Recruiting Hotline

Driver Orientation

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Minimum Qualifications/Summary of Benefits
  1. You must be at least 21 years old.
  2. You must pass a D.M.V./D.O.T. (Dept. of Transportation) physical and a pre-employment drug screening.
  3. You must have a good driving record and have been licensed in the United States for a minimum of 1 ½ years out of the last 3 YEARS.
  4. No DUI or DWI violations in the last 5 years. No more than 1 DUI in the last 15 years and no more than 2 DUIs in your lifetime.
  5. No open container violations in the last 3 years.
  6. All criminal convictions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are all reviewed by management.

 

Department of Transportation Physical Requirements
There are 13 basic requirements in regards to a driver’s physical condition. Please review the following:

No loss of foot, leg, hand, or arm.

  1. No impairment of hand or finger that interferes with power grasping or no impairment of arm, foot or leg that interferes with the ability to perform normal tasks of driving a motor vehicle.
  2. No history of diabetes that requires insulin for control (oral medication is okay).
  3. No current diagnosis of myocardial infarction, angina, pectoris, coronary insufficiency, thrombosis, or other cardiovascular disease known to be accompanied by syncope, dyspnea, collapse, or congestive heart failure.
  4. No history or diagnosis of respiratory dysfunction likely to interfere with the ability to control a motor vehicle.
  5. No current diagnosis of high blood pressure (140/90 is the maximum) likely to interfere with driving a motor vehicle.
  6. No history or current diagnosis of rheumatic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular, or vascular disease that interferes with the ability to control and operate a motor vehicle.
  7. No history or current diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause loss of consciousness.
  8. No mental, nervous, organic or functional disease of psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with operating a motor vehicle.
  9. Distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (with glasses or other correction) in each eye, field of vision of at least 70 degrees and the ability to perceive red, yellow, green and amber.
  10. Ability to perceive a forced whisper in the better ear at no less than 5 feet, with or without using a hearing aid.
  11. No use of a “Schedule 1” drug, amphetamine, narcotic, or any other habit-forming drug.
  12. No current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism.
Summary of Benefits
CRST has been family-owned and non-union for more than 50 years. Each driver is a valued and respected member of our team. We listen to our drivers and have an “open door” policy that is second-to-none in the industry. Here are many more benefits of driving for us:

  • Full Driver Benefits include:
      • Medical coverage from Week One (Medical Bridge, followed by Blue Cross at 60 days)

     

      • 401k retirement plan after only 90 days

     

      • Paid vacations

     

      • Blue Shield PPO including dental and vision

     

      • Free life insurance

     

      • Thursday 12pm payday every week

     

      • Per Diem tax benefit, optional

     

      • Internet payroll access

     

      • Accident and disability insurance and more!

     

  • Safety is #1! We let you decide whether to run or not, depending on the weather, driver fatigue, if you don’t feel well, etc. 
  • Train your Partner Program! See Section 3 for full details.
  • Referral Bonus! As an employee, refer a friend and once they are hired you can receive up to a $1000 bonus! 
  • Top pay for experienced drivers up to $.51/mile!
  • The MOST miles per truck in the industry – great job stability and job security! With CRST Dedicated Services you will get consistently high miles. Our Dedicated trucks average 5,500 miles per week. CRST has the newest trucks on the road at less than 18 months old for the average tractor. And we’ve NEVER had a layoff!
  • The friendliest freight in the industry – 99% no-touch! Assigned equipment. 80% drop & hook. And we pay you for your miles whether your truck is loaded or empty.
  • We offer the industry’s longest average length of haul – 1,400 to 1,500 miles! – This means fewer stops and greater pay for you.
  • Great career path! You can become a trainer in as little as 6 months! There are also positions around the country in the Safety Department, Recruiting, and Operations. You should monitor the CRST Career Center website for current postings and job availability.

