Profile For Jessica A-M

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  • Location:
    Eugene, OR

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

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    Jessica A-M On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 1 month ago

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Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Prime Training Journal 9/7/15

Day 5

Well, still no call from a trainer for me. You'll notice a lot of people have disappeared either with trainers or because they got sent home due to medical, drug, or not passing the permit test by Friday. Class started about 0700 with pre trip class again and then a simulator schedule. You're going to have a lot of free time today. Use it wisely. The Milennium is a great place to meet potential trainers. You do not want to be stuck through the next week and beyond. Some people met trainers playing pool, others met them through friendly classmates, some in the Milennium cafeteria line. You will definitely feel forgotten by now and it's a good idea to start chatting people up. One of the main questions I got asked was, "How's your pretrip?"

There really isn't much beyond this going on until the new week starts. I will add more posts when I have more downtime. Please note I've been on a trainer's truck now since 9/20/15 so, all this updating is from stuff I've already done. If you have questions, feel free to ask here. If you PM me, post saying that you did as I rarely check my emails.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Prime Training Journal 9/7/15

Day 4

Absolute last day to have your permit transferred. I wrote above something incorrectly, our CBTs (computer based training) was actually due on Wednesday night. It may change in the future.

You may note that by this point I still haven't gotten into a truck. And you won't get to unless you find someone who will let you. You might have some free time today, if you have no trainer offers, now is a good time to go down to the Millenium and walk to the Prime training pad or take the shuttle to Prime East and watch backing maneuvers. Sometimes a friendly trainer will throw you in their truck for a little bit of work and what might be your first experience driving.

If you don't get picked up today, you get to stay over the weekend and so on until you do get picked up. Unfortunately, being a non smoking female made it difficult for me to find a trainer and I did start to really feel hopeless. It feels like Prime kind of forgets about you after this Friday. You get a meal card, you go through a pre trip slideshow and get a weekend schedule which is more pre trip and simulations class.

You get to do more simulation class, major pressure to pass your backing on this last day as well because these trainers are not here on the weekend.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Prime Training Journal 9/7/15

Day 3

A group of us who got drug test results back and had our permits ready got our real badges today which means you can go to the Millenium on the shuttle! Your paper food card is good at the Millenium and the food is good there but don't forget about Missouri's tax. I really suggest carrying spare cash on your person in case you go over. You can't return food and they don't take debit/credit cards and they also won't take your student ID com cards because you aren't officially hired yet.

If you don't have trainer offers by this point, wear your newly issued vest to the Millenium along with your badge and feel free to strike up conversations with friendly seeming drivers. Explore but don't be late to your simulations class. And, don't worry about buying a Prime hat. I was informed at the store that once you get your CDL through Prime, you get a free one.

You'll also get a binder with some stuff in it including your pre trip pages, complete with bad grammar. Don't wait to read it over. The short trailer and truck sitting in the parking lot near the cafeteria is available freely for pre trip practice. Use it now because later you're going to have your whole class crowded around it and it'll be nearly impossible to get in to look at stuff.

More simulations class. It's going to be feeling pretty rushed by this point. Take it seriously though. Once you pass the tests on your sheet and get marked off, they'll let you do some harder scenarios like city driving, mountain stuff, snow, rain, etc.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Prime Training Journal 9/7/15

Day 2

0630 is about our normal start time all week. Today was for people who didn't finish the drug tests, physical, doctor's stuff, or interviews yesterday. We also had a schedule to go out to DMV to transfer or obtain permits. The highway patrol was doing onsite permit testing for just two days. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS! The DMV trip is going to take you over 2 hours or more if you don't pass the first time. Also, use the electronic testing and not paper. You can skip questions you don't know on the electronic system and it stops you once you've passed. People had the hardest time with General Knowledge which was the longest of the 4 tests and the combinations test. Some people also had problems with the air brake test and the tanker test. Tanker was by far the easiest. I passed tanker and air brake first, failed on general knowledge by 1 :( and same with combo (get your trailer brakes and tractor brakes straight in your head or you'll mix them up and fail like me). I unfortunately failed on general knowledge a second time and you can only test twice per day. Some of the questions in general knowledge were out of left field to me and I had to guess once I'd run out of skips. I needed a 40/50 to pass. I did eventually pass.

We also had a quick class on logs. This class was barely useful to be honest, they didn't really go over much. Pick up a copy of the slideshow if it's offered and keep up to date on your paper log book until you get a trainer. Do not save it until the end. If you have questions, call the log department asap to get it covered.

