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Thread: CR ENGLAND.....from a trainers perspective

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    1-Up trucker is offline Rookie
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    Default CR ENGLAND.....from a trainers perspective

    For the people thinking of going to CRE
    ***DISCLAIMER***
    This thread is not intended to discredit anyone else experiences, point of view, flame or bash CRE, or troll in favor of CRE. it is just my own thoughts, and experiences with CRE.
    ***END DISCLAIMER***
    **INTENTIONS**
    To provide an invaluable resource for drivers of all walks of life looking to start a career with CRE through a unique point of view.
    **END INTENTIONS**
    *CREDENTIALS*
    Started with CRE and obtained CDL through their school, Successfully completed their lease program, Successfully purchased my truck through them, 2.5 years experience driving solely for them, successfully trained 24 students all of which to date of this post have not had an accident within CRE, I am an IC mentor within the company, and one of the "top 5 successful drivers" in my DMs fleet of 97 trucks, and am one of the North American Divisions top drivers
    *END CREDENTIALS*
    **STARTING OUT**
    I applied to CRE in February of 2009 out of desperation from losing my previous job and was accepted into their school march 30, 2009 in Burns Harbor, IN. The very first thing I notced was the pressure to Lease a truck, which I was militant about NOT doing as I didnt want the responsibility of making payments for somethign at the time I really couldnt afford. I came with nothing but $100 for their "administrative fee" a visa gift card with $50 the clothes on my back and a suitcase full of ramen. The amount of stress i was put thru the following 3 days put me to a breaking point that nobody should ever have to experience. The first 3 days were chock full of cramming and memorization which seems to have been perfected over the years to be a sophisticated form of torture. There was literally no sleep at the hotel as we were given "homework" which involved at least 3 additional hours of studying in "groups". Upon passing all my written exams things started to get easier as i was now allowed to go out to their backing range and learn how to back the truck up for the next 4 days. I recall watching our class of 150 shrink more and more every day that passed and hearing some of the ridiculous excuse of a reason that were given to these people to send them home. I was sure every day that it was my day and that my time would be up. It never came. After i was comfortable with my backing (only after 4 days of doing it AND an Indiana pre-trip inspection, an instructor came up and introduced himself to me as my road instructor. I got this idea in my head from the video that the next week would be nothing but the 1 on 1 training advertised in the video and thougt hey wow this is cool. I couldnt have been more wrong. Crammed into 1 truck was the instructor, myself and 3 other "students". We would drive all around town from 8am to about 3pm with each student getting an equal amount of time to drive(not enough in my opinion). After a week of this it was time to go for our CDL test which for a lot of people was horrible as there were ludicrous reasons given for failing the test(not stating something is "properly mounted and secured" comes to mind) all before even climbing inside of the damned truck!!!!! I failed on my parrellel parking by using 1 too many get out and looks(I figured it was safer to ALWAYS get out and look but they give you a max of 3). I went back the next day still stressed out because i was given a lengthy lecture and told i was going to be sent home if i didn't pass on my next attempt. I did flawlessly on my pretrip, 4 point brake test and backing maneuvars. I got to the road portion of my test and was nervous beyond all belief because the entire time i saw the tester out of the corner of my eye scribbling in his notebook. Based on his body language when we returned to the test facility i was sure i had made a lot of mistakes due to the "bundle of nerves feeling" and thus failed. He told me in a stern voice to park the rig the way I found it initially and to come inside the office. After getting downstairs and into his office he called me a driver and said how impressed he was with my driving, which made me burst out into a parade of tears. The follwong day I was taken to the DMV to get my hardcopy CDL, which was a temporary CDL which would expire in 3 months from the date of issuance. After i returned to the CRE school, i noticed there were ALOT of the people who were in the same class as me being sent home for x amount of reasons. Alot of them were told they had to pay their own ways home....which made me very angry.....i dont understand how somoene could sleep at night doing that to another person.
    *PHASE 1 TRAINING*
    Roughly a week after obtaining my "TEMPORARY" CDL and sitting around in a hotel room i noticed i was getting low on funds and food. The schools registrar Sherry Izynski noticed this, and saw fit to "take care of me" she brought me enough food to survive and get by on until my trainer showed up. The trainer I had was Seth Clarke and one of CREs most successful O/Os operating his business "KC2 trucking" with three trucks. He already had a student, and was also picking me up, which made me feel uncomfortable having that many people crammed into a space so small. The very first question he asked me was whether or not I was going to lease or go company. I told him I wasnt sure as all through the school i was told this and that about the lease program and the same of being a company driver. I asked Seth a ton of questions about the Lease program as well as policies for being a company driver. The 3 things that changed my mind were:
    1) As a lease driver i could have my wife AND our dog aboard whereas a company I could not
    2) As a lease driver I had the freedom to reject loads(found out its not always a good thing)
    3) Seth asked me what was stopping me form doing what he was doing.....only doing it better than him(i'm a sucker for a challenge)
    It wasnt until we were halfway through Iowa that he started making comments about Sherry. It was at this point I was made aware that Sherry was his fiancee, and that she had told him about me. The rest of the Phase 1 training I gained a lot of valuable insight into the industry, as well as learning a few tips to improve my driving habits. I was fortunate to have a trainer such as Seth who not only gave me the keys to being who i am today, but also insisted on paying for my meals as he understood my situation. Both Sherry and Seth have been and continue to be my Guardian angels within CRE. More to come on that later.
    *Phase 2 training*
