My Prime PSD Experience

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Some of their loads are misplanned. Example of this, at Newly Wed Foods, I have a pick on 5/19/2015. The shipper had me scheduled for the day after. Prime vehemently refused to accept responsibility for this mix-up and this lack of culpability ultimately lead to me terminating my contract with them.

First of all, how do you know it wasn't the shipper that put the wrong date in their books? What makes you so certain it was Prime's fault?

And second, you terminated a contract with a company because there was one miscommunication between Prime and a customer on one load? Well I hope you're prepared to terminate about 50 contracts a year because that stuff happens regularly in this industry.

Prime staff and drivers may be nice and all, but, the corporate part of Prime literally sees you as little more than a living breathing log book

And how do you view Prime the corporation? Is the success of the corporation the most important thing in your life? Would you give up your wife and children to help them be successful? I don't get this line of thinking. You're an owner operator who has made a business agreement with a corporation. What do you want them to do, plan your wedding for you? Baptize your children? Throw you a parade every time you come to town?

What is it they're supposed to be doing for you that they're not? Not that it matters I guess because you terminated the contract.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Jason V.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Some of their loads are misplanned. Example of this, at Newly Wed Foods, I have a pick on 5/19/2015. The shipper had me scheduled for the day after. Prime vehemently refused to accept responsibility for this mix-up and this lack of culpability ultimately lead to me terminating my contract with them.

double-quotes-end.png

First of all, how do you know it wasn't the shipper that put the wrong date in their books? What makes you so certain it was Prime's fault?

And second, you terminated a contract with a company because there was one miscommunication between Prime and a customer on one load? Well I hope you're prepared to terminate about 50 contracts a year because that stuff happens regularly in this industry.

double-quotes-start.png

Prime staff and drivers may be nice and all, but, the corporate part of Prime literally sees you as little more than a living breathing log book

double-quotes-end.png

And how do you view Prime the corporation? Is the success of the corporation the most important thing in your life? Would you give up your wife and children to help them be successful? I don't get this line of thinking. You're an owner operator who has made a business agreement with a corporation. What do you want them to do, plan your wedding for you? Baptize your children? Throw you a parade every time you come to town?

What is it they're supposed to be doing for you that they're not? Not that it matters I guess because you terminated the contract.

Like I said, this was my personal experience with Prime after they bought the company I was originally leased to. I was leased to Earl L. Henderson Trucking. Since Prime brokered the loads and dispatched, I was considered leased to Prime at that point. Great example of them pushing. I was in Cheyenne, WY early this year. Extremely cold, extremely windy and I'm hauling around 14,000 in the box. Winds easily 40+mph. I'm not going to move my truck. I know that at the very least, the trailer is going to be blown around like a piece of paper in those conditions. Told dispatch, they insisted that I get rolling to the 90 location. Worth mentioning I was on I-80E. Conditions were so bad that I couldn't, physically couldn't, put fuel in the reefer tank. The fuel line at the pump was frozen solid. I flatly told dispatch that I am not moving and that they needed to reschedule the drop. They threatened me with a service failure (my service record stood at 99.8% at the time.) It's my tractor and your freight. I understand you want your freight to move, but your load isn't worth my life if a gust of wind hits that light trailer and throws it off the road, dragging my tractor with it. Top that off with all of Prime's O/O being paid more per load, they run line haul percentage or by mile pay. 72% or $1/mi. Same as Henderson. Same load, same 90 location, Prime guy makes more. So, I have a special dislike of Prime. I won't lie about them, but I won't sugar coat the facts either.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jason V.'s Comment
member avatar

