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Prime Inc. CDL training. Springfield, Missouri

Topic 17418 | Page 18

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Bryn J.'s Comment
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We should call you CHRIS DR BURGH, and the truck, LADY IN RED.

Turtle's Comment
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Wooo finally made it!! Just waiting for the shuttle to get here. So excited for this journey to start.

I'm so sorry I missed you Kori. I ended up getting dispatched on a load. Yesterday was a flurry of activity, from gathering my gear, stowing it away, permits, fueling up, grabbing the load and tarping it, and basically everything needed to become a solo truck driver. I finally left out at aroundl 2200. Details later, after I've had a nap.

Just didn't want you to think I stood you up. LOL good luck today. Can't wait to hear how it goes!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kori M.'s Comment
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I figured something like that was the case! Yay congrats on getting your first load! It's ok I was so tired anyways so it felt nice just to rest finally.

Turtle's Comment
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2/7/17 0450hrs Gurdon, AR

Whew, it's been a busy couple of days!

Sunday morning was spent bringing some of my stuff from my room over to the truck, and waiting for the shop to finish installing the apu. After initially being told it would be done by 0600, I was then informed it would be 1100 before they finished. At 1300, they finally gave me the call. So I boogied over there to get my truck and to start the process of gearing up.

Us flatbedders have to get all of our securement and tarping gear from the equipment shop, and then stow it away on the truck. There's quite a lot of stuff, and it takes a little bit to figure out where to put everything in the best place for efficiency and simplicity. It didn't help that my TNT trainer, as a lease operator, has a whole different set of gear than I do as a company driver.

Anyhoo, in the middle of putting my gear away, my former PSD trainer called me up.

"Hey Rich I heard you got a truck. I'm about 19 miles away and was wondering if you want to take this load off of me. Simple load of shingles, no tarp. It delivers in the morning in Arkansas, and you can probably pick up a Georgia Pacific load outta there. Plus this way you'll have a trailer, and won't have to search or wait for one."

"Geez Danny I still have a lot of stuff to do to get this truck ready. To take that load I'd have to leave tonight, with no sleep. But I'll do it, it's only a 5 hour trip. "

"Well I was just offering, and it would be doing me a favor to get this load off of me. I'll set it up with dispatch."

So with that I was in rush mode. Gotta get the truck geared up, go over to the detail shop for my mattress, go to driver lineup for my permit book, affix permits and license plate to the truck, make it back to the hotel to grab the rest of my stuff, get myself attached to the truck, and to the Qualcomm. Strap & secure the load...

In the middle of this, Danny calls back up:

"Hey man I talked to dispatch, and they have a more urgent load for you to take. It's a little more miles, and you should still be able to get a decent load out of there. I told dispatch to set it up"

Well shoot, I was only taking his load to help him out, I'd rather have the day to get my truck set up the way I want. But whatever, I'm into it now.

So I get the load assignment over my phone. I was told to go over to the yard and meet up with another driver who is dropping this load off for me to take. When I get there I see that it's a load of steel pipe, and it needs to be tarped. For those of you that don't know, some steel pipes have very sharp edges. Here I am, about to throw my brand new tarps over this steel, and I don't have anything yet to protect my brand new tarps from being sliced like a tomato on those edges.

I have a half dozen moving blankets at home which are meant for this purpose. Trouble is, it's going to be a few more days until I get home to retrieve them. So I had to cruise back over to the equipment shop, and ask them for an old junk tarp I could cut up to use as cushion protector. No problem.

One little tidbit I was unaware of: New tarps aren't rolled up the same way that I was taught to to roll them up. When I got the first one up on the load and unrolled it, I figured out it was rolled the wrong way, thus requiring me to drag it back to the ground, roll it up the right way, then throw it back on the load, and roll it out once more. Good times...

The wind nearly kicked my butt. Any of you who have been in the midwest lately know the wind has been fierce for the past several days. Throwing tarps in the wind is no easy task, especially when by yourself. But I eventually got her done.

The rest of the trip went relatively smooth, with the exception of not having my hard hat when I reached the receiver. I must've left it in the shuttle while transferring my stuff from hotel to truck. No worries, they let me unload anyway. Also, I rushed out of Springfield so fast that I forgot to grab trip sheets needed to scan my loads. But another driver at the receiver gave me a whole book of them.

