Bad Experience With Prime, Inc., Recruiting. What Other Companies Have Good CDL Training Programs?

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's Comment
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Hey Ryan... Welcome to the forum. For what it's worth, I started with Prime last November. My experience with my recruiter wasn't the best either... She was always friendly on the phone, but she always seemed to be in a hurry to get off the phone. Her contacts with me were limited. After she set me up with my bus ticket to Springfield and my itinerary, she said she would call me during my first week of orientation to see how it's been going. That was two months ago and I still haven't received that call! I say all that to say this...I absolutely love Prime! They are a great company with which to work and I highly recommend them to anyone who is willing to work, wants newer equipment, bigger than average wages, will keep you busy, and wants a company that stands behind their people. I'd be willing to bet there are several on here that can say the same about their company. And I bet they can tell you some horror stories about their company. You can and will always find some dumb, lazy, obnoxious dip-stick in any company, regardless of how awesome that company may be. Don't let one bad apple spoil a fantastic opportunity. Keep your eye on the prize and press forward... If you truly want it, nothing or no one will stand in your way! If you have any questions regarding Prime specifically, there are several of us "Primates" on here. There are also many other companies represented here. Ask away... Everyone here is ready and willing to be straight forward and honest with you... Something I'm sure you realize by now! lol Best of luck to you, God bless and God Speed!

G-Town's Comment
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Welcome Ryan.

I want to address what you wrote in your lasr response:

So far as companies go, I did read a lot of terrible reviews about CR England's training program and some less-than-favorable reviews about Swift (which one of the truckers I've been talking to encouraged me to stay away from).

The Internet and "one of the truckers" you spoke to offer biased "stories" and many times embellished versions of the truth or here say. Most of the Internet information on trucking companies is unreliable and not credible. So what do you really know about Prime, Swift or CRE? I suggest "not very much"....

Try this link for the Truth: Trucking Company Reviews

I drive for Swift assigned to a Dedicated Walmart Account delivering to their stores and Sam's Clubs. I am into my fourth year and enjoy my job immensely, the relationships I have built at Swift and the healthy compensation. My choice to work for Swift was influenced by their effective training model and the myriad of opportunities available to a top performing driver. I continue to drive for them because flat out, they are meeting my expectations and providing me with the job I want.

Most every company represented offering Company-Sponsored Training Programs understands how to train and support entry level drivers. They all have new equipment, usually three years old or less, steady freight and the opportunity for career growth once your surpass the formidable first year.

Prime is a great choice. If you have your heart set on them, work with them, keep your ego in check, and attempt to provide the information they request. Realize they are very selective about who they hire to hedge their training investment against the odds of high attrition.

I highly suggest reading all of the linked material posted, the "Trucking Truth starter kit", and if you want specifics, use the search bar in the upper left hand corner of this page.

Best of luck.

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.

Mr M's Comment
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If you get offended that easy you may have a tough time out here on the road.

Rick S.'s Comment
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Two things kinda stood out in your initial post:

Using the reports on this website as well as first-hand experiences recounted on Reddit, I've written off CR England and am hesitant about Swift.

Reddit huh? OK...

Considering Roehle but am skeptical of their drug-testing policies (I just spent half a year in a country where weed is decriminalized, cheap, and common).

Skeptical about their "drug testing policies" - sounds more to me like you're "skeptical" about your ability to pass one (or at least a hair follicle). And I don't care if you puffed down with the Rasta Kings of Kingston - you'd be best to wait until you are sure you can PASS ANY DRUG TEST - before you attempt to show up and take one.

I don't want to let my ego get in the way of a potential job

So don't then.

Remember - this is ALL A TEST - from the first contact with the recruiter, until you get handed the keys to your solo truck (and beyond).


Ryan F.'s Comment
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Thanks again for all the great advice, guys. I've read through all the replies as well as a few of the chapters Brett linked to in his response.

I also had a long conversation with one of my old company's drivers. He told me to stay ten miles away from Prime and go with Western Express or Heartland.

Well - that's about it. I'm definitely going to stop listening to heresy from other people and just go with my gut. Hopefully I'll be able to complete all the requirements the Prime Recruiter wanted by tomorrow or Tuesday. Getting references over from India is difficult, but I'm trying my best. I'm sure getting through all the training is going to be tough if I do get accepted, but I think the pay-off is going to be better in the long run. Some of the blog entries and stories I read via Brett's links, written both by him and other users, helped boost my enthusiasm a lot.

Definitely keeping the ego in check and adjusting to a different ballgame than I'm used to. Thanks again, everyone! I'm still probably going to keep my distance from CR England (almost all of the reviews I've read on every website have been bad), but I'm going to pursue Prime and go through Swift if that doesn't work.


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.

Vendingdude's Comment
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I wouldn't put too much stock into an interaction with a single recruiter. Once you're hired you'll likely never bump into that person again. She could have been having a bad day for any number of reasons. Maybe she could have been better, maybe you could have too. Not sure I would make too much of it, even though a recruiter is supposed to be the face of accompany to a recruit. Consider how well you will be the face of a company as a driver. Keep trying.

Shiva's Comment
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So how do you suppose you'll handle being a professional in the least respected profession in America today? How are you going to handle it when you get flipped off, cussed out, set aside, and cut off on a regular basis?

