior. After proving that I could up and down shift, back the trailer, parallel etc I was awarded my CDL. I took it to CRST, passed their road test, and went out on the road with a CRST trainer. I think I recognized five people at the end of CRSTs orientation. Compare that to the 40 plus I started school with. 

It is true that during normal training you will be in a truck with four to five other students. It's also true that the yard trucks are a little old and rough, but the trucks we went out on the road with were pretty decent. I lucked out and got on a freightshaker with the same 10 speed manual trans set up as my company road tester and trainer both had. I felt bad for the people who trained on the freightshaker but had to CRST road test with the volvo. The volvos are eight or nine speed and completely different. Had it been me I probably would have failed my road test. I wish ASD would crosstrain on all models that crst uses. 

I was one of those "struggling" students who many thought wouldn't make it. Today, however, I have a year experience, all safe miles, and o/o my own rig locally. I saw plenty of "i know it all I was born with the ability to truck" types like the author of this report drop out and realize trucking wasnt for them within the first few weeks and months. ASD will give you the tools you need to succeed just as much as any other comparable CDL school, but how you use those tools is entirely up to you. Like any crash course, many will struggle and ultimately fail. It takes a certain type of person to succeed under pressure like that, and looking back Im even surprised i made it.
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#3 Consumer Comment experience.

AUTHOR: StrykingWinger - (USA)

 It seems that there is a bit of a difference of opinion about how ASD gets, trains, and treats its graduates, students and potential students. As a former student and graduate of ASD I can speak from personal experience not from third party hear-say or about what I think I may know. ASD does in fact train a lot of drivers for companies such as CRST. However these students are required to pass the same standards as students such as myself who are not on any pre-hire contract with any certain company. The school in fact makes a concerted effort to train our returning veterans and trains more drivers than just those associated with CRST and any other 3rd party trainers. As my original post stated, the 160 hours of training and treatment I recieved at Advance School of Driving was completely professional and I passed all my CDL requirements and my endorsements for HAZMAT, doubles/triples, and tankers the first time I tested. I have no complaints about the training. The treatment and assistance I was and continue to be given by the administrative staff in the office has been nothing short of exemplary. The instructors were courteous and available to answer any and all questions I had and provided extra time for me any time I asked. We were even provided a Thanksgiving dinner on the Friday following the Thanksgiving holiday which many of the students who were far from home and family greatly appreciated. Its beyond me how someone who never attended the school can comment on something they have not personally experienced. Thats sorta like me trying to tell someone how to perform open heart surgery......Please if you want to cpmplain about the school complain about the one you went to because the one I went to does a great job and is not connected to CRST or any other company. They are their own single business who cater to a lot of us other than those of who you speak.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Advanced school of driving is a good school

AUTHOR: Teresa - (U.S.A.)

6 years ago I went to this school.  It wasn't through CRST, I paid cash.  I didn't want to owe  anyone.  I got my permit first through the DMV then paid for the training myself.  My Instructor was George.  My training was on weekends and 10 hours per day.  The majority of this training was on the road driving.  When I was having a problem with backing another trainer jumped in to explain my problem and solution.  They were great.

We only had 2 students per driver.  I had a great experience and passed my DMV test on the first try.  I have recommended them to many other people.

I would suggest you pay to get your license like I did then look for a company to hire you.  Then you won't be indebted to anyone.

Truck driving is not a glamorous job.  It is hard work (7 days a week/70 hrs ).  If this experience has frustrated you it may not be cut out for trucking.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Did u go to our school

AUTHOR: andrew - (United States of America)

I get that. But how can you claim that we scream through classes to quick and claim that our training is not up to par if you have never been to our school. You have never met me. You have never seen me train. You have never seen our facility. You have never gone through OUR course. If you have not gone through our school there is no way to know if we are a good school or not. We do alot more training than just CRST. We are one of the only schools in the state that are approved for the GI Bill. We have contracts with other big companies as well. I'm sorry that you don't like CRST but guess what....... We are not CRST. They are just one of many of our customers that we train for. Make a compliant about the. If you want. Not us. If you want to make a complaint come do a refresher course at my school. If you saw the way we train I really honestly doubt you would have anything to complain about.
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#6 Consumer Comment

The point is CRST

AUTHOR: Bsmjuem - (USA)

Andrew the point is CRST. Your an employee of a school hired by the trucking company CRST. As the original poster stated you work for a company that is under the umbrella of CRST. CRST provides you and all other instructors with a job. Your job-is to pass as many drivers as possible thru 3rd party testing so your"school " gets financial compensation. That compensation is then partialed out to you and your other instructors. The more testers you pass, the more comansation you receive. You instructors scream thru the basics of driving with the intent to pass these drivers at any cost! If the driver can shift you pass them, you have to or CRST lets your school go and hires a different school to do the same as your school did! It's the 3rd party testing game all big otr's do. It is a revolving door of cdl training schools.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

You r not a consumer like you stated you were

AUTHOR: andrew - (United States of America)

You missed the point of this whole website. Your complaint is not about ASD so make a new complaint. If you are unable to pass our yet here you do not go on. Just like at the DMV. Not everyone that comes through passes. You must study and pass your test. If you don't apply yourself you will fail. We do not hand out licenses. Before making such a bold claim have proof. You didn't even go to this school.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Andrew missed the point

AUTHOR: Bsmjuem - (USA)

Andrew CRST pays all schools a percentage to pass drivers so they can fill the tractors with bodies, are you that inept not to realize this??
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#9 UPDATE Employee

You wen to school in Penn.