    After completion of roughly 30-35 days in Phase 1 Seth and I parted ways. He returned me to Burns Harbor, IN so i could "upgrade" by passing some written tests, a quick trip around the block and simulating backing into a dock with a serpentine maneuvar beforehand. I sat around in a hotel again with only the pay i had saved up during Phase 1( a whopping $60 something a day before taxes) for about 4 days. In your Phase 2 training you are paid $0.12 per mile for every mile that the trainer gets paid for. I received a phone call from an older guy (Dave) whom I assumed had a bunch of experience based on his age informing me he was to be my Phase 2 trainer. This guy made my life a living hell. He always had me driving between the hours of midnight and 6AM (which i found out after the fact is against training policy which CRE turns a blind eye to, even today) was always fighting with his DM(resulting in bad miles), and in general an overall scumbag. I stuck it out with this guy for half of the required 60 days(back then, you HAD to complete 60 days Phase 2 NO EXCEPTIONS) before i had an accident. I was not too far off the Indian Nation Turnpike in OK, only had 2 hours of sleep and was pressured into driving by Dave. I went over 5 (YES FIVE!!!!) 20 ton bridges with a fully loaded truck, somehow justified in my head i could make a U-turn on a 2 lane highway, and eventually missed the on ramp for I-40. I missed the ramp, and saw an old abandoned hotel parking lot which had nothing but 3 poles in the very center equivalent in height to those of the ones you would find in ANY wal-mart parking lot shaped in a triangular formation. I somehow ran all three of these pulls over with my trailer tandems admidst all the room given in this enormous parking lot. Needless to say, it ripped those poles right on out of the ground, and scraped a little bit of yellow paint on CRE's "precious" dirty trailer. Dave did not hesitate to call god and everyone involved with CRE to inform them of this accident. No pictures were taken, no damage done to CRE's trailer, and the poor poles were now scrap. Ironically after the sun came up a work crew arrived and informed us that their task for the day was to remove those poles from the ground as the hotel wa s being renovated. CRE for the next 37 days deducted $0.01 from every mile i was paid to cover the "costs associated with the accident". Due to the "nature" of the accident I was put on a stop dispatch pending a skills assesment, driving review, and an eye exam to check for possible night blindness. CRE EXPECTED ME TO PAY FOR THE EYE EXAM THAT THEY REQUIRED ME TO GET!!!!! I told them I didnt have the money to pay for said "required" exam and they informed me they were going to take my "Temporary CDL" as well as my career and future from me. It was after I left the office concealing a fit of rage that my Phase 1 trainer Seth walked in, saw me and asked me what the hell i was doing sitting there. I explained everything to him and he told me to follow him. He took me right back to the same people who had just been rude to me and very bluntly asked them what the hell their problem was. They came back with how i was an unsafe driver etc. He then asked them if he went and got me an eye exam, and we found out nothing was wrong if they would allow me to finish my training and their reply was yes. Turns out post eye exam, I only have an astigmatism and am near sighted. This man went out of his way and bought me the same pair of prescription glasses I am wearing right now. He never asked for anythign in return, other than I just do my best to succeed. I expalined everything that was going on with Dave to the Training Coordinator (TC), and was immediately pulled off of this guys truck, and was given to a different phase 2 trainer. I was introduced to Jesus Aguilera, who was very easy to get along with, and gave me even more tips to improve the way in which i handled the truck, as well as showed me the CRE way to run a business.
    **THE LEASE**
    On July 21, 2009 I made the decision to lease a 2007 freightliner century class ST. I decided if I was goign to lease, it would only be short term in the vicinty of 6-8 months.The truck only had 150k miles on it, was governed out at 62MPH, had the old 14L 515HP DD60 series, with a 13 speed tranny. Only problem with the tranny was CRE had the splitter removed forcing it to always stay in its higher range gears for 5,6,7, and 8. I decided to bring my wife and my akita on the truck with me. The first 5 moths were horrible. We ate countless numbers of sandwitches to the point i refuse to eat sandwitches today. We never spent any money because I wasnt making any money. I still had the mindset i wanted to be successful and persevered. It wasnt until I found out I had a ****ty DM who wasnt running me all b/c I refused to take loads due to i had no hours to drive, let alone get the load delivered on time. They were just oo tight to run with a 62MPH truck as a solo driver. He was CONSTANLY putting me in this position so needless to say I did a lot of sitting. For the first 5 months I made an average weekly paycheck of $178. thats $712 a month.....less than most peoples rent these days. Thank god for not having any bills other than a cell phone and food. After my first 5 months, my wife was tired of being on the road and not enjoying it very much and wanted to go home. Problem was we didnt have a house except the truck. So she decided to move in with her parents until the lease was completed on the truck. About a week before she got off the truck, CRE decided they were going to force us lease drivers to sign a "NEW" contract which I thought was illegal. They used a clause from our existing contract that stated "either party may cancel the terms and conditions of this contract at any time for any reason". In the "NEW" contract we were being forced to run our empty and deadhead miles at a rate of $0.80 versuses the flat $0.90 per mile across the board that was already in effect. There were other miscellaneous changes made, as well as more restrictions enforced on the lease drivers. Their fuel cap criteria was changed to make it that much harder for people to stay paying their precious $1.25 per gallon for fuel. They also forced us LEASE drivers to pay for licensing and permits for a truck whose title our name isnt even on.......thats like me paying to register bill gates car isnt it? All in all these changes placed much more stress on the lease drivers which lead to a HUGE amount of people giving CRE back their trucks and looking for a job elsewhere. I threatened my DM to turn my truck in on the notion I wasn't making any money and these new changes were goign to be the kiss of death for me. He responded with a smug, "do you have anythign else lined up?" which made me back down VERY fast, b/c I didnt have anywhere else to go. SO i resorted to bitching and complaining, and his retort was, "we have all had to take cutbacks due to the economic strain on the economy, I myself had to forfeit an $8,000 bonus this year. I couldnt stop myself from sarcastically laughing and then exploding mocking him and informing him I hadn't even MADE $8,000 for the entire year combined and to shut the *CENSORED* up. He hung up on me and well..... I wont comment on how that affected the amount of miles I ran over the next 3 weeks.....all I will say is it wasnt good.....
