Prime Training 101, Part 3

Topic 10790 | Page 1

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Richard K.'s Comment
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All throughout the day you will meander back and forth to get all the things done that need to be done. You will wait in line for hours at some places. For instance, when you go to the Doc’s office for the drug test and physical, you WILL wait in line. Don’t get out of line once you are in it, unless of course you have SIM class. Get it done. This is your first test of time management on your part. There are many things to get accomplished in this first day and they MUST be done TODAY! Drug test, physical and APEX Screening are the primary things that have to be completed on the first day!

Don’t be fooled by walking down the hall and seeing a short line outside the Doc’s office. I know what you will be thinking – short line for the drug test and physical, this won’t take long. Yep, that’s what I thought, then I looked inside the door, and found that the line continued. I am guessing that there were an additional 25 seats inside the office. So if there are 6 waiting outside, then there is probably a full house on the inside.

A word about DOT physicals. So you got your physical in another state and you have your DOT Medical Card. Awesome! You just saved yourself some time right? Wrong. You can kiss that physical goodbye and the DOT card too. You MUST get your physical and DOT card from Prime in Missouri. There is no way around this. Just chalk it up to experience.

At about 1:00PM groups will begin training in the SIM lab. DO NOT MISS SIM LAB. Plan your other activities around SIM Lab time. As an example, if your group has SIM lab scheduled for 3:30PM – 6PM and you get in the line for the physical or drug test at 2pm, you need to rethink this plan. Chances are you will NOT complete the medical part in time for SIM lab. Plan accordingly. All areas are important to complete, but stress is given on not missing SIM lab.

So now after a very long day waiting in line after line, you are nearing the end of the day. By now you should have received your “meal card” for the cafeteria. Oh, the cafeteria is located in the main hotel building on the east side near the Drivers lounge. Outside of the cafeteria, on the patio area, is probably the only real “non-smoking” area, of course with the exception of inside the building.

The food is pretty good. I have had better, and I have had worse. You can eat in the cafeteria or you can get your food to go. And yes, your meal card WILL work at the Millennium cafeteria as well even though you probably not be going there until Friday.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, follow your schedule, remember DO NOT BE LATE! Some will continue on the CBT’s, others will be completing interviews (file review), others will be working on permit testing. Interviews are conducted in the Orientation Office.

A word about permits. CDL Learners permits are a different story than DOT Medical cards. If you received your permit from another state, you DID get ahead of the game, but you will be required to have your State issued Drivers License AND your state issued permit transferred to Missouri. But don’t worry if you didn’t go through the process of testing in your home state. Missouri Highway Patrol will be coming to the Campus on two consecutive days (Tuesday and Wednesday) during your 1st week. (They are only on Campus until 2:30PM on those 2 days ONLY). You will have ample time to STUDY and take the required testing to get your CDL learners permit. You must take the General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicle tests AND you MUST get the tanker endorsement. Yes, even if you will not be going in the tanker division. The staff will explain all of this to you. For those that do not complete the testing while MHP is onsite, you will have to go to the DMV downtown. And believe me, you WANT TO DO IT AT CAMPUS.

While the Highway Patrol is at the campus, you can take each test twice a day until you pass it. There is no charge for testing. You only pay for the permit, license transfer and tanker endorsement when you actually go to the DMV to complete this process.


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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.


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.


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.


Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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