AUTHOR: andrew - (United States of America)

How can you make a complaint about Advanced School of Driving when you never went to our school. Make a different complaint about the school you went to.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Practice 3rd party testing

AUTHOR: Bsmjuem - (USA)

I got my license from CRST in Philadelphia Pa. When  I went to their training I experienced the same-5 people to a tractor, the trainer in the passenger seat the other 3 trainees sitting in the bunk waiting for their turn. What SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME WAS THE AMOUNT OF TRAINEES THAT WERE GIVEN THEIR STAMPED CDL LICENSE TO OPERATE TRACTOR TRAILER WHO COULD NOT EVEN SHIFT LET ALONE BACK UP IN A STRAIGHT LINE!!!! I was the fifth one in line the day we went for our skills test. The first 4 failed their test and I passed with flying colors. That afternoon ,to my amazement we all had valid CDL endorsement stamped licenses. I asked the trainer that took us to the testing compound how this could be. He replied to me off the record. He said that CRST uses the 3rd party testing technique that is standard in the trucking industry. The DOT grants a third party the ability  to test the drivers and grant any driver a license that "passes" the road test. The 3rd party???? Guess who pays a fee to the testing agent(3rd party testing agent) who passes their trainees road test? CRST! The more trainees he passes the more fees he collects from CRST! The more more drivers that pass the tractors they can fill........On average the their is a 82% turn over rate for first year drivers. That is why you must give the company a years worth of work to avoid paying back your tuition.Think you are driving with experienced drivers when you encounter a major over the road truck while in your own truck or car- think twice!!!!! That driver was tested by a testing agent who makes his livelihood off of these large otr companies who need to fill their driver seats with bodies..... I was sickened like never before when I found out this dirty little secret!!!     
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#11 Consumer Comment

My Experience

AUTHOR: StrykingWinger - (United States of America)

I was treated respectfully by all the people at ASD. i was given a tour of the facility when I went there the first time and told the curriculum of the course I had chosen to take. The office personnel worked well with the Veterans Administration and Workforce Investment Act case worker to get my instruction started. The instructors were professional and courteous at all times. The material covered was put out promptly with no time wasted. We are here to learn not socialize and joke around. The instructors are not babysitters.  The equipment is more than sufficient for the training and the road vehicles are newer Freightliners. I have never seen more than 4 students in a truck at once even just sitting in the yard doing air brakes tests much less out on the road learning driving skills. I applied myself and have yet to encounter any problem. I am confident in my driving ability and am sure that the job placement assistance that will be provided to me will follow the same lines as the in-school instruction. I will refer this school to others, especially vets like myself who may need training to get back into the civilian workforce. The school gets an A+ rating from me.
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#12 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Ih8liars! - (United States of America)

Just wanted to say I am attending school right now, and that report is just untrue! My first week we learned proper ways to do inspection, we were Giving plenty of time.

My first instructor Jim was very knowledgeable, went out of his way to anawer any questions I may have had. For that matter when Jim was working with other students, I felt Very comfortable talking with the other instructors.

Today I started my on the road training, my instructor is Andrew. I couldnt be happier! This Guy is very patient. He has a great way of explaining things, and is very open for questions. In our group There are 4 students plus Andrew, and we have plenty of room in this newer rig!

Dont know what your prob was but everyone here so far has been understanding and helpful! I would Recommend Advance to any, plenty of well taken care of training trucks and instructors that actually care!
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Liar. None of that happened.

AUTHOR: andrew - (United States of America)

First of all. I know who this . I recognize your name on here and where you say your from. You didn't quit. Before schooling applicants are required to give us criminal background info. Just like any other job, if your information was false and you lied you are dropped from the program. Our road trucks are 2007 freightliners. Pics can be provided if this complainant says they aren't after I post this. Our oldest truck is a yard only truck and does not go on the streets. This truck is a 96. Do the math buddy. 45-50 years? Really? I wish we had a truck that old. It would be worth quite a good amount of money. I am also the bus driver for advanced. I leave from the hotel at 5:30am. This is not very early if you are planning on being a truck driver. Yes if the students can not be ready by this than yes they will have to drive their own vehicles. It would be unfair to the other students to have them lose out on training time because you are late. Drive your own vehicle to school and it is not a big deal. We have never been red tagged. 4 times in one day??? No that never happened either. If we lost 4 trucks to red tagging we would have a really hard time training people. Over a 100 people graduate every
Month here. This many graduates would be impossible with 4 trucks going down.I am sorry that our school did not work out for you but if you can get your ducks in order next time and come in here and be honest you will pass. You were dropped from the company. We did not drop you.. Also, our trucks have 3 individual seats in the back with one person driving. That would make 4 students to a truck. Not 5. There is a lot of room in the truck. Please make honest comments on a review. Lying about a company is a terrible thing to do. I don't understand why you are so vengeful.
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