    After the Christmas break, something erupted inside of me that changed my thinking and me as a person. I thought back to EVERYTHING that had happened to me to get me where I was, and realized I was a pushover. I thought long and hard about turning my truck in and giving it back, but decided I would take a more "hostile" approach toward those who saw fit to label me as a number and a driver code. I ceased asking for things and demanded they be done, which is both a good and bad thing. I applied for and was accepted to the Sterling, IL Wal-Mart dedicated run which lasted a whole 2 weeks. Briefly put, there is ALOT of bull**** whenever you get Wal-Mart and CRE in the same basket and it all rolls downhill onto the driver. Enough said there. I returned to OTR with the same dickhead DM who started giving me more miles after the christmas break, only b/c i decided to reluctantly and out of necessity for some extra $$$ become a phase 2 trainer. I became a phase 2 trainer and thought of my own experiences with all of my own trainers. I decided to take from the good ones and never do what the bad ones did. After I kicked a guy off my truck (with state trooper assistance) for bringing alcohol aboard, and failing a load due to it being on a team dispatch, my DM saw fit to talk down to me. I lost all my patience and demanded to speak with his supervisor. After gathering both sides of the story and seeing both points of view, it was agreed that I be changed to a different fleet as there was too much animosity, and hostility between my DM and me.
    In February 2010, I was moved over to my new fleet with my new DM Johnny Salazaar who was made aware of why I was put in his fleet. I figured I had to make an impression right away. I had heard of the rumors of the Diesel Doctor in Effingham, IL I-70 x159. He charged me $100 and uncastrated my truck. After he did it, my truck seemed like it actually had a set of balls to it LOL. I quickly grabbed another student and ran every mile I possibly could. I started seeing a huge increase in my miles and very quickly climbed up his "list of drivers". As I started seeing more money, I also started to believe the dream that I could own my own truck was possible. I saved up the required $7,000 very quickly eating more sandwitches(BLEH) than ever. It was also about this time that I made a discovery that CRE was cleaning house and getting rid of their DMs as there had been A LOT of favortism shown. The only ones who are left today are those who have tenure with the company, and were promoted to customer service managers. CRE now has DM's who are younger, aren't involved in a "clique", are competent in communication and have college degrees. This change alone had a major affect on my decision to purchase my truck.
    In March of 2010, My lease was up, and I was faced with a decision:
    A) sign a new lease for a different truck
    B) buy the one I currently am driving
    or
    C) turn the one in I am currently driving and find a new job.
    Well Options A and C didnt make much sense as they both seemed like a backwards move for me. I had made enough to afford the down payment on the truck I was currently driving, and had decided to take a leap of faith. I said to hell with it. I am going to be an O/O.
    I put the $7,000 down on my truck and went from a lease driver status to a lease purchaser staus. The only difference between the 2 contracts is as a lease driver you are charged a BS $0.14 variable mileage payment(highest in the industry as far as i know) whereas when you become a lease purchaser, the variable mileage payment drops off completely and your truck payment jumps from $500 per week to $625-$650 a week.
    As of May 21, 2011 I officially became an O/O saving up enough money to pay my truck off a full 2 months early. I am now one of the North American Divions(NAD) top drivers, all due to the right attitude, perseverance, stubborness, and just downright stupidity.(read below)
    *Closing Thoughts*
    I fell in love with training. To me there is nothing better than teaching something to someone and watching that light go off in their head that acknowledges they get what I am showing them. As of August 2010, I decided to venture off from being a glorified babysitter as a phase 2 trainer and decided to become a Phase 1 trainer. I have since then trained 22 Phase 1 students all of whom I am proud to say have not been involved in any accidents.
    I will not piss on anyones back and tell them its raining. CRE is a VERY crooked company, however they and a few good people within their ranks gave me my shot to become who i am today.
    For the people who are thinking about coming to CRE, i recommend you read this, and remember while there are an infinite number of mitigations that can put you in a bad position, YOU are ultimately in control of yourself and your destiny. If YOU dont stand up for yourself people WILL walk all over you and take advantage of you.
    I take a lot of pride in being a trainer, i dont however particularly care for the outfit i am with, and after reading of other peoples similar experiences, i am questioning whther or not i want to stay with this outgfit or if there is a better opportunity for me out there.
    *OPINIONS*
    Is CREs lease program flawed? YES!!!!! Is it unfair and one sided? YES!!!! Is the way they starve you into it morally and ethically wrong? HELL YES!!!! Would I do it all over again if i could? **** NO!!!! When I came to CRE i was 23 years old and in perfect health, but after 2.5 years, I have gained 25 lbs, developed high blood pressure, still dont have medical insurance, and somehow find a way to take pride in paying $45,000 for a truck that was only worth MAYBE $25,000. Today the truck has 750k miles on it, and is still running strong, with this crooked compnay. I have climbed their totem pole and am now sitting in a position where i still have to run 5-6k miles per week in order to see a paycheck in excess of $3,000. I think the biggest thing that has kept me with CRE for so long is a combination of laziness, fear of failure, not wanting to start over, and the desire to achieve that coveted 1 million safe driving miles with the same company. i'm almost 2/3 of the way there now
    I firmly believe that everyones experiences with CRE are unique and different and that while there is a majority of negative things in common from others experiences, its not really fair to base a life decision off of someone elses misfortunes. You never know unless you try.
    Finally, i am not happy necessarily with the outfit i am with, however i feel kind of trapped as I am not sure what I am supposed to do now that I own the truck.....anyone have any suggestions on a place i can go where i can haul reefer loads in excess of $1.35 per mile?

