Driving School Long Ago Preparing To Come Back To Driving

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Old School's Comment
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Okay, well that just shows how far behind the times I am. Thanks Pete, I did not know that.

Pete B.'s Comment
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I wouldn't have been surprised if there was still one bulk truck out there, servicing a small dedicated account; Schneider used to have a flatbed division, but sold it off years ago. After seeing a Schneider truck pulling a flatbed recently, I asked someone about it and was told we still have one or two trucks working a small dedicated account. A company this size likes to keep a finger in everything, it seems.

Kevin L.'s Comment
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Hey Kevin. The industry is going to view you as being a brand new driver with no experience. If you get on with one of the Company-Sponsored Training Programs they'll put you through their program as quickly as you can handle it. If it all comes back to you easily they'll push you through a little more quickly than the others.

You're going to get a new physical when you start a new job anyhow, so that current medical card won't matter.

The only difference with you is that you won't have to take the written or driving exams to get your CDL. Otherwise, you'll be going through the same training program as everyone else. But hey, that's no big deal. You'll enjoy it, and things will come back to you quicker than you expect.

Every company is different as far as the pay goes during training. Some will pay you right from day one, others will put you through a few weeks on the yard doing backing and shifting maneuvers before your pay begins. Prime will lend you money during the training process to help you get through the unpaid portion of it.

Follow that link I gave you above and start reading up on the various companies that offer training. I would start applying to companies about a month before you're ready to start.

Brett,

I am totally ok with starting all over again if need be but I am wondering if I was to go with prime would I be starting off in the PSD program for 3-4 weeks or would I go directly out with a TNT trainer for 30,000 mile training? You probably already said the answer but I want to be sure I am clear. The reason I ask is because the first 3-4 weeks of PSD is simply geared to getting your CDL and is unpaid. I probably should not be concerned about the cost as I am planning on sticking with it far more than a year. It does not sit well that I would have to borrow money for a month worth of bills and expenses to cover for me and my family for a month of training that is designed to get a permit and license when I already have my CDL with all the available endorsements. The prime website indicates they will pay minimum of 700 per week while doing the training with the TNT trainer. It also indicates that once you get through your PSD and get your CDL you go to orientation and are hired.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

They're at least going to start you in the PSD phase to get you back in the swing of things and see if you need work on anything. When they can see you're obviously ready for the road I'm sure they'll send you out there. It's also costing them money to have you hanging around the terminal practicing backing and such. So I would imagine they'll get you on the road as quickly as possible.

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.

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.
Kevin L.'s Comment
member avatar

Well after finishing my third shift job I called Prime today. Basically they clarified what was said here. I would be seen as a new driver and would have to go through their entire training curriculum. While they did say they would loan me up to 200 a week during the non paid month or so. I had to tell them straight that would not be enough to cover the rent and bills at home while I was training basically to put time in to qualify to get my cdl which I already have. The recruiter basically saw i was goi g to habe to explore other options and mentioned that because I drive a bus she may be able to have me test directly into the second portion of training that is paid. Im not feeling warm and fuzzy about this. Actually thinking I should look more into local smaller companies for experience and training. I do have the benefit of being employed already at multiple jobs. Not gonna rush anything yet.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Kevin, I would just caution you against being too shortsighted. Find the company you really want to go to work for and make it happen. Think long term. I'm not saying it has to be Prime, but I'm saying don't just jump into something because it's a quick paycheck. Take the path that's going to put you in the best position long term, even if that means enduring more difficulties in the short term.

They want you to go through a few weeks of training because you've been out of the truck for a long time. You don't think that's worth it? Almost any company that's worth working for is going to require that anyhow. Prime will even loan you the money to help you get through, and they have one of the best pay packages you'll find anywhere.

Think long term. Don't get hung up on little short term things. If you have to pull a few strings to make something great happen then find a way to pull some strings.

Kevin L.'s Comment
member avatar

First off I want to thank everyone on here for all the responses. I have been spending a lot of my time on this forum the past few weeks. I have learned quite a bit here and it is a wonderful place.

I will be delaying applying to any company for a bit as it is not in my best interest to leave my 3rd shift full-time job until after the middle of December. As much as I may not like my school bus job I will stick it out until things pan out with tractor trailers again for me.

