Profile For SweetLew

SweetLew's Info

  • Location:
    Concordia, MO

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 11 months ago

SweetLew's Bio

Former Deputy Sheriff, Soldier, and farmer. I drove trucks in the Army but I’m just now deciding to get into the civilian OTR life. Currently in the TNT phase at Prime.

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Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Coming to Prime as a C-seat

It’s been awhile since an update. I’ve recently passed the halfway mark of TNT. I’ll be going home for a few days this week. I should have about 3 weeks left after I come back before I upgrade. The first 6 weeks have been awesome and stressful at times. But mostly awesome. I got a great trainer who is from my same area and age and we get along really well. We work well as a team. But, I’m looking forward to being solo as well. I still have a few things to learn but I feel like I’m doing really well. Honestly, without any major trainer/trainee issues this has been a pretty great experience. That’s not to say there haven’t been some small issues or things about my trainer that annoy me. But I know 100% I can also be annoying. So my advice would be to stay positive and go out of your way to get along. It’s only a few weeks. A blip in your life that you’ll barely remember.

I scratched up a deer guard on a curb and then ripped off a mud flap on a small rock I couldn’t see when I had to back around a corner on a gravel road. The backing was one of the stressful moments. My trainer said it was in the top ten worst deliveries he’s ever had to do. But I succeeded with much sweat.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ll probably update again about the upgrade process in a few weeks.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Coming to Prime as a C-seat

Anne, I’m not sure how much of a test it was honestly. When I completed the scenario the guy said “you passed. Go away. “And that was it. I know a few guys had to redo it but it was very simple. It didn’t make me sick however I’ve done many hours in simulators for military convoy training so maybe I was a little more prepared for it. All in all the entire orientation felt very easy. Date I say, too easy. But I have no record, driving or criminal, and nothing to hide so it went very smoothly for me. Like I said, honesty from the get go is paramount in any job interview so as long as you have that covered it should be smooth sailing. For example, when I was a cop I got hit in my patrol car. I wasn’t at fault as I was responding to a call emergency with my lights and sirens activated. It’s not on my MVR but I brought it up just in case it showed up somewhere and I didn’t want to seem like I was hiding it. Everything worked out and the honesty paid off.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Coming to Prime as a C-seat

Also the best thing to do about the drug test thing is be honest with your recruiter and get advice from them directly. If you try to hide something and they find out you’ll not get hired. I believe most companies aren’t looking for perfect people as much as honest people.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Coming to Prime as a C-seat

I did an evaluation on the simulator and then I went out with a trainer right away. Started driving the interstate my first day. He sat with me for a few hours to make sure I was good but that was it.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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Coming to Prime as a C-seat

If that is a policy I haven’t been made aware of it. One of the Prime veterans might know better. I drive mostly during the day but that’s because that’s what works best for my trainer and I. He’s training me but it’s still a team drive so we have to do what’s best for the team.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Coming to Prime as a C-seat

It was a trial by fire so to speak. Having only driven military vehicles to driving through the Rockies with a load of metal planking. My trainer gave me a crash course on the Jake brakes and I made it through unscathed. I made my first rookie mistake and bumped a curb with the deer guard at SLC. My trainer said not to worry about it but it was pretty embarrassing. Other than that, things have been going well. I’m learning a lot about securement and the nuances of truck driving. My trainer and I are getting along well so far and he is very good at this job so he’s teaching me a lot. Living in a truck with someone sucks but I’m pretty much driving or sleeping so it’s not bad yet. One week down!

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Prime's physical test for flatbed division

Yeah, I read both of your diaries and expected it to be more challenging. However, the instructor even said “it will take 30 seconds and you’ll be done “. 🤷

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Coming to Prime as a C-seat

Anne, I did go flatbed and it’s going well. I’m learning a lot of new stuff.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Prime's physical test for flatbed division

I did the agility test last week and am now on TNT. It’s separate from the DOT physical. All they made us do was pick up a tarp and put it on a shelf then take it back down. No box lifting or anything else. Everyone did it no problem. Hope this helps.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Coming to Prime as a C-seat

So, I thought I would include everyone in the process as it stands right now if you come to Prime as a C seat. Which means with a CDL but with little to no experience.

I got my CDL with a DOR Skills Test Waiver. Basically, I drove trucks in the Army for 12 years and I qualified for this program. I took the written tests and paid $100 to get my CDL A.

I came to orientation as a C seat so everyone who had their CDL already were separated from those going into PSD.

The first day we had some introductions, paper application and general rules and pay info. Then we got bussed over to the main terminal for a DOT physical. We did our file review after lunch. After that we were free to go to our rooms or classrooms to complete the CBTs. I completed mine that day.

The second day we did a driving simulator evaluation. Very easy. Just watch the signs. Then we took a logs class and automated transmission class. I also did the flatbed agility test which consisted of lifting a tarp off the ground, putting it on a 6 foot shelf and then putting it back down.

The third day we had our clearing meeting and got our badges and benefits info. It’s worth mentioning that as a C seat the requirement is 40,000 truck miles before you can upgrade. Apparently that changes from time to time.

They found a trainer for me the second day so I was already in contact with him. He’s from my area and we know some of the same people. We left out for Oregon with my first load the next day. Which brings me to my current situation. Stuck at a truck stop in Indiana waiting on my appointment time to drop my second load. Oh well…

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