Profile For Lil Stevie

Lil Stevie's Info

  • Location:
    Atlanta, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Team Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 11 months ago

Lil Stevie's Bio

I'm just a newbie trucker who is destined to fail according to every "experienced trucker" out there

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Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Why I quit Prime's TNT Program

@BRETT Never once did I say "I had it all figured out". If I did, you would've put that in big blue quotation marks. I was surprised to see that you misconstrued my statement but even more surprised that you think your way of doing things is the only way to do them. I hope to never be in any profession so long that my mind is closed to anything outside of what I know. I'm not going to be anymore redundant than I've already been. I'll just refer you to my earlier statements to address your comments about my learning the JOB (not the industry) in less than 5K miles.

As for me giving advice to others which you labeled as "running my mouth"... for your information Brett, while I'm new to trucking, I'm not new to life. I stand by my previously stated position. If people are in an unhealthy environment, they don't have to stay; they should find an employer that meets their needs. That's coming from a licensed therapist, disable Veteran, retired soldier, former Army captain, former mechanic, college grad; Masters educated, tank driver, heavy equipment operator, teacher, child abuse survivor and I could go on but I think you get the point. I WASN'T BORN YESTERDAY! Besides, the last time I checked, the 1st Amendment to the Constitution hasn't been repealed.

You're right about one thing though, I chose to quit the profession in less than a year; however, neither you nor anyone else can take away my CDL, personal experience or thirst for adventure. I'm happily retired and moving on to the next chapter in my life.

Lastly, I believe NHTSA data will corroborate that the people who die behind the wheel are usually the seasoned truckers suffering from delusions of grandeur. Newbies don't purposely do stupid stuff. The problem with you super truckers is that you know everything inside trucking and blind to the world around you. It wouldn't surprise me if you struggle with relationships, have troubles with your relatives and cope with stress at the bottom of a bottle... By the way, Airborne School was a lot more dangerous than driving a truck and combat was more dangerous that that... pull your head out of your fifth wheel!

Someone once said, "Growth is painful; change is painful but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong." I didn't "belong" in a tin can.

NOW MY UPDATE AND FINAL POST. First let me say that if I didn't single out a reply specifically for you, it's because it was beginning to feel like a broken record.... don't take it personally. Just read my comments to everyone else. I'm sure you can get a sense of how I'd reply to yours.

After quitting Prime, I was hired by another company that same week and went to orientation a few days later. I was able to solo-out in less than two weeks after passing their comprehensive exam. I drove for them for several months but simply got bored with the job. To hell with all of you who said it was stupid of me to quit Prime. To hell with those of you who think that I can't/should offer advice because I'm new to trucking. Leaving Prime was the best thing for me and my sanity. I have two degrees; four credentialed skill-set, get a pension and now added a CDL with endorsements just for the hell of it. I don't struggle, don't starve and come home to my wife every night. I must be doing something right... I'm retired and have the financial freedom to do what the hell I want!

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Why I quit Prime's TNT Program

@ NACHO B I thought like you did too. I figured I needed the "training" since I've never been a licensed CDL holder. That was part of the reason I chose Prime but I was wrong. I caught on quick but when I got a trainer that was my intellectual equal, he gave me things in one week that I didn't get with Prime in two months. That trainer made the decision when I would test to solo-out. That guy taught me to do e-logs in one day; paper logs in less than 30 minutes and by the end of the week, he had me running his truck (i.e. communicating with dispatch, running loads, adj tandems, calculating weight; route planning; scaling; four levels of inspections; winter driving; taking grades and the list goes on...). It's great that you're learning on a stick. I did too but you will appreciate an automatic which is what you'll probably get. If you are unhappy with your employer, don't let anyone tell you that it is unwise to switch companies. No one here knows you better than you but that doesn't mean "job hop" LOL. For me, quitting Prime and going with a different company was the best decision I made in this field. I excelled with an adept trainer. @ROBBY Good advice but as I said to Nacho B, I gotta do what's best for me. In this case, leaving Prime was the best thing I could've done for my brief career as a driver. It was a blast having my wife along for the ride but se too works, so it was short lived. LOL.

