PRIME, Inc. - Getting Started On Yet Another New Career!

Topic 17047 | Page 1

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's Comment
member avatar

Greetings all! Well, the time has come for me to get the ball rolling on this diary. I know there have been many already written, but you are like me, when I started investigating this world as a possible career, I couldn't get enough information, so I thought I'd give it a try and hopefully help inform anyone out there that might want more. This ride started about three months ago when I realized I needed to do something career-wise. I had already been sending out resumes for typical employment that I had had int he past - training, teaching, etc. Nothing was coming in other than the occasional tumbleweed blowing by, followed by a lonesome wisp of dusty wind. The deafening silence of NO replies to my resumes prompted me to seek other possible ideas. It was my wife and my mother who suggested I look into the mysterious and possibly thrilling world of truck driving. I usually do 95% of all driving, I have driven the large "U-Haul" type box trucks from Texas to Washington State and back, from Texas to Pittsburgh and back, from Texas to Miami and back, from Texas to Atlanta and back, plus I drove what I lovingly refer to as a "mini-18-wheeler" beer delivery truck around northwest Louisiana for a couple of years, so I knew I wasn't afraid to drive. I also knew that the driving part was only one small fraction of the experience of "trucking"...there's also the all important task of resurrecting the somewhat lethargic world of the once mighty CB radio! I knew then my work would be laid out for me! 10-4? Sooo...off to the internet to learn of the magical universe known as "Truckin". My searching led me to various ads for trucking companies that offer schooling toward one's CDL and the offer of employment upon completion! What a country! Why couldn't I have found such an offer when I was looking to get into the world of typewriter repair?!? But, I digress... I found several company schools that sounded great, but I had no idea what to look for nor what to ask. The almighty forces that control this vast universe assisted me by somehow pointing me in the direction of an incredible and totally indispensable resource that then and now has been a wonderful bright beam of guiding light in all this fog of uncertainty and confusion! Nope, not WikiLeaks...Trucking Truth! This site has been completely irreplaceable in guiding me, teaching me, building my confidence, even at times, when desperately needed, lovingly slapping my hand when I reached in the wrong direction, with caring direction. I will never be able to say "THANK YOU" enough to Bret, all the moderators, and all the contributors on this site. Each of you have saved me tons of time, money, embarrassment (well, at least I didn't mess up more than I did, thanks to all you!), stress, and even provided me with countless times to laugh and appreciate this new world. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

Coming up next - The lucky company I picked and my journey on the "Dawg" that brought us together!

PS - I will not be responsible for any misspelled words, miss-used words, incorrect grammar, or anything else that you may find wrong with my posts. My computer, my brain, and my fingers all have minds of their own and co-habitate together about as well as well as Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump locked in a cruise ship cabin for twenty seven days on rough seas, without coffee or deodorant!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

's Comment
member avatar

Well, I narrowed it down to about five different companies to start off this new leg of my life. I need to make a great choice, because at 61 years old, I don't have too many more legs left! I picked CR England, Knight, Swift, Roehl, Prime, and Jim Palmer. Because of the incredible resources here on Trucking Truth, I was able to do a side-by-side comparison of each company after I had applied to each. I applied first just to get my feelers out there and see if anyone was interested in a grandpa. Turns out, yes they are! I got information back from each one except Roehl...I've heard nothing but good about them so I probably just messed up the application and therefore they didn't contact me. CR England, Jim Palmer, Swift, and Prime were the quickest to contact me. I had decided to put Jim Palmer at the top of the list and started courting them. I was within a week of leaving for Montana for training when I got a call from my recruiter stating that they had found someone else "that was a better fit" and that they gave them my "seat" for training (they only have around five each week for training). I was, as one might think, somewhat disappointed. But this turned out to be a great blessing for me. One, it forced me to look even closer to my possible choices and make sure what each had to offer fit as closely as possible to what I wanted/needed. secondly, it gave me the opportunity to accept an offer from my eventual choice. I then started receiving more and more requests for information from CR England, Swift, and Prime. I again did a side-by-side comparison of all three and decided that I would put Prime at the top of my list. I then began feverishly researching Prime. I have to stop here and mention one of the very first things I read on this site on one of the threads was that, as a general rule, truck drivers are some of the biggest whiners and gossip mongers out there. Of course, there percentage of them on this site is kept at a very manageable low of less than 4-5%, thanks to modern day algorithms, advanced computer programing, and common-core math. If you wish to complain about the whiner and gossip statement, please feel free to join in assisting in raising those numbers and check out your new shoes (if they fit...) Back to my researching Prime...to be totally honest, I could not find one thing negative on here about Prime! In fact, I found many great things posted about Prime! One person in particular was very instrumental in me making Prime my prime choice (see what I did there?!? cleaver, huh! lol)...RainyD. Rainy has been a Prime driver for a year now and she provided a plethora of great information about Prime in here posts. I want to state again to Rainy how much I appreciate your posts and all the help they have provided me!! So, I begin the arduous task of gathering all the requested information and making it all available to Heather, my recruiter at Prime - employment for the last five years, including dates, phone numbers, locations, etc. (a suggestion to anyone planning to apply to any of these companies...take a separate piece of paper and list all the pertinent information about your employment history, your personal and professional contacts and their information, any schooling you have, again including dates, locations, contact info including phone numbers, etc. Keep this paper with you! Then not only can you simply copy that info to forms when requested, but your info will always coincided and not contain errors that might flag their system (why did you state on this form that your worked at ABC Corp from 12-2013 to 4-2015, but on this form the dates are different? What do you mean you don't know the phone number of your personal reference that you state has been a close friend for 18 years??). Trust me, even though you give that info to your recruiter, somehow along the way, some of that info probably will go missing once you arrive at your school. You can gripe all day long that you already provided that to your recruiter, but there are two things you should know...one, they STILL have to have that info, whether or not you already gave it, and two, griping will only start digging you into a hole that you might not be able to climb out of. Remember, they are always watching you to see what kind of person you are, how you handle stress, changes, problems, etc. Always, ALWAYS smile, accept the situation, work on getting it fixed, and learn for the event. Companies don't want to hire problems - they already have enough - they want to hire solutions to their existing problems!

