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Company Driver's Perspective for Prime Inc.

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RickyTrevor88's Comment
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We'll Its been a while since I posted last but here goes: I have been a Solo Company Driver for Prime Inc. for 3 months now, It has been a ton of learning but thought I would give some feedback to my first few months alone at the wheel for this company since a lot of people seem to be in the dark about the company side. First let me start by saying that I had an extremely harsh trainer that eventually grew on me and we became great friends after it was all said and done. I know people get discouraged during the TNT phase due to "mistreatment" but the fact of the matter is, these guys want you to learn what they have to teach in a very short amount of time...If you can't handle someone criticizing your every move in a 80'000 pound death machine, then trucking probably isn't going to be your fort`e.

I had a buddy I met during PSD that ended up leaving prime shortly after getting his CDL to go work for another company because he "didn't like how his trainer treated him" Well I kept in touch and guess what?? He has complaints about the company/truck/miles he was getting after he went to ditch out on his agreement...meanwhile I am getting 3000-4000 miles per week IN THE WINTERTIME, and I have an APU and a 2015 TRUCK.....Thats practically brand new futuristic trucking gear right there...but I digress, I am in a lightweight and have the ultimate set-up, A double door fridge/freezer combo (for saving bucks on food) and a really nice shelving system in the back to accommodate a microwave, and my music studio (I like to produce music while OTR).

These lightweights have plenty of space for the lone rangers of the road and if you find yourself in a lightweight, given a little bit of savvy intellect, you too shall reap the rewards! I get a fuel bonus every single week, I don't have to fuel as much as the "cooler" full sized guys do, and I feel like I have more space than I need, so don't let all this talk about not having a condo get you down, because the lightweights definitely hold up for you pioneers of the free road.

I made it 2 months without any trouble and so far my only major mistake was when I was backing in a parking lot in Indiana where I had wide open space to back into a slot next to another prime truck, and my mudflap hanger hit his truck and caused me to take a hard look at what I thought I was doing right when backing. Lesson learned a hard way, but ever since I have become more conscious than ever when maneuvering and have become a better driver because of it. Driving on the company side of Prime is a great gig! I have enjoyed learning how to become a proficient driver, and how to manage my time in a effective manner.

My dispatcher is a cool guy who makes sure I get my miles, and even goes so far as to give me loads before I have hours to drive them because he knows I'm a mile monster! If you are just getting into trucking and want great training, this company is a great way to go, as long as you can suck it up, and learn what somebody has to teach you will be very successful with these guys! I enjoy serving Prime Inc. and I am very grateful for what they offer in terms of giving us rookies a chance at a great career. Don't let all this internet BS scare you from getting into a truck and hauling in an ALL-AMERICAN BIG RIG!

P.S. Thanks to everyone on this forum who have answered questions I had when I was in training I am grateful for you. Be SAFE out there y'all! Only a few months left of winter (thank gawd!)

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.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

The Transporter's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for that Ricky. Being with Prime is my plan. I've already talked to the recruiter and today.... YAYYYY!!! I passed my CDL Permit exam. Super psyched!!! I'm a veteran and have been desecrated on most of my life so I'm pretty sure I can handle the "mistreatment" of learning a new skill. I'm so ready and hope to be there in the next few weeks. Trucking Truth High Road and all of these forums have been inspiring to say the least. See you on the road.

thank-you.gif

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.
Kyle M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for this thread I hAve pretty much decided on prime once myou time as a plow driver is up after winter. Hearing from a company driver and not lease is something I've been having a hard time finding. It's good to hear that there is room for a fridge and microwave in the condo units as I'm sure that's what I'll get since I don't plan on having anyone ride with me

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Ricky, THANK YOU! Great attitude. Keep up the good work. It's nice to hear a success story, with so much negative crap out there.

smile.gifthank-you.gif

BillTheSlink's Comment
member avatar

Does Prime like really, really presure you into taking a lightweight tractor, or is it left up to you? I understand there is a cent or two incentive but I would be willing to accept that as I want a Bassett Hound and could use the extra space.

BQ 's Comment
member avatar

Bill, no Prime does not pressure you into a lightweight, at least from my experience. The difference is 5 cents/mile btw.

Tastebuds's Comment
member avatar

It seemed like they were pushing lightweights when I was in orientation. Granted, I still have about 25k miles to go before I find out more, so there's that.

Kanelin's Comment
member avatar

I drive a lightweight for Prime. They do make financial incentives for you to choose a l/w. It's 5 cents a mile and you get raises faster and your vacation comes earlier. Plus, if you get a good truck your fuel mileage will be better. So, even though they do encourage you to get into a lightweight, they don't actually pressure you. This is oneeded of the rumors pushed by haters to try to keep ppl from choosing to go to prime.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Tastebuds's Comment
member avatar

I drive a lightweight for Prime. They do make financial incentives for you to choose a l/w. It's 5 cents a mile and you get raises faster and your vacation comes earlier. Plus, if you get a good truck your fuel mileage will be better. So, even though they do encourage you to get into a lightweight, they don't actually pressure you. This is oneeded of the rumors pushed by haters to try to keep ppl from choosing to go to prime.

I'm not a hater! I'm just stating the impression I got during orientation based on the financial incentives and attitude. Like I said, I still have 25k miles to go to find out for myself. Honestly, I REALLY don't want one. If I get a condo with no questions or problems, I'll happily shout praises for Prime!

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Kanelin's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I drive a lightweight for Prime. They do make financial incentives for you to choose a l/w. It's 5 cents a mile and you get raises faster and your vacation comes earlier. Plus, if you get a good truck your fuel mileage will be better. So, even though they do encourage you to get into a lightweight, they don't actually pressure you. This is oneeded of the rumors pushed by haters to try to keep ppl from choosing to go to prime.

double-quotes-end.png

I'm not a hater! I'm just stating the impression I got during orientation based on the financial incentives and attitude. Like I said, I still have 25k miles to go to find out for myself. Honestly, I REALLY don't want one. If I get a condo with no questions or problems, I'll happily shout praises for Prime!

Oh no, I didn't mean to imply you were. They do encourage it, but people sometimes say they.force it down your throat. You didn't say anything like that.

When you go for upgrade they lay out what the incentives and leave the choice up to you. That's it. I'm happy with my decision, for the most part. Others are happy to have chosen a condo. It's a personal decision, just like which company you drive for.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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