A PSA For Those Considering Prime Inc.

Topic 13375 | Page 1

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Nomad Novelist's Comment
member avatar

First off, after two days of Orientation, I can tell you that Prime appears to be a great company. It's well run, the people are friendly and knowledgeable, and the equipment is top of the line.

But, if you plan to work for them, make sure you're not on any banned medications...

What is the list of banned medications?

I don't know. And they won't tell you. For legal reasons. They said it would be "discriminatory." Their contracted medical provider (Trinity Health), however, *can* and will disqualify for you for banned medications...

What I can tell you, is that Ritalin (methylphenidate) is banned. Probably Adderall, too, since they're very similar.

The (sort of) good news is, I can come back next month if I go off my medication and have my doctor say that I can function without it. This is what I'll probably do, since Prime is a very good company, and I liked what I saw so far at Orientation.

Still, it's frustrating. I've been ready to attend for more than a month. I obtained my permit ahead of time, with *all* endorsements. A heads-up would have saved me a lot of time and some money. And now, if I want to work there, I'll have to grapple with a reduced quality of life. I can certainly get by without Ritalin; I did for 27 years, and even obtained a Masters degree in the process. But, I will be a grumpier, less social, and more scatter-brained person without medication. Doable, but not ideal.

Anyway, I don't owe them any money, and they'll waive the next Orientation fee if I come back next month. I just hope this post helps someone avoid a wasted trip.

Though I'll likely continue with Prime, if anyone KNOWS of another company that doesn't care about prescribed Ritalin (or if you're a driver who takes it and got it cleared), I'd love to hear about it. PM me if you don't want to advertise your meds.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Sorry to see Pixel & Miyoshi getting sent home.

Sadder still - is the policy that providing a list of "company banned meds" to new recruits PRIOR TO them coming to orientation, would be considered "discrimination" - yet, these board members that probably aren't "dopers" (as in failed a DOT drug screen for weed, opiates, coke, etc.) - had to schlep out to SpringMo - to be SENT HOME. Which IS DISCRIMINATION in a sense (not that one could SUE for though).

Kind of a "Catch 22" - we can't tell you, because that would be discriminatory - yet if you're on them, we will discriminate.

The other "Catch 22", is trying to remove the "stigma of mental illness", so people will get the help they might need - and that very help will exclude them from professions, gun ownership (in some states lately).

As I've mentioned in numerous threads related to this - drugs that MAY NOT ACTUALLY BE on DOT's "list of prohibited meds", legitimate medications that your physician/psychiatrist might feel you are tolerating well and would not preclude you from safely operating a CMV - are nonetheless a cause for REJECTION from Primes medical examiner.

This "list" may well be particular to Prime - and is likely more dictated by their INSURANCE COMPANY (for potential liability issues), than by Prime being "heartless" and not wanting to hire folks that have mental health issues that are being properly managed by medication, well tolerated, with no remarkable side effects.

Ritalin, Adderall, Stratera and the other ADD/HD meds are likely banned because, in essence, they are SPEED. While they have a reverse/calming effect on legitimate ADD sufferers, they are also a "high potential for abuse" substance, and some actually are on DOT's list.

Again - this is more dictated by INSURERS, and may vary from company to company.

This appears to be a "crap shoot" at best, with potential new drivers not knowing if they going to be sent home from orientation - even with a DOCTORS LETTER - until they get there. BY FMSCA Rules - a letter from the prescribing physician is required - but it is STILL UP TO THE COMPANY, whether or not any particular medication (aside from those specifically prohibited under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE by FMCSA regs) is acceptable,

Which, for our two board members here - JUST OUT AND OUT SUCKS.

I've been dealing with a spot of depression as of late. My doc wants to write me something for it - but I won't do it. Don't want to run the game of finding something that works, without side-effects that outweigh the benefits - and then have to deal with coming off it if I ever get off my dead butt and try to get out on the road. That, and as a long-term recovering alcoholic/addict (as in 15+ years) the thought of becoming defendant on a mood/mind altering substance, just runs contrary to my personal program.

Sorry for your circumstances guys - but thanks for sharing them for the board. Now can better suggest - even for Prime - that folks NOT BE ON pretty much ANY PSYCH MEDS - or risk rejection. Which totally sucks for folks that aren't schizo/psycho nut jobs, but need meds to deal with keep leveled out.

Good luck to you guys getting off the meds. BE CAREFUL and follow your doctors detox instructions for coming off them - abrupt cessation of a lot of these drugs can result in a pretty nasty rebound.

PLEASE KEEP US POSTED ON YOUR PROGRESS...

Regards,

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I'm guessing you've never found an effective alternative? Or you probably never had the need to look for one. But it seems there has to be alternatives they'll approve for commercial driving.

