Profile For SweetLew

SweetLew's Info

  • Location:
    Concordia, MO

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 months, 2 weeks 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 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

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 months, 2 weeks 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 months, 3 weeks 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 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  3 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 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:  3 months, 1 week 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:  3 months, 1 week 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:  3 months, 1 week 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:  3 months, 1 week 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…

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Blood pressure test no worries!

A proper diet of good-for-you food is all that's needed. Pills are poison and only mask a problem.

Is there a “like” button on this site? Lol. Seriously, heart disease is a huge problem and medicine is not making it go away. Check your sources, know where your food comes from, and do not resort to the poison. If anxiety is the problem, look for alternative treatments. Spiritual and therapeutic. As Packrat says, the medicine only masks the problem. And I would add, they never claimed it would cure you.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Military drivers, CDL Waiver, starting at Prime

By the way it's good to have a healthy level of nervousness and anxiety, but don't let it consume you. And use the training time to really fine tune your backing. Try alternative setups and different angles just to begin to get the feel of how the trailer moves. Unlike the non CDL holders all you're going to be doing is backing no pre-trip. So all you're going to be doing is practicing backing

Thanks Chief. This is exactly what I was looking for. I would say that I have a healthy case of nerves. But having a good plan and good information going in goes a long way to keep me calm.

Also now that you mention it, I remember reading about the CDL holders in your training diary. I’ll read it again.

Thanks everyone for replying. This forum is the best resource I’ve found.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Military drivers, CDL Waiver, starting at Prime

Anne,

Thanks for replying. I’ve read both training diaries you mentioned along with every post on this website (I think) about Prime flatbed. I’ve also watched a large portion of Kearsey’s videos. As I said in a previous post, I don’t like being under-prepared. I’m just wondering if anyone has knowledge of coming to Prime with a CDL already and the following evaluation.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Military drivers, CDL Waiver, starting at Prime

Just got off the phone with my recruiter. Looks like I’ll be going in for orientation beginning of July. She is confirming my application and then I’ll know for sure I guess. She told me that since I already have my CDL I’ll have to do a week or so of training and a skills evaluation before starting TNT. This is not false humility, I have very few skills to evaluate. I can drive a large military vehicle. That’s about it. Any videos or material out there I should be studying to get prepared? Also any recommendations on flatbed trainers? I want to learn as much as possible as I hate being unprepared. Thanks in advance.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Military drivers, CDL Waiver, starting at Prime

As in the military, be prepared to eat your soup with a fork.

Everyone knows that’s the only way to eat soup. Lol

I read your entire training diary and your thread about being solo. It really helped me understand what I’m getting into. It was incredibly detailed which I appreciated. I’m definitely doing my research. I’m just not afraid to ask if I don’t see an answer right away. I discovered this forum months ago but I was planning on starting my own hotshot business at the time. Decided against it because of the economy. Anyway, I appreciate all the info I can get. Thanks again.

P. S. I’m looking for a mentor if you are into it Rob.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Military drivers, CDL Waiver, starting at Prime

I'd recommend you read the cdl manual (if you already haven't) as its full of a ton of excellent information. The High Road CDL Training Program is the best out there in my opinion. With TNT you and your trainer will be dispatched as a team. Some of our members who have trained said they'll typically run solo with the trainer in the seat next to you until they're comfortable with your driving.

Thanks. This is exactly the kind of info I am looking for. I did read the manual because I had to take the written tests and I’m getting ready to take my tanker endorsement test. So far it has been easy for me. I’m a fast learner if I’m doing it I just don’t want to be thrown under the bus while a trainer is sleeping or something because I didn’t know.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Military drivers, CDL Waiver, starting at Prime

So I’m coming from the military and I recently got my CDL using the skills waiver. However, I have no experience other than driving military trucks. Anyone who has driven in the military knows it’s a different world. I’m going through the hiring process with Prime and my recruiter said I would be in a C seat. I guess that means I go straight into TNT. I’m wanting to go flatbed and I’m wondering if my experience in the military truly is enough to get me started. Are they any veterans on here with experience in this area, especially with Prime flatbed? I apologize if this has been addressed already, I just couldn’t find it.

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