California Career School had the privilege of attending the ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies of the new CRST terminal in Riverside. The new terminal features dormitories, common areas for the drivers to socialize, a cafeteria open 24/7, and laundry facilities. For entertainment, the terminal features a high definition movie room with a blue ray player and access to Netflix. A separate entertainment room houses a juke box, pool tables, and an outdoor patio providing grills for cooking with transportation to nearby markets for supplies.
The tour guide emphasized the family environment created within CRST: “We want our drivers to feel like they are family, to create a home away from home, but also a place for them to invite their families to.” CRST is currently working on partnering with nearby vendors to encourage this family structure away from home; one service they hope to implement in the near future is to have neighboring cosmetologists come in to provide haircuts for the drivers and their families on a regular basis.
Visiting the terminal, we caught a glimpse of how easy it is for the drivers to meet new people daily. We were able to get to know veteran drivers who provided us with some great advice for our students just starting out in the field. Robert, a driver for 35 years, shared his perspective of the road and stated that every driver must “respect the light load, respect the wind, and respect their paperwork.” He explained that much of his success has been a result of being aware of how weather affects his driving and of having his paperwork in order to earn the respect and leniency of the DOT inspectors. Robert emphasized the idea of continuous learning for our new drivers: “You must not think that you can drive all vehicles the same. For example, when transitioning between driving a van and driving a flat bed, you must be willing to learn how to drive all over again.” A trainer for 13 years, Robert understands the value of continuous learning and wanted us to share this with our students as they embark on their employer training. He advised them to “get a good trainer who is patient.”
Spending the day at the terminal, it was visible that CRST treats their drivers like family while providing them the best experience and advice from veteran drivers that set them up for success. California Career School is proud to share our driver family with CRST.