Prime Reefer Division

Topic 20409 | Page 1

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Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

I am considering going to prime for my cdl training and going into reefer. The only concern I have is how often do you have to wait to be unloaded? I originally was only considering dry-van in hopes of minimizing the time spent being unloaded. Does anyone know how often you have to wait with reefer and if it is a lot more often than with dry van? Also prime is offering 700.00 a week minimum guaranteed after TnT phase. Is that a good thing or does it mean I will likely be making around 700.00 a week most weeks. 700 a week doesn't sound bad but even at swift there are drivers who just went solo who make more than that most weeks. Any info would be helpful. If I don't go with prime I will likely be going with Knight or Swift for cdl training. Thanks in advance. Happy Trucking!

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll. Real my answers up. I'm a prime reefer driver myself.

1. The $700 is during TNT not after. And it is the minimum you will make. If the miles you and your trainer are more including your bonuses then you get more. After training you earn 41 cents every mile you are dispatched. 29 cents taxed and 12 untaxed fir your per diem.

2. The unloading times depend. Walmart seems to be the longest. There are some drop and hooks for wal mart, but I haven't seen a whole lot of them. Usually Walmart I average 4-5 hours. That's why I'm glad I have my tv. Other than that the average time I've seen is about 2 hours. Maybe a little more on weekends or if the place is short staffed.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay thanks alot! Do you think dry van drivers have to wait for unloads less often?

I'll. Real my answers up. I'm a prime reefer driver myself.

1. The $700 is during TNT not after. And it is the minimum you will make. If the miles you and your trainer are more including your bonuses then you get more. After training you earn 41 cents every mile you are dispatched. 29 cents taxed and 12 untaxed fir your per diem.

2. The unloading times depend. Walmart seems to be the longest. There are some drop and hooks for wal mart, but I haven't seen a whole lot of them. Usually Walmart I average 4-5 hours. That's why I'm glad I have my tv. Other than that the average time I've seen is about 2 hours. Maybe a little more on weekends or if the place is short staffed.

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.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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.

ACO476's Comment
member avatar

You'll be waiting *A LOT* pulling reefer. I've had 14 hour waits at Walmart, 18 hour waits at Americold (all over the country), and these are wait times sitting on the dock door with a red light. This was also the norm, not something that happened occasionally. If I could do it all over again, I never would have pulled reefer.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Lucky Life's Comment
member avatar

You'll be waiting *A LOT* pulling reefer. I've had 14 hour waits at Walmart, 18 hour waits at Americold (all over the country), and these are wait times sitting on the dock door with a red light. This was also the norm, not something that happened occasionally. If I could do it all over again, I never would have pulled reefer.

So how in the World do you make any money sitting for 14 or more hours?

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow thanks a lot for the reply. That is definitely not something I want to do if that's the case. I want to be able to keep the wheels rolling as much as possible and really benefit from staying OTR for long periods of time. I don't have the family at home to worry about getting back home often. Its looking like for me dry van is the way I'll be going to get my experience.

You'll be waiting *A LOT* pulling reefer. I've had 14 hour waits at Walmart, 18 hour waits at Americold (all over the country), and these are wait times sitting on the dock door with a red light. This was also the norm, not something that happened occasionally. If I could do it all over again, I never would have pulled reefer.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

You'll be waiting *A LOT* pulling reefer. I've had 14 hour waits at Walmart, 18 hour waits at Americold (all over the country), and these are wait times sitting on the dock door with a red light. This was also the norm, not something that happened occasionally. If I could do it all over again, I never would have pulled reefer.

I never had any problems getting 3,000+ miles a week pulling reefer , and we have half of our forum here working for Prime and they're running them as hard as they can go.

For anyone considering reefer, you also have to keep in mind that:

1) Your average length of haul is much longer than with dry van or flatbed. So you might sit longer at the customers, but then you're getting 1,200 - 2,000 mile runs a lot of times where dry van is getting 500 miles runs.

2) Dry van and flatbed tend to slow down during certain times of the year, where refrigerated freight tends to be more steady and consistent. Refrigerated carriers can haul both temperature sensitive and dry freight so it gives them more flexibility when they need it

3) Refrigerated tends to pay a little more per mile than dry van

For every type of freight out there you'll find plenty of people who love it, and plenty of people who hate it. There is no such thing as a type of freight that doesn't turn great miles or make great money. You simply have to find what you feel suits you best.

For example, most flatbedders are really diehard. They wouldn't want to do anything else. I personally never wanted to do much of it myself. I prefered dry van over the rest.

It makes no difference what you haul, they all do well. As long as you're happy with it that's all that matters.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

ACO476's Comment
member avatar

I believe what Brett says to be true, but I never saw any of it unfortunately. It all comes down to your dispatcher and planners I think. I do have to clarify that I did not work for Prime, but did pull reefer and sat side by side with plenty of Prime reefer drivers stuck on docks for countless hours. I only got one 2,100 mile run in 6 months pulling reefer. I averaged 300 to 500 mile runs day after day during my reefer time. I also have to admit that I loved pulling reefer and I actually miss it terribly, but you do need to be aware that, speaking to the core of your question, there will be absolutely horrible wait times in reefer work. The few times I had to pull dry van , I always joked with my dispatcher about "I don't know how these dry van drivers do it." She always told me that the dry van drivers all say the same thing about reefer drivers! Try it out, you'll probably enjoy it.

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.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the insight Mr.Aquilla and ACO476. I will take all that into account going forward. I talked to a driver today at my job who is an owner op who pulls intermodal. He says that something good to look into in the future. Once I get some experience I will look around more into the different types of containers and pros and cons of each. Thanks again!

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Do you guys know if any companies guarantee drivers x amount of miles a week? I don't even have my cdl yet so this is something that will mostly be good to know after a year or so with the company I start with.

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.
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