Prime Inc - My New Career

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Strongman Trucker's Comment
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I passed my CDL Pre trip test, Backing test, and Driving test! I am now officially a CDL Driver for Prime Inc! The past few days have been so stressful and I am so proud of myself for pursuing this new career and working hard to achieve my CDL.

On Sunday, I had my first attempt at the CDL tests. My anxiety was going through the roof. I have always had a really hard time with memorization so studying and memorizing the pre trip was very difficult for me. So.. I was fortunate enough to be the first one of the day to test. But I was also unfortunate enough to not only have the examiner there testing me but also the DOT Officer which only made my anxiety go even more crazy. I missed a lot on the pre trip.. my mind was going completely blank.. which always happens to me when I take tests. But.. I was good enough on the pre trip to pass that portion of the CDL test. Ok.. I moved on to the backing.. I practiced my backing for a few days before I left for psd and also a few days when I got back from psd.. I personally thought I was ready. I hit the straight back perfect.. then it was offset to the left.. I feel like because I worked myself up so much because of the pre trip it spilled over to the backing portion of the test.. I completely forgot my points and ended up timing out. I ended up practicing my backing some more that afternoon.

Monday morning came around and it was time for me to attempt the backing again and hopefully move on to the driving portion of the CDL tests. Straight back went perfect again.. I got set back to the left and i got it but got a lot of points. I was hoping I was going to get the alley dock.. because I was hitting that with no points in training. But I ended up getting parallel to the right instead. I went through the motions and ended up pointing out.... I had to come back for a third day and try and pass my CDL tests. At this point my anxiety is even worse.. you only get 3 try's to pass your CDL tests. So I ended up receiving the help from another instructor to help me with my backing points. I ended up learning a different way for the set back and parallel backing that afternoon.

9/26/17 Tuesday morning the time has come for me to pass these tests. I memorized all of the points for my backing and was ready to go! Extremely nervous but ready to go. I had the same examiner from the day before and of course he was completely rude to me at first and stated he didn't have much faith in me on passing the backing tests. Who says that!?!? Well guess what.. I completely proved him wrong with only 2 points in the backing portion of the exam!!!! I was pumped.. I even told him.. "you have faith in my abilities now?" I don't think he knew what to say. I love proving people wrong. So I moved on to the driving portion and passed.. I messed up on a few things but I passed! I felt like I had a million pounds lifted off my shoulders! So awesome!

Too make things even better... I passed on my two year wedding anniversary to my awesome wife kerry! With her encouraging words and helping me to remain focused on the end goal I was able to pass all of these tests. I couldn't be happier right now!

It is now Wednesday and I have my sleep apnea test tonight. I honestly don't think I have sleep apnea but maybe I'm wrong? Doesn't matter.. I'm just happy to officially be a employee of prime inc! Then I have my physical to get an updated DOT card on Friday. Then I'll be leaving on Saturday for the TNT portion of my training. I'll be going out for 15,000 miles with my PSD trainer and then getting a tanker trainer for my remaining 15,000 miles.

What a journey this has been!!!

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.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Awesome! Congratulations.

PlanB's Comment
member avatar

Awesome to hear your doing well.

I'm sitting here outside the Northstar grill in the Millennium building waiting to head over to Prime East in an hour for our PSD group to start meeting instructors. Really hope I'm fortunate enough to get one today.

I really appreciate being able to hear success stories from from those who just went through what I'm about to go through.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

PS: And like you I'll be missing my wedding anniversary. My wife keeps reminding me that we're been side by side for 17years and due to my amazing timing I'll be spending our 10 year wedding anniversary on the road!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.
Strongman Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Awesome to hear your doing well.

I'm sitting here outside the Northstar grill in the Millennium building waiting to head over to Prime East in an hour for our PSD group to start meeting instructors. Really hope I'm fortunate enough to get one today.