Nomad Novelist's Comment
member avatar

There are alternatives that are approved. Unfortunately, the one they mentioned (Strattera) was what I was first prescribed, and it made me very sick.

This is frustrating. I'm not going to lie. Prime is a great company, and I'll probably just suck it up and play ball with them. I do, however, find their policy very unfortunate. I'm having ZERO adverse side effects on this medication, and plenty of benefits.

On the bright side, it doesn't matter too much if I'm a little less social when alone in the cab of my truck, so I guess I can make due.

's Comment
member avatar

Also keep in mind it may not be a specific Prime policy but more likely indusrty wide. The government decides what drugs are not allowed and companies have very little wiggle room if any at all.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Also keep in mind it may not be a specific Prime policy but more likely industry wide. The government decides what drugs are not allowed and companies have very little wiggle room if any at all.

I agree. Call a DOT physician or two and find out what they say about that medication. It's always possible Prime is a little more strict about certain medications.

It also seems like there has to be more than one alternative. Prescription drugs are huge money, especially the long term kind. It's a river of money for the medical industry. I think if you told the doctor, "Oh well. I guess I can't buy prescriptions from you anymore" he'd come up with something for you.

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.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

I had the same problem! I can't take Trazadone. I'm at the airport now waiting to go home.

I hope everything works out. It was nice running into you!

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Also, I'm in your boat with Ritalin. I took it for years when I worked in a law office. Frankly, I've found that when you have to multitask so much as it seems you do in trucking being off Ritalin was the best solution for me. Maybe you'll find it helps.

Jetguy's Comment
member avatar

Sorry to hear that Miss M. I hope you don't give up. Good luck!

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Sorry to hear that Miss M. I hope you don't give up. Good luck!

Thanks! And definitely not giving up. My recruiter was worried I would go somewhere else but I assured him that until Prime says I absolutely CANNOT work for them I'll keep trying no matter how many times I get sent home for one thing or another.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Sorry to see Pixel & Miyoshi getting sent home.

Sadder still - is the policy that providing a list of "company banned meds" to new recruits PRIOR TO them coming to orientation, would be considered "discrimination" - yet, these board members that probably aren't "dopers" (as in failed a DOT drug screen for weed, opiates, coke, etc.) - had to schlep out to SpringMo - to be SENT HOME. Which IS DISCRIMINATION in a sense (not that one could SUE for though).

Kind of a "Catch 22" - we can't tell you, because that would be discriminatory - yet if you're on them, we will discriminate.

The other "Catch 22", is trying to remove the "stigma of mental illness", so people will get the help they might need - and that very help will exclude them from professions, gun ownership (in some states lately).

As I've mentioned in numerous threads related to this - drugs that MAY NOT ACTUALLY BE on DOT's "list of prohibited meds", legitimate medications that your physician/psychiatrist might feel you are tolerating well and would not preclude you from safely operating a CMV - are nonetheless a cause for REJECTION from Primes medical examiner.

This "list" may well be particular to Prime - and is likely more dictated by their INSURANCE COMPANY (for potential liability issues), than by Prime being "heartless" and not wanting to hire folks that have mental health issues that are being properly managed by medication, well tolerated, with no remarkable side effects.

Ritalin, Adderall, Stratera and the other ADD/HD meds are likely banned because, in essence, they are SPEED. While they have a reverse/calming effect on legitimate ADD sufferers, they are also a "high potential for abuse" substance, and some actually are on DOT's list.

Again - this is more dictated by INSURERS, and may vary from company to company.

This appears to be a "crap shoot" at best, with potential new drivers not knowing if they going to be sent home from orientation - even with a DOCTORS LETTER - until they get there. BY FMSCA Rules - a letter from the prescribing physician is required - but it is STILL UP TO THE COMPANY, whether or not any particular medication (aside from those specifically prohibited under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE by FMCSA regs) is acceptable,

Which, for our two board members here - JUST OUT AND OUT SUCKS.

I've been dealing with a spot of depression as of late. My doc wants to write me something for it - but I won't do it. Don't want to run the game of finding something that works, without side-effects that outweigh the benefits - and then have to deal with coming off it if I ever get off my dead butt and try to get out on the road. That, and as a long-term recovering alcoholic/addict (as in 15+ years) the thought of becoming defendant on a mood/mind altering substance, just runs contrary to my personal program.

Sorry for your circumstances guys - but thanks for sharing them for the board. Now can better suggest - even for Prime - that folks NOT BE ON pretty much ANY PSYCH MEDS - or risk rejection. Which totally sucks for folks that aren't schizo/psycho nut jobs, but need meds to deal with keep leveled out.

Good luck to you guys getting off the meds. BE CAREFUL and follow your doctors detox instructions for coming off them - abrupt cessation of a lot of these drugs can result in a pretty nasty rebound.

PLEASE KEEP US POSTED ON YOUR PROGRESS...

Regards,

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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