Prime Inc CDL Training Diary - Orientation, Local PSD, TNT Training

Topic 13004 | Page 1

Page 1 of 4 Next Page Go To Page:
J Johns's Comment
member avatar

1.30.2016, Saturday Springfield, MO; sunny; high 68°, low 48° The end of a pleasant ride from FL to MO with family. Partner & I checked in for orientation with Prime Inc a day earlier than most, at the front desk. The lady there sent a form fax to our recruiter asking if Prime will pay for the room for this extra night, and at this time I suspect she will approve it because we didn’t take her up on the offer of a greyhound ticket. Pleased to avoid the Dog. After paying our $100 Orientation fee each, front desk lady gave us room keys, a large envelope with paperwork, a map, and instructions on upcoming times & places. We moved our bags into our too-warm room with moist carpet, no apparent air conditioning, broken bathroom lock, and noisy neighbors. We laughed it off as we should, filled out some of our enveloped paperwork, studied, and took a nap. Our room is very close to the pre-trip tractor & truncated trailer I’d heard of. No wi-fi password, so be aware and beware. We explored the sprawling zig-zagging hotel slash training center, then walked to the Walmart which was a very easy & pleasant distance. In the room is a refrigerator and single-serve coffee thing. In the driver’s lounge is a microwave, toaster, and two vending machines: drinks and refrigerated snacks. This informed our Walmart purchases. We snacked & studied & talked & watched Netflix with wild abandon.

J Johns's Comment
member avatar

1.31.2016, Sunday Springfield, MO; clear; high 67°, low 38° Leisurely day. At 10am we went to the computer lab to fill out & sign & print our DOT medical exam paperwork which took about 30 minutes, and which we stashed with our other paperwork which we were slowly going through & filling out. At 3:30pm we picked up our free sandwiches from the glass-front refrigerator adjacent to the front desk. I informed the front desk lady of some packages we were expecting addressed to us “care of Campus Inn” and a good thing too, because she has to make a note of it. Other than that, snacking & studying & talking & Netflixing as before. I hope I sleep well tonight on this super firm mattress, excited as I am for our big change tomorrow.

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

J Johns's Comment
member avatar

2.1.2016, Monday Springfield, MO; sunny; high 57°, low 35° Orientation begins. We slept terrible, had our daily wake-up call at 5:45am, skipped the presumably crowded cafeteria in favor of pop tarts a la mode … which is to say, cold and at a slow trot. We arrived at class 30 minutes early & sat at the front (suck-ups!). Lots of nervous energy in the room, and one wet-eared kid behind us spreading the Gospel of Owner Operation as expected, fudging the difference between gross & net to people asking surprisingly apt questions.

Stan Kasterke started us off by introduced Sean from the SIM lab and Anthony from the training pad, spoke a little about expectations and help being available. Meal cards were passed out & explained, I wrote notes on the back of mine, like meal & cafeteria hours. We did roll call then waited in line so they could make a photocopy of our current license & birth certificate or passport. We went over paperwork & the cost of training contract at a breakneck pace, so it was fortunate that my partner & I had these things mostly read & filled out already. We were given a schedule and assigned a class section (A through E) in order to keep the size of lines and the amount of waiting to an efficient minimum. After that we were dismissed to our different scheduled tasks.

Having been told at the doctor’s office that we should wait an hour before starting a line there for Class B, we went to a late breakfast where I was unspeakably happy to find greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, and fruit. Before half of that hour had passed, we heard over the PA that another drug testing station was set up at a bathroom outside our first classroom, so off we went, waited, and pretended that our back teeth weren’t floating. The test itself was fast & efficient. Afterward we went to the doctor’s office nearby to do our physical which was easy because we’re healthy with no meds and new prescription glasses. Next, across the hall to an interview and paperwork review which was also easy-peasy because we are happily moving violation & misdemeanor & felony free. Lastly was the Apex screening where they checked for strength and agility. This was all completed before noon because we listened carefully to all instructions and asked for clarification and guidance whenever needed. There was a lot of grumpy standing about among our peers that I feel we avoided by arriving early and working to do as much as we could, as soon as we could. Keep in mind that you're being observed, so while rolling your eyes grumpily in line may make you friends with the other grumpy people in line, it won't make you friends with the people who are in a position to help you into a successful career as a truck driver.