@TRACTOR MAN That's what schools do - we pay them to help us get our license and we learn to drive at our employers... I knew that going into it because I read up on those programs and studied their materials. Now, I have another skill-set to add to my resume and best of all, the military paid for it. Three or four weeks is not bad compared to three to four months stuffed in a tin can with someone you don't know nor have anything in common with. By the way, a Captain with nine years of prior enlisted experience is not the same as a Captain who earned their rank because of their civilian profession (dentist, psychologist and social workers who join the Army Medical Service Corps can come in as officers many times with no military experience). That guy you quoted has much to learn and know nothing of my background or knowledge-base. Good luck in your endeavors.

@CT How do you define "proper training"? How do you know when a person is "ready" to go solo? How long would you "train" your newbie? If you can't answer that in detail, you needn't worry. Fortunately for me, the company that trained me in less than two weeks believed I was competent enough to have my own truck. Turns out, they were right... while I'm new to the industry; the company I worked for has been around for decades. They have a comprehensive safety-based training module but what made the difference was the compatible trainer. I can't emphasize the importance of being matched with an equal (however one defines "equal"). Yes. Like you, I've seen tankers on the side of the road which may or may not be the result of driver error but when you drive long enough -especially in winter weather, you'll also see dry vans, refer's and flatbeds too. Trucking comes with its' own inherent risk no matter which division you choose. My training kept me safe, accident free and I'm still eligible for re hire by both companies.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Why I quit Prime's TNT Program

Well, here's the update I promised. It will be my last post. I have no interest in returning to this site. I'll be brief. I'm glad none of you held your tongue because that lets me know, I don't have to sugar coat my responses.

@OLD SCHOOL Nothing happened to my "can do" spirit. At 47 yrs old, I know what's best for me. Being confined to a tin can for four months with someone with whom there is no chemistry, is not the same as being in combat with that person. As I said before, I have choices. I chose a different trainer and eventually, a different company. That was the best decision for me. No one should have to "stick it out" when things are uncomfortable, stressful, unhealthy or just plain miserable... I found a company that gave me a trainer who was an intellectual equal; that made all the difference. He was a two time felon who dropped out of high school and our political, religious, social and dietary views were completely opposite but somehow, we always found a happy median. He taught me what the company expected of me and didn't use my clock to rack up miles to make money. I learned how to do what the company wanted me to do in less than two weeks and passed their exam with flying colors. I DID NOT LEARN EVERY ASPECT OF TRUCKING! You either purposely misconstrued my statement or didn't understand it. Regardless, now you know what I meant.

@ GTOWN You know what "scares" me Gtown? Supertruckers who blast by me in a snow storm going 65mph then switch lanes missing my fender by inches and blankets my windshield so badly, I have to drop to 30 to let the idiot goes by! I have no remorse when I see them a few miles down the road on their side or dangling by their tandems on a guard rail. Again, I never said "I had it all figured out". That's what you construed my statement to mean. It may come as a surprise to you but at some point, YOU had to demonstrate to your carrier you were competent enough to drive their $100 truck... did you have a trainer for your first five years to hold your hand? Just in case you're compelled to answer that, you should know that was a rhetorical question. I'm long done with my training and have safely driven all over the states in snow, ice, high winds and steep grades and did so accident free. The only "dangerous place to be" is stuck in this field. I'm fortunate to have a pension, two degrees and training in more than one profession. I can afford to be picky about the jobs I take. I hope you get your half a million miles safely. Who knows, one day, you may be delivering something to me.

@TRACTOR MAN Thank you. Godspeed in your journeys.