Experienced Drivers:

If you have recent OTR experience, you will most likely go directly into Orientation and then on the road with a co-driver. If you have other truck driving experience, we may or may not send you on the road with a lead driver. Your level of pay and whether or not you will need a lead driver will depend upon a number of factors, including the type of equipment you have been driving; how recent your experience is; whether it was local, regional, or OTR; and if it included driving in mountains, winter weather, and metropolitan areas.

Your experience is most likely different from every other driver, and how much credit we give you for your experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We generally give 100% credit for previous OTR time, 50% for regional experience, and 25% for local driving experience.

Please note that we offer a Train Your Partner (spouse, friend) Program, and we also have opportunities for you to become a lead driver (trainer).

Train Your Partner Program
Are you an experienced driver with a spouse, relative or friend who wants to learn how to drive a truck? Through our Train Your Partner Program, your partner can get their CDL training sponsored by CRST while you train them on the road in one of our trucks.

Are you an experienced driver with a spouse, relative or friend who wants to learn how to drive a truck? Through our Train Your Partner Program, your partner can get their CDL training sponsored by CRST while you train them on the road in one of our trucks.

Here’s how it works:

    • Your partner goes through our company-paid school program to get their CDL.

 

    • You both meet up to go through orientation after their CDL is earned.

 

    • You go through our Lead Driver course after completing our standard orientation. The course is 1½ to 2 days; you will learn our policies and procedures for training drivers.

 

    • You go out and train your partner for 28 days while getting Lead Driver pay. The trainee will then return to a terminal for an exit interview and road test.

 

    • You head out as a co-driver team, where you will be out for up to 2 weeks followed by 5 days home.

 

We also have a special pay promotion for the Train Your Partner Program.

How to Become a Lead Driver
If you are an experienced driver with a desire to earn more money and to help new truck school graduates learn what it’s like to be an OTR driver, you may qualify to be a lead driver (trainer). If you qualify, you would take a recent graduate on the road for 28 days of on-the-job training, and then you would take 4 days off at home. You would then repeat the cycle and would train approximately 9 to 10 students per year. This is a very rewarding position at CRST and you can earn substantially more income.

To qualify, you must have a minimum of six months OTR experience. This must include four months of winter driving in the last 12 months, to include driving OTR between the months of November and March. You also need the approval of our Operations and Safety Departments. Once approved, you would attend a brief Lead Driver Class where we would teach you how to train a student with a new CDL.

Some “summer lead drivers” do not have winter driving experience – they just go back to being a co-driver for the winter.

Preparing for Orientation
As an experienced driver, you will attend our Orientation. Your Orientation will consist of 3 or 4 days of learning CRST policies and procedures, including a road test. Orientation starts every Monday at each terminal (and on Thursday at the Cedar Rapids location).

Please remember that all drivers are expected to immediately start driving with either their lead driver or co-driver following Orientation.

To find out which Orientation site you will be attending please ask one of our recruiters. If you have any questions before or during Orientation please contact us.

You must have the following IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS with you:

      1. Valid United States Driver’s License (If your license has a vision restriction you must bring your glasses and prescription sunglasses if you have them)

 

      1. Valid Social Security Card (Must be original and in good condition. No copies!)

 

      1. Acceptable immigration documentation if you are not a U.S. citizen

 

      1. Any employment documentation required to complete the CRST Expedited driver application (unemployment records, tax forms for self-employment, notarized letters, etc. These documents are very helpful for the Referencing Department during the hiring process.)

 

      1. Voided Check for transfer to your bank accounts. (If you do not have a voided check, you can use a letter from your bank, on bank letterhead, containing the name of the account holder, account number, and the bank routing number.)

 

You should bring the following PERSONAL ITEMS with you:

    • 7 days of clothes (jeans, sweats, short- and long-sleeve shirts, coat, winter clothing if necessary)

 

    • Work boots/Treaded hiking shoes (Flip flops and sandals are not allowed during training or Orientation). NO cowboy boots, NO smooth-bottom shoes!