I really appreciate being able to hear success stories from from those who just went through what I'm about to go through.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

PS: And like you I'll be missing my wedding anniversary. My wife keeps reminding me that we're been side by side for 17years and due to my amazing timing I'll be spending our 10 year wedding anniversary on the road!

Hey man, hope you had fun at prime east. That is actually where I found my instructor.. we talked and hit it off and it went really well. Just remember that there is nothing wrong with being picky who you go out on he road with.. you'll be with them for awhile in close quarters.

I turned down the first instructor that contacted me and I'm glad I did. I actually was here for two weeks before I got an instructor. (But that was also because of my BP). What I'm trying to say is you'll get an instructor soon.. if not this weekend then this coming week. Instructors come in daily looking for new students.

I'm actually going tanker but my instructor is Reefer and I'm leaving tomorrow with him to do half of my 30,000 miles with him and then going to pick up a tanker instructor at the Pittston Terminal.

But good luck and let me know if you get an instructor, you may have already for all I know! And get lots of practice on the backing pad before you test for your CDL.. that was definitely the hardest part for me.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Hey Strongman good luck with the TNT. I'll be following along on your journey.

One thing about these training diaries: There are a lot more people reading and following than you probably realize. So keep up with the posts when you can. You'll be helping many others.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Great posts! I'll be following your continuing journey, too.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Strongman Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Well.. my last post was a little over a month ago and I had just passed my CDL license and was about to leave out for my TNT portion of my training.

A lot has happened since then.. I will try and summarize everything in this post.

Here is a list of my 01’s and 90’s this past month:

Springfield, MO to Newark, NJ. I went home for 1 week. Pitston, PA to Oakland, CA. Salinas, CA to New Haven, CT. I went home for 2 days to transfer CDL. Hazleton, PA to Burlington, NC. Rocky Mount, NC to Louisville, KY. Louisville, KY to Newark, NJ. Newark, NJ to Indianapolis, IN. Champagne, IL to SLC, Utah. SLC, Utah to Findlay, OH. Findlay, OH to Springfield MO. Springfield, MO to Kent, WA. Kent, WA to Springfield, MO.

I apologize on not doing daily and weekly updates like some people do.. I just felt like I had zero time to type and update anything. My days consisted of driving, finding time to eat, and trying to sleep on my 10 hour breaks. One thing I can say is that I am definitely not interested in ever becoming a team driver in the future. Ever.

I’ve driven in high winds, fog, smog, rain, sleet, ice, I’ve spent whole shifts driving in snow. Out of all of these conditions I’d have to say driving in the heavy fog is one of the most scariest scenarios.. not being able to see anything in front and around you just sucks.

I currently have about 20,000 miles in on for my Prime Inc TNT phase. Im doing 40,000. I’m also back in Springfield because my current Trainer is upgrading his truck so I decided to make the best of it and take the Prime safety course and also a class on driving these automatics since my trainers new truck is an automatic.

It’s now Friday night 11/10/17 and I’m just relaxing the rest of the weekend and having a physical on Monday for my medical DOT card. Then I’ll be back in the road to finish these miles. I also decided to go to the flat bed division so hopefully after thanksgiving I’ll be switching and finishing out my miles in that division. The plan is to hopefully have all my miles done and ready to upgrade before Christmas.

I will try and update again when I switch to flat bed otherwise I will update again once I go to upgrade in December. Like I said it gets tough to find time to update this blog when this phase is just go go go.

At this point I am looking for a flat bed trainer to take me on for my last 20,000 miles of TNT training. Being from PA I’m looking for a trainer that mostly does the northeast or a dedicated route in the northeast since that is what I want to be doing once I upgrade and go solo. I’m going home for thanksgiving and am looking to get picked up by a flat bed trainer at the Pitston terminal that following weekend. If there are any flat bed prime trainers on here looking for a student that is a hard worker and willing to learn send me an email at edwardjosephbambegerjr@gmail.com.

Stay safe out there drivers!

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.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Great to see you are doing well Strongman! Hazleton and Pittston,...right in my Walmart territory.

Good luck in your progression to solo status!

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