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Frustrations training with Prime on the road

Topic 18280 | Page 3

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Adam B.'s Comment
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Every trainee is different. So what if he had 50, this ONE is not being allowed to back.

This would be tom long by any chance?

I'll text/call you. Want to avoid giving identifiable information here in case Prime is lurking. :)

BQ 's Comment
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If your trainer has successfully trained 50 students, I have a feeling he knows what he is doing. Perhaps he wants you to become somewhat efficient going forward before working on going backwards. I drove a solid 95% of the time I was in the PSD phase. I did some backing but not a lot, primarily by my own choice as I would rather run over a cone on the east pad than hit another truck while learning the basics. We came in a few days before my test and focused on backing which I lost about 3 points on. This built a base for me to build upon and have gotten better and more comfortable as time has gone on. Training to drive truck is not nearly as tough as many things other people go through all the time. This few months will pass quickly and you will be on your own, then you really start honing your skills.

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.
Miss Miyoshi's Comment
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That statement is unacceptable. You're ready for it the minute you're in the truck. That is what training is for. Go over your FM's head. Rainy is correct about the reason the FM is unwilling to have you switch trainers. I had a TERRIBLE experience with my trainer saying the exact same thing and they were pushing me to upgrade before I was ready. I got another trainer and learned more in 3 weeks with her than I did with my original trainer in 2 months. It took a bit of pushing to get the trainers switched, and I had evidence she violated HoS and other safety rules, so it made my switch much easier.

Demand more backing time, and make it clear to your trainer what you expect out of your training experience and what you want to learn. You won't be an expert when you upgrade. You'll still be nervous and unsure of yourself, and time and experience will help all of that. It takes about 6 months of driving on your own before you feel like you've really got this thing down, and even then you'll have off days.

Training is a tough time, and I think as a trainee we put more pressure on ourselves to do everything right. Don't worry. Your trainer is not "grading" you and the only way you're going to fail is if you quit. So discuss your expectations with your trainer using clear, precise language, and in the mean time put in a few calls to the people mentioned so you can get another trainer. Believe me, they WILL help you get the training you need.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Older Newbie's Comment
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Oh does all this sound familiar. It is! To just about everyone here I suspect. Having just gone through my training and getting my own truck I really do understand your frustration. My trainer and training was with Werner, doing the Dollar General account. It was intense, hard work, extremely frustrating at times but in the end just as satisfying.

Just like you were saying, there were times when I wondered if in had made the wrong decision...I couldn't seem to do anything right it seemed. Especially backing !

And needless to say that's about 75% of what that account is about...backing in tight spaces, at all hours in crazy traffic. It was as though my brain had been erased from the time I was in school to then. As everyone has already told you, this will pass. This industry is very different from anything many of us have ever done before and there is a HUGE learning curve.

I have been in my own truck just a little over 2 months. It's exciting, scary, intimidating and when things go well, one of the best feelings I've ever felt. Yes there are days when it takes 10 or 15 mins to back properly...but then there are days when you get it right, it slides in perfectly and you climb out of the cab feeling like a million bucks.

As others have said, keep something in mind before you make a decision to either quit or beat up on yourself...

The next time you're at a truck stop, or at a loading dock or just tooling down the superslab, keep something in mind...every driver you see,every one, has been a rookie too. You aren't alone!

Any driver that says they didn't struggle with some aspect of this career is not telling you the whole story.... that's polite for saying they are not telling you the truth. The honest ones will tell you that every day they learn something, even after years of driving. And they will also tell you that they have bad days backing too.

This is an industry that quite literally is always moving, changing, evolving. There is so much to learn in such a short period of time that it does weed out the faint of heart. It should frankly. There is a lot at stake when you drive a 73 ft, 80,000 lbs vehicle loaded with who knows what around people, little cars, buildings...the world. Too many things can go wrong for the wrong person to be behind the wheel. But, and I suspect the others will agree, if you are willing to do your time, be patient, be tenacious, not give up and don't expect to be handed a free ride...you will make it.

It isn't easy...but nothing worth doing and doing well ever is.

Good luck,

Tony

Older Newbie's Comment
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Oh...one more thing.

Listen to the blog that Brett does here. It really has helped me keep perspective especially when I'm feeling down.

Brett...you and Old School and the rest of the moderators and contributors here are the best. I'm grateful this site is here for us new folks. It has made the difference on more than one occasion when things for me looked like I had really blown it.

Thank you... thank you all.

Tony

Old School's Comment
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Tony, that was a really great post about your experiences in training!

It's great to hear from you - hang in their, and keep up the good work!

Older Newbie's Comment
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Thanks Old School, It's been an adventure. Sitting in a truck stop in MN happy I shut it down before the heavy rain started. I'm probably going to be asking lots of questions about flat bed hauling so get ready...that's what my goal is. You be safe out there. Tony

GLA's Comment
member avatar

What a fascinating thread. The guys all advise get along and pay your dues, everything will get better. The women all remind me of my Viking princess. (Step up. Grab em by the cajones, and shake until the desired result falls out.) Skoll!

Larry K.'s Comment
member avatar

(I see this post is a week old but it just popped up on Facebook)

This is an excellent post for those of us about to embark upon this journey ourselves and I thank the OP for an honest look into his training experience thus far. My wife and I are in the very early stages of this career and will be starting school in a few weeks with the intention of becoming a husband/wife team. While I'm 110% confident in my wife's ability to be successful, my deepest concerns lie in the company training portion. We're both in our forties and I myself have been around the block many times having worked various forms of construction, obtained a pilots license at 17, run my own company for a decade, and have gone through commercial diving school and worked offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. "Trainers" who "teach" by swearing at you and telling you how bad you suck at something you are doing for the first time are nothing new to me. For my wife however, being stuck in a truck 24 hours a day for weeks on end with such a trainer would be a demoralizing experience beyond anything she's encountered in her life thus far. I am crossing my fingers and praying that she'll be placed with someone who is patient and encouraging.

To the OP I'll give my two cents as someone who hasn't logged a single mile yet. I do however know what it's like to get on a crew boat and be taken 125 miles out into the ocean to be the pee-on new guy on a floating pile of rust inhabited by a couple hundred guys, half of whom were ex-cons. Be a sponge and soak up anything that is informational, use online resources and contacts to research anything the trainer is failing to adequately explain, and let all the "you can't do it's" and negativity roll off your back. At least that'll be my plan. You're only the new guy for so long.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

What a fascinating thread. The guys all advise get along and pay your dues, everything will get better. The women all remind me of my Viking princess. (Step up. Grab em by the cajones, and shake until the desired result falls out.) Skoll!

Hahahhaha Miss Myoshi and I are Shield Maidens!!

The truth of the matter is that training is short. Yeah deal with it...but hold the trainer to his or her responsibilities. But I hate when people blame the trainers. They have a tough job.

Its one thing to say "I need more backing practice because I didn't get enough in training" and something far different to walk into the office with your fist pounding on a desk "that jerk never let me back and I'm suing" (not saying this poster said that. But I know drivers who have).

People learn at different speeds and every driver.,.trainer or not...is a well of useful information. In training you sometimes have to look past the surface and just dig the info out.

The trainer isn't paying your mortgage so who cares if he likes you or not. He can't physically hurt you. But I grew up in NJ with four siblings. I give back whatever attitude I get lol

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