Questions About CDL Training For Prime Inc.

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Liam M.'s Comment
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Hello guys i want to sign up with Prime Inc. for their CDL training and had a few questions. do they pay you while you are being trained? if so how does the pay work and around how much do they pay you? around what amount can i expect to earn with prime in my first and second year annually or weekly also i would like to say thanks ahead of time i was reading this website for a few months before i registered and think it's great for new truckers being able to talk with the seasoned truckers and get honest answers and good advice this seems like a great community.

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.
Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

The first part of your training involves a week of orientation and two to three weeks with a CDL instructor on the road. This is unpaid but prime will advance you $200/wk if you need it during this time (which they deduct at $25/wk once you start earning paychecks, it's interest free).

Once you come back and pass the CDL test, you will need to do 30,000 miles in a team setting with a instructor. This will probably last five to eight weeks, and you'll be paid approximately $700/wk.

The other question depends on if you lease or go company and probably varies a bit even then. From the moment I went solo as a company driver in our reefer division, I made a hair under $60k my first year (before taxes and benefits).

By the end of that year I was making anywhere from $0.50 - $0.52 a mile which includes a $0.03 - $0.05 a mile fuel bonus and a $0.05 a mile bonus for running a lightweight truck. The fuel bonus varies more than that, but I was always in that range in my lightweight.

Everything is paid by your dispatched miles, so if you run 3,000 miles in a week you would be paid $1500 at $0.50 a mile. I think pay starts at $0.44 a mile for lightweight trucks before fuel bonus now but a recruiter could confirm that for you.

Other paid items are $50 bonus for running hazmat , I've had my dispatcher throw me extra money for short loads, $25 a stop beyond the normal one pickup one delivery, $500 bonus for running all December, and detention pay for getting held up at shippers and receivers.

Prime expects company guys to run at least three to four weeks between home time which is probably our biggest disadvantage. I always run four weeks and go home four days (get home on a Tuesday and dispatch out Sunday morning for example). I've never had an issue getting home, I just let my dispatcher know I'm ready and I get there within a couple/three days.

It's a pretty solid company, I thought I would just get in a year here and see what else is available, but I'm at the end of training my wife now so we can run team for them. I really like my dispatcher and that probably makes a world of difference too.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Josh S.'s Comment
member avatar

It's 38 cpm base pay plus 5 cpm for light weight so that brings you to 43 cpm. Fuel bonus ranges from 1.7cpm at 7.75mpg average up to 8.2 cpm at 10.75 mpg average. 20 dollar stop pay for additional stops outside of the usual pickup and delivery. As Matt said that would be for a company driver. During training you would receive the 200 per week loan as a permit driver starting the end if your first week since the first week of orientation and they feed you and put you on their hotel. Then base pay off 700 per week once you earn your license, can make more with your percentage of fuel bonus and miles in excess of 5k. I'm a company driver and average post checks were 800-1200.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I'm at Prime now. Still in the TNT phase getting my 30,000 miles. Be aware, not only will they take out money for your $200 per week advance (which you dont need to use if you bring money with you), but they COULD require you take a sleep study ($600) and then make you buy the cpap ($500)--- they will take this out of the weekly pay once you get it as well. Also, you need to get a TWIC card to get on military bases and ports-- its hightened security with a background and fingerprint ... that was like $125 i think.. and they wouldnt let me pay cash, they took that out of the check. So basically, the first couple weeks i brought home around $400 because of the deductions. They took the TWIC card in two payments of $65, $50 per week for the sleep study, and $25 per week for the food advance.

They also want you to get a passport (i already had one), and later the hazmat in your own state. These will cost more money later, but expenses are tax deductible cause they are work related so it will work out later.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

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 14ยข 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.

Neesa J.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone.....I am set to start orientation at Prime Inc on Monday, January 18th. I did research on 3 companies, Swift, Rhoel, and Prime. I chose Prime because of the one on one training program and pay, and the consistent reviews. Prime appears to be a good company for me to start my trucking career. The only thing I'm concerned about is the time it may take for me to get an instructor to train with after the orientation week. From the many reviews I have read, that tends to be a challenge hence the sizes orientation classes.

Does anyone have any insight on what I could do to speed up that process of getting paired up with an instructor?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Does anyone have any insight on what I could do to speed up that process of getting paired up with an instructor?

Be flexible study your pretrip now on YouTube and when. You get thetr talk to people and study the trucks. The one thing I didn't like about Prime is the lack of pairing. they give names and phone numbers out to trainers But it is luck of the draw.

Most of the people waiting for trainers are non smoking women who refused to be with smokers... or men.... or men who stand back and talk in a grouo.

Trainers go to the pads and watch to see which students are interested in learning. They even pretend to be students sometimes to get a candid view of how someone acts and thinks. I met trainers who said they sit in their trucks and wait to see who approaches the model truck in the Campus Inn parking lot ....students use it for pretrip practice. They want the students who are interested.

I'm a non smoking female. class ended on friday I met my trainer on monday. When I tested that trainer was leaving the company so on my test day I talked to other trainers to see who could take me. I passed and got my CDL and one of those trainers put me on her truck that day.

Everyone is friendly and if you engage with people eve. If they can't take you they might know a trainer needing a student. My second trainer and I hung out at applebees that night and talked on the phone for a few days while I got my physical aND sleep study. So by the time I got on the truck we were friends already ;)

If you are shy and hang against the wall.. you won't get a trainer. You will be put in a class and taught to back and go o the road for a few hours.... bit going out for 10k miles ione on one s much better than. Sharing a truck with other students.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you Rainy D for that insight! I am a non-smoking female as well. For me gender doesn't necessarily matter, as long as the trainer is very knowledgeable, a non-smoker, and clean, I'm down cause I know it's not a forever situation, lol.

That's crazy how the trainers do! I understand though. If I was them, I'd probably screen my potential trainees. I am not shy by any means and very serious about getting my knowledge and training in. I will definitely follow your advice by staying up on my knowledge, pretrip practice, etc , and engaging with the trainers. Networking never hurt nobody.

Miss Red's Comment
member avatar

Oh snap. Well, I can be shy and I'm nonsmoking :D Will you update us Neesa? I go a couple weeks after you.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

So many awesome ladies going to Prime. I'll (hopefully) see you all in the spring!

Steve_HBG's Comment
member avatar

So many awesome ladies going to Prime. I'll (hopefully) see you all in the spring!

I agree, Miss Myoshi. It's nice to see, read about, and learn from the women who choose to become professional drivers. I look forward to seeing them and meeting them on the road someday. One aspect that concerns me, though (at the risk of hijacking this thread), is this one about Prime:

If you are shy and hang against the wall.. you won't get a trainer.

I am not an entertaining kind of person, and I often have a problem starting conversations, but I would not consider myself the kind of person who hangs against the wall. I simply prefer to listen and learn more than I enjoy talking. Some people may (wrongfully) interpret that as being either shy or conceited when, in fact, I'm simply a quiet kind of person. I wonder what my chances of getting a trainer would be if I were to apply to Prime and get an invite to its orientation???

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.

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