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Prime Inc. CDL training. Springfield, Missouri

Topic 17418 | Page 6

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Turtle's Comment
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The same thing happened to me when I called a cdl school requesting info. Next thing I know I'm getting phone calls from across the US. It was rediculous. The calls went on for a couple months, actually.

By the time I called Prime, I was nearly convinced they would be my final choice. My recruiter never hounded me. In fact, the positive experience I received from her solidified my decision. It was I who checked in with her once a weekish to confirm my start.

Swift was similar. They didn't give me a hard time, even after I told them I was going with Prime.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Patrick R.'s Comment
member avatar

Right! lol Money hungry schools. How much employment history did Prime want? Not looking forward to the DOT physical, I have no idea what my blood pressure is, and none of those stupid machines anywhere in my town that will tell me.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
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I emailed my employment records going back to 2013, and they were satisfied with that, in a nutshell. My situation was a little different, being self-employed, and I've been contracting with the same company for over 20 yrs. So besides the records, they also called the company to confirm my story.

The blood pressure is a real deal. You read in my diary about my ordeal. You MUST be under 140/90 to pass the physical. Stress reduction and proper diet can help tremendously.

Patrick R.'s Comment
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I emailed my employment records going back to 2013, and they were satisfied with that, in a nutshell. My situation was a little different, being self-employed, and I've been contracting with the same company for over 20 yrs. So besides the records, they also called the company to confirm my story.

The blood pressure is a real deal. You read in my diary about my ordeal. You MUST be under 140/90 to pass the physical. Stress reduction and proper diet can help tremendously.

yep...ive been at this company for 3 years so I should be good with that. but for example when I used to donate plasma I cant smoke within 30 mins or they say im to high to donate (no idea what minimum they require). so yea lol.

Diver Driver's Comment
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Congrats on your progress Turtle ! If you're looking for a change of pace food wise, there's a pretty decent Mexican "taco stand" a few blocks down from the campus. The carne asada isn't half bad.

Turtle's Comment
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Congrats on your progress Turtle ! If you're looking for a change of pace food wise, there's a pretty decent Mexican "taco stand" a few blocks down from the campus. The carne asada isn't half bad.

Ya know, I love good Mexican food once in a while. I'll hafta hit that up. One place I'll return to is the Whole Hog bbq joint down the road. I loved it the first time I tried it, and the cheesy corn is an experience by itself!

Turtle's Comment
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12/31/16

2016 is almost over. What a year it's been. Some major life changes have occurred in the last 12 months. Most notably moving out of my home of 25 yrs and quitting my profession of 27 yrs! I actually still own the house, but I moved out so my son can rent it from me while my wife and I are on the road.

A lifetime of possessions had to be sorted through, packed up, stored, donated, or thrown away. You don't know how much you have until you start going through all of it. Fortunately my wife took care of 95% of it while I was at work the last few months.

I took a 35ft camper I had, gutted it, and totally rehabbed the interior, turning it into a custom "tiny house". The wife will live in it while I'm training, and once she's on the truck with me, we'll both stay in it when we take hometime. I parked it out behind the house aways, built a pole barn over it, and ran power to it. It's actually quite cute & cozy. She absolutely loves it. From a house to a camper and she's happy. After the initial build cost, it won't cost me a dime. That's a win for me.

I own a nice chunk of land, so eventually my son will also build a house on the property, and I'll take my house back over. This temporary setup will allow me more financial flexibility while learning this new career.

I had to close my business and lay off my employees, one of which has been working for me for around 20 years. In that time we became best friends. I literally spent more time with him than I did my own wife due to the hours spent at work. Of course I gave him plenty of notice, a year notice in fact. So he had plenty of time to prepare. Still, this change affected us both.

On my wife's birthday in March, we both got the most incredible present ever. We were told we were going to be grandparents! This almost changed my plans to drive a truck, as I want to be around our grandaughter. But I'll stay the course. The original plan was to go OTR for at least a couple years, then get a local or regional job. I see no reason to change at this point. We'll be around her often enough for now. Still it's hard.

What a change a year makes! I know this entry isn't really trucking related, but it plays an important part of my big picture. This year is shaping my future in ways I have yet to fully realize. I don't know what the next year will have in store for me. But I'm going into it with head up and eyes open. It will most definitely be an adventure!

Happy new year to all my TT family!

Peace

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Turtle's Comment
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Sunday 1/1/17 A new year! Business as usual today. I spend some time on the pad practicing backing. I've done these maneuvers so much I'm pretty sure I could do them blindfolded.

Unlike the PSD students that have to go OTR with a trainer for 2 or more weeks, I get to spend ample time practicing pretrip and backing. The otr students are starting to filter back in to the hotel from the road, and most of them complain of not getting enough practice time while they were out. Sure, they get to drive for hours on end. But that doesn't adequately prepare them for the exam, I'm afraid. As a result, they need to cram for the pretrip, and also try to reserve pad time with the training staff here. With effort, they'll be fine. But this adds a little stress.