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    VPIDarkAngel's Avatar
    VPIDarkAngel is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-Up trucker View Post
    Finally, i am not happy necessarily with the outfit i am with, however i feel kind of trapped as I am not sure what I am supposed to do now that I own the truck.....anyone have any suggestions on a place i can go where i can haul reefer loads in excess of $1.35 per mile?
    I think FedEx Custom Critical has refrigerated stuff, and possibly Landstar.
    I'm a company driver with Werner, and I'm 99% sure that our o/o's don't get $1.35 a mile (dry or reefer).
    "Yours?" As in you'd pop a cap in anyone's ass who dared step foot on your turf? (Rev. Vassago)
    "We have too many truckers making $35K a year and voting Republican because he thinks a Democrat is going to come confiscate his guns." (geargrinder)
    "I don't live in Duck's Ass. That's about an hours drive before you get to my house." (Malaki86)

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    repete's Avatar
    repete is offline Senior Board Member
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    I didn't bother reading the whole post but did notice one thing , 22 students in less then 12 months and thats with a whopping 1year exp.! That right there say's more about CRE than I care to know.

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    Man, thats a couple of weeks of reading!!!

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    1-Up trucker is offline Rookie
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    also, that $1.35 is what i make not utilizing their "fuel cap" program

    CRE has 2 separate programs for fuel use:

    fuel cap-you only pay $1.25 per gallon of diesel provided you fuel where they tell you to 75% of the time and maintain an average PAID MPG of 5.8
    for those who dont understand CREs method of computation of a PAID MPG its the amount of miles they choose to pay you divided by the amount of gallons of fuel you purchased.

    rebate-very similar to a lot of other companies FSC programs, except this one has a pay scale of so many cents per mile which is updated according to the dept of energy's weekly average for one gallon of diesel fuel. and I can fuel anywhere I want so long as the place accepts COMDATA. currently I am at $0.45 CPM rebate on top of my $0.90 per mile for a total of $1.35 a mile. Only catch is I am stuck paying full pump CASH price

    I chose the rebate as my truck averages 6.8 paid MPG when I have the students drive or as low as 5.5 paid MPG when I am driving the speed limit to make up for lost time.

    I hope this helps some of those who are preparing to get suckered into CREs lease program, or are already there and looking for some help on how to manipulate the system
    Last edited by 1-Up trucker; 07-16-2011 at 11:15 PM.

