Comments By Jay G.

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  • Jay G.
  • Joined:
  • 4 years, 5 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 60

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Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Views From the Office Window (Post Yours Please!)

Here is one from western Wyoming. Beautiful stretch of land.

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Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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I am uncomfortable taking an on-site sleep study-I already have 2 year medical card

Besides all the anecdotes of having better sleep, correcting sleep apnea has huge repercussions on your cardiovascular health as well. When your airways become blocked (not saying you have obstructive sleep apnea, but it is the most common one), your body has to really work for that breath. The side effect is an enlarged heart. That could lead to a heart attack and a bunch of other risks. For example think of someone who smokes. Smoking may not ACTUALLY cause cancer or heart failure, but it greatly increases the risk. Sleep apnea may not ACTUALLY cause a heart attack or cardiovascular failure, but it greatly increases the risk.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Prime Orientation, PSD, and TNT! Where does the time go?

My trainer was very helpful and incredibly generous. I mean, it might have helped that he was getting extra money for being a trainer, but he offered to pay for several meals. Actually, I was doing the Keto diet and so was my trainer so we made big batches of food to eat and save money in lieu of going out to eat at the truck stops. There were many times where the truck stop food seemed tempting, but I remained strong!

Driving forward is, well, pretty straightforward. Keep your head on a swivel, control your controllables like following distance, and just try to be aware of the fact that other people probably aren't cutting you off because they are jerks, but most likely because they do not understand the commitment of being a professional driver hauling a vehicle that closes in on 80,000 pounds. Watch out for these people, dont let it get to you. By the time they hit the exit, they have no idea what they have done while you are there fuming and gesturing externally and/or internally. Just let it go and focus on keeping yourself and others safe around you.

We went through snow and wind in Wyoming, Snow, rain and mountains in Oregon, Washington, and California, and through the snow and flatlands of New Mexico and finally down as far as San Antonio, Texas.

Life on the truck was pretty chill. You are just there in a small space. I tried to get out and stretch when I could. Truck stops tend to get packed at night so I enjoyed stopping at rest areas. Crossing into Wyoming from the south, they have a cool visitors center that has a Mammoth skeleton. Enjoy the beauty of the sights and the miracle of evolution/creation/whatever floats your boat. No matter what you believe in, it truly is a gift to experience the highs, and while it may not seem like it at the time, the lows can be just as fruitful for your development. Driving through Wyoming, I witnessed the remains of a couple of trailers that had been blown over on the side of the road. It was a sobering reminder to stay safe. Pardon the expression as I am sure it gets tossed around like a generality, but no load is worth your life. I miss my wife and kids, but we prepped ourselves before hand and kept in touch while on the road.

Testing day Once you have been out on the road for a few weeks, you will be scheduled a few days of practice time to try and fine tune your pretrip inspection and backing procedures. Try and follow the formula, and with a little luck you should be able to have some success. I wish I had more to write about this experience, but I mostly nailed the backing procedures (including the parallel parking) and the driving to score the coveted "Trifecta."

Prior to testing, I was about to buy a Prime hat in the company store. However, I said to myself I needed to wait until after the test just to make sure I passed, lol. Well after testing, I got a voucher to get a free hat! Good things come to those who wait! lol.

TNT So after orientation, student driving, and testing, here I wait now for a trainer. Normally, you would be sent home on a Greyhound bus to get your home CDL, however my PSD trainer has some business to attend to in Springfield. We are going to team drive to Phoenix, hang out a day with my family and the DMV, and then team to Springfield so he can tend to his business and I can get my DOT card renewed.

I am sure there is a lot I missed. If you have read this far, thank you for coming with me on this journey and providing your experiences for others to learn about as well. I will do my best to try and keep it updated from here and just to share the little bits I pick up here and there. I am still a seedling that has barely begun to sprout, but I am excited at the potential!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Prime Orientation, PSD, and TNT! Where does the time go?

I swear I had the best intentions of logging my thoughts and activities into a super cool diary like everyone else, but here we are almost a month later... So I will do my best to keep it up from here, but no promises as the time just freaking flies by:

Short summary before the long read: I am having a great time and am excited to continue on this journey!

Obligatory introductory stuff: I have had several people in my immediate family either drive trucks or work for trucking companies. After 10+ years in assorted call center positions, I needed to escape the cubicle farm and phone shackles! lol. Finally after drumming up the courage and doing a bit of research, I elected to go with Prime. Now, you can drive yourself crazy trying to divine what company is going to be best from tea leaves, the position of the stars in the night sky, and disgruntled reviewers online, but honestly many of these large companies have many success stories and successful drivers. Worst case scenario, I swallow my pride and tough it out for the experience. So I based my decision on the most arbitrary factor; I think the Prime Inc Logo looks really cool, lol (no not really, but still an important factor!)

