My CDL Training Diary With Prime Inc

Topic 19116 | Page 4

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Paul F. 's Comment
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A ton of time wasted today. We were overweight at the shipper so they "fixed" it but we are still overweight (with 1/4 tank of fuel). With the Dot blitz starting tomorrow we cannot risk it even if we were willing to try. So at least 3 or 4 hours of our 14 are killed. Leaving us with about 2 left for today. We'll have the time to get there but da*n. Sitting here sucks.

Welcome to the industry I guess. My instructor says it's the first time he's been overweight in his 2 years so I have some splice in that knowledge but as they say....đź’©Happens.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

*solace

Han Solo Cup's Comment
member avatar

How are things going? I'm curious how your comfort level with shifting is coming along since it's been almost a week. And how much longer in PSD till you test out?

Hans Solo Cup (the other Paul)

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.
Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

I got back to Springfield and had an evaluation. I did better. Then with my trainer, I screwed it all up again, so they gave me a new trainer. Their choice not at my request. Long and short he taught me backing. I took my test and passed on the first try. So I have my CDL.

I'm writing this while waiting in line to go inside to see my son graduate high school. I rented a car and drove 1200+ miles home for it.

My TNT trainer will pick me up close to home, so I don't have to drive back to Missouri.

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.

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.

Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

But to answer your question , I'm feeling more comfortable shifting but still have a way to go. I feel way better about controlling the truck but I want to/need to be better.

Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

After almost a week off, I was able to see my son graduate high school. I'm back in a truck. I had to drive 2 hours to meet him an a consignee , and my wife had to drive back from New Jersey but I'm in and feeling ready for the new challenge. My TNT trainer seems cool. He's my age and we've spoken on the phone (our first conversation lasting more than 2 hours) several times. He decided to not train anymore but accepted our dm's request to do one more. Now I have to stay safe for 30,000 more miles. I'm just a sponge, I'm going to soak up anything he wants to teach me. I'll have to learn to trip plan on my own, he doesn't do it. If the Qualcomm and the gps match up he's fine with it. My psd instructor didn't either but he was familiar with the roads we were driving and knew the truck stops he wanted to visit, usually because of the available food. I have a iceless cooler with me now, not ideal but it will allow me to keep costs down and will pay for itself in less than 2 weeks. We pickup later today in Jersey, and drop off in misouri for our next load. I think he's going to have his APU serviced. I hope it doesn't take too long. I may start this faze of training driving on city streets in Jersey so he can complete his reset. So be it. I'll be careful. As it was my second time driving a truck was in traffic, at night, in the rain, over 77,000 pounds. Welcome to truck driving.

Goodbye for now.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Best of luck. Take your time in Jousey.

Safe travels.

Anthony B.'s Comment
member avatar

I liked reading this post and all the other journeys on here about prime..currently at the campus inn about to start orientation in the morning

Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

Good luck Anthony. Don't be late for anything ,but I guess you've figured that out for yourself by now.

So I had to drive downtown Newark New Jersey to start. It's part of the job and I was ok but we didnt know where we were going, the gps was confused, and so we're we.

We did take a day in sprimo. Oh well.

I'll spare all the details but this guy while being a good driver was an awful trainer , and has an awful attitude. A list of things he hates

Life in general The trucking industry Prime (he's left prime 2 or 3 times and came back) Our DM (he's called her some vile names I cannot repeat here) His brother (his brothers addiction ruined his life, but he comments that his brother is relaxing on a golf course while he's driving a truck). Every other driver on the road, 4 wheelers and truckers. He made fun of another prime driver who had his truck wrapped in a certain theme, and that he wears the million safe miles patches on his shirts. I'd be proud of a million safe miles too.

When we were in Walmart he opened a package of chocolate covered almonds, ate a handful, then put the opened package on the shelf.

I hated it. He had no patience. He yelled at me once before I even started moving the truck, and another time before I had shifted the gears twice. He was what old school would call a " terminal rat". I'm a tough guy and take pride in persevering in adversity, and was determined to not request a new trainer. It's ok. He requested me off his truck. The final straw for him, I farted. Because I did he yelled at me violently, and punched the walls. He totally flipped out.

He said he was afraid for his life when I drove, but he had me drive the last 400 miles back to sprimo, and told me to do 65, instead of 58. He was that afraid.

So my new trainer is fantastic. I few years older than I am, and patient with me. He's very nice, and instead of criticizing my life choices, like number one did, he bet me a steak dinner to motivate me to quit smoking.

I can quit when I want (no really, I can) so I'm 3 days quit now, and if I last till the 28th, I get a steak dinner, if not, I have to pay.

He tells me I'm doing well, not perfect by any means but I am still learning.

The thing I've gotten down is being able to sleep in a moving truck. I was quite worried about it. But I'm ok with it.

I'm working on the things I need to and getting better. I did, with trainer a$$hat, damage a trailer skirt on a jersey barrier, so I got an additional 10,000 miles, it sucks but it was wholly my fault and with really a small error learned a VERY valuable lesson. By small error, I mean no one was hurt, and no other car or truck was damaged.

Once again good luck to you Anthony and feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Cuvedom@aol.com

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Retired Jersey Cop 's Comment
member avatar

"A little about me. I'm 49 years old, I'm married 19 years and have a 15 year old daughter, and a 18 year old son. I have a bachelor degree in culinary arts management and have been a restaurant manager for 20+ years, and in the business for far longer than that. Hospitality has proven to be too fickle over the years. I've gotten laid off from 3 different jobs on January 4th."

Hey Paul... I've read your entire thread. I'm very impressed with your journey. I am 45 and recently retired, after 26 years as a police officer. Retired a Detective Sergeant, supervising the Internal Affairs Unit of the agency. I have two children 16 and 19. I am waiting until my youngest is out of high school (2 years) to start my trucking career. I already have my Class A CDL , so that should help me get hired. The only part I'm dreading is the coach part. I can deal with all different kinds of personalities, but draw the line at cleanliness issues.

Keep posting...

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.
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