Prime Inc Flatbed Or Reefer

Topic 20339 | Page 1

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Slim Pickens 's Comment
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Curious to know if any of you have done both flatbed and reefer side of prime and which one you thought was better? I start prime soon and looking for more info.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Which would you prefer? It's an individual preference. Flatbed is general more work due to tarping and load securement. Refer has pleanty of down time while at shipper/receivers and often has early morning or late at night delivery and pick up times. What kind of driving would you prefer? That is what you need to answer. I'm very lazy so I work for a dry van company. Ok that's not entirely true. I'm very happy with CFI. If you use the search bar at the top of the page, you should find plenty from people in refer and flatbed. Good luck.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I don't have any reefer experience, but I'm a flatbedder with Prime so I can give you some insight into our division.

DISCLAIMER: This is simply my experience. Other experiences may vary. As has been stated here on this site many times before, your success/failure in any division will be largely dependant on your own ability to "get er done".

In flatbed you will experience all kinds of weather, up front and personal. Sometimes you can wait out a rainfall, sometimes you gotta just get wet. Sometimes you will look up at the sun and curse that blasted devil's orb, other times you'll welcome any kind of heat, even the exhaust coming from your apu just to thaw your hands for a sec. The weather will indeed play a significant role in your daily routine. If you can deal with that, the rest is gravy.

Compared to reefers, wait time in a flatbed is relatively nonexistent. Sure you'll have the occasional shipper/receiver delay, but mostly we get to roll up to a customer and they practically start unloading you as soon as you get the first strap loosened. Rarely will I have to wait longer than 30 minutes or so to be attended to. This makes for very efficient time management possibilities, and that's 90% of the game out here in my opinion.

I get to enjoy normal hours, because most of our flatbed customers have regular business hours. Again, sometimes you'll get a late appt and you'll have to flip your clock to make it happen, but mostly my days are sunrise to sunset (ish). The really successful drivers know how to work their clock to maximize their efficiency in all circumstances.

The physicality of the job is another factor. Though it really isn't all that hard, you will be tested at times. You will have to climb up on some loads, sometimes with a heavy tarp on your shoulder, and sometimes in icy conditions. I'm 48 years old and consider myself in excellent physical shape, but I'm sometimes challenged by a particular task. Being bull-headed enough to find a way to get the job done will be an asset. Truthfully, the physical part is only a small part of the job. The rest of the time, we're cruising the highways just like the rest of em.

Lastly, from my experience, Prime has no shortage of flatbed freight. I regularly burn up my 70 each week, giving me the opportunity for a reset. My dispatcher loves me for what I do, and feeds me as many miles as I can handle. Some drivers like to run recaps, but I prefer to run hard and have a day off to relax, such as today (my birthday btw).

^^ yeah I know, shameless self-promotion ^^smile.gif

Anyhoo, hope this helps. Good luck with whatever path you choose.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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.

Kat's Comment
member avatar

Happy birthday, Turtle!

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

I did flatbed with Prime also up until about a month and a half ago when I switched over to our tanker division.. Everything Turtle said is spot on 100% for flatbed. Also by the way Happy Birthday Turtle. Hope ya enjoy it.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

The one thing that kept me away from Primes Flatbed is the fact that they charge for all the equipment. We're talking around $3,500 paid weekly in small amounts! No other company does this.

So please take this into consideration.

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

The one thing that kept me away from Primes Flatbed is the fact that they charge for all the equipment. We're talking around $3,500 paid weekly in small amounts! No other company does this.

So please take this into consideration.

Yes it is $65 a week so this is something to consider.... I don't agree with this either as a company driver having to buy your own equipment. When I switched to tanker they bought my stuff back but now I owe $500 for my tanker fittings and spill kit etc....

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
When I switched to tanker they bought my stuff back

Out of curiosity, did they give you full price for it when they bought it back or did they give you a prorated amount based on the wear and tear? As long as they give you all of your money back, no problem. If they keep some of it, that's a problem in my book.

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

When I switched to tanker they bought my stuff back

double-quotes-end.png

Out of curiosity, did they give you full price for it when they bought it back or did they give you a prorated amount based on the wear and tear? As long as they give you all of your money back, no problem. If they keep some of it, that's a problem in my book.

They actually bought it back at a less price than I had paid because of wear and tear. I feel like they gave me a fair price and I ended up to the good on it because one of our terminals gave me 2 free tarps one time where a driver had abandoned them their. I told Prime that I never paid for those and they said even though they were given to me it was my property now so they would purchase those too. They were fair about it however I still question the decision to make us buy this stuff.. If anything give us the initial set of stuff free one time then if something happens to it charge us for additional items.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

When I switched to tanker they bought my stuff back

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Out of curiosity, did they give you full price for it when they bought it back or did they give you a prorated amount based on the wear and tear? As long as they give you all of your money back, no problem. If they keep some of it, that's a problem in my book.

double-quotes-end.png

They actually bought it back at a less price than I had paid because of wear and tear. I feel like they gave me a fair price and I ended up to the good on it because one of our terminals gave me 2 free tarps one time where a driver had abandoned them their. I told Prime that I never paid for those and they said even though they were given to me it was my property now so they would purchase those too. They were fair about it however I still question the decision to make us buy this stuff.. If anything give us the initial set of stuff free one time then if something happens to it charge us for additional items.

This is me keeping my mouth shut.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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