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    Orangetxguy is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-Up trucker View Post
    For the people thinking of going to CRE
    ***DISCLAIMER***
    This thread is not intended to discredit anyone else experiences, point of view, flame or bash CRE, or troll in favor of CRE. it is just my own thoughts, and experiences with CRE.
    ***END DISCLAIMER***
    **INTENTIONS**
    To provide an invaluable resource for drivers of all walks of life looking to start a career with CRE through a unique point of view.
    **END INTENTIONS**
    *CREDENTIALS*
    Started with CRE and obtained CDL through their school, Successfully completed their lease program, Successfully purchased my truck through them, 2.5 years experience driving solely for them, successfully trained 24 students all of which to date of this post have not had an accident within CRE, I am an IC mentor within the company, and one of the "top 5 successful drivers" in my DMs fleet of 97 trucks, and am one of the North American Divisions top drivers
    *END CREDENTIALS*
    **STARTING OUT**
    I applied to CRE in February of 2009 out of desperation from losing my previous job and was accepted into their school march 30, 2009 in Burns Harbor, IN. The very first thing I notced was the pressure to Lease a truck, which I was militant about NOT doing as I didnt want the responsibility of making payments for somethign at the time I really couldnt afford. I came with nothing but $100 for their "administrative fee" a visa gift card with $50 the clothes on my back and a suitcase full of ramen. The amount of stress i was put thru the following 3 days put me to a breaking point that nobody should ever have to experience. The first 3 days were chock full of cramming and memorization which seems to have been perfected over the years to be a sophisticated form of torture. There was literally no sleep at the hotel as we were given "homework" which involved at least 3 additional hours of studying in "groups". Upon passing all my written exams things started to get easier as i was now allowed to go out to their backing range and learn how to back the truck up for the next 4 days. I recall watching our class of 150 shrink more and more every day that passed and hearing some of the ridiculous excuse of a reason that were given to these people to send them home. I was sure every day that it was my day and that my time would be up. It never came. After i was comfortable with my backing (only after 4 days of doing it AND an Indiana pre-trip inspection, an instructor came up and introduced himself to me as my road instructor. I got this idea in my head from the video that the next week would be nothing but the 1 on 1 training advertised in the video and thougt hey wow this is cool. I couldnt have been more wrong. Crammed into 1 truck was the instructor, myself and 3 other "students". We would drive all around town from 8am to about 3pm with each student getting an equal amount of time to drive(not enough in my opinion). After a week of this it was time to go for our CDL test which for a lot of people was horrible as there were ludicrous reasons given for failing the test(not stating something is "properly mounted and secured" comes to mind) all before even climbing inside of the damned truck!!!!! I failed on my parrellel parking by using 1 too many get out and looks(I figured it was safer to ALWAYS get out and look but they give you a max of 3). I went back the next day still stressed out because i was given a lengthy lecture and told i was going to be sent home if i didn't pass on my next attempt. I did flawlessly on my pretrip, 4 point brake test and backing maneuvars. I got to the road portion of my test and was nervous beyond all belief because the entire time i saw the tester out of the corner of my eye scribbling in his notebook. Based on his body language when we returned to the test facility i was sure i had made a lot of mistakes due to the "bundle of nerves feeling" and thus failed. He told me in a stern voice to park the rig the way I found it initially and to come inside the office. After getting downstairs and into his office he called me a driver and said how impressed he was with my driving, which made me burst out into a parade of tears. The follwong day I was taken to the DMV to get my hardcopy CDL, which was a temporary CDL which would expire in 3 months from the date of issuance. After i returned to the CRE school, i noticed there were ALOT of the people who were in the same class as me being sent home for x amount of reasons. Alot of them were told they had to pay their own ways home....which made me very angry.....i dont understand how somoene could sleep at night doing that to another person.
    *PHASE 1 TRAINING*
    Roughly a week after obtaining my "TEMPORARY" CDL and sitting around in a hotel room i noticed i was getting low on funds and food. The schools registrar Sherry Izynski noticed this, and saw fit to "take care of me" she brought me enough food to survive and get by on until my trainer showed up. The trainer I had was Seth Clarke and one of CREs most successful O/Os operating his business "KC2 trucking" with three trucks. He already had a student, and was also picking me up, which made me feel uncomfortable having that many people crammed into a space so small. The very first question he asked me was whether or not I was going to lease or go company. I told him I wasnt sure as all through the school i was told this and that about the lease program and the same of being a company driver. I asked Seth a ton of questions about the Lease program as well as policies for being a company driver. The 3 things that changed my mind were:
    1) As a lease driver i could have my wife AND our dog aboard whereas a company I could not
    2) As a lease driver I had the freedom to reject loads(found out its not always a good thing)
    3) Seth asked me what was stopping me form doing what he was doing.....only doing it better than him(i'm a sucker for a challenge)
    It wasnt until we were halfway through Iowa that he started making comments about Sherry. It was at this point I was made aware that Sherry was his fiancee, and that she had told him about me. The rest of the Phase 1 training I gained a lot of valuable insight into the industry, as well as learning a few tips to improve my driving habits. I was fortunate to have a trainer such as Seth who not only gave me the keys to being who i am today, but also insisted on paying for my meals as he understood my situation. Both Sherry and Seth have been and continue to be my Guardian angels within CRE. More to come on that later.
    *Phase 2 training*
    After completion of roughly 30-35 days in Phase 1 Seth and I parted ways. He returned me to Burns Harbor, IN so i could "upgrade" by passing some written tests, a quick trip around the block and simulating backing into a dock with a serpentine maneuvar beforehand. I sat around in a hotel again with only the pay i had saved up during Phase 1( a whopping $60 something a day before taxes) for about 4 days. In your Phase 2 training you are paid $0.12 per mile for every mile that the trainer gets paid for. I received a phone call from an older guy (Dave) whom I assumed had a bunch of experience based on his age informing me he was to be my Phase 2 trainer. This guy made my life a living hell. He always had me driving between the hours of midnight and 6AM (which i found out after the fact is against training policy which CRE turns a blind eye to, even today) was always fighting with his DM(resulting in bad miles), and in general an overall scumbag. I stuck it out with this guy for half of the required 60 days(back then, you HAD to complete 60 days Phase 2 NO EXCEPTIONS) before i had an accident. I was not too far off the Indian Nation Turnpike in OK, only had 2 hours of sleep and was pressured into driving by Dave. I went over 5 (YES FIVE!!!!) 20 ton bridges with a fully loaded truck, somehow justified in my head i could make a U-turn on a 2 lane highway, and eventually missed the on ramp for I-40. I missed the ramp, and saw an old abandoned hotel parking lot which had nothing but 3 poles in the very center equivalent in height to those of the ones you would find in ANY wal-mart parking lot shaped in a triangular formation. I somehow ran all three of these pulls over with my trailer tandems admidst all the room given in this enormous parking lot. Needless to say, it ripped those poles right on out of the ground, and scraped a little bit of yellow paint on CRE's "precious" dirty trailer. Dave did not hesitate to call god and everyone involved with CRE to inform them of this accident. No pictures were taken, no damage done to CRE's trailer, and the poor poles were now scrap. Ironically after the sun came up a work crew arrived and informed us that their task for the day was to remove those poles from the ground as the hotel wa s being renovated. CRE for the next 37 days deducted $0.01 from every mile i was paid to cover the "costs associated with the accident". Due to the "nature" of the accident I was put on a stop dispatch pending a skills assesment, driving review, and an eye exam to check for possible night blindness. CRE EXPECTED ME TO PAY FOR THE EYE EXAM THAT THEY REQUIRED ME TO GET!!!!! I told them I didnt have the money to pay for said "required" exam and they informed me they were going to take my "Temporary CDL" as well as my career and future from me. It was after I left the office concealing a fit of rage that my Phase 1 trainer Seth walked in, saw me and asked me what the hell i was doing sitting there. I explained everything to him and he told me to follow him. He took me right back to the same people who had just been rude to me and very bluntly asked them what the hell their problem was. They came back with how i was an unsafe driver etc. He then asked them if he went and got me an eye exam, and we found out nothing was wrong if they would allow me to finish my training and their reply was yes. Turns out post eye exam, I only have an astigmatism and am near sighted. This man went out of his way and bought me the same pair of prescription glasses I am wearing right now. He never asked for anythign in return, other than I just do my best to succeed. I expalined everything that was going on with Dave to the Training Coordinator (TC), and was immediately pulled off of this guys truck, and was given to a different phase 2 trainer. I was introduced to Jesus Aguilera, who was very easy to get along with, and gave me even more tips to improve the way in which i handled the truck, as well as showed me the CRE way to run a business.
