My Prime PSD Experience

Topic 10524 | Page 7

Page 7 of 14 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I positively live for your updates, since I'm planning on going to Prime in April. Your experiences are a great insight, as a woman and as a new driver. I think we have similar attitudes about trainers. I'm there to learn. If you teach me what I need to know, then that's all I require. I'm pretty easy to get along with and anticipate no problems of being congenial and having a trainer that will be friendly as well as professional.

Good luck with backing! In my mind it seems the hardest thing I'll have to learn. But you can do it! You've done awesome so far, it sounds like. Thanks for the updates and keep them coming!

:) thanks. Long story short.... I will re-take the test on Wed. I totally feel confident about it now. I have noticed that some trainers get offended if the student asks for help or an explanation from someone else--- but sometimes you just have to hear something said in a different way in order to "get it". My biggest problem was not understanding how to correct something once i screwed up. Now i know what to do if i am too close to a line or too far away. There is a great set of instructors at "Prime East" which is a backing training pad area. They can help explain things better if you have questions.

Again, almost everyone I have met here is helpful and welcoming. People have bad days here and there, but it is rare to find a truly miserable person--at least the is my experience. But perhaps it is because i have known "truly miserable people" lol.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Amen, sister! Between working as a paralegal and working with rock stars, I've met some really miserable people. Glad the team there seems to be a bit more normal than the general population. Hahahaha!

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Update: my original trainer quit prime and wanted me to test before I was ready. . I did and failed the backing then basically demanded more pad time. I was given a great backing trainer who helped me pass it with NO points. Then on the road test. ... I stalled the truck and failed for impeding traffIc. The clutch and gears feel different in his truck. so the next day I started in a lowèr gear.... got 85% thru the test and stall... auto fail for impeding traffic.

I know I should be able to drive any truck.... and the examiner said I'm a great driver and only got 8 points the whole route. :(

Today is my last chance. ...it's pass or fail time

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Anyone who can perform under pressure will tell you that one of the keys is to clear your mind of any thoughts, relax, and remind yourself that you already know how to do what you're about to do. Don't overthink it. Don't try too hard. Don't do anything differently than you would do it if you were just practicing by yourself. Just take deep, slow breaths and try to relax. Remember the person with you is nothing more than another driver or whatever. No big deal. You're not trying to demonstrate to them that you're perfect. You're trying to demonstrate that you're safe. If you do make mistakes they want to see you recover with poise and confidence.

Just relax and do your thing. Believe me, they want you to pass so you have that working for you also. Just go for a drive and show them you know the basics and that you're relaxed and comfortable behind the wheel. You'll feel a little nervous of course but don't show it. Just relax and go for a short drive. No biggie.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh, and one other very important thing. This isn't "do or die" for you. This isn't your career on the line here. This is just one simple test for one company out of a million nationwide. You're gonna drive a truck for a living one way or another. If you pass this test then great - on to the next step. If not then fine - you come up with a new plan and keep moving forward.

So don't put any undue pressure on yourself. This isn't your one and only chance. It's just today's chance. If it doesn't work out, tomorrow will hold a new opportunity of some sort.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks betting was trying to come up with plan b. If I fail I owe prime... I was told I could go home and test then come back with cdl and do tnt.

However to do that I would need to shell out some money to rent a truck /driver for road test practice then testing. Nj is different and you have to wait a couple weeks to retest if you fail.

I know a couple students leaving prime if they fail and going to swift. They already have the recruiters set up as a backup lol.

Will update later Thanks

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.

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.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

You got this! Like Brett said just clear your mind and concentrate and relax. You can do it!

Is there an opportunity to get behind the wheel in the yard for 30 minutes or so before testing, just to warm up to the truck? Maybe that might help too.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I PASSED!!!! Thanks for all your help and encouragement; )

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

I PASSED!!!! Thanks for all your help and encouragement; )

YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Hi guys. I got some private messages asking about my TNT phase so I figured I would continue here. If you have questions ask here or email me at rainydal74@gmail.com

After I passed my test I was made to take the sleep study test.. I don't have apnea... yay.. then got my new DOT physical. I met my TNT trainer when I finalized my hiring paperwork. We got on the road a few days later due to her hometime.

