Prime's CDL Apprentice School--preparing To Go

Topic 13879 | Page 1

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Alfred G.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok, I signed up today for Prime's CDL training program today. I got a call from 2 people in their office, and I'm set to start 2 weeks from now. I've thought of my vehicle, my house goods, my relationships, my present job....and those are all things HERE. I'm seeking imput on being ready for the trucking lifestyle OUT THERE.

1. I've learned bringing one's own food is smart, as one can't survive well off truckstop food. Do any truckers travel and use crockpots? I've survived off one for 5 years now, so I'm wondering. Food ideas are important to me, for if I eat well, I feel good about myself.

2. I've been a Florida boy my whole life, but I'm hearing it's snowing still in NY--and it's April. I am wearing longjohns at this moment (I rode motorcycles 10 years, and it hit 65 this morning--cool for humid FL), but what clothing might I need now in Northern states in spring? I'll pick up more clothing in time, but baggage space is limited presently :-)

3. Are phone headsets legal while driving? I'd heard no last year, so I'm wondering.

4. Last one for now: I drink a lot of coffee now, yet I know it can dim awareness in any arena. How do truckers stimulate their physical bodies to remain alert for driving? I've planned on walking some each rest stop (even 5 minutes), and I am open to ideas not commonly spoken of, the "good" ideas some dismiss. I'm into supplements and naturopathic remedies myself.

Thank you for replying!

Alfred

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Keith D(guitarzan)'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Alfred I'm planning on going to Prime myself but at this rate I might not make till August. Personal stuff I have to take care of unfortunately. I will say I've been curious about trucking and doing a little research on this website and also youtube off and on for the past two years. Off the top of my head if I remember right though- Prime gives a 200 a week food allowance when you start your PSD (Pime Student Driver Program) - I think the reason being is that Your going to be at your instructors mercy when it comes to things like where you eat, and what you eat for 10,000 miles. Then your TNT instructor for 30,000 miles and your gonna be be living literally in his house on wheels so other than sandwiches and maybe microwave food it'll be up to him whether you can use a crockpot. I doubt it though. If your going to Prime in 2 weeks thats practically May- you probably won't have .a permit until what 3 weeks if everything goes smooth and you get a trainer right away. Thats almost June- You don't want to bring much more than a military size duffelbag from what I hear. Probably all you'll need is a light jacket and maybe a hoodie. There's all kinds of posta on here telling what to bring- just look. I would say headsets while training are most definitely not going to be allowed whether they're legal or not. That's just common sense, your in training - I'd leave the laptop at home, or least wait until your on your 34 or off duty to use it. Probably smart to feel your trainer out on this but don't take it for granted you can do as you please you'll have your own truck soon enough. As far as coffee goes I'll probably drink the crap out of some when I get there at least until I get the feel of things which will probably take at the very least a year and even that's questionable. I'm gonna travel as light as possible - but check out the forum to find what other people have taken. Check out Prime on Youtube!

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

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.

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 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.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Alfred,

Congrats on being accepted to my opinion one of the best training programs out there. I have been with Prime for almost a year and a half and am also from Florida.

As far as the weather is concerned I just finished taking most of my bad weather gear off for the season although I keep a few sweatshirts and a jacket. On there just in case. This late in the season you will find you may get in the cold one day and the next it will be 80.

I have been able to lose 70 pounds on the road and it is possible. When you get in your own truck you will find what kitchen appliances work best for you. I carry a slow cooker, cuisinart grill/griddle coffee maker and microwave on my truck and try to eat healthy every day.

While in training you may not have the luxury of bringing those items and hate to say be stuck at where ever your trainer eats. Just remember it's only a short time before you'll be able to do it yourself.

I am in the process of becoming a trainer and should be in Springfield around the same time for my first student. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
you probably won't have .a permit until what 3 weeks if everything goes smooth

Hey Keith, one little correction here... If you will work your way through our High Road Training Program before going to Prime, you could get your permit in just a few days of arriving at Prime. That program will have you so prepared you will be at the head of the class! There's not a reason in the world it should take anyone three weeks to get their permit. These Company-Sponsored Training Programs are fast paced and they don't want you sitting there eating up their hotel bill for three weeks - No, they want you in a truck with a trainer so that you are advancing toward the goal of being a driver.

Now there could be a lapse in time between getting your permit and getting a trainer, but you will have influence over that by the way you conduct yourself and where you spend your time during that time period. Also just in case you didn't understand it - that 200 dollars a week during the first phase of your training starts when you get on a trainers truck, and it is an advance on your future pay - it is not an allowance - you will be paying that back to them with deductions from your paychecks once you start earning money. You won't start earning money until you have gotten your CDL , and started into the second phase of driver training.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Jetguy's Comment
member avatar

I'll second what Oldschool said about the Permit. Study hard the High Road Training and you'll be ready to take the DOT written tests when you get to Springfield.

Because I live in Missouri, I had already taken the written tests, and all I needed was the DOT Medical card in order to get my permit. After taking the Medical exam and the drug test the first day of Prime orientation , I received the Medical card the second day. I immediately got on the Prime Shuttle, went to the Dept of Revenue office, and paid for and got my Permit. I was beaming ear-to-ear.

Good luck and study hard!

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.

Keith D(guitarzan)'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Old School, ya I realized after I posted that- I meant to say CDL- not permit. Thanks for keepin' me honest.

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.
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