    **THE LEASE**
    On July 21, 2009 I made the decision to lease a 2007 freightliner century class ST. I decided if I was goign to lease, it would only be short term in the vicinty of 6-8 months.The truck only had 150k miles on it, was governed out at 62MPH, had the old 14L 515HP DD60 series, with a 13 speed tranny. Only problem with the tranny was CRE had the splitter removed forcing it to always stay in its higher range gears for 5,6,7, and 8. I decided to bring my wife and my akita on the truck with me. The first 5 moths were horrible. We ate countless numbers of sandwitches to the point i refuse to eat sandwitches today. We never spent any money because I wasnt making any money. I still had the mindset i wanted to be successful and persevered. It wasnt until I found out I had a ****ty DM who wasnt running me all b/c I refused to take loads due to i had no hours to drive, let alone get the load delivered on time. They were just oo tight to run with a 62MPH truck as a solo driver. He was CONSTANLY putting me in this position so needless to say I did a lot of sitting. For the first 5 months I made an average weekly paycheck of $178. thats $712 a month.....less than most peoples rent these days. Thank god for not having any bills other than a cell phone and food. After my first 5 months, my wife was tired of being on the road and not enjoying it very much and wanted to go home. Problem was we didnt have a house except the truck. So she decided to move in with her parents until the lease was completed on the truck. About a week before she got off the truck, CRE decided they were going to force us lease drivers to sign a "NEW" contract which I thought was illegal. They used a clause from our existing contract that stated "either party may cancel the terms and conditions of this contract at any time for any reason". In the "NEW" contract we were being forced to run our empty and deadhead miles at a rate of $0.80 versuses the flat $0.90 per mile across the board that was already in effect. There were other miscellaneous changes made, as well as more restrictions enforced on the lease drivers. Their fuel cap criteria was changed to make it that much harder for people to stay paying their precious $1.25 per gallon for fuel. They also forced us LEASE drivers to pay for licensing and permits for a truck whose title our name isnt even on.......thats like me paying to register bill gates car isnt it? All in all these changes placed much more stress on the lease drivers which lead to a HUGE amount of people giving CRE back their trucks and looking for a job elsewhere. I threatened my DM to turn my truck in on the notion I wasn't making any money and these new changes were goign to be the kiss of death for me. He responded with a smug, "do you have anythign else lined up?" which made me back down VERY fast, b/c I didnt have anywhere else to go. SO i resorted to bitching and complaining, and his retort was, "we have all had to take cutbacks due to the economic strain on the economy, I myself had to forfeit an $8,000 bonus this year. I couldnt stop myself from sarcastically laughing and then exploding mocking him and informing him I hadn't even MADE $8,000 for the entire year combined and to shut the *CENSORED* up. He hung up on me and well..... I wont comment on how that affected the amount of miles I ran over the next 3 weeks.....all I will say is it wasnt good.....
    After the Christmas break, something erupted inside of me that changed my thinking and me as a person. I thought back to EVERYTHING that had happened to me to get me where I was, and realized I was a pushover. I thought long and hard about turning my truck in and giving it back, but decided I would take a more "hostile" approach toward those who saw fit to label me as a number and a driver code. I ceased asking for things and demanded they be done, which is both a good and bad thing. I applied for and was accepted to the Sterling, IL Wal-Mart dedicated run which lasted a whole 2 weeks. Briefly put, there is ALOT of bull**** whenever you get Wal-Mart and CRE in the same basket and it all rolls downhill onto the driver. Enough said there. I returned to OTR with the same dickhead DM who started giving me more miles after the christmas break, only b/c i decided to reluctantly and out of necessity for some extra $$$ become a phase 2 trainer. I became a phase 2 trainer and thought of my own experiences with all of my own trainers. I decided to take from the good ones and never do what the bad ones did. After I kicked a guy off my truck (with state trooper assistance) for bringing alcohol aboard, and failing a load due to it being on a team dispatch, my DM saw fit to talk down to me. I lost all my patience and demanded to speak with his supervisor. After gathering both sides of the story and seeing both points of view, it was agreed that I be changed to a different fleet as there was too much animosity, and hostility between my DM and me.
    In February 2010, I was moved over to my new fleet with my new DM Johnny Salazaar who was made aware of why I was put in his fleet. I figured I had to make an impression right away. I had heard of the rumors of the Diesel Doctor in Effingham, IL I-70 x159. He charged me $100 and uncastrated my truck. After he did it, my truck seemed like it actually had a set of balls to it LOL. I quickly grabbed another student and ran every mile I possibly could. I started seeing a huge increase in my miles and very quickly climbed up his "list of drivers". As I started seeing more money, I also started to believe the dream that I could own my own truck was possible. I saved up the required $7,000 very quickly eating more sandwitches(BLEH) than ever. It was also about this time that I made a discovery that CRE was cleaning house and getting rid of their DMs as there had been A LOT of favortism shown. The only ones who are left today are those who have tenure with the company, and were promoted to customer service managers. CRE now has DM's who are younger, aren't involved in a "clique", are competent in communication and have college degrees. This change alone had a major affect on my decision to purchase my truck.
    In March of 2010, My lease was up, and I was faced with a decision:
    A) sign a new lease for a different truck
    B) buy the one I currently am driving
    or
    C) turn the one in I am currently driving and find a new job.
    Well Options A and C didnt make much sense as they both seemed like a backwards move for me. I had made enough to afford the down payment on the truck I was currently driving, and had decided to take a leap of faith. I said to hell with it. I am going to be an O/O.
    I put the $7,000 down on my truck and went from a lease driver status to a lease purchaser staus. The only difference between the 2 contracts is as a lease driver you are charged a BS $0.14 variable mileage payment(highest in the industry as far as i know) whereas when you become a lease purchaser, the variable mileage payment drops off completely and your truck payment jumps from $500 per week to $625-$650 a week.
    As of May 21, 2011 I officially became an O/O saving up enough money to pay my truck off a full 2 months early. I am now one of the North American Divions(NAD) top drivers, all due to the right attitude, perseverance, stubborness, and just downright stupidity.(read below)
    *Closing Thoughts*
    I fell in love with training. To me there is nothing better than teaching something to someone and watching that light go off in their head that acknowledges they get what I am showing them. As of August 2010, I decided to venture off from being a glorified babysitter as a phase 2 trainer and decided to become a Phase 1 trainer. I have since then trained 22 Phase 1 students all of whom I am proud to say have not been involved in any accidents.
    I will not piss on anyones back and tell them its raining. CRE is a VERY crooked company, however they and a few good people within their ranks gave me my shot to become who i am today.
    For the people who are thinking about coming to CRE, i recommend you read this, and remember while there are an infinite number of mitigations that can put you in a bad position, YOU are ultimately in control of yourself and your destiny. If YOU dont stand up for yourself people WILL walk all over you and take advantage of you.
    I take a lot of pride in being a trainer, i dont however particularly care for the outfit i am with, and after reading of other peoples similar experiences, i am questioning whther or not i want to stay with this outgfit or if there is a better opportunity for me out there.
    *OPINIONS*
    Is CREs lease program flawed? YES!!!!! Is it unfair and one sided? YES!!!! Is the way they starve you into it morally and ethically wrong? HELL YES!!!! Would I do it all over again if i could? **** NO!!!! When I came to CRE i was 23 years old and in perfect health, but after 2.5 years, I have gained 25 lbs, developed high blood pressure, still dont have medical insurance, and somehow find a way to take pride in paying $45,000 for a truck that was only worth MAYBE $25,000. Today the truck has 750k miles on it, and is still running strong, with this crooked compnay. I have climbed their totem pole and am now sitting in a position where i still have to run 5-6k miles per week in order to see a paycheck in excess of $3,000. I think the biggest thing that has kept me with CRE for so long is a combination of laziness, fear of failure, not wanting to start over, and the desire to achieve that coveted 1 million safe driving miles with the same company. i'm almost 2/3 of the way there now
    I firmly believe that everyones experiences with CRE are unique and different and that while there is a majority of negative things in common from others experiences, its not really fair to base a life decision off of someone elses misfortunes. You never know unless you try.
    Finally, i am not happy necessarily with the outfit i am with, however i feel kind of trapped as I am not sure what I am supposed to do now that I own the truck.....anyone have any suggestions on a place i can go where i can haul reefer loads in excess of $1.35 per mile?

