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I need clarification.. i wanna know

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Reaper's Comment
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Hey everyone. I wanna get some clarification on a couple things please.

1) my trainer says that when i go solo i better be ready for never getting any sleep and working through it. I knew id mever get a full 8 hours straight all the time. But during psd when we were doing solo runs we got our 10 hour breaks and it was fun and wasnt bad at all. Team driving just seems so stressful and intense. Is this true that psd was a fluke and im never ever getting sleep while working? This doesnt seem legal.

2) when i go solo its better to drive my full 10-11 every shift full speed and just get the freight there instead of spreading my hours out to not need a reset. Psd this didnt happen.

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.
Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar
1) my trainer says that when i go solo i better be ready for never getting any sleep and working through it. I knew id mever get a full 8 hours straight all the time. But during psd when we were doing solo runs we got our 10 hour breaks and it was fun and wasnt bad at all. Team driving just seems so stressful and intense. Is this true that psd was a fluke and im never ever getting sleep while working? This doesnt seem legal.

It will be difficult at first to sleep while the truck is moving, but you'll do fine once you get used to it during the TNT phase of your training. You will be fine once you figure out what best works for you when it comes to sleeping. Team driving always for me kept my nerves on edge, making sleeping very difficult at times. As time goes by, you will finally adjust to the constant moving of the truck.

2) when i go solo its better to drive my full 10-11 every shift full speed and just get the freight there instead of spreading my hours out to not need a reset. Psd this didnt happen.

I find for me what works best is if I can average 9 - 10 hours of work per day (work being defined as pre-trip/fueling/on duty time). Not to say you won't have to push sometimes (because you will). But if I can average that over the course of days, I find it works out fine for me.

Ernie

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Reaper, when you go solo you will be the captain of your own ship.

You will develop your own style of management of your time. As long as you are getting the job done safely and on time you are good.

You are required to take a ten hour break to reset your clock. If you don't do that you won't have legal driving hours available.

I'm not sure what your trainer is trying to accomplish with this crazy talk, but it's literally nuts. You will be exhausted at times and maybe he just wants you to be prepared for that.

Don't sweat the details - your DM will help you and so will we. You just call on us and we'll be there.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

When you're running OTR , the best way to describe your schedule would be 'erratic'. You're going to have times where you're sitting around for 30 hours begging for something to do, and then for the next two or three days you'll be running so hard you'll be begging for a break.

You really have to be an opportunist when it comes to getting sleep. I always tell people I can "sleep like a truck driver", which means I can fall asleep pretty much anytime, anyplace, under any circumstances for ten minutes, or many hours at a stretch. If I'm getting loaded at the docks for a 500 mile overnight run and it's going to take them 30 minutes to load me, you better believe I'm gonna try to squeeze in 20 minutes of sleep while I can. If I'm empty and I'm waiting for my next assignment I'm going to get all the sleep I can, while I can, so I'm ready when that Qualcomm starts beeping.

Sleep kind of becomes your number one priority out there if you want to turn great miles and get some nice fat paychecks coming in. When the work is there you have to be ready for it, or someone else will be. If you're not the type of driver that's ready to run when the freight is ready then you can be sure dispatch will make sure you get more than your fair share of sleep. You'll be sitting around at truck stops while loads are assigned to the more ambitious and well prepared drivers.

So that's what I think your trainer is trying to tell you. It's not that you'll never get good sleep. Of course you will. In fact, most of the time you will. But you have to learn how to be prepared for your next assignment.

As far as running hard and doing a 34 hour resets, versus staggering your hours so you never need a reset, that is sometimes a personal choice and sometimes it's dictated by the freight. Again, you'll get the hang of this over time, but you don't want to be telling dispatch you're too tired to run or you just want a light load when good freight is available or they're going to let you sit way more than you'd like to.

Dispatch understands that it takes new drivers to get the hang of all this, so keep good communication going with your dispatcher and let them know what you're thinking. And don't hesitate to come here like you just have to ask us for ideas or strategies. There are a lot of drivers in this forum that are just masters of time management. They're always happy to share strategies and ideas with you.

And finally, the most important thing always of course is safety. Of course you don't want to tell dispatch you're too tired to run, but if you know you are too tired then you absolutely must park the truck. If you fall asleep at the wheel and launch the truck off a cliff, you can imagine how badly that's going to hurt your opportunities in the future.

shocked.png

So do not hesitate to park that truck when you know you're too tired to drive safely. You'll learn where that line is, and you probably have a very good idea where that line is already. No one is fresh as a daisy all the time, but everyone has a line they know not to cross. That's a life or death judgment call and you have to have the discipline to make the right choice.