I have given a lot of thought to what I want to do in the long term and I believe I want to work for a company that will continually train me to be better and safer at what I do. I think that both Prime and Schneider fill that. I may be describing a dream job here not sure. I definitely want to run tankers and would prefer to be home as many weekends as possible and out running pretty much through the week. I am not real keen about going local though as I believe I need highway time to keep my sanity. I don't want a truck with a day cab I definitely want to have a sleeper berth. I want to be paid a fair living wage for driving as well as any training both in the beginning as well as any ongoing training.

I understand when companies hire on people they need to recover on their investments of training and expenses they put out simply to hire a person. It is in fact a business. It is for that reason that I feel as if when a potential applicant walks into their door with all the documentation needed to legally operate any of their equipment with any cargo on or in it. They should be able to do an on the spot background check on them and pull a driver abstract then assign them to a driver trainer for evaluation. That driver trainer should be able to tell within a few minutes or hours what the driver needs to improve and how to teach them to be a better safer driver. Basically, Prime has multiple levels of driver from PSD to C seat to B2 to B1 then A seat a trainer should be able to determine pretty fast where any Driver fits in the company scale. Once that is determined they should customize the training to meet the individuals needs to improve the fastest they can. What if a driver comes in and has little or no verifiable experience yet they drive at a B2 or B1 level within a day or two of being in the truck? In that case the new driver is stuck in a year contract and 40,000 miles with a trainer that may not even treat them with respect at all. The student training costs should be based upon the amount of training the individual needs with a trainer. If there is 10,000 miles experience required to get your cdl and a person comes in with their valid CDL already that should be 10,000 miles the company does not have to provide them with. It should not be a default of start everyone out at the beginning and teach all of them the same curriculum despite if they know it or not. It seems too easy for a bad trainer to give a person little or no training or driving time while treating them poorly trying to get them to quit. That way the trainer is the only on who gets the best deal as they make more as a trainer than a regular driver. If a driver quits the company will go after them aggressively for the educational expenses and it will likely cost the company a lot more to find someone to start all over with.

One of the things I think I am seeing is that pulling HAZmat loads pays more than non HazMat in general. Prime only runs food grade tankers. Granted as pointed out on the forum foodstuffs come out of much cleaner environments than chemicals and also food gets far less attention than Hazmat by law enforcement.

The only things I see positive about local driving around me anyhow is there are some positions once you have a year or so experience that are working for Union Companies like CocaCola or Pepsico that pay over $25 per hour for every hour you work. Even without Overtime if you look at a 60 hour week your looking at $1500/week on top of that many of them stay within 100 air miles so they are not required log books at all. One problem with that is you load and unload the truck yourself cant go home till it is empty and might be working 14+ hours per day as you have no logbook.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
First off I want to thank everyone on here for all the responses. I have been spending a lot of my time on this forum the past few weeks. I have learned quite a bit here and it is a wonderful place.

Kevin, had you stopped right there, I could have believed you. Unfortunately almost everything you said afterwards screams at me saying you've learned nothing from our forum. You've obviously been learning from some other sources.

Rob's Comment
member avatar

It is my understanding that not having to log within100 air mile radius limits you to 12 hours (please correct me if I'm wrong), and will not allow you to violate HOS as your time is tracked via clocking in/out at your terminal. When you're running a log book (paper or E Log) there is no limit to the amount of time you can be "On Duty", HOS just states that you may not drive more than 11 hours, or drive after you've been On Duty for more than 14 hours. Other than the "Safe Haven law" which is commonly misinterpreted, the only time you can drive after 14th hour is using the "16 hour exemption". OTR drivers can not use this. To use the exemption you MUST not exceed 11 hours driving, and you MUST return to the same place you began your day. This can only be done once a week, and if I recall correctly you must do a 34 reset before you're eligible again. Regarding coca cola and Pepsi are you sure that's something you'd want to do? Based on when you previously drove im going to guess you're about 45 to 50. Any food service, beverage or beer distributers is VERY physical work, often times backing into narrow alleys with cars everywhere in your way. I started in food service a couple months ago (they sent me to CDL school) and I still have difficulty with some of the backing. I do not regret my decision as im able to provide for my family better and home every night, however I'd recommend avoiding it until you have more recent experience.

The local delivery (beer, soda, food) are all very similar. If beverage distribution is something you're seriously considering please visit the other forum "training diaries" as I did a quick rundown of how 1 of my weeks went (6th week of training If I recall correctly), and plan to update it my first week solo...roughly a month from now as its a 12 week training period. On mobile so its hard to link my thread but it was "food service as a rookie"

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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