 

    • Work gloves

 

    • Hat

 

    • Sunglasses

 

    • Battery-powered alarm clock

 

    • Flashlight

 

    • Toiletries (towels, washcloths, toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving materials, soap, deodorant, etc.)

 

    • Bedding for the truck (sleeping bag or pillows blankets with twin size sheets)

 

    • Notebook, pen, etc.

 

    • Medications if you are currently taking any.

 

    • Money (all drivers receive free breakfast and lunch while attending Orientation but will need money for the third meal of the day and all other personal needs)

 

    • Bus Confirmation Number or Rental Car Information. If taking Greyhound. It is recommended to pack in duffel bags vs. suitcases to stow away easier. If using a Greyhound bus ticket, one 50-pound and one 25-pound bag are allowed free of charge.

 

What kind of TRANSPORTATION will I be taking?

Transportation to and lodging at Orientation are provided by CRST Dedicated to experienced drivers. Directions to the terminals are listed on our website www.drivecrst.com (see Orientation packets on the website).

Bus Ticket

    1. Your CRST recruiter will order your bus ticket through Greyhound. He/she will also provide you with a schedule of when the bus leaves and arrives.

 

    1. CRST will provide your bus confirmation number. Please do not lose this.

 

    1. Your recruiter will also provide you with the correct information to be picked up at the Greyhound Station, along with contact numbers for your hotel and the selected Orientation terminal.

 

    1. Plan on being at the Greyhound Bus Station at least 1 hour before leaving.

 

    1. If you plan on providing your own transportation please contact your recruiter for directions. You can be reimbursed for fuel.

 

Driving Personal Car – Your recruiter will provide you with directions to your selected Orientation terminal and also hotel location. This will also include phone numbers for both the terminal and hotel. Please bring in actual gas receipts (not prepaid receipts), showing number of gallons purchased and price per gallon.

Rental Car – Please contact your recruiter for details. Please bring in actual gas receipts (not prepaid receipts), showing number of gallons purchased and price per gallon.

Plane Tickets – If you purchase a plane ticket, you will do so on your own and also be expected to get from the airport to the Orientation location. However, CRST will reimburse you up to the cost of what the bus ticket would have cost. You must bring in your receipts for us to make this reimbursement.

Orientation
All drivers will take the following tests in Orientation:

    1. D.O.T. Physical Exam. If a driver’s documentation shows he/she has a current physical with at least 6 months remaining, a new physical will not normally be required unless the medical examiner in his/her opinion decides that one is necessary.

 

    1. D.O.T. Drug Screen. All driver applicants will take a drug screen on the first day of Orientation, per D.O.T. regulations, unless the applicant has already had a drug screen with CRST that is within 30 days of the projected date of hire.

 

    1. Road Test. All driver applicants must successfully pass a driver road test with a CRST safety trainer. Students are given two opportunities to pass the road test. Drivers must be able to double-clutch.

 

    1. Written Tests. All driver applicants must successfully pass 3 open book examinations that will be given in the classroom. The tests are only given in English. One is for company hazmat certification, one is for a security program, and one is a log book test. Students must have an 80% passing grade and there are no more than 3 attempts allowed on each test.

 

    1. Agility Test. All driver applicants must pass an agility test.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many miles can I run?

Our average length of haul is approximately 1,400 to 1,500 miles – the longest in the industry! This means more time working and less time waiting. Our commitment to the long-haul market provides you with consistent mileage all year long. Our teams can currently average over 4,800 to 5,100 miles/week.

How often will I get home?

Quality home-time for every driver is a priority at CRST. In fact, we guarantee it! Your fleet manager is responsible for getting you home on the day you request to be there – even if it requires an alternative form of transportation to make it happen. You are entitled to one day off for each week you are on the road. Keep in mind, the more you are available, the more miles you can run. Most drivers choose to remain available for 10-14 days at a time but some locations may have weekly home-time availabilities.

How much money can I expect to make?

