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Prime drivers....

Topic 17605 | Page 1

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Kat's Comment
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Some questions...

1. These bonuses that I keep hearing about...safety, on time, etc...how often are those paid out and when usually? I started solo on Sept 24, so just wanted to know about when to look for something.

2. How easy is it do you think to get on a regional or dedicated account? I like driving, but I think that if I have any hope of continuing this past my one year commitment, I need something that will keep me closer to home and maybe allow me to be home more often. If you get something like that, do you have to change fleet managers? I really like my guy.

3. The one year contract time...is that from your official hire date or your upgrade date?

I love Prime! I would love to stay with them. When I started this journey, I began with the intention of doing my year OTR and then trying to get something in-house...training or safety. If I am honest, I enjoy the OTR life, but it isn't realistic for me long term. I have pets at home being cared for by family members, and I just found out that I am probably going to be a grandma again. I miss spending time with my family and cuddling with my fur babies. I think a regional job would suit me better. Thoughts?

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.

Dm:

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
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Regional is easy to get...southeast and northeast regional. We have a couple dedicated walmart accounts...some kind of "Reddix" account. Olney IL springs to.mind for walmart. and there is one that runs from TN to the Midwest somewhere.

You might be surprised cause your current FM might do all accounts so u wouldn't have to change if you get along.

The contract started the day you got the CDL and filed the employment papers.

The bonuses: I think the fuel bonuses started right away. You should get weekly messages of "your mpg is 8.2. The fleet average is 7.5 mpg.". I don't think they require a set mikage for the week to get them. But you will only get them if you are above the fleet average.

The safety and on time bonuses didn't start until after six months solo I think...and you only get them on 2500+ mile weeks. Look in your black fuel book you should have gotten when you upgraded.

In the beginning I got quarterly amounts on my prime rewards too...like $35-50 at a time. I think one was 3 mos safe...then six months...at a year we get the black jackets...then a ring..it progresses.

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.

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.

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
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BTW...detention pays when the customer does so you might not see that for a couple months...then see "89 min detention 01" and the trip number. That's random but be sure to use the detention stamp to get what you should

Kat's Comment
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Thanks, Rainy! I am getting fuel bonuses each week and have seen the detention time pay. Once I got paid for 6 minutes.... LOL

Rainy D.'s Comment
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Wait for the TYSON loads ( Trucker You Staying Over Night). I once got one that said "24hour max allowed" hahha.. Got paid to sleep and watch movies. Love it

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Personally I loved regional work and I think it's the best compromise for a lot of people. You still get to be out there living the OTR lifestyle during the week, you turn nearly as many miles as drivers running OTR, and yet you get to stop home on the weekends for a fun visit with family and friends. It's really a pretty awesome combination.

Local work that gets you home every night isn't nearly what most people hope it's going to be. You're putting in a huge amount of hours most of the time so the only thing you do when you get home is eat, shower, and sleep. You don't really have any time for anything else. So 'being home' every day really isn't much of that 'home time' experience. It's more like a quick pitstop and a nap before you get back at it again.

Then on top of that the pay for local work normally can't rival that of regional work. So you're making less money, the time off at home isn't really of much benefit, and you're probably doing a very tedious or monotonous job.

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.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy what is that TN to Midwest for Prime are you talking about? Is that a WalMart dedicated? I am trying to keep mental notes of WalMart dedicated and who runs them from where. That way when the time comes I know where to start looking.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Rainy what is that TN to Midwest for Prime are you talking about? Is that a WalMart dedicated? I am trying to keep mental notes of WalMart dedicated and who runs them from where. That way when the time comes I know where to start looking.

The easiest way to figure that out is to camp outside a Walmart distribution center and watch the trucks coming and going. Even better is to simply look around the distribution center's trailer lot to see who has a large number of dropped trailers sitting out there. The more trailers you see out there the bigger that company's account likely is for that area.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

What Brett said. Lol

There are some walmarts DCs that are "prime dedicated" some are Schneider. Swift ..some Crete etc. When you go in and see the bobtails parked all for one company its easy to figure out. A lot of them have signs near the gates like in Olney IL DC "prime dedicated drivers stay right". Miss Myoshi is running the northeast regional out of Lewiston ME DC

As far as the TN to Midwest...I'm not exactly sure. I don't think its a Walmart but more like a " shuttle" type of run. My roommate from the school program told me she was trying for it. She said it was only dealing with a couple locations and basically shuttling back and forth.

Regional/dedicated is good with some things...you know the roads, truck stops and parking and the backing situation. But I imagine that could get boring real fast too. They pay differently too.

Personally I would have hated going walmart dedicated right away. My backing SUCKED. And trying to get into some of those stores and smaller docks would have driven me nuts. And some regional requires a lightweight truck.

On the other hand, Miss Myoshi and others said the trailers are already balanced for them so no scaling and sliding tandems. They don't do half the Macros we normally do, and they usually don't have to go nuts for parking cause they are permitted to park at stores and the DC. And some of our dedicated routes are paying a $1250 per week gross guarantee flat rate.

Ask either the recruiter or the FM about the various routes. You coukd always say you plan to move to a certain location just for the info lol. I'm finding they don't necessarily advertise them...even though they will put a newly upgraded solo driver in one. Its more a "word of mouth" type of discovery which makes no sense to.me. however, coming from NJ the recruiter offered me the NE regional right away. So maybe they offer it according to where you live. But miss Myoshi is running NE and lives in VA.

Also your trainer makes a difference in this. Example is that if you have a company trainer rather than lease trainer, then your company fleet manager will be the same as your traine when you go solo. (If your trainer is lease and you go lease right away you would get his FM).

I have a friend who wound up on a truck with a trainer who ran dedicated in the NE. Not walmart but Railex. When my friend upgraded, her FM ran both the dedicated and southeast regional. My friend felt slight pressure to get on the dedicated with the LW, but she was moving to FL so got on the southeast with the same FM. The drivers make more on the dedicated but so do the FM therefore I think this FM was a little pushy.

Keep in mind that many times "weekend home time" does not mean 48 hours. It means 34 hours. So if you get home at noon Fri, you are expected you are expected to be back on the road before midnight Sat into sun. After driving a full shift to get home at noon you will probably sleep waking up when others are about to go to bed. You shower eat do laundry and it can feel like you're heading back out right away.

Then you have Sat together but need to head back out and drive all night. So how much quality time do you get?

Heck...even after four days at home I feel cheated sometimes. I sleep two days, do laundry and stock the truck..visit family then rest uonsome more fornmy next load.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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