Coming up next - I get the call!!!

PS - I know I'll forget, overlook, or think irrelevant some information...please, Please feel free to ask questions on here...As I always told any class I taught, there are only two stupid questions - one is the one you don't ask, and the second is the one you ask over and over just to tick someone off! Also, you are certainly free to ask me anything you want and I'll respond in one of three ways - one, you'll get the answer to your question if I know it - two, I'll tell you I don't know, but I'll do what I can to find out - three, that's none of your damn business! I'm open and I'm honest...ask away!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

*Ring - Ring* (yes, I have one of those old timey ring tones on my phone...so? ;-P)

Hello?

Hey Robby, this is Heather from Prime...how are you today?

I'm great, and you?

I'm well, thank you. So, we have you down for training in Springfield, MO, starting on Monday, November 14. Will that be ok with you?

Hmmm...let me think on tha...YES!!!!

Well, that's kind of how it happened...there was a lot more dialogue but I'll spare you that. So, I'm accepted to Prime, Inc!! First person I tell is my beautiful and extremely supportive wife. She's proud of me and congratulates me, but I can tell she's a bit nervous about me being gone that long, especially since it is only about a week away. More to come on that later...

So Heather tells me she will call me next week with my transportation information, as well as will email me a small packet of information on what to expect regarding what to bring, what the program will consist of, how much it will cost, what they will offer, how to deal with the Dawg (Greyhound Bus), etc. So now I just wait and start gathering all my gear, wits, courage, and prayers. I will be leaving out in about a week, be gone anywhere from six weeks to three months (or even possible longer), and know precious little about what to expect...crap...sounds like Army Basic Training all over again! To soothe your fears and concerns, while there are some similarities between basic training and the Prime PSD (Prime Student Driver) program, precious little of them are of the negative type! Ok...you can start breathing again...in and out...in and out...slow, deep breaths....

The next few days I spend preparing to get my things together for the journey, preparing mentally for not only the upcoming schooling, but also preparing mentally for the absence I'll experience from my family. Gonna be tough, but, as will all real and positive investments, it takes a bit of a sacrifice upfront in order to reap and enjoy the rewards later down the road. My wife and I spend as much time together as we can before I leave...we've been married for over ten years now and never been apart for more than two weeks. But we both know our marriage is strong, we have faith and trust in each other, and know we will make it through this. As soon as Prime says I can, I plan on taking her along as a passenger for a trip of two...or maybe more if she likes it...and maybe even more if I like it! ;-)

Coming up next - Travel day is upon me! What an eye opener in sooooo many ways!!!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.
's Comment
member avatar

Great writing Robert. I'm rooting for you.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I'm rooting for you also, and following this thread. Please keep us updated. I'm devouring any "Prime" related info, as I'll be starting orientation myself in a couple weeks. Good luck!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bob K.'s Comment
member avatar

I wonder what happened??? I was enjoying the writing and looking forward to reading about your story with Prime. I hope all is well with you and your family. Merry Christmas!!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I wonder what happened??? I was enjoying the writing and looking forward to reading about your story with Prime. I hope all is well with you and your family. Merry Christmas!!

Here's more: CDL testing for me tomorrow

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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