@KANELIN You're wrong. For starters, I am physically holding the letter I received from the Prime recruiter explaining their training/miles requirement. It reads as follows: "A Seat= You will be qualified to be a solo driver after completing orientation; B1 Seat=You will be required to obtain 15,000 team miles with a Prime Driver Trainer; B2 Seat= You will be required to obtain 30,000 team miles with a Prime Driver Trainer; C Seat= You will be required to obtain 40,000 team miles with a Prime Driver Trainer". Secondly, if I'm running teams, that means the truck only stops for food, fuel and mandatory rests. When I'm driving, the trainer is asleep - until he gets time back on his clock - then vice versa because more miles mean more money. Lastly, like you, I successfully learned what I needed to learn to pass the solo-test to get my own truck. Don't be an idiot. No person can learn every aspect of any field in such a short amount of time. Even Hawking is still learning. Hell, he just recently presented a different paradox on his once resolute black hole theory but I digress. The point is, I learn differently and I do so faster than most - you know as much about me as I know about you. I'm happy that driving a truck is your calling... understands, it's not mine. Good luck in your career.

@PATRICK C If you're military, you should understand the importance of paying attention to detail. You can begin by re-reading my initial statement; while you're at it; refer to above replies for my response to your asinine comment. Does everyone on this site drink the same Kool-Aid [that's a reference to Jim Jones but the comment speaks more so to his blind following than his ideology]. The bottom line is, you know as much about me as I know about you and you know absolutely nothing of my "experience" other than what I've shared publically. I got my CDL at the age of 47 which means I had a life before trucking and I intend on having one after it.

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

When is a truck driver no longer a rookie?

When is a professional truck driver considered "experienced" in this field? How many clock hours of driving or how many miles must that person have driven?

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Why I quit Prime's TNT Program

I do understand what you're all saying and I didn't mean to come off as reckless know-it-all. When I said "I learned the job in <5K mi', I meant that I learned how to drive the truck, do the admin work and operate the pumps sufficiently enough that I could do so independently. I didn't mean to imply that I knew every aspect of trucking. Sorry if that's what it sounded like.

Yes training is important but this curriculum is not my cup o tea. I've got to do what I believe is best for me; that means recognizing an unhealthy learning environment and doing something about it.

I may not have done a good job articulating my concerns without denigrating the profession or devaluing seasoned instruction but I've been around long enough to know when it's time to do something different.

Regardless of which company employs me, there's still a training requirement so I'm not telling people to circumvent the opportunity to work with a seasoned driver.

You all are a wealth of knowledge and experience but I think many of you missed my point. People have options; you no longer have to grin and bear it. I lost many good soldiers because they just took everything that was thrown at them believing it was "part of the job"... Well it's not.

I'll be back with an update - good, bad or otherwise.

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Why I quit Prime's TNT Program

I worked two months for Prime Inc right after CDL school. I left because I was exasperated with training (which required 40K mi in teams). In the tanker division, during winter, 40K mi can take up to 4 mos! I got tired of making money for the trainer and dealing with the odor of ass, perspiration, garlic and his smelly exotic dishes! This is not rocket science people! I learned the job in less than 5K miles; the rest just seemed like fodder to lower the cost of insuring a new driver.

Don't get me wrong, Prime is a good company. I was paid $700/wk, trucks are well maintained, they have great support personnel, APU's, Qualcomms, pre-pass, EZpay and the dispatchers are courteous and competent. My worse experience was with payroll. I was underpaid 3 times in a 7 wk period (i.e. 42% of the time). I didn't get the sense it was malicious. They are either overwhelmed or need a refresher course in payroll mgt.

Anyway, if you're newly licensed, a fast learner, responsible driver and eager to cut your own way, then I'd recommend you get miles with a company that has a shorter trng prgm; then switch to Prime. If you go to Prime with experience, you may only be req to drive 5-10K miles with a trainer (1-3 wks) in order to go solo.

I resigned via 2-wk notice; so I should be eligible for rehire. It took me 7 weeks to get 18K miles... I just didn't have the strength or the patience to stay crammed-up with another dude for 8 more wks. Good luck.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

I used to be a social worker for 16 years. I was also in the Army for a bit; I got injured soon after making Captain then they forced me to retire in 2012. I just got tired of trying to fix the world. I kept hearing people say how "lonely" trucking can be then I realized, I need a break from humanity! Unfortunately, Prime is making me team-up with a trainer for 40K miles which equates to about three to four months but if I can make it in the military, I'm sure I can handle THIS.

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