My Journey With Prime In Pittston

Topic 17637 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

I could not find much for what training is like at Prime's terminal in Pittston so I'm going to write about my journey here.

Background Applied to Prime about a week before my CDL test. Recruiter called me a day or 2 after and said she could get me into Pittston in early January. Week later I passed my CDL test and had my recruiter run my reports (MVR, Background Check, etc). As for getting here, you have 2 options: Option 1 is to take a greyhound bus at Prime's expense or option 2 which is fly/drive/Amtrak here at mostly your own expense (Prime will pay you .10 cpm if you don't take a greyhound). I chose to fly here since I never flew before and a greyhound would have been a 25 hour trip. Would like to have driven but my car would be stuck here while I'm on the road with a trainer.

Day 0 Flew into Wilkes-Barre Airport and called the shuttle at around 4:30 pm. He picked me up in 5 minutes. He had to run around and pick up some other folks as well so I didn't get to the hotel until around 6. We stopped at the terminal and a fellow driver gave me a brief tour of it and what to expect these next few days. Got back to the hotel, mentioned that I'm Prime and got my room key along with a bunch of paperwork that needs to be filled out for the first day. This is basically the online application but in paper form. Don't lie/cheat/hide information on it because they do another background check on you here and you can get sent home if they find something you didn't tell them about. If you told your recruiter everything, then I wouldn't worry, just put it all on the form again. Walked to McDonalds (there are a few restaurants within walking distance and a TGI Fridays is connected to the hotel) to eat.

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.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 1

Orientation starts @ 7 am, shuttle leaves at 6:30-6:45 am. DONT BE LATE. There is a breakfast in the hotel to grab a bite beforehand. Get to the terminal and you'll be given a tour of the terminal and they will explain what to expect for the first day. Special note, my orientation is a bit different since it started on Wednesday so we only get 3 days instead of 4 or 5. You'll be told to fill out that packet of paperwork if you haven't already. You'll be given some additional forms for tax withholding as well. Immediately following this you'll go get drug tested. I don't need to say this but don't do drugs or you'll go home at your own expense. Afterwards the class will be split, half will get shuttled to Concentra to take the DOT Physical and the other half will stick around to do the computer based training. If you temporarily fail the physical they'll give you another chance to pass the next day. If you still fail, they'll send you home for a minimum of 30 days until you get the health issue fixed.

They said they were going to do face to face interviews today but that never happened. I'm not sure it will happen or if they just got postponed for another day.

Get back to the terminal and you'll probably want to take lunch at this point. The terminal has a cafeteria and your lunch and dinner are provided for free up to a maximum of $7.25 for each meal. After lunch you'll do your computer based training (lots of videos about company procedures) and possibly do a basic skills test on the simulator. Afterwards do more CBTs. Day ends around 4:30 or so. Grab dinner before you leave.

I got assigned a fleet manager and a trainer as well today. That was day numero Uno for me in Pittston.

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Patrick R.'s Comment
member avatar

Question for you, Did you get to pick where you were going to train or did they just tell you. I live in NC and ive been basing all my study on the MO state exam assuming that's where I would go lol since I was dumb enough not to consider other possible training areas in different states.

Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

Question for you, Did you get to pick where you were going to train or did they just tell you. I live in NC and ive been basing all my study on the MO state exam assuming that's where I would go lol since I was dumb enough not to consider other possible training areas in different states.

If you have your CDL already I believe you get sent to Pittston or Salt Lake. If you dont have a CDL, you're going to Springfield for the PSD program.

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.

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

Thank you.

Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 2 Not much to say here. Finished the CBT's today. Everyone finished the skills test on the simulator. More people got assigned a trainer. In the afternoon we had a class about refueling and why the trucks are governed slow. Also had a class about benefits. Benefits seem pretty good but expensive. Tomorrow we're expecting to get our ID badges and officially be employees. Some of us may head out with trainers as well.

Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 3

Last day of orientation. Few of us (including myself) got cleared so we went to go do some last bit of paperwork, take a photo, and receive our ID Card/Fuel Card/Comdata Card. Following this I made a call to my trainer. He seems pretty cool. Drives a Cascadia 10 speed and is good with hygiene and seems to have his truck pretty decked out from his description. The bad news is he probably won't be here until Sunday. What am I going to do tomorrow?

We had 2 classes today, one on the various safety features on the trucks, including the Qualcomm , the lane departure system, stability control system, and the various systems that can trigger a critical event and get you yelled at by safety. They don't play around when it comes to this and I'm going to have to really watch myself to not trigger one of these events. The next class was one on high value cargo. Pretty interesting that some of the trailers we pull can have cargo valued as much as $30 million.

Orientation was done at this point. It was a half day and we were free to do what we want. Some of the guys were lucky and had trainers arrive today so they hit the road almost immediately after orientation, others are stuck waiting to be assigned a trainer and are here until Monday at the earliest. Few others were waiting to get their trucks. Everyone did get cleared today so we are all employees at Prime now though (and getting paid).

I hung around until 4:30 to grab dinner, bored out of my mind. Didn't want to go back to the hotel. Ironically after we got back to the hotel, a few of us decided to walk to a nearby pizza place and have dinner there instead.

So that's Prime's condensed 3 day version of orientation at the Pittston terminal. I'm not sure how different it would be if we had the 2 extra days orientation normally gets. I will say this, I felt they could have condensed orientation into 2 full days instead of 1 full day and essentially 2 half days but I know they had to wait for people's background checks, references, etc to come back.

So what's next? Tomorrow I'm going back to the terminal to probably do laundry and enjoy free food still. I'm thinking about renting a car tomorrow and driving into NYC since I'll have just about the entire day and I've always wanted to see NYC. We'll have to see.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

First day on the road with my trainer.

My trainer was looking for a good load so we didn't head out of the terminal until 2 or so. The load we did get is picking up a loaded trailer from Hershey and taking it to Kentucky. Trainer drove a bit out of Wilkes-Barre before letting me have a go at it. I was very rusty behind the wheel. My shifting was poor and it felt like I forgot how to drive a truck. I drove for maybe 60 miles to the pick up location. We had to drop an empty first before we could pick up our trailer. There was a lot of Prime trucks here.

After we dropped the empty at a dock we went to go check in and find the trailer we needed. Thankfully the trailer was already loaded so we didn't need to wait. Throughout this time my trainer showed me the macros on the Qualcomm we needed to send every step of the way. There are something like 60-70 macros so it's going to take time to remember the ones to use when.

By this point it was starting to get dark and I've never driven a loaded trailer so my trainer finished the day off driving. We spent the night in a TA and I witnessed the horror of how expensive truck stop food is. After maybe 2-3 hours we went to bed. I've never slept in a truck before and we had a reefer so I knew I'd have some trouble sleeping but last night was ridiculous. It's not the reefer that's particularly loud since it only goes on for maybe 5-10 miles, it's the APU that's deafening. I made a mistake of not bringing ear plugs with me and in ear music buds didn't help much. I'm not sure how much sleep I actually got. It was the worst night of sleep I've had in forever though.

Anyway that's it for now.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I just began my TNT training as well. I hear you about sleeping on the truck. I haven't quite adjusted to it yet. But everyone says it gets better.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I just began my TNT training as well. I hear you about sleeping on the truck. I haven't quite adjusted to it yet. But everyone says it gets better.

Earplugs guys...

Also if your trainer has one of those plug-in DC fans, turn it on to create some white noise. It helps. If the do not, buy one at Walmart, about $10. Worth it, plus when solo it helps with air circulation in the bunk. I bought one four years ago, still works!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More