We picked up a package from the front desk (prescription tinted glasses), had lunch which was lovely on our little hole-punch meal-card while others rushed here & there. We completed a few computer-based training modules. We took another invigorating walk to Walmart before our “Class’s” time with the simulators from 3 to 5pm. Sim class was what I worried about most, bit they're very good at what they do, so listening carefully will take you far. Afterward we completed the first six of our twelve computer-based training modules, then dinner & netflix & a 7:30pm bedtime.

J Johns's Comment
member avatar

2.2.2016, Tuesday Springfield, MO Slept well, arrived in class at 7am for our 7:30 Logging class. We were given paper logs that they wanted us to start keeping from the previous Saturday, told to keep the book indefinitely and how to change from paper to electronic logs when we get picked up by a trainer, and heard about what the logging department can do for confused drivers – a lot, haha. The next lady spoke to us about DMV info, things to have & know & do. She got us out of class ahead of schedule so that we had a choice – stay for the MedCard & Letter of Residency she would be handing out next, or take her invitation to hop on the first (9am) shuttle to the DMV to take our tests knowing that we would have to return later with those papers to transfer our license & get our CDL-A Permit. Well that’s what we did. Skipped lunch, squeezed into the last two spaces on the shuttle, took the tests and passed (having studied the High Road program here, for months) We tucked our test scores safely away and took earlier advice to catch the City bus #2 from the station around the corner for $1.25 to the Walmart near the Campus Inn. When we got back we had lunch, goofed off in our room, returned to the computer lab for 3 computer-based training modules. Next door was our 3pm Simulator class which we enjoy, and where we learned to do basic downshifting. We then finished our last 3 CBT’s, had a good dinner, walked to a frozen custard place for a pint to-go in celebration of our DMV test scores, answered a few phone calls from family & friends, netflix, bed early.

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.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

DMV:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

J Johns's Comment
member avatar

2.3.2016, Wednesday Springfield, MO; cloudy; hjgh 38°, low 20° Had a bit of a lie-in, arrived 15 minutes early to our 7am Pre-trip class. Afterward, felt sure we wouldn’t fit on the 9am (“green”) shuttle to the DMV , so went to breakfast, ran to the city bus stop south east of Walmart and took the #2’s circuitous route to the DMV alongside some pretty interesting folks. Arrived at the bus transfer station a 3 minute walk at a moderate pace from the DMV, went up the elevator and to the right. I hate waiting in lines ... I guess it’s time to get over it. We waited behind the people who took the shuttle, eventually paid $20 to transfer our licenses to Missouri (that’s one picture and one paper in your hand) then showed our test scores paper and paid $32.50 to get a CDL-A Permit (a second picture and another sheet of paper). If I'm remembering correctly, they needed my state driver's license, birth certificate or passport, DMV test scores, DOT medical paperwork, letter of residency, and the fees. Please note that though a recruiter might say you don’t need to bring your SS card, if you changed your name, for example after your wedding, the DMV WILL want to see that. There was a close call but nothing a well-prepared superwoman of a trainee couldn’t handle. We found that the next #2 bus would come in 30 minutes and that’s when the next Prime shuttle was expected, so we waited with the other ‘Primies’ in the warm DMV and for about 10 minutes congratulated each other on being fine specimens of the species. One taxidermist, one fire fighter, a young father of six ("no big deal”) from Jersey whom I could have sworn had a russian accent (edit: Israel, interesting), and one each of our dear selves. When we arrived back at the Campus Inn we went straight to the orientation office next to the cafeteria where they made photo copies of our two spanking new pieces of paper. At this point we had nothing scheduled until 7pm, the new time for our Simulator class. We got lunch & fired up the netflix machine. By the way, these “lunch ladies” are awesome. I'm not going to explain because then one might mistakenly think that they are only awesome in those ways listed. Partner took a nap & I did laundry while catching up on my logbook & this diary & organizing notes. So far it’s been an almost “too good to be true” experience. After laundry & napping we tried to motivate ourselves to brave the elements and check out the pre-trip tractor & mini trailer … but did not succeed, so after studying pre-trip from the comfort of our rooms we took dinner to go and spent some time studying our favorite show on netflix. We arrived 15 minutes early to Sim class, where we were told to practice our upshifting and downshifting for a while. Soon after that an instructor took us aside and explained skip-shifting (down) which isn’t adding any new techniques, just putting them all together. They turned on the steering function of the simulator and we headed down the road. If I’m remembering correctly, we would upshift from 1 through 10, then slow suddenly to 35mph, skip-shift down to 8, slow to 15mph, skip-shift down to 6, upshift 6 through 9, slow to 25mph, skip down to 7, (splitter down) slow to 10 or 12mph, skip down to 5. We didn’t have time to test before the end of class. After class we goofed off as usual, but talked late into the night about how exciting our new career was going to be.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

