Prime Training 101, Part 5

Topic 10792 | Page 1

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Richard K.'s Comment
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Now let me tell you what I learned about SIM class. The staff in SIM class are AWESOME. Brett, Steven, Sean, Richard, Andrew & Wally are just the ones that I remember. They will explain to you in detail about each and every step of the class and what to expect, why you made a mistake, (if you do)(and you will), and how to correct that mistake. They encourage you to ask questions. Remember earlier I said there were no dumb questions, well this is where my questions came in.

SIM class consist of 9 truck driving simulators. They ARE NOT video games. Again, here is another area that if you want to get noticed in a negative sense, call them video games. There is, so I am told, $1.5 million dollars’ worth of equipment in this room. They can be forgiving when you make a mistake, and in a general term, they WILL give you a “feel” for driving. You have to understand though, that they do not factor in many aspects of driving a real truck, including the torque produced from the engine of the real thing, so even if you think you have “mastered” the art of upshifting, downshifting, skip shifting and the various backing maneuvers, trust me, you have not. Real world is much different, but the simulators do give you a greater jump on getting behind the wheel of an 80,000 missile and somewhat knowing what’s going on.

When you are operating the SIMS, you will most likely have at least one other on the same simulator, sometimes more if you have a large class. My class was small so we had two to a simulator most days.

Partner up with one of your SIM mates. Help each other with the course. Point out what is being done wrong AND right by the other. Some tips for the classes. ALWAYS KEEP BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL. DO NOT RIDE THE CLUTCH. Sit down at the simulator just as if you were getting in your car. Seatbelt should ALWAYS be the first move you make after sitting down.

It is very important that you remember that SIM Class is an important part of the training. The staff will stress to you over and over again, that no matter what other issues you are working on, (permitting, interview, etc.), you should NOT miss SIM Class. The only exception that I found was on Friday if you happen to be one of the last ones not to get all your testing requirements completed by the end of training.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are pretty much the same – finish what you need to get done. Friday is your Final Meeting. Everyone must be in attendance. You will have your final SIM class and evaluation on those classes. Remember, SIM classroom is open almost 24/7 while you are there. If you feel that you need to practice, then go practice. Just ask the Instructor on duty if he has an available slot that you can use. They are very accommodating. You will also receive instruction from Sean about PTI, or Pre-Trip Inspection. Please ask as many questions as you can. This is an important part of passing your testing when you test for the CDL with the DOT Examiner.

So that pretty much goes over day 1 through day 5, Monday through Friday. I am sure I left many things out, but if you follow your schedule, ask questions and don’t be late, then you will be fine through this training.

On Friday you will receive your Binder, Safety Vest and your Hard PSD ID card. You can now visit the Millennium building.

Throughout the week you will see seasoned drivers and some of them may just be onsite at the Campus Inn looking for PSD and/or TNT students that will complete their training on Friday. You may be approached by some of them. Some will tell you why they are there, other will just simply engage you in conversation. Don’t forget that this is leading into the next phase of your training.

Here’s a hint for new students. For instance, say you are from Florida as I am, you are 900 miles from home and you hope to get home to see family soon, so you are hoping to be approached by a trainer driver that may also be from Florida. But how does he, or you know the other is from Florida? Advertise! What did I do without being blatantly obvious? I wore a very bright ORANGE Florida Gators hat. Everyone from Florida knows the team and it drew trainers from Florida to me. I got what I was looking for, a trainer from Florida. So it worked.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.


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.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated


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.



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.

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