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Update on BMI Requirements, in Regards to Prime Inc.

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Paul's Comment
member avatar

Real quick I want to say that you guys on here are fantastic! Since the trucking bug bit me and I decided to run with it, I have scoured the net to inform myself of the realities of the industry. This forum has, by far, been the best resource, and I sincerely appreciate it.

I am a big guy. I was a ministry director, then owned a thrift store, in which I dropped down quite a bit due to the mandatory exercise of donation pickups and whatnot, then became a pastor and man pastors sit a lot. Counseling and so on. Then I drove a taxi for nearly two years, and that job is much like trucking, healthy-wise. So that, and admittedly poor choices...fast food is so addictive...led me to really being a pretty stout individual.

Now, I'm healthy, will pass any DOT physical--HAD to pass the physical twice while driving a cab--but in the depths of my research I found out about the BMI/Sleep Apnea issue. I had put in my application to go with Prime after deciding they would be my best bet to getting going in this business. And then I saw that many people posted about how Prime has a limit of 37 BMI--or a 17 inch neck--at which point they will either send you home or require you to get a sleep study. I about hung up the towel.

I am a big guy, well above that threshold and going down--I am losing weight and have changed my lifestyle to keep the needle dropping and to keep it dropped. But to get that low is a long haul, and my neck will always be above that. I'm muscular as well as hefty.

So I spoke with a recruiter and, after he put me on hold for a lengthy moment and spoke with somebody, he put some of my fears to rest. If you're a big guy, or gal, looking to get going with Prime, the official story is that you will go through the four days of orientation and then will be subject to a sleep study. YOU WILL SIGN A PROMISSORY NOTE saying you will pay them back for the sleep study -- between 2,500 and 3,000 bucks. If you pass, you get to get on with it. If you fail, you have to get a CPAP...and then you get on with it.

So there it is for all who may wonder, as I did. I may still go for it. I am 99% sure I do not have sleep apnea , but Prime has the highest pay for newbies, and it seems as if they have a very thorough program. If I went with a truck driving school I'd have to pay between 4,000 and 6,000, then find company that wouldn't take my BMI or neck size into account, all the while earning nothing. Prime still works for me.

Whew, that was a long post. Wonder how many people stayed for the end?

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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

Lucky Life's Comment
member avatar

Wow that a lot of bucks for a Sleep study, I am at 160lbs and have a 17 1/4 inch neck, 6 foot and turning 54 this month, sounds brutal. I can tell ya I was at 200 and spent 2 months just walking 2 miles day and lost 35 in 1 month.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, that really is a ton of money. Wow.

I'm actually going to release an article tomorrow on sleep apnea. I've been speaking with a company that supplies home testing kits, CPAP machines, and all kinds of stuff. They answered a bunch of questions for me and I'm going to organize it and release it tomorrow.

They have a home study kit and I've asked them if they would be willing to donate one to me so I can take the test myself and document the entire process. Apparently there are a number of trucking companies who test their drivers using the home study test, and it's only a few hundred bucks. I don't know a lot of details about it, but if they'll send me a kit I'll document the entire thing beginning to end.

Paul, everyone has issues to get past and hoops to jump through in the beginning. Persevere, man. Make it happen. In the end, all of this will be nothing but a tiny blip on the radar. Keep moving forward with your health, keep moving forward with your trucking career, and you'll be in such a great position you'll be thanking yourself every day of your life for making this all happen.

Keep us updated. We'd love to know how things go for ya.

smile.gif

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm really mad I didn't become a sleep doctor. I would be rich!

Han Solo Cup's Comment
member avatar

I'm curious... in my case, I already know I have mild sleep apnea but I don't use a CPAP. I'd prefer to just save the money on the test and buy the machine. Is that an option? Do you have to pay for the sleep study if you're willing to just purchase a CPAP?

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I'm curious... in my case, I already know I have mild sleep apnea but I don't use a CPAP. I'd prefer to just save the money on the test and buy the machine. Is that an option? Do you have to pay for the sleep study if you're willing to just purchase a CPAP?

I would imagine so, unless you were already diagnosed by your doctor. You have to have a prescription I'm told in order to be treated for it. I don't know if you can even buy a CPAP machine without a prescription or not.

I just posted a new article on sleep apnea today and you can find it here:

Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Paul's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I'm curious... in my case, I already know I have mild sleep apnea but I don't use a CPAP. I'd prefer to just save the money on the test and buy the machine. Is that an option? Do you have to pay for the sleep study if you're willing to just purchase a CPAP?

double-quotes-end.png

I would imagine so, unless you were already diagnosed by your doctor. You have to have a prescription I'm told in order to be treated for it. I don't know if you can even buy a CPAP machine without a prescription or not.

