Comments By Craig T. avatar
  • Craig T.
  • Joined:
  • 9 years, 3 months ago
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Posted:  8 years, 3 months ago

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Prime Inc.

Hey Lane,

Your buddy isn't lying. It's the slow season right now, and I'm still making about $1000 per week as a rookie solo company driver. And I mess around a lot. I work very hard but, I take every opportunity to have fun so I'll use hometime to take a 34 hour reset when I end up in a cool place I want to check out. Or schedule 4 days off at somewhere I want to go to in advance.

Prime Inc was recently voted as one of the best fleets to work for. There's good reason.

You may not enjoy the training phase very much but it pays off if you stick with it.

Dispatchers know better than to run you illegally. It all comes down to you anyway. I always run legal... on paper. If you're not working by the book, it's because you do it on your accord to run more efficiently. I'd rather not go into detail about that but you'll understand once you're trucking.

As a company driver they try to constantly keep you on dispatch. Which is a good thing. You could work 90 hours a week (on elogs it would be 70) but keep in mind most of that is driving. Where you could be listening to podcasts, music, and audiobooks the whole time.

at the end of every shift, you need to be off for 10 hours to get your drive hours back. I typically use those hours to sleep. So yes, you can get plenty of sleep. A lot of the time it could be very erratic though. I personally switch back and forth with day driving and night driving depending on what would be most convenient (I'm very good about sleep, I can do it anytime and almost anywhere).

New company drivers typically have a choice of trucks to pick from. I picked one that had 210,000 miles on it instead of a brand new Cascadia. (So yes, you could get a new truck but I'm also happy with mine)

what you do when you're out of your truck is up to you. I'm not your typical trucker and do all kinds of things. It's a matter of discipline, time management, engenuity, and planning ahead or taking advantage of opportunities. Recognizing the opportunity doesn't come to everybody though. I see most truckers would rather stay in their cab watching movies and playing video games. It's their choice or their excuses.

I keep a skateboard, a fold up mountain bike, rock climbing gear, and debated about taking my snowboard in my truck. The bike comes in handy for the many side trails and middle of nowhere places you'll constantly up around. The skateboard is great for when I grab a taxi into a city, spend a couple nights at a hostel, and explore downtown. The other stuff are just for hobby.

Can't tell you how happy I am to have the time/ability to get back into reading books because of trucking. If I wasn't driving all the time like this, it would take me a decade to go through the books I've listened to on audiobook in the past 8 months.

Feel free to contact me in the future about travel tips (like how to do it). I started trucking just so I can travel. Next month I'm flying to Thailand. And when I come back, I'm hiking from San Diego to Canada. It's a great life.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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Prime Employees

Hi Dom,

Through the Prime Student Driving program you'll get $600 a week when you're on the road as long as you're working. Not all trainers give their students a bigger cut than the mandatory 600. Some trainers are in it more for themselves and won't feel the least bit guilty about paying the minimum. If you drive more than 2,000 miles in a week, as a trainee, you get a few cents more per mile for every mile after 2,000 on top of the $600 weekly. Which doesn't amount to much.

I think your recruiter gave you the cpm for how much company team drivers make. They probably said something like "you could make up to" which is not lying but definitely misleading.

Another thing is that team drivers get paid as a team. So they split whatever mileage the truck ran. You wouldn't make .445cpm in that case. The truck would make .445cpm.

I think the lowest rate Prime pays for a solo company driver starting out is .28cpm

Don't quote me on that.

I get paid .375cpm but I drive a lightweight truck and I've got over 50,000 miles now. I can look up the exact rates later for you if no one has them at the top of their head right now.

If something doesn't make sense or I'm being unclear just clarify. I could use some sleep right now.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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How difficult is it to obtain a Class A CDL?

It's not incredibly difficult to get a CDL. The most difficult part would be figuring out how to offset and alley dock without a decent teacher.

What getting your Class A doesn't teach you is how to drive OTR. If the driving gig is very straight forward and predictable in the sense that you only have to master driving in a straight line and turning once in awhile, you'll be fine until you make a wrong turn or have to back up for whatever reason. And those whatever reasons will probably come up even if you're not OTR.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Oh no, my first recruiter conversation. I'm panic stricken

The only reason I have touched freight driving reefer with Prime is because I opted to do it myself instead of waiting for the lumpers to do it. I knew they were going to take 6+ hours at some places so I got the job done personally within an hour.

You will never have to touch freight at many companies

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Question about CPM

Under those conditions that is correct. Except it's not what you thought. At 90cpm you would make 45k in cents. Which equates to $450.00

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Overnight parking in a city

Bobtail in downtown Denver. Is there a risk besides break-ins if I park overnight on a residential side street?

I can easily just park at the conpany yard and grab an uber, lyft, or taxi...

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Prime Company Drivers Please Read

Hey Kenny, the most I've taken home after taxes is 1600 in a week. That was running as hard as I possibly could and squeezing in a 34 hr reset by using advanced level trucker wizardry.

If you're on point, you'll easily get over 2,000 miles a working week. But you have to be really good at trip planning and figuring out how to use all of your hours wisely if you want to hit over 3,000 a lot.

My paycheck is usually about $1100-1200 a week. Sometimes it's much lower but that's because I took off time to go have fun.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Prime critical event?

I drive for Prime. One time I got a critical event when I was just casually cruising along on a straight highway at 58mph. There were no turns, winds, or anything. I was perplexed and naturally my dispatcher thought I was lying about taking a curve too fast or something but there was nothing I could do but reassure him everything's fine.

I did get a real critical event while training though. My trainer was not the most patient person and he told me I didn't have to take downhills so slow. So when he told me to grab another gear despite a curve ahead, I just listened. Fortunately, we didn't roll. Obviously. Lesson learned; you should trust your own judgement because you're the one driving after all.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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My trainer is exhibiting some really bizarre behavior at a dysfunctional company.

Everything but peeing in a bottle for warmth are reasons i would leave.

I was in Search & Rescue for 3 years and using my pee has definitely helped me get some shut eye in rough nights. Other times I would just be using a bottle to melt snow with my body heat so I didn't have to waste fuel in the morning.

When I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail, it just would be a terrible waste of calories to unzip yourself from your cocoon of warmth, open up your tent and let the freezing cold in, while making your **** shrivel up in the cold relieving yourself in the middle of an icy night. Way better to just pee in a bottle and keep it for extra warmth against the care area.

But you guys are in a truck. Tell him to get a warmer blanket.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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What do you/will you miss the most?

I miss trail running my mountains everyday, my favorite hot yoga place, the plethora of rock climbing options, the beach, saunas, hot tubs, the beautiful women, the insane variety of craft beer I can drink at anytime, excellent food of all sorts, decent paved roads that are fun to skate, the community where everyone is happy, a full kitchen to cook with, being able to do real work outs at a time of my convenience

Annnnnd you know what, It's alright. I'm trucking for the experience. Planned on doing this for only a year and then I'm off to a long indulgent adventure that takes me away from all that wonderful stuff I just mentioned. Apparently it's not that important to me. I'd rather be out and about instead of doing the same things over and over at home. Life's a trip; pack light.

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