When it comes to training, I won the lottery here. I have a great trainer, generous pad time, equally generous road time, and a practice truck with lots of free time to practice pretrip. All of this PLUS I got to stay in a hotel room during 3 weeks of PSD. I'm not bragging, rather I'm incredibly thankful for this stroke of luck.

Thursday I take my exam!! Although I'm super prepared, there still exists a nervousness within me. I suppose it's only natural to feel this way.

The pretrip is permanently stamped on my brain. The backing maneuvers are committed to muscle memory. I even got to follow the exact route we'll take on the exam numerous times, so much so that I memorized every turn, every bump, every speed limit. There should be nothing preventing me from not only nailing a trifecta, but also acing the darn thing. Still I worry lol. Well, maybe not worry, but I just want this so bad it stays on my mind.

Monday 1/2/17

Danny needed today off to follow up with the dentist, and to attend to some other business, so a day off for me.

My roommate Jack and I decide today is a good day to hit up Bass Pro Shop. Springfield is the home of the sporting goods giant.

Let me just tell ya this place is off the hook! It's massive, like walking into a huge mall or something. Words can't even describe the enormity of it. If you get time, it's worth a trip. The bus from Walmart took us there in little under an hour, with one transfer. Cost $1.25 each way.

After a couple hours or more there, we head back to the hotel. Dinner at the Chinese joint again. (Love that place)

Tuesday 1/3/17

More of the same. Pretrip, backing, road training. The kid (Chris) is catching on super fast. Al, not so much.

Chris has the enthusiasm and energy of youth, as well as the brains to listen to and retain information. With little help, he's memorized the pretrip ritual to a T. I haven't seen him drive yet, but Danny says he's doing better than expected.

Al may not survive this program. I've spent countless hours with him on pretrip, patiently walking him through the pattern. By the end of a session, he seems to have a grasp on it. But by the next morning he's forgotten most everything. He constantly doubts himself, stumbling over the steps and wording. When he gets in a jam, he freezes up and makes huge mistakes. He really tries, I think. But it's just not working. His backing maneuvers are equally lacking.

I hope the best for him. He's already failed the exam once, giving him only 2 more tries at it. Prime won't keep him around if he can't learn the material, I hear. His next test is scheduled for Friday. Not good.

Wednesday 1/4/17 0730hrs

A cold front has moved in. It's bitterly cold today. I dress for bear and hit the practice truck. Chris comes out soon thereafter and we go over in-cab pretrip several times. Al comes out a little while later and we all study together.

1000hrs Danny picked us all up to go to the pad. Since I test tomorrow, I get first seat on the pad, doing all the backs in a row without a hitch.

Next up is Al. He struggled through the straightback, but managed to get it through the box. When it came to the parallel, he really choked. I'll save you the long story and just say that after trying several times, he eventually stopped the truck, set the brakes, and got out. Frustration got the better of him, and he said he couldn't do it.

Danny doesn't take defeat well. So he told Al to take today off, but to come back tomorrow because he won't allow him to give up yet.

Chris got to do some backing, and did very well. He didn't get the chance to do offsets or alley yet, but I'm sure he will do great at those as well.

Again, since I'm testing tomorrow, the focus switched back to me. We spent the rest of the day road training. Each trip gets ever smoother.

Tomorrow is the day. I think I'm ready. I just gotta remember to breathe.

Peace

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.

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.
Patrick R.'s Comment
member avatar

You got this buddy! I've been sitting in this damned cubicle taking practice test after practice test on MO CDL tests, half of it I have memorized but every once in a while a new one pops up. Think I will start making calls to Prime like the 3rd week of Jan since I have a week of PTO I have scheduled to use in the last week. Still trying to find a place around here I can check my BP checked at. The more I think about how soon I'm looking to do this the more stressed I get, I have a hard time with big changes, leaving my job to hopefully go onto a better career but always the chance of failing.

One thing I did notice about your last post is you saying a lot of people complaining about not enough time to practice, how do you feel about that? I take everything with a grain of salt and I feel like if they asked for it the trainer may have been ok with giving them more time. You got really lucky being able to stay on the pad and in town, super jealous. I guess I am just over thinking this but I don't want to be one of those people to come back after a couple of weeks and be like "well...trainer didn't teach me squat...now yall kicking me out because I cant pass"

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Patrick R.'s Comment
member avatar

Also, Turtle, do you know if its possible to request where to be trained, I wasn't smart and didn't look at their training areas just assumed I would be in the MO one like you so that's where I've been studying for would kinda suck to get shipped to PA (since its closer to NC) after cramming for the MO CDL tests.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
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