Here are a couple of links that will give you some ideas about time management if you haven't seen them already. Even if you have, review them quick. They'll help:

Do not stress yourself over this. You'll get it. It's all part of the learning process that everyone goes through. Always err on the side of safety, communicate well with dispatch, do your best to be prepared when the freight is available, and keep asking us for advice. You'll do just fine.

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.

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.

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.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Your trainer is full of balony.

--You can and will get good sleep.

--You can spread your driving out to avoid 34's, as long as the freight and dispatch allows it (which is usually the case, especially where you work).

Like everyone else said, there will be plenty of times you are exhausted from the erratic schedule and the amount of work you'll be doing, but honestly I think you've already accomplished the hardest part by just getting through training.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like the trainer needs an introduction to the company safety guy, or a DOT officer. You BETTER get some sleep or you're gonna be "a statistic."

Besides, if you're driving solo and drive 10-11 every day, you'll have to do a 34hr restart every week.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

You will sleep when you need. Just message dispatch after you get to receiver "I need extra sleep tonight. Make me unavailable until x o clock". In writing. In the QC. Problem solved.

Stop stressing. Lol you'll do great!

And when u going to Sprimo for upgrade???

Reaper's Comment
member avatar

You will sleep when you need. Just message dispatch after you get to receiver "I need extra sleep tonight. Make me unavailable until x o clock". In writing. In the QC. Problem solved.

Stop stressing. Lol you'll do great!

And when u going to Sprimo for upgrade???

May 31st is when hes dropping me off but it aint soon enough. Had a bit of a one way fight today. He woke up just irritable at me because i did what he asked.

Before he went to sleep he said run my clock tonight as far as i could. So i did. I ended up having to stop at a kum and go with 45 left on my clock. He saw where we were and just ripped me a new one.

He said there was a pilot 20 miles behind us. Now im going to have to go all day with out eating. Tonight were swapping in a dirt lot to see how you feel like it and you wont eat all day.

I explained after i was doing as asked to run as much of my clock as i could with out stopping on an exit ramp to swap. He just childishly mimicked me and jumped off the truck slamming the door and stormed in.

Sooo..... that was a great end to a shift. Apparently im supposed to run my full clock, but if theres a truck stop, leave any time 1 1/2+ hours if nessicary to swap? How is that running my clock?

miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

Don't worry about that too much. When you get your own truck you'll be able to run how you want within reason and as long as you make your pickup and delivery times. I personally try to stop with 1-1 1/2 hours left on my clock to ensure I'm not running out of time if something unexpected happens.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

On the 34h reset, it really depends on how far you want to run each day, restrictions on the loads. I personally prefer using up as much of my clock as I can each day to lower the amount I have to use the next day and so on and so forth. If that means driving an extra 20m to get to a rest area rather than staying at a perfectly good truck stop, so be it, that's 20m more I'd be able to drive tomorrow.

But let's do some quick math here. To simplify things, let's assume you're able to drive all day. 30m pre/post trip, 30m fueling, the rest driving. Lets also assume this is every day until you either need to take a 34h reset, or get hours back from recap.

Starting Monday with full 70. Drive 10h each day averaging 60mph, with the extra on duties factored in, that's 11h on duty every day. After 6 days, you end your day on Saturday with 4h left. You won't get any hours back until Tuesday, so you might as well do a 34 to get your entire 70 back on Monday. During that 6 day period, you drove a total of 3600m (all on paper of course).

Same case, but conserving your clock. To be able to run off of recap without losing a day, you need to be on duty no more than 8h 45m every day (this is absolute max). Still factoring on duty not driving of 1h, that's 7h 45m drive time every day.

Running that way from Monday through Monday (refreshing 8h 45m at 0001 on Tuesday), you'd have a grand total of 3720m.

Keep in mind, this is in no way a real life example. I can not stress that enough!

However, on paper, both options are totally viable in terms of productivity. I have tried both methods to figure out what works best for me. I ran the whole month of December on recap but my load planners were making it possible to do so. Since I told my DBL (Schneider for dispatcher) I wanted more miles, I've been given the opportunity to run hard every day for 6 days then do a 34h reset, so that method works best for my usual situations.

TL;DR: It's a personal preference. Do you want a full day off on the road or do you want to keep moving every day. It'll usually result in a similar paycheck.

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.
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