For the record, not married, no kids. I don't wan the hassle of having to manage a trucking company and a family at the same time. Honestly, I don't miss anything. Been married before, bother after bother. Trucking is kind of the same to me, but, trucking gets me paid. Marriage doesn't. Just my view of the world from that angle. Don't have to agree with it, also means you don't have to judge. As for the single miscommunication, no. That wasn't the first and only one. It was nearly constant after Prime seated their own dispatchers with Henderson. A friend of mine who's been with Henderson for years just quit because of Prime. At least he says because of Prime. They are a HUGE company. There are going to be things that come up, but don't make me, the driver, responsible for your mistakes. Take responsibility for them, reschedule or talk to the shipper. My time is precious to me and a company wasting it on a slip of the finger on a keyboard just wasted several hours of my time. As a back-up, Prime has a live loaded call system. That's to see if they screwed up anywhere with the load. I've talked to Swift drivers, they have a similar thing where they put the load information in at every stop. They send a macro saying they GOAL. Cya isn't bad, but, where's the line between driver responsibility and company responsibility? I run under my own authority now, which is great. Brokers can be...interesting sometimes, but, I answer for my actions. Makes me think about my actions. I'm not a super trucker. I will always learn in this industry. There is just a line in the sand I drew that I won't tolerate Crap after. If you're happy at Prime, stay and enjoy! Not many people can say they truly like their employer. I'm just happier on my own without a 100mph dispatcher trying to get me to do posted speed limit over snow and ice.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I feel I need to warn,you about Prime. This is from experience as an owner-operator leased to them. Prime staff and drivers may be nice and all, but, the corporate part of Prime literally sees you as little more than a living breathing log book. I had some wiggle room as my own boss, but, my dispatcher had a 100mph pen and my truck, by Prime's rules, was governed at 65mph. If you feel unsafe with a situation, they will try to pressure you into doing whatever it is. Some of their loads are misplanned. Example of this, at Newly Wed Foods, I have a pick on 5/19/2015. The shipper had me scheduled for the day after. Prime vehemently refused to accept responsibility for this mix-up and this lack of culpability ultimately lead to me terminating my contract with them. They charge a huge amount for their lease,program as well. From several of their lease drivers, average payment just for the tractor is $850/wk for a 2015 Cascadia Evolution. $1,050/wk for the Peterbilt 587. Also, if they EVER send you to 8118 Bunkum Rd. Caseyville, IL, DON'T go! It is illegal from a tractor-trailer to be down that road that ISN'T a Henderson truck or the rail company next door to them. $3,000+ fine for it. Those 2 have special permits,from the city to operate on that road. Don't risk it.

First of all, Prime is a business. And just like any other corporations, they push for profits. Just about everyone in America, sometimes called Corporate-America, has to deal with corporate whether it's policies that don't make sense, pushing for more profits in what appear to be extreme ways, or monitoring their employees to ensure that they are employees a staff that can get the job done. In the end, it's all about profits.

Want to get away from corporate? Try starting your own business and not leasing it to a company.

A 100mph dispatcher? Man, you're the first to complain that loads have no time on them. Usually folks are saying the loads have too much time on them and here you are complaining that they're running you too hard - which of course will increase your profits.

But, like most veteran truckers, you all find something stupid to complain about just to complain instead of appreciating what you already have and the miles you're getting.

Not to say my dispatcher doesn't run me, he does, but the faster his pen is the more miles I get. I'm hope to have a dispatcher who moves me at 120mph.

They don't let you shut down? Ive done multiple winters here at Prime and ive never had any trouble about shutting down when conditions get ugly. Ive spoken with Safety in person and was told that a dispatcher telling a driver that he can't shut down when it's unsafe is grounds for termination. Having said that, I highly doubt a dispatcher will risk his job to prevent you from shutting down. I think you're bogus.

With that many years of driving how have you not figured out that the shippers (which are the customers) tell Prime what to do. And the receivers also tell when they want their product. Prime is the middle man here, please realize this.

Good old leasing program, the lease payment for a 2015 Cascadia is 945 per week while the Peterbilt is barely a few digits higher.

I have respect for veteran truckers, but at the same time the truth is that there are no finer complainers in the world. It's like being a veteran entitles you to complain about stupid things.