How are you going to handle it when you run all night through heavy snow and squeeze into the customer 15 minutes before your appointment time, exhausted and delirious but proud you did your job at such a high level with such commitment, only to be told to go sit in the parking lot and do nothing for six hours because the dock workers don't feel like dealing with you right now?

If you want to make a living in this profession and actually get anywhere with it you'll have to start by learning to humble yourself and be far less sensitive. Truck drivers get very little respect from anyone. Many of them don't even show each other any respect. If you're the type that worries about every word every person says to you, which at this point you clearly are, and you always needs kindness and reassurance and support from the people around you then trucking is the last place on Earth you want to be. The very last place.

And there's more bad news I'm afraid. Your limited experience in this industry doesn't mean anything to anyone. Working in the offices of a trucking company means absolutely zilch when it comes time to get behind the wheel. You're entering a whole different world with twenty times the complexity, risk, and pressure that you'll ever face in the offices. Heck, working as a librarian or training dogs will prepare you for life on the road as a trucker as well as working in dispatch or sales or brokering. In fact, it seems it might makes things worse for you because you're already acting as if you should be treated differently because you were once an "insider" like the recruiters and dispatchers and load planners you'll be dealing with. But quite honestly they're not going to care either.

If you want to get your career started as a driver you should approach it with a 'boot camp' mentality. It's going to be really stressful, super challenging, and overwhelming much of the time. You're going to face personalities you won't like, you're going to get talked down to at times, and you'll face "the rookie treatment" on a regular basis. Getting through that first year is a trial by fire and not many people can handle it to be honest. For many people it's a gruelling endurance test that requires being in an almost constant state of exhaustion, confusion, and loneliness. And there simply isn't going to be anyone there the overwhelming majority of the time to pat you on the back and thank you for leaving your home and family, working the equivalent of two full time jobs, and risking your life on a daily basis so the people of this great nation can live in comfort. You're just going to have to find satisfaction in your work. That's just how it goes in this industry. It's pretty much a take it or leave it kind of thing.

There are a ton of great companies that will help you get your career underway but you've already written off several of them for trivial reasons so I'm not going to go into making any recommendations. I would suggest you do some reading first to find out more about the challenges you're about to face getting started in driving. Because any experienced driver that reads the stuff you just wrote about your feelings and your expectations would probably give you an average life expectancy as a driver of about a week, maybe less. Almost no one would expect you to even make it through training, let alone survive out on the road. Heck, you're all bent out of shape over a phone call with a recruiter that didn't speak to you properly. You have almost zero chance of enduring what truck drivers go through.

Here's one last thing to consider. You've already mentioned not getting enough respect. Well no one, and I mean no one gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to handling this profession. Until you've been out on the road for some time and you've proven that you're capable of being a top tier professional driver everyone is silently going to assume you'll fail like so many others. So if you're expecting to be treated as an equal by experienced drivers or your bosses then you're going to be horrified when you get out there and see it doesn't work that way. You won't get equal treatment by default. You'll get equal treatment once you've earned it over time.

If you want to do this badly enough that you'll endure the exhaustion, loneliness, lack of respect, fear, and stress that goes with this job then go for it. But it's plain to see that right now you're way too sensitive and you're expecting way too much. You start as a grunt from ground level zero and work your way up in this industry by proving yourself over time. If you have the character to handle that then you have a fighting chance.

Have a look at these resources. They'll help you understand the challenges you're facing a lot better:

What Brett said


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.
Patrick C.'s Comment
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Brett hit the nail on the head. You get little to no respect out here. From shippers, receivers, the motoring public, even other drivers. Shippers and receivers will often act like you are nuisance that they have to deal with. The motoring public will honk at you, cut you off, flip you off, not let you get over when you need to. 4 wheeler drivers hate being behind semis. They WILL do whatever dumb thing comes to their mind to stop you from being in front of them. The others drivers are the road will treat you with indifference. There are many that do show courtesy, but there are just as many that are complete ******s. Drivers will sit back with a bag of popcorn and watch you struggle for half an hour trying to get into a tight blind side parking space at a truck stop. All the while talking smack on the CB instead of actually giving you a helping hand.

You will live your life out here on the road with the sounds of Jabber Jaw playing thru your mind. "No respect! I get no respect!"


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.

Vendingdude's Comment
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Upvotes for a Jabberjaw reference. Lol.

Ryan F.'s Comment
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Thanks again for the great advice, guys.

I took a drive out in a snowstorm late last night and saw all the semi-trucks cruising along I-69 and parked at the local stop. With my own hands on the steering wheel, I liked what I saw and thought that gambling on a year to save some money and get back into university debt-free wouldn't be the worst idea. Brett's blog and the stories written by other forum members also held a real sort of appeal to me. Even if I wind up struggling with trucking, it's just a year. At the end, I hope to have enough saved to put a big dent in my student loans and maybe take another trip to India to say hello to my old friends.

My recruiter is buying my bus ticket now and I'll be on my way to Springfield, MO, on Saturday. I'm a little apprehensive but am looking forward to a year of new challenges, learning, and an experience to look back on for the rest of my life. I'm sure it won't be easy, but if I have to fight for a year to kill my financial obligations and be able to take my degree and look for jobs that suit me rather than a loan repayment schedule, then it'll be well worth it (and maybe I can replace my Royal Enfield with a Honda or Harley).

If anybody has any advice on studying for the CDL permit test, that'd be great.

Thanks again!


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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