Comments By BQ

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  • BQ
  • Joined:
  • 6 years, 4 months ago
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Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Prime inc. - lightweight/ Condo and OTR/NorthEast Regional?

I drove a lightweight for my first year solo with Prime, the international isn't bad but the freightliners have very minimal storage space and are more cramped. I just moved up to a '17 Peterbilt a cpl weeks ago and love it.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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What a day...

I had a trailer doing similar thing other day. When I hooked up to it, it was off and alarm for low fuel. I checked tank which was 3/4 full and cleared alarms. Reefer started briefly but same alarm came on after cpl mins, along with auto shutdown. R/A set me up with the trailer shop who guided me through bypassing the fuel guage, reset and had no more issues besides constant false msgs about trailer being off, was running fine entire trip

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Self destruct button? LOL

It sends a security alert to your company, who will then try contacting you to see if accidental or not, if no response or do respond but under duress, authorities in your area will be alerted and dispatched to location.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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So, I can't get the parallel or alley dock

Pull up until rear drive tire (backside) is just touching white line, turn wheel completely to the right until have gap of 3-4" past 2nd leg of landing gear, stop. Turn wheel all the way back left and release, once wheel (turning) has stabilized, turn to the right until center is slanted (upright) but in line between 10&4. Begin backing while watching gap, making slight adjustments to maintain it. When rear trailer tire crosses the first cone line begin turning wheel completely left to get back under trailer and straight. Check mirrors and adjust, pull up if necessary. Good luck

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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How does prime get their money back?

Also, just a heads up but when you upgrade to your own truck, there are certain items you are required to purchase for truck. The total cost depends upon division, refer isn't nearly as much as flatbed with their tarps and such. Prime does allow you to purchase this stuff via driver code/truck # and repay it in increments. The items are yours to keep, however some things can be sold back when you leave. For example, I got new chains, still in bag for few hundo, if I don't use them (if I need chains,I am getting off road, can only go up to about 30-35 and is waste of clock, not super safe either), I can sell them back for full price. Could have gotten used for about half price but recouping that money isn't likely. Just something to keep in mind but I wouldn't let it keep you from choosing prime.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Prime training - how long will I go without pay?

The first week, which includes orientation, physical, drug test, agility test, some classes, computer based training (CBTs), simulator training (basic concepts of shifting/dbll clutching) and obtaining CDL Permit is not paid. However, hotel and adequate food is. You will need approximately $160 for registration and license transfer/permit. There are a variety of restaurants nearby as well as Wal-Mart if bring extra cash but can survive without it. After first week, you generally get a trainer and hit the road for PSD, sometimes as early as Fri or Sat (I was on road first thing Sat am). During this phase you are lent $200/wk for food/basics. You run off one clock with trainer in passenger seat at all times while driving. You will learn pretrip, backing and ability to pass CDL test during this phase, generally 2-4 weeks. When ready you return to terminal for testing. Upon passing you become Prime employee and are set to begin 2nd phase (TNT). During this phase you and trainer (sometimes same from PSD, sometimes different, I had one trainer straight thru) are dispatched as a team operation (you drive while he sleeps, vice versa, truck is moving most of the time). During this phase you are paid $700 or 14 cpm, whichever is greater. They also begin deducting $25/wk to repay money borrowed during PSD phase. TNT lasts for 30,000 miles (generally 6-8 weeks) and once completed you will be brought back to terminal for upgrade to solo operation, which pay varies by division (reefer, flatbed and tanker) and whether you take lightweight or condo truck.

In all, expect about 4-5 weeks before receiving first $700 check (before taxes/dediction, generally 5-550 net) unless you run more than 5000 miles, then it's more.

Folks do it every day, just plan ahead and take the training serious. Best of luck.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Medicine

Fmcsa.dot.gov......note however that some companies may look for more. I assume this is for drug testing purposes?

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Taking blood pressure medicine, will it be counted against me when taking DOT physical

By pain meds in previous post I meant of the prescription variety, Vicoden, OcyContin, morphine, hydros, etc.. anything otc should be fine with no need to even report as it will not show up in standard test and can't be tracked via database.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Taking blood pressure medicine, will it be counted against me when taking DOT physical

Prime only gives you the standard DOT drug screen, which is a 5 panel for marijuana (THC), Cocaine, Opiates (opium and codeine derivatives), Amphetamines/methamphetamines and PCP. Anything that is not specifically tested for will not show up because they are not looking for it. However, anything that is prescribed by a doctor should be brought to their attention by you. There is a national database of all scripts that could be used to discover something you failed to report. Prime will not tell you which ones will disqualify you until here, not sure why they don't just post a list or tell you beforehand but I believe it's a legality. If disqualified for a particular prescription they send you home but do give you opportunity to return after either switching to an approved medication or can sustain without. I would assume most pain meds would be a no go, due to possible drowsiness which is written on bottle along with a warning against driving or operating heavy machinery. Best of luck

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Condo vs lightweight prime

I also have driven a lightweight here at Prime for the past year and change, currently turning in for condo as I take training course. As mentioned the financial incentive can work out to several grand a year (5 or 6) depending upon miles you run. Basically multiply miles ×.05, if 3000 miles, its an extra $150 that week, avg of 2500 during first year is more likely, which would be about $125/wk×52=6500, however consider hometime and such figure about 6 grand. As far as space, the International lightweight has much more storage space available than Freighliner lightweight. Additional benefits of driving a lightweight are easier maneuvarability, particularly in tight spaces, might only be about a foot in reality but can do wonders mentally on the mind and stress of a rookie. You also have the ability to haul slightly heavier loads than condos because the truck itself is lighter. I don't know about engine specifics as previously pointed out but my lightweight international felt like it pulled uphill better than my trainers Cascadia condo, the reality of it tho may differ. As for the Wal-Mart dedicated, I know the one out of Lewiston, ME required lightweight (did at least, maybe changed) and I also believe it had a minimum pay, however don't take that as gospel. Good luck on your journey.....