So my first solo trip is officially in the books! Maybe it could have went a little smoother, but all in all I'm happy with how it went.

I love this job.

Peace

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Bryn J.'s Comment
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Brilliant job.

dancing-dog.gif

Pete B.'s Comment
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Turtle, great diary, beginning to end. Not saying I'm ready for it to end... keep writing, dude, I love your perspective and attitude! Your new truck is a real beauty... brand new with 173 mi on the odometer? They can paint it any dang color they want! Great job on your first load, really threw you into the mix as soon as they could... "Welcome to trucking," one of the experienced drivers would say. Good luck and be safe!

icecold24k's Comment
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Hey there! I just read this whole thread in one sitting haha. Glad to see you chose the flatbed division and are enjoying it. I just posted my 3 month solo update with Prime. There is a lot of money to be made here. Keep it up and keep us updated.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Adam B.'s Comment
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Hey Turtle is your truck an auto? If it is, how different is it from driving a manual (besides the lack of shifting)?

Turtle's Comment
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03/19/2017 1902hrs Cleveland, OH

Yeah I know it's been a little bit since I last posted. I can't say its because I haven't had the time, since I did. Truth is I just got lazy I guess.

I survived my first week solo. The thrill of running my own show was counterbalanced by the fear of... well... running my own show.

One load in particular almost got me screwed up.

I was to pick up four metal coils, totalling 47k pounds. When I got there, the loader operator dude asked me how I wanted them loaded onto my trailer. I answered him as honestly as I could:

"Umm I'm not sure, this is my first time."

As embarrassing as it was to say that, it was the truth, and I sought his advice on what was standard. Now don't get me wrong, during training I did haul steel coils twice. But each time they were just put on our truck and we secured them. I don't recall ever being given the option of loading them suicide, shotgun, or eye to the sky. Didn't occur to me that we would have the option how they are loaded. I was basically just following my trainers lead.

Now it's on me. No room for error. I know how to secure coils, but I just didn't know which way would be best to load them.

So after I showed him my ignorance, he kinda smiled as if this wasn't the first time a newbie showed up to his warehouse. He showed great patience explaining the different ways he could load them, and what most drivers normally do.

In the end I got em loaded and secured like a pro, and learned a valuable lesson: Never be afraid to ask for help. You probably won't be the first to ask. When it comes to securing a load safely, I won't take chances.

After dropping off this load, I was sent home for home time. Spent a few well earned days at home relaxing and setting up my truck. I planned to ship out on Tuesday morning, but that big storm that hit the Northeast had other ideas. Once I figured out I couldn't get out ahead of the storm, I messaged my FM to request a couple extra days to sit it out. He said no problem, good call. It made me feel good to know he agreed with my desire for safety.

The load I'm on now was scheduled to deliver Friday, but delays at the shipper put me just enough behind that I couldn't make it by close of business Friday. Therefore I'm now babysitting this load until Monday. So now I'm just sitting at my 90, waiting till they open up tomorrow morning. I could have sat at our terminal , or a truck stop for the weekend. But by waiting here, I'll get in a 34, and be unloaded and dispatched on a new load before ever starting my clock.

Oh yeah, the best part of being on my own truck now? My wife is with me! We are finally living out our dream together. It's been a long road to get here. But the rewards are oh so sweet. I don't know what the future holds, but at the moment we're loving life. That's worth something.

Peace

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Hey Turtle is your truck an auto? If it is, how different is it from driving a manual (besides the lack of shifting)?

Sorry I'm just getting to this :

Yes mine is an automatic, but I have very little experience with the manual to compare it to.

My biggest complaint so far is the fact that I can't get it over 58mph. The older manuals would be 58 on the pedal, but on cruise you could "bump" it up to 62 with the accel button. Not so with my truck. I asked one of the guys in the shop, and he thinks because it's a 2018 automatic they may have got rid of the "bump" option. He said my FM may be able to authorize increasing my pedal speed to 62. Gonna ask him tomorrow when he comes in.

It's not that I'm all about the speed. It's just that 58 seems almost dangerous sometimes when folks are bottlenecking up behind me. At least at 62, I'll be somewhat evenly matched with the other governed trucks.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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