My Prime PSD Experience

Topic 10524 | Page 9

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Tanker Man's Comment
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It sounds like you're making great progress!! I am in CDL school now (locally) and did my first backing maneuver this past weekend. It was quite terrifying, but by the time the day was over I wasn't as afraid of it as I was when I first started. Now I know why they say that you don't want to back up your truck unless it's absolutely necessary.

I was under the impression that TNT phase was run solo and not team unless that's what you want to be doing. Was I wrong, or is the TNT phase meant to be run as teams?

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The first part if Prime is PSD for Prime Student Driver. Basically the student is running typical solo loads with the permit and the trainer in the sit next to them teaching them to drive like ur school... but you actually go on the road for three weeks and run hauls. TNT at Prime stands for Trainer and Trainee is is run as teams this is the phase done with your CDL. My trainer is asleep while I'm driving but if I need help she jumps up right away. This is where you learn all the paperwork and trucking business where before the focus was on learning to drive safely.

After the team runs 30,000 miles the trainee then takes some defensive driving classes and a simulator test before getting their own truck. As of today I need 10k more miles... my trainer is taking a few days off.. but I'll def have my truck by end of February.

I still screw up but she tells me I'm doing good. And we really do get along great.....I'm just not crazy about the hard running team style.

I'm so happy you are doing good. We can meet up on rhe road sometime ;)

So I literally just sat down and read through all 8 pages of your experience so far and wow! The progress you have made from your first day to being miles away from your own truck is incredible! I have been researching companies up, down, left, and right and this topic you have created has answered a ton of questions for me as far as how Prime is. I am set to start my CDL school this next weekend, but that will change because the school that I am currently enrolled with isn't "recognized" if you will by any of the major trucking companies, so I am going to withdraw my enrollment on Monday and switch to one that has some of the major companies recruiting drivers from this particular school. I personally checked into a lot of the company driving schools and just read to many horror stories where it seemed like one little mess up here or forgetting something there and the student was sent home. Anyway, I can't thank you enough for your updates that you have posted on this thread and I will most certainly keep following it. Best of luck in your driving career!

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

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.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I figured I would boost this for those interested in prime..

I went solo feb 14th. I had to pay for load locks, pad locks, chains, and a few other things. I also paid $1000 as a pet fee to have my cat. All this was taken weekly from my check which put me about $500 to $600 per week until about May or June.

My miles are between 2500 to 3000 per week. My pay was bumped to 41cpm in the condo. I get about $50 to $100 per week for fuel bonuses. Also get detention pay depending on how long the customer kept me. I now get safety and on time delivery bonuses, and a quarterly bonus of $30 to $50 I can use in company store or day spa. In may or June I started clearing between $750 AND $1000 per week after my insurances and taxes.

Accidents... I had an at fault where I hit a concrete barrier at a fuel pump by not turning wide enough. Stupid I know. Safety road assist and claims were all very nice and calmed me. They assured me it was an old trailer and I did not cause other damage and hurt no one. That is on my record for 7 years FM was not happy but I admitted my mistake and did not try to blame anyone or anything else.

A drunk driver hit me one night and witnesses told police I was in my lane.. not speeding..and had used blinkers and caution the whole 30 miles they were behind me. Prime asked me if I was calm enough to drive and to make sure truck was safe. I asked my FM if I needed to call him for a discussion and he said "nope... here's your next load".

I have been with them almost a year now. My review is that you can make decent money and work with great people and drivers if you are pleasant and work hard. Most prime drivers help each other and will exchange numbers so you can call for help. I have a list of numbers for experienced drivers I can call 24/7.

Some of my classmates already went to other carriers. To me the grass is not always greener. I have a great FM who runs me and gives me off when I want and my pay is higher than most. One person told me he is making 50cpm..but hates his dispatcher and gets less miles. To me..41cpm...with a great guy and good miles is better than that.

Just my review... ask any questions you wish.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Kanelin's Comment
member avatar

Rainy, your experiences are one of the reasons I went with Prime. And I'm glad I did! Everyone has been very helpful and friendly, it has been an amazing experience so far. Right now I'm sitting in a rest area somewhere in MO. First day otr in PSD And I'm happy as a clam. We ran out of hours or I would still be driving. :-)

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Rainy, your experiences are one of the reasons I went with Prime. And I'm glad I did! Everyone has been very helpful and friendly, it has been an amazing experience so far. Right now I'm sitting in a rest area somewhere in MO. First day otr in PSD And I'm happy as a clam. We ran out of hours or I would still be driving. :-)

That is soooo awesome!!! So great to hear it. I'm heading out of sprimo tomorrow. E sure to let us know how things work out

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.
Tweak's Comment
member avatar

Rainy, thank you so much for chronicling your journeys at Prime. I have decided on them and will be shipping out sometime this November, once I'm good and retired, and your assurances and stories have me convinced I'm making the right choice.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Rainy, thank you so much for chronicling your journeys at Prime. I have decided on them and will be shipping out sometime this November, once I'm good and retired, and your assurances and stories have me convinced I'm making the right choice.

A member of our forum came to prime and her training experience wasn't the best. When she told me what happened I put her in touch with the proper management and she was off that trainers truck that day and assigned to a trainer she loves. She's upgrading to solo next week :)

Her exact words "I was so stressed for two weeks and one phone call fix it".

If you have issues at prime... my experience is that they care to fix it. Be honest and calm. The hot heads who yell and demand are the ones who have problems getti ng n things resolved.

Another thing I'm not sure came across in my posts is that I'm a company driver and have NEVER been denied a request for repairs. If something is immediate then the response is "get to a TA asap". If it can wait a bit then I'm routed through a terminal within a reasonable amount of time.

It really makes a difference knowing my truck is safe. The mechanics are ALWAYS willing to answer questions sp be sure to utilize them. I have not once been treated like a "stupid woman driver who knows nothing about trucks". Sometimes men look down on women and think we can't understand "men stuff". I've actually written letters to upper management thanking them for the "team efforts" of everyone I have come I to contact with.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Redline's Comment
member avatar

In those weekly payments your truck insurance is included among other things. I believe!

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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.

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Thanks for the heads up. I'm a long way from o/o ....I think most are heart less..

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

Very good post and follow up Rainy

Thentair B.'s Comment
member avatar

Very good post and follow up Rainy

agreed

Llandros's Comment
member avatar

Hi Rainy! I really enjoyed reading through your experience. Prime is a company that I am considering although I won't be starting until late spring next year. I did have a question. I know that you have a pet on your truck and that it requires a deposit. From what I have read, Prime only allows one pet, is that correct? The reason I ask is that I have a two sibling cats that are devastated when I even attempt to separate them in two rooms. I could leave them at home but would prefer to take them with me once I am able to. Have you heard of anyone being allowed more than one pet as a solo company driver?

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