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.

DMV:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

2.4.2016, Thursday Springfield, MO Wake-up call 5:45am, Health Insurance class began, some good prices, please note that lease and owner operators will not have company insurance available to them but there are some good suggestions for alternatives. Goofed off afterward, napped, got a phone call from Sean to come to the Sim Lab in 5 minutes. CAUGHT NAPPING! We were worried, but he just wanted to invite us to join them for two available openings in a "local PSD training" option, which we qualified for because of our Sim performance & current availability within the program, (not because of our relationship to each other and having come together, it was later explained). He listed the pro's and con's, we accepted, and he asked us to 'play it close to the vest' for now, (which is why I've delayed posting this diary, needing clarification on what is and is not privileged information about this program). We poked at the pre-trip truck and studied that until our Sim class at 7pm when we warmed up, tested for upshifting, downshifting & skip-shifting. Stressed me out! Then we started practicing straight-backing which we heard might or might not be harder in the simulator than in a real truck. I’m not sure because it seemed okay to me. Bed late.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.
J Johns's Comment
member avatar

2.5.2016, Friday Springfield, MO; sunny; high 51°, low 31° Arrived 15 minutes early to our 6:30am class in which Stan explained about what we can expect from our next few hours & days, safety tidbits, living with a trainer on his truck, being a gracious guest, the vital importance of wearing shower shoes (haha), and people to contact in an emergency or uncomfortable situation. We were given new "priority student" schedules to follow until trainers picked us up, and new meal cards. The ladies were told to meet briefly at 2pm with Brooke Mosley, and the "local PSD" students were told to meet with Sean at 4pm. Then Sean took us through our second Pre-trip class. At this point I'm filling in from memory & notes because my Microsoft Word app is possessed. At some point we went to get our picture taken for our comdata cards which is worn everywhere on a lanyard, allows you into the Millenium building, and acts as some sort of bank card. I'm told that the $200/week advance (see: "loan") for PSD students is deposited on fridays.

Regarding the 4pm meeting for "night class" or "accelerated program" or "local psd", Richard & Patrick from the training pad explained: we'd been invited to occupy available openings because of good performance in Sim class & positive attitudes. The goal would be to test & trifecta on the 15th day from our permit testing. They said their students' trifecta rate was 97% or so. We would be learning pre-trip, backing, driving, were told to throw out our "priority student" schedules & begin adjusting our waking & sleeping to a new schedule which they passed out. I don't know who made this schedule, but for your information, we end up being directed to throw it out a very few days later. We were told that for every class we should bring: our temporary Missouri license, CDL-A permit, DOT medical card, layers of warm clothes, & a safety vest. They said to stop using the logbook entirely, but to keep it with us. We were taken to the front desk to be changed to "night" accommodation. Some had to be moved into new rooms together, but we just had to get room service at a different time. This is the point where we start calling Sean "Papa Sean", because when asked a few questions about appropriate winter gear he went into such detail and with so much fatherly concern for our health, even asking us to take vitamins, it nearly brought tears to my beady little eyes *ohw*. In our 7pm Sim class, we tested for straight backing, learned and tested for passenger-side and driver-side offset. That last was very difficult for me. We met with another "local PSD" student to go over the Pre-trip in the cold, attempting to stay awake as long as possible. We took a break to rest & study apart then met again indoors to study but we just ended up talking late.