Experienced professional driver first-year earnings depend on whether you run as a Lead Driver or Team Co-Driver. Lead Drivers earn between $35,000 and $75,000 in their first year. We have many experienced professional teams earning over $100,000 annually. Inexperienced co-drivers drivers in their first year can expect to average $30,000. Keep in mind, most of this money is earned in the second half of your first year due to pay raises and more experience as a professional driver.

How and when do I get paid?

Drivers are paid on Thursdays through the COMDATA system. COMDATA is a financial services company that manages our transactions. You will be issued a COMDATA card to use when refueling (which CRST pays for) and we will deposit your earnings directly into your COMDATA account. This system allows you 24 hours/7 days a week instant access to your payroll funds. Statements of earnings are prepared and sent to your home each week. Additionally, while you are out on the road, you will be able to call a toll-free CRST number to find out the amount of each paycheck that was deposited to your COMDATA account. Further, you can view each of your CRST pay statements online at www.crstpay.com.

What types of insurance benefits does CRST offer?

Medical insurance is available to the employee on the first day of employment through a Medical Bridge policy. You are eligible for the CRST group plan (Blue Shield PPO) the first of the month following 60 days of employment. There is also a family option on these plans. The plan also provides you both term life insurance coverage and accidental death coverage of $20,000. If you elect the family plan, your spouse is provided $2,000 of accidental death coverage. The $2,000 accidental death policy also applies to your dependents up to 19 years of age (26 years of age if a full time student). For more information about the insurance program please ask one of our recruiters.

What type of equipment does CRST operate?

Driver comfort and safety are major concerns when buying power units. CRST Dedicated’s entire fleet consists of Freightliner and Volvo tractors. The Freightliners are equipped with Detroit S-60 engines (435 horsepower) coupled with Eaton Straight 10 transmissions. All tractors, whether Volvos or Freightliners, feature top-of-the-line specifications including anti-lock brakes, sky-rise bunks, air ride suspensions, power steering, stereo/cassettes, premium interiors, and QualComm satellite communication equipment. CRST Dedicated operates its tractors on a 3-year cycle and trades each unit for a new model when it is 36 months old. This means the average tractor is less than 18 months old. Trailers are also quite new. The vast majority of the company’s trailers are Great Dane 53’ dry vans that are less than 3 years old.

What type of maintenance program do you have for the trucks?

CRST has an in-house maintenance program where tractors receive routine maintenance every 30,000 to 40,000 miles, as directed by the engine & tractor manufacturers. Major maintenance is performed every 120,000 miles. Trailers receive regular maintenance every 18,000 miles. The company encourages communication between drivers and our maintenance department regarding care of the units. Equipment defects prohibiting safe operation by drivers are corrected immediately. In addition to the driver’s daily pre-trip inspection, units that are parked in our terminals are routinely checked by maintenance personnel to ensure they meet Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) requirements. Drivers are paid a bonus for each state or federal inspection they pass without being flagged for violations. Drivers are not expected to work on the equipment.

Who is my supervisor?

You will be assigned to a Driver Manager in the Operations Department. Your Driver Manager is responsible for dispatching & tracking your progress throughout the country, and he or she is the primary communication point for you while on the road. Driver Managers are also responsible for getting you home on time and addressing your career needs or concerns.

How will I find a co-driver so I can run as a team?

Our Orientation staff will work with our Operations group to set you up with your partner. If you cannot find someone in orientation to team with, we will match you up with a driver that is located close to your hometown with the same smoking preference.

What kind of safety program does CRST have?

At CRST, Safety is #1. It takes precedence over everything, and we want you to know that our priority is not the freight or the equipment. Our priority is your safety and the safety of others on the highway. When you are running cross-country, you will encounter all kinds of situations, which will affect your ability to pick up or deliver a load on time. At CRST, we are so concerned about your safety, that we let you make the decision whether to run or not. If you are tired, if you do not feel well, or if you do not feel safe moving the load, then you can make the decision to get off the road and rest or deal with the problem. At CRST, this is called the Comfort Zone. In short, if you are not in your Comfort Zone, then you can shut down. It’s that simple.