Simulations class continues. We first worked on upshifting, then downshifting, then skipshifting, then backing with straightline, driver's side offset, and blindside offset. I'll be honest with you here. The only thing these simulators do is help you get your shifting pattern down. When they stall, it's nothing like a real truck and you have no feel for the pull of the truck or the power or what a trailer feels like. Practice your downshifting as much as they will let you though because you need to be comfortable with the general idea of downshifting.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Prime Training Journal 9/7/15

I'm a little behind in making this because I've been pretty busy. Here goes though.

Before school started. I arrived at the Campus Inn around 0130 on Monday morning. I've never been happier to get to a hotel after my long bus ride.

Day 1

Day 1 was a Tuesday because Monday was Labor Day so, no classes. I was in a large class that only had 4 days to get things done. I don't recommend coming during a holiday week that will shorten your time unless you are ready to buckle down or already have your CDL A permit.

Lots of waiting. Looootttsss of waiting. We got a schedule and my first step was the Apex physical (agility test).

You have to squat, bring your arms above your head, kneel on one knee and then the other (I instinctively reached out and grabbed the edge of the table to get back up from my left knee which is my weaker side and still passed), arms to the side. The examiner will then try to push your hands down and you have to keep them up, same with pushing them together or apart and you apply the opposite force. If you've had a physical injury to shoulder, knee, etc, you might get extra testing to make sure you can bend without stiffness or pain. Then comes the lift test. The first box is 45lbs and you lift it from the bottom of the box to your chin using proper technique, then the 65lbs the same way. There is an 80lb box that you lift to your waist, we had an older gentleman in our class who could barely lift the 65lbs and so was excluded from the 80lb because he was only going reefer. Then a 70lb box that you lift to your waist, walk about 5 feet, set down, pick up again and walk back. The older gentleman was also excluded from this. Then there is a tarp on a shelf above nose height that you pick up, put on the floor, then back on the shelf. It weighs somewhere between 60lbs-70lbs. The older gentleman was excluded from this lift as well. Then you go up and down 4 steps of a ladder 6 times and you're done. It wasn't very hard and I'm not in amazing shape. After that is either the drug test or the doctor's visit. Make sure to drink something dark like tea for the drug test, it is an unmonitored urinalysis but if your urine is too light then you have to do a monitored urinalysis. They also check for sugar and protein levels in the same test. The doctor's office nurse checks blood pressure, weight, vision, neck size, and hearing using a forced whisper. I was selected for the sleep apnea test because I'm heavy and my neck size was over what they want on a woman. Then the doctor has you squat and take two steps like a duck to simulate getting under a trailer, on women you get some stomach prodding by hand. I don't know about men.

If you manage to get through all that, you're good. The drug results come later. You may or may not get to your security interview on day 1. I did but I was lucky. This is a lot of lines all day for hours. Don't sit there and complain about the lines either, it's not going to get any better with someone complaining and you're just going to annoy everyone.

The security interview isn't as bad as it sounds if you have a fairly clean background. Yes, they will find everything so don't hide it. Hopefully your recruiter will bring up problems before you leave. Fill in your employment gaps.

Computer based learning is also on the schedule. A series of slideshows with little quizzes at the end that take about 4 hours total and must be done by the end of the week. And then simulation class. Don't compare these to a video game and learn your shifting pattern quickly because you'll need it.

Remember, this is a sped up course and you are going to feel like you're running around all week. Sleep well, take care of yourself, and come prepared.

I'll quickly give info on the rooms and food which really weren't too important to me. People complained but, the room is provided and food is free for the first week and, if you are there over the weekend it was free for the weekend for us that got left behind too. The food is acceptable. The room is also acceptable. Some rooms don't have a fridge or microwave. My room had no microwave and the fridge died the second day there unfortunately. So, don't expect to come with stuff to refrigerate until you actually get to the room. Roommates are random, men with men, women with women. I ended up with an awesome roommate luckily.

If you don't have your permit already, STUDY the High Road Training Program or get the app on android like I did. I shared TT and the app with a lot of people and most of us passed our permit tests.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

I sent you a PM Jonathan.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

I just got into my room. So far, no roomie. I'm not sure if I'll get one. I didn't ask if girls only have girl roommates. The room is a room and nice enough considering it's free and has a bed. I also got a nice large packet of paperwork. I did forget to confirm that there aren't classes tomorrow due to the holiday. I will have to go back down and check. It was a mega long trip. So, now for a shower and finally eating this salad I bought a while ago which may be bad by now. We'll see! I was told I won't get a meal card until Tuesday so I'm on my own for meals tomorrow it seems. Walmart is pretty close. I'll switch over to the training forum once I've gotten started. Thanks to everyone who has offered info.