Personally, my family is from Russia. I grew up on Top Ramen and Potatoes with a family of 7. Americans are blind to how lucky they are. We have everything in this country that my relatives in Russia dream of having. You're driving a 100,000$ rig that has all the comfort amenities built in and making good money. There's billions of people in this world who would die to be in your shoes - yet you complain like you're the victim being overworked. You're not overworked, you simply are trying to do the job you were hired to do.

The merging of Henderson and Palmer hasn't been super pleasant. Henderson and Palmer drivers are usually experienced drivers who typical hate large carriers. Then Prime bought them out and they became bitter. They're mad that a company which hires students pays more than their company paid them, which is just a slap in the face.

Let me end with this, Prime has many problems. They push students unto the LW trucks and expect them to live on the road for a minimum of 3 weeks with even less space than the typical driver has being in a fullsize truck. They lack in dedicated routes. Their lease program is indeed overpriced, but you had your numbers way off. They don't get you home as much as other carriers. And they want their drivers to drive like a turtle to get increased fuel economy. They also charge for equipment. Lastly, their recruiting department is nothing to brag about.

I'm not blind to their problems nor do i think they are the perfect company. But my good sir, your complaints are ridiculous.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Hudsonhawk's Comment
member avatar

With all their problems they still helped me get my cdl and I'm grateful for that. I told them I'd work for them for a year and I'm going to uphold my word.

So far it's been a rough experience but I think it's been a pleasant experience at the same time. I think trucking is a rough profession and it's gonna be awhile before I feel comfortable in it.

Prime ain't that bad in my book. But then again I'm a rookie and am still constantly going through growing pains.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

To comment about the wind scenario. We were told in class to shut down in bad weather and even change fleet managers of necessary. To report any safety issuesAnd indeed someone could be fired for insisting on violating safety.

I talked to a lot of prime ppl...past n present....there is good n bad every where. It seems to me that the majority of complaints come from newbies who lease without knowing all involved. ..or those who couldn't make it in psd. One guy bashed them for not teaching the test and he failed the written. They tellyou on day one you have to study and you get 8 tries. With leases you should research everything as with everything else in life.

People's experiences in life affect their outlook as well. ..I come from a place of. .if you are a rude jerk I'll tell you to go screw yourself not bash online.others come from friendlier areas so they may be offended And therfore blame the company for one person's actions. In most industries you need a thick skin.

I still don't like how to trainer and trainee pairing s get done. But success is life. I'll be or eventually

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
New Beginning's Comment
member avatar

I must say I think the people and program are better than I expected. Im at the end of my first week and only one time was I frustrated. not with the instructors but with other employees. I was in the sim today Backing up...which I really wanted time to do. We EACH had a sim...but outside drivers. ..trainers and even tnt students entered and offer to "help" by controlling my wheel and telling me how to do it. When the 3rd guy asked. .I flat out told him. ."go away. .thanks but no thanks". He wouldn't leave so I went to the ladies room and did not return to my sim until he got the point. Ireally felt it was cause iwas the only woman in the room. .none of the men tried to "help"the other men. we started with about 76 and are down to half I'm sure. Many lied about physicals. .duis..or worse. The drug tests came back today which caused more to leave. Some couldn't pass the written exam.

I don't feel like a number as I saw a couple people suggest. They know my name. ..they smile and laugh. .and they seem to care. Even the cafeteria staff knows or name.

I would have liked a meet and greet with trainers. You are not assigned. .the trainer receives phone numbers of trainees so it is the luck of the draw. If you are lucky enough to meet someone outside who is a trainer. .good for you. Most hanging outside are smokers. .so not really where I want to be.

With respect to comments about rude instructors and lack of class time. .that has not been my experience. ..anyone who wanted extra sim time got it... I think 3 days for one to three hours. Of course maybe I'm justless sensitive than others. ...or from a rude part of the country. Lol

Also..thanks to this site. I passed all 4 written exams the first try. .that gave me more free time and less stress than some of the others.