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Laredo Texas freight

I've had issues with trailer tandems not sliding, rather the wheels would just skid across ground unless I had something to keep them in place, forcing trailer to slide, hence moving tandems. Now I keep a wheel chock in truck for whenever this occurs. In the case of pins simply not retracting, sometimes going between first and reverse will get them to pop, other times, like Brett mentioned, some WD 40 and few whacks with hammer can get you rolling....

As for original OP, freight can vary in all places, particularly weekends. Hold tight, clean truck or laundry and relax.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Petition for let make trucking driver fit again

Personal health and fitness is an individual decision regardless of profession. No reason drivers can't walk lot/property of most customers while being loaded/unloaded or knocking out a few miles at beginning or end of 10. You are free to do pushups/crunches on shower room floor prior to washing up. There are also fitness tools such as resistance bands or small weights that can be kept on truck. As others have mentioned, you can't make private businesses build certain facilities on their property. I find it annoying when drivers think all private businesses should be at their personal service, such as whining about being kicked off certain properties when out of hours (I understand frustration at some customers who take sweettime doing their part), hotels and other businesses don't need to post signs or allow you to park, they purchased and pay taxes for their land and don't have to let you on it. How about the government tells you, you must have designated play area with certain toys and swingset for whenever friends or family with children visit, doesn't make much sense does it.....same concept you expect every private business to fully service your personal needs. Silliness

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Newbie Just Applied To Prime

Welcome to the TT family. I don't why people say your permit won't transfer to Missouri. I'm from NC and was trained in Springfield. I'm with CFI which is HQed in Joplin MO. I got my permit in NC and took my CDL test in MO on that permit. MO sent my scores to NC as well as gave me an official copy. That was not a CDL. I did have to go home to pick up my liscence.

It's not a matter of the state not allowing it, it is a policy at Prime. As someone who actually drives for Prime and went through their training program, I can assure you I know what I am talking about. They allowed students to use permits from their home state up until cpl years ago, now all students are required to take MO permit tests. That is why people say you will need to get permit in MO to prospective Prime students.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Newbie Just Applied To Prime

Firstly, as a driver who was trained by and still drives for Prime, I think you made a great choice. No need to get permit before arrival, will have to redo it in MO anyway, however, do study and prepare for it (particularly general knowledge, combination, air brakes and tanker). You do not have to get a lightweight, that is a myth although they do come with benefits such as increased pay and easier maneuverability. Once upgraded to your own truck, bringing significant other along shouldn't be a problem, may have to wait few months but don't take that as gospel. As far as online classes, internet connection may be an obstacle at times but shouldn't be impossible, many truck stops have wifi available (sometimes free inside, paid outside) but connectivity isn't always great. Best of luck.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Dedicated account

If you got experience you should know how tough it can be. I recommend looking at some of the stores on Google maps that acct covers. A lot of those dollar stores are in crazy areas. When I did walmart with swift we had a really hard store that everyone had to take turns going to. I cried about it the first day I did it and then I noticed dollar tree was next door. It instantly made me not feel bad any more. That coupled with manual labor in a hot trailer keeps me very far away from that type of account.

I see this recommendation for the use of Google maps regularly. For those drivers who utilize the "Truckerpath" app, which I assume is most, (if currently don't have it, it takes a cpl minutes to download from app store), there is a satellite icon in the upper right corner, next to magnifying glass that provides overhead view of setup.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Urine Nation

I prefer independent truck stops more because they either take better care (not all of them) of their property and or less rookies / nasty drivers park at them.

Are you trying to imply that rookie drivers are the sole source of disgusting in this industry? I hope not, tho I have only been out here for about a year and a half, my eyes and ears have been in fine working order and have observed absolutely disgusting actions and many instances of ******baggery from not just rookies but many, many "veterans," including O/O's with their chromed out Petes, etc. I have also seen acts of courtesy from both rookies and vets, just like anything else, trucking has good and bad folks, both old and new.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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I shut down and ruined my service record due to fatigue!

Ugh, this is what the "everybody deserves a trophy" mindset has done to the newer generations.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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I shut down and ruined my service record due to fatigue!

I would much rather be late for an appointment than kill someone because I'm driving well past my hours.

Sounds to me like a good decision on your part, I'm sure you can find an employer that understands.

Huh? Past what hours? He slept for 8, not drove...

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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My first week as a Swiftie

Not that it matters in anyway but I find it quite odd that you list self as "experienced driver," but are just finishing first week solo....

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Sleepwear on the Road

I am always in comfy wear, shorts and white t's when warm. Sweats and hoodie when cold. Always a decent pair of sneakers as well. It's always clean and shower almost every day, may miss a day here and there. Anybody who says it's not feasible to shower almost every day just doesn't want to. I run solid miles but have to take a 10 every day, if plan on sleeping at customer or somewhere I don't expect a shower to be available, I grab one on my 30. Flying J/Pilot has shower power (1/day after 1000 gallons of fuel for rest of month and following month), as long as you keep it rolling over, easy peasy. The other major truck stops also credit you free showers for fuel which I use from time to time. I believe loves also has shower power like program, I just prefer Flying J because they are generally much bigger.

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