Ken, if you're around tomorrow still and want to sit down with that cup of tea, I'd be happy to. I'll PM you in a couple minutes.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

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... I've never been in a big rig or even very close to one and I'm still in awe watching people drive them.

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I'm right there with you. Just wait until you get to Campus Inn! The parking lot is chock full of Prime trucks. More than I counted on my entire trip here, for sure.

I haven't seen a lot of Prime trucks. The elusive Prime drivers must be running too hard to catch. I've definitely seen more Swift than anyone else. I did see one Prime tanker which was neat.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

Tulsa Oklahoma has been something else. It's hot and everyone wants to complain and argue. These greyhound drivers have a hard enough job. We're late leaving and our bus is completely full to the brim. I'll be glad when it's over. My knees are still touching the back of the seat.

Sit down and shut up really applies here. You want to get going and you don't want to be fighting with your driver.

Creeper guy grabbed my leg at random. Ladies, get a thick skin now. I'm not reporting this because I am not going to delay my trip dealing with an overworked police department just because someone grabbed my leg. If he escalated it then it would be an issue. You have to decide for yourself what you'll put up with. A stranger I'll never see again squeezing my calf is nothing in the scheme of things right now. To someone else this might be cause for uproar. I've dealt with worse personally.

I ran into someone else heading my way. And Jonathan said he's already there so, that's cool.

Some of the most conflicting Prime info I get is regarding the physical. I feel like there's some NDA or something. I guess I'll just have to get detailed myself if there isn't some sort of "confuse new driver's clause."

I look so forward to being there. I've never been in a big rig or even very close to one and I'm still in awe watching people drive them.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

I'm not sure of Prime's reimbursement policy. Ask a recruiter. For me, driving my car, renting a car, or flying and waiting for reimbursements just wasn't an option I had.

The bus has been interesting. I've had this man staring at me for about a day now, quite openly staring. I figure it's because I look like a hippie or lesbian (short short hair, tie dye bandana, sandals, shorts, tank top.) Which is a normal look in Oregon where I'm from. And, I don't mean to say all lesbians or hippies look like me so no one get offended, I'm just trying to use a stereotype to get an image for people.

Anyways, I was actually worried I might be the victim of a hate crime at some point along this stop just from the way he kept looking at me. I've been sitting with a military vet in his 30s for about the same length of time but just switched to my own seat recently. So, I get back into the bus after a break stop and I'm relatively alone. This guy comes up and starts chatting and we have some awkward convo where he asks if the veteran is my boyfriend. I say no and then he asks me out. I was pretty surprised. I started laughing at myself after he left.

At least I'm not lacking interesting things. I still haven't seen an armadillo dead or alive. Where my armored mammals at?

I'm currently about an hour from Oklahoma City.

I completely forgot about the time shift. I should be hitting the Springmo bus station around 11:20 PM and I'm supposed to call Prime security to arrange pick up. I just want a cool shower and bed. I don't care if I have a roommate already even, as long as they don't block the shower.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

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Made it to Albuquerque New Mexico. I want to stress the importance of getting off the bus at your stops and walking around. Sitting in cramped space for hours is not going to be good and you should take leg stretching opportunities when you get them.

We stopped in Gallup New Mexico and it was kind of interesting. We stopped at a U Save truck stop. Right across the street were Love's and TA. Later down the road were 4 hotel chains built right next to each other. Talk about rough competition.

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Get use to being stuck in the sitting position lol.. I drove 7 hours straight without stopping one time cuz the time frame was tight.. Only had 7 minutes to spare when we arrived at the consignee

The sitting isn't the problem, it's the fact that I have zero leg room. My knees are pressed into the back of the seat and have been for almost a day now. I asked them to please adjust the seats since the wheelchair got off a while ago. I've been half sitting in the aisle. Horrid.

As far as pickpockets, pick a city and you're going to see one. We had a girl's phone stolen on a bus from her seat and no one got off the bus so the thief just stayed on the bus and they never found it.

Keep your belongings close is what I'm getting at.

I still haven't met anyone going to training too. I figure I'll probably see some in Oklahoma which is my next destination. Texas sunrises are pretty. The only upside to the desert.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

Made it to Albuquerque New Mexico. I want to stress the importance of getting off the bus at your stops and walking around. Sitting in cramped space for hours is not going to be good and you should take leg stretching opportunities when you get them.