Application: Between applying and having a recruiter reach out to me, it was not even 24 hours. It might have been quicker had I not applied late in the evening. We went over the basics and expectations of training. Everything is mostly straight forward almost to a fault. If you are not sure if something, ask a dang question! Everyone has been more than happy to answer and it might save you a lot of hassle in the beginning.

Fortunately (or unfortunately as some people seem to think), I was flagged for sleep apnea. Turns out I had pretty bad sleep apnea. After some research and consultation with other medical professionals, Google, and fellow sleep apnea patients, I discovered that that the downside of being stuck with a crappy machine was more than a fair trade off for my future health. Not just sleeping better, but for cardiovascular health and a whole host of other afflictions. I only got a 3 month DOT card, but I have appointments scheduled at the Prime terminal this coming week to get all that renewed and get their official blessing on a CPAP machine.

Orientation: Travel for most students is done via a greyhound bus. I was shuttled from Phoenix, AZ to Salt Lake City. On the bus, I met a fellow Prime hopeful and we toughed out the 20 hour journey in a cramped bus with people of questionable hygenic choices, but honestly pebbles in the grand scheme of things. We arrived and were shuttled to the local hotel where Prime set us up in. I'm not sure if its just me, but any place you can set your head down with a roof over your head, a bed that's a little too firm, and shower pressure that is a little weak and varying in temperature is a 5 star hotel in my book. I am thankful for the opportunity to be there.

The hotel has a hot breakfast, Prime caters a pretty tasty lunch, and at the end of each day of orientation we were provided a meal ticket to use in the hotel restaurant. If you do not like the food, let me tell you this: The best seasoning for food is hunger, lol. If you get hungry, that food will beat out any 3 star Michelin chef offering you dandelion salads or whatever other BS they serve up on a cutting board instead of a plate.

The first day and some of the second are dedicated to videos. Basic stuff about the trucks, inspection, etc. We had the shop manager come and give us a 2 hour class just on tires alone. It almost felt like the scene in Forrest Gump when Bubba talks about shrimp for a while, but the tire class is incredibly informative and will probably save your life out on the road.

We toured the SLC terminal including body shop, trailer shop, a little company store, and then the employee lounge areas. There are showers and cheap washing machines on site as well. I've heard that the Springfield terminal is much snazzier, but SLC has some renovations going on scheduled to open in the next few months which should bring it closer up to par with the mothership AKA Springfield terminal.

Some time throughout the week, we were issued green ID badges that also double as like a debit/credit card. This is where Prime loads up the $200 a week throughout your time training with a driver in PSD (Prime Student Driver or something like that) program. Once orientation was wrapped up, maybe 4-5 days in, we took a personality questionnaire that is hopefully supposed to match you up with a decent trainer. My trainer ended up texting me to confirm I was who I was and a short blurb to introduce himself.

Driving: Now the fun begins! Once I met with my trainer, I was essentially handed the keys of a big ass truck and it was off to the races from there. I don't know jack about trucks or the different brands, but the 2019 Freightliner Cascadia we were cruising in got the job done. I think its like the Coca-Cola of trucks. Basically, there will be those who dislike the flavor for some reason, but it is hands down the most common truck I saw on the road. For the 2-3 weeks that you are out with a trainer initially (or here local if there are no trainers available), it will be mostly you doing the driving. The trainer is just on duty with you as a passenger at the beginning of your journey.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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What is your favorite trucking movie?

The first movie that came to my mind just now was Pee-wee's Big Adventure <- the trucker scene.

Large Marge sent me. Lol

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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What is your favorite trucking movie?

Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone! I'm looking forward to all the underground trucker arm wrestling! Lol jk, but still, love that movie and sound track.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Prime PSD take 2, December 20th. What to bring? What to expect?

Thanks Spaceman for your nput and information! I'll make sure to keep it close at hand as well as to be early and enjoy the ride! I'm not really sure there was much more other than getting some of those early jitters out of the way.

Matt, I already have my permit. The highroad program was definitely instrumental in helping pass it. I remember seeing others taking the test just sweating bullets.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Prime PSD take 2, December 20th. What to bring? What to expect?

Howdy again everyone!

After being delayed from my initial start date due to a sleep apnea diagnosis, I am finally heading out to Salt Lake City for the Prime Student Driver program starting on December 20th. I just received the email from Prime with the Greyhound ticket information and invitation to orientation. I feel like its been a long time coming and the journey is only just beginning.

I know its been covered 100 different ways, and this just may be the OCD talking, but can someone give me a quick rundown on what to expect as well as a few key things to bring? I would definitely appreciate it!

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Rookie Solo Adventure, thoughts, questions, vent, and ramble.

I'm glad you like writing because I enjoy reading it! Quality content here, Spoonerist. Your attitude is definitely great as well. I like to abide by the following "If there's something that can be done, then why worry? If nothing can be done, why worry?"

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Linehaul pay stub

As someone not familiar with all aspects of trucking, can someone breakdown what "linehaul" is and entails?

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