Saturday, uneventful, just trying to flip our sleep schedule on it's head.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

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.
J Johns's Comment
member avatar

By the way, it was around this time that I met Rainy D for custard at Culvers and talked for hours. So fun. I've even seen Ernie around the Millenium building (this week, not the week written of, above), but chose not to spray my tablemates with food to holler at him.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Good stuff! Looking forward to your updates. good-luck.gif

J Johns's Comment
member avatar

2.7.2016, Sunday 8pm, we arrived at the shed described to us despite unclear directions. The Prime shuttle (need your comdata i.d. to get on) from the Campus Inn took us to coordinates 37.2465351, -93.2266123, then we made our way through the building (need i.d.), up some exterior stairs, through rows of tractors, around a building and through a nearly-hidden gate to the shed at coordinates 37.2456356, -93.2295319. We learned that we were 1 hour late -- class is from 7pm to 7am, nevermind what anyone else says. They told us to dispose of the schedules we'd been given, because all we had to do was arrive at 7pm, stay with the group and we'd be told our every step before it needed to be made. Simple. This first class we worked on memorizing the pre-trip with Mr.D.W. People are testing out of this class all the time, and a little extra time is given to those nearly-there students, so don't complain about how slowly it goes at first, just use your time wisely to study the pre-trip THEIR way.

2.8.2016, Monday 7pm, more pre-trip study, this time with Mr.D.B. Engine compartment, coupling & trailer.

2.9.2016, Tuesday 7pm, backing practice with Mr.D.W in a lightweight tractor with a flatbed trailer. We learned straight-backing, then conventional (passenger-side) parallel backing. I can give you "the points" for for this exact equipment, if you're interested. I have them in my notes for each maneuver. Then I went driving for the very first time with The One Whose Name Rhymes With Leprechaun. It was nerve-wracking & completely thrilling. I learned A Lot! I'd include some of those notes but it could be a waste of your time because not everyone will be weak or ignorant in the ways that I [was/still am].

2.10.2016, Wednesday 7pm, my first in-cab inspection and air-brake test with Mr.D.B. I had to be guided through it completely. Next, we inspected the driver-side fuel area and lights then went to the Sim Lab for practice. YES, the Simulator isn't very much like driving a truck, but NO, it is not a complete waste of time. An example of a complete waste of time would be complaining when you could be learning. I got lucky -- my classmates weren't big on whining.

2.11.2016, Thursday 7pm, my second drive, this time with Mr.L.D. Once again, I learned a great deal all a once, and received more golden advice AS it was needed, to make the most sense to me. Lots of notes taken, none shared, haha. Next, more backing with Mr.D.W. We learned conventional (passenger-side) off-set backing, then practiced parallel and off-set backing to driver- & passenger-sides for the remainder of class.

2.12.2016, Fridayish midnight to 4am, Sim class with The One Whose Name Rhymes With Leprechaun. He was a nefarious little sprite, disguising himself as different vehicles (once as a police car) and tempted us to do irresponsible things.

2.13.2016, Saturdayish midnight to 4am, Sim class with Mr.T.W, Older Than All & Wiser Than Some, hahaha! He didn't torture us especially, and kept us after for some good career advice.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Page 1 of 4 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

This topic has the following tags:

Prime Inc Reports From CDL Training Truck Driving Orientation
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

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