We stopped in Gallup New Mexico and it was kind of interesting. We stopped at a U Save truck stop. Right across the street were Love's and TA. Later down the road were 4 hotel chains built right next to each other. Talk about rough competition.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

Lucky you. I was supposed to be going to prime for school that day as well but it got passed back for some various reasons to next month. Mabey You got the spot I opened up. O and by the way I have taken that same bus trip across the Midwest you are describing. Beautiful.

By the off chance you end up in Dallas be alert. Pickpockets ,thieves, scammers. It's best not to leave the station. But if you do you'll have a good story probably.

I was scheduled for this date in the second week of August. The trip has been pretty. One of the nicest sunsets I've seen was tonight in Arizona.

I'm having serious leg room problems though. If you have long legs and are going on a long trip like this, make sure you are near the front of the line and pick an aisle seat.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

I did see some Joshua Trees but, I was making a joke about cacti. I've never seen one in person before.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

I made it to Phoenix Arizona on time. Now I'm boarded and heading towards Flagstaff AZ and on to Albuquerque New Mexico.

I saw these weird trees in Arizona. They didn't have leaves and had all these spines on them. wtf.gif

Saw some really interesting graffiti in Los Angeles. Thought I was going to melt in Blythe California but the road beat me to it.

I've only seen 2 Prime trucks so far (not that I have been entirely awake the whole time). I have seen tons of Swift, a handful of Knight, a large assortment of O/O and Lease.

A couple tips for surviving the Greyhound. Do not pack important papers or fragile things in the luggage that you plan on going under the bus. I've seen my luggage thrown, dropped, "nudged" by someone's foot, and once dropped in water. Luckily it's all clothes sealed in space bags.

If you have a long ride, pack deodorant and at least a spare shirt in your carry on.

Do not engage the crazies more than you have to. Seriously.

Be courteous and polite to your bus driver, they'll appreciate it mostly.

Don't leave your phone or wallet anywhere that someone can get to.

Drink water.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

We just left Sacramento California over an hour and a half late and my next transfer is in Los Angeles. At this rate I might be getting to Prime later Monday instead of early Sunday.

It's been interesting. We had one guy sneak on the bus and he probably would have been able to stay if he hadn't been loudly spitting on the floor.

Another guy opened a large bottle of alcohol at a stop, drank it all on the bus over the course of a couple hours and then grabbed a woman around the neck with his arm. The sheriff had to be called and he was removed.

One highlight was stopping at a Pilot for lunch and seeing all the truck drivers milling around with their headsets and such. Hearing the call that there was no wait for a shower. It got me all excited. Soon I'll be one of those people.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Coming Soon To Prime: 9/7/15

Bus tickets in hand. Finishing my packing. I'll be on the first bus tomorrow morning at 7:15AM. I'll arrive in Springfield, MO at 11:20PM on Sunday. It's going to be an interesting trip. So far I've signed paperwork allowing a physical and some orientation paperwork with a general welcome and some pages telling me what to bring.

I've studied between the High Road Training Program, Oregon CDL manual, and some various long online practice tests. I'll finish the HRTP parts I need before Tuesday.

I also have a full print out of Daniel B.'s Prime pre trip (it took 22 double sided pages).

My wallet was stolen 2 days before I moved my things to my mom's but MO DMV has nothing about needing a valid ID or SSC. And, the recruiter said it would all be fine. I have a temporary state issued license. I'll probably update my trip on Sunday in order to conserve battery. If anyone else is going, see you there!

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Who's going to be In Springfield (PRIME) 2nd week of Sept.....?

I'll be in Springmo come Monday to start orientation. I would love to say hi to some TT folks.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Advice on maneuvering long nose pete

I was born in 1991! And I thought I was old...

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I was born in 1990. You're making me feel old.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In Trucking?

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Just remember that there are a lot of companies that do not allow dogs under any circumstances. So you may want to check ahead of time with the companies you are looking at. While service animals are protected under law that law does not supersede a company policy about no dogs. If a company does have a "No dog policy in trucks" and then you go to work there you will not be allowed to have ANY animal with you on a truck.

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Are you sure about that because service dogs are used for medical reasons so if you require one for medical reasons the company can't not hire you or fire you for using it and thus have to allow it because of the whole anti discrimination laws which include medical reasons.

i may be wrong though.

Many of the medical reasons that a service dog would be used for would disqualify someone from obtaining their CDL anyways. Seizure disorders, sight, hearing, extreme blood sugar shifts, psychotic episode disorders, mental diseases. If someone needs a true service dog, it's not for something benign.

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