Question For Prime Drivers...

Topic 19831 | Page 1

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Tim D.'s Comment
member avatar

How important is "verifiable employment history" (and specifically the 3 years Prime mentions)?

I'm seriously thinking about getting into truck driving. I've been lurking here reading the forum for a while and I'm part-way through the CDL training program you guys have created (thanks). I've pretty much narrowed down my choice to Prime as I'm local to the Springfield area and I'll want to go though company sponsored training to get my CDL.

Here's my issue and background info (hence why I'm asking the above question):

I only have 7 months of currently verifiable employment history. I moved overseas in 2005 to get married and live in my wife's country. I haven't worked since then except for about 7 months between June and February (last year to early this year). I worked those months because I was spending an extended time in the US rather than the month or two I normally spend every year or so. (I gave plenty of notice and left on good terms, so I'll get a good report from them.)

I easily pass all the other requirements/minimums they list. I'm 43, I have no history of drug use, no tickets of any kind, no convictions of any kind...

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I know the recruiters use it the most in my experience. I would fill out the application and just talk to a recruiter. Explain your situation.

Once I got to orientation they just called the contacts I listed to verify did I work there during those times listed.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I think Prime mainly wants to see you're not jumping jobs alot. Honestly I would probobly call them and speak to a recruiter and see what they're say.

Tim D.'s Comment
member avatar

Alright, I guess I'll go ahead and call them up... thanks to you guys for the reply.

Another question I'll be asking them about is home time...I won't need any most of the time (my wife is overseas), but if and when I do take some I would want an extended amount (at least a month) to go overseas to see her. How do you guys think they'll react to that?

I've heard/read that some drivers (not necessarily Prime drivers) take a couple months off during the "slow" months early in the year...that would be perfect for me.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Alright, I guess I'll go ahead and call them up... thanks to you guys for the reply.

Another question I'll be asking them about is home time...I won't need any most of the time (my wife is overseas), but if and when I do take some I would want an extended amount (at least a month) to go overseas to see her. How do you guys think they'll react to that?

I've heard/read that some drivers (not necessarily Prime drivers) take a couple months off during the "slow" months early in the year...that would be perfect for me.

You can take an extended period but you actually lose employment. They then hire you back and you need to start at orientation again. The sucky thing is you lose the cheaper benefits (after the first year, insurance reduces drastically). Not sure about the rest such as service.record or safety.

Ask them about the maximum you can take. I'm.pretty sure unless you earned paid vacations it is two weeks. Who knows though, there could be exceptions.

And I mean company drivers. Lease ops could take the time off, but would still need to make those truck payments.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

My first trainer used his paid vacations and sets up extended leave assignments. Never for a month udeually like 2 weeks. I don't think you get two weeks paid until you have 200k miles or something like that. There is a name for what he was using, leave of a sense I think.

Just like Rainy said you have to basically start over, you turn in your truck everything. Unless you lease.

Tim D.'s Comment
member avatar

The benefits seem good, but I'm not really concerned as much with them and don't really care at all about the paid vacation time...I'd be willing to quit (with proper notice given) and just get rehired if they were ok with that.

I wouldn't want that to be a black mark on my record though...

I also wouldn't want to go lease-op or O/O...all the advice I've seen is that it's not a good idea for newbies.

Tim D.'s Comment
member avatar

"...Just like Rainy said you have to basically start over, you turn in your truck everything. Unless you lease."

I'd be fine with that as long as they'd be willing to rehire me/it wouldn't cause a problem on my record/history.

Tim D.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to thank you guys again for taking time to reply.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

"...Just like Rainy said you have to basically start over, you turn in your truck everything. Unless you lease."

I'd be fine with that as long as they'd be willing to rehire me/it wouldn't cause a problem on my record/history.

I don't think that would be an issue. By the time you establish a relationship with your fleet.manager and explain things. If you are good, he wikl want you back to make him money. They will hire you back as long as you don't have any major accidents, stay out if trouble, and have a good on time delivery.

I have a friend who " quits" once a year to watch her grandkids over the summer. Her hubby is a lease op and they team. She gets rehired and goes back on his truck and he trains while she is gone.

On the other hand....they have been with prime for a decade. And I'm not sure if his being a lease.makes a difference.

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