I just posted a new article on sleep apnea today and you can find it here:

Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way

I used to own a thrift store and once had a CPAP donated. It was brand new, so we thought for sure we'd be able to sell it quickly for a good price. Yeah, I found out you can't sell these things without a prescription, so I ended up giving it to a friend who needed it. I'd imagine a trucking company who requires a sleep test would probably not be okay with you bringing your own without a doctor having prescribed it, and you'd likely need documentation of that prescription. Just a guess.

Brett, thanks for the article. I read it last night and am starting to agree with you. I even am far less confident now about the chances of me not having sleep apnea. The more I research the effects of this the more I think I may just have it, and if I do I certainly want to know. So I'm looking forward to the sleep test.

As for the price, the recruiter said--just as I stated in my original post--that he believed it was between 2,500 and 3,000. I will say that he was not overly confident on the overall subject and had to ask somebody else for clarification, so he could be wrong on the price. I saw a video from a Prime driver on youtube who said that he believed it to be something like 600 bucks.

Whatever will be will be, right? :-)

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Paul's Comment
member avatar

Paul, everyone has issues to get past and hoops to jump through in the beginning. Persevere, man. Make it happen. In the end, all of this will be nothing but a tiny blip on the radar. Keep moving forward with your health, keep moving forward with your trucking career, and you'll be in such a great position you'll be thanking yourself every day of your life for making this all happen.

Yes sir, we've all made some stupid choice in life. Part of living. The danger is when we doing realize them and continue making them. I am preserving, and thank you for the positivity.

Brett I see you're into health and fitness. How do you stay healthy in this industry? I found that driving a taxi presented me with far too many temptations, regarding food available, especially when I worked overnight--better bet there's only Jack n the Box and Taco Bell at 2am--and couple that with sitting for 11 hours at a stretch, it became seriously unhealthy.

I have worked the last few months to break my addiction to sugar, fried foods, and so on, and have dropped a significant amount of weight -- 15 pounds in the last two weeks alone -- and I'm confident my lifestyle has changed to a point that I can maintain while in a truck. But what do you do to keep a good healthy balance? Any advice is great.

Anthony B.'s Comment
member avatar

Real quick I want to say that you guys on here are fantastic! Since the trucking bug bit me and I decided to run with it, I have scoured the net to inform myself of the realities of the industry. This forum has, by far, been the best resource, and I sincerely appreciate it.

I am a big guy. I was a ministry director, then owned a thrift store, in which I dropped down quite a bit due to the mandatory exercise of donation pickups and whatnot, then became a pastor and man pastors sit a lot. Counseling and so on. Then I drove a taxi for nearly two years, and that job is much like trucking, healthy-wise. So that, and admittedly poor choices...fast food is so addictive...led me to really being a pretty stout individual.

Now, I'm healthy, will pass any DOT physical--HAD to pass the physical twice while driving a cab--but in the depths of my research I found out about the BMI/Sleep Apnea issue. I had put in my application to go with Prime after deciding they would be my best bet to getting going in this business. And then I saw that many people posted about how Prime has a limit of 37 BMI--or a 17 inch neck--at which point they will either send you home or require you to get a sleep study. I about hung up the towel.

I am a big guy, well above that threshold and going down--I am losing weight and have changed my lifestyle to keep the needle dropping and to keep it dropped. But to get that low is a long haul, and my neck will always be above that. I'm muscular as well as hefty.

So I spoke with a recruiter and, after he put me on hold for a lengthy moment and spoke with somebody, he put some of my fears to rest. If you're a big guy, or gal, looking to get going with Prime, the official story is that you will go through the four days of orientation and then will be subject to a sleep study. YOU WILL SIGN A PROMISSORY NOTE saying you will pay them back for the sleep study -- between 2,500 and 3,000 bucks. If you pass, you get to get on with it. If you fail, you have to get a CPAP...and then you get on with it.

So there it is for all who may wonder, as I did. I may still go for it. I am 99% sure I do not have sleep apnea , but Prime has the highest pay for newbies, and it seems as if they have a very thorough program. If I went with a truck driving school I'd have to pay between 4,000 and 6,000, then find company that wouldn't take my BMI or neck size into account, all the while earning nothing. Prime still works for me.

Whew, that was a long post. Wonder how many people stayed for the end?

I just went through the sleep study test with prime I had to get the machine....it only cost a total of $1200...$500 for the test and $700 for the machine....they will deduct payments from your check to pay for it just so you know how it goes

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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Anthony is correct. I took the test for $500 and don't have apnea so no machine.

If you already have a machine they want 30 days records. Some machines can be fitted with a modem for then to monitor others can't so it depends on your machine whether or not it can transfer to Primes record systems. If you state you have apnea and a machine but never use it, they will test you and charge you to upgrade your machine to be fitted with the modem IF able to do so. One of my friends got to keep his old machine another had to buy a new one.

They don't test you until AFTER you get the CDL and are hired.

The promissory note is actually your PSD school contract stating you will work one year or pay back X amount of dollars. When I started it was $3200 but I know others who signed higher ones...$4000 I think.

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.

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.
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