    :roll: :roll: :roll:




    Jr.........I am gonna rain on your parade here.

    The fact that you survived CRE at all is commendable Jr. :thumbsup:

    BUT......the fact that you covet someone "Else's" miles??? :hellno: :hellno: THAT ONE MILLION MILE point? :angryblue: :angryblue: THAT is for when YOU have driven 1 Million Miles.......not when 22 other people have rolled miles onto your trucks odometer. issedoff: Mileage in your bunk counts for .33......issedoff: issedoff: issedoff:.... Less if you had two students in the truck like trainer "Seth". issedoff: issedoff: issedoff: issedoff:Hell.......If all it takes to rack up miles is movement from point "A" to point "B"........I can put myself in the 7 million mile club....based on my air-travel miles over the last 35 years.

    As it stands......with 34 years of driving behind me.....I am at 3.5 million miles.

    Pat yourself on the back for surviving CRE....THAT is okay to do and your survival is a commendable accomplishment. But Jr. Only take credit for the miles YOU drove....not the miles your students racked up on the odometer.
    Space...............Is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence! :thumbsup: Star Trek2009

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    Mackman's Avatar
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    If you OWN the truck. Then why are you staying with CRE??
    Truck Driving an occupation consisting of hours of boredom interrupted by sheer terror!!

    "All the coolie carriers suck. Log 70, work 80-100, paid for 50." - the Great ColdFrostyMug



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    CRE training sounds a lot like Boot camp....Boy am i glad i got my cdl on my own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangetxguy View Post
    :roll: :roll: :roll:

    BUT......the fact that you covet someone "Else's" miles??? :hellno: :hellno: THAT ONE MILLION MILE point? :angryblue: :angryblue: THAT is for when YOU have driven 1 Million Miles.......not when 22 other people have rolled miles onto your trucks odometer. issedoff: Mileage in your bunk counts for .33......issedoff: issedoff: issedoff:.... Less if you had two students in the truck like trainer "Seth". issedoff: issedoff: issedoff: issedoff:Hell.......If all it takes to rack up miles is movement from point "A" to point "B"........I can put myself in the 7 million mile club....based on my air-travel miles over the last 35 years.
    thing is i spend next to no time in my bunk i appreciate the constructive criticism though I however DO take credit for the miles they drove as it was MY equipment that went through hell, MY $$$ spent replacing 1 tranny, and not to mention I spend every waking moment in the jumpseat, explaining the ins and outs of what I did to make CRE work out for me, as well as providing a means of instruction

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackman View Post
    If you OWN the truck. Then why are you staying with CRE??
    b/c i consider myself still a rookie regardless of my short term accomplishments and really dont know what to do now that i own the truck much less where to go or how to go about accomlishing it

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    [QUOTE=1-Up trucker;500391]thing is i spend next to no time in my bunk i appreciate the constructive criticism though I however DO take credit for the miles they drove as it was MY equipment that went through hell, MY $$$ spent replacing 1 tranny, and not to mention I spend every waking moment in the jumpseat, explaining the ins and outs of what I did to make CRE work out for me, as well as providing a means of instruction[/QUOTE]


    The thing is......A TRAINER can not train from the bunk. So...Good for you.


