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My Prime Journey

Topic 20647 | Page 1

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Cato's Comment
member avatar

Well, I am finally starting my trucking journey. I have been mulling over this decision for about 8 months now and at the beginning of last month I started applying to different employers looking for someone who would hire me. You see, I have my class A CDL and have experience driving a school bus and big rigs around town for a previous employer but I have no real driving experience OTR so no one would hire me. I tried JB Hunt, Wil-Trans , McClane, and Prime. Prime said that they would hire me but I would have to go through their training program, minus the getting my license part, but still PSD (student portion) and TnT (on the job training). I was a little discouraged at first but a little practice never hurt anyone, and I already know that I am a capable driver in town so the experience should be good especially if I stay positive. I look forward to this journey, I wanted to document what my journey was and how is will be different for me verses someone fresh who does not have a license. I am in no way experienced compared to other truck drivers since I have never gone OTR and I am going in to this with an open mind with full understanding of my lack of knowledge.

Everyone have a great weekend and I will check in soon, I leave in 12.5 hours

Thank you Brett for creating this website, this has been a wonderful tool that I have used to research different companies as well as answer different questions my wife and I have had.

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.

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.

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.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Paul's Comment
member avatar

Good luck! A positive attitude is the way to go. I have had such an incredibly positive experience with Prime so far, and if I came into it with your experience in my belt it undoubtedly would have been even better. You'll fly through most of it and in the end be a better driver for having gone through the process. I may be on the road when you get here...but I may not. Hope I catch up with you! :-)

Cato's Comment
member avatar

I hope to see you around Paul! I just got in the bus trip was not what I was expecting but it I arrived safe and almost on time. I only had the $100 orientation fee to pat since I already have my CDL and endorsements. They give you a wake up call at 0545 the cafe opens at 0600 and the first class is at 0700. We shall see what to.borrow has in store.

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.
Cato's Comment
member avatar

Well I got through orientation and everything that entails.... DOT physical, drug test, agility test ( lifting up 65 lbs, outing a tarp on a shelf over my head, climbing a ladder, standing on one foot, and holding a plank position for 3 seconds), all of the computer based training modules ( about 3 hours worth of computer study), simulator classes, and various classes. The simulator gave me vertigo so bad I tossed my lunch so they excused me from the class (probably didnt want me throwing up on the simulator... Good call). Friday came and a lot of folks still didn't have their permits and backgrounds cleared. I was waiting on some paper work from my primary care doctor but it came in around lunch time. I was told that everyone who comes through the program who already has their Class A CDL goes through an expressed PSD called Night classes. From 730 pm to 6 am lasting about a week. I was under the impression I was one of the few that already had my CDL, not true I was one of 3 tbis week and most weeka they have a handful of studenta who already have the CDL but not the necessary miles or experience to skip tbe TnT phase. I start night classes tonight and should be TnT soon. I'll post again with more info about night classes after I get through tonight... Wish me luck I've been up most of the day. embarrassed.gif

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Roy B (Giddy) 's Comment
member avatar

Very interesting can't wait to hear what exactly Is involved in this program. Express PSD. Make sure to try and get enough rest. Best of luck to you.

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.
Cato's Comment
member avatar

So the first night of Night Classes starts on Saturdays and you will be in the SIM room all night. For the most part you are just running drills on the simulators. There is also winter driving training and trip planning. Trip planning is easy if you know how to use an atlas. Day 2-5 Sunday - Thursday you start at the backing pad to work on backing maneuvers, actual shifting in the truck, and city driving. After lunch break you're back in the SIM room working on simulators. CDL holders typically test out within a week but you have to be in class for a mining of 5 days (Prime policy). We still test like non CDL holders minus the stress of actually getting the CDL, but we must pass in order to get hired. Test includes pretrip (in cab and engine typically) backing maneuvers (straight back parallel and offset) and city and highway driving. The instructors won't let you schedule the test until they know you are ready... They get payed for you to pass and move one to TnT. Over all not to bad.

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.

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.

Cato's Comment
member avatar

Correction.... After lunch you are either in the SIM lab or on the practice pad practicing driving. It alternates every other day... And when the instructed and you agree you are ready to test out you gwt the night before the test off so you can sleep and be ready for test since they only test during the day. The test is performed by Prime testers not state testers since you are already licenced... Its just Prime's way of evaluating if you are a capable driver or not. Its easier than the actual teat because they are not as strict.

Cato's Comment
member avatar

Well, I tested out today got all 3 on the first try. Even though l was already a CDL holder it was definatly an accomplishment as I havent driven anything bigger than a Nissan Maxima in several years. The test was more laid back since it was just Primes evaluation but i was still a little stressed. I am glad its over now and i am movong on to the TnT phase ( on the road with a trainer team driving). I should be leaving out late next week if i can get a sleep study done. I am really glad that i started this journey with Prime, I have found such a wonderful group of drivers who genuinely seem to like the company they drive for... Thats hard to find with such a big company. I hope everyone else who is considering or starting a career in this field finds the positive learning environment i have found with Prime. While i miss my family (my little one's birthday is tomorrow) I wouldnt trade this experience for the world. It can only get better from here and its already pretty awesome

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.

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.

Paul's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!!! Glad to hear you did well today. 😀

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