They seem to give allot of bonuses for mpg..safety and training. .all great. They also seem to take safety seriously. They also encourage husband wife teams add it helps with homelife.

One week down. ..prime seems great so far. Now I need to find a trainer and I'll be on my way ;)

I am 23,000 miles into my TNT phase and so far Prime has been a good place to me. I will admit that 30,000 miles is a long, long time to be housed with someone you have only known for one day, but the experience behind the wheel is priceless. I also was stuck at the Campus Inn for a week. My trainer came out of the instructor training class my hold over week. Disregard what people say about getting a new instructor. Sometimes they are better than being with someone who has been driving for years because they remember what it feels like to be new. I am fortunate that I have a trainer who is patient. It also helped that he not too long ago went through the program his self and he is using his bad experience with his trainer as an example of what not to do. I came into the program expecting the worst, so as to not take things personal. So like you Rainy, i am not too offended by the actions of others. My only demand of my trainer during the interview process was that he not call me out my name. If I am anything other than Vernon at the end of a scolding for grinding gears, scaring the hell out of him going to fast on a ramp, or getting too close to a truck while backing up, that's when we would have a problem. I know TT has helped prepare me for this trucking experience. During my 3 month odyssey, I have experienced a break down on the highway my first week of PSD (hotel living for 4 days), a strained calf muscle (the smokey mountains( scariest driving thus far) and I still tested out with only 5000 miles driven. TNT started with Donners Pass at night while the trainer was sleep, Twin Sisters, and two trips from and to Sacramento to Portland(Mt Asanti and its buddies suck). Along one of those trips another break down when trailer breaks froze and started a fire(thanks to the farmer who alerted us, thank God the trainer was driving then). So far everyone here has nice. From the shuttle drivers to most cafeteria workers, everyone seems personable and friendly. I read on this site alot that you get back in attitude what you give, and staying positive is the best way to get through to others. This is a very stressful business. Everyone is under constant pressure. But I like it. And you have the right attitude so I know you will like it too. Good luck and be safe.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The merging of Henderson and Palmer hasn't been super pleasant. Henderson and Palmer drivers are usually experienced drivers who typically hate large carriers. Then Prime bought them out and they became bitter. They're mad that a company that hires students pays more than their company paid them which is just a slap in the face.

This is common at large carriers. I worked at US Xpress for about 6 years and they regularly bought smaller companies. The drivers at the smaller companies never lasted long once the companies began to integrate. They instantly became cynical toward the larger carrier and bitter that their gig had changed. I can't blame them for being bitter if they liked what they had, but at the same time the stream of complaints about the large carrier were largely unjust. It was more a matter of venting their frustrations than anything else.

Stevo VWbusman's Comment
member avatar

It's all about Karma ! When I worked for Nissan Forklifts out of Ontario Calif. '06-'08. I can't count how many huge warehouses and sites as well as smaller business's I visited to service their lifts. Specially the huge ones, I was always nice, and cordial to the staff, seeking the machines, if they weren't visible. Some them guy's were running around ragged and you could tell they might be having not such a great day. Stressful keeping track in 1 of 3 , one million sq feet buildings!

My 1 regular account I had @ Toyo Tires, my first time there, me and the warehouse manager had a nice chat. I told him I was not like any of the tech's he might have had come there before. I wasn't going to try and up-sell him any extra's on their 14 lifts, if it didn't need it! Others did this crap selling parts or service just to milk the hours of labor and the not so cheap parts prices!

From then on, I had "carte blanche", and when I did find anything actually needing anything other than normal services, I documented & alerted him, and he'd say "Handle it!" Good ole Bob Love, his name fit him ! I can't stand even in my automotive experience over the last 35 years, the rip off artists giving the field a bad name.....If it ain't broke, don't fix it ! lol

Karma does come around, eventually...You do get back what you give out...smile.gif

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel B. I'm sending you a private message.

Hey I didn't get any private message from you sir.

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