    As for how many miles you ride.....No company is going to look at your "years of service" then your "claimed miles" and think you are serious....except for being seriously demented. It's to bad your trainees caused mechanical repairs to be done to your truck. BUT......putting 3 or 4 hundred thousand miles on a truck in two years does that. You're gonna play the game....you're gonna pay the bill due.


    And....this statement totally proves my point.

    b/c i consider myself still a rookie regardless of my short term accomplishments and really dont know what to do now that i own the truck much less where to go or how to go about accomlishing it
    If you truly were a "Million Miler" you would have the years of experience a "Miler" has acquired and you would have made the appropriate jump years ago.


    Shocking.

    As I stated before..........if the only requirement to attain "Million Mile" status, is movement from "Point A" to "Point B"...........I too can double my mileage. Or more. I don't and I won't.


    Come back in 6 or 7 years and talk to us about being a "Million Miler".
    Space...............Is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence! :thumbsup: Star Trek2009

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    [QUOTE=Orangetxguy;500413][QUOTE=1-Up trucker;500391]thing is i spend next to no time in my bunk i appreciate the constructive criticism though I however DO take credit for the miles they drove as it was MY equipment that went through hell, MY $$$ spent replacing 1 tranny, and not to mention I spend every waking moment in the jumpseat, explaining the ins and outs of what I did to make CRE work out for me, as well as providing a means of instruction[/QUOTE]


    The thing is......A TRAINER can not train from the bunk. So...Good for you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Orangetxguy View Post
    As for how many miles you ride.....No company is going to look at your "years of service" then your "claimed miles" and think you are serious....except for being seriously demented. It's to bad your trainees caused mechanical repairs to be done to your truck. BUT......putting 3 or 4 hundred thousand miles on a truck in two years does that. You're gonna play the game....you're gonna pay the bill due.
    i think i see what you are saying now

    as for your statement regarding the "appropriate jump" i still to this very second dont know where I can go and make more $$$ than I currently do for less effort than I am with CRE. i honestly do HATE running 5-6k miles per week just to clear a $2500 paycheck. Do you have any advice on where I can go now that I have the title etc?

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    It's not too late to suggest a couple of updates to the England training manual, is it? How about "Trip planning is not always a waste of time." and "While signs can be dull and numbers can form interesting patterns, occasionally, the numbers actually mean something."

    Truck crash causes East Side backups | Press & Sun-Bulletin | pressconnects.com

    You can read the tractor number . . one of yours? Just kidding.

    I couldn't even begin to read your entire post but it sounds like you've accomplished some good things and good for you. I am forced to wonder about your teaching methodology, however. It puzzles me that your thought process allows you to count another (many) driver's miles as your own and you then go on to try and defend it. Do you agree that it might be more accurate to distinguish between your driving miles and your training miles? Doesn't England have a mileage requirement that each of it's students must attain? By your way of thinking, they'd never get any.
    Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day. Bertrand Russell

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    Here are a few questions a prospective Fleece-Op may be interested in:

    (It's a shiny new Volvo so it is fair to assume it's a fleece, right?)

    1. Who pays for the tractor damage?

    2. Who pays for the freight and trailer damage?

    3. Is the Fleece - Op paid for the miles to the point of the collision?

    4. What is the likely impact on the Fleece - Ops contract with CRE?

    5. Who pays for the costs incurred by the municipality and/or the owner of the bridge?
    Last edited by ilikeike; 07-18-2011 at 12:16 PM.
    Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day. Bertrand Russell

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    Default CR England...

    Good letter. BOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikeike View Post
    Here are a few questions a prospective Fleece-Op may be interested in:

    (It's a shiny new Volvo so it is fair to assume it's a fleece, right?)

    1. Who pays for the tractor damage?
    any damage caused to the tractor(outside of mechanical) is paid for by insurance, the deductible is $1,000 which if the student is driving at time of occurrence, i only have to pay half of.
    2. Who pays for the freight and trailer damage?
    CREs insurance, unless CRE determines said damage was caused with intent, at which point they deduct so many cents per mile out of your settlement until the repair costs is paid off, which seems illegal IMO given there is nothing in my contract stating such.

    3. Is the Fleece - Op paid for the miles to the point of the collision?
    yes

    4. What is the likely impact on the Fleece - Ops contract with CRE?
    CRE added a clause to their contract that states either party may at any time for any reason cancel the terms and conditions of said contract, which depending on the severity of the accident they would probably terminate the contract on the grounds of said driver is unsafe.

    5. Who pays for the costs incurred by the municipality and/or the owner of the bridge?
    the driver pays for any damages caused to property, but would be able to contend a weak defense based on no low clearance sign, rookie driver, which would ultimately fail and result in the driver paying the costs.
    hope this helps.....

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    Not to derail the topic, but am I the only one who saw a CR England ad at the bottom of this thread before logging in?
    As for the bridge strike, that just needs its own thread.
    "Yours?" As in you'd pop a cap in anyone's ass who dared step foot on your turf? (Rev. Vassago)
    "We have too many truckers making $35K a year and voting Republican because he thinks a Democrat is going to come confiscate his guns." (geargrinder)
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    Yes VIP, I call them smart ads. They take what is in a thread and generate a current ad to show.

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