When driving as a team, who gets paid for which miles?

You and your co-driver are paid based on the “split mile” method. As part of a team, we want you to work together as a true team. Therefore, you will be paid for half of the total miles the truck runs each week. We split the miles, not your pay. As an example, if you and your co-driver run 6,000 miles in a week, you will be paid for 50% of the miles or 3,000 miles.

Do I have to take a drug test and physical?

Yes. All new employees for CRST will take a drug test and possibly will need to complete another physical for the company, which will be paid for up-front by CRST. CRST Dedicated Services drivers needing a new physical will be payroll deducted for the physical at the cost of $50. We do not charge back for the drug test, only a physical, if it is required. Any failed drug test or falsification of application will be cause for immediate termination and you will be required to pay for your own transportation home.

Can I take my truck home?

The policy regarding drivers taking the truck home is handled on a case-by-case basis. It depends on where the driver lives, the distance from a terminal or drop yard and the driver’s experience level.

How well do I need to speak English?

Every driver must be able to read, write, speak and understand the English language according to federal D.O.T. standards. You must be able to follow road signs, understand Bills of Lading, etc.

CRST Lead Driver Compensation and Qualification

To qualify as a Lead Driver, you must be approved by both Operations and Safety. In general, this means that you would need to have a minimum of 6 months of OTR experience. This must include four months of winter driving in the last twelve months, to include driving OTR between the months of November and March. You also need the approval of our Operations and Safety Departments. Once approved, you would attend a brief Lead Driver Class where we would teach you how to train a student with a new CDL.

CRST Dedicated Employee (Company Driver) Benefits

Medical/Dental Coverage.  Medical insurance coverage is available within your first week through a Medical Bridge HMO plan. On the first of the month after 60 days of employment, you are then eligible for the CRST group plan. Please ask your driver recruiter for details.

 

Life Insurance

  • Eligible the first of the month following 6 months.
  • Life insurance premiums paid by the company / no cost to employee.
  • $20,000 Term Life Insurance with $20,000 accidental death and dismemberment.
  • $2,000 spouse & dependents accidental death and dismemberment.
  • Disability insurance paid by CRST.
  • Voluntary life & accident insurance available for an additional cost to employee.

 

Paid Vacation

  • 1 Week after Year 1: Based on previous year’s weekly average
  • 2 Weeks after Year 2: Based on previous year’s weekly average
  • 3 Weeks after Year 10: Based on previous year’s weekly average

 

401K Retirement Plan

  • Eligible to participate in the program the first month following 90 days of employment.
  • After 13 months, CRST will contribute 50% to the driver’s 401K up to a maximum of 6% of the driver’s pay contributed to the plan. Example: A driver earning $40,000 per year contributes 6% of their salary, or $2,400. CRST will then contribute another $1,200. CRST pays its contribution weekly. Employer contributions are fully vested after six years.

 

ComData

    • Independent third party financial service company which processes driver payroll.

 

    • Driver pay is deposited in a personal ComData account which can be accessed by a CRST ComData credit card.

 

    • If desired, a driver can transfer his or her payroll from ComData directly to your bank account.

 

 

Career Advancement

    • Opportunities exist for career advancement within Dedicated Services to any other existing position as well as possible advancements to CRST Expedited Services lease-purchase,  Malone, Pegasus, and STI.

 

    • Opportunities exist for office positions in Operations, Recruiting, and Safety as well, if interested.

 

 

Per Diem

  • The IRS provides for reductions in taxable earnings for over-the-road expenses incurred by drivers. Participation in the program is optional and $.12 taxable CPM is deducted, so that $.10 tax-free CPM can be returned as per diem. The program has increased the take-home pay for many drivers. Those who do not receive a benefit are elected out of the program, so they do not lose money.