By Nov 15th we were in orlando and stopped off at Disney world.. yep.. my trainer took me to Disney for the Christmas spectacular. It was awesome. She also got us tickets for the NASCAR homestead race.. but I flew home for personal reasons.

She picked me up after Thanksgiving and we hauled butt. We did a few FedEx and ups runs each between 1800 to 2200 miles. Those are tough cause they are time sensitive. We also did some high value loads which have specific rules.

I've learned that each truck is very different and it takes time to get to know the truck. Each trainer has their own set of priorities as well.

This week will be two months since I got on the truck but I'm only halfway through. it has to do with my trainer needing more home time than originally planned. I got paid to sit at prime one week doing nothing because she had personal issues. But so be it.

Now that things are back to normal I should be done in 3 weeks or so and then get upgraded to my own truck.

Someone asked me the differences between PSD and TNT. There are several:

1. Learning everything but driving. This is where I'm learning the paperwork and qualcomm messages....things about the refeer..sliding the tandems for proper weight placement..plus I'm getting a second trainers point of view on backing and driving

2. I'm doing all the customer handling. Each shipper receiver has different rules and ways to handle the paperwork. Deal with the backing and drop and hook. Found out that different trucks drop and hook differently. Some have airbag releases and some dont. Some are more violent when they l9ck on the king pin

3. I'm telling the trainer the different routes we can take. She's an o/o so she pays for her fuel. She let's me map out a couple routes then decides which is better for her money wise.

4. Lack of sleep In PSD I slept fine. In TNT I rarely sleep. In PSD we did not move unless I was driving So it was easy for me to sleep. In TNT I have to sleep while the truck is moving.. the radio is blaring.. the horns blowing..the On Guard system beeps when you are less than 100 ft from the car in front of you. In heavy traffic it doesn't stop. The roads are bumpy. . Construction is everywhere. Even after I drive 10 hours (550 miles ) When we arrive at the customer and she is driving i have to get up and do the paperwork.. so no true 10 hour break.

5. Teaming is hard. In TNT you are at the mercy of the trainer. You eat sleep shower bathroom and park when the trainer decides. When I'm driving I can take my 30 min break when. And where I want..but it still seems like rush rush rush all the time. If we deliver a load and she wants to wait there until we know where the next load is going then we wait...sometimes with. O bathroom around.

6. Personal space lacking In PSD I slept in my own space in the bunk. Because TNT teams I now sleep most if my time in my trainers bunk While the truck is moving. My stuff is still on thetop bunk.. but it sort of feels like I'm invading her bed while not having a space of my own.

7. Money still not great Don't get me wrong.. $700 gross a week for a newbie is great. But the first couple weeks I only took home $400. This is because they are deducting my TWIC card fee ($125) the sleep study ($600) $800 food advance. I'm still going to be paying that for awhile. I left a job making $1000 per week and am paying $1200 per month for an apartment back home until the lease is up. So $400 is nothing.

8. Backing still sucks I finally did an alley dock completely on my own and was so excited.. til I realized I was in the wrong door

9. Trainer sleeps while I'm driving. I actually like this part. I drive nights so there is no pressure. When she is sitting up front I often feel more nervous than if she is asleep. I know I can wake her for any reason and she has no problem with it.

10. I'm more relaxed I'm relaxed about the driving. I know how to turn check my mirrors and feel fine pulling into tolls and truck stops fueling stations. I feel fine driving through construction zones without the omg I'm going to hit the railing feeling. Drove through snow and ice ok... just took it slowly. Rain and fog in mountains are no problem now. High winds I just slowed down. My trainer called me an old lady driver.. although the cruise control is set at 65mph. I let others pass cause I would rather see them than not see them. And I refuse to let a FedEx or swift truck stay to my left for more than seconds

11. I have my CDL Having the cdl is a bigger responsibility. An accident now goes on my record for 7 years. I don't think that was true with the permit. Some other trainees that have had accidents not only have it on their record but had to pay Prime the damages for at fault incidents.

12. Because I'm more relaxed driving I'm more aware of my surroundings. I notice the smell of the brakes on the truck next to us. I notice the owl that is about to hit the trailer... I'm seeing further ahead

What are my weaknesses? Still the backing.. I have 14000 more miles to work on it.

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.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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.

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.

Page 7 of 14 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More