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Prime Inc. CDL training. Springfield, Missouri

Topic 17418 | Page 10

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G-Town's Comment
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Turtle...awesome post. I tackled the Grape Vine with a paper load,...7th day of training.

's Comment
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Turtle... Just wanted to pop in and day I have really been enjoying your diary posts. I'm in the middle of TnT myself and have had little free time. You, brother, are making us or Primates proud! Keep it up and keep it safe. God Speed... See you around the Millinium!

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Turtle's Comment
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Whew! What a busy week or so it's been. The days have kinda run together for me, blurring the transition between days, states, time zones, etc.

Team driving while also training will certainly keep you moving. I can't speak for how it'll be with other trainers, but in my case we keep running. In roughly a week and a half we have just over 9k miles logged. Not too shabby.

I work the night shift, beginning loosely at 5pm and usually ending around 5am. As flatbedders, we typically only load and deliver during normal daytime hours. Thus, my night shift of driving is always quiet and uninterrupted. Brian sleeps nice and sound till his shift.

As I mentioned in a prior post, it took a couple days to get my body clock adjusted to the graveyard shift. The bad thing about this is I'm still in training, and I still need to see how pickups and deliveries are conducted........during the day. So what happens is I end my shift and crawl right into the bunk. Then I'll get up to assist with loading, strapping, tarping, etc. Then back to bed for a few more hours till the next stop or task. Brian will try to let me sleep sometimes, but my thirst for learning makes me get up, at least for enough time to see what's going on.

Usually I'll get enough sleep, although it may be broken up into segments. I think the longest I've slept without waking since coming on this truck has been maybe 6 hrs. Again, this may or may not be typical for team training, but it is the modus operandi on this truck. However, Brian has been very firm and clear that I am to stop if I get tired. So far I've managed nicely, with only a few extra stops for coffee.

My advice to all who venture into the flatbed field......sleep when you can during training.

Tonight is a rare occasion where we have several hours to kill before our 8am appt. So I parked us at the TA in Barstow, and I'm going to just hang out staying awake while Brian is passed out in the truck. I'd love to just close my eyes for awhile, but I don't want to screw up my body clock.

Drivers lounges are life savers. Watching the tv keeps me awake and occupied , and this also gives me time to finally update this thread. I've tried typing while hanging in the bunk, but the bumps and bounces of the road make it a challenge. Instead I just sleep lol. During a normal working day, I simply don't take the time to do much but drive, eat, sleep, rinse, repeat. That'll change some when I go solo.

So yeah, in my short time training I've been from Missouri to California, California to Colorado, Colorado to Arkansas, Arkansas to Texas, Texas to Long Island, Long Island to Utah, and now Utah back to California. You'd think I've seen all kinds of beautiful country... Wrong!

Haha I drive nights, so mostly I've seen nothing but darkness. Daytime hours are spent sleeping. This too will change once I go solo, hopefully. I wouldn't change this experience though. Every little bit helps.

Some things I've learned:

Situational awareness- Know who and what is around your truck at ALL times.

Respect your truck- Don't underestimate your speed, weight, or danger factor. Know your next move before it happens.

4 wheelers are jerks- They WILL pull out in front of you. Refer to the first two things I've learned ^^

Flatbedding will get you dirty- Nothing is inside a nice clean box. Your load, straps, and tarps will quickly acquire road grime. So will you. Plan accordingly.

You can run hard and still shower- I'm so thankful I have a clean trainer. His truck is clean and we get a shower almost daily. Only twice have we skipped a day. You're gonna fuel up at a truck stop anyway, so why not take the free shower?

That's about it for now. I'm sure I'll think of something that I forgot to say, but that'll be for the next post I guess. Stay safe everyone.

Peace

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Saturday 1/21/2017 1600hrs

Back at Sprimo. Our load doesn't deliver until Monday morning, so we have time to stop by the Prime terminal. Brian lives 15 mins away, so he's going home for the night while I hang here at the millennium building. This will be a great opportunity to shower, do laundry, catch up on some much needed sleep, and watch the playoffs tomorrow.

1800hrs Brian's wife came to pick him up shortly after we arrived, and brought a huge dish of homemade enchiladas for me! OMG they were delicious! Man there's just something about homemade food! There was enough for me to eat, take a nap, then get up and chow again lol.

I got some very sad news the other day. One of the guys I went through PSD training with passed away while out on TNT training. I only found out through posts on his facebook page. Details were very sketchy as to what happened, and we never really got the answer. We contacted HR here at Prime, but they wouldn't give up any info. We tried to contact folks through his facebook page, but they are tight lipped also. In the end, it doesn't really matter anyway. He's gone. RIP Joel. You were the class clown of the group, always making us laugh, and we'll never forget you.

I only mention this here because it's the bond of attending Prime school together that made us so close. Our class was very small, and the attrition rate was quite high. Out of 23 of us who started day 1 together, only 6 of us are still active now.

Those of us left are very tight, staying in daily contact. In fact, we have a routine of calling each other (hands free, of course) during our drive shifts to pass the time and keep each other awake. It's not uncommon to be talking to one, and have another beep in. We genuinely care for each other, and I'm honored to be in such good company.

Sunday 1/22/2017 1630hrs

I'm set to go. We're leaving at roughly 2030hrs, and it'll be a short jaunt over to Arlington, TN. Still, I want to grab a short nap before taking off. But it's hard to pull myself away from the playoffs.

I know I've said it several times, but I just can't get over how great Prime is to it's drivers. They really treat us well. We have a first rate terminal with all the amenities. People are friendly wherever you go here. The brass knows where their success comes from, and are sure to show appreciation for it. It makes me proud to be a part of it all.

Looks like Atlanta has this game in the bag. I guess I'll grab some chow and head out to the truck to get that nap. See yall later.

Peace

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

John B.'s Comment
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Hows the training going on the road?

Turtle's Comment
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Hows the training going on the road?

Oh it's been going absolutely perfect so far. Funny you should ask, I was just putting the next update together lol.

Turtle's Comment
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1/30/2017 1500hrs

It's been awhile since my last update. To say we've been busy is an understatement. We had a string of good runs recently, getting us nearly 6,500 miles last week. I now have nearly 14k miles towards the required 30k.

This busy time has been leading up to my trainer's short vacation this week. He's taking a few days to go to Vegas with his wife for their anniversary. This was planned from the beginning, but still a delay in me getting my miles.

At first, the plan was for me to stay at Sprimo while he's away. But after hearing him calling pet kennels for his dogs, I offered to keep an eye on the dogs for the few days. This led to me staying at his house. They set me up in the guest bedroom, gave me the keys to their brand new car, and told me to help myself to the half a cow's worth of steaks in the chest freezer. Throughout this, they keep thanking me over and over for taking care of their dogs, when actually it's no big deal. I have dogs of my own and love dogs. Plus I hate to see any dog put into a kennel, even just temporarily. Out of all this, I get to sleep in a real bed and hang out with some cool dogs lol.

So back to the training. Not a whole lot to speak of really. Everyday has been rather routine so far. Drive, sleep, eat, rinse, repeat. When you're running hard like we have been, the days again seem to run together.

I had a pretty nerve-wracking experience sometime last week. We were going to Houston via US59 south and I had planned to stop at the last truck stop, a Pilot on Richey Rd, before the receiver. Some if yall will know where I'm coming from here. When I get almost there, the GPS wanted me to take a Parkway over to the adjacent highway where the truckstop was.

Not long ago while in NYC, my trainer had told me to avoid Parkways since they're usually closed to commercial traffic. I didn't realize that he was referring to mostly NYC only. So in Houston, when I saw the Parkway exit I hesitated, skeptical of whether I should go that way or not even though the GPS told me to. I chose to err on the side of caution in that case, and passed up the exit while waiting for the GPS to recalculate a different route. I would come to regret this decision.

First, the GPS kept wanting me to turn around and go back to the parkway. I had already decided against that so that wasn't an option. Finally after several miles it rerouted me through some sketchy side roads. If only I'd known the area, I would have known to keep going till I came out to the highway I was looking for. But at the time I was afraid of going way out of route, so I took the side roads given by the gps.

Once off the interstate , I followed the GPS for a while, until it brought me to a very sharp right hand turn. Luckily it was 4 a.m. so I was able to make an extremely wide turn with no traffic. But I still had to GOAL in mid turn to be sure I wasn't going to clip the pole, which I didn't.

So now I'm on a service road adjacent to some kind of toll road. Entrance signs to the toll road said no cash accepted, and some kind of toll tag was accepted, but we don't have that tag to my knowledge. Meanwhile, the service road I'm on appears to be going downtownish. Not good. Not good at all.

I set the brakes right in the road, turned on the hazards, and contemplated my decisions in life lol. What got me here, and what will get me out?

I turned back to the GPS. The problem is, the GPS thought I was on the toll road to my left, and kept trying to route me from there. But I wasn't there. What I finally ended up having to do was set a new waypoint a few blocks to my right, thus tricking my GPS to point me in a different direction. After acquiring said direction, I physically got out of the truck and walked a few blocks ahead to confirm I could safely get out of there that way. Meanwhile my truck is still sitting in the road, with 4ways a flashing, and my trainer was still sleeping away. Not a soul was around though.

After confirming the route out, I got back in the truck and made my way to another very sharp right hand turn, with another GOAL mid-way through. This new route looked much simpler and safer then where I had been.

The final obstacle was yet another sharp right hand turn at an intersection. While waiting for the light to turn green, a cop pulled up on the opposite corner from me. I thought well this will be where I find out if I was on a restricted road or not. This was an agonizingly slow light, so much so that I was convinced the cop was waiting for me to go so he could pull in behind me and light me up. When the light finally turned green I made the slowest turn of my short driving career, making damn sure to not hit anything on this final maneuver. My back axle did go up on the curb a little bit, but given the sharpness of this turn I think I did as well as anyone else could have. I watched that cop in my mirror for as long as I could, the sucker never did move, as far as I could see.

The night ended with me safely at the truck stop, shutting down for a couple hours. When I woke my trainer up for his shift, he asked me how the night had went.

"Went fine, no problems." smile.gif

So now I'm just waiting to get this 30k done, so I can get upgraded and get my wife on the truck with me. I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far, soaking up as much knowledge as I can on the way.

Peace

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tim E.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle, glad to hear of your success! Have you receive all you're strapping, tarping and chaining training all on the road or did you get training in your Prime schooling? Sleeping better? Hope your success continues!!

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Thanks!

So far, all of my securement training has been otr by my trainer. But I will have to attend a securement training class after I complete my 30k and before upgrading. I'm not sure how long the class is, only a day or two I assume since most folks upgrade within a few days.

Yes I'm sleeping much better now, though nothing beats a quiet room for good rest. My internal clock fought madly with the time change, as well as the bumps and bangs of sleeping while cruising in a freightshaker at 65mph. Just like anything else, you get accustomed to it..... sorta.

I'm so ready to get my own truck so I can sleep when I'm sitting still.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Tim E.'s Comment